With rumours growing that Jonathan Legard has been or will soon be relieved of his duties as BBC F1 commentator (let’s face it: we know he won’t be Brundle’s partner in 2011) there’s been plenty of chat from F1 fans as to who should take “The Ledge’s” place in the commentary box. Now Badger’s getting in on the act, rating the potential candidates for this most sacred of jobs.
In many ways David Croft is the natural choice for the role. He does a fine job as the BBC’s radio and ‘red button’ commentator and is popular with a wide spectrum of F1 fans, from the newbies to the hardcore. His chatty, friendly style is mixed with a good knowledge of and passion for the sport and he can remain calm when things get frantic on-track.
But would he work alongside Martin Brundle? Their styles are quite different, and it’s possible that the new partnership just wouldn’t click. It’s clear that the Beeb recognise Martin’s popularity and they may want to pair him with someone who compliments him. There is, therefore, a feeling that it might be best to leave Crofty where he is, alongside Anthony Davidson in the 5Live commentary box. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
Then again we must sometimes take risks if we are to truly make the most of life, and the BBC would make a lot of fans happy if they promoted Crofty to their main commentary position. Being as he’s already part of the corporation there’s got to be a good chance of this, and we wouldn’t be at all surprised if it was his voice we heard as the 2011 season gets underway in Bahrain.
We’re told he’s the man earmarked to join Brundle in the commentary box next year and, frankly, we’re a bit surprised. Not that he’s taken badly to the telly game: DC has proved to be a very good pundit, offering a level of common sense and calm that Eddie Jordan simply can’t.
But a commentator? His voice is ever so slightly monotone, and we wonder if he could inject the energy in to it that’s needed for commentary.
On the plus side he is a hugely experienced F1 racer with bags of memories to call on – more so, perhaps, than Brundle. He’s also got a great relationship with the man he’d be commentating alongside, with Martin having acted as David’s manager for over a decade and the two being good mates. That would certainly help prevent any early nervousness between the new pairing. And, if none of that convinces you, simply enjoy the knowledge that a promotion to the commentary box would mean we didn’t have to see DC in his tight, white trousers on a fortnightly basis. That should provide comfort for almost everyone.
For many years fans have been calling out for this man to commentate on F1. He has actually done so, hooking up with John Watson to talk us through both Eurosport’s coverage in the early nineties Sky TV’s unpopular F1 Digital coverage in 2001.
An ex-racing driver himself, Edwards has covered a vast array of series over the years. His commentary duties for Champ Car, Superleague Formula, A1GP and a host of touring car championships mean the guy is a true motorsport pro. For some A+ commentary check out the below video of Juan Pablo Montoya and Michael Andretti’s final lap Champ Car dice back in 2000. Edwards manages to convey the huge excitement of the situation whilst remaining in control. Imagine how Legard would have handled this one. Frightening.
So he’s passionate, knowledgeable and able to talk to both the hardcore fan and the F1 newcomer – it all suggests Edwards would be the best man for the job. But will he get the chance? We’d be very surprised; the Beeb like to hire from within.
Everyone was rather against James when he led the ITV commentary team but was he that bad? Yes he can be a bit of a jingoist at times and perhaps too much of a nerd for a sport always seeking new fans but here’s the key question: was he as a controversial and as poorly received a choice as Legard? No, he wasn’t.
His knowledge is good, his passion can’t be questioned (the guy called his kids Enzo and Emerson for crying out loud) and he never got in to the sort of muddles Legard has. Okay, he’s not the ideal choice by any stretch – and highly unlikely in any case – but if we do get him it will at least be a step up. It will, however, give new life to the thousands of online campaigns to give him the push.
Moto GP is the two-wheeled rival to Formula One, in terms of global audience and and spectacle – and some say that Charlie Cox, the main commentator, could easily transfer his skills to four-wheeled commentary. He’s also an ex-racer, having competed in many series including the massively popular BTCC in the 90s. As well as Moto GP commentary, he’s also been the host of the down-under version of Top Gear, so he’s not shy to the public in anyway and must be doing something right!
To add a little spice to Cox as a possibility, he’s also confirmed that he’s leaving the BBC Moto GP commentary… hear him in action here, commentating on a bit of World Superbike action:
[youtube width=”580″ height=”460″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xlhMotfvCyQ
The outsider – sorry Martin – is Mr. Martin Haven. He does a good job on Eurosport’s GP2 commentary, bringing an amusingly school teacher-like style to the way he chastises some of the more erratic driving on display in F1’s waiting room. He also covers an array of other racing series and can even be heard chatting us through bobsleigh racing at times – diverse! We wouldn’t put any money on him but the guy can commentate and would be a good, if rather surprising, choice for the BBC’s top job.
Using our poll below you can select up to two people you’d like to see partner Martin Brundle in 2011, in replacement for Jonathan Legard… make your choices folks and we’ll give feedback to the Beeb – if you have any comments to support you choice, make them in the comments box below…