Who Is Murray Walker? Wiki, Bio, Death Cause, Career, Net Worth, Many More Facts You Need To Know

Murray Walker Wiki – Biography

He was a British motorsport commentator and journalist. He made television commentary on the live Formula 1 broadcast for the BBC from 1976 to 1996 and for ITV from 1997 to 2001.

During his 23-year work as a full-time commentator, Walker was recognized for his animated enthusiasm, authoritative voice, and hilarious mistakes that fans called “Murrayism” during live races. The commentary sound “sounds like a scream and a 500cc engine accelerating”. He retired from full-time commentary after the 2001 United States Grand Prix, but returned to part-time broadcast in 2005 and occasionally appeared on BBC, Channel 4 and Sky Sports F1.

Murray Walker Age

passed away aged 97

Murray Walker Death Cause

The legendary motorsport commentator Murray Walker OBE, known as the voice of Formula 1, passed away at the age of 97, BRDC announced that Walker was known as the Voice of F1, and broadcast the sport’s news on television for the BBC between 1976 and 1996. and for ITV from 1997 to 2001.

He commented on his first Grand Prix in 1949 and was awarded an OBE in 1996 for his broadcasting and motorsport services.

A statement from the British Racing Drivers’ Club wrote: “With great sadness, we share the news about the death of BRDC Associate Member Murray Walker OBE.

“A friend, a true motorsport legend, nations favorite commentator, and a contagious smile. Unfortunately, Murray will be missed, and his mark and voice will live in motorsport and in our hearts forever.
Walker struggled with health issues in his later years.

At the age of 89, he was diagnosed with a mild lymphoma during tests at the hospital, where he fell while on a German river cruise vacation.

Speaking in 2016, he made a heartbreaking admission that he was not physically capable to participate in races, but vowed to continue his passion for the sport until his death.

Murray Walker Career

Walker made his first public broadcast in 1948 on Shelsley Walsh hillclimb. He was awarded a recorded audition for the BBC at the 1949 Easter Monday Goodwood race. Walker then commented on the races with tennis commentator Max Robertson, and his first radio broadcast came for the BBC at the 1949 British Grand Prix. He and Robertson were placed in Stowe corner for the event. The first television broadcast came the same year when he commented on hill climbing at the Knatts Valley motorcycle center in Kent. [6] [10] His first regular broadcast work was on the radio broadcast of the Isle of Man annual Tourist Trophy motorcycle race alongside his father. [4] Walker and his dad were a single father and son sports commentary couple on the BBC from 1949 to 1962. After his father’s death in 1962, he became the BBC’s chief motorcycle commentator.

He made occasional Formula 1 commentary in the 1970s before going full time for the 1978 season. [16] Walker was asked by BBC Sport president Paul Fox to comment on the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championship in Bristol and asked weightlifter Oscar Slate to train him in the sport. It covered motocross (originally for ITV and BBC) in the 1960s and at rallycross. In the 1970s and early 1980s. He occasionally commented on motorcycle racing and rally racing (now motocross) from the 1960s to the 1980s. Walker covered the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) for the BBC and the Macau Grand Prix for Hong Kong TV nine times between 1969 and 1971 as well as 1988 and 1997. In 1997 and 1998, Bathurst joined the Channel 7 commentary team of the 1000 Australian touring car race. When the BBC started publishing additional motor racing forms, it commented on Formula 3, Formula Ford, and truck racing.

From the 1980 Monaco Grand Prix to the 1993 Canadian Grand Prix, Walker was a surprisingly successful and hugely popular double player with 1976 World Champion James Hunt in Formula 1. Initially, they couldn’t get along as Hunt’s interests, personality, and personal life had little in common with Walker’s. However, the couple eventually became good friends. Walker and Hunt would have worked together on the BBC for over a decade until Hunt died of a heart attack two days after the 1993 Canadian Grand Prix.

While Walker was in the commentary booth together, Hunt would provide animated descriptions of the action, typically bringing in expert knowledge from his ex-team McLaren and often of his fellow nature, insider information from the pit lane. comment role. The couple could not always agree in the comment box. Typically, they had to share a microphone, which meant pushing it back and forth to each other. On one occasion, early in their partnership, Walker did not deliver the microphone after Hunt’s repeated requests for him to do so. Disappointed, Hunt stood up and took the microphone from him, causing the normally cool Walker to grab his former World Champion by the collar and raise his fist to hit his partner before a producer intervened.

After Hunt died, former F1 driver and BBC pit lane reporter Jonathan Palmer joined Walker in the commentary box by the end of 1996, but people like Jackie Stewart, three-time world champion in 1993, were Walker’s partner at the 1993 British Grand Prix. He starred as. and 1980 World Champion Alan Jones commented with Walker in Australia at the request of Nine’s Wide World of Sports at the end of the season. The following year, television rights for UK television broadcasts transferred to ITV, followed by Walker. His co-commentator was another F1 driver from the 1997 season until his retirement, Martin Brundle.

BBC Sport’s president Jonathan Martin chose not to renew Walker’s services under the company’s British Touring Car Championship, the latter’s contract with the BBC in 1998 to focus on ITV’s broadcast, after the latter’s rolling contract with them expired in May 1997. He was in Formula 1 and did not want to travel frequently to London to record BTCC comments. Between 1978 and 1996, there were several Grands prix that Walker did not comment while working on the BBC, usually as a result of his comments elsewhere. Some of these include the 1979 Belgian Grand Prix and the 1988 Hungarian Grand Prix (when Simon Taylor was acting as his substitute), the 1981 and 1984 German Grands Prix (both interpreted by Barrie Gill) and the 1985 German Grand Prix (Tony Jardine). .

In 1988, Walker appeared in two television commercials with actor Eric Idle, who played the role of a salesman trying to convince Walker and racing driver Nigel Mansell to buy an Austin Metro. In 1996, as part of Pizza Hut’s global advertising strategy using celebrities, he and Formula 1 driver Damon Hill advertised the chain’s new stuffed dough pizza. Walker also wrote a series of annuals for the Grand Prix season, Murray Walker’s Grand Prix Year. From May to June 1997, he presented a six-part radio series called “Murray Walker’s Grand Prix World” on BBC Radio 5 Live, detailing the history and development of Formula 1.

He broke his hip at the 2000 Goodwood Festival of Speed ​​and was replaced by pit lane reporter James Allen. At the 2000 German Grand Prix, Walker mistakenly said that Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello crashed while his teammate was Michael Schumacher. This sparked criticism of the Daily Mail’s frequent mistakes the next day, prompting Walker to talk to his bosses at ITV Sport about his future, he told the publisher’s head of sports, Brian Barwick, that he would retire. Barwick told Walker that he did not believe retirement was ideal, and suggested that he leave comments for another season to end his career. In December 2000, Walker announced to the press that he would retire from a Formula 1 commentary. He said he would comment on the 12 Grands Prix before continuing. Bernie Ecclestone, owner of the commercial rights to Formula 1, suggested that Walker comment on the denied world broadcast television broadcast. The last full-time Formula 1 television commentary was the 2001 United States Grand Prix and was awarded an original brick from “The Brickyard” by track chairman Tony George.

He was appointed as an OBE in 1996 Birthday Honors for broadcasting and motor sports services. In November 1997, Walker was awarded an honorary Doctor of Letters from Bournemouth University. Later, he was honored with an honorary doctorate from Middlesex University in London in July 2005. This was the subject of Your Life when he was surprised by Michael Aspel during a promotional video launch at the Sports Cafe on London’s Lower Regent Street in 1997. Walker won the Gregor Grant Award from motor racing magazine Autosport in 1993. In 2000, he won the Royal Television Society Lifetime Achievement Award and in 2002 received the BAFTA Special Award for Contribution to Television.

Murray Walker Commentary

Walker chose to stand while commenting instead of sitting down during the race, allowing him to speak louder due to the swelling of his lungs and his shoulders pushing back. He was not critical of the drivers who made mistakes, preferring to let that judgment pass to the helpful commentators. Walker was clear in his speech and was a good mood reader after an incident on the runway. He sometimes made humorous verbal mistakes known as “Murrayisms,” ranging from “simple misrepresentations” to “pleasant, labyrinthine, effortlessly complex acrobatic virtuoso performances,” according to Stephen Moss of The Guardian, “they were” hallmarks of his interpretation over the years “and He stated that “the keys to the comment box made the given fan”: he couldn’t control his enthusiasm and this naturally seemed to have caused a disaster. “Moss likened Walker’s comment voice to a” scream “and” to comment on an ever-changing landscape. ” It looks like a 500cc engine that “accelerates” because it “needs a hard, aggressive, loud, fast-moving sound.”

By rigorously researching, updating and rewriting facts and statistics about each driver and racetrack, he prepared himself for each review study, George Tamayo described Walker as having an “encyclopedic” knowledge of Grand Prix races and a Formula 1 community. He had sufficient power among the press, as his members would rarely refuse to interview him. Prior to the launch of reliable satellite broadcast equipment, he had to step in to prepare for television broadcasts by his supervisors at the BBC two days before the race to prepare for a broadcast in London, where he commented on the events of the day. Voted “the best sports commentator of all time” in a poll by British sports fans in late 2009

Murray Walker Family

He married his wife Elizabeth in 1959. They had no children. He died on March 13, 2021.