Walker was the famous voice of the BBC’s Formula 1 coverage from the Seventies right through to the Nineties, commentating on Grands Prix right around the world with a number of co-commentators, most famously 1976 F1 world champion James Hunt once he had retired from competition.
His unique style and phrases made him a favourite in millions of households – he even had a tune mixed about him using his most memorable lines! But Walker’s work stretches far beyond F1, dating right back to the 1950s. Initially he co-commentated with his father Graham, a leading motorcycle racer between the wars, on events such as the Isle of Man TT, branching out to four-wheeled-motor sport in the Sixties on all manner of disciplines such as Formula 3 and saloon and sports cars. He became BBC TV’s motor sport correspondent and when it started covering F1 full-time in 1978 he was the ideal person – the only person! – for the job. But he continued to cover all manner of disciplines, on both two and four wheels, from motor cycle Grands Prix to British Rallycross.
In the late Eighties and throughout the Nineties his commentary played a major role in the rise in popularity of the British Touring Car Championship. In his youth, Walker was also credited with coining several leading advertising phrases, among them Opal Fruits’ “made to make your mouth water”. Now, having retired from our TV screens – his career at the mic ended with ITV in 2001 after it had taken over coverage from the BBC – he continues to host functions and F1 activities for a number of major corporations, such, even in his Eighties, is the demand for his services. In 2009 he will be back with the BBC with exclusive post race analysis on the BBC website.