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. Robert Stanton said on 25th April 2009, 14:00

    Brilliant coverage from the BBC. Articulate commentators,in-depth knowledge, no interuptions from commercials,one small impovement please,remove Eddie Jordan. The guy is so irritating, David Coultard the true professional is itching to give him a Glasgow Kiss!! Many thanks BBC for a supurb effort.

  2. Jason said on 26th April 2009, 16:03

    Legard is a total moron and has absolutely ruined F1 for me this year.

    @ Robert Stanton: “Articulate commentators,in-depth knowledge” – I’m assuming you are NOT referring to Legard? He has ZERO knowledge and is about as articulate as a rocking horse.

  3. The ones that need to go in order:
    E. Jordan
    J. Leggard
    L. McKenzie (Louise was sooo much better)

    • Dave Croft would be better than Leggard for sure.

      The Chinese GP was great (and a relief) without Jordan

  4. Woz said on 24th May 2009, 20:51

    For goodness sake GET RID OF LEGARD. If it was not for brundle I would not be listening to his commentary. I don’t care if he invented formula 1 he bores me to tears.

    BBC — Get rid of him, Get James Allen back or to make my life complete Good ol Murray Walker.

    Is it me or does Legard just not shut up???

  5. Bernie said on 19th June 2009, 16:34

    I agree that Leggard should go, he may be ideally suited to football or horse racing but that constant chat spoils the whole race for me.
    Martin has it just right, he tells you what you need to know with authority and shuts up when there is nothing to add.
    I do need need to told the obvious while I am watching it happen!

  6. hadan earful said on 20th June 2009, 20:35

    No, I’ve really tried but Legard leaves me cold. He sounds like he’s commentating on a horse race and makes so many gaffs it’s started to get really annoying.

    In today’s quali at one point he shouted “Button’s Out” just because Vettel had put in a faster lap! I had to wait to see Jensen was still on the track to know it was another stupid comment.

    I also get the feeling that Brundle’s not too happy with him either.

  7. Pete Lacey said on 27th July 2009, 22:51

    The answer to “What makes a good commentator” is tone of voice, clarity and delivery. Blundell knew a thing or two but his diction completely messed up his comments. Goodman was OK except for the accentuated strutting. Her head movements were nearly as bad as old Murray. Kravitz is presentable and speaks well enough. Mckenzie is unnecessary but if we have to have a pretty face around the paddock then she is certainly passable. Humphrey just about makes the grade. He interviews quite well and has a pleasing tone of voice. Coulthard is a driver who knows what he’s talking about and is fluent. Someone should tell Eddy to stop reminding everyone he was a team boss. We know what you were Eddy so please change the record a little. Brundle is the mainstay of the team and has been since he came into the commentary box. Martin, if you must do your grid walk then interview racing folk and not stupid so called Celebrities. The perfect commentary team would be Brundle and Davidson. Certainly the latter would rather be behind an F1 steering wheel but he is great to listen to. Martin and Anthony know every litle move that is happening at any one time. In my humble opinion the fly in the ointment at present is Legard. His voice is not easy to listen to and he delivers comments in short overly dramatic bursts. I have noticed on several occasions this season Martin has cut in with a contradictory comment to correct a clanger by Legard. Murray made them all the time but then he was Murray and we had to laugh off his sometimes crazy comments. I’m not a fan of the BBC but I should compliment them on F1 production at present. It is good. To conclude, all I can say is “COME ON JENSON”, you can do it.

  8. I am now really frustrated by the quality of Jonathan Legard’s commentary.

    From the first race of the season Legard appeared to know almost nothing about F1. His only style has been to use lots of really bad repeating phrases such as:

    “And it’s Button in the front for Brawn, then team mate Barichello, from Webber, from Vettel, from…”
    “Button from Barrichello from Vettel from Heidfeld. Brawn from Brawn from Red Bull from BMW”
    “Knows the time to beat”
    “Pushing On”
    “He’s on a charge”
    “Round the final corner”
    “He’s battling on”
    “Now what can this man do?”
    “Down the hill”
    “Can he make it?”
    “Up the hill”
    “Round turn 9/10/11 etc.”

    I cannot think of one intelligent comment Legard has made so far in the 2009 season. I just get so frustrated trying to watch a GP with his constant nonsense background noise. Whenever anything does happen he is so busy ‘making noise’ that he misses it. Occasionally Legard stops to catch breath and Brundel is able to make an interesting observation before Legards excitedly butts in and starts making noise again.

    I literally resorted to muting the sound on my TV for the last race (Valencia). This was an unbelievably boring race with one genuine overtaking moment, yet somehow all the way through Legard was stuck in a sort of frenzy of noise.

    Surely the BBC will replace Legard… please… please

  9. Pete Lacey said on 26th August 2009, 11:18

    I’ve just read OM’s contribution-25/08/09 and must pass on my compliments on it. He/she, has summed up Legard beautifully. Reading what others have written, I am pleased to see that so many agree with my earlier comments (27/07/09)regarding Legard. Take note BBC, Legard has to go if not this season then for 2010.

  10. antonyob said on 26th August 2009, 11:31

    Yes and hes actually getting worse. I remember everyone fussed about James Allen but he got better despite never really having a great voice for it. He was intelligent and upped his game, Legard needs to do the same. Personally id have James Allen back right now. He just needs to hid the fags and jack daniels

  11. Paul Kemp said on 10th October 2010, 22:33

    Just watched the 2010 Japanese GP with Lee Mckenzie as lead. What a refreshing, welcome change although Jake does an admirable job with Eddie and David it was really nice to see Lee in front of the camera. I hope she will be given more races to cover in future. How about alternate weeks for 2011 ?

  12. antonyob said on 11th October 2010, 9:59

    Yeh ask martin whitaker and eddie james and I’m sure they’ll agree. She looks better than jake but that’s it. He’s suprisingly able. I’m not sure he’s enjoying his stint hosting the coomonwealths. Face like thunder when I watched a bit.

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