English speaking F1 pundits on the Beeb. I don’t think so

Why does it seem to be the law that the BBC has to have pundits that can’t speak English?

I spend a lot of time at weekends listening to Radio 5 Live. One of their football pundits (I’d name him if I could remember his name) seems to have real problems with his verb tenses. Sorry mate but: “He’s came into the box” isn’t English. Neither is: “He’s went and done that.”

But at least I know what he’s getting at. Listen to the F1 coverage and you have the slick skills of James Allen on the one hand. And then there’s Jaime Algersuari. His English is an awful lot better than my Spanish. And he’s obviously a much better driver than me. Shame his English isn’t good enough to convey that.

You can almost hear his brain whirring as he translates from his native language before adding his pearls of wisdom. Which actually don’t bring any kind of wisdom at all. As far as I can see his only function is to give Allen the chance to have a rest and a mouthful of water. The result is you could have just about any F1 fan sitting in the pundit’s seat and they’d probably bring more value to the show.

Then on the BBC there’s Eddie Jordan, another commentator for whom English is a second language. Trouble is, he’s got an ego too. The result is complete gibberish most of the time. As Eddie Irvine recently said: “He waffles and waffles and doesn’t say anything. He goes round and round and hopes that by the end you’ll have forgotten what the question was because he sure has.” To the point as ever.


About James Foxall

My 25-year career has been built on writing words that audiences want to read. Those words have been clear, concise, and imbued with the personality of the organisation they were shaped for. They’ve appeared in specialist magazines and national newspapers as well as marketing materials for commercial organisations. I was motoring editor at the News of the World for seven years and I still write a regular column for the Daily Telegraph. More recently as companies become publishers I’ve transferred my editorial skills to commercial organisations. My entire career has been in the automotive industry; my passion for effective communication is still rivalled only by my love of cars and motor sport. View all posts by James Foxall

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