Desert Island Discs: Murray Walker podcast review


One of my favourite sports to watch is Formula 1, so when I saw that Murray Walker was being interviewed by Kirsty Young for the Desert Island Discs programme I had to give it a listen. Before listening to the podcast I was already interested to hear what it was like to be the voice of Formula 1 for so many years, and it would be interesting to get into the mind set and hear what one of (if not the) most respected broadcasters in the sports history had to say. I also wanted to see if he’d pick the Chain by Fleetwood Mac as one of his songs because that has been the theme tune for the Formula 1 broadcasts for many years and every time I hear that song I instantly think of the sport.

The interview starts with opening comments about Murray Walker which tells the audience who he is and what his career highlights have been, I think this is a really clever way to get the audience fully engaged with the podcast within the first couple of minutes of it, and at the end the presenter moves seamlessly from the opening comments into the interview by asking Murray to expand on a point he’d made about Formula 1 being “the ultimate distillation of life with its highs and lows”. The next question Murray is asked opens up the entire programme to a wider audience by asking him “what does it take to become a great sports broadcaster?”, this question opens up the interview and the programme to anyone who aspires to become a sports broadcaster in future rather than just its intended target audience of Formula 1 fans, who want to find out more about the man behind the voice of the sport.

In my opinion the podcast has been well produced as the producer uses panning to simulate a real conversation with Kirsty Young on one side, Murray walker on the other to make the listener feel like they are at the heart of everything that’s going on, and as a listener I was more engaged with the podcast because I felt like I was sat in the studio with them and I felt like I was a part of the interview itself. The past, present, future format of the interview is a safe option in my opinion, but the lines of questioning that Kirsty Young pursued made for interesting listening. Another area where I feel that the podcast succeeded was that Murray Walkers broadcasting career in Formula 1 made up a small section of the show, beforehand I was concerned that the focus would be around his broadcasting career but the focus was more on his upbringing and his journey into broadcasting, and one of his song choices saw Murray and his father broadcasting side by side which I think did well to vary the content which kept it interesting to listen to. It was also interesting to hear the difference in his presentation style when he started his broadcasting career, and hear how it developed from a calmer more casual broadcaster in the beginning to the “pants on fire” broadcasting style that became one of his trademarks later on in his career.

My main criticism of the podcast is the length as podcasts should usually be around 30 minutes, beforehand I thought that the podcast was going to drag out and I’d become disengaged from what I was listening to, but by the end of it I felt that 45 minutes wasn’t long enough and some areas could have benefitted from more questioning as I had questions that I wanted answered.


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