Motorsport Thoughts

Friday, July 30, 2004

Murray Walker

In a change to what I said I was going to write, I'm going to tell you about Murray Walker.

This is after I saw him tonight on Celebrity Mastermind - sadly he did quite badly despite his specialist subject being Formula One. I guess he was nervous in front of a studio audience and with the spotlight on him, and has got a little rusty after hanging up the microphone. But it was still sad to see him get some easy questions about the sport wrong on national television.

Murray Walker is Formula One.

More than any person alive or dead he exemplifies why I like motor racing. He has boundless enthusiasm about everything, could always find something interesting to talk about in even the most tedious race and his delivery is perfect for the sport.

Since he retired we have to listen to James Allen talking about "getting ready to rock and roll" and going "maximum bananas" (?) for a while before telling us that this is the greatest race Michael Schumacher has ever driven. Murray made mistakes (or, in his words, "prophecies that go wrong straight away") but his earnestness and devotion to telling people about what was happening and making it sound exciting are what make him a great, great man. James Allen is a rank amateur in comparison. His delivery is so flat compared to Murray that the commentary is almost unbearable - and that's before you put in his horrendous pro-Ferrari bias.

People have always laughed a little at Murray and that will possibly increase after the Mastermind debacle, but every motorsport fan knows that he is utterly core to interest in the sport and we all love him.


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