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

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  1. Peter Boyle said on 29th September 2008, 1:32

    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. Paul Sainsbury said on 29th September 2008, 1:59

    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. IF this is true it is excellent news already.

  4. Jon Finn said on 29th September 2008, 2:29

    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.

  5. Mahesh said on 29th September 2008, 3:08

    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 :-?

  6. 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.

  7. S Hughes said on 29th September 2008, 3:40

    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.

  8. I agree that being in a studio, or at least not in the pit lane, is a good idea, but does that compromise the interviews they do at the track?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. What, no more James Allen and his spastic reactions?

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Hi Guys,

    wasn’t the hamster (Richard Hammond) going to be on the team? not that he knows much about F1, as clarkson put it.

    just wondering….

  15. Glad it’s back at the BBC, because the ad breaks drive me mad. But never mind the presenters, do you think we will get THE music back for the intro?

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