Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

BBC pushing F1 at every opportunity // A surprising appearance from Ron Dennis on the Hootenanny

Published by Mr. C

A most unlikely guest appeared on Jools Holland's annual New Year's Eve television show - none other than McLaren's very own Ron Dennis.

To call it a surprise is something of an understatement - our live reactions (in uppercase no less) when he appeared, tell you all you need to know. So what’s the deal? Was Ron invited to see in the new year on a popular music television show just because we now have a British Champion? Or is there more to it?

I was first made aware of the BBC’s desire to cross promote their newly acquired sporting rights last April, when Shaun pointed out Chris Molyes’ new found appreciation of motor racing. Is it a coincidence that F1 is linked with music on both television and the radio? Maybe it’s simply an attempt to target a younger audience.

More recently, the ever popular Top Gear Blog created their very own Formula One section, despite not having much reason to do so. While a video interview with Max featured heavily on the BBC News website, not so long ago.

No doubt this is great news for Formula 1. It needs all the promotional support it can get in the UK, where other sports currently dominate the majority of television bulletins and newspaper column inches. I do wonder though, if the BBC in part, aren’t having to increase the public’s perception of motorsport in order to prove it’s in the nations interest to spend large amounts of licence fee payers money to line Bernie’s pockets (or pay off CVC’s interest repayments, depending on which way you look at it).

There will, I’m sure, be increased amounts of media synergy coming from the Beeb in due course. Watch out for future appearances of Bernie on Cash in the Attic, Jean Todt in Grumpy Old Men and Nakajima on The Weakest Link.

Seriously though, we can’t knock the channel for plugging this wonderful sport. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for more random appearances, and please let us know if you spot any F1 stars appearing on (or names being dropped into) other BBC shows any time soon. Also, we’d love to hear your suggestions for more famous Formula One faces paired with classic television shows. Heidfeld subbing for Rolf Harris on Animal Hospital maybe?