Murray Walker was born into the world of motor racing. His father Graham was a motorcycle TT champion and Walker Jnr saw his first race when he was two. After active service in World War II, he forged a successful career as an advertising executive, handling the accounts of blue-chip firms such as Mars, Esso and the Co-op.
His debut as a sports commentator came in 1949, when he covered the British GP at Silverstone for BBC Radio. He has since spent more than 50 years commentating on motor racing and in particular F1, initially for the BBC before moving over to ITV in 1997.
When the man who made famous the catchphrase 'Unless I'm very much mistaken... I AM very much mistaken!!!' announced that he was retiring as ITV's Grand Prix commentator at the end of the 2001 season, the media reacted as if the sport itself was losing one of its biggest stars.
His reputation for mistakes was the making of Walker. He was the fan who happened to be given the keys to the commentary box and never wanted to give them back. His high-octane delivery kept viewers on the edge of their seats, while his passion for talking about the sport he loved was matched by an all-encompassing knowledge gained through hours of painstaking research before every race.
He has been tempted out of retirement to commentate on numerous racing series, including F1 for Radio 5 Live and has agreed to do some items for the BBC’s new F1 coverage in 2009.