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Day: January 11, 2011

DC joins Brundle is the F1 Comm Box. Legard is out at the BBC.

Two blogs within an hour of each other? What on Earth is going on?

Well the news that Jonathan Legard is gone from the F1 Commentary Box is one that deserves a fresh blog. Now I don’t dislike Legard but I will admit that it just wasn’t working with him and Martin Brundle and one had to go – and considering how great Brundle is – it had to be Legard. I wish him all the best and he is a fine play-by-play guy but for whatever reason with the BBC on F1 it wasn’t working. So onwards and upwards for both Legard and the BBC F1 coverage.

So today after Legard confirmed he was off first thing it meant that speculation would abound as to whether or not David Coulthard would step up into the Martin Brundle role, with the aforementioned Brundle stepping up to play-to-play and we didn’t have long to wait for the answer. The BBC sent out a Press Release at around 10AM GMT that indeed it would be Brundle and Coulthard for the 2011 season. Brundle has only a year left on his contract but if this partnership is a success then you can expect the BBC to pay the going rate and for this to be the partnership well into the next decade.

Having two ex-drivers in the Commentary Box has unnerved some people but it shouldn’t be a problem. Steve Cram is a fine athletics play-by-play guy and everyone loves Jonathan Agnew on Test Match Special. In fact when it comes to cricket the commentary is mostly done by ex-players and it works well. I know F1 is faster but we’ve seen and heard Brundle slip into play-by-play mode on more than one occasion on both the BBC and when he was with ITV and he seemed perfectly adept at it.

Brundle will still do his grid walks, which are an important part of the coverage in my opinion and DC will still do pre and post race with Jake and Eddie in the pit lane. Both workloads will grow but they are embracing the new challenge. I for one am excited about the new pairing in the Commentary Box and we’ll see how it shakes out. I have every faith that Brundle will carry on being a World Class broadcasters and if he and DC bounce off each other the way that I think they can then all will be right within the BBC F1 world.

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Fire Extinguisher Student goes down – and rightly so – protesters should learn from this

Edward Woollard did a stupid thing in a moment of madness. That decision has cost him a couple of years of his life. It is a sad day that it came to this but he has no-one to blame but himself and the courts did the right thing.

As I am sure most of you know Edward Woollard is the 18 year-old who dropped a fire extinguisher off the roof of Tory Party HQ during the first set of student protests in November. It was an instinctive thing that in the end resulted in no real damage done. However that was totally by luck and not by judgement. that fire extinguisher hauled towards a crowd of both policemen and women as well as at fellow protesters would have in all likelihood killed whoever it struck below.

I think this sad tale shows us that peaceful protests are all well and good but when it turns violent and ugly lives can be changed. The only way to not put yourself in that situation is to keep a calm head and know your plan. If you want to be safe then protest peacefully. If you are willing to let your adrenaline get to you then you risk troubles down the road. This kid had every right to protest about tuition fee rises but I suspect as he sits in a prison van on his way to a Young Offenders Institute for a couple of years he wishes that he hadn’t been so bone-headed and probably wishes he’d just gone to college that day instead.

This story should be a warning to protestors that when the adrenaline gets flowing you can make bad decisions that can impact on the rest of your lives. Protest but know your plan of action and stick to it. If the mob goes one way then you have to make the decision on whether you want to deviate from your plan and put yourself in a bad position. Protesting isn’t just about getting your point across but doing so in a safe and peaceful way. Not just for others but for yourself.

This kid didn’t and it has cost him big time and it will probably cost others as well. These young people have brains and want to go to university for free but it is sad that a small minority didn’t use said brains when it came to protesting on that front. The actions of his mother were first-rate. This wasn’t throwing a stone at a window this was just dumb luck it wasn’t murder. It must have been the hardest thing she has ever had to do but she did the right thing and whatever happens I hope the kid realises that and doesn’t blame her for what has happened.

Edward Woollard made his bed and now he has to lie in it. For everyone protesting in the future please learn from this. Have a protesting plan and stick to it otherwise you are leaving things more to chance and to the adrenaline – and that isn’t a safe place to be in a mob.

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