Murray Walker

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CollinsWillow, 2002 - Automobile racing - 393 pages
2 Reviews

The voice of motor racing - and the man responsible for introducing millions of viewers to the previously inaccessible world of Formula 1 - tells the story of his incident-packed life.

Murray Walker is an institution. When the man who made famous the catchphrase 'Unless I'm very much mistaken... I AM very much mistaken!!!' announced that he was retiring as ITV's Grand Prix commentator at the end of the 2001 season, the media reacted as if the sport itself was losing one of its biggest stars.

His reputation for mistakes was the making of Walker. He was the fan who happened to be given the keys to the commentary box - and never wanted to give them back. His high-octane delivery kept viewers on the edge of their seats, while his passion for talking about the sport he loved was matched by an all-encompassing knowledge gained through hours of painstaking research before every race.

In fact he's a throwback to another age who managed to survive and indeed prosper from the revolutions in motor racing. In his book he writes about his childhood and the influence that his father, British motorcycle champion Graham Walker, had on his career. Failing to match his father's achievements on the track, he made a successful career for himself in advertising which catapulted him to the top of his profession.

An offer from the BBC to take over the commentary seat for their F1 broadcasts was manna from heaven for Walker, and it wasn't long before the infamous 'Murrayisms' enlivened a sport which until then had been shrouded in a cloak of unfathomable technical jargon and mind-numbing statistics.

He also talks about the biggest changes in the sport over the last 50 years, in particular the safety issues which came to the fore after the tragic death of Ayrton Senna. His partnership with James Hunt behind the microphone is the subject of some hilarious anecdotes, while his views on drivers such as Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Eddie Irvine and David Coulthard make for fascinating reading.

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Enjoyable read from a great F1 commentator.

Contents

Introduction
1
A Proud Brummie
11
Tanks It Is Then
23
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

Murray Walker was born into the world of motor racing. His father Graham was a motorcycle TT champion and Walker jnr saw his first race when he was two. After active service in World War II, he forged a succeesful career as an advertising executive, handling the accounts of blue-chip firms such as Mars, Esso and the Co-op. His debut as a sports commentator came in 1949, when he covered the British GP at Silverstone for BBC Radio. He has since spent more than 50 years commentating on motor racing and in particular F1, initially for the BBC before moving over to ITV in 1997. He is the author of 14 books on motor racing.

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