Murray Walker

From Academic Kids

Graeme Murray Walker (born 10 October, 1923 in Hall Green, Birmingham) is a former motor sport commentator. For most of his career he worked for the BBC, but when they lost the contract for Formula 1 coverage to ITV, Walker switched over to the commercial company.

He is extremely famous in the United Kingdom for his enthusiastic commentary style. He regularly made statements in the heat of the moment which upon later analysis sounded completely ridiculous; for example, of a pit stop during a race: "...they're going to stop the start watches." He is also infamous for 'cursing' drivers by predicting they were going to win a race, only to see the driver drop out of the race for some reason shortly thereafter.

He commentated on Formula 1 right from its early days in the 1950s through to the start of the 21st century, and many have missed his distinctive voice, which seemed to raise and lower in tone along with the revving of the race car engines, since his retirement.

Murray Walker spent most of his working life in advertising, only entering full-time commentary after he had passed retirement age. Despite what many people believe, he did not coin the iconic slogan: "A Mars a day helps you work, rest and play", although he did come up with other slogans well-known throughout the United Kingdom. Perhaps more known elsewhere was his Pizza Hut television advertisement with Damon Hill, in which he famously announced "Damon Hill finishes second... again!", having beaten him in finishing his pizza.

Famous quotes

  • "And at last he passes.... No! he's off, I thought he was going to pass but he's overshot..."
  • "And what a bitter pill that must be to swallow." (oft-repeated maxim for a driver who makes a race-losing mistake)
  • "With half the race gone, there is half the race still to go."
  • "If the gloves weren't off before, and they were, they sure are now!"
  • "Now he must not go the wrong way round the circuit, and unless he can spin himself stationary through 360 degrees I fail to see how he can avoid doing so."
  • "Now Lafitte is as close to Surer as Surer is to Lafitte."
  • "And Damon Hill comes through to win the 1996 World Championship...and I'm going to have to stop, because there's a lump in my throat." (After Damon Hill won the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship at Suzuka)
  • "I should imagine that the conditions in the cockpit are totally unimaginable."
  • "IF is a very long word in Formula One; in fact, IF is F1 spelled backwards."
  • "I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong." (Describing his own style of commentary)
  • "And the track temperature has in fact risen in degrees!"
  • "Senna's car is absolutely unique - except for the one following it, which is identical!"

Quotes about Walker

  • "In his quieter moments, it sounds like his trousers are on fire." --British TV presenter Clive James

External links

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