Julian Wilson (commentator)

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Julian David Bonhote Wilson (21 June 1940 – 20 April 2014) was BBC Television's horse racing correspondent from 1966 until his retirement in 1997. He was succeeded by Clare Balding.[1] Between 1969 and 1991, he was one of the commentators for the Grand National and for a time he had editorial control over the BBC's midweek racing coverage.[2] Born in Sidmouth, Devon,[3] his father was the Daily Mirror sportswriter Peter Wilson.

Outside his presenting career, he was a racehorse owner and racing manager. His winners as an owner included Tumbledownwind, a two-year-old winner at Glorious Goodwood and Tykeyvor, a winner in the Bessborough Stakes at Royal Ascot in 1996, trained by Lady Herries. He was a racehorse manager to Clement Freud and Walter Mariti.[2]

Wilson was a former pupil of Harrow School. In his autobiography Some You Win, published in 1998, he revealed a rift with Peter O'Sullevan, his long-time colleague at the BBC. Wilson felt that he had been misled as to whether or not he would succeed O`Sullevan as chief BBC race commentator. He also said that he had a strained relationship with Balding.[4]

Wilson died of cancer on 20 April 2014. He was twice married. Once to Carolyn Michael in 1970, then to Alison Ramsay in 1981. He had one son, Thomas, with his first wife.[2]


  1. ^ "BBC SPORT | TV/Radio Schedule | Clare Balding". BBC News. 2007-01-23. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  2. ^ a b c Paul Eacott. "Former BBC racing host Julian Wilson dies at 73". Racing Post. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  3. ^ Julian Wilson obituary The Guardian, 22 April 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Racing: O'Sullevan and Wilson in rift - Sport". The Independent. 1998-09-23. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 

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