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An earpiece of the action

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Jake Humphrey | 09:00 UK time, Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Hi there,

Welcome to my latest blog post, I hope you enjoyed the weekend as much as we did. Well done, Mark!

Now for those of you who have been regular readers and posters on here, you'll know what this blog is all about. If you're new, let me explain.

I noticed someone last week asking on here why didn't I write about the latest political goings-on. Well my take on that question is that there are a million websites, many of them excellent, where you can read up on that stuff and other people do it on the BBC F1 site; whereas this is the only place that, I hope, gives you unique access to what doing my job is like.

Which is why we've included an exclusive little sample below...

Mark Webber, German Grand Prix 2009

Ever since I was lucky enough to get this job people have told me how fortunate I am and how much they'd love to do the same, so I decided my blog and my Twitter site would be all about making you feel like you are doing this job. I was keen to be the most accessible F1 presenter possible, and my idea for this week's post is hopefully another step towards that.

I thought you'd like to hear what is being fed down my ears when live on BBC One presenting the F1 coverage.

While a diver is reliant on his oxygen supply, I am completely dependent on my earpiece. It's my umbilical cord to the entire production and without it I'm flying solo.

I often describe this job as quite a lonely experience and that tends to perplex people, so let me explain. I may have Eddie and DC to my right, a pitlane full of people and the crew around to save me from any onrushing Toyota's, but it is still a lonely experience to me.

I am the only person there charged with welcoming the viewers when the red light comes on or I hear the words "cue Jake", to deal with breaking news, ask EJ and DC the right things at the right time and keep the show moving, all without the use of an autocue. Part of this feeling comes from knowing that as you open your mouth there are five million people (that's 55 packed Wembleys) listening to what you're saying. It's a quite personal, nervous feeling that I can't really compare to anything else ever felt. I don't like the nerves much and I've mentioned before on here that I'm often unable to eat before a programme.

The one thing that keeps me feeling secure and connected to the rest of the production team and therefore our output is the 'talkback'.

I use what's known as 'open talkback' where I hear everything. EJ and DC use 'switch(ed) talkback' where Mark the producer presses a button to talk to them. I learned 'open' at CBBC and it is an absolutely vital tool. As an example, we had a moment where a VT wasn't ready during our Silverstone race build up. Thankfully I heard Sunil in VT tell the gallery it wasn't ready, and although they instantly relayed it to me, that vital couple of seconds were really helpful. It can all help you feel right across what's going on.

I hear the director Richard calling cameras, the production co-ordinator Katherine dealing with the timings, Mark the editor making the editorial calls and anyone else who chips in such as Lee or Ted from the pitlane.

On here is a totally unedited version of my talkback. This is exactly what I hear...

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The one tricky thing about F1 is that because it's so loud the earpieces are also ear defenders so I have David's and Eddie's voices fed directly down the earpiece too. So getting the balance of various volumes is crucial.

A gallery can be a busy place, especially when there are any technical problems. Ask any presenter and they'll tell you the calmer the gallery the better.

Things often crop up, though. For example, we had a slight problem on Saturday when everything reset itself moments before we were live. That meant that two minutes before I was due to welcome you to qualifying build-up in the pits, we were rushing to an area we call the 'bolt hole' to use mics that we knew would be OK. Hopefully you wouldn't have noticed a few seconds later when we went live; it's our job to make sure those things don't affect the quality of the output.

Anyway, on Sunday I asked the sound supervisor, Chris, if he could record the last part of the show's talkback from the champagne spraying to the 'goodbye' on BBC One that we have to hit to the second. The exact talkback that I heard when we were live is what you can hear in the video above.

Thankfully it was all pretty straightforward and I'll be really interested to know your thoughts.

Strangely, when I listened back to it I found it a really nerve-wracking listen. I find it hard to explain why, but guess when I'm in the middle of it with the adrenaline and the 'live' buzz I just accept what's going on in my ear as part of the job. Only afterwards when I'm relaxed I can't quite believe how involved it is.

Anyway, have a listen and let me know what you think.

Oh, and before I sign off I just wanted to say how pleased I am for Mark Webber. He's been nothing but a thoroughly nice guy since I've been involved this past season and after 130 races he's shown he's got what it takes and that he is a winner. And doesn't it add another exciting dimension to a title race that's really shaping up nicely?!

Have a great week,



Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Great blog, Jake. So insightful. I don't reckon I could handle all those voices in my ear and talk at the same time! You do such a fantastic job!

    Anyway off to the toy shop with Bubba Jnr.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hi Jake,

    As always a brilliant blog, I really had no idea how much you had to deal with at once. Love reading your blog and twitter, also interesting to see Barrichello play down his comments on twitter. Hope you enjoy your time off in between races.

    Caz x

  • Comment number 3.

    Great blog Jake and love your tweets! I'm always curious about what goes on 'behind the scenes' at F1 weekends and you, Lee and the others really give us fans a good insight. Sounds like lots of work but LOTS of fun - talk about a dream job! =D

  • Comment number 4.

    Do you use talkback in the forum or is it a lot more relaxed?

  • Comment number 5.

    Jake - have you ever thought about moving to a more laid-back and relaxing job? Being a Formula 1 driver should fit the bill nicely!

    How the bl***y hell do you handle that? Sure - we all know that something's going on in your ear - but I was under the impression that was more when you weren't talking. You (and other such presenters) must have the weirdest brains to be able to unfalteringly think about what you are saying and say it with authority, whislt at the same time listening to all that babble and analysing it so that the talking part can update it's thought train.

    Another thing that always amazes me is how cleverly the end of program highlights have been selected and edited in so little time. I get the impression there are quite a few un-sung heros behind making one of the best TV programs our TV license provides. Value for money!

    For a long time I've thought how I'd love to just be a fly on the wall in the gallery of such a program - now I know I would love so love to be able to follow such a program's production close up. Perhaps I've missed my correct career path - but in the background, my brain couldn't do your job!

    I'm in awe of the whole production.

  • Comment number 6.

    wow, who ever said men couldn't multitask?!!? Don't know how you handle all that in your ear and manage to look so relaxed on screen. You certainly earn your money. Another great blog Jake, great to see (and hear) what happens behind the scenes, you all do such a fantastic job!

  • Comment number 7.

    Fantastic!! This is the kinda thing I love to see! I hope you can do a full piece on the behind the scenes in the production office sometime in the near future. Both the BBC's but also the FOM production office - I'd love to see how they manage to cover a 14 corner race track, 20 camera cars and dear knows how many cameras dotted around the track!

    It's weird - I'm jealous of you like many people, but for me it's not that you get to go to all these races and meet the people. I love the adrenaline and "seat-of-your-pants" stuff of the live broadcasting. This blog really got me going. Thank you so much for posting it. I'd love to get an opportunity to try that some day myself!

    I'd like to ask again if you could consider splicing some live action into the opening credits. The music is great, the animation is great, but it needs the live clips to spice it up and really give it the dramatic opening it needs!

    Thank you very much for these blog posts Jake.

  • Comment number 8.

    Fantastic blog as always,your blog is an essential part of the bbc's excellent coverage,it sounds as though you really have to concentrate with all the chatter going on in your ear and you do a great job keeping everything together,i dont think i could do what you do and take my hat off to you,look forward to the next blog and race

  • Comment number 9.

    Wow! Just wow! I know it gets hectic in the earpiece but how you listen to that and listen to what's going on around you is beyond me!

    Really enjoyed watching the BBC coverage all weekend. Hopefully I'll be here for Hungary, too, and SpeedTV is going to seem even more lacklustre when I go finally go back to the States.

    You're all doing a great job. I think UK fans are feeling closer to F1 than ever, and it's all thanks to the BBC.

    Great blog, once again. Thank you Jake!

  • Comment number 10.

    Doctor - I hear voices in my head!!!

    Remarkable insight - keep up the great coverage.

  • Comment number 11.

    Another Fantastic blog entry Jake. Great stuff and I really love the insight you give us into what sounds like a very interesting and challenging job.

    One small complaint though - why is every single F1 video on the BBC site geolocked so I can't even see the one here. Could you change that for us as us foreigners would love to see it ;)

  • Comment number 12.

    one word. awesome.

    thank you for the insights jake.

  • Comment number 13.

    I've been following F1 for over 10 years now and without any doubt would say you are the best presenter of the sport I have seen. The combination of you, Eddie and DC is excellent. You manage to present in a style that I think is easily accessable to the casual follower and at the same time I've seen you frequently asking the hard hitting questions fans want answers to, something ITV always seemed to shy away from in their coverage. The BBC coverage overall has been excellent all season and with all these blogs, twitters and extra videos like the post race forum hardcore followers of this very technical sport like myself have been well catered for without overdoing the technical stuff live on air turning off the casual fan. Sadly though there is one major flaw in your coverage in the form of Johnathan Legard. His commentary is appalling, sounding flat, monotonous, repetitive and frankly boring. He commentates on the most mundane things like someone going round a corner, or along a straight, or up/down the track and the only people getting wound up when he says "he's winding himself up" or "pushing on" 500 times every race is the viewer! I'd listen to the 5Live commentary if it wasn't for the fact next to him in the box sits Martin, the best most informed commentator I've ever known in sports coverage. It's not just me that feels this way but everyone I know that follows the sport, and fan forums across the net are full of the same feelings. The BBC have done a fantastic job so far but surely this can no longer be overlooked, I never thought Id say this but I'd much rather have James Allen back! Again though congratulations on doing such a good job so far but please do something about him!!

  • Comment number 14.

    "...and Felipe's up to 5th but don't even worry about that" hahaha! Seriously though, fantastic job, I have difficulty presenting a radio show that has about 10 listeners, and I don't even have someone talking to me in an earpiece! I guess a lot of it is down to experience, as you said you've been doing the same kind of thing on CBBC, but still, to juggle VTs, guests, the gruesome twosome next to you, graphics etc AND make it all flow is just unbelievable. Well done, not only to you, but also to the team who are constantly rabbiting in your ear!

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Hi Jake,

    its my firt post and found it very interesting to find out what you actually hear in your earpiece during the show, am surprised you actually manage to talk whilst all thats going on lol.

    On a different note, I watched the f1 forum on the red button after the race sunday and noticed you checking your phone for questions that people had asked, I had a question to ask myself but didnt know where to send it, could you possibly post on here & make it more obvious somehwere on the website as to how to do so!!

    My query was that as EJ and DC had an argument on air over Mark Webbers move on Rubens off the start line, did no one watch the post race press conference where Mark openly aid he didnt see Rubens and thought he was on the other side hence he moved that way to defend teh inside line... Would have saved the rather daft conversation and to be honest rather unprofessional feel I had about it at the time, plus it showed rather unfortunately how biased DC is becoming towards RedBull!!!

    Anyway keep up the good work, really enjoy the show and hopefully look forward to a response.

  • Comment number 17.

    Fantastic Blog Jake. Great Insight into what you guys do, i must congratulate the BBC on the coverage, which is trully excellent. Yourself and Martin Brundle being stand out performers. I could listen to Brundle all day long. There is one weak link in Jonathan Leggard who is quite frankly useless. He has no idea about the sport and he may aswell be commentating on athletics or show jumping, its just generic and boring. I think the BBC should employ James Allen who would be the icing on the cake of a fantastic show. well done.

  • Comment number 18.

    Very interesting blog mate, it does sound like a great job however the behind the scenes machinations are pretty interesting too maybe you would occassionally have time to summarise them in a periodic blog seperate from the other stuff.

  • Comment number 19.

    Well, if everyone else is going to have a pop at Jonathon Legard...

    Frankly, he's awful. I too would love to listen to the Five Live commentary but I do love Martin Brundle. Please God, no James Allen! But perhaps consider sliding Crofty over from R5L. I love listening to his commentary and thought he did terribly well with the GP2 TV coverage.

    However, I'm sure everyone here knows you're not in charge of hiring and firing, Jake, but you do ask us for our views.

  • Comment number 20.

    I guess unlike much of the ill informed comment that greeted the announcement that you were to be the next F1 presenter, deep in the bowels of BBC Sport someone knew exactly what sort of broadcasting experience was needed to make live F1 happen. My reaction to your appointment was simply that if you can do 2 hours of CBBC you can do anything... and I was right!
    I have to say that listening to the talkback made me realise that I can only digest one stream of audio information at a time - you appear to have the aural equivalent of James Galway's gift of breathing in and out at the same time!!
    Great stuff, looking forward to the next race...

  • Comment number 21.

    Hi Jake,
    1st time ive commented after reading all your blogs so far, but the talkback insight was fantastic and had to say so!! You have all taken F1 to another level for viewers and these blogs are the best thing about it!!
    Keep up the good work, looking forward to the next instalment already!!

  • Comment number 22.

    Great blog Jake, its a real pleasure to have the insight you bring us. I too would love to see more (maybe a little vid just for the website) on the behind the scenes of a full weekend from the BBC team.
    I just want to also say it was good to see Anthony Davidson in the forum despite him caught up in the debate with DC. Poor bloke obviously didn't know about Rubens comments before you guys showed him the VT which put him in a slightly difficult spot but I think he dealt with the questions well and came across very well. DC's bias towards RedBull is there for all to see but this has to be expected and you cannot cdeny the fact that they do deserve all the praise at the moment.

    Keep it going Jake!

  • Comment number 23.

    Really enjoyed the pre-qualifying buildup, some really good articles and interviews. Particularly liked DC's karting bit, would really like to see him have a go at more kinds of grass roots or club motorsport eg. Formula Ford, Rallycross, Stock Cars, Historics etc etc.

  • Comment number 24.

    Before the start of the season, Jake, I certainly needed to be convinced that you (and the others) were right for the job. A few months on I can say with honesty and genuine admiration that I have seldom, if ever, been more impressed by such a professional, well executed job in any walk of life.
    In my opinion there is no weak link in the BBC F1 team; Brundle is top notch (we knew that already), Legard fits the bill, Jordan and Coulthard make great co-presenters (Eddie's grilling of BE was Paxman-like at Silverstone), McKenzie's input is correctly measured and your anchoring is truly first-rate. But while I hesitate to pick anyone out in particular, I have to say that Kravitz's insights from the pitlane during the race are what I look forward to most.
    Add all the above to a great website and I think you have the best sports coverage offered at the moment. (Although I must confess to enjoying also the annual treat provided by Messrs Imlach, Liggett and Sherwen on ITV4's Tour de France coverage).

  • Comment number 25.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 26.

    I'd love to listen to the talkback; I'm sure it would be fascinating. Unfortunately it's saying "not available in your area". Boo.

  • Comment number 27.

    It might be more accurate to say without the earpiece you might be exposed as a jack of all sports and master of none.

  • Comment number 28.

    I must admit this is the closest the viewers have ever felt to F1. Although the coverage of F1 was good with ITV it wasn't very personal. You and the team seem to bring F1 into the viewers front room, almost like we are in the Paddock with you. Which I assume is the aim.

    But the most astonishing aspect is the coverage after the race, red button, blogs to name a couple. It would be so easy to just switch off at 3.30pm on a sunday but you guys just keep going, making the wait until the next GP far shorter.

    This year I was at silverstone sat right in front of where you did you opening introduction on race day, with one of your team stood carefully behind the camera cueing us to all wave and blow our horns! I do not remember ITV ever doing that while I was the either Silverstone or Spa.

    Good job Jake & team, F1 is far more involved and exciting while its home on the BBC.

  • Comment number 29.

    another great blog jake

  • Comment number 30.

    Hi Jake

    This is my first post here, but I've been enjoying the coverage all year. Love the blogs, fantastic insight into what goes on and wow that is mind blowing. I really don't know how you can interpret all that information, especially since you're in a live environment and you are in one of the noisiest environments possible too. I was lucky enough to be at silverstone a couple of years ago so I have an idea just how noisy those things are.

    Absolutely fantastic job by everyone, keep up the good work. The only thing that can make the coverage any better is Lee in a bikini!!!

  • Comment number 31.

    Sensational job mate

  • Comment number 32.

    Actually Jake, divers don't rely on Oxygen at all & if they did they'd be in big trubs

  • Comment number 33.

    Excellent post! As an ex (radio) OB sound engineer the talkback clip brought it all flooding back; very professional performance, Jake.

    (As an aside, the link to your Twitter page in the paragraph after the photo doesn't work...)

  • Comment number 34.

    Brilliant! What an insight into the professional way you bring F1 to us. It must be a nightmare cramming everything into those "16 minutes until stop talking".

    Just a quick question, during the race are you also listening to talkback, or do you have uninterrupted commentary, as we do? I can imagine it would be quite difficult to analyse all the action, when you have 5 or 6 people speaking at once, in your ear?

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm really enjoying this F1 season, the BBC are doing a great job, your presenting is top quality along with DC and Eddie.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 36.

    Jakers (did you know there was a CBeeBies programme called that?),

    This is my first post although I have been reading the blog from the start. It is brilliant to read and is always exciting your next installment arrives.

    It's funny - it feels like we know you. It just shows how good you are at making us all feel part of the set up.

    Respect to you for doing your job with all that noise in your ear. Well done!

    Anyway, keep well fella and look forward to the next one.

    ps - if you are ever over in Ireland, give me a shout and we can hook up!

  • Comment number 37.

    Facinating insight Jake. It's amazing that you manage to keep a track on what David and Eddie are talking about. We sometimes struggle without the talkback distraction!

    I laughed at Mark Wilkin's comment " Massa is up to fifth but dont worry about that ". I agree with Dosan - Post # 7 - It would be good to see how the FOM produce the race pictures with over 3 miles of racetrack to cover. Maybe that can be a feature for another occasion. But thankyou for another excellent blog entry. Is covering F1 easier than the NFL Superbowl?

  • Comment number 38.

    Any chance of uploading this weeks forum?

    Missed it

  • Comment number 39.

    Interesting stuff as ever Jake.
    However, I live in Barcelona so, like much of the video content on the BBC, your earpiece demonstration 'isn't available in my area'.

    Could you pop it on YouTube or something as I'd really like to hear it.


    Joe, Barcelona

  • Comment number 40.

    Great idea to share this - very interesting. You are doing a superb job this year and it is much appreciated by us fans.

  • Comment number 41.


    Great show as usual but all I ask is could you give the email for the forum a bit more slowly? I missed it twice during the broadcast and was dying to ask a question. :-) After much trawling of the internet, I still couldn't find it.

    Anyway, if anyone on here knows it I'd be most grateful.



  • Comment number 42.

    Awesome mate, a really good insight into what presenters have to go through. I am behind the scenes and I get a lot of voices in my ear too but at least I don't have to front a programme to a few million peeps. Obviously there are many different calibre of presenters but you guys in live deserve big kudos for having to deal with all that!

  • Comment number 43.

    Excellent, very interesting video.

  • Comment number 44.

    Have to say it's brilliant to have F1 back on the BBC. That along with different teams at the front of the grid has helped rekindle my interest.

    Jake's presenting is incredibly fresh and such an improvement over Rosenthal and Rider whom we have had to suffer on ITV. The entire package is one the BBC should be proud, why can't they put this effort into other sports?!?

    I must agree with the comments regarding Jonathan Legard and if James Allen is the answer I don't know what the question was! Does F1 really need a play by play man? Why not another ex F1 driver to bounce things of the superb Brundle, that way you might get some banter between the two.

  • Comment number 45.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 46.

    What a great insight you've given us! I think you're one of the best presenters currently on television, with a natural and friendly presence, good knowledge of whatever you're talking about and all of that while being in control and open to whatever talkback you might receive, apparently.

    It's funny you mention five Wembleys as your audience, while it's likely a lot more than that. You shouldn't forget that BBC One is viewable about everywhere in the world on cable (at least in Europe), so a lot more people are watching than you might think (- keep eating now!). ;) I know some Dutch preferring the BBC broadcast to the Dutch one.

    Speaking of which... since I'm in the Netherlands, it's not possible to watch the video clip you've posted, as it's not available in my area. So please, please, dear moderators... could you make the clip available outside the UK as well, just this once? I'm sure a lot of worldwide BBC F1 viewers are dying to find out what's being said in Jake's ear all the time! :) Thanks!

  • Comment number 47.

    "....all without the use of an autocue"

    you mean like proper broadcasters always used to do things before anodyne formulaic TV evolved. If ever they push you down the autocue route then run for the hills!

  • Comment number 48.

    Another great Blog Jake.

    Is there any chance of you guys putting the F1 Forum online somewhere (iPlayer or F1 page)? I don't always get to watch it and it would be great to be able to catch up with it another time.

  • Comment number 49.

    I found the video absolutely fascinating to get an insight into how it goes down minute by minute. That countdown by the woman was impressive - 7 minutes... 6 minutes... 5 minutes.

    I also found the debate between Button and Barrichello's interview and which one to show interesting - had Barrichello not blasted out at his team - I'd be certain that Button's interview would have been shown.

    Its nice to see how on-air it all looks calm, yet behind the scenes there is a load of debating about what to do with stuff.

    That feature gets a :up: from me.

    It'd be interesting to have the opposite side, i.e. the countdown into the show - maybe you could consider doing that in the future the leadin to "after" The Chain music? ;)

  • Comment number 50.

    Wow - Having watched that I will feel much less envious of your job from now on. A really fascinating insight. I'd love to see another one of these, perhaps from an end sequence that doesn't go quite so slickly smooth??!! Or would the swearing from the gallery be a bit too much to make public ;-)

  • Comment number 51.

    Hi jake. Great blog as usual. As lucky as you are to have the job, we are just as lucky that you have a working philosophy of being open and reachable.

    I just wanted to ask, how live are the live broadcasts, and are they delayed by any amount (or certain sections pre-recorded by a few minutes?).

    The reason I ask is because on the talkback, you hear a woman's voice during the drivers post race conference cuing you with the last line of what Massa is going to say, before he's even said it, which made me think that the drivers conference is pre-recorded (maybe by a couple of minutes?).

    I always had the impression that moments like that (the drivers conference) were live, and not delayed.

    Was hoping you could bring some clarity to that.

    Great job Jake, and being able to listen to the talkback was very very interesting, so thanks to you and whoever else was responsible for the recording.

  • Comment number 52.

    During the German GP the types were described as hard and soft, super soft and medium, option and prime - the last used more by the teams (not forgetting intermediate and wet)

    Since there are only two dry types and all we really need to know is if they are the harder or softer compounds, any chance of getting the team to use one standard description through the year - and no need to over-complicate matters

  • Comment number 53.

    Hi Jake,
    Wow that was great reading,and what an insite to what goes on? But please can you confirm if EJ is realy that short in real life? or is he standing on a box????

  • Comment number 54.

    A fascinating insight here Jake, thanks for going the extra mile to organise this, your effort is very much appreciated.

    I'd like to also back the idea in post #7, I think it'd be very interesting to see how FOM transport/rig all their equipment and produce the weekends show. I think it'd be interesting for all the viewers, especially the qualifying build up show audience.

    Keep up the good work. :)

  • Comment number 55.

    Hi Jake , It might have been my posting ( or others ) that you were refering to in this blog when you say that some were saying why had you not mentioned the politics of F1 at the mo , Please understand it was not you in particular i ( we ? ) we having a go at . my point was that there was nothing on the BBC website about it , You are quite correct that there are many other sites we can go to , But is that the point ? ,Surely this site should cover all aspects oF F1 , Sorry to " have a go " again but where else ? . Still loving all your ( and others ) work , Keep it up ,
    Thanks , Simon .

  • Comment number 56.


    Don't you sometimes feel like screaming at the voices and telling them to "shut the [expletive] up, I am trying to mediate between Eddie and David right now, or trying to listen to what Newey or Brawn or Domenicali has to say." Because that's how I'd feel if I had to do your job.

    I think you should do it more improvised and spontaeneously - Martin does a great job on the gridwalk which as far as I know is not pre-orchestrated.

    It's very good that you do this blog - it can't have been easy stepping into a totally new thing like F1, but I think you're doing very well so far. Good work, Jake.

  • Comment number 57.

    Hi Jake,

    I have to say that it has been a privilege watching you, David and Eddie on the coverage this year and it is so much better than ITV, who for many years I have had to groan every time a commercial break appeared as it spoiled my enjoyment of watching over the years. I have been a huge Mark Webber fan since day 1, and he throughly deserved his victory on Sunday, which I hope gives him a lot of confidence now.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 58.

    Frank Bough's son was at my school, so when the school bought an early video recorder it was natural to ask Frank to come in and play a cassette recording of the talkback on Grandstand over a recording of the results section of the programme. The information came a little faster, but there were fewer last minute changes to running order.

    In other words, talkback hasn't changed much in more than 30 years. Jake, you stand comparison with the "greats" in your profession. Thank you for sharing what goes on with us.


  • Comment number 59.

    Wow, how on earth do you manage to hear everything that's said to you by the production team etc, as well as listening to EJ and DC and anyone else you interview, while talking and thinking about what you're going to say next?!!!

  • Comment number 60.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 61.

    Hands up who want's Jake's job now!?!?

    lol, not me! I remember doing my motorcycle test and that was bad enough just having the instructor saying 'take the next right' in my ear..

    anyway...excellent blog as usual very enjoyable, and again well done to Mark Webber!!

    Brilliant BBC coverage again including all the TV and online elements, unfortunatly I was out sunday afternoon, I recorded the race but forgot to record the 'red button' afterwards....and for some reason that seems to take days and days to appear online.... any idea why that is Jake? I'm dying to watch it!

    take care and keep up the good work.

  • Comment number 62.

    Hi Jake,

    Long time reader, first time poster on your blog.

    That was seriously impressive, I had no idea so much ad-lib'ing went on behind the scenes when broadcasting live. Must admit I rather naively thought most of it was autocued for live presenting, but it just goes to show what a cracking job you are doing this year as a team.

    For risk of repeating myself...seriously impressed, how do you make it look so easy?

    All the best

  • Comment number 63.

    I loved your blog again as usual, and thanks for the ear piece bit you did. Now I'm not sure if you read one of my posts about 5 weeks ago where i put a link into springwatch, saying listen to what Kate Humble has to put up with, but you have even more to contend with wow!! Truly truly amazing, thanks for the insight makes us feel so much closer to the sport we love. Please never change your blogs they are so good

    Also thanks for the Pink shirt, knew you had to waer one again soon and thank you for having Anthony on the Forum. I have no idea if you had any influence on this or not BUT..... I was at work and missed the forum and it's not up on the site yet NOOOOOOOOOO! Please can you ask the powers that be, to put it up. Please


  • Comment number 64.

    Very Cool Blog Jake,

    "I'm often unable to eat before a programme" now I know why. I applaued you for having the earpiece because if I had to do that I would probably struggle and reply back to what was being said down the earpiece as well as listening to DC and EJ.
    However having the earpieces make the programme run smoothly and brilliantly.

    I managed to catch-up on the GP and it was a very good and exciting race, and I am thrilled for Mark Webber to win the race because he totally deserved it, and I also liked the German version of Heroes being played out at the end, I thought that was very good.

    I will be able to see all parts of Hungarian GP as I dont have work, and the race is two days before my birthday, so I will be having a party whilst watching the coverage!

    Anyhow Keep Up Fantastic Work and Roll On Hungary!

  • Comment number 65.

    i cover sport (mostly fussy aka soccer) for tv/radio in usa and though it can get loud and crazy in some stadiums in germany- we are pretty much unaffected w/ our headphones on. can't imagine how you do it w/ all that noise!! i grew up in florida and went to daytona a few times and the sound is so loud! F1 must be just as loud. no wonder you got the gig- noone else wanted it!!! haha j/k viel gluck...

  • Comment number 66.

    Excellent update, Jake, and a fascinating insight into what you have to deal with while putting out a superb show. I don't know how you can even think straight while all that's going on in your ears; it would drive me crazy!

    I love the fact that your blog features behind-the-scenes stuff, and the fun things you get up to when you haven't got 5 million people watching you - I can go elsewhere on the BBC site for facts and figures, and your blog lets us leave the politics behind.

    Fantastic result for Mark Webber this weekend; here's to another win in Hungary!

  • Comment number 67.

    Great blog Jake, that's the first time I've had a proper insight into anything like that.

    Goodness me, it's one thing talking when you know there are 5 million people watching, let alone having voices in your head all the time - that is a lot to deal with, well done!

  • Comment number 68.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 69.

    What can I say Jake this Blog keeps getting better and better and by the looks of it you actually taking into account what we comment about and want to know... and for that thanks.

    I don't know how you do it, talk and listen to what is a constant voice (or should i say constant number of voices). Listening to all these voices has made me intrested to know how many of you are at each race doing all the behind the scenes stuff?

    One last thing (which people have asked for before) is can you do a feature on FOM the people that edit or produce the world feed. Would probably be a really good piece far better than your one on pit stops!

    A final moan at Legard... talk fludily or think before you speak.. he gets so much stuff wrong.. cuts over Brundle and just spends most the time shouting or describing what the car is doing "its going around the corner, now the next one" WE ARE NOT ON RADIO! Bring across croft as he is far better as i am no longer goning to listen to the bbc 1 audio.. shame as brundle is really good.

  • Comment number 70.

    Another long time listener but frist poster here Jake.

    As the others say, love the blog and was fascinated with the insight into what goes on behind the scenes and in your ear! Iassume it is second nature to you now but how long did it take you master the full talk-back back then?

    When I get chance to watch practice on the red button I really enjoy Ant and Crofty, I feel great chemistry there and the banter is good entertainment.
    It would be interesting to pair Ant with Martin, I'm not a Jonathan Leggard fan, but I would sooner see Ant driving in F1 again - hope next season is better for you Ant.

    While I'm here another thing.

    I enjoy Martin's technical explanations of understeer etc but IMHO t'other side did a better job in terms of technical details and graphics, perhaps the Beeb could look at better graphics.

    Keep up the good work and it is nice not to have adverts in the middle of the race ;-)

  • Comment number 71.

    Hi Jake

    Thanks for putting that vid on your blog. It was really interesting. How you manage to concentrate is beyond me. Anthony Davidson on the forum was great too. he should go on there more often. I really enjoy listening to his commentary during practice etc.

    Any chance we can get DC on the grid walk with Martin again?

  • Comment number 72.

    WOW, that was a real eye opener, when i watch your coverage i sort of know that things are being said through your earpiece but not to anywhere near that extent, i really dont know how you can concentrate on which camera to look at let alone everything you have to deal with, respect!

    great blog too really insightful and the beebs coverage has been top, esp since eddie has cut down on his reminiscing about the good ol' days.

    keep up the great work.

  • Comment number 73.

    brilliant idea to share this with us. you look so cool in your presentations, i never thought you'd be nervous but now that you have shared this with us, i can almost feel your nerves in your voice. so much information to take in at once let alone remember the sequence of events plus you seem to be paying attention to what we are watching and listening to. you don't appear to be listening to other instructions at all.
    great job but please don't talk with hamilton before the race. i think you did brilliantly on all the videos you made with him, in the gym and driving around silverstone.
    can i ask that you ask martin to ease off criticising hamilton so much without knowing what happened with him.

  • Comment number 74.

    Great job Jake but alas I'm unable to benefit from your video as I live in France. F1 coverage brilliant.

  • Comment number 75.

    Wow, I'm really impressed by this! It's a great insight into just how much you have to deal with, listening to the talkback but also concentrating on what is going on. No wonder you had that near miss with a Toyota earlier this season with everything else you have got to concentrate on as well! And I didn't know just how much the schedule is changing as you go along with regards to what post race interviews to show etc. You certainly don't get that impression when you are watching on television!

    Keep up the good work, the coverage has been excellent this season!

  • Comment number 76.

    Was good to see Ant Davidson there, he should come back more often. Shame Brundle wasn't there though. Ted should come back to the forum on occaision

    What is great about the forum is that you're there long enough to see the team celebrations at the end, which were never shown before.

  • Comment number 77.

    Great blog again, Jake. Have given up correcting your grammar as it really does not matter when you give us all such great stuff. I have followed F1 since nappy days, but have never felt so involved as I do now. Thanks again for your commitment to us. Enjoy the short break. Look foreward to seeing you in Hungary (and hearing all about it) Just one thing there was a stewards enquiry into the Sutil/Kimi collision. I can't find any outcome? H. xx

  • Comment number 78.

    hellfinuts, no penalty was given to either driver, both the drivers and the stewards agreed it was just a racing incident

  • Comment number 79.


    Like many other comments before mine: WOW!!! (With Murray Walker type enthusiasm!!!)

    Seriously impressed by all the stuff you have to process whilst maintaining a cool persona and delivery to the millions of viewers!!! Not at all sure how you managed it in the heat of Bahrain etc! You must be exhausted after a show - I guess the concentration levels are probably way higher than you think, particularly when you yourself say that "when I listened back to it I found it a really nerve-wracking listen"!

    How on earth did you cope in the first few races when EJ just would not stop talking and would jump right into any discussion and send it off on a tangent????????? (Eddie is much better now by the way!)

    Your blog does just keep getting better, and the Twitter stuff is cool too! I reckon you can see the quality of a blog by how many 'lurkers' you can get to post comments - can you move them enough to write a reply... and as you can see from this one post alone, there are lots of lurkers emerging:)

    Anyhow... to quote Jonathan Legard, I must kick on, push on, crack on...

    Keep up the brilliant work:)

    With a new appreciation of you work,


  • Comment number 80.

    Jake, no need for the excuses!

    You're doing a terrific job and I've always rated you as good presenter. It was only a matter of time after stints on NFL and Football Focus!

    Judging on various forums very, very, very few cast you on bad light.

    The minor quible are live/VT segues, the pauses seem a bit amataer but on the whole the BBC team have been great. The shenanigans and tense atmosphere at Silverstone was a testament of this.

    Nonetheless, interesting perspective and as ever, keep up the good work!

  • Comment number 81.

    Great blog yet again. Please please please can you make the video available outside the UK.

  • Comment number 82.

    absolutely brilliant blog yet again Jake. it's amazing to be given an insight into how the show is put together

  • Comment number 83.

    Jake!!! Great Stuff. Love the coverage you guys do. I liked the grid walk with DC and Martin a couple of weeks back that was one of best and I find it much better coverage than on the other side....

    Anyway What I wanted to ask was have you heard of Formula Student? Its happening this weekend at Silverstone and its free entry for anyone who wants to come have a look. Its on this weekend 18th to 19th for public viewing. Its basically a competition for University Engineering Students to build and race cars. Its like the other side of the F1 tree. The drivers come through all the competitive structures of the racing tree which means relatively similar vehicles, at Formula Student the Engineering side gets to play with lots of engine technology. And like the Engineers at Honda F1 said last year they get to use things that even F1 can't use. (Turbochargers superchargers carbon fibre wheels, Traction control etc). The vehicles are designed and built by the students so you can sort of imagine the outcome.

    Anyway thought you should know and anyone who is a fan of engineering who wants to come along. Dunno if you will read this stuff. Would be great if the Students could get some coverage ;D some vids

  • Comment number 84.

    Great insight raising the bar again.

    I agree with Ciaran's post #17 in it's entirety.

  • Comment number 85.

    Nice blog Jake,
    I don't know how you do that with all those voices in your ear, it's gotta be though, keep up the good work.

    By the way, loving the screening of Friday Practice especially now i've done with school :D

  • Comment number 86.

    Seeing as there's a lack of any member of the BBC team jumping in to answer this, I will.

    Jake's video contains FOM footage and can only be broadcast in the UK. This includes online. This is because of strict (and slightly stupid) FOM rules.

  • Comment number 87.

    I also have to agree with #17. You are all doing an excellent job this year, far better than ITV, your relaxed attitude makes the whole programme more interesting ( although from your Blog I can see it's anything but!) I think that Jonathan Leggard should, kick on, go round the bend, up the hill and charge straight out of the BBC. He is not worthy of the job he is employed for.

    Thanks for giving us such good entertainment, and giving me something to look forward to, every other weekend.

  • Comment number 88.


    Brilliant insight with the video showing exactly what you hear and when. Your blogs are always great showing different aspects of your job, they seem to be very diverse and show different aspects of your fantastic job rather than just similar info each time you write one. This is by far the best blog you have written so far but saying that, all your blogs are generally very interesting to read.

    Why did Brundle have to fly off on some motorbike? Were was he going, is he moonlighting!? The F1 furum was great as usual.


  • Comment number 89.

    Jake, I really enjoy your blogs, it all helps to bring the fans closer to the action. Fantastic win to Mark Webber and great to watch from Down Under (even if all the Euro races finish at 2am on a Monday morning our time!!)
    Would love to be able to hear the talkback that everyone else is raving about. This is the first year we've had practice and qualifying coverage down here and I have to agree with the others that Anthony and Crofty are great to listen to. BUT Leggard drives me up the wall with his inane commentary, I feel so sorry for Martin Brundle!

  • Comment number 90.

    Wow. I would, quite seriously, pay good money to be able to hear that talkback as an additional feed during the live program. Talk about involving.


  • Comment number 91.

    Yup, Leggard is clearly a man in the wrong job. His main flaw seems to be getting launched into some background anecdote/stats and not noticing important onscreen action while he finishes his not very interesting recitation.

    After half a season I have formed the impression he isn't actually very observant and has rather slow reflexes. A bit of a handicap for a motorsports commentator... and frustrating for the viewer who is actually paying attention.

  • Comment number 92.

    Just had my comments removed(comment 60), for critising Jonathon Legard. Most of the comment was praising Jake and the team for a truly world class production
    I was stating as many others have done that the one element of the broadcast that I felt needed changing was the commentary. JL is in my view not a natural F1 commentator and is the one and ONLY area that needs improving.( dare I say changing)
    I hope the BBC moderator finds this comment more acceptable.

  • Comment number 93.

    Hey Jake.

    Firstly i'm not going to get envolved in any criticism of the coverage. I think it is excellent and some people should be grateful for all the hard work you guys put in. Formula One is amazing on the BEEB, especially in comparison to coverage abroad. Thanks for buying the rights and thanks for doing so much to publicise and cover the sport, without you guys the sport could so easily have fell off the terrestrial listings.

    Anyways, it is really interesting listening to the production staff etc in that video. I suppose you'll be used to it, but it does seem as though it would be pretty off putting at first.

    Also cheers for the tweets. Where can I purchase the pink shirts?

  • Comment number 94.

    Do you still read the comments on your blog's Jake?

  • Comment number 95.

    Thanks,STEVVY,for the update. Good to know the Ferrari fan club is alive and well! Kimi SO took Sutil out! Thanks again for the info.

  • Comment number 96.

    Jake, that was a brilliant insight. Thank you.

  • Comment number 97.

    Cool blog as ever. I really enjoy reading about your day's.
    The "earpiece" insight was great...I would find it confusing listening to everyone!!!

    Well done; thank you and keep up the good work!!! :o)

  • Comment number 98.

    Jake, thanks for that experience. Awesome. How you kept your composure when they we're counting down at the end whilst you were summing up I dont know. Oh, and tell your mate Mark (or something) to stop breathing down your ear piece with his nostrils! I think all I'll be able to think about now when watching is '15 seconds to stop him talking....' lol.

    Thanks dude, that was really interesting.

  • Comment number 99.

    Just watched the forum as it's now on the web.
    Just loved Anthony in it, I thought he was a brilliant extra person to have in it, can he join you 3 again PLEASE!

  • Comment number 100.

    Hi Jake

    First go at contributing. May I say the BBC coverage this year has been outstanding & the insight you're giving into to how it works adds to the viewing experience. The ability to follow the uninterupted on track action plus the off track politics are making this an interesting season. Now we're mid season and car improvements have come along it looks like it may lead to a closer run to the titles at the end of the year than was forseen a few races back. I'll chance my arm at Red Bull getting the constructors title though I think Jenson may sqeeze the driver's. I don't think it's a foregone conclusion yet.

    I'll getting tired reading those of your contributors being critical of members of your team. Regarding commentary though the interactive options you've gone to great trouble to give the viewer a choice. I spend many a race over the last few years listening to 5 Live over the TV coverage. That was because on ITV there was no continuity to the race commentary because on the incesent ad breaks. Before Murray hung up the microphone, & boy did we love his gaffs, Mr Allan was an adequate pit lane reporter no doubt well informed, commentator no, & certainly not helped by the format having to count down to an ad break & count up again after. Any continuity he had between on screen action and commentary was purely coincidental.

    Now that peace seems to be breaking out in the F1 world keep up the good work this year & for the future.


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