The BBC’s lead F1 commentator (after a successful stint on ITV), James Allen has worked as a Formula One correspondent for over 20 years, winning awards for his coverage of the thrilling motor sport along the way. An experienced and insightful broadcaster and journalist within the industry, James has become a popular awards host and after dinner speaker in the corporate circuit.
A popular awards host and after dinner speaker, Formula One commentator James Allen has won awards for his coverage of the race track, able to draw on his exhaustive industry expertise at lightning speed.
His flair for the business is not surprising considering his upbringing; with a father who drove for Lotus and served on the RAC Motorsports Council, the successful broadcaster and journalist found himself immersed in the F1 world from young age.
Following a degree in English and Modern Languages at Oxford University, James began his own F1 career with the Brabham team, where he was prescribed the not-so-easy task of gathering good press for drivers Martin Brundle and Mark Blundell.
From there, he accelerated into the offices of Autosport Magazine as their News Editor, and, a few years later, arrived at ITV to present Nigel Mansell’s IndyCar ’94 in America.
As well as reporting for ESPN from the tense atmosphere of the F1 pit, James became a regular presenter for ITV. Indeed, his coverage has won three BAFTA awards in addition to the Royal Television Society’s Sports Programme of the Year award.
Along with Martin Brundle, James received the Autosport Award for covering The Brazilian Grand Prix in 2008.
After a long spell at the TV network, James is now an F1 Correspondent on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC’s lead F1 commentator. He is also a correspondent for the Financial Times and a presenter for Australian TV Network 10.
He currently serves as a Trustee of the Grand Prix Mechanics Trust and a patron for F1 in schools, a children’s engineering challenge.
As well as co-writing autobiographies for the likes of Nigel Mansell and producing an account of Michael Schumacher’s famous career, James has launched his own website (JA), now a Formula 1 knowledge base for fans all over the world.