Commentating: How hard can it be…

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Microphone, 470150

I know a lot of British F1 fans get irritated by ITV commentator James Allen. I’ve never been a big fan either but I’ve tried not to get too drawn into the Allen-bashing because, much like when it comes to discussing the talents of F1 drivers, I’ve never done it so I don’t feel I can criticise too much.

But that’s going to change tomorrow when I pick up the microphone for the first time at Silverstone, home of the British Grand Prix. After all, how hard can it be…

Tomorrow I’ll be joining F1 Fanatic columnist Ben Evans commentating on qualifying and races at the BRSCC event at Silverstone. I’ve not got any delusions of grandeur about this – it’s not going to be an enormous crowd – so it’s a good chance for me to find out just what it’s like to commentate on live racing.

For eight hours.

Yep, we start talking at 9am and, apart from a lunch break, continue right on through until some time between five and six, depending how many crashes there are. That’s seven qualifying sessions and seven races.

I met Murray Walker last year and asked him how hard commentating live was. This is what he said:

It is a lot harder than people think it is – any job that is done well appears easy – it?s when you try to do it yourself you realise it?s not as easy as you thought it was. You?re looking at one television screen – the same one that the viewers at home seen. Most people think you?re looking at a bank of televisions all over the track – you?re not!

I’m really looking forward to it and I hope I at least do a semi-respectable job. But if anyone has any tips I’m all ears…