After eight years as ITV-F1 commentator James Allen will commentate on his final live Grand Prix – for the time being at least – at Interlagos this weekend.
In that time he’s been subject to a huge amount of criticism, much of it coming on internet forums and blogs.
In a retrospective look at his time with ITV-F1, Allen has finally spoken about his reaction to the criticism:
I was always pretty confident that when Murray decided to retire I would get the gig, but never anything less than utterly self-critical and seeking to improve with every race and every year, which I think I’ve done.
It’s a very difficult and high-pressure job, because with 20 cars there are 20 different points of focus.
You have to read the race, using a TV picture and the timing screens, while speaking at the same time and still leave spare brain capacity for talking to the producer and thinking about what comes next.
And as it’s live and it’s all happening very quickly it’s very easy to make a mistake, which is why you always need to allow yourself a margin.
Having a brilliant communicator like Martin Brundle as a partner helps a great deal too.
I take a journalistic approach to commentary, I’m a storyteller; it’s my job to tell the story, not to be the story.
Of course there are many people at home in their armchairs who think they could do it better and one of the challenges for me was that I replaced Murray just as the internet opened up to allow everyone to have their say in chat rooms and forums.
But I know from market research and viewer feedback that the pros massively outnumber the vocal minority of cons.
I’m very proud of the work that we have done with the North One production team over the years and we have 2 BAFTAs and 12 Royal Television Society awards to prove that the TV industry, like most viewers, rate our work very highly.
Read the article in full here and have your say below.
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