Chris Evans has today ruled himself out the BBC Formula 1 presenter position, following the vacancy left by Jake Humphrey in September. Evans, in his Daily Mail column, said that he went to a meeting for the role, but said “it would be unfair on everyone involved for me to be given a job I don’t really have the time to do.” It is not particularly surprising to see him linked to the role in the first place being a big Formula 1 fan, but at the same point, not surprising to see him not taking it. The thing with Formula 1 is that it takes up a major proportion of the year, 20 races and four or five days at each weekend takes up a significant amount of time.
Whilst Evans has ruled himself out, he does suggest Clare Balding or Gabby Logan for the presenter position, the latter I suggested as a main possibility on the day of Humphrey’s departure. Being a BBC employee helps and Logan as far as I am aware does not do a lot of work currently with BBC. Balding, however, is unlikely to zero on the basis that she was unveiled as presenter of Channel 4’s racing coverage a few months ago.
The interesting thing about Evans blog on the Daily Mail website is that it also includes a list of suggestions for the BBC Formula 1 presenter’s job… directly from Jake Humphrey. Humphrey suggests, and I’ll go through this one by one:
– Julia Bradbury: I had to Google this, I knew she presents Countryfile currently, but did not realise that she presented Speedway on Channel 4 in the early 2000’s. I guess it is always possible, but she does a lot of work for BBC at the moment, and I don’t see her ditching that for Formula 1 around the world. I’d rate this as unlikely.
– Lee McKenzie: The lead candidate having been with BBC F1 since its inception in 2009. A safe pair of hands, a lot of experience means McKenzie is highly likely to get the position.
– Suzi Perry: Perry was ousted as MotoGP presenter on BBC at the end of 2010, so I don’t forsee her joining the Formula 1 team. I think this is unlikely to happen.
– Steve Rider: Like McKenzie, Rider would be a safe pair of hands. But would he want to exchange the BTCC and his F1 Legends commitments at Sky with presenting BBC F1 for a second time? Possibly, but I’m not so sure he would want to go travelling around the world with an ever demanding Formula 1 schedule.
– Phillip Schofield: No chance. One of ITV’s biggest presenters (This Morning, Dancing on Ice, Mr and Mrs to name three shows), and if BBC tried to get him, they’d have to offer him a lot of money to get him to do it.
As always, I may be completely wrong, but they are my thoughts looking at the suggestions. I still think McKenzie is the most likely. We’re in November now, so we should know in the next month or two for definite what is happening.