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Niki on the Beeb Next Week

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#1 Anorak Man

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Posted 19 September 2002 - 03:30

Forgive my excitement, but I'd feel bad not alerting you all.

I've just listened to an excellent piece on the Beeb about the recovery from Lymphoma of Aussie Cricketer Simon O'Donnell. Top bloke! Inspiring programme, hope 'Our Bazza' was listening, it'll speed his recovery.

But the final programme will feature Niki Lauda talking about his recovery from the horrendous 1976 inferno at the 'Ring'. We all know the story, and the part played by his Austrian Specialist, but if it's half as good as the slot I just heard, it shouldn't be missed. Niki's alway great value in interviews anyway.

The last time I heard him, he was talking about negotiating his contract for his McLaren comeback. He was the first driver ever to ask for, and get, a million dollar salary.

"A million dollars, I'm worth that just for my personality!" he scoffed.

(Priceless, I'd say.)

You can hear the radio programme I'm on about wherever you are in the world, just tune your Short Wave Wireless to BBC World Service, and listen out for "Back From the Brink". I think it'll be on next Wednesday. Mark your fridge door.

Sorry, I don't know the scheduling, but they'll repeat a few times next week.

You'll almost certainly be able to hear it through your computer from their website too, if y'kitted out.




#2 Anorak Man

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Posted 25 September 2002 - 09:45

It's on today!

#3 Anorak Man

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 03:07

Snippets from the programme:
Including comments from JYS, Jody S, Brett Lunger, Art Merzzario, NL

Niki on 1975-76: "There's no question that in '75 and '76 I was really dominating the
whole thing without any mistakes, so I did nothing wrong, this was perfect driving."

JYS on safety: "At the Ring, the track is 23 km, so including both sides of the track you're talking about 46 km of marshalling required to make it safe. That would need half the German Army."

Niki along with other drivers called for a boycott of the Ring that year but was out-voted.

Simon Taylor on the relationship between Lauda and Hunt in '76:
"One of the things I remember ... was the fact that James and Niki were always laughing together, and were always teasing their mechanics or teasing their Team Managers."

Brett Lunger and Arturo Merzzario pulled Niki from the burning Ferrari:
BL: "Niki had passed me and was disappearing up the road ... it was a fairly fast LH turn ... I saw a lot of dirt going up in the air ... I came around the turn flat-out, Niki was sideways in the middle of the road .. his car was burning ... I locked up, slid into his car. The impact wasn't that great, but it set off my fire extinguisher, which helped damp down the flames. I was the first one on the scene. The next driver was Art Merzzario."

BL: "I climbed on top of Niki's car to try to pull him out, but the straps were difficult to undo. The seat straps were special in a Ferrari, but Art knew how to unfasten them having driven a Ferrari before, and that made a big difference in getting him out."

Art M: "It took me two attempts to lift him out because I'm skinny. I was afraid, but the fear must've given me strength. He was screaming because his skin was burning."

Niki on hovering between life and death in hospital: "And then Marlene came in, and she started screaming, so I thought I must really be in a terrible condition. So then I couldn't see day or night or anything. After Sunday night, or Monday, the whole dream changed so much, and I saw myself completely happy and relaxed, falling down backwards into nowhere.
So I said, if I let go now ... I think I'm gonna die. So I thought I better do something, but what could I do? So, I just tried to listen to the nurses talk and talk, I tried to concentrate, and not lean back and die. And that helped me to stay alive."

At that time, a driver had a 1 in 15 chance of being killed in any season.

Six weeks after his crash Niki was back racing at Monza:

Simon Taylor: "After coming in fourth, he took off his helmet, and when he peeled off his balaclava most of the fresh skin grafts came off with it."

On retiring at the wet Mount Fuji race:
JYS: "I think Niki Lauda that day, gave a great definition of what courage is, by choosing not to go on when he could easily have done so, and almost certainly would have secured the WC for himself again, but chose not to do it because he didn't think it was the right thing to do with his common sense."

Lauda rates his 1984 WDC for McLaren as his greatest.

Maurice Hamilton: "Recently filming at the scene of his crash a hiker was surprised to find Lauda and a film crew at the corner.
"What are YOU doing here?" he exclaimed.
Quick as a flash Niki shot back: "I'm looking for my ear!"


#4 dmj

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Posted 26 September 2002 - 09:03


#5 Gary C

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Posted 27 September 2002 - 21:16

anyone tape it??

#6 Anorak Man

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Posted 28 September 2002 - 04:37

You can hear it here, when the Beeb gets around to updating their web site. Meanwhile enjoy the Simon O'Donnel story and Zanardi's piece.