David Croft, the lead commentator for Sky Sports’ F1 coverage, has given his full backing for Ben Edwards to lead Channel 4’s commentary team this season, whilst also stating that Sky’s own line-up will remain unchanged for the 2016 Formula One season.
Speaking about the lead commentator role at the AUTOSPORT Show with Henry Hope-Frost on Thursday afternoon, Croft backed Edwards for the role at Channel 4, noting that “I sent Ben Edwards a text message before Christmas saying ‘Look I hope the only thing that changes next year is that you have got a different logo on your shirt mate and that you’re still in the commentary box next to me,’ because Ben’s a top bloke and a terrific commentator. I’d love to be commentating on Sky F1 with Ben commentating on Channel 4 and then when we put the mike down we’ll stand and have a chat about what we’ve just seen which is what we do all the time.” In a survey on this site, a clear majority of you backed Edwards for the lead commentator position with the broadcaster.
While on the AUTOSPORT stage, Croft commented on BBC’s television demise from Formula 1, looking back at his time with the BBC “As a man who came into Formula 1 working for BBC Radio 5 Live and who worked for the BBC for many, many years, I think it’s a real shame that the BBC couldn’t afford to keep Formula 1. It was much loved Formula 1 on the BBC. It was much watched as well and it pushed and challenged us at Sky. It challenged us to hopefully not only be as good as the BBC coverage but be better.”
Croft referenced the fact that Whisper Films’ personnel, such as former BBC producer Mark Wilkin have been producing Formula 1 television for many years. “I think Channel 4 will be fab for the sport and they will be great for us at Sky F1 as well. They’ll push us, we’ll push them and the net result hopefully for you guys watching here will be that you get the best F1 coverage in the world. As far as I’m concerned, bring on Channel 4 and whoever joins David Coulthard in front of the camera, and whoever is there behind the scenes as well. When the cameras stop rolling, we’re all very good mates in the paddock, there is no rivalry to that extent,” Croft said.
One piece of news that came from Croft is that it looks like the Sky Sports F1’s team will remain unchanged for the 2016 season. Croft commented “As far as I know the Sky team will be unchanged. Natalie Pinkham will be taking another little break mid-season when she goes and has child number two.”