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Murray Walker's pre 1978 GP commentaries for the BBC


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#1 nmansellfan

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 10:08

Sparked by watching the programme in celebration of Murray Walkers 90th birthday afters yesterdays GP qualifying, I was wondering about which GP's he commentated on, either on TV or radio, pre 1978 when the 'Grand Prix' highlights programme on the BBC started.  Raymond Baxter usually took commentary duties for GP racing on the BBC (the races they covered) from the 50's to mid 70's until he turned his attention full time to the science and technology programme Tomorrows World in '76, but on the odd occasion Murray took the microphone instead.  Recollecting some of the comments from his books, snippets from interviews with him over the years and clips of the GP broadcasts themselves, I can think of:

 

1949 British GP (Radio)

1969 Italian GP (TV)

1969 or 1972 German GP (TV - I've read a quote somewhere 'it was a year that Jacky Ickx won')

1974 German GP (TV - Also a similar quote of 'the year that Clay Regazzoni won')

1975 British GP (TV)

1976 Japanese GP (TV)

 

Can anyone recall any others?



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#2 RTH

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 10:11

I don't think he was commentator on the 1976 Japanese GP live- that was an ITV production and I believe repeats of that footage in the last 20 odd years were a result of Murray doing an overdub retrospectively for the footage to be used in documentaries in order to get across a lot more information very quickly to explain all the permutations of possible results

#3 dweller23

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 11:16

Additional three:

Monaco 1975 (with Jackie Stewart)

International Trophy 1975

Great Britain 1977 (highlights shown week later)

 

Japan 1976 was commentated by Simon Taylor and Barrie Gill on BBC radio, here's the story: http://forums.autosp...-2#entry5537583

 

BBC also showed Italy 1977, so it's probably another one that was commentated by Walker. Not sure if he commentated any F1 races before 1975.



#4 nmansellfan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 13:38

Thanks for the info guys.

 

Murray part-commented from a London studio during the '76 Japanese GP, with Barrie Gill trackside.

 

One of Murray's early gaffes is on his '69 Italian GP commentary, when he mistakes Jochen Rindt for Jean Pierre Beltoise and is corrected by someone else in the commentary box!

 

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=cQURylYN13w

 

The clip comes from a programme called Grand Prix 500 that was broadcast in the UK during Christmas 1990, the only footage I've seen from the '69 Italian GP.

 

So far then:

 

1949 British GP (Radio)

1969 Italian GP (TV)

1969 or 1972 German GP (TV - I've read a quote somewhere 'it was a year that Jacky Ickx won')

1974 German GP (TV - Also a similar quote of 'the year that Clay Regazzoni won')

1975 Monaco GP (TV)

1975 International Trophy (TV)

1975 British GP (TV)

1977 British GP (TV - filmed highlights)

 

Edited to remove the '76 Japanese GP.


Edited by nmansellfan, 03 November 2013 - 17:55.


#5 Simon Taylor

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 17:26

 

Japan 1976 was commentated by Simon Taylor and Barrie Gill on BBC radio, here's the story: http://forums.autosp...-2#entry5537583

 

 

 

 

 

 

Murray part-commented from a London studio during the '76 Japanese GP, with Barrie Gill trackside.

 

Thanks for linking to my disgracefully long story about the Japanese Grand Prix commentary, dweller23. If you plough to the end you will see that I did the radio commentary there with Barry Sheene, whom I press-ganged into joining me in our leaky commentary box at the last moment. Ours was the only live commentary of this race in the English language: it went out on what was then the BBC Light Programme and the World Service. Barrie Gill stayed in London to voice to non-live edited highlights, which went out during Sunday afternoon as part of BBC TV's general sports output.

It seems strange now, but there was nothing to stop ITV broadcasting the same pictures, and they put them out during Sunday afternoon too, with Andrew Marriott voicing them.

nmansellfan, Murray wasn't involved in the Japanese Grand Prix at all that weekend. The clips you have seen with Murray commentating in his inimitable style were all dubbed later.



#6 nmansellfan

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Posted 03 November 2013 - 17:54

Ah, there can be no more accurate confirmation than from the man who was there!  Thanks for the confirmation Simon, and apologies RTH.


Edited by nmansellfan, 03 November 2013 - 17:56.


#7 Alan Baker

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 11:14

I'm pretty sure that Murray Walker's first motor racing commentary for BBC television was the 1967 Le Mans 24 hrs. I remember wondering why the motor cycling guy was commentating on a car race instead of Raymond Baxter and being annoyed that he kept referring to "the little French Alpine cars", pronouncing it as in Sunbeam Alpine rather than "Alpeen"!