I have just read perhaps the most exciting bit of news I’ve seen all year. It’s so good I actually think I might have wet myself a little bit when I saw the headline. The news isn’t that Jennifer Aniston has finally discovered I exist and wants to have babies with me, nor is it that Ferrari have decided to give me a brand new 612 Scaglietti absolutely free. It’s not even the news that a Macedonian court have found a bear guilty of stealing honey or that greeting card companies have voted to make Steak and BJ Day a genuine holiday that we can all enjoy without guilt or stigma.
Amazingly, it doesn’t even have anything to do with Sir Paul McCartney punching Heather Mills squarely in her whingeing face, which I think we’d all like to see right now.
It is, in fact, the news that, after twelve years of advertising drudgery, Formula One is returning to the BBC, where we’ll be able to enjoy uninterrupted coverage of the world’s greatest motorsport.
Since 1996, Formula One fans have had to put up with ITV’s policy of deciding to show an advertisement break just as something really exciting is happening but, from 2009, this will no longer be the case. According to a man named Dominic Coles, who apparently holds the rather convoluted title of being the BBC’s Sport Director of Sport Rights, “fans will be able to enjoy uninterrupted, state of the art and innovative coverage from BBC Sport, across all of our TV, radio and new media platforms, for the first time since 1996.”
Whilst Bernie Ecclestone has said that he doesn’t have any complaints about ITV’s coverage and that the decision to return to the BBC is purely a commercial one, hardcore Formula One fans have long complained about the number of advertising breaks shown during races and their appalling timing through the events, which has lead to a number of fans to ask why the channel has received so many rewards for their coverage.
Me – well I’m as giddy as a school child waiting for Christmas Eve and, even though the first race of the 2008 season has only just happened, I now can’t wait for the 2009 one! As well as a return to uninterrupted coverage, rumours continue to build that for next season Formula One cars will return to using slick tyres for even better overtaking opportunities.
Now all the BBC need to do to recreate the whole nostalgic effect is to re-employ Murray Walker!