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

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

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    Brundle says deal not done yet: story

  8. 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!!!

  9. 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….

  10. 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 :)

  11. very good news all round,

    i have to strongly disagree though, the studio format is complete rubbish, i quite like seeing rider outside the pits i think it adds to the occaision,plus not having coulthard there is a mistake surely, how will he be able to interview massa for example,

    i say no to thr studio idea, what does evryone else think?

  12. I think the new line-up looks great. I have no idea who Legard and Humphrey are so I’m hoping they’re alright. I’ve always like Brundle and therefore am happy that he’s still gonna be there. I think DC would be a great commentator as he’s very dry and it will be nice to have the perspective from a modern-day F1 driver. I don’t know who that Lee McKenzie is but if that photo is anything to go by, she looks hot, and that’s always a plus.

    I’ll be glad to see the back of the mighty sycophants Allen and Rider but I’ll actually miss Blundell’s terrible grammar and I enjoyed listening to what he has to say. I’ve never had anything against Kravitz or Goodman but at the same time never felt that they brought anything interesting to the show.

  13. Glad to see that Martin Brundle is being kept on. His input and opinion is vital. I also hope that the BBC keep his grid-walk slot too.
    Only time will tell whether this new team are any good. To be honest they can’t do much worse!

  14. @Gareth – Well Brundle’s gridwalk is one of my sore points. Its sad to see Brundle being shooed away by teams and drivers. And its surprising that ITV had official contract with FOM. On the other hand Peter Windsor, who is Trackside reporter for SpeedTV, is treated well on his grid walk, nobody shoos him away. That maybe because he is part of FOM and conducts the post quali and post race conferences.

    Anyways Enjoy this classic repartee by Brundle –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9VdSCQ0gbk

  15. I live in greece and I would like very much to know if there will be online coverage of the races (practice,qualifying,race) and if someone who doesn’t live in England could watch them through the internet like ITV F1 player

  16. soooperpigdog said on 29th September 2008, 16:02

    Keith, regarding Brundle, if the ‘deals not done yet’, then why did YOU start this thread???? If I want made up stories, i’ll buy the Sun…

  17. Scott Joslin said on 29th September 2008, 16:09

    Snooperigdog – I think you will see on the very first two letters of the first paragraph that Keith is reporting another site has claimed to know the BBC line up, not this site and lets also be fair, as soon as Keith know he posted a link to news that Brundles deal is not yet done.

    I think that is fair an balanced!

  18. schumi the greatest said on 29th September 2008, 16:27

    at least the bbc are trying to get brundle. what bugs me about the itv coverage is the lack of coverage for the drivers, the only one they interview is lewis hamilton, it does annoy you after the 30th race in a row. Im a hamilton fan but it does my head in so you can imagine what it does to the hamilton-haters.

    keeping brundle is the key, he explains the very technical stuff about driving an f1 car in simple english. His analogies are great and witty. James allen had to go he is a complete berk, mark blundell doesnt seem to say anything intresting he just narrates the replay itv just showed you 20 seconds ago.

    Who actually presents the show doesnt really bother me id rather the bbc spend the time beofre the race for features on drivers, teams etc and maybe abit brief preview of the race.

    My main concern however is how much time the bbc will give f1 before and after the race, thats one thing where itv got it right. An hour build up and half hour or so after the race (most of the time) if anyone has any intrest in football will no doubt have watched a few games on the bbc and other than the fa cup final every game has 15 minutes build up to it and 15 minutes after the game before switchiong over for the eastenders omnibus.

  19. Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 29th September 2008, 16:46

    soooperpigdog – As Scott said, I couldn’t have made it more clear that this is what another site is reporting – look at the first two words of the article.

  20. Did Jake Humphrey specify what kind of crisps he’d spend a million pounds on? Because if they were Walkers then surely he’s in the wrong sport.

    Poor joke.

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