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Covering Formula One since the late 1950s for the BBC, Murray Walker quickly became famous for his style of commentary, in which outbursts of uncontrolled lyricism (even when he’s calm, it feels like his trousers are on fire, as one colleague put it) alternated with absurd considerations and comic slips of the tongue.
Having become the ‘voice’ of Formula One in Britain, he left the BBC in the mid-1990s to join ITV, which had acquired the broadcasting rights to Formula One.
In September 2001, at the age of 77, Walker stopped commentating on the races. The BBC asked him to come out of retirement in 2005 to commentate on the Grand Prix Masters, a competition between former Formula One stars. In 2006 the Honda F1 team recruited him to entertain guests at the Grand Prix.
In June 2013, Murray Walker announced that he was suffering from cancer of the lymphatic system and that he could be treated medically with a high chance of success with chemotherapy: “My cancer was detected incredibly early. It is treatable. The doctors have told me that I am in good physical condition so I am very optimistic. “
He died on 13 March 2021 at the age of 97.
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