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Looking forward to an enormous weekend

Lewis Wiltshire | 12:27 UK time, Friday, 19 October 2007

When I last blogged about our coverage of Lewis Hamilton back in June, none of us probably expected that come the dark days of autumn we would be preparing for the weekend when this sensation of British sport might be crowned world champion in his rookie year, at the end of what has been called the most thrilling F1 championship of all time.

And if someone had told any of us back then that England's rugby union team, who at that time had suffered 14 defeats in their most recent 19 Tests, would on the same weekend be preparing for a World Cup final against South Africa, surely no-one would have thought it possible.

But that's the nature of sport, and that's why we find ourselves now preparing for one of the biggest sporting weekends this country has witnessed in years.

In outlining what the BBC's coverage will be, we should firstly not attempt to overlook that the television pictures of these two events in the UK will be provided by ITV. It's a big weekend for them, and they will rightly be making the most of it.

Our Head of Sport, Roger Mosey, blogged recently on the nature of sports rights and discussed how even-numbered years, such as 2006 or 2008, tend to be better for the BBC than odd-numbered years. It's been a productive time recently for the BBC's sporting rights portfolio, with the Six Nations extension, retaining the Masters golf, and also a deal to broadcast the New York Marathon (Paula, et al) on BBC television and the website. But this weekend ITV will scarcely believe their luck I imagine, and who can blame them.

Jonny Wilkinson practises on 19 October ahead of the World Cup Final

However, even if you are able to watch the two events on television, you'll need Radio 5 live to keep right up-to-date with both practice sessions on Friday, and this website will be buzzing throughout the weekend with build-up, your chance to interact with fellow fans and reporters in Paris, up-to-the-minute updates on both events, expert analysis and more.

On Friday, as well as a special front page for this website capturing the drama of the weekend to come, there will be uninterrupted coverage of both Brazilian Grand Prix practice sessions on 5 live Sports Extra from 2pm (BST). If you're in the UK, you can listen to that through the website, where you will also find live text updates from practice. The website and 5 live will be reflecting the atmosphere in Paris throughout Friday, and we'll be wanting you to get involved in that build-up of course.

Later on Friday you can get in the mood for the World Cup final on 5 live, or switch to 5 live Sports Extra for commentary or this website for text commentary of the third-fourth place play-off between France and Argentina. Don't forget to switch back to 5 live from 9.30pm where you can join David Croft, Holly Samos and Maurice Hamilton for a full preview of the GP.

On Saturday this website will have build-up to the rugby final from the morning, with live updates from our reporters in Paris. Mark Orlovac will be on the Rugby World Cup blog from Paris, where millions of you have also been following the progress of Tom Fordyce and Ben Dirs, and others, throughout this tournament. Things get serious from 5pm when qualifying for the GP starts, with live text coverage on this website and commentary on Sports Extra, and then from 8pm it's the big one for rugby fans - England vs South Africa on this website and of course on 5 live.

If you're lucky enough to be in Paris (or even Sao Paulo) by the way, don't forget you can keep up with all the build-up, latest updates and get a feel for what your fellow fans are saying by using your mobile phone. Go to this help page.

If you're at home, after the final log on to bbc.co.uk/sport for player ratings, photos, a match report, analysis, and the opportunity to rejoice or commiserate with your fellow fans. And if you're an England fan and the result hasn't gone the right way, there will be the chance to revel in the preview for the big race in Brazil on Sunday.

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso at a press conference ahead of the Brazilian Grand Prix

All of our platforms will be building up to the Grand Prix during Sunday, with commentary on 5 live from 5pm and live text coverage on the website throughout. Again, after the event bbc.co.uk/sport will be the place to come for analysis, interaction, and profiles of the main players.

It doesn't end on Sunday, however. On Inside Sport on Monday, 11.15pm on BBC ONE, there will be a feature with David Croft in Brazil giving his views on the F1 season and Lewis Hamilton. The Inside Sport team are also hoping that at least one member of the England squad will be in the studio.

So if you simply can't wait to taste the atmosphere from both events and just want to soak up the build-up or immerse yourself in the analysis afterwards, the BBC will be the place to come. And if you're out and about, we'll keep you bang up-to-date wherever you are.

And if you'll forgive me for being just a little bit partial momentarily, come on England, and come on Lewis!

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