The BBC today announced that both David Coulthard and Eddie Jordan would be a part of their 2009 broadcast team, adding to the already signed and confirmed Martin Brundle. The news ends speculation about the make-up of the team and has generally been welcomed by fans of the sport in the United Kingdom. Also confirmed is pitlane reporter Ted Kravitz, BBC Radio 5 Live’s Jonathan Legard and Jake Humphrey will be the show’s anchor and presenter.
Jake Humphrey will assume the role that was previously filled by Jim Rosenthal and more recently Steve Ryder, and will host the BBC show. It is still unknown if the broadcast will match ITV’s impressive record of being at the races themselves, or instead from a London Studio. Of course, there are pros and cons to both methods. ITV famously hosted the Monaco Grand Prix show on a boat, leading to many people onboard and at home to suffer a little sea-sickness. ITV also insisted on standing in front of the garages just as the engines were fired up, thus drowning out the conversation. But being at the races adds to the atmosphere of the presentation and brings the sport closer to the viewers at home.
Also confirmed was Jonathan Legard as co-commentator alongside Martin Brundle. Brundle, who has driven in 158 races, will resume his usual role as technical-translator for audiences, while Legard will inject some enthusiasm into the proceedings. Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard, whose knowledge of the sport is almost insurmountable from both a driving and a management perspective, will be involved in the broadcast, taking up similar roles to that of Mark Blundell in recent years.
Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie will be the shows pitlane reporters, which has pleased many people as Kravitz has become well-respected in Formula One circles with his insightful information from the teams during races. Lee McKenzie will presumably take on the role formerly filled by Louise Goodman, although as mentioned previously on BlogF1, it will take her a while to build up relationships with teams and drivers before they instantly grant an interview – something Louise did very well, using her background in the sport perfectly.
So all in all, a pretty good line-up. I think I will miss Lousie Goodman as she was pretty good at nabbing interviews when so many other reporters appeared to fail. But obviously Brundle will be good, as will Legard. Jordan and Coulthard can speak their minds and Ted can be as insightful as ever. The only real unknown to me is Jake Humphrey, but as the anchor, his job is probably the least critical.