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ITV F1 wins 3rd straight BAFTA for Brazil coverage!
ITV F1 wins 3rd straight BAFTA for Brazil coverage!
Posted By:   |  26 Apr 2009   |  6:50 pm GMT  |  76 comments

I’m absolutely buzzing. Sitting here in the press room in Bahrain, tapping out my stories and I get a text from the Palladium in London to tell me that the ITV F1 coverage of the Brazilian Grand Prix has won the BAFTA for best sports programme.

It is the third year in a row that the team I was part of has won this most prestigious award.

We won for the show which covered Jenson Button’s 2006 Hungarian GP win, for the 2007 Canadian GP show where Lewis Hamilton won his first race and now the ultimate TV moment in my career has been rewarded with a third straight BAFTA.

This is really special because we were up against the BBC’s outstanding Olympic coverage and frankly we didn’t expect to win. But I guess the BAFTA judges must have taken the view that what happened in that final lap was so extraordinary and that we gave it the right coverage and soundtrack.

I’m really proud of the work of all the ITV crew, the production staff from North One TV and the presenters over the 12 years.

But I’m especially proud of those last few minutes, which showed F1 at its absolute finest.

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Well done James!!!!

I think everyone at the ITV-F1 team did a fantastic job – I’m sure you are all very proud indeed!


Congrats on the BAFTA. Annoyed that the person who accepted the award only referred to you and Martin as “a few others” who “were away”. The award was for the last lap of a truly sporting highlight. Given that the pictures were from the world feed, and NOT from ITV and the commentary was from you and Martin, how could he not have given you the deserved credit. As for “it was was only for a brit” lets remember the favourite was BBC Olympics, and I seem to recall that brits did quite well there, didnt they – one even being knighted!!!


Congratulations James and the whole ITV F1 team. You and Martin provided fantstic commentary during the race and in fact during the whole season. Very well deserved.


Many congratulations James to you and the ITV team! Well deserved! It was great (apart from the adverts).


Congratulations, James, but……….

I was sorry you weren’t going to be commentating for the BBC – until I found this site. If your going to the BBC had meant this site wouldn’t have existed I can only say how glad I am that you didn’t go there.

I turn to this site regularly and often, to get an up-to-the-minute feel for what’s going on behind the scenes – good journalism with a mind of its own. It’s individual and interesting and now an established part of the information and comment scene for all we F1 addicts!

Keep the good work going!


Congratulations! always fully enjoyed your highly knowledgable, enthusiastic commentary.
Coverage 1997-2006 impeccable, thought the coverage 2007-2008 with the hamilton sole focus was poor and could have been much better as well as being hamilton focussed.
All the best and keep up the excellent work!


Fantastic news James, well done, and much deserved.

You had us all on the edge of our seats in Brazil – I really miss your enthusiastic coverage.


No disrespect to you James but as already said all 3 Baftas have been when an Englishman has won and Canadian Grand Prix coverage didn’t have the press conference so I don’t see why ITV are getting awards for the result of a race.


Don`t get carried away,it was only the result of the race that won the award,also Harry Hill won again,enough said i think.


oh forgot to put up my congrats.. Bet MB wishes you were up there instead of the radio pundit 🙂


Hey James,,, at least you never kept saying,, “and down the hill he goes”, “he keeps pushing”, and “x from x from x, who is pushing” Also,, i dont recall in all your times in the commentary box that you EVER noted someone doing a fast sector,,,, BEHIND the safety car… JL is a BAD replacement. Sometimes you were a bit LH biased,, but you are in NO way as bad as JL.. Your screaming hen the lights went out got my heart racing,, ( and i`ve been watching f1 since the 70`s) … JL`s (monotone) ” And the lights are off” said in a tone that doesnt sound too interested really kills the best part of the race..

Oh be gentle guys,, my first post on here 🙂


Good work. ITV took TV coverage a large step forward for me when taking over in 97 (the obvious complaint aside) and deserved the plaudits at the time. While I felt that the team producing the coverage seemed to get a little complacent in later years and it went downhill overall, it picked up last season for me and this is a well deserved award. I’m more of a fan overall of the BBC’s stuff this season (they’ve stepped up to the plate well on the whole and for me the breadth of coverage is better pre/post show) but other than the Olympics not much came close to what you guys were doing at the end of the last season. Certainly not faultless, but definitely some of the best coverage out there.


Congratulations from Ukraine, James! You deserve it.


Congratulations from me also. I go with the majority on this one. I would like to see James with his trousers on fire back in the commentary box as opposed to listening to the vicar… Two classic moments. They reset the computer after Q1 and he suddenly had the Brawns at position 14 and 15 until Brundle dismissed him with a withering comment. Then yesterday, he asked Martin a 2 minute question and full credit to MB for paying attention – I would have forgotten the original question.

No, Mr Legard commentates for radio, inspite of all of us seeing the same pictures and actually I don’t think is that much of an F1 fan. Sounds like he has mugged up on the reference books but you may as well put John Motson in there as well.

Lee McKenzie? Try and at least sound interested even if you are not… The only improver I can see so far is Jake who is growing into the role – and (although it will never happen) change Jordan for Gascoyne.

Can’t see this lot as it stands getting one BAFTA, let alone three.


I love the way Gary Lineker opened the envelope and said “I don’t believe it!” I was laughing very much.


Hi James,

Congratulations but personally I don’t think that moment at the end of the Brazilian GP was all that great coverage at all to be honest.

You didn’t pick up on Hamilton passing Glock until they crossed the line. I’m sure I wasn’t alone in screaming at the TV screen that the Toyota had to be Glock as they came around that last corner. I know it was a confusing time (wasn’t it Massa snr?!) but I don’t think ITV clarified it that quickly.

Having said that.

I am desperately, desperately missing your commentary this year. You never know what you had til it’s gone and Johnathan Legard is far inferior to your knowledge of the sport.

You could always recognise drivers by their helmets and he hasn’t got a bloody clue. At one point yesterday he said something like, “And now Webb.. no Vettel is stuck behind the… the Trulli”.

The rest of the bbc coverage is good though and I’d have it over ITV’s just for one reason, no adverts! I remember an Alonso vs. Schumacher battle at San Marino right at the end of the race being interrupted with 3 laps to go and being very annoyed about it!

Best of luck in the future, I hope you find your way back onto our screens at the latest next year.


Many congratulations to you and all the ITV-F1 team. Thoroughly deserved for what was a confusing, emotional and tense time at the end of that GP. Just thinking about it now gives me butterflies!!

Your twitter commentary is great as well, I don’t know how you stayed so disciplined with your writing during those early laps! I only have access to the Italian TV feed, so to have your words to help decipher whats going on is a great help.



well deserved for you, Martin and ITV.


Delighted to hear you got the Bafta – the coverage of Brazil was epic, and you can be proud that whenever the moment is replayed, you will be part of the story.


I wonder if Jonathan Legard will win 3 BAFTAs for his commentaries……

It goes to show James, that what myself and some here have said all along is true, you are a top commentator.

Who collected it for ITV?

It cant have been Steve Rider, he was at Thruxton along with Louise Goodman, Martin and Ted were of course in Bahrain along with yourself…….

The shining light of a what I sadly say is a poor shadow of the ITV of old: James Allen, Martin Brundle and the now former F1 Crew.

Jake’s doing a great job, personally i prefer Mike Gascoyne to Eddie Jordan as pundit as the word me comes out a lot less, DC’s good, Martin good as ever, Lee just isnt up to the standard of Louise and Jonathan…..seems to have garnered more hatred in one race than you did in 8 years (from the “minority”).

Any chance of the triple BAFTA award winning James Allen returning to the commentary box anytime soon?


I find it interesting that all three of the awards coincided with British drivers winning a race/championship…

On a separate note, I find it highly amusing that so many of your countrymen called for your head when you were commentating but now there’s even an online petition to bring you back. I’ve always thought that you were very good. Keep up the good work with your blog!


Hey James, Congratulations from Philly….. Great Job.


Congratulations!!! Fully deserved!!!


James I’m absolutely delighted for you. Well done and very well deserved. I have always been an admirer of your broadcast work, I regret that you’re not currently calling the Grands Prix.

I normally avoid mentioning your critics but on this occasion, I hope this third BAFTA at least plays some part in encouraging them to consider recanting!


Fantastic news James…and well deserved! I think this is a triumphant exclamation mark at the end of a great partnership between your and Martin, and ITVs great coverage as a whole.

I know I speak for many, many people when I say we’re missing the words “Thank you Steve, hello everybody” at the start of each race, but your blog and twitter feed are excellent!


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