Disc Jockey Chris Evans described today how he felt when he was told he was out of the running in the BBC's search for a long term replacement for Murray Walker to commentate on Formula 1 races.
“They told me I was too shouty,” he shouted. “I was gutted, pole axed, totally gobsmacked, incredulous in fact. I’ve spent my whole life working towards this, and now they do this to me. All that money I’ve made by being so smart, all my celebrity friends and lovers, my collection of rare and expensive Ferraris – they’re all things to shout about, aren’t they? And of course all my radio and TV programmes in which I shout at people: it’s all been part of a grand plan.”
Evans is understood to have worked so hard at his delivery that he can no longer speak in a normal voice, and even whispers in a shout. BBC Formula 1 presenter Jake Humphrey said that the more sophisticated 21st century audience no longer wanted a frantic delivery in the style of Murray Walker, but that wasn’t the biggest problem.
“Chris is just so predictable,” he said. “Once he has a format, it’s always the same. Formula 1 is boring enough as it is. You show me someone who hasn’t fallen asleep on a Sunday afternoon to the soporific drone of cars following one another round a track. When someone loses a wheel, or even overtakes, you need someone like Murray to make something of it. Chris unfortunately hasn’t any spontaneity, however hard he works at it.”
Insiders say the job will go instead to veteran presenter ‘whispering’ Bob Harris, currently languishing on an early evening radio show, who has recently reached the stage where he no longer sounds in constant need of clearing his throat.
“I’m so excited I can hardly speak,” said Harris from his home yesterday. “Look at the current crop of racing circuits. I haven’t come across such a fine collection of tracks since I put together the last Old Grey Whistle Test compilation. And the power of that Mercedes engine: it’s reminiscent of a wonderful session Todd Rundgren did back in ’72. Yeah. Fantastic.”