Posted on December 21, 2012


Formula 1 television coverage in the UK will have its first permanent lead female presenter next season after the BBC announced Suzi Perry as Jake Humphrey’s successor. The corporation has been on the look-out for a new F1 anchor since Humphrey announced in September that he had taken up the offer to head up BT’s new Premier League football coverage from 2013. Several months of speculation as to the possible identity of the popular Humphrey’s replacement followed and this afternoon the news was finally revealed, with the BBC opting for a face well known to the corporation’s motorsport output albeit More…

Posted on September 18, 2012


The BBC is looking for a new presenter of its Formula 1 coverage in the UK after the main presenter Jake Humphrey announced that he is to leave the Corporation after 10 years. Humphrey will become one of the best paid presenters in sport as the face of BT Vision’s ambitious new Premier League football offering, due to start next season. It moves him away from Formula 1, which he has presented since March 2009. It’s an interesting move for the likeable Humphrey, who was well placed to become the main presenter for BBC Sport in the near future. He More…

Posted on September 2, 2011


According to a report in today’s Mirror, a member of the coalition government, who sponsored a motion against News International, has called for the BBC director general Mark Thompson to explain how the BBC/Sky F1 deal came about. Under the deal, BBC will show only 10 of the 20 races, the rest will be on a SKY pay platform. In a letter to Thompson, which was leaked to the Mirror, Lib Dem MP Don Foster says, “I do not believe plans to share coverage between the BBC and Sky promote the best interests of licence fee payers and motor racing More…

Posted on July 31, 2011


Since the bombshell was dropped on Friday that F1 in the UK is to be taken over by pay TV channel SKY, with BBC being only bit part players on the scene, the fan reaction has been very strong with 81% of a poll sample of 5,000 JA on F1 readers saying that they will not buy a SKY package to watch F1. We’ve had 1,400 comments in 48 hours on the subject, with some very eloquently expressions of regret and anger. Here is my selection of the best of them: Ed Arran writes

Posted on July 30, 2011


This evening I’ve managed to get a much clearer picture of how the new SKY/BBC TV deal in the UK is going to work and it’s not what many people think. First the subject of what the BBC will show on the 10 weekends when SKY has the exclusive live rights. Although FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh says he has had assurances from Bernie Ecclestone today that the race will be shown in its entirety a few hours delayed on free to air, BBC sources say that this is not the case and that the show will be around 75 minutes, More…

Posted on July 29, 2011


Ben Gallop the BBC’s Head of F1 has posted a blog on the BBC Sport website in response to what he calls “considerable reaction” – in other words the many thousands of comments both to the BBC and other websites – from F1 fans. Gallop says that sports TV has now entered what he calls a “mixed economy” where large free to air broadcasters can no longer expect to cover big sporting events exclusively and must accept some sharing with pay channels, citing the Champions League as an example. Gallop argues that the BBC had to scale down the amount More…

Posted on July 29, 2011


Bernie Ecclestone arrived in the F1 paddock at 2pm this afternoon and is set to meet with the F1 teams after the ninety minute practice session to discuss the SKY/BBC F1 broadcast deal which was announced this morning. Both Ecclestone and the teams have made it clear in the past that F1 must remain on Free to air TV and yet the Sky part of the deal, where they will broadcast all 20 F1 races and practice sessions live, would seem to contradict that. I’ve spoken to FOTA chairman Martin Whitmarsh in the last hour and he says that the More…

Posted on July 19, 2011


It is noticeable that in recent days there has been more discussion centring on the likelihood that the BBC will pull out of its contact to cover F1 racing. The matter is of interest beyond the borders of the UK as the race commentary is taken by most English speaking countries around the world, as it was in my days with ITV. BBC took over the rights from ITV at the end of 2008, when the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster pulled out two years before the end of its contract. This was in order to fund spend on football rights. More…

Posted on June 20, 2011


Yesterday’s story in the Sunday Times that the BBC is thinking of dropping its coverage of F1 has certainly lit a blue touchpaper. Printed as it was in a newspaper owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which has announced that it is looking at a joint bid for F1′s commercial rights with the Agnelli owned Exor group, this has added another dimension to the story and put the subject of the commercial model for TV coverage centre stage. As someone who has worked in TV for over 20 years, I’ve seen plenty of shifts of emphasis within networks, as executives More…

Posted on January 11, 2011


Not surprisingly many readers and Twitter followers want to know my thoughts on the changes in the BBC F1 commentary line up with Martin Brundle taking the lead role and David Couthard joining him in the commentary box. I worked alongside Martin in the ITV commentary box from 2001 until the end of 2008. We did well over 120 races together and I know he will have thought about this very carefully. He knows what is involved in taking the lead role; a lot of preparation and getting the bases covered. That is something he always relied on me to More…

Posted on August 4, 2010


I notice that the BBC has announced that its F1 presenter Jake Humphrey, will not be at the Japanese Grand Prix this year as he will presenting the BBC’s coverage of the Commonwealth Games in India. So the BBC will turn to pit reporter Lee McKenzie to anchor the show. This is a good news story in that it allows people to write “First Female F1 presenter” headlines and although I’m delighted for her, I resisted the temptation in this case because there is a more interesting angle than that for me. Humphrey has been a revelation in the anchor More…



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