BBC’s 2009 F1 team: Legard, Brundle, Coulthard, Humphrey and McKenzie

Jonathan Legard, Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Jake Humphrey & Lee McKenzie
Jonathan Legard, Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Jake Humphrey & Lee McKenzie

Pitpass claims the BBC has named its 2009 F1 coverage presenters as Jonathan Legard, Martin Brundle, David Coulthard, Jake Humphrey and Lee McKenzie.

Legard has previously commentated for the BBC on Formula 1 on Radio Five Live and has an expert knowledge of the sport. Pairing him with Martin Brundle, who’s won awards for his ‘expert commentator’ role in 12 years with ITV, is an excellent decision.

David Coulthard, fresh from his retirement this year, is expected to be based in a studio with Jake Humphrey, to front the show.

Pitpass scoffs, “the budget is expected to be even less than ITV is spending – come on, how do you expect them finances garbage like ‘Bonekickers’?” But I think the BBC are sensible to see there is no value in flying their principle presenters around the world, especially on the licence-payers’ coin. Does having Steve Ryder and Mark Blundell struggling to make themselves heard in the pit lane add anything to the ITV show? No.

Humphrey’s background covers a range of sports including football, American football, cricket and athletics, with a high-profile slot in the BBC’s coverage of the recent Beijing Olympic games. As none of these sports involve four wheels and an engine I have no idea if he’s any good or not so please do tell me. According to this interview done while he worked on Childrens’ BBC if he had a million pounds he’d spend it on crisps.

Lee McKenzie has been fronting Sky Sports’ A1 Grand Prix coverage and is the daughter of Bob McKenzie, the Daily Express journalist. (He who famously promised to run a lap of Silverstone naked if McLaren won a race in 2004.) She is expected to work as a pit lane reporter, a role currently filled by Louise Goodman and Ted Kravitz. McKenzie won Jim Clark Memorial Award for people involved in motor sport.

Of the current ITV team only Martin Brundle will joining the BBC’s coverage, and not James Allen, Steve Ryder, Mark Blundell, Ted Kravitz or Louise Goodman. When ITV took over F1 from the BBC in 1997 it kept only Murray Walker and brought in an otherwise all-new team.

ITV won a BAFTA for its coverage of the Canadian Grand Prix last year, despite the fact so many fans had complained about them cutting the post-race discussion short ITV had to issue an apology.

Jake Humphrey biography (BBC press office)

Lee McKenzie official website
BBC Radio Five Live Presenters – Jonathan Legard

More on BBC’s 2009 F1 coverage

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106 comments on “BBC’s 2009 F1 team: Legard, Brundle, Coulthard, Humphrey and McKenzie”

  1. coulthard and brundle are a dream ticket.
    Just hope the rest shut up enough to let us hear them.

    The 5-live commentary is quite reasonable, so I have


  2. This looks like good news to me. Martin Brundle being retained is a very wise decision, and I think Coulthard would be superb in his new role, being extremely experienced and knowledgeable and, as a bonus, intelligent, articulate and witty. Losing Mark ‘the replay what we watched’ Blundell is also great news.


  3. I honestly prefer having the presenters at the event – I think it keeps the flow of the atmosphere rather than backing away from the buzz of the venue into a dry studio.

    That said, keeping Brundle on board has to be a good decision for everyone and roping DC into a role for this is a huge bonus that I will look forward to seeing.

  4. I will miss Ted Kravtiz and his Paddock Notes posted on ITV/F1 every week. In fact its one column I eagerly look forward to read and find “behind the scene” events. Of course there is one more “additional” source that feeds me tidbits.. I seriously hope to see Ted work in paddock in some role and continue to share his insights with Racing Fans.
    Louise Goodman- that Lady is Serious distraction. Coulthard must have been praying for his “Jinx” to be sacked for years now.. his wishes are finally answered after his retirement though :P

    Is there are way to start a Online petition for Ted :-?

  5. Think I agree with Jon. The presenters don’t say anything worth hearing anyway so why does it matter that they have to shout over the engines? It adds to the atmosphere.

    I’m glad Brundle has been kept, he’s definitely the redeeming factor in the ITV team.

  6. I will miss the ITV team. I can’t find fault with any of them (no, I’m not a herd animal and join in the pointless slagging off of the ITV team). I love Blundell and his Blundellisms (“he will join the teat at the high table, oops I mean seat”); I love Ryder’s enthusiasm and the chats in front of Lewis’ garage. The new presenters look like they’ve just left school, and the woman looks like a bimbo. Gosh, how disappointing. And I can’t stand DC – he’s so pompous. Oh well, I am deeply disappointed and really will miss ITV.

  7. I agree totally with Mahesh re Ted Kravitz. As a TV pitlane reporter he’s merely good, but his paddock notes show that he’s a superb journalist when it comes to the written word. Frankly his well-written columns rather show up the rest of the team, particularly Allen’s posts which can often read like a child’s “what I did at the weekend” homework by comparison.

    Hopefully Ted will get picked up by one of the broadsheets and continue bringing us these stories.

  8. Remembering of course that the actual pictures of the race will be from FOM, I don’t suppose it really matters where the presenters are. It would be more fun to have a BBC Motorhome in the Paddock, serving breakfast or lunch for anybody who drops in,and used as a ‘studio’, but no doubt that would upset most license payers.
    I think the 5live commentators are reasonably good, and hope they can keep up the standards. And of course the BBC will no doubt use its TV/Radio/Website/Red Button tie ins as it has with other sports events and major series.
    Coultard and Brundle will probably work together quite well, I think they share a similar view about F1 and motor racing in general. I wonder if the BBC will be staying at DC’s hotel in Monaco next year?
    Is ITV keeping coverage of GP2, or is that going to the BBC as well? If BBC do have it, I hope they will return to the earlier format and show the Porsche Supercup as well.

  9. You lucky buffs in the UK. In the Netherlands we’re stuck with TV ads, with RTL 7 broadcasting the races. Good thing is, though, that they have changed from full-screen commercial breaks, to some 75% of the screen, while the race footage remains visible.

    I am bothered, though, with the fact that TV channels, and advertisers alike, cannot think outside the 30-second-commercial box. Think of something else that draws (some) attention, but does not drag the viewer out of the race.

  10. Oh, and as for Ted and Louise – anyone who was at Goodwood Festival of Speed this year would have seen how closely she works with Jenson and Honda, so no doubt she will return to PR duties in some form or another. Ted I am sure will be snapped up by one of teams as one of the ‘stataticians’ he keeps going on and on about! Personally I’m not impressed with his column on the ITV website, its only his take on the various press releases issued during the race.

  11. Thank the Lord.
    James Allen & Louise Goodman will no longer be invading our homes on a race weekend !

    ITV have slowly sucked the life out of their F1 coverage, we all knew they’d never be able to find a replacement for Murry Walker but JA is possibly the worst sports commentator working today.

    Good to see Martin Brundle kept on, the lone voice of sanity in an otherwise amatuer line up on ITV at the moment and I think Legard will compliment him well.

    Don’t know about Humphrey as never seen him on anything but Lee Mckenzie has been doing a decent job on A1 GP and at least she doesn’t throw herself at the drivers like an excited schoolgirl.

    DC will be an interesting choice, his colums for ITV are generally interesting and he’s still close enough to the sport to have some up to date insider knowledge.

    Good choice BBC.

    1. The facts: Martin brundle is a twenty six year veteran of formula one both as a driver and commentator, Eddie Jordan had his own team for fourteen years and David coulthard has fifteen years experience in this most prestigious of sports, all of whom i would listen to for hours, if not for their unique insights into the world of formula one, then just out of respect! Even Jonathan Legard and Lee Mckenzie have motorsport on their resumes but i must point out that the mindless, condescending diatribe that falls from the lips of the so-called anchor is better suited to some third rate, low budget, “scientific” analysis of the different kinds of dust, which would of course be aired at three in the morning on an obscure satelite channel with just three viewers, his mum, his girlfriend!? and his dog!!!! I am offended that jake humphrey is even allowed to breath the same air as the rest of us let alone be given a prime time opportunity to patronize and even blatently ignore some of the biggest names in the cutting edge of motorsport! A very, very poor decision indeed….

      P.S: I would also like to say that as an avid formula one fan since the early nineties the BBC are doing a sterling job of delivering the current Formula one season. Well done guys it’s good to be home!

  12. Ron – As far as I know the whole Top Gear thing was a rumour put about when the BBC got the coverage in the first place, but there’s nothing to back it up. Hammond isn’t very interested in F1, so I’d be surprised.

    Beneboy – Goodman’s alright, she wasn’t taking any nonsense from Luca Colajanni over the pit lane exit lights yesterday. I’ve got nothing against her or Kravitz really, although I think some of Kravitz fuel analysis from the pits during races can be a bit misleading. But then it’s not his fault the fuel rules are as silly as they are.

  13. A pity that David Croft won’t be involved, though I suppose they need to keep the Radio 5 side also at the top and their coverage (with Maurice Hamilton) is excellent.

    Jonathan Legard is an excellent and logical choice and thank goodness Brundle’s ‘pikey’ comments in Canada didn’t turn the BBC off him; Brundle is fantastic at what he does.

  14. Goodman is great, and I don’t mind Ted Kravitz. Blundel has an amusing but sometimes irritating grasp of english with his ‘wots’, and lets just say James Allen’s time has come to a rightful end.

    I must say that I’m getting quite nervous about what’s been speculated to be done in general by the BBC. Lets hope we get a first class production with reasonable and substantial pre and post race analysis and features that allows for flexibility with over-runs and isn’t put at the mercy of silly lothesome programs like Dads Army, Eastenders, Songs of Praise, etc. Lets hope the beeb streams all the practice sessions as well.

    I am however a little confused. Will the studio be UK or circuit based? I hope its the latter as I can’t see Coulthard being happy to sit in the UK for each GP.

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