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A new challenge with BBC Radio 5 Live
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Jan 2012   |  9:10 pm GMT  |  275 comments

I’m delighted to announce that I am joining the BBC Radio 5 Live team as F1 correspondent and lead commentator this season.

I’m really happy about this; 5 live is the default setting on my radio at home and in the car, it’s a great institution and I’m proud to be part of it.

Anyone who has followed my career knows I love a challenge; whether it’s taking over from Murray Walker, setting up this website, or creating the first F1 fans forums.

I’ve never done radio before and I’m really looking forward to adapting to a new medium.

This is a time of significant change in our industry and I see great opportunity here, thanks to the unique place Radio 5 Live has in this sport.

Readers can be reassured that nothing will change in terms of the coverage here on JA on F1. I’ll still be providing insights into the news and goings on in F1. We have some great plans for 2012.

UK readers wishing to hear the 5 Live F1 output can tune in to the radio station or access the audio online via the 5 Live website


You will also be able to down load the free chequered flag podcast at bbc.co.uk/5live with expert analysis and reaction from the circuit.

5 live Formula 1 will be on 5 live Sport every Friday night prior to a race. This will preview all the action and give the very latest news from the track.

Additionally, our commentary of all the practice sessions, qualifying and the race will be on the BBC Sport website and will be available on the Red Button for the ten BBC TV live races.

Fans at the track will be able to hear us in real time on the rentable Fanvision units.

I will continue to Tweet at @jamesallenonf1 and you can also follow our adventures on @5LiveF1.

And a final note for viewers of Ten Sport in Australia: Don’t worry, I’ll still be contributing to the shows, as before.

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275 Comments
  1. Chris says:

    Hey James,

    That’s great news! I’m really looking forward to hearing your commentary again. Do you have any news as to who will be your second commentator?

    –Chris

    1. James Allen says:

      Not as yet. More announcements to follow

      1. Wayne says:

        Congratulations to you and F1 fans as well!

      2. Kishan says:

        I will be tuning in!

        Hopefully we can even prob do the watch the race but with 5 live commentary via the red button!

      3. Baghetti says:

        Many congratz and good luck with the new job! Just wondering if you can clarify what “overseas readers will be able to access some of the content via the 5 Live website” actually means: being in continental Europe, I would very much want to hear your live commentary while watching the ‘muted’ broadcasting by local television stations (Rai, RTL, etc), do you think that will be possible? In other words, is you live commentary only available in the UK or will it also be available outside the UK?

      4. James Allen says:

        The live stuff is geo locked for rights reasons. The Chequered Flag podcast is ok to download from anywhere

      5. Alex N. says:

        Actually you can listen to 5Live coverage of the F1 races anywhere in the world in case you have an iPod/iPhone/iPad app called TuneIn Radio.
        BBC are also releasing the Live Player in US and Canada for a monthly fee, so it will available fully licensed by BBC as well.
        Lastly, you can also do that by using proxy or VPN services with UK IP proxy address.

        Congratulations on your new challenge mr.Allen – bring on the first race of 2012

  2. Mitchel says:

    More Great news! All the best- Five Live has become the default setting in our house and car too………

  3. Paul Sivyer says:

    Congratulations James – best of luck. Will miss your live Tweets during the race – more so now that I won’t be watching those live races exclusive to Sky.
    All the best.

  4. Gary Smith says:

    Congratulations James. Great news.

  5. Marty says:

    Great news and congratulations!
    It’s about time – me and my F1 mates have all really missed your enthusiasm and extensive knowledge.
    This is great news to receive over the Xmas break, only to be beaten by hearing of your return to the tele,

    All the best and well done James

  6. Martin says:

    Well done James, it will be good to hear you commentating again.

  7. Dunky says:

    Going to be a busy boy JA… Good luck :-)

  8. Stephen Richardson says:

    Well Done, sure you will enjoy it.

  9. Geee says:

    Fantastic news James! Welldone, now you’ve made my choice for audio during the races more complex… in a good way of course!

  10. Doug Walker says:

    Congratulations James.

    Glad to have you back on the airwaves.

  11. Jodum5 says:

    Congratulations.

  12. anil says:

    Yes! Fantastic news James and congrats :)

  13. Martin Pickering says:

    Fantastic news to hear your gonna be on 5 live James,
    I for one will be listening in on you. Good luck not that you need it!

  14. Rafael Lopez says:

    Congratulations!

  15. Sudeep says:

    Congratulations James.

  16. goferet says:

    Whoa JA on F1, I really wonder how you’re going to pull off such a heavy workload for 2012, you must be some kind of modern day superman or you’re going to out source some of your services.

    Anyway, we too am so excited to get you back on air and seeing as a number of fans aren’t switching over to Sky, this means you will be the fans number 1 choice especially those that will use the 5 Live commentary together with live feed from a foreign broadcaster.

    Throughly delighted to finally get you back on board JA on F1, I guess we have Sky to thank (indirectly) for this good news.

    Food for thought:

    The last time JA on F1 was on air, Lewis Hamilton ruled Formula 1.

    During Jonathan Legard’s reign – Jenson Button ruled F1

    While under David Couthard – Sebastian Vettel ruled F1

    It’s really good to be back to the normal years!

  17. Andrew Webb says:

    Congratulations on your new job James, I’m surprised no-one else signed you up after ITV’s coverage ended. You are a great commentator and I’m pleased 5 Live have snapped you up and its gonna be the battle of the broadcasters with yourself, Ben Edwards on BBC1 and David Croft on Sky Sports!

  18. Phil R says:

    Argh, delete my previous comment please…meant to add…

    Many congratulations on the new role, look forward to hearing you.

    Does this mean you are attending all of the races then James? What will the other side say now…

  19. Jon Fitzgibbons says:

    That’s great news, James. Any news who will be alongside you in the commentary box?

  20. Craig Taylor says:

    Brilliant news, I wish you the best of luck. F1 coverage is going to be great both on the bbc and sky!

  21. Jesus says:

    Congratulations!

  22. JimmiC says:

    Great news James, congratulations.

  23. Rich C says:

    Right on!
    And I’m assuming BBC will be picking up at least *some of your travel costs? Sweet.

  24. Born Racer says:

    Excellent news James. Enjoy it.

  25. Andrew Cumbria says:

    I was listening when you were introduced, shame its not whats left of the BBC TV commentary, but best of luck James, I often listen to 5Live certainly on Fridays and on the podcast for the chequered flag. I hope that even though you will be doing the radio commentary we can still look forward to the same service and articles on your website.

  26. Nick says:

    Good news, let me rush on a bit and hope that we get you installed alongside DC in the near future on tv.

  27. Darren says:

    Best of luck with your new adventure James!

    I still wish you were on TV though. :)

  28. franed says:

    That’s great news James, at last someone at the BBC has some common sense, unfortunately not enough to save the whole thing and ditch some of the hundreds of hours of unwanted football, but nonetheless you will be very welcome.

    I gather you will still have Ant and possibly Karun at odd times.

    The different time-lags are bemusing, it often seemed that Crofty and Ant saw things about 4 seconds before we got the live tv picture, the online picture lags the tv the live timing from Formula1.com leads everything and often showa the P and Q sessions finished 5 seconds before the tv. The subtitle are something else again.

    1. Murray says:

      Not Ant, Ant is off to Sky to do Practice still with Crofty, and I think other things during the race, maybe another pitlane reporter or something like that

    2. Seán Craddock says:

      Anthony is part of Sky’s team…

  29. MK_Chris says:

    Wonderful news James: and welcome. I am really looking forward to hearing your observations and commentary. I write as one who decided 12 months ago that there was no point in owning a TV. The progammes on offer and/or the poor presentation standards were of no interest to me. I get my occasional F1 fix from Radio 5 live and from the F1 live timing web site. It has been very satisfying observing the drivers who were making good progress through the field, e.g. Jenson Button, long before the TV commentators spotted it. Any remaining deficiencies are more than covered by the articles on the JAonF1 website. Sky are welcome to their deal, I will never be there. As per last season I might just watch some of BBC highlights if, and only if, the news and reports warrant it.

  30. brooksy007 says:

    Great to hear james,

    As an Australian and a fanatical f1 fan, I have always enjoyed your segments on 10 (one hd)!! I also love the way you can take rusty’s and crew’s humour even though it looks like its very early in the morning for you!!

    Keep up the great work and let’s hope to hear a lot about webbers championship domination!!

  31. Jon says:

    Excellent news, congratulations.

    Will this mean you still doing your website as assume you’d have to do content to the beeb f1 site ?

  32. Chris says:

    Great news James, well done!

  33. Andrew Carter says:

    Good news, I take it Maurice Hamilton will be in the seat beside you?

  34. Neil Donnell says:

    Great news James, well done.

  35. David S says:

    Congratulations James! Great news for fans and the BBC.
    I heard you earlier on the ‘wireless’ as it was announced.

    5 live is a great station and i’m also permanently tuned in.

    Just to clarify, will the red button service still be available for ALL races and sessions or just for the selected races going live on the beeb?

    Would be great if we could introduce some BTCC/Bathurst style live link up between you and the drivers on their radio’s this year!

    Good luck and I certainly will be listening.

    1. Alan H says:

      There have been no in-car live driver link-ups at Bathurst for some years now. As usual the race was broadcast live in the UK.

      Completely off topic it’s the Le Touquet 3 hour motorbike beach endurance race on Feb 5. Something (for me anyway) to look forward to before the F1 season starts. No word yet as to whether Motors TV will be broadcasting it live.

  36. Mike J says:

    Hi James. Well done on your appointment and good luck. Great to hear your work with Channel 10 will continue hear in Australia.
    One thing, we cannot get the 5 Live streaming on the web here (only for UK residents) however we can download the podcasts including the race previews. I suspect you will lead the preview shows on 5 live as well?. Is that correct?

    1. Hi Mike,

      It is possible to access legally UK only site by renting a UK IP address.

      I use my-private-network.co.uk. It costs £5 for one month and does not have to be a subscription. I usually purchase from March to November.

      That way, you can also enjoy the content of the BBC forum after the race.

      PS: beware the 5 second delay in streaming internet radios.

      1. Mike J says:

        Thanks Damian for the info. Much appreciated. Some english friends i know have loosely spoken about this way previously for football etc. Now i have a real reason to do it!!

      2. Aaron James says:

        Regardless of UK or not, there is always a delay in internet streaming- due to the way the packets of information travel through the internet.

        Geek mode over….I am delighted by this news!

      3. Brisbane Bill says:

        Let me add my congratulations to you, James, as well. I too have geeky friends who have rigged up a VPN connection so that I can get access to UK TV and radio content. It is great to hear that James will still be contributing to Ten’s broadcasts here but it is still uncertain as to what commentary we will get for the races. But, as James or Martin (and probably Ted as well) will no longer be heard on our TVs during the race coverage then it looks like tuning into 5 Live is the way to go for me as well. As there has often been a delay in the sound on our TV coverage, I can live with a 5 second delay – but it will pobably mean that you warn us of incidents before they occur, so now I need a geeky friend who can rig up a way of delaying my TV pictures by 5 seconds. Any offers?

      4. I think it’ll be a case of either Sky TV Brundle or BBC Kravitz. Ten aren’t sure yet where they’ll get commentary from.

        As for James, it’s a win-win situation. We can now listen to him, before, during and after the race, providing you can stream UK radio and TV as well as Aus.

    2. Darren S says:

      Hi Mike J

      I’m in Australia too, and I purchased a Logitech Squeezebox Touch, which has an Internet Radio feature. Within this, they include Radio 5 Live as one of their channels, so you can access it via this method if so inclined.

      I didn’t buy the device for that specific function, but was well chuffed when I found it could do it!

      1. Ross says:

        I have an app on my phone called TuneIn which allows me to listen any radio station in the world. I used it alot during FP1&2 when I was not in the house.

      2. Mike J says:

        Darren and Ross
        All great info. Thanks

      3. Darren says:

        Yes thanks for the great tips guys.

    3. Emma says:

      Hi Mike,
      Try out Expat Shield – free program that makes your PC think it’s in the UK so you should be able to stream live.
      We use it for getting hold of iPlayer, it works pretty well for that…

      1. Mike J says:

        Thanks Emma. tried it, works well. Thanks for the advice

  37. alexbookoo says:

    Congratulations James! Looks like I’ll be tuning into the radio for the commentary, complemented by pictures from BBC TV for the races they have, and from another source for the races they don’t (definitely not Sky).

  38. Lee Grant says:

    Great news James!

    The 5Live output is always superb and I really look forward to hearing your opinions.

    Will you also be hosting the 5Live Chequered Flag podcasts?

  39. Bill Nuttall says:

    Congratulations! This is brilliant news, and I look forward to listening to the radio with my stream of the action.

    You’ve seriously got your work cut on on 5Live, who have got probably the best sports commentators in the business, be it on TV, radio or whatever, but I’m sure you can rise to the challenge :)

  40. Murray says:

    Well I’m very happy to hear this news, im very much looking forward to the new season, I’ll be listening to Radio 5-live indefinately when the race isnt live (i’ll watch highlights later on) and perhaps depending on who you’re new co-commentator is (any word on that yet?) i might even listen to radio 5-live commentary when the races are live on the bbc now, due to the lack of Martin Brundle, anyway, i eagerly await your return to the combox, and hopefully you’ll be as good as you always were, again congrats

  41. Sebee says:

    You’re going to knock it out James!

    As a side note, I had a feeling we’d start loosing you eventually. I hope you find a well connected contributor who will keep the post flowing while you’re busy doing BBC5, Ten Sport and finding time to do the annual among other things. With FOTA falling apart at least that seems like it will free up some time.

  42. Chris Searle says:

    Great news James.
    Well done! Life never allows enthusiasts to always be near a TV or a computer, and 5-live coverage of F1 has really developed recently, so to know you’ll be in the lead role comes as great news.
    Every good wish James for you in 2012, especially as you seek to keep all these F1 ‘balls-in-the-air’.
    Chris Searle

  43. TheBestPoint? says:

    congratulations

  44. Seán Craddock says:

    Brilliant news! I can’t wait to hear James Allen in the commentary box again. I wish you all the best in this new career opportunity on the radio James :-)

  45. Congrats James, looks like the Beeb aren’t giving up F1 without a fight. Keep up the good work with the site, Ten Sport and now 5 live. Hope to follow your kind of journalism in the future. Keep up the good work!

  46. Van says:

    That’s great news, James. Congrats. I’m sure you’ll provide the R5 commentaries with great insight to strategies as each race unfolds.

  47. Craig March says:

    Congratulations!

    About time you were back commentating.

  48. Tom D says:

    Congratulations!

    Good news for you, great news for 5 Live listeners and even better, this website will continue.

  49. Coronwen says:

    Totally brilliant! Yourself and a satellite dish pointed towards Hotbird (RAI1) will be better than BBC and Sky put together. Bravo! (For other bemused UK readers that’s totally legal, well – sort of, but I doubt the Carabinieri will be at your gate demanding the Italian TV licence!)

  50. 5Live is seriously good. I’m able to download podcasts but, since I’m abroad, I can’t listen to replays of FP sessions, qualifying or race coverage. The thing won’t allow me for being… an alien! Hopefully BBC can think of listeners on other countries, we do rely on your coverage as well.

    Good luck with the new job.

    1. jpinx says:

      Just get a proxy server in UK and use that ;)

      1. Maybe, but it’s not fair that BBC is so picky. Am I a second-hand F1 fan for living outside UK? Mean, the same thing happens with RTL, German dudes.

        In reality, if they don’t want people to be a part of their audience – so be it. I’ll go somewhere else. Podcasts will do, unless BBC cuts that option too in 2012. Hope not though.

  51. Kieran says:

    Well done James; looking forward to hearing you as well as reading your coverage.

  52. John Towell says:

    Excellent news! Well done James, look forward to listening to your excellent commentary again.
    John

  53. J Lee says:

    Congratulations.

    Phew!! I’m also glad you are still maintaining this website. Always look forward to your after-race synopsis with a cup of coffee. One of a few pleasures in life.

  54. Owen Li says:

    Congratulations James!
    2012,what a year!
    I have just found a job of automobile manufacturing.Now James and Kimi are all back in F1 again!
    Fantastic!

  55. Jon Rapley says:

    Many congratulations James :)

    From a non-Sky susbscriber

  56. Paul T says:

    Many congratulations, James!

    Your passion for F1 deserves as much. 5 live’s coverage is sure to get many more listeners this year for two reasons now.

  57. Crys says:

    Congratulations, James. It’ll be nice to hear you commentating again. Between 5live and JA on F1, you’re going to be a busy man… enjoy it!

  58. Alex says:

    Congratulations! Reassuring to know that not all the star turns have go to Sky. How bout Karun Chandhok as a your number 2?

  59. Dutch Johnny says:

    Congratz james:)
    Btw can i hear radio 5 in holland?
    Looking forward to the next season! its shaping up to be a epic fight.

  60. Rick Chasey says:

    Congratulations.

    Presumably you’ll be doing plenty of radio one style shout-outs to comment regulars? ;)

  61. Marc says:

    Good news does that mean you’re going to attend all 20 gp?

  62. Paul H says:

    Congratulations James, best news all year! :p
    I look forward to tuning in, I’m sure you’re excel as you have in all your f1 endeavours.

    On a side note, will there be coverage of any pre-season tests?

  63. Adam T says:

    Congratulations James, after David Croft left I was worried about the quality of the commentary the 5live provided, but no more, 2012 should be fantastic.

    Do you know if you will still be involved in the post-race press conference?

  64. Jay B says:

    James, I love reading your expert analysis on this site and look forward to hearing it live and in-depth throughout the F1 weekends. Congratulations and good luck, Sir.

  65. Stu says:

    And not before time!

    Congratulations James. Whilst your website is excellent and essential reading, it is really great news that we’ll be able to choose to listen to your insights live once more.

    Roll on March!

    Best regards
    Stu

  66. Matt says:

    It’s a few years too late, but glad to have you back behind the mic James, always been a fan and hopefully I’ll find a way to tune in to your calls from down here in Australia.

    Matt

  67. Russell Harper says:

    Great news James.Looking forward to hearing you on the Radio next season.Good luck.

  68. Bayan says:

    anyway i can get that channel (through the net perhaps) in LA?

    1. AndrewM says:

      I use OverPlay VPN to get the live web feeds of the various BBC F1 services here in Australia. Works well.

    2. Jon W says:

      Through an IPOD or IPAD you can Bayan. Use the TUNEIN app and search.

    3. John T. California says:

      I was using the Tunein app but now the 5 live content is blocked. Is there another avenue to listen in USA?

  69. madmax says:

    Was hoping the rumours were true so great news. Now if BBC 5live could somehow get Karun alongside you that would be the radio dream team!

  70. Luke A says:

    Hi James,

    Great news. Really glad you’re taking over the role – infact it’s a shame you won’t be lead commentator for the BBC’s TV coverage.

    I respect Crofty but got a little bored of him and I personally think you know much more about the sport than he does and therefore it will be good to have your technical insight during practice sessions that the BBC cover.

    Can I just clarify something – will you be commentating on all practice sessions, including the ones that BBC do not cover on TV via the Red Button? So we can still listen to the 10 BBC practice sessions on the radio or BBC website that they do not cover on TV?

  71. Jage Owen says:

    Great news James.

  72. JB says:

    Congrats James! It is good to have you back. Kimi is back and now you’re back too. It is going to be an exciting 2012 season.

  73. ColinZeal says:

    Congratulations on your new post James, I have no doubt at all that you will do an excellent job but best of luck anyway.

    Good news for you & for F1 fans!
    Perhaps a little consolation for those who wont be buying a sky package!!

  74. Dominic J says:

    Congratulations! Whilst the art of commentating for radio isn’t the same as for TV, I’m sure the enthusiasm I remember from your ITV days will shine through.

    Hope your co-commentator is a good match!

  75. F1 Jimbo says:

    Hooray, if you are doing all 20 races then I can watch the non-BBC races on German sat channel RTL (Astra 19.2 degress East, free to air)and listen to your commentry on 5 Live; so no one need to pay greedy SKY any money at all. Yipee, Yipee, Yipee.

    1. Russell Harper says:

      +1 to that

  76. Daniel says:

    Congrats James, great news.

    From a Sky subscriber who’s now loving what’s going to be available for the uber-geek this year. Golden era of F1 coverage, spoilt for choice! :)

  77. Jason says:

    Welcome back mate & good luck! R5 is an honoured institution.

  78. Werewolf says:

    Many congratulations, James, probably a better role than their TV gig given it means all the races! I’d say the real challenge is not for you but for Ben Edwards to get anywhere near your quality and insight.

    Way off topic but the Goodwood people tell me they’re celebrating various Lotus anniversaries this year. Any chance of you having a gentle run in one of your father’s old cars (Loti, as the last James in the BBC box would have said)?

  79. Steveceve says:

    I guess this will never make it through moderation.

    You write excellent books, you were very good as pitlane reporter and your site is good but.. Sorry to say I found your time as main commentator cringeworthy, mainly because of the very HEAVY Hamilton love-in. I am an english F1 fan but I prefer my commentators to be as unbiased as possible and sadly you were quite the opposite in the ITV days.

    1. James Allen says:

      Well I suggest you listen in and make your judgements based on what you hear in 2012.

      1. Aaron James says:

        Agree with James.

        The Hamilton leaning coverage was ITV on the whole. Not just James. What you have to remember is ITV is a commercial station so everything they do has to make money- and draw the biggest audience possible.

        You’ll always have your hardcore petrolheads, but the TV networks also want to draw in new viewers, because more viewers=more adverts=more money. The Hamilton rise to F1 story is one of those that would capture casual viewers- they would tune in to see this fantastic young driver, who rose from nothing to the pinnacle, progress.

        So- what you have to bear in mind is there is a difference between bias, and emphasis on coverage. Bias is where everyone else is terrible and recieves no coverage, and all that is mentioned is Hamilton- which is not true. Weighted leaning towards Hamilton is where there is an emphasis on Hamilton and his story, BUT not to the detriment of the coverage.

        I would presume, therefore that ITV saw it in their commercial interests to play up the Hamilton story a bit, and as a result as someone under their employ, James was obliged to do that.

    2. madmax says:

      You have to remember ITV was British and Hamilton was British and nearly won the world championship in his debut year and against the highest rated driver in the same car (Alonso since Schumi retired the year before) It’s difficult to imagine how any British commentator wouldn’t run with this.

      Just compare James blog now to most of the other British media over-hyping Di Resta who has done nothing to warrant the praise and it is obvious if he was going over board on the Brit drivers it is no longer the case.

      Also think he had the nightmare scenario of replacing Murray Walker. If James had of replaced Johnathan Legard instead of Murray Walker he would of been universally hailed as the Messiah.

    3. Iain:R8 says:

      Whilst I thought that the ITV coverage was really cynical. It is untrue to accuse James of the Jenson love-in. That should be laid squarely at the foot of the presenters.

      *********

      “I know this is going to sound peculiar, but you’re not really conscious of what you’re saying. You see a picture in front of you and it’s your job to interpret that picture for the viewers at home and put what they are seeing into context with everybody else in the race. You use whatever words come into your head at the time. It’s not something that you can think about” – Murray Walker. Oh Oh!

      James, you will find the BBC is a very different and, a better working experience. Best wishes.

  80. Jonno says:

    Excellent news! … only problem, I might have to watch some of the races 3 times now (if I can access sky of course), as all three commentary teams are looking good! Looks like my Sundays won’t be that productive next year!!!

    1. Jonno says:

      P.S. – does this also mean the BBC can use your commentary from the ITV years when they’re showing archive footage? I’ve noticed on the classic F1s they’ve used Martin, Murray or the 5 Lives version?

  81. AndrewM says:

    Great news James, congrats!! Also pleased to hear we’ll still be getting your insights (and TC’s?) on N10 here in Aus. They’re easily the best part of the pre-shows and RPM!

    1. Nadeem says:

      At least on Aust we will keep seeing you plus now added bonus of the podcasts we can access

  82. Peter says:

    James, as a keen follower of your work for many years now I have to say I am absolutely thrilled that you have got the job of commentator for 5 Live. For the first time 5 Live will have some truly expert knowledge which us listeners can feed off. A great move from the BBC and for yourself. Well done!

  83. Vaughan Morris says:

    Great News James – Love all of your work.

    From an Australian F1 Fan – Very glad to hear you are still part of our team. Rusty and the boys have a difficult job but always clearly do their best to make each broadcast as good as they can. Your segments always are always quality and I miss the occasional weeks you aren’t part of the team.

    Bring on 2012 – Bring on a stronger Webber!

  84. Abhijeet says:

    I believe the Kangaroo TV folks use the 5 Live commentary? Last year, I remember hearing Anthony Davidson and Karun Chandok. It’ll be great to hear you James, when I rent one of those things for the Canadian GP this year.

  85. Brilliant news! Congratulations James.

    I look forward to listen to you on my FanVision unit in Melbourne as well as the Chequered Flag podcast.

    Well done.

  86. Chris Horton says:

    Congratulations James!

  87. Scott says:

    http://forums.autosport.com/index.php?showtopic=152061&st=6280&start=6280

    Read it, and then say why you block negative comments.

    1. James Allen says:

      People are free to comment on this site and to leave criticism if they wish, as long as it is constructive. You will find many examples of this on this site stretching back three years.

      However we’ve always made it clear that we want to keep the standard of discussion high, so trolling, insults and blind negativity are moderated out.

      People with extreme views are able to have a voice on forums like Autosport. But it is a turn off for most fans who want informed debate.

      That’s why we block comments like your earlier one, which are merely insulting and add nothing to the debate.

      Out of the 120 or so comments in the last 12 hours, yours was one of only 2 which were moderated out. Those are the ratios involved – Mod

      1. Brisbane Bill says:

        Yes, I have read all the rubbish on the Autosport forum and DON’T continue reading that site due to the negative and uninformed rubbish that people post (and Facebook have also highlighted recently that negative comments are the main reason for being defriended, so learn the lesson people!!!!).

        I recall James’ first year with Murray and thought he was dreadful, but then he was having to fill some VERY big shoes. However, I am a HUGE fan of the laid-back approach he has since developed and whilst he may not have some of the racer’s insight that the likes of Martin or DC offer, you would be hard pressed to argue that anyone does more for getting fans engaged, informed and behind the scenes of F1.

        His knowledge and presentation style have developed greatly over the past decade and I find him engaging and informative. That other BBC presenter, was it Jonathan Ledyard, well he may be a great football commentator but he clearly showed that knowledge of the sport is crucial in providing decent commentary. He was hopeless and his comments laughable. I sensed huge frustration in Martin’s voice on more than one occassion as Ledyard demonstrated his lack of knowledge of the sport and its intricacies.

        So everyone now has a choice. I, for one, will be seeking ways of hearing JA’s commentary. If you don’t like his style then you have the BBC TV coverage to listen to, or whatever your nation’s TV station offer. Or stump up the money and get Sky’s coverage with Martin. If you have constructive feedback as to how James might improve his commentary then I am sure he would welcome that feedback. Otherwise, if you just want to have a pop at him keep it to yourself as it is such a boar and a turn off. There is clearly a marked difference between lively debate and banter and offensive jibes. If you cannot tell the difference then you clearly need the services of the moderator.

      2. Jonathan Ledgard was the lead commentator on radio 5 live before Crofty took over. I think people had a fairly positive opinion of him prior to his TV stint.

        He now part of the ESPN F1 team and has a decent podcast. I think you are right too assume he just didn’t gel with Martin Brundle.

        As for James, people were just so used to Murray Walker (me included) that it was just inconceivable that someone else could fit in.
        It took me a few years to warm up to James but from 2004 onwards, he matured incredibly well into the role and has been very pleasant to listen to up until the 2008 Brazilian GP.

      3. Andrew Halliday says:

        Well said. I watched a couple of races from the 2002 season recently and the commentary team of James & Martin (as well as the racing!) brought back good memories.

    2. Ben G says:

      Scott, let go of the anger my friend.

  88. Becken says:

    Congratulations, James. The good thing for me here in Brazil is that I will have the opportunity to hear you live in the internet.

    Great news! Congrats again!

  89. apasapasapas says:

    Well done!

    Do you happen to know who will be commentating for us in Australia?

    BBC/Sky/forbid-the-us-commentators….

    1. Brisbane Bill says:

      I really hope it isn’t Greg, Darryl and Craig doing it from the studio. I have to admit, they are improving a lot, particularly Daz in the past two seasons. But doing it from the studio they can never generate the excitement and convey a sense of the atmosphere that the likes of JA, Martin and Ted were able to do reporting from trackside and pit lane.

      As I mentioned in another post here, I have got some geeky friends to set me up a VPN connection to a PC in the UK (nothing illegal there but it is something that the UK licensing laws want to prevent) and will be accessing JA’s commentary on 5 Live.

      You can do a similar thing with Microsoft Messenger or their Remote Support functions to remotely connect with a friend’s or family member’s PC and get them to launch the BBC iplayer and listen to the broadcast. Again, nothing illegal and readily available software but I am sure the Beeb wouldn’t be happy

      1. AndrewM says:

        I also hope it’s not Greg, Daryl and Craig. Great blokes I’m sure, but really ordinary commentators, and not on the spot. They miss so much, and Greg goes on about uninteresting stats, and other waffle, while interesting things are happening on-track. Very frustrating.

      2. Darren says:

        When the loical guys took over when their were audo problems in Brazil, it was the worst commentary I have ever heard. I love what Ten and One have done for F1 coverage here, but they need Neil Crompton to do the live commentary fill ins when the international feed drops out.

      3. Brisbane Bill says:

        Agree – Crompo is great but he is signed up to Channel 7 on V8s (and we wouldn’t want to lose him from that coverage as it is fantastic).

        James – try and encourage the guys at Ten to take the 5 Live radio feed and synch it with FOM video feed – we would be very happy with that!!!!!!!!!!!

    2. As long as we don’t get the local Webbo fanboys, we’ll be alright. :)

  90. Richard Dale says:

    About time! I totally missed you when the the coverage left ITV. Very pleased to hear this news.

  91. Roo F1 says:

    James, I enjoyed your passion on ITV. I still remember your exclamations at two specific overtakes – one done by Lewis, the other done by Trulli: “it was awesome! it was majestic!”.

    Great stuff.

  92. R3D says:

    Great start to a New Year Mr. Allen, and congrats to your new gig!

  93. Matthew says:

    This is great news. I wasn’t looking forward to listening to the radio but now its in the hands of someone who knows a lot about the sport, unlike the previous lead commentators on BBC radio. Sorry if this sounds harsh, but I can’t see Jonathan Legard or David Croft writing a blog like this or writing books about F1.

  94. Ahmed says:

    Congratulations! All the best for 2012

  95. Timo says:

    Great news James! I live and work in Hong Kong. Is there anyway I can hear your race commentary live? Thanks.

    1. Hi Timo,

      Here’s a copy of what I posted above. I’m sure it works from HK.

      “It is possible to access legally UK only site by renting a UK IP address.

      I use my-private-network.co.uk. It costs £5 for one month and does not have to be a subscription. I usually purchase from March to November.

      That way, you can also enjoy the content of the BBC forum after the race.

      PS: beware the 5 second delay in streaming internet radios.”

      1. timo says:

        Much appreciated, Damien!

  96. jpinx says:

    Great news and your expertise is much appreciated!

  97. Andrew Halliday says:

    Great news James, well done. I’m in Australia for a bit so might not get to hear your commentary. It’s a shame that good people are spread across Sky, BBC TV and BBC Radio – impossible to hear everyone at once!
    Perhaps now you’re a BBC man they’ll use your old ITV commentary when they show highlights from races ITV covered…

  98. Nigel F says:

    Congratulations James. Your enthusiasm is rewarded again.

  99. Tuv says:

    At last – some good news for those of us who, for ethical or fiscal reasons, will be following our beloved sport via the BBC alone. Thanks!

  100. David Hodge says:

    Congratulations James – from a selfish point of view, this is very good news for us the fans. There are a lot of people who will not be taking Sky for economic reasons as well as distaste for things Murdoch. They cherry-picked the talent from the BBC and the Beeb has had to pedal a bit to fill the spaces. Thankfully they have done it with quality such as Ben Edwards and yourself rather than a certain recent commentator returning. As somebody remarked earlier, it gives us a commentary dilemna now but a nice one to have. And certainly for the practice sessions we will be able to see on the BBC, normal order is restored.

    In Murray Walker’s book, he made a little humourous comment about how he thought the chequered flag was somehow attached to a spring on James Hunt’s backside because the moment it dropped, he was out of the commentary box. I know Crofty did the post-race interviews with the top three sometimes so I would imagine you will need to employ this spring to get from there to the interview at the races you perform this role!

    Last but not least, I vote Karun Chandhok as your partner in crime in the box. He is intelligent, eloquent and a pleasure to hear. I think together you would be a formidable team.

  101. Jamie B says:

    James,

    This is fantastic. I live overseas in different places and whilst I can generally always find a live television feed of F1, getting one in english is usually not possible.

    So I watch the screen feed and tune in online to BBC5 radio five live for commentary. Crofty has done a great job, his banter with Ant Davidson and the mild ribbing they manage to keep up for 2 hours at a time is a delight to listen to. But delighted that you wil be stepping in to his shoes.

    Congratulations!

    Jamie

  102. Jeremy says:

    I cheered when I heard this news, all the defections to Sky were worrying me but this has made up for it.

    I am looking forward to hearing your voice again when the season begins.

    Well done!

  103. Steve Brisbane Oz says:

    Dear JA

    Long time follower, 1st time poster!
    In all honesty, I felt compelled to reply, as for a brief mommemt [given the header/banner] for this topic I thought your were “pulling up stumps”..so to speak. My 2012 F1 season was over before it began!

    Alas, that’s not the case!…but too hang us Aussies out till the last sentance regarding Ch10/One HD….is somewhat mischievous! [well done!].

    In short, congtratulations on the 5Live appointment!

    Any chance of ongoing Interviews with Kimmi’s comeback season [aka Greg Rust]?….I’d pay for them..lol!!!

  104. Alan Evans says:

    Welcome back James

    I’m one of the people who’s going for the RTL video/5Live audio option.

    When David Croft got poached by sky – I was slightly fearing the BBC would stick on a 3rd rate football commentator that had never seen an F1 car before – so it’s great to know that someone of your knowledge and experience will be leading on comms – looking forward to finding out who will be in the box with you.

    Can you clarify something – Am I right that there will be radio commentary on the website for all the practice sessions at all 20 races?

    For the 10 BBC TV events the commentary will be available with video on red button. Is that right?

  105. wiz says:

    Great news!
    Living in Spain it was possible to watch live F1 on BBC with freesat, but with the changes, and not willing to pay sky, I had already planned to watch the coverage on Spanish tv(which is free and very well covered), with the 5live commentary by internet, so this news is a great bonus.

  106. David says:

    Delighted! This is one call the BBC got spot-on. Looking forward to tuning in, James!

  107. Geoff says:

    Hey James, love to see you wearing that White shirt with TEN logo….but i think you need a bigger size as last year one …. was a bit too tight…LOL

  108. Paul Mc says:

    Congrats James very well deserved!

  109. Stevelap says:

    Congratulations James, how long will it be before you’re back on tv I wonder………

  110. Marc says:

    Congratulations James, this is terrific news. The only decent thing to come out of the BBC/Sky fiasco. Look forward to listening to your commentary again.

  111. SP says:

    Apologies for going off topic here but I have a query re. the BBC coverage. Those races which will not be aired live, will we be able to catch a full re-run of the race? i.e. Every single racing lap? Or will it just include select parts of the race?

    Knowing this will help with my decision on how/where to watch the racing :)

    Thanks!

    1. James Allen says:

      I don’t know. There are specific areas like that I’m not up to speed on yet. Hopefully next week when I meet up with the BBC Sport and 5 Live teams

  112. F1racer says:

    Congratulation James!

    Wishing you the best in this new venture.

  113. Stephen Kellett says:

    The only thing about Five live I like is the F1 commentary. I hope you’ll continue to provide a good standard.

    Now, can you also arrange for them to move cricket coverage off Radio 4 and onto Five Live?

    That would improve Radio 4 enormously and also improve Five Live as it would be another sport on the sporting channel.

  114. matt m says:

    Good stuff!

  115. HFEVO2 says:

    At last a sensible decision by the BBC for 2012 !

    Now we just need to lobby hard to get you into the TV Commentary box for 2013.

    Such a shame that they lost Martin, and Ted :

    I would have much preferred you to be paired with Martin, DC in his old role as a pundit and a bigger more expansive role for Ted.

    Still, the good news is in the UK we can now watch every race for free on German TV with your excellent commentary !

    1. James Allen says:

      Happy where I am thanks

  116. dan b says:

    At last it seems the BBC have managed to salvage something from the mess, well done James, good luck, look forward listening to your respected knowledge and thoughts.

  117. Bob says:

    Fabulous news! I listen to all the practice sessions on 5 Live at work. It’s great to know that I’ll be listening to someone who knows his stuff.

  118. david says:

    Great stuff! Listened to there coverage loads over the past few years, the job is much more than just commentating, your a perfect fit for it. The overall package (preview/review podcasts, practice, quali, race comms, news uodates) gives you a great oppurtunity to get your enthusiasm for the sport out there.

    1. James Allen says:

      Exactly. The role is “F1 correspondent” and I like the scope of it very much.

  119. JP says:

    Congratulations James – I thought it would be tough enough having deciding between listening to Ben Edwards or David Croft, now the choice is even tougher!

    I’m sure it’s too early to say, but I hope you can take over the excellent 5 Live podcasts too :)

  120. Dan says:

    Very pleased to hear this, well done!

  121. **Paul** says:

    Large shoes to fill James, best of luck.

    I think the thing that really struck me about Croftys coverage was that he along with Ant Davidson were able to seperate their likes and dislikes for each driver and be impartial, they would happily call it is Lewis made a mistake, or if Jenson did something silly… non of that daft pro-British stuff that we’ve seen in the past from some commentators. Follow their lead and you’ll be do just fine :-D

    1. James Allen says:

      Not quite as big as Murray’s….

  122. antonyob says:

    I always maintained you were an acquired taste on itv but after 2 seasons there i warmed to your style hugely and very much missed your depth of knowledge when f1 moved to the beeb. im sure your far too professional to comment but if the new incumbent on the beeb doesnt gel with either the public or DC then you must fancy your chances back on the telly. great news well done.

    1. James Allen says:

      Some time has passed, you learn things

      You shouldn’t go back in life. As I’ve said many times lately, I didn’t want a return to full time TV commentator role (and still don’t) but there are aspects of the 5 Live offer which were very tempting. I really like the crew behind the programmes too.

  123. Richard Mee says:

    Best possible move James.

    The beeb will always be the spiritual home of F1. 5 live will likely retain live radio coverage after 2018 – long after the Tele guys have lost the price war… so this is a fine opportunity for you to transverse the line from extremely dedicated expert to niche broadcasting ledge!

  124. Andy C says:

    Good news James. Look forward to hearing from you on the Red button as well..

    Any news on when you might have the McLaren team page up?

    Happy new year to you and the family.

    1. James Allen says:

      This one came through OK. Looks like the comments are unspammed now. Weird. Sorry about that.

  125. Al H says:

    Congratulations James. I too am relieved that the BBC have appointed someone who lives & breathes F1 rather than trying to get a general sports correspondent to embrace the sport. Agree with the calls for Karun Chandhok alongside you, but have also been very impressed with Alan McNish’s eloquence at the microphone. I also enjoyed the special guests that Crofty used to have in the commentary box – hopefully that policy will continue? Niki Lauda would be an interesting one…

  126. Ricky Woolway says:

    Well done James! I m sure you will do a cracking job.

  127. Franco says:

    Congratulations James, well deserved.

    Will you still be doing the post race podium interviews?

  128. Calum says:

    Congratulations and very best wishes for the new role James.

    Like many I’m also a 5 Live listener and I think your F1 expertise and broadcasting experience will make you a strong asset to the station.

  129. Calum says:

    ps – if you’re after a roving and enthusiastic pit-lane reporter……

  130. Mike says:

    As a Brit living in Germany BBC on Freesat was always a great service, a big shame it’s slipping away.

    I will definately tune in online if available.

    Congratulations.

  131. Elliott Binks says:

    Congratulations mate, always thought it was a tad unfair when you missed out on the BBC television commentary job after the ITV switchover. Glad to hear you’re back!

  132. type056 says:

    Congratulations James.

  133. Jamie says:

    Huge Congratulations James! That’s exciting news!

  134. Manish says:

    Congratulations to BBC for getting James roped in for their 5 Live..At least they started the Year on a good note.. :) :).

    James, What an Amazing news this is…shame that we back here in India will not be able to tune into the live radio coverage…Congrats.

  135. renato nysan says:

    thanks a lot james,
    the austrian comment is not that adequate, especially when alex wurz is engaged otherwise.

  136. Joe says:

    James – congratulations, this is fantastic news!

    Your commentary as Hamilton climbed the hill on the final lap of Brazil 08 (after passing Glock) still gives me goose bumps.

    I kept that recording on my sky + for a little while after and played back that last lap a number of times – just sheer drama and you told the story brilliantly. The emotion in that came over in your commentary was just fantastic.

    (meanwhile, as we all know, a certain 5 live commentator at the time didn’t even realise Hamilton had passed Glock – and oh how the BBC tried to cover it up when they wanted to play the audio at events like BBC sports personality. Hopefully now that you’re a BBC man, the BBC will be happy to play your sound track…as they have been happy to use Murray & Martin in their classic GP series online)

    MORE OF THE SAME IN 2012 PLEASE!!! CANT WAIT!

  137. Marc S says:

    Congratz James!

    Well deserved. Think you were very underrated last time (by me included). Probably because you took over from the Legend Murray Walker.

    Next step – TV commentary with DC?!

  138. A Taylor says:

    Congrats on the gig, great to have you back in the best job in the world GL

  139. Vik says:

    Nice one James, you the man.

  140. Richard says:

    Good lad James

    About time we heard your dolcet tones again.

  141. paul Jennings says:

    Welcome back James but please don’t just come accross that you only like one driver.

  142. Alastair Archbold says:

    Brilliant. Many many many people will be listening to you – everybody I know is streaming the races online with R5 as commentary next year :-)

  143. Corgan says:

    Congratulations James,

    I know a few people who’ve worked with you down the years and all say you’re a a real lover of Formula 1 and, beyond all, a gentleman.

    That counts for a lot (considering some of the divas I’ve met in broadcasting down the years) and I’m very pleased you’ve got a second bite a F1 broadcasting.

    People unfairly criticised you at ITV -Murray was a tough act to follow- then Jonathan Legard made people realise what you brought to the game!

    Good luck!

  144. Mark says:

    That’s great news James. I’m looking forward to listening to your commentary for the races not shown live on BBC TV and potentially also for the races that are.

  145. Darren says:

    About time too! Congrats, ill be listening to you on all the Sky only events.

  146. Rob Newman says:

    Congratulations and all the best in your new role James. This is great news. Knowing you from the ITV days, I know you can do a Fantastic job :) .

  147. Michael says:

    Great to hear james.
    I just hope bbc will be broadcasting both live and replayed practice sessions with 5live commentary like last year.

  148. Ben G says:

    Well done. Look forward to it. Can’t get Sky in my house (cheers, Bernie), so will be relying on 5L.

  149. Aaron James says:

    Am I the only one here that thinks us BBC loyalists have got a treat in store? (well barring the race issue)

    Ben Edwards for TV, James Allen for Radio. I like this hugely- and have been angling for a JA return in some form for three years.

    Question- who would be your dream co commentator (dead or alive, doesnt need to have done commentary in the past-formula one drivers obviously)

    1. James Allen says:

      Senna, obviously. The most articulate racing driver I ever met – even in a second language.

  150. Matt Devenish says:

    Congrats James, will 5Live still be supplying the English commentary for Fan Vision?

    However I can’t say I’m not a tad disappointed that you’re not back on the TV doing the pit reporting. I always thought the way you explained and read the races (arguably during the most strategic era!) was expert and slotted in neatly with Murray commentating and Martin summerising, something I think would really add to the Beeb’s new line up.

    Anyway, I look forward to listening to you during practice sessions and when at the track!!

    1. James Allen says:

      Yes it will be on Fanvision

  151. paxdog57 says:

    Do you know if the BBC will have Radio 5 on the internet for North American listeners to use?

  152. Martin B says:

    James,

    Well done on the 5Live role. It’s certainly given me a headache over Martin Brundle on Sky and you on R5L.

    As many others have pointed out, your commentary in Brazil for ITV (for which I believe a BAFTA was awarded?) was brilliant. I was genuinely on the edge of my seat and remember the tension.

    For those criticising, I thought Legard at the BBC was really poor, and came across as bumbling and confused. James’ commentary, whilst not being as good as Murray Walker (who is?) was definately of a high standard and I look forward to hearing it again.

    I’m glad you’re still going to keep this site going, I personally think this site is better than any role you could have taken. The level of engagement through this site is unparalleled.

    Well done and good luck.

      1. Cliff says:

        James, I’m pretty late to the party on this, but I’d like to say congratulations and well done!

        I would also like to echo the comments by Marin B. Over recent years you’ve managed to create a unique website that pretty much tells us what we need to know about the goings on in and around F1. Whilst it was sad to see you go off our screens, from where I’m sitting you saw an opportunity, took it and have not looked back since.

        Once again, Well Done!

        PS:- The book made great reading over christmas!

      2. James Allen says:

        Thank you for that

  153. Keith says:

    James,
    You have saved me a bloody fortune. Either Greek or German decoder card, sound down, Radio Five up. Mr. Murdoch will not get my money, thank you James. Best news in a long, the partner is happy now also, but might have to buy her a pair of shoes with the money I had hoped to save… Hey life is about a little bit of give and take.

  154. Russ says:

    Very happy to hear this. One more reason not to subscribe to sky. Will watch more practice sessions this year on the red button and will continue to listen to podcast. Thanks in advance James.

    Just as a sidenote will the BBC broadcast practice sessions for the sky races?

      1. Rich In Norway says:

        and red button?

    1. Brisbane Bill says:

      Question – what is “the red button”? Is this something on the TV feed or via the web site? I left the UK a few years back and the red button then referred to something on the Sky remote but the context of some of this discussion seems to point to the BBC having their own “extra” video feed. Definitely would like to see if I can access it.

      1. MikeW says:

        On the UK digital terrestrial broadcasting system (aka Freeview), the “red button” is used by the BBC to activate access to their alternative broadcasts – which can give you access to (say) driver views, or other Wimbledon matches.

        Accessed this way, it invokes some of the MHEG code, and isn’t recordable on PVR systems.

        However, the “red button” content is video that is broadcast on channel 305, and can be recorded directly there – which is what I usually do with the practice sessions.

        The Beeb makes “red button” content available on FreeSat too – but has more of the “behind-the-scenes” channels available for content, so there is more choice. They lost some choice on the Freeview platform so that they could fit in HD.

  155. Ross says:

    Great news James. Congratulations on your new job. I had you down as more a Radio 4 man though.

    I am sure you will do a great job on Radio. I quite liked Legard on radio but TV is totally different. I look forward to seeing how you adapt to a new format. I listened to your one off Talksport show a few summers ago and thought you did very well.

    I’d hoped that you would start doing a podcast for this website but the chequered flag is just as good. Looking forward to hearing it.

  156. J. S. says:

    Good luck, and happy new year!

  157. Natalie says:

    Definitely buying Sky then.

  158. ChrisS says:

    Congratulations – great news!

    And most importantly, glad to hear it won’t affect this excellent site which is far superior to the BBC’s F1 site. Whatever you do, please don’t get subsumed into that.

    The only downside to this news is that I’m now torn three ways instead of two over what commentary to listen to – it was difficult enough trying to decide between Edwards and Coulthard on one side and Brundle on the other.

  159. jw says:

    Tremendous news … well done mate!

    (just finished the book … excellent, like the other 2)

  160. marshall says:

    at last some good news well done james you will have a big audience , i will use 5 live all season , ill never pay sky for f1 not ever !

  161. Andrew Barker says:

    Good to hear that the BBC will have two excellent commentators this season you and Ben Edwards i remember when you did Indycar on Eurosport im sure you would have seen him knocking about the corridors !!! Anyway question for you James i was reading some of your comments about you not really wanting to do commentary again is this your own self doubt maybe after certain people were giving you stick or was it just a different career change after ITV lost the rights? If was the former tell them people to get lost you did a great job before and im sure you will again looking forward to you on the red button and radio and Ben on the telly your both bloody good people with great knowledge on Formula one.
    All the Best for the year and future ahead.

    Kind Regards

    Andrew

    1. James Allen says:

      No, more a case of been there done that.

  162. Ricky_1986 says:

    Congratulations James. Good Luck!

  163. marshall says:

    i look forward to hearing you say , hello everybody here we go again , oh and dont forget the big GO GO !

    1. Brisbane Bill says:

      The big “GO, GO, GO” was Murray’s thing. I am sure James wouldn’t want to re-hash that as he has his own way of kicking off the commentary. “And it’s GO, GO, GO” was almost a trademark or branding for the great man and imagine the flack James would get if he “stole” that.

      I am now really, REALLY excited about the prospects of the coming season. 6 former world chamions on the grid, hopefully limited new technical rules mean car speeds begin to equalise, so closer on-track action AND we get to hear some decent commentary again – sorry, I enjoyed Martin’s commentary last season but didn’t think the mix of Martin and DC worked that well. Two ex-racers was over-kill and not enough difference in the thought process between them often led to dull, pointless exchanges.

  164. Christine says:

    Best news we’ve had for F1. We’ll be watching RTL with 5live commentary. Who needs or wants Sky when we’ve got the best to listen to. Looking forward to the 2012 season even more now:) What a coup for the BBC, but they should have hired you from the start! The Sky team must be worried now! A big thank you James for taking the job.

  165. David B says:

    That is great news, I really enjoyed your commentary in the past, and I regularily listen to the webcasts….excellent.

    Congratulations.

  166. AndyFov says:

    I suffered a moment of weakness the other day and very nearly bought Sky. I’m glad I didn’t.

    I’m now looking forward to visuals thanks to RTL and a dubiously pointed satellite dish, and an accompanying commentary from Radio 5.

    This to me is very good news!

    FWIW, I’ve been on James’ defensive for years.

    http://groups.google.com/group/uk.sport.motorsport.formula1/msg/b477b050e5b3e545

    “I’m indifferent at worst” – That was praise indeed for 2007. :)

    The level of reasoned and informed debate on this board is exceptional. If trimming out the venom and infantile banter keeps the ratios as they are I’m all for moderation.

  167. Graeme Leslie says:

    Congrats James, you clearly have the enthusiasm and are a hard worker. I laugh at the irony people taking pot shots about you on YOUR extremely popular website. Your itv commentaries were largely excellent! Certainly far better than the hapless legard, and although Martin Brundle is very knowledgeable he’s better suited to the colour commentary role. So all in all i expect most fans will be happy that you’re back in the spotlight again. Although i would have rather there was status quo RE broadcasting in uk. Ultimately i will probably end up listening to your commentary while “watching online”.

  168. Jon Perks says:

    Congrats James. Will be tuning in to 5 Live for F1 coverage whenever possible.

  169. Ed says:

    Great news James. Hasnt been the same since you and martin parted ways in 2008. I think the bbc have really got a good line up and should have had you on board from 2008 as you are a cracking talent to have. Might mean they now show f1 highlights on the website with yours and martins commentary rather than the dubbed five live stuff that was no match for the tv commentary you did back then.

  170. Ryan Gilmore says:

    Great news.

    I just hope BEEB will allow you to continue with great things you have done since ITV such as this blog, fans forum etc

    Will be great to hear you on the airwaves this season. Good luck!

  171. LMW says:

    Great news James.

    Re you comment: “Additionally, our commentary of all the practice sessions, qualifying and the race will be on the BBC Sport website and will be available on the Red Button for the ten BBC TV live races.”

    In an ideal world, I would like to listen to the R5L commentary with the BBC1 pictures, but this was not available on the red button last year to Freeview viewers. By ‘red button’ do you mean paid-for digital satellite, or Freeview included?

  172. Bill says:

    Congratulations James.

  173. William says:

    Yes, Sky plundered the BBC F1 ranks for talent, but it’s only really Brundle and Davidson I will miss. They can keep Crofty and Kravitz and Pinkham. I can do without them. This however is a bit of a masterstroke by the beeb in my opinion.

    James, you have the best window into the F1 world that I know of. I’m not alone in saying I appreciate this site and the work that goes into it. It’ll be great to have you on 5live. The first two sites I check in the morning are BBC and JAonF1 and now they have joined forces. I’m so pleased about this.

    Congratulations on the job. Your gain is also our gain. Cheers to new jobs, new BBC F1 team and hopefully a new champion.

  174. elie says:

    Congratulations James .Too bad no radio 5 here in Aus.

  175. Pete says:

    Great news indeed. As a Brit now living in the States I can’t get to hear the live commentaries, but I’ve been a regular listener of The Chequered Flag and other 5Live podcasts for years, so I look forward to the new team’s output.

  176. Peter Gangemi says:

    Congratulations James, awesome news.

  177. Rich in Norway says:

    Seriously great news James. Congrats. I will be tuning in on the 10 races. Will you be doing any in front of camera reporting/interviewing with the BBC?

  178. F1Fan4Life says:

    Hi James,

    There is something going on with the website. For about the last week, I’ve been unable to connect to it (not by laptop, nor handphone, which both are different ISPs). I am able to see it (and I’m currently posting) by using a proxy server website. In Singapore here. Is there something going on? Thanks.

    1. James Allen says:

      Not this end, but there seem to be some issues for people accessing from overseas. Tech guys are looking into it

      1. DC says:

        I also had no connection to it (australia) from just before xmas to today, but all seems to be well now.

  179. Steve D says:

    I will confess that as a young man growing up, I used to follow F1 and Murray was “the voice” as it were, and as a teenager I was non too impressed when James stepped into the commentary position on ITV. This was actually nothing to do with James’ at all, but just me wanting Murray there the whole time, clearly at that age I had no concept of how any of this stuff worked, I just knew Murray wasn’t there.

    Now I’m a bit older and wiser, I can appreciate that the particular race when James was somewhat thrown in at the deep end (if I recall rightly) must have been one of the most nerve wracking things he has ever done. Going from reporting pit lane shenanigans to actually speaking to millions for 2 hours plus is not the easiest task, and I had no concept of the guts that must have taken. If possible my petulant teenage version of me would apologise, but it’s probably best we don’t hear from him again! God forbid if he was on Twitter…..

    Totally agree with James if Senna was here to add colour and comments to the F1 community of today, the world would be a much richer place.

    I only discovered this site last year, but I have to say it is the last piece in the jigsaw of the story of a weekend for me. There’s some top quality content here, and the insights James provides are fantastic. We really need people like him who continues to provide the top quality level of discussion and coverage be that online, on TV or indeed now on the old wireless! I know he has long tried to help the fans open the old school doors of F1, previously shut to the fans and so far it has worked really well.

    So congratulations are in order. I’m sure commentating with no pictures will be quite a challenge, and it would be great to hear from James about how he works through that change! You’ll be an asset to the BBC team, and it will be really good to have some more of your content available for us in the coming seasons, especially the podcast on the BBC which has been really good to date.

    Enjoy the experience James, and at least this time I’ll be old and wise enough to give you the credit you deserve. Keep up the good work!

  180. shane says:

    How do you get away with it? Another slap in the face for BBC liseners

  181. Gabe says:

    Congrats JA.

  182. GlennB says:

    Congratulations James and good luck.

  183. Jonathan Vogt says:

    Great stuff, mate. Congratulations. And, yes, I’m relieved you’ll still be contributing to Channel Ten’s coverage in Australia! :)

  184. Morten says:

    Well deserved! Congratulations.

  185. Steve JR says:

    Well done JA, you’ve definitely been missed in the commentary space. We can now all look forward to hearing your verbal insight as it happens.

  186. tom in adelaide says:

    Not sure if this was mentioned already – Non-Uk fans can download a free App for iOS and Android called TuneIn. You can stream 5 Live (along with about 50,000 other radio stations).

    Congrats J.A, looking forward to tuning in during the races.

    1. DC says:

      tom, is this ok with download usage, or does it use alot? (im on a limited plan)

      1. tom in adelaide says:

        Hi DC,

        It’s likely to be around 1mb per minute (possibly less). So a race commentary could be around 120mb.

        One thing to be careful of though – make sure you fully close the App down once you are finished. Otherwise it could still be running in the background chewing up your data allowance!

  187. Popee says:

    Bit off topic but http://www.itv.com/formula1/news/2011/12/end-of-the-road-for-itvcomf1-0723/

    seems like ITV’s F1 site is calling it a day now

    1. Andrew M says:

      That’s a real shame, I still followed the website and it had some good stuff on it. Although frankly I’m surprised it hadn’t closed sooner…

  188. simon whishaw says:

    Well done. I’m looking forward to the extras too such as the post race interviews.

  189. MikeW says:

    Good luck with this James – should be interesting.

    I always see the 5Live commentary as 2 slightly different jobs…

    For qualifying and the race, it is most definitely a radio job, and so requires commentary with the knowledge that few listeners can see the video feed (though some choose to listen to 5Live while watching).

    However, for practice, there is a sizeable contingent that are also watching the “red button” video feed, or online – so the job becomes a strange hybrid. Sometimes commentary is based on the fact that events can be seen, and sometimes it is based on the fact that events cannot be seen.

    1. James Allen says:

      Thanks. There is a whole other dimension to it which is F1 correspondent, going on the station with news and insights throughout the year, even taking that onto other BBC Radio stations if the story is a big one. That interests me a lot.

      1. kenny5 says:

        James,

        Do BBC R5 plan to cover all races this year??
        It will be my only window on the non TV races as
        despite being an F1 fan, I have no plan to get sky.

        Regards,
        Ken

      2. James Allen says:

        Yes. All races live on BBC Radio 5 Live, all practices and quali too, also BBC Sport website

  190. phil says:

    Can you make the Chequered Flag podcast better I always thought it was lacking and is an obvious area for improvement.

    1. James Allen says:

      How would you improve it?

      1. RapidRick says:

        Fewer interviews with drivers etc giving their PR managed platitudes. More analysis of the race team by team and how they may perform at the next race. Perhaps back to how it was a few years back as I recall.

        (Pleased R5 has broken its trend of giving roles to “big personalities” rather than journo’s with true knowledge – good luck James.)

  191. Jas says:

    Good on you mate!

  192. Michele says:

    Congratulations James! Also can’t wait until RPM on One HD starts again and for your reports on all the F1 news and your reports on Race weekends! Also I’ll definitely tune into BBC5Live! All the very best for this year!

  193. Peter Young says:

    Congratulations James – really chuffed your back in the driving seat so to speak :)

  194. Paul Davy says:

    Well done for getting the R5 Live job! Now show them not to leave you behind again!

  195. Andy says:

    Congrats James, always felt you copped some unfair flak when you were at itv (it can not have been easy stepping in to the huge shoes of Murray Walker). Good news that we will hear you again in the UK. I am sure as you made a success of replacing Murray Walker on tv you will make radio commentry a succes too.

  196. Paul says:

    Sorry James,

    No match for Crofty he was fantastic. Just like he is at darts.

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