Friday, 1 May 2009

Shut the f*** up!


Why I think Jonathan Legard is doing a great job as the BBC's Grand Prix commentator

Well...I've had this blogspace for about two weeks now and I've been putting off writing the first post...until now. And little did I think the topic would be this!

 Yes, I'm here to defend Jonathan Legard from the barrage of illogical attacks upon his commentating for the BBC. Personally, as you would have guessed by now, I think he’s doing a grand job. But unfortunately my opinion is only good enough for me. So, scrolling through the complaints on his blog here there seems to be more morons in this country that I first realised.

Yes, the Legard/Brundle commentary will come nowhere near to the bar that was raised in the Walker/Hunt days, but its miles better than the drivel we had to endure with the Allen/Brundle combination. There is a shared opinion that Martin Brundle is a great commentator, and I am of that opinion too, but he was dragged so far down into the mire in the presence of James Allen that he slowly became half the commentator that he had developed and matured into by the side of Murray Walker. Ok, there had been a few hiccups in the new relationship between him and Jonathan Legard, but you can tell that he has been set free from the Lewisteria that he was forced into during the final ITV days. And what a joy he is to listen too now. Not quite as sharp or aiming for the jugular as James Hunt used too, but he’s getting pretty close to it.

And so to Mr. Legard. For starters, comparing him to Murray Walker is a useless argument, as the role of a BBC commentator has changed drastically over the years. In the 80’s, a BBC commentator was the main reporter of that event, which meant that appearances on the News and filing regular reports during Grandstand was the norm, so Murray had the chance to develop a persona that the general public took a shining too. Secondly, Murray WAS an amateur commentator. People all too easily forget that his profession was adverting, coining slogans for Trill and Opal Fruits (“Made to make your mouth water.” And indeed they did!) He used to commentate only at the weekends on the odd events before he became the regular voice of F1 that we all knew and loved. Legard has obviously come through the professional ranks of the BBC since joining in 1990, so he will not be prone to the regular mistakes that made us warm to Murray Walker. However, what this does mean that he brings an enormous amount of professionalism to the screen. And that is what the BBC thrives on.

Television has become too slick for the likes of the Walkers, Barry Davies’ and Bill McLarens of this world. You have to be a top professional these days to get the cream jobs in sport and in my opinion; Jonathan Legard is one of the best. 

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