It’s All About the BBC

We’ve now had two races to analyse and watch the BBC coverage live in front of us (or for me, from the iPlayer) and see how the Beeb have done in regards to the last eleven years of poor ITV broadcasts.

You sit down and there it is, the irreplaceable theme of Formula 1 on the BBC, The Chain. Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. But I don’t think the title sequence matches up to the music, its CGI, and I would much rather have shots of cars blasting through forests, spectacular moments and the odd grid girl. ITV defiantly produced some of the better intro’s, my favourite coming from 2003.

The music is very modern and uses footage that matches the clips. Its a very good intro, and with catchy music similar to The Chain. They did falter after that, but in the long run, ITV did well in this area. The BBC’s uses classic music with modern CGI, and sadly it doesn’t work. They now have 50-odd years of footage available to them, surely the odd clip of Ralf Schumacher going over Barrichello or Alonso bravely overtaking the other Schumacher. Or even from last year, too many highlights to mention. If you haven’t yet seen it, take a little look at it.

And on the theme of Intro’s, can I just say that the new FIA one is very good, much better than the previous bland one I feel. Very vibrant and modern, nearly as good as the classic one used in the 90s and early 00s.

So with the intro out of the way, we are greeted by Jake Humphrey. Lets be honest, who thought the guy would be any good at the start of the year? Not many, but Humphrey has shown to be very well suited for the role. A prime example is him filling for 75 minutes during the red flagged Malaysian Grand Prix. He managed to analyse the first part of the race with Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard. Jake seems suited brilliantly to the role and I think he is been the surprise of the bunch, he is much better than Steve Ryder, well it wasn’t going to be hard now.

The two pundits are also very good, in Jordan and Coulthard. The good thing compared to ITV is that there is two of them, while ITV stuck with Mark Blundell answering Steve Ryder’s questions all the time. With one your only going to get one opinion, however with two, you’ll get contrasting thoughts on some topics which can make it more entertaining and balanced, often giving the audience new opinions on the subject. The two the BBC picked to pundits aren’t too bad either. They know what they are talking about, quite enjoyable to watch as well.

Then we have the roving pit-lane reporters, Ted Kravitz and Lee McKenzie. From Ted I think we know what we can expect from what he did at ITV, solid work, finds out some important information and defiantly a useful addition to the team. Lee McKenzie I think is brilliant from her interviews, but that’s the problem, I think I’ve only seen her in pre-race interviews. She needs more airtime in terms of talking to people in the pit lane and not having Kravitz hog it all of the time.

The commentators, Brundle is great as usual, I don’t think we need to talk about him as much. However, I have noticed over the internet some severe criticisms with main commentator Jonathan Legard. Over at, one of the hosts who calls himself ‘Mr C’, recently claimed that Legard was the ‘Weakest Link’ and feels it is a step backwards from James Allen.

Jonathan Legard is better than James Allen, he didn’t get excited, over the top in Australia than when Button previously won in Hungary, which I think we are all aware of. He makes mistakes for sure, but so does Brundle and so does the majority of commentators in whichever sport they are covering, its called being human, I’d like a perfect commentator, but those people are rare. Legard is knowledgeable, considering he has radio and journalism experience in covering Formula 1. My only problem with him is that he is rather bland. Nothing spectacular by any means, not the greatest out there but my is there far worse. It’s still a young term for the BBC, way to early to judge him in his first television gig.

Which leads nicely onto the interactive forum, which is fantastic. Brilliant analysis of the race, gets interviews with many drivers, team owners and so forth. Great service and something which the ITV lacked. They use the red button to good effect as well, from what I’ve heard anyway, still yet to see it. Obviously there is a limited use for Freeview viewers, but SKY audiences can experience I think 6 different screens. Don’t hold me on that though.

The website is alright, not breathtaking, but its good to see the BBC have given it its own mini site instead of a standard news site they have for the rest of them. Its a bit of a mess to be fair, their is long lists of news items. What I wouldn’t mind is something similar they do in the football section, and give each team its own ‘page’ what have you of news archives. The space on the website is narrow to be fair so they can’t have everything they want without it being 10 kilometres down. I do like the background, makes it feel its a different place to the rest of the BBC Sport section and I love Darren Heath’s Big Picture. They’ve borrowed a few ideas to be fair, The F1 Mole is similar to an ITV attempt for example.

The 3D guides are very handy and interactive, and Mark Webber is talking you through it so you know what’s going on there. My only concern is that they only have the first three races, and the fourth round is only two and a half weeks away. Out of the pick of the blogs, I do enjoy Jake Humphrey’s, very good insight of how the BBC are dealing with things and how he is coping in the different country’s he visits.

Its a good start by the BBC, at least they have no adverts for a start, feels very strange when a long silence comes and you expect to hear ‘Rocket, yeah’ in your ears. Thumbs up to the BBC.


Posted on April 7, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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