James Allen’s 100th Grand Prix

Six years ago James Allen officially took over the ITV mike from Murray Walker.

He had done a few live F1 broadcasts for ITV before then, and last weekend saw him rack up his 100th.

So it was quite fitting that the Canadian Grand Prix should be won by Lewis Hamilton – Allen makes no secret of the fact that he is a big fan of the McLaren driver.

Allen gets a very rough time from F1 fans, especially online, and I can’t say I’m a fan of his commentary style. I always thought he was better suited to the pit lane reporter role.

But whatever you think of him, you have to appreciate his enthusiasm.

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20 comments on James Allen’s 100th Grand Prix

  1. He’s a better writer than he is commentator. And he isn’t that good a writer.

    Having said that, I don’t think he’s as awful as Murray Walker.

  2. “you have to appreciate his enthusiasm.”

    if he was as enthusiastic about racing as he is about the sound of his own voice, then yes i would.

  3. Obster said on 13th June 2007, 22:09

    Now that I have access to high speed internet, can anyone say where I can find some of the Brittish broadcasts of F1 races-just want to compare Allen to our US guys.

  4. Murray Walker is the best damn commentator in the world.

  5. Richard C said on 13th June 2007, 22:40

    Murray was an impossible act to follow, though he did for a time suffer abuse before he reached his status of ‘national treasure’. Allen’s immediate problem is he is not Murray and secondly he seems to have no chemistry with Martin Brundle which does not help either.

    Allen needs to rethink his style and perhaps appreciate how his commentaries sound to the viewer. His tendency to prattle irritates and his infarction sometimes sounds strained and false.

    One detrimental impact of the Hamilton phenomenon is that ITV will have a huge ratings boost without trying and will probably not feel the need to improve its coverage.

  6. SoLiD said on 14th June 2007, 0:48

    believe me ITV has the best commentators in the world. I haven’t found any that come close!

  7. I must admit I don’t find Allen as annoying as I used to. I’m not sure if this is just down to familiarity.

    I always thought Simon Taylor would have been the ideal replacement for Murray Walker.

    I find David Croft’s commentary more informed. BBC Radio are certainly upping the ante this year.

  8. Toby said on 14th June 2007, 10:36

    Did anybody else laugh at Allen commentating when Hamilton crossed the line last weekend?

    “Lewis Hamilton…….wins!”

    It was such a classic example of reserved British enthusiasm. I’d take impassioned screams of genuine delight over that anyday. He sounded all too aware that he was being broadcast to millions of homes for my personal liking.

    I’d love to hear some of the Latin commentary that accompanies the races in other countries. See if they have something similar to that (Spanish?) football commentator who shouts the legendary “Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooal!” ’til he runs out of breath.

  9. Dump Allen and put Vicki Butler-Henderson in as commentator. Brundle really holds up the F1 commentary single handedly, you could loose the others, just have Brundle and it’d be infinitely better than it is now.

  10. I thought Anthony Davidson did a bang up job my self; although I would rather see him winning races.

    JA is getting more annoying for me as time goes on. In the Canadian race he continued to express surprise that Wurtz (I think) wasn’t brought in when the end plate of his rear wing was damaged despite Brundle having explained exactly why it wasn’t an issue only minutes before. The man’s a Muppet.

  11. The man is a muppet indeed!

    I appreciate that it can’t be an easy job, but for someone whose in their chosen profession (Allen) to be so comprehensively outdone by someone in effectively in their second job (Brundle) is surely an indicator that he should find another job!

    He did the whole “Lewis…Hamilton………wiiiiiiins!!!!!” thing again at Indy – I really hope he’s not trying to start a catchphrase, as that’s going to get really tired in the years to come!

  12. What s really irritating for me is how Allen has started to use his ‘commentary’ (I use that word advisedly) to plug his latest book. Utterly beyond belief that ITV have kept him on for so long.

  13. JA is there as the “professional” commentator. Every race he is shown to be a distant second to MB in that job! The one part that really annoys me big time is when it is time for Martin B to decided on HIS “man of the race” JA opens his big oppinionated trap. There has to be better out there!!!

  14. Adam said on 26th March 2008, 22:13

    I know James Allen isn’t quite as good as Murray but he is still a brilliant commentator , is great alongside Martin Brundle, and i really hopes he carries on at BBC next year!

  15. Adam said on 26th March 2008, 22:17

    *hope

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