The Legend that is Murray Walker

Do you want to post a tribute about your favourite retired drivers, perhaps you want to discuss the rantings of the MIT (men in tweed). They thought they were safer when they retired, perhaps not mumblers!! How about a tribute to those that are not drivers but still in the game?

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The Legend that is Murray Walker

Postby Anj x » Fri 20 Apr, 2007 11:20 am

All this talk of what a t*t James Allen is makes me wish we still had here we are ;)

Murray Walker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Murray Walker.Graeme Murray Walker, OBE (known as Murray Walker; born 10 October 1923, Hall Green, Birmingham, England) is a Formula 1 (F1) motorsport commentator. He was educated at Highgate School and Sandhurst, and for most of his career he worked for the BBC, but when it lost the contract for F1 coverage to the company ITV, Walker continued his commentating there.

He is famous in the United Kingdom for his very distinctive enthusiastic commentary style. He regularly made comments (known to many as Walkerisms or Murrayisms) in the heat of the moment that, upon analysis a moment later, were ridiculous; for example, as a car arrived for a pit stop during a race he once said "...I'll stop the startwatch!". He was also an exponent of the commentator's curse, describing how well a driver was racing or that they would win the race, only to have them retire or crash out of the race shortly thereafter.


Walker made his debut in 1949 alongside Max Robertson. He commentated on Formula 1 through to the 2001 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. Since his retirement many have missed his distinctive voice, which seemed to rise and fall in tone along with the revving of the car engines.

He also wrote a series of annuals for the Grand Prix season, Murray Walker's Grand Prix Year, for Hazelton Publishing from 1987 to 1997.

Walker spent most of his working life in advertising, only commentating full-time 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 create other slogans well-known in the UK, such as "Trill makes budgies bounce with health" and (for Opal Fruits) "made to make your mouth water". Perhaps more generally known was his Pizza Hut television advertisement with British racing driver Damon Hill, where, having finished eating his pizza before Damon, he announced "Damon Hill finishes second... again!". More recently he has provided a voice-over on an advert for the Beaulieu Motor Museum.

On his retirement Walker was awarded an original brick from "The Brickyard" (the Indianapolis Motor Speedway) by track president Tony George.

In November 1997, Murray Walker was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters Degree from Bournemouth University.[1] He was later honoured, in July 2005, with an Honorary Doctorate from the Middlesex University, London.

In October 2005, it was announced that Walker would be returning to the microphone as the BBC's voice of the new Grand Prix Masters series.[2] After providing the commentary for the inaugural race in South Africa, in January 2006 BBC Radio Five Live announced that Walker would be part of their team for their coverage of subsequent races.

In March 2006, the Honda Racing F1 Team, formerly British American Racing, announced that Walker would become its team ambassador for half of the 2006 season's 18 Grands Prix, starting with the San Marino Grand Prix in April.[3] Walker welcomed Honda Racing's VIP guests and entertained them with his unique brand of F1 commentary.

In March 2006 Walker returned to the microphone for the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar round in Adelaide and in April he commentated the Australian Grand Prix for Australia's Formula One broadcaster Network Ten. He is also Sky Sports' commentator on their coverage of Grand Prix Masters.

In March 2007 Walker again returned to the microphone for the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar round, and was awarded a Lifetime Infinite Pass to the event by organisers at a ceremony on pit straight, shortly before the main race. In March 2007 he was again part of Network Ten’s commentary team for the Australian Grand Prix.

Famous quotes, or "Murrayisms"

"It's raining and the track is wet."
"And what a bitter pill that must be to swallow." (An oft-repeated maxim for a driver who makes a mistake that loses him the race.)
"And Damon Hill exits the chicane and wins the Japanese Grand Prix... and I've got to stop, because I've got a lump in my throat..." (Murray for once made speechless with emotion as Damon Hill wins the 1996 Formula 1 World Championship at Suzuka)
"Spin! Spin! Spin!"
"Fire! Fire! Fire!"
"It is so exciting you could cut the atmosphere with a cricket stump."
"Here's the red lights... and it's GO! GO! GO!"
"And at last he passes... No! He's off! I thought he was going to pass but he's overshot!"
"Nigel Mansell has gone from seventh to sixth to fourth to fifth and now to third and this is lap twenty three"
Describing his commentary style: "I don't make mistakes. I make prophecies which immediately turn out to be wrong."
"The car upside down is a Toyota, with Will Hoy clambering out!" (Toyota's ad slogan at the time was "The car in front is a Toyota")
"There are flames coming from the back of Prost's car as he goes into the Swimming Pool!" (The "Swimming Pool" is a chicane section on the Monaco F1 circuit.) Co-commentator James Hunt replied: "That should put them out then!"
"You can't see a digital clock, because there isn't one."
"And now the boot is on the other Schumacher."
On how hot tyres become during a race: "I don't know what that is in degrees, but it's damned hot."
"...and for great driving, watch this!" A moment later the car Walker is watching fails to turn into a corner, crashes into a tyre barrier and is out of the race.[4]
"There is a dry line appearing in the tunnel"
"I imagine the conditions in those cars are totally unimaginable"
"Either that car is stationary, or it's on the move"
"There's nothing wrong with that car except that it's on fire"
"And just to clarify, Häkkinen leads and has yet to stop, Coulthard leads and has yet to stop"
"Now we go into lap 53, the penultimate last lap but one."
"Excuse me while I interrupt myself..."
"With half the race gone, there's half the race still to go."
"If the gloves weren't off before—and they were—they sure are now!"
"That's a good stop. Just under 10 seconds. Call it 9.7 in round figures."
"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 Laffite is as close to Surer as Surer is to Laffite."
"There's a difference of only one second between these two cars that's how long a second is"
" 'If' is a very long word in Formula One; in fact, 'if' is F1 spelled backwards."
" Watch the lights appear to countdown the start! —One light! —Two lights! —Three lights! —Four lights! —Five laps!"
"The interesting thing about this circuit is that it has inclines; not just up, but down as well."
"This has been a mediocre season for Nelson Piquet, as he is now known, and always has been."
"And the track temperature has in fact risen in degrees!"
"And here comes Damon Hill in the Williams. This car is absolutely unique—except for the one following it, which is identical."
"Do my eyes deceive me or is Senna's Lotus sounding a bit rough?"
"Tambay's hopes, which were nil before, are now absolutely zero."
"Alboreto into the pits and I'm going to stop the startwatch!"
"And it's a sad ending, albeit a happy one, at Montreal for today's Grand Prix"
"It's the first time Schumacher's won here since 1959" (Michael Schumacher was born in 1969)
"Schumacher in the McLaren, Häkkinen in the Ferrari." (At the time, Schumacher was a Ferrari driver and Häkkinen was a McLaren driver)
(Approaching Bernie Ecclestone) "Bernie, it's some 17 years since you bought McLaren, you've had some good times, you've had some bad times, what do you remember best?" Bernie replies: "I don't remember buying McLaren..." Murray: "I've done it again, haven't I?"[5]
On Gerhard Berger's Ferrari failing at Suzuka 93 "That's Ayrton Berger!"
"Mansell knows exactly where Senna is because he can see him in his earphone."
"Seven of the previous champions are on the starting line, and four of them are Michael Schumacher"
"And we have had 5 races so far this year, Brazil, Argentina, Imola, Schumacher and Monaco!"

Quotes about Walker

"In his quieter moments, it sounds like his trousers are on fire." —Australian/UK TV presenter Clive James

*please feel free to add to this....i somehow feel that the above info is a little short and sweet, considering Murrays long and varied career xx
Anj x

Re: The Legend that is Murray Walker

Postby ForzaAlonso » Fri 07 Mar, 2008 10:30 pm


Go Muzza

James Allen turned me off ITV and made me pay for Setanta :x
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Re: The Legend that is Murray Walker

Postby Jonesy » Sun 09 Mar, 2008 2:42 pm

:clap) :clap) :clap) Nice find
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Re: The Legend that is Murray Walker

Postby Anj x » Sun 09 Mar, 2008 3:12 pm

OMG, I posted that about a year ago, in my previous alter ego x
"I've always believed that you should never, ever give up and you should always keep fighting even when there's only a slightest chance"
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Re: The Legend that is Murray Walker

Postby Kop Alonso » Sun 09 Mar, 2008 10:26 pm

My favourite quote was from the Austrailan GP at Adelaide one year ....whilst describing the high retirement rate ......

"The car's are dissapearing out of this race like icecubes in the desert"

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