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. beneboy said on 29th September 2008, 9:51

    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.

    • Howzer69 said on 23rd May 2009, 16:34

      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!

  2. Great news about Martin Brundle. He really makes the commentary.

  3. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th September 2008, 10:15

    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.

  4. Alex Cooper said on 29th September 2008, 10:39

    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.

  5. 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.

  6. I think Anthony Davidson should also join this new team. I’m really happy about Coulthard and Brundle.

  7. they could broadcast it with jade goody F1 without adverts is a distant memory from childhood……

  8. Alex Cooper said on 29th September 2008, 11:41

    In F1 Racing this month they’ve done a piece on what the BBC have planned and although it’s only rumour and speculation so far they suggest that it will look like what Bernie tried to do with his digital channel a few years back (and possibly Sky as well).

    I can’t see how I’d use it myself, but apparently you will have the choice of commentary, get to choose whether you just want onboard shots, etc. etc.
    Should be exciting!

  9. tentonipete said on 29th September 2008, 12:10

    Jake Humphrey was crap at the olympics. I kept expecting Goldie the dog to walk onto the set and him to stroke it.

  10. If he’s got the enthusiasm and love of F1, then I think Jake Humphrey could be a pretty good choice as host. If he’s just a rent-a-presenter doing F1, then he will be no better than a youthful Grim Rosenthal.

  11. I was discussing this yesterday with my girlfriend, and we both agreed Brundle and Coulthard would be a great match, however the BBC organised it.

  12. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th September 2008, 12:22

    Brundle says deal not done yet: story

  13. Scott Joslin said on 29th September 2008, 12:48

    I think it is a shame David Croft is not going to get the job, he has done a good job on radio 5 and on GP2. I actually like the Anchormen being in the pitlane with all the noise and atmosphere that comes with being there. If there are chatting in the studio it can seem very bland and dull – A bit like Eurosport or Sky’s coverage of the Indy 500.

    Not sure about Jake either, his experience is nil and he will be asking some pretty dumb questions of DC. At least Steve Rider has some 20 odd years of experience working around motor sport. I would keep with Steve Rider.

    Won’t DC want to be over at the races where the action is anyway, especially if he is still going to be involved in the Red Bull programe in some way, rather than in Woodlane in London?

    Lee McKenzie – hmmm not sure either. I am slowly coming round to Holly Samos – despite her history of working with Chris Evans on Radio 1 in the 90’s, I think she has a solid understanding of F1.

    Eeeek – Never thought I would come to say this, perhaps it’s “better the devil you know” Except for James Allen!!!

  14. Scott Joslin said on 29th September 2008, 12:54

    Jake Humprey originates from Kids TV – I could be wrong but he might struggle to get his head round the the complexities of the sport.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKYMPXYcmo4

    Now where is Goldie the dog….

  15. I like this line-up. Of the ITV presenters I’ll be sad to lose Ted Kravitz, who I think should have had a more prominent involvement in their coverage. I won’t be sad to lose James Allen, as I think he’s mediocre at best. When Murray retired, ITV advertised Allen as ‘The New Murray Walker’ and I knew from that moment we were doomed. Brundle’s commentary is excellent, and I’m pleased to learn we haven’t seen the last of DC :)

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