James Allen (journalist)
|Born||5 November 1966|
|Alma mater||Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby
Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford
||This biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
James Allen (born 5 November 1966) is a British radio/TV commentator who worked on ITV's Formula One (F1) coverage until it ceased at the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. Formerly a pupil at Merchant Taylors' School, Crosby, and student of English and Modern Languages at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Allen is currently the BBC Radio 5 Live F1 commentator, F1 Correspondent at BBC News and reporter for Ten Sport in Australia.
Allen started his F1 career with the Brabham team in 1990, and in 1991 worked with future TV colleagues Mark Blundell and Martin Brundle. He was news editor at Autosport magazine from 1992 to 1994 and in parallel worked as F1 pit lane reporter for American network ESPN from 1993 to 1996.
With Nigel Mansell's move to IndyCar in 1993, Allen was hired by ITV in 1994 to help present coverage of the season. When ITV gained the rights to broadcast the Formula One championship in 1997, he joined the team as pit lane reporter.
With Murray Walker unable to commentate at the 2000 French Grand Prix, Allen took over as one of the main commentators alongside Martin Brundle. Murray wound down his career the next year, missing five races, all of which Allen covered. ITV had considered trying a number of guest commentators to decide who would be best suited to replace Murray, but instead opted to keep Allen on board full-time. He took over permanently after the 2001 United States Grand Prix and commentated on every subsequent Grand Prix while the sport was broadcast on ITV. The 2007 Canadian Grand Prix was Allen's 100th as a commentator. Allen also wrote a "James Allen's Analysis" for the ITV website.
Allen has written three books, the first of which was his ghost-written autobiography of Nigel Mansell. He has also written two books on Michael Schumacher: Quest for Redemption (also published as Driven to Extremes) and The Edge of Greatness.
He has been the F1 correspondent of the Financial Times newspaper since 1999.
Formula One Management
He was the Formula One Management World Feed interviewer for post-qualifying and post-race at the 2009 British Grand Prix and has been asked to do so regularly according to his blog; as it has been seen to be inappropriate for Peter Windsor (who usually is in this role) to carry on asking questions as he is to head USF1 next year (2010), with there being a need for the press conference to remain impartial.
Along with former co-commentator Martin Brundle, Allen picked up the Autosport award for best moment of the year which recognised the pair's commentary in the closing moments of the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix. The Brazil coverage also won a third consecutive BAFTA award for ITV.
Allen is married to Pip and lives in London. He has two sons, Enzo and Emerson. Enzo is named after Enzo Ferrari, founder of the Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix motor racing team, and Ferrari car manufacturers; Emerson is named after double Formula One world champion and Indycar champion Emerson Fittipaldi.
- "James Allen's 100th Grand Prix". F1Fanatic.co.uk. 2007. Retrieved 2007-06-20.
- "James Allen's Analysis". www.itv-f1.com. 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-13.
- "James Allen gets BBC Radio 5 Live gig". Crash.net. 6 January 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-06.
- "James Allen on F1". Retrieved 2012-04-20.
- "Michael Schumacher: The edge of greatness (James Allen, 2007)". F1Fanatic.co.uk. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-20.