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Jake Humphrey quits BBC's F1 coverage for 2013 // The popular sports presenter makes a move to football next year

Published by Christine Blachford

Will Lee take over from Jake?
Will Lee take over from Jake?Credit: Sidepodcast

For 2012, the BBC lost half their live race coverage to Sky, settling for sending their presenters to all the races but delivering highlights where the broadcast rights dictated. For 2013, their coverage is being dealt another blow with the loss of popular presenter Jake Humphrey. Fresh from his success with the Olympics, Humphrey is heading to BT to front their Premier League coverage.

The official word from BT states:

In June we announced that BT has won the rights to show 38 live games a season for three Premier League seasons, including 18 of the best quality ‘first pick’ games – the first time anyone but Sky has won any of the prime live Premier League matches.

- BT

And Jake himself is obviously quoted as being terribly happy with the new move.

I’m incredibly excited to be joining the team at BT not just because I get to fulfil a lifelong dream of presenting the Barclays Premier League but because of the fresh perspective that BT will bring to both sport and broadcasting in this country.

- Jake Humphrey

Toeing the corporate line already! Personally, I can see why he would want to move away from the relentless travelling in F1 (particularly as he and his wife are expecting a baby), and the BBC's coverage this year has been stunted by the shared deal with Sky. After the highs of presenting the pinnacle of sport this summer with London 2012, F1 may not have a lot left to offer him. He's been doing it for four years, and perhaps there are only so many arguments with Eddie Jordan, and emotional montages at Monza you can do.

The BT deal is a bit of a mystery to me - I wasn't really aware they did much in the way of sports coverage, and the subscriber base that Humphrey is heading towards isn't exactly huge. The deal must feel right for him, though, or he wouldn't have accepted it.

The question, then, for those who watch the UK's free-to-air coverage, is who is going to take over this role. Will it be Lee McKenzie who has ably covered Jake when he's had to miss races, and has improved a lot over the last few years? Will it be a brand new presenter, or a face from the past?