Murray Walker’s Passion for Commentating Will Make You Jealous

Who doesn’t envy the joy Murray Walker finds in his work?

byJames Gilboy| PUBLISHED May 11, 2017 8:20 PM
Murray Walker’s Passion for Commentating Will Make You Jealous

One of my dreams in life is to find something that I can get paid to get lost in. I have whiled away whole days cataloguing, sorting, and reorganizing my collection of out-of-print styrene model ships, but there's no money in that—only carpal tunnel syndrome and glares from my girlfriend. If I could find a career, or even a cause to dedicate my life to without worry of having made the wrong choice, I would be satisfied with my life. I think I speak for most people when I say that. If only the solution were as simple for me as it is for Murray Walker, the former motorsports commentator.

If you don't already know who Murray Walker is, here's a primer. Envision a short, elderly British man, with receding white hair, grandpa glasses, a high voice, the excitability of a Dickensian schoolboy, and the ability to make anything entertaining with his energetic commentary. Though school must have been no fun for him with traits like these, they made him an unforgettable delight to listen to for Formula 1 viewers who watched between 1978 and 2001—a period during which he commented full-time for the BBC and ITV.

He wasn't a perfect commentator by any stretch. His comical missteps were frequent enough to earn their own name: Murrayisms. Nevertheless, his obvious passion and unrestrained excitement for his work mean that his commentary could make literally anything watchable, even snooker. He could even save an unsavory TV moment with a family-friendly comment.

Now age 93, Murray Walker is all but retired from his old life of commentating, save for a few cameos on the BBC. I daresay that the entertainment he brought to the millions of people who watched him during his career has made every one of those 93 years well-earned.