No matter what you think of ITV’s coverage since 1997 this weekend marks the end of an era. The ITV Sport / North One Productions people had the rug pulled out from under them when the top brass decided to cancel the contract two years early and grab more football rights instead.
During the qualifying show today they aired this goodbye piece, which will undoubtedly be in the pre-race show as well. It starts off being the usual downhearted ‘sorry to be leaving’ thing (and your heart sinks when you hear that damned song again)… clips of Lewis “when I was a young boy”… and then they have a bit of fun!
Great to see a sense of humour from the ITV team, I wish they’d shown it a little earlier. The sudden stop halfway through to show the words “place commercial here” after all the shit they’ve been through with timing of ads, the reposte from James Allen to the criticisms of basically every internet forum and blog around, and the F1 community saying when you’re gone we’ll carry on.. Lewis’ face when Steve sings!
Nice to hear Murray Walker again, and a reminder of how good Allen was in the pitlane role.
Cool way to bow out. I hope they have a longer version to close out the coverage tomorrow because so much Formula 1 history has occurred since their eventful first season and this version only covers a tiny part of it.
For 2009 ITV’s racing activities are limited to live British Touring Cars on ITV4, as with this season. I hope they are able to develop that coverage a little more – and it’s pretty good already.
Goodbye ITV, and thanks.
I’ll see if I can dig up some more YouTube links of ITV’s history in F1 for posting from Monday onwards, as a send-off for them. I’ll also post a little overview of their good and bad points over the years as I will remember them going forwards.