Allan McNish confirmed as 5 Live co-commentator

Allan McNish has been named as the new 5 Live co-commentator it has been confirmed today. McNish replaces Jaime Alguersuari in the role, and will be working alongside James Allen and Jennie Gow for the new season. Furthermore, as with last season, the lead commentary role will be shared between Allen and Jonathan Legard, Legard will be making his first appearance in China.

Although McNish has been confirmed, he is only doing six out of 20 races. The coverage on 5 Live will again be produced by USP Content, 2013 will be their eighth season covering the sport. The production itself will be led by Chessie Bent, who succeeds Jason Swales, Swales this season will be producing NBC’s coverage of Formula 1.

Whilst this is a blow to Sky, as I considered McNish a strong member of their team when he appeared last season, I am confused at how he can be announced as 5 Live’s co-commentator when he will be doing less than a third of the season as it stands. It also begs the question of who will be alongside Allen or Legard for the first four races of the season, as that has not been confirmed anywhere today.

Update on March 6th at 16:20 – McNish will be commentating on the Spanish, Monaco, British, German, Belgian and Italian Grand Prix’s. McNish said “I’m very excited with the prospect of being part of the on-event BBC Radio 5 live F1 team this year for what promises to be an intriguing season. While I have been on the show previously, this year will be much more of a consistent format for me.”

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3 thoughts on “Allan McNish confirmed as 5 Live co-commentator

  1. How will the Sky fans play this one?

    They may have liked him on Sky but will obviously be obliged to hate him now he’s on the *spits on floor* BBC coverage.

    Seriously though I’m looking forward to this, he was excellent on the Skypad last year & now that practice sessions for the 9 live races are on BBC2 (don’t know whether it’s a consequence of DQF or a conscious effort to broaden F1’s reach) he and James Allen can hopefully attract some new/lapsed fans to try and reverse the clear decline in viewing figures since pay-TV became involved.

  2. All I can say is Legard must own the BBC or something. I have no other other explanation. Hopefully Chandock and Wattie are called upon as often as possible.

  3. If you’ve not heard 5 Live this season you should. Moving the BBC’s dark horse, Gary Anderson, into the radio commentary box is starting to look like an inspired decision. Television tends to focus on the wheel-to-wheel racing, since only one piece of action can be on the screen at once. Radio seems much better able to convey the strategic race – it perhaps just needed some extra strategic commentary.

    In the first two races, and quite possibility the rest of the season, I’ve found the strategic race to be far more engaging. Malaysia provided a fascinating comparison, since that race wasn’t short of over-taking or strategy: I felt the team (or in Red Bull’s case, anti-team) orders made much more sense having listened to it on the radio, in contrast to television audiences, who seemed to be livid at the “action” between the first two pairs of team mates.

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