Ben Edwards to join BBC commentary team

Television

Ben Edwards

Ben Edwards

Ben Edwards will commentate on F1 for the BBC in 2012, according to the presenter.

Edwards told his Twitter followers: “So, it looks as though it’s really happening. I will be the BBC F1 commentator in 2012 and I can’t wait.

“It took a while for things to be sorted, and thanks to ITV for being so understanding. Really looking forward to working with the crew.”

Edwards previously commentated on F1 on Eurosport and on the pay-per-view F1 Digital+ channel which ceased operations in 2002. He has also voiced many of the F1 season review DVDs.

He has commentated on a range of other motor racing series including the British Touring Car Championship on ITV.

The BBC have already confirmed Jake Humphrey Lee McKenzie, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard will remain on their team in 2012. Last week Sky announced David Croft, Anthony Davidson, Natalie Pinkham and Ted Kravitz had left the BBC to join them for next year.

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86 comments on Ben Edwards to join BBC commentary team

  1. Jim1601 (@jim1601) said on 13th December 2011, 17:37

    Great news!

    His commentary for Eurosport on F1 and then CART was brilliant.

  2. Who needs Brundle, eh? :P

  3. SennaNmbr1 (@) said on 13th December 2011, 17:51

    Finally they get it right. Not that Brundle and DC were a bad combo, but Ben Edwards is very good. Should’ve gone with him from the start instead of Legard.

  4. I too enjoyed his commentary, so we will see how this hashes out.

    However, it is going to take a mammoth effort for the beeb to keep up with the quality of Sky’s broadcast. As both versions of coverage are available to me via alternative means, I will be watching coverage of the same races from both coverage teams to see which I think is more enjoyable. Some watch SpeedTV, some watch SpeedTV with the sound off to listen to 5 live commentary, some watch the Beeb with MB and DC, some watch the beeb with 5 live radio.

    Me, I will watch each entirely on its own and see how the quality shakes out.

    In before “cool story bro”

    If you want to know how I watch all different forms of motor racing, there is a method of torrenting which involves a highly secretive and exclusive website. I am not a part of this website, but I am a part of a less-exclusive and less-secretive website where other users post that exclusive coverage. Confused yet? Dont be. Shoot me a message.

  5. damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th December 2011, 17:56

    Ben Edwards is one of my favourite commentators ever. He really makes the show and can make anything seem exciting.

    I’m a little bit annoyed that Sky didn’t pick him up, as I’ve dreamt for years of a Brundle-Edwards commentary line up. That would have been the ultimate pairing.

    It’s just disappointing that we’re finally getting him, but he’s going to be on the BBC, which, to be honest, not a huge amount of people are going to be watching I shouldn’t imagine.

  6. taurus (@taurus) said on 13th December 2011, 18:00

    Bit of a shame for the BTCC

  7. Scribe (@scribe) said on 13th December 2011, 18:06

    Weal, Sky are welcome to Pinkham. Disapointed that the BBC lost Croft, for I always harked after he, fantastic that we (those that won’t ever pay Murdoch a penny) got Ben Edwards, and kept Coulthard.

    Brundle was excellent last year, but it’s clear that he’s in it for the money. And while thats fair enough, after all his pre-sky twitter rubbish it’s just made me loose a ton of respect for him.

    Edwards involvement in the high moments make him absolutley top class, great capture by the BBC.

    • George (@george) said on 13th December 2011, 18:10

      Brundle was excellent last year, but it’s clear that he’s in it for the money

      I dont think so. It seems to me he didn’t want to stay with a broadcaster who’d only be doing half the races, and less chance to do in depth pieces. I imagine he was being paid fairly well by the beeb in the first place.

      • Gridlock (@gridlock) said on 13th December 2011, 18:26

        He was complaining (!) about paying 50% tax so that puts him North of 150k at the beeb, depending on his other income.

        He always lamented the lack of technical coverage of F1 so I’d imagine the pitch was more about what Sky can do with that than monetary – and given the choice you’d choose the broadcaster with the all-races-live deal too, no?

        • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 14th December 2011, 0:40

          He’s said fairly straight that the decision was swayed heavily by the way the BBC made the deal without consulting the production team and then failed to inform them before the information was given to the press. Basically, he didn’t want to work for people that treated him like that. And who can blame him?

          Since then he’s been spouting the live coverage line, which I don’t doubt is somewhat true but is mostly the corporate line and a bit of subtle promo.

          I don’t think he is exactly in need of a few quid, can’t imagine money is a major factor at all.

    • bpacman (@bpacman) said on 14th December 2011, 13:49

      Brundle was excellent last year, but it’s clear that he’s in it for the money. And while thats fair enough, after all his pre-sky twitter rubbish it’s just made me loose a ton of respect for him.

      @Scribe – I disagree that Brundle did it for the money. Imagine if you were Brundle and had the two choices before you…

      On one hand, you have the offer from Sky who are screening every race live, launching a brand new channel for the coverage and have publicly committed to improving the standard of F1 broadcasts.

      On the other hand, you have the offer from BBC to commentate live on only half of the races, with less airtime for you, less build-up and coverage for the races that are not being shown live and doubts about the corporation’s commitment to the sport in future years.

      Are you saying that you would prefer the BBC offer?

      What if a few years down the line the BBC quit F1 altogether? By then, Sky would likely have a lead commentator entrenched (Crofty/Ben Edwards) and you (you still being Martin Brundle) may be unable to commentate live on the races at all.

  8. George (@george) said on 13th December 2011, 18:07

    Great news! I’ll at least be watching the races that are live on the BBC, so relieved they’ve hired the best man for the job :)

  9. sato113 (@sato113) said on 13th December 2011, 18:10

    so he’ll leave the BTCC commentary next year?

    • UnitedKingdomRacing (@unitedkingdomracing) said on 13th December 2011, 18:59

      Thats the sad part of it. I wonder who is going to join Tim Harvey for that job.
      I know that some of you wouldn’t agree but I always enjoyed James Allen alongside Brundle in his ITV years. But Allen might be a bit to much involved in F1 only to commentate the BTCC.

  10. PieLighter (@pielighter) said on 13th December 2011, 18:16

    Spoilt for choice now, Edwards was awesome on A1GP. I’ll probably follow Brundle to Sky, but don’t hate on me, I’m not paying the bills! XD

  11. 91jb12 (@91jb12) said on 13th December 2011, 18:19

    I thought i read somewhere Ben Edwards was not a keen flyer

  12. suffolk (@suffolk) said on 13th December 2011, 18:34

    Finally.

    I look forward to the interviews over the radio as the drivers are on the drivers are on the warm up lap, waiting behind the safety car or straight after crossing the finish line!

    Seriously though he is responsible for my interest in F1 from his time on Eurosport. I was very young at the time but whenever possible I would watch all the practice sessions and Friday qualifying. Ben seems to have an ability to draw the audience in and make them feel like they are part of the event with his no nonsense commentary, knowledge, excitement, seriousness and professionalism.

    The conspiracy theorist in me has always suspected that there was something in the past that has kept Ben off of the BBC. I have never found out what it was…

  13. tflb1 (@) said on 13th December 2011, 18:45

    As someone who has the choice of BBC or Sky, I think maybe I’ll watch the pre and post race stuff on Sky and the race on the BBC. I love Edward’s commentary, but I do hope he’ll continue doing the BTCC when he can.

  14. snowman (@snowman) said on 13th December 2011, 19:00

    Excellent news for a change from the BBC. I personally was having nightmares of Legard coming back.

    I know I will be in the minority but would rather have Coulthard for the analyst role than Brundle so this line up is perfect.

    • kinggp (@kinggp) said on 13th December 2011, 20:13

      completely agree with you i absolutely hate brundle he always gets things wrong, misses obvious pieces of action and his voice and attitude just annoys me. dc is better but last years commenty was s***

      idea line up would be croft and davidson but if not edwards and dc will be good mainly due to edwards though

  15. zippyone (@zippyone) said on 13th December 2011, 19:09

    Me too @snowman, if Legard had come back that would have been the nail in the coffin for me!

  16. Jon Allen (@jona1976) said on 13th December 2011, 19:30

    I didn’t see a link to Ben’s twitter feed btw so here he it is:

    https://twitter.com/#!/bennythebulb

    Really am torn now who to watch the shared live races with. Ben Edwards is the dog’s doodads when it comes to motor-racing commentary. I wish the BBC had gone with him over Leggard in 2009. Allegedly he was in the frame but the Beeb wanted him to commit to cover F1 exclusively and wouldn’t allow him to work as freelancer which would allow him to provide BTCC commentary for ITV whilst still doing F1 for the BBC. Given that the BTCC never clashes with F1 I have no idea why, beyond, pettiness, the BBC didn’t allow this.

    • Chris G said on 27th January 2012, 17:48

      There are actually several clashes between the F1 and BTCC calendars for 2012. Which is rather annoying as I like to attend as many BTCC events as I can but I also never miss a live F1 race!

  17. f1alex (@f1alex) said on 13th December 2011, 19:30

    That is brilliant news! Makes me more inclined to steer away from the live streams, look at the results after the race but view the action for the first time in the BBC show.

    It’s nice to see that the BBC viewers (like me) haven’t got completely shafted in the deal (aside from the obvious things) and that we’ll still have a quality line up.

  18. NickTheGeek (@nickthegeek) said on 13th December 2011, 19:40

    We have caved and gone for Sky. The full channel and HD Practise did it for me.

    They must must must live up to their own hype though and deliver a much deeper fan orientated coverage than the beebs (IMHO) a bit too mainstream one.

    If it isn’t that much better (or heck even worse) that they will be dropped like a ton of bricks.

    • TheBrav3 said on 13th December 2011, 23:17

      “If it isn’t that much better (or heck even worse) that they will be dropped like a ton of bricks.”

      and that is how rupert murdoch became a rich man because no one ever leaves regardless of what they tell them selves. :P

      • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 13th December 2011, 23:35

        The reason people don’t leave is because Sky television is absolute quality. It’s suddenly become trendy to dish out insults to Sky during this whole tv rights saga. People neglect to remember the quality of the services Sky offer.

        • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 14th December 2011, 0:48

          I disagree with this reply passionately. The only reason many people (including myself) are with Sky is they have a virtual monopoly in multi channel in non cabled areas. I hate them because they are awful, and myself for being their customer.

          Virgin are far superior and better value.

          • cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 14th December 2011, 1:27

            @peteleeuk

            Okay, you’re entitled to your opinion.

            I’ve had both Virgin and Sky, and I can say that Virgin have far superior internet, it doesn’t even compare.

            But their tv packages are a joke. Sports? Movies? Ridiculously expensive! And don’t start me on the boxes, they are sooooo slow! They lag so much!!! When you rewind and play it starts at a difference place to where you want it to. They have far less HD channels. Even the red button doesn’t properly work!

            Virgin are far superior and better value

            Have you seen how much extra you have to pay to get just one sports channel?!!?

            The only thing I really like about Virgin is catch up tv (iplayer, 4OD). Sky are lagging behind there.

          • TheBrav3 said on 14th December 2011, 2:45

            @cduk so pete’s entitled to his opinion but not me? Sounds a little bit some are more equal than others to me. :P

            seriously though the only “good” thing about sky is the sports channels. Everything else i watch is by the bbc because they have *the best* comedy in the world bar non. Sky doesn’t even recognise it as a genre there selection is that poor and i have never missed any sporting event on sky that i wanted to watch. I find it down right comical that people shell out outrageous pay per view prices for boxing matches, (as an example) that are available live on certain websites and then full downloads the next day. I have to wonder if sky even attempts to stop people doing this because i can find videos of for instance haye vs klitschko in full, including the build up and post fight interview that have been up since the day after the fight (3rd of july) up to right now with out being messed with once.

  19. 3v3r10n9 (@3v3r10n9) said on 13th December 2011, 19:51

    I like his commentating in the DVD reviews so will be interesting!

  20. maclauren (@maclauren) said on 13th December 2011, 19:57

    Actually he last commentated on F1 in 2009 for F1 in Cinema, during the Abu Dhabi GP (and 2008 as well on a few occasions – Canada, Italy, Silverstone, Monaco).

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