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.
More on BBC’s 2009 F1 coverage
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