The new F1 season is only round the corner and, for the presenter of BBC’s award winning F1 coverage, it can’t come soon enough. Badger was on hand to spend a brief bit of time in Juke Humphrey’s hectic schedule (it is an Olympic year, after all) to ask some hard, as well as some not-so-hard, questions!
What’s your favourite F1 season ever? Oh my god. I’d have to say it was 2009, just because it was the first time I was involved and it was a lifetime’s ambition to not only be in the pitlane, but to be as the face of the BBC. And that finale with JB in Brazil, and us getting him in the garage afterwards. That still remains my highlight of doing this job, and I remember having dinner with Steve Rider a few weeks before I was taking over his job, and he was saying “I hope you don’t have a dramatic a finish as we’ve just had [in 2008]!”, and then we had then incredible season with Brawn coming out of nowhere! That will go down as the best year of my broadcasting career, without a doubt.
What’s the downside to being Jake Humphrey? No, I genuinely don’t think there are. People seem to like what we do, so I don’t get too much abuse on the tube or anything! I suppose the only thing is having to work with Eddie Jordan on a weekly basis. “Eddie wrangling”, I call it. What usually happens is, with about 20 seconds left on a VT before they come back to us, he takes out his earpiece and says “what’s the next question?”. And then he pulls it out with about 10 seconds to go and says “what’s my answer?”.
He does things like describe Alan Jones [1980 World Champion] as “the personification as Alan Jones”, and when trying to decribe Martin Brundle as “level-headed”, only for it to come out as “horizontally-minded”. All these thing leave you in a tricky position – you can’t take the mickey out of Eddie, but you just can’t ignore them!
I don’t think there is a downside (apart from travelling away from my wife), but you have to learn to accept that unfortunately.
Who are you backing for the 2012 Championship? Vettel.
If you were a manager, what drivers would you have? I’d have JB, without question, because I think he’s a decent team player and an all round good guy. I’d always back him to nail it in the race. And alongside him I’d have Alonso I think. Jenson is mature enough to deal with Alonso and to cope with him. I think Alonso’s mind games, equally, wouldn’t threaten JB, and I think Jenson would keep Alonso honest. Regardless of what Alonso would do in qualifying, you know that during the race JB would be making some big calls. With a strong teammate alongside him you know Fernando would win championship after championship, in the same way Jenson helps Lewis in terms of race strategy.
What’s your favourite breakfast? Home-made stewed rhubarb and fat-free natural yoghurt.
At this stage of the interview, a leather-clad Eddie Jordan walked past drinking a cup of water. Seeing the moment for it’s mischievous best, Jake leaned into the Irishman’s path and knocked the cup upwards, nearly soaking EJ.
Eddie took it lightheartedly (minus the odd curse word, naturally) and attemped to throw the rest of the water over Jake in retaliation, missing wildly. “Take photos and videos of this”, pleads Jake, “attacked by Eddie Jordan!”. Thankfully, Eddie departs without too much fuss and the interview continues.
Sorry about that. Home-stewed rhubarb and fat-free yoghurt. Failing that, some blueberries.
Favourite cheese? (leans back) That’s a great question. (pauses) I love cheese, so this is massive question for me. I don’t want to do any a disservice. I’d think I’ll go for….Manchego.
Tea or coffee? Coffee. Harriet (Jake’s wife) and I always start the day with a tea tray in bed, but from then on in it’s coffee. Mainly because I’m trying to lose weight and get a bit buff, and it’s an appetite suppressant.
What’s your ideal, non-F1, Sunday? My ideal non-F1 Sunday would involve getting up, walking into Richmond for some breakfast in some cafe by the river, getting home, reading the Sunday papers, and having a roast at home. And then Norwich, live on telly, playing Manchester United at about 4pm, and beating them. And then an early night. That would be the perfect Sunday!
Australian Grand Prix, Extended highlights on the BBC – 17 March Qualifying Highlights BBC Two 1pm, 18 March Grand Prix Highlights BBC One 2pm. The BBC will cover the entire 2012 season though a mix of live TV and highlights, all live on Radio 5 live