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. David Coultard was useless as a driver,(what did he ever win) and will be useless as a commentator in my opinion, (l have heard him stuttering away between kissing his girlfriend yuk) lets hope the BBC choose better, Steve Ryder is just so boring, Martin Brundle is a little bully, come on Aunty surprise us with a new better gang of Commentators PLEASE.

  2. So pleased to see end of the poor ITV coverage, the visual/sound effects were absolute rubbish.

  3. Mr Soap said on 28th December 2008, 16:00

    David Coultard was useless as a driver,(what did he ever win)

    Seriously?

    13 races. Putting him equal 18th in terms of races wins. Stirling Moss is the only driver to have more wins and no title, and 13 drivers have less wins than him and managed to win a title.

    That’s not insignificant.

  4. l think David won one race in last 5 years and came no where near in others, no that is not significant l am afraid, in recent times he crashed more often than not,a terrible record,only Button compared as poor.

  5. Mr Soap said on 28th December 2008, 20:20

    Again… what?

    If you’re in an uncompetitive car, you won’t win races.

    Perhaps Peost was rubbish because he went all of 1991 without a win. Perhaps Schumacher was rubbish because he didn’t have a proper win in 2005 (US GP doesn’t really count for obvious reasons) Perhaps Alonso is rubbish because he sprnt most of this year coming nowhere near a win.

    Or possinly it was that they didn’t have a car capable of winning.

    And besides, since when did winning races become a requirement for good commentry? Good knowledge of the subject, yes, and having been in it for 14 years at both ends of the grid, you’d struggle to say he hasn’t got thst.

  6. I dont’t agree that you can’t win races if you are in an uncompetitive car. I think it depends on how many risks a driver is willing to take.

  7. Scruff said on 25th January 2009, 16:26

    I realise it’s a bit late in the day to be commenting on the whole BBC acquisition of F1, but, like many others, I’ve been happily rejoicing at the end of the wretched adverts ruining the coverage of our sport, whilst praying that the rumours were true and Martin Brundle was indeed retained. Beyond that, I thought anything else was a bonus.

    The new personnel lineup however has caused me to react in horror. I’m sure that DC will be a valuable, knowledgeable and entertaining addition,- but the other three? Jake Humphrey? Fine for kiddies TV as he’s pretty close to that age and mentality himself, but was awful at the olympics, and will surely be out of his depth here. Far more suited to discussing Spongebob Squarepants than the finer points of aerodynamic fine-tuning and airflow stability. Jonathan Legand, seems like a nice bloke and all that, but the man is boredom personified. I’ve never heard of Lee McKenzie, so checked her website: seems a jack-of-all-trades reporter with a liking for Scottish food and is a fan of the unintelligible Robbie Burns,- just what we need. I wonder what the very capable and professional Louise Goodman did to be replaced by such a character? Must have been something serious.

    I realise that everyone will have their own favourites and choices, but it really does seem that this is a “put up” job. The Beeb already have an excellent, knowledgable and entertaing commentator in Charlie Cox, now wasted on the inanity of superbikes. Lou Goodman is a natural, and surely with all the presenters across the spectrum working for them, they could have found someone, anyone, far more worthy to front the programme?

    Ah well, as I said at the beginning, no more adverts, and we still have Brundle. Everything else may not, after all, be a bonus, but that alone is a pretty good start.

  8. richard said on 10th February 2009, 1:44

    i hope bbc dont go on about Lewis Hamilton all the time becuse a 1 time i was thinkin i dont what to see this any more i i dont know what it is but i just dont like lewis hamilton

    • Jacob said on 9th March 2009, 19:03

      i agree with richard, at first i though that lewis hamolton was a good thing but after itv always focused on him and no one else i started to get annoyed and stopped liking him.

  9. English Pete said on 9th March 2009, 21:13

    Having read Richard and Jacobs comments about Lewis Hamilton I would like to know if they are English, or even British and if they are either then they are definitely not patriotic, as Lewis is the greatest f1 driver this country has ever had and seen.
    Lewis deserves all the publicity the BBC can give him and more, still there’s always a very small minority isn’t there!

  10. Sesquatch said on 10th March 2009, 21:12

    Liking the look of the coverage team on the bbc, itv had only one good person and you kept him and canned the rest!! Good call! Now, is THE formula one music going to comeback and complete my season?

    • John said on 17th March 2009, 11:26

      Just what I was thinking and hoping, the Chain seemed to sum up the drama for me, every time I hear it I think of F1.

  11. Richard said on 31st March 2009, 17:03

    I enjoyed 5 Live commentary in the past and comparing Jonathan Legard to James Allen I prefer the former.

    As a commentator Legard is involved in and gripped by the unfolding drama of the sport, and it is a sport. James Allen has come across as an overgrown schoolboy who is excited by the spectacle of sound, colours and noise and at the money and the girls but who distances us from the sport. As such Allen did not describe drivers as sportsmen but rather as heroes with unattainable superhuman greatness.

    Formula one is a sport and I believe it suits a sporting style of commentary which i think is Jonathan Legard’s style. I also like that he is less likely to be condescending.

  12. Alison said on 31st March 2009, 22:41

    How dull and boring was the commentary at the Australian GP.

    I am glad Martin is still there but who is the boring person who is working along side him, he definitely needs a commentary transplant.

    At least with James Allan there was some life in him.

  13. Brian Morris said on 5th April 2009, 3:46

    If you want my opinion having attended and watched F1 for over 20 yrs – this is what I think of the present BBC F1 team of presenters:

    Martin Brundle – top man – great he’s part of the team.

    Jonathan Legard – needs to SHUT UP more often – we are watching moving pictures on the YV not listening to the radio…is he paid by the number of words he can get in a minute and he’s boring.

    David Coulthard – Boring – why TV producers constantly make the mistake of using ex sports people as presenters – is mad – some make it most do not.

    Jake Humphrey – great on the TV durng the China Olympics – but you get bored by his presentation style very quickly

    Lee McKenzie – waste of space

    If anyone at the BBC is reading this – if you want to retain the viewers of F1 – use or bring back the ITV crew – they were 10 times better that the BBC team (ex Martin Brundle)

    I hate listening to the verbal diarrhea from the presenters – Martin knows how to pace the commentry – the others sound amateurish, boring and seem to love the sound of their own voices – I don’t so shut up.

  14. the joker said on 10th April 2009, 22:01

    i think that the f1 line is just awful david is good eddie is ok jake not that good jonathan legard is just terrible i know we shound give him a chance but for god sack bring james allien and mark brundel

  15. tony said on 19th April 2009, 19:44

    does any one agree that Legard should stick to radio today on teh final lap he came out with so much rubbish, he often spoke over brundle (who i think is just right) tell us things we have just seen. he ahs ruined my viewing someone tell him to calm down.

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