The BBC have confirmed today that Suzi Perry will be their Formula 1 presenter from the 2013 season, succeeding Jake Humphrey.
Humphrey, who announced that he will be moving to BT Vision back in September, completed his live BBC Formula 1 commitments with the Brazilian Grand Prix.
Perry on the BBC Sport website said: “Motorsport is my life and I’ve really missed being away from the grid. I am so excited to be joining the BBC. Working alongside such an eminent team and the F1 world is a huge honour and I can’t wait to get started.”
Ben Gallop, BBC Head of F1 said: “She’ll bring real energy and years of experience to one of the biggest jobs in sports broadcasting. Her presenting ability, coupled with her love and knowledge of motorsport, make her an excellent addition. I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank Jake Humphrey for his enormous contribution to the coverage over the last four years and we all wish him the best for the future.”
I’m in two minds about this one. On the plus side Perry has presented MotoGP for the BBC for ten years before leaving the role and being replaced by Matt Roberts. So on that angle, she brings with her a huge amount of experience in live television which will only help them from 2013 onwards. If experience was the key factor, then it is clear to see why Perry got the role. But on the negative, I do feel that Lee McKenzie has been shafted. Pit-lane reporter since 2009, I felt McKenzie was the lead contender for the BBC F1 presenter position having built up rapport with drivers’ in the past four years. It would have also felt right for McKenzie to step up to the presenter and let someone new and fresh take her role as the pit-lane reporter.
Personally, I think Perry will be a fantastic presenter at BBC, but I won’t be surprised if McKenzie begins to look at other options (maybe during next year) as a result of Perry beating her to the post for the BBC presenter role. That is assuming she was a candidate for the role, the press reports suggested she was, alongside Mark Pougatch, Gabby Logan and Perry. Of course, it is possible that McKenzie was offered the position but rejected it if so then, again, you can see why BBC went for Perry.
Interestingly the BBC release states that the rest of the 2013 team “will be confirmed in due course”. I don’t see there being any further changes and would expect everyone to slot in as they did for 2012, although 5 Live will probably change with Jaime Alguersuari not being part of the team.