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. Chain or no chain theres a number of things they need to ditch/change/add

    1. The lifestyle ********. Women or whoever likes that sort of stuff wouldnt tune into F1 if it was on the front page of Heat magazine.

    2. No weekly fawning interviews with Hamilton – Im a fan (and others) of his but as someone else has said we wouldnt mind seeing other racers interviewed occasionally!

    3. No midnight highlights shows – 9.25pm bbc2 was perfect

    4. Ban on calling ALL LH passing moves “amazing/incredible” as per move on Coulthard which had Brundle reigning in the overly effervescent James Allen

    5. A more structured grid walk where Brundle walks through the grid and explains who will be doing what. It adds nothing at the moment

    6. Its a technical sport – talk technical. The yanks love their tech speak and if they can get it….

    7. More use of CAD to show detail changes to cars, every media uses it now apart from ITV

    8. More use of the onboard camera sat on the rear wing behind the drivers shoulder, it shows steering wheel and front wheel and more importantly you can see the driver working the car as it slides through corners

    9. A decent Honda for Jenson to drive

    ok thats pushing it

  2. schumi#38 – I can remember the last time the BBC had the contract, and when it came to the British GP, the whole sports team was based there all day (and they had been there with broadcasts during the Practice sessions and Qualifying earlier in the week).
    They spoke to all sorts of people around the circuit, but also covered other sports too around it, the post-race interviews slotted in between other final scores….
    Now, admittedly that was only during the British GP, but ITV have never even attempted to do that!

  3. mc cann said on 5th October 2008, 23:28

    yea, what is with everyone making hamilton seem like a racing god, he is good, but, in singapore, passing coulthard, james allen couldnt believe someone could do a move like that, yet two laps prior to this, someone done the exact same pass and got a mild reaction,

    who else thinks that the itv opening sequence is really good,

    another thing how is button being paid so much, he is behind barrachielo who i wouldnt call a good driver, yet is paid close to that of the ferrari’s or mclaren drivers.

  4. miceal said on 6th October 2008, 0:01

    y is jake humphrey presenting this show with coulthard, humphrey is just a waste of time. he is the only down side to this new deal on bbc

  5. Have to say I’m slightly dubious about some of the line up. Martin and DC are cool and Lee McKenzie looks fine, just hope she knows her stuff. Suzi Perry for the Moto GP is awesome and gets a lot of good scoops etc, becasue she’s a chick and knows her stuff. If Lee is ditzy then she’ll be a laughing joke.

    The others I really not sure they’d be any good, but hopefully I’ll/we be proved wrong

    But I’m looking forward to it immensly. No ad breaks is going to be such a relief, and hopefully it’ll be in HD which would rock. As someone said, I just hope the BBC give it the same airtime before and after. As with this year when there is bound to be many thing to talk about, and it that really needs some respectable air time.

    Also, as someone else said, I have heard the Beeb will bring back the Fleetwood Mac theme. Here’s hoping they do cos it was perfect
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDX3a3zWYqc

  6. Accidental Mick said on 24th October 2008, 12:47

    @Ade(47)
    I am with you there – I’m old enough to remember ther Beeb pulling stunts like thatbut hope that as Beneboy (48) said BBC have learnt from ITV.

    Do I remember correctly, is (or was) Brundle DC’s manager?

  7. Zak Ali said on 1st November 2008, 17:04

    Its great that F1 is back on the Beeb. The shocking amount of adverts on ITV1 were driving me bananas, well I used these breaks to make a cuppa or use the loo, but that is besides the point….why have adverts on a live programe? would you be happy to see an ad break 20 minutes into a football game?….yes I know F1 is a long race but do they really need so many ad breaks?….ITV, if you couldnt afford to broadcast F1 without so many adverts, then why bother and spoil it for fans?

    I still have not forgiven ITV for “That Ad Break” during the 2005 San Marino race 3 laps from the finish. For this reason alone they do not ever deserve to host any F1 races again. I waited years for a close finish like that (between Alonso and Schumacher) and ITV cut into and ad break!!!! Then they insult the viewing public by showing the last three laps at the end of the race without even an apology, thats just disgusting.

    The excuse from the producer was that they were

    “obliged to include five commercial breaks during a race and that they did not want to take the final break while Jenson Button was in the lead”

    Erm….excuse me ITV, but Button lost the lead on lap 47 of a 62 lap race.

    No more ads, wohoo!

  8. Katherine said on 4th November 2008, 13:31

    It’s a sad fact that I well remember the days of Murray Walker at the BBC, oh how the years fly by, I also remember the storm of feeling when F1 coverage left to join ITV. I am happy to see the back of ad-breaks. I would thank Louise and her boys for 12 years of coverage, and look forward to a new era. As they used to say at the death of a monarch, the King is dead, long live the King! Coverage will continue, we will all watch it, from time to time we will all gripe, but once we become wedded to the new team, we will howl at the moon if anyone wants to change things.

  9. anonymous said on 5th November 2008, 13:11

    i think the line up looks pretty good, at least there will be no adverts! i do agree though that dc and jake should be based at the races rather than in the studio, i feel it adds to the atmosphere when steve ryder had to talk over all the noise of the engines etc. i also hope they do have sufficient pre and post race commentary….so fingers crossed!!!

  10. Think DC will do a fab job – I’ll miss the ITV team though,especially James Allen:-)

  11. Swooie said on 13th November 2008, 13:22

    The right decisions have been made, so pleased they kept Martin, I was seriously getting twitchy at the thought of not seeing him on the grid, it is a shame to lose Ted but I probably won’t miss him once the season kicks off the new line up will ensure that!! And also to have a good looking female to give us F1 girls a good name, although Louise was ok the bangles on her arms were ridicouls though!! I can’t tell you how excited I am about next season, no more commercial breaks 5 laps before the end and no more James Allan trying to be Murray Walker. I just hope the next 4 months passes by very quickly!!

  12. I’m not sure I believe this. BBC still havn’t officially names the coverage team. Why would pitpass have this info so far in advance of BBC making a statement?

    If this is true, its great to hear they’re getting rid of Ted. I found him to be such a drip. His information during races often turned out to be complete rubbish too. James was good when he did Ted’s job but a pretty poor commentator.
    They have to keep Martin, he’s quality.

  13. Dirk Brownfinger said on 19th November 2008, 9:31

    I fink what P.C. Mark Blundell done for F1 was textbook, and at the end of the day – what he done was more than what the team expected.

    Steve Ryder – best sport anchor bar none.
    Martin Brundle – ace commentator.

    Mark Blundell? Don’t get me started!

  14. Excellent news that the BBC have kept Brundle
    I am just happy that we won’t get adverts anymore during the race.

  15. MCCANN said on 16th December 2008, 11:25

    doesn anyone else think feel jake humphrey shouldnt be a presenter, when i heard he was i immediatley ws a bit annoyed and didnt know why he was chosen.

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