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BBC announces plans for 2013 coverage
For the first time the BBC will broadcast live Formula One practice sessions on BBC2 as part of its coverage plans in the UK this year.
Under its current deal the BBC will show nine of the season's grands prix live - the other 10 will be broadcast as highlight packages - but rather than put practice sessions on the Red Button they will now be shown on BBC2. The plans were announced alongside news that Allan McNish will join BBC's radio coverage on 5Live while journalist Tom Clarkson will become a pit-lane reporter alongside Lee McKenzie on its TV coverage.
The nine live races will be made up of grands prix in China, Spain, Canada, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Japan, India and Brazil. As announced previously, Suzi Perry will present the coverage with Ben Edwards continuing as the lead commentator alongside David Coulthard. Eddie Jordan will stay on as a pundit while Gary Anderson will offer technical insight.
"Everyone on the BBC team is hugely excited about the new season," BBC's head of F1 Ben Gallop said. "Last year saw us rise to the challenge of bringing the action to fans through the mix of live television and highlights, delivering great programmes which were reflected in impressive audience figures.
"This year sees new faces, practice on BBC Two & HD on live race weekends and a greater sharing of talent across BBC television, radio and online. With Suzi Perry at the helm, we're aiming to bring even more content, insight and access to audiences throughout the season."
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