No James Allen for BBC?

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BBC’s Top Gear couldn’t resist a dig at unpopular ITV F1 commentator James Allen as it relaunched its website today:

Top Gear promotes its F1 site as 'the antidote to James Allen'

It’s another indication the BBC will not be carrying over Allen as commentator next year. When ITV took F1 coverage from BBC in 1997 it kept Murray Walker on board until he retired in 2001. Allen took over after Walker alongside Martin Brundle.

There were claims last week that the BBC had picked Jonathan Legard as its commentator for 2009 and will be partnered by Brundle. The rest of the team will feature David Coulthard, Jake Humphrey and Lee McKenzie.

More on the BBC’s 2009 F1 coverage: How will BBC TV cover F1 in 2009?

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “No James Allen for BBC?”

  1. James Allen is an awful commentator!

  2. James Allen is an awful commentator!


  3. Good! James Allen and his Hamilton worshipping sucks, bring in anybody else!

  4. Ive got used to James Allen, hes a bit of a geek but he knows his stuff and Brundle is a great calming influence to Allens “dungarees on fire” commentary style. Im more miffed with the 12 yr old who is anchoring the beebs coverage, ive seen more gravitas on the moon. I hated him in the Euro’s and i dont need some oily tick telling me how a Grand Prix car works when ive been following it for 30 years. Still no Mark “whats” Blundell so its not all bad.

  5. Any mention of Murray Walker, regardless of what context, makes me want to scream. I have never come across such a complete incompetent. Hell knows why he was kept on by the beeb for so long. I guess one could say he is proof charity does exist. I’m glad the beeb see James has a similar polarising effect and decided to let him loose.

  6. Chaz, your comment makes kittens cry.

  7. Next years F1 coverage will be much worse without James Allen and Ted Kravitz in my opinion. Allen is just an easy one to pin blame on for ITV’s higher exposure of Hamilton. I assume jealousy has something to do with it as well, plenty of people wrongly assume they could do a better job.

  8. Personally I just find Allen to be extremely annoying. I know I couldn’t do a better job but that’s why I would never consider a career as a sports commentator…and I don’t think Allen should have either.

    And the Hami-mania isn’t because if Allen, it’s because ITV broadcasts on British TV and Hamilton’s British. It’s to be expected. The BBC are going to be even worse with that. Allen is the main focus of people’s hate about that because you kind of expect a commentator to at least pretend to be neutral…Allen is clearly a big Hamilton fan and he doesn’t care how much he shows it.

  9. well i think they are both fabulous. Compared to the morons we have on australian tv coverage, listening to james and martin is like milk and honey and i for one will be sorry to see them change :)

  10. michael counsell
    8th October 2008, 0:17

    Gone off milk?

  11. Allen is quite annoying, but I’ve seen a lot worse. Jonathan Legard is a welcome commentator, but Ben Edwards would have been awesome, in my opinion too. As long as Brundle stays, I’m happy.

  12. Imagine Murray Walker and the late Barry Sheene commentating together. You would have no idea of who was winning the race but it sure would be entertaining

  13. As an American, I would love to have these problems. Instead, we are stuck with some shoddy coverage and analysis, Steve Matchett aside.

  14. Matt,

    Your first post is ridiculous. Ted Kravitz is an incompetent moron who knows nothing about racing, and James Allen is just an idiot trying so hard (and failing so miserably) to pretend he’s an unbiased commentator broadcasting worldwide. Ted has recently shown his true colours having a pathetic go at David Coulthard, and getting a deserving reply.

    The thing is that I actually find passionate commentators endearing (I particularly liked James’ voiceover during Jenson Button’s first F1 win), but why not be open about it? It’s a British broadcast afterall. James Allen is so irrelevant because he offers nothing. And when he’s trying to deliver objective information about the race, I just wish he’d shut up, stop embarassing himself and let Brundle, if anybody in that team, do the talking.

  15. i have not watched much f1. but i do not know why i find james allen commentary on f1 so irritating like alonso a great ,great, champion during a race when alonso had stated earlier that he would help ferrari all he could to win the brazil race !!!!whattttttttttt!!!!was that all about ?

  16. hey so sad without james allen and kravitz hope it will be fine ………i liked they he was screamin at the start ………..

  17. i personally loved the itv coverage. gutted that the bbc wont be taking on the commentry team :(

    1. They are still using Martin Brundle and James Allen from the ITV team: BBC ’s 2009 F1 team confirmed

  18. James Allen was awkward, but had a boyish enthusiasm when he took over from the legendary Murray Walker. He subsequently grew in stature and authority, in my view, and was a worthy successor. I was disappointed to not hear his commentary during today’s race, and quickly became irritated by Legard’s insipid delivery. How on earth did he get the job? At least Brundle has passion, which was entirely lacking from the newcomer. A good race, however, even more entertaining than you know who’s wig!

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