F1 » 3 December 2009
Murray Walker voted greatest commentator of all time
'The Voice of F1' Murray Walker named 'Greatest Commentator of all time' in new survey.
The legendary Murray Walker has been voted the Greatest Commentator of all time, according to a new survey.
Famous for his boyish enthusiasm and commentating voice, Walker became known for his on-air gaffes - affectionately called 'Murrayisms' - which include, 'With half the race gone, there's half the race still to go' and 'here comes Damon Hill in the Williams. This car is absolutely unique - except for the one following it, which is identical'.
Walker has been broadcasting since 1948 and much of his career was spent working for the BBC. His F1 commentary began in the 1970's and continued until his retirement in 2001 – Walker's last race was the United States Grand Prix which took place in Indianapolis.
Walker did break from retirement this year to present for the BBC Sports website, and also provide his excitable commentary style to the loveable children's programme, Roary the Racing Car, which debuts on air at 7.30am on December 10 on Five's Milkshake!
It also stars his good friend, Sir Stirling Moss as the narrator, and Peter Kay as Big Chris – who recently featured in the chart topper BBC Children in Need single, 'The Animated All Star Band'.
Greg Lynn, executive producer on the hit show commented: "Murray has such a distinctive and recognisable voice and his Murrayisms are classic. If his involvement in Roary the Racing Car is anything to go by, I'm not surprised he was voted the World's Best Commentator of all time – his performance with Peter Kay in the two new episodes are hilarious. At 86, Murray Walker is still going strong!"
"It is a huge honour to be recognised as the World's best commentator, particularly against so many sporting greats!" Murray added. "I love what I do, I'm a car fanatic and each morning I wake up with a smile on my face, whether I'm commentating on the F1 or at Silver Hatch race track in Roary the Racing Car."
Meanwhile BBC Sports voice of football John Motson was voted the second best commentator of all time. After serving for over 35 years, the veteran decided he should retire from live TV before being labelled as 'past it'. Motson has covered nine European Championships, nine World Cups and 34 FA Cup finals since his first appearing on Match of the Day in 1971, and the footballing expert, also known as 'Motty', still appears on the programme and Radio Five Live.
Former World tennis champion John McEnroe took third, while retired BBC horse racing commentator Peter O'Sullevan was fourth. Fifth place went to the celebrated Brian Moore who died at the age of 69 in 2001. The football broadcaster is fondly remembered by fans as a fantastic big match commentator.
Ex-F1 driver Martin Brundle was sixth followed by Sid Waddell (darts), David Coleman (football and athletics) and Bill McLaren (rugby). Richie Benaud (cricket) completed the top ten.
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