Ben Edwards (commentator)
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|Born||14 July 1965|
|Employer||Channel 4, Formula One Management|
Ben Edwards (born 14 July 1965) is a British motor racing commentator currently employed by Channel 4. In the past, he has voiced television coverage of Formula One, Superleague Formula and the British Touring Car Championship, in addition to Formula One DVD Reviews for Duke Video. After spending well over a decade working for networks including Eurosport, ESPN, ITV and F1 Digital +, he was named the BBC's lead TV commentator on its Formula One coverage from 2012 in December 2011. He is known for his enthusiastic and energetic commentary style.
Brought up in Surrey, Edwards first started out in motorsport as a mechanic for Formula Ford teams in 1982, before beginning a career as a racing driver. He won the first Formula First championship, a now defunct championship for new drivers, and went to become champion in Caterham-Vauxhall sports cars. He also took part in the Euro Vauxhall Lotus championship where he raced against the likes of David Coulthard, who is now his co-commentator, and Mika Häkkinen.
He first started commentating after enjoying his experience teaching racing at Brands Hatch and Snetterton. His first commentary position was for the BBC with Tiff Needell, but he became known to British viewers through his Formula One commentary on Eurosport. He was usually partnered with former Formula One race winner John Watson.
When Eurosport lost the rights to Formula One at the end of 1996, Edwards became the voice of Champ Car racing for viewers of Eurosport and ESPN International, also carried by Channel 5. His work alongside Jeremy Shaw was regarded as a big success. Perhaps his most famous moment was his commentary of the final lap of the 2000 Michigan 500 which was so dramatic that French Eurosport used his commentary in their highlights of that race.
Although Edwards was very popular with the viewers, he gradually became tired of commuting from Britain to the United States for every race. He considered moving permanently to the United States. He eventually decided to remain in England, and reduce his involvement in America.
In 2001, Edwards was replaced by Guy Hobbs as the main Champ Car commentator, but he did commentate for the races in Japan, Detroit, Mid-Ohio, Germany, Houston and Australia when Hobbs or Shaw had other commitments, and at the Rockingham Motor Speedway race.
Return to England
In 2002, Edwards joined ITV to commentate on the British Touring Car Championship. He also took on the role of lead commentator for F1 Digital +, and was reunited with his old colleague, John Watson. F1 Digital + finished at the end of the 2002 season, but since 2005 Watson and Edwards have been working together on Sky Sports and the international feed for A1 Grand Prix.
Edwards has also commentated on other motorsport events for Eurosport and British TV, including coverage of the British Formula Three Championship (alongside Martin Haven), and the Superleague Formula series.
On 13 December 2011, it was confirmed that Edwards would replace Martin Brundle as the BBC's lead commentator for Formula One in 2012, working alongside David Coulthard. Toby Moody took Edwards' place for the BTCC in 2012. Edwards worked across BBC TV, Radio and online.
Channel 4 F1
In 2016, Edwards moved to Channel 4 to continue commentating on Formula 1, again working alongside David Coulthard. The move came after the BBC terminated its TV rights agreement early, and Channel 4 picked the deal up.
Edwards, with his wife Belinda, runs Entreprix, Ltd., a "motorsports specialist" company. Founded in 1987, the company has managed numerous motorsport championships, the most recent being the British GT Championship from 2003-2005. He currently resides in Wortham, Suffolk.
- "Ben Edwards and Alan Hyde talk up the 2005 season". btccinfo.co.uk. 30 March 2005. Archived from the original on 13 February 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- Cary, Tom (13 December 2011). "BBC choose former driver Ben Edwards as successor to Formula One commentator Martin Brundle". The Telegraph. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "Formula 1 - Profiles - Ben Edwards - Channel 4". Channel 4. Retrieved 8 March 2016.