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Colin Murray's Gold Run: celebrating British Olympic gold

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Colin Murray | 14:28 UK time, Friday, 18 May 2012

The victorious GB mens 4x100m relay Gold medallists from the 2004 Athens Olympics

During this summer’s Olympic Games in London you’ll hear countless pointless statistics, like how the BBC is using enough cable to stretch to the moon and back five times and how visitors to the Velodrome will have drank enough bottled water to fill the Brent Reservoir. But here are some different kind of figures for you…

Over 7,000 miles travelled, 746 coffees consumed, 3 flat tyres, 47 arguments, 35 budget hotels and 4 broken and/or destroyed sat-navs. These stats relate to Colin Murray's Gold Run: my attempt to track down every single living British Olympic Gold Medallist to mark the arrival of the 30th games of the Olympiad. On January 1st I began the biggest broadcasting challenge of my career, and the most ambitious documentary series ever commissioned by BBC Radio 5 Live.

The idea was born two years ago during a conversation with my friend and producer Nick Etherton. Persuading our bosses that we had the bottle to follow it through was our first challenge, but once deputy controller Jonathan Wall gave us the green light we were ready to embrace the Olympic motto; to go 'faster, higher, stronger' than we had ever gone before.

Even as I write this, just days before the first episode is due to air, I can’t tell you whether or not I have managed to track down all 114 heroes - because I am still trying! However, I can confirm that the stories along the way are full of passion, humour and Olympic insight, never before gathered at one time for a single radio series.

Ben Ainslie


Episode One sees London 1948 and London 2012 united, as I meet 90 year old sailor David Bond and modern day legend of the waves Ben Ainslie. But every programme is bursting with different sports, different eras, and very different experiences. Along with my boating biggies, this first offering brings us Victoria Pendelton, Allan Wells, Tessa Sanderson, The Searle Brothers and Bob Braithwaite.

So, tune in at 11am this Sunday, May 20th, for the first leg of a journey that has left me exhausted, exhilarated, and feeling like the luckiest broadcaster on this planet.

Colin Murray's Gold Run is on 5 live at 11am every Sunday in the run up to London 2012. There will also be a podcast - Colin Murray's Gold Run: Extra - with extended interviews from the series available after every programme.

For the latest news, clips, images and videos from the series follow @bbcgoldrun on Twitter.


  • Comment number 1.

    Countless statistics? Try this two word version. Colin Murray

  • Comment number 2.

    The article and ad for this series implies Colin has done all the research for this and that he has himself tracked down these winners. Can you please tell me if he had research assistants working who did the leg work, an unlimited budget, and a logistics assistant who arranged it all? As well as, of course, a fortune in licence payers money if indeed ...." Over 7,000 miles travelled, 746 coffees consumed, 3 flat tyres, 47 arguments, 35 budget hotels and 4 broken and/or destroyed sat-navs" were all claimed by him. 4 sat navs in 7000 miles? A bit profligate don't you think?

  • Comment number 3.

    Hi Carrie. I've only been involved in the programme these past couple of weeks, but I can say that this is a very personal project for Colin - it's his idea that he pitched himself. He's worked with a very small team and has done the vast majority of the research himself. The articles in the press this weekend have more details on how it was all put together. But when you listen you'll hear that despite it being his physical journey it's all about the GB medallists; it's their stories that shine.

  • Comment number 4.


  • Comment number 5.

    Msg 3...........'Physical Journey'? Give us a break. Use plain English please and not cliches.

  • Comment number 6.

  • Comment number 7.

    Can't be bothered to listen I'm afraid. I switch off when I hear the me me me man.

  • Comment number 8.

    Murray could have pitched sumo with Chas & Dave and Wall would have commissioned it

  • Comment number 9.


  • Comment number 10.

    Hi Colin

    It was a great show, please ignore the negative comments from people who don't know good radio when they hear it.
    I don't care if you did all, some or none or the research, it's a team game and you always entertain. Plus thanks for your Friday night slot on Radio 5 too, great stuff!


  • Comment number 11.

    Having listened (never again) and read this piece, it's apparent - inevitably - that it's really about Murray and his incredible achievement. The most commonly used words are "I" and "Me".

    If, however, you like Murray - his persistant attempts at humour and questions you've heard the answer to a hundred times - then this is for you.

  • Comment number 12.

    "4 broken and/or destroyed sat-navs" Are you telling us that Colin Murray has a temper and has broken them? I find that mine has worked for a lot more miles than that! Still I guess the BBC (licence payer) foots the bill...

    Only Colin Murray could intervene athletes and talk of his own 'faster, higher, stronger' rather then theirs! This is better than I'm Alan Partridge..

  • Comment number 13.

    Last night Livesey said that Murray was going to be helping him on his 18 night marathon from Leicester Square. He must be being paid a fortune for completely dominating every sport broadcast going which doesn't feature a commentary. A sad reflection on AVK's obsession with someone who has the main talent of yelling, and dominating everyone else's contribution.

  • Comment number 14.

    The obsession with Murray is only matched by that for Savage. Is it beyond the wit of the controller not to be aware how much damage these two do to the station's output?

  • Comment number 15.

    I would say that this show, alongside fighting talk; is the perfect kind of vehicle for Colin. The show was pretty compelling and moving.

    It's long form, live sports programming, where he really grates. Quite what Mark Saggers did, to deserve being replaced by him, is one of lifes great mysteries. Five live has one of the best sportscasters in the business, Ian Payne. Yet he is sidelined by the far less talented, Murray & Chapman. The improvement in sunday 5 live sport, since Ian took over, is incredible.

  • Comment number 16.

    I heard the adverts with Daley Thompson (whose style made young Colin sound positivley subdued) and had no plan to listen. Was in the car though and did listen almost by mistake.
    It was really good, personal stories - the sort of stuff 5live is good at.
    Not a great fan of Colin's 'live sports' style, certainly not MOTD2, but this I liked.
    And if it realy has been a personal project for him, then fair play. Wouldn't have had him down as someone who would propose this type of programme.


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