Ben Edwards to join BBC commentary team


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. 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:!/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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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


            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.

  4. 3v3r10n9 (@3v3r10n9) said on 13th December 2011, 19:51

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

  5. 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).

  6. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 13th December 2011, 21:03

    I have never got the hype about Edwards, but then people like Croft who has a similar style, so I guess there’s something wrong with me :P I would rate him above Croft and Legard though.

    The BBC really needed this, they’d lost the expert analyst, a popular commentary partnership and an excellent pitlane reporter. This is the softener to the blow to fans who won’t or can’t get Sky next year. All they need is James Allen to replace Ted Kravitz and they might just have saved their line-up from the gutting Sky gave it.

  7. Thank god I won’t be subjected to the intensely irritating ‘Crofty'; a man prone to unfounded and ill-informed speculation and with an inability to string more than 2 words together without saying ‘errrrrrrrr’. I will never understand his apparent popularity.

  8. I’ve suddenly got this horrible image of Louise Goodman doing the commentary for BTCC.

    • f1alex (@f1alex) said on 13th December 2011, 22:46

      LOL Hope not!

      They’ll probably just get one of the support race commentators to step up to commenate on the whole thing. There’s at least three of them that could do it, but it must be pretty tiring to be talking almost non stop for 6 hours!

  9. as much as i like ben’s commentary its not enough to sway me away from sky.

    reason been that what sky seem like they will offer appeals to me more, i like the sound of the extras they will provide & the technical stuff thats been talked about really appeals to me.

    plus as much as i like ben i hated coulthard’s commentary through 2011 & can’t stand eddie jordan. sky’s team in my opinion is much better than the bbc team.

    i can see bbc aiming there coverage at the casual fans while sky will go all out for the hardcore fans like myself & offer us more information, more in-depth technical features & have more in-depth coverage overall.

    • TheBrav3 said on 13th December 2011, 23:20

      I would rather see any member of the 2011 bbc team interviewing legends than steve ryder cup, even if i did get sky that part of it would be completely unwatchable for me because when i see his face i want to punch it.

      • steve ryder wont be a part of the f1 race broadcast though.

        he will be presenting some of the stuff shown on the sky f1 channel inbetween race weekends.

        as such if your just intrested in watching practice/qualifying/race you won’t have to see steve at all.

  10. GT_Racer said on 13th December 2011, 22:43

    Will still be watching everything live on Sky.

    I worked with Ben Edwards a bit in 2002 on F1 Digital+ & he’s a great guy, very knowledgeable on F1 & a real good commentator. Little known fact is that when he was brought into the F1 Digital+ coverage in 2002 he originally wasn’t going to commentate, He was going to be a studio analyst alongside Matthew Lorenzo. Bernie came in, Saw Ben sitting at a table & John Watson sitting in the commentary area alone & been a big fan of Ben’s told him to get into the commentary area.

    Anyway having some additional knowledge of the Sky coverage which hasn’t come out officially yet, The Sky coverage will be the closest to F1 Digital+ your going to get in terms of content & some of the stuff sounds like the pre-race features & post race analysis will easily surpass F1 Digital+ & anything the BBC will be able to do.

    Also it sounds like Sky will be aiming at the more hardcore fan & ask Brundle/Croft & Kravitz to go into more technical details during the race coverage. Will be a bit like the American SPEED Channel coverage where rather than just explain the basics, They will really go right into it in a way the more hardcore/knowledgeable F1 fan will appreciate & love.

    Sky will also have more access via FOM as there will be quite a few current/Ex-FOM staff working with the Sky coverage.
    Also heard talk of Sky been able to talk to teams/drivers live via team radio as was done on the 2002 F1 Digital+ coverage.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 14th December 2011, 6:58

      Thanks for the info GT_Racer, sounds like both broadcasters may have a place in the world (UK).

      Sky certainly have the opportunity with the decicated channel to offer a lot of buildup and backgroung/backstage feed. And if they put in choices, they might become the preffered station for the hardcore fans who can afford it.

      Personally I think the BBC might be able to still get a quite decent share of the viewers if they time their race summaries for viewing at good times for the fly away races (might just mean less people get up early for them) and have a gripping commentary (that seems to be looking good now).

    • Magnificent Geoffrey (@magnificent-geoffrey) said on 14th December 2011, 9:56

      I love GT_Racer’s industry insights. Fascinating stuff.

  11. UKFan (@) said on 13th December 2011, 23:06

    My only problem with this is that I fear that we could be losing the great partnership between some of this journalists and experts

    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.

    We used to listen to David Croft and Anthony Davidson in pratice and Martin Brundle and DC in Races but now Crofty is with Brundle and Ben Edwards with DC how will this guys hang out together some receiving much bigger salarys than before and being part of a different team.

  12. Anti-RBR (@matt2208) said on 13th December 2011, 23:10

    Sky need to get anthony Davidson out of there. ..BBC Jake Humphrey & DC Are shocking too.

    • John H (@john-h) said on 13th December 2011, 23:53

      I have to disagree with your DC comment. Yes, he’s way too biased towards RBR, and Sebastian ‘Vetelle’, but I do enjoy his dry sense if humour and one liners. I think he will go well with Ben Edwards

      I remember reading somewhere that Brundle and croft had a falling out at some point… Anyone else remember that??

  13. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 13th December 2011, 23:40

    Got to say I don’t think David Croft will go down very well on TV. I think his radio role suits him well, but I remember when he commentated on GP2 for ITV2 back in 2007/8 and he was way too shouty. It just didn’t work. Legard has shown the transition from radio to tv is very difficult to make.

  14. John H (@john-h) said on 13th December 2011, 23:49

    This has put a big smile on my face after months of dissapointment. Brundle said all the right things then the first thing he says at sky is that ‘fans will win’. Brundle really dissapointed me with this comment.

    Well, finally well done BBC. We don’t forgive you but this is the first step to redemption.

  15. tandrews (@tomand95) said on 14th December 2011, 0:11

    Does any one know what the world feed or OneHD in Australia is broadcasting? I think we’re getting every race live, so at least half of them would be sky. Would they swap between sky and bbc or just stick with sky through out the whole season?

    • peteleeuk (@peteleeuk) said on 14th December 2011, 0:52

      Not announced yet, not sure how long the BBC coverage contracts are for with the different broadcasters around the world. Just because we in the UK are not getting the BBC races live I wouldn’t be so sure you wouldn’t still get the BBC feed – it will be commentated on live and edited down for us to view later, they could still pump out that commentary as it takes place to broadcasters they are selling it to.

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