Veteran motorsport commentator Ben Edwards will head the BBC’s new-look Formula 1 commentary team next year, with the Englishman set to partner David Coulthard in the free-to-air broadcaster’s commentary box following the departure of Martin Brundle to the SKY pay-TV network.
Ironically, it was Edwards who fronted SKY’s last short-lived foray into F1, when he co-commentated with John Watson in 2002 in its Digital+ channel, Bernie Ecclestone’s failed attempt to flog pay-per-view digital TV to European fans. He has also previously commentated on Formula 1 in the mid-1990s – again with Watson – with EuroSport.
Since his last visit to the F1 commentary booth, Edwards dabbled in Champ Car commentary, and since 2002 he has been the voice of the end-of-year VHS and DVD Formula 1 season reviews. He has also been behind the microphone for the British Touring Car Championship broadcasts on ITV, as well as fronting the commentary line-up for the now-defunct A1GP and SuperLeague championships.
Surrey-born Edwards’ first forays into motorsport came in the 1980s as a Formula Ford mechanic, before he actually got behind the wheel as a racing driver. He won the inaugural Formula First championship, and later went on to become a champion in the Caterham-Vauxhall sports car championship.
He also raced in the Euro Vauxhall Lotus championship, competing against the likes of Mika Häkkinen and (coincidentally) his new co-commentator, Coulthard.
Along with Edwards and Coulthard, the BBC has already announced that broadcast frontman Jake Humphrey remains on board, along with pit lane reporter Lee McKenzie.