Graeme Murray Walker, OBE (known as Murray Walker; (10 October 1923 - 13 March 2021)) was a Formula 1 commentator. For most of his career he worked for the BBC, but he moved to the ITV network after BBC lost the contract for F1 coverage rights.
He was most famous for his unique and enthusiastic broadcasting style. He regularly made comments (known to many as Walkerisms or Murrayisms, giving him a nickname of Muddly Talker) 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.
Early Life[edit | edit source]
Murray Walker was the son of Isle of Man TT motorcyclist, journalist and broadcaster Graham Walker. Murray was born into and grow up in a motorsport family and wanted to race motorcycles like his father.
Murray Walker attended Highgate School, joining the School Bugles. He remained in school until 1939, when World War II began and Walker's school was forced to evacuate to Westward Ho!. Part way through the World War, Walker was conscripted into the military. He originally applied to volunteer for tanks, but due to a lack of resources he was required to wait. In the mean time, he worked with the Dunlop Rubber Company in Fort Dunlop and was given 12 scholarships. On October 1st, 1942 Walker was transported to the Bovington Camp where he graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. After graduating, he commanded a tank for the 4th Mechanized Brigade in Operation Veritable. Shortly after, he left the military with the rank of captain. After leaving the military, Walker began a career in the advertising business. This was a career he would not leave until 1991.
Career[edit | edit source]
Motorcycle Racing[edit | edit source]
While working in the advertising business, Walker also had a brief motorcycle racing career. His career ended because he felt that he was failing to be like his father.
Broadcasting[edit | edit source]
Partnered with his father, Walker began commentating Isle of Man TT racing on the radio. When his father died in 1962, Walker became his replacement as the lead commentator.
Having broadcasted on radio for other four-wheeled motorsports, it was not until 1978 that he became a full-time Formula One commentator, alongside previous World Champion James Hunt. Hunt and Walker did not originally get along because the pair's personalities were so dramatically different.