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GRAPEVINE - SOFT NEWS, RUMOURS & SPECULATION 

Walker makes commentary return

Murray Walker at the European GPLegendary broadcaster Murray Walker was back behind the microphone last weekend as part of BBC Five Live's commentary crew at the European Grand Prix.

Walker was standing in for regular commentator David Croft, who was attending the birth of his first child.

The 84-year-old was live on air for both qualifying and the race, and he also chaired a special edition of the phone-in programme 606, which has been a traditional part of British Saturday afternoons for as long as anyone cares to remember.

It was the first time in the show's history that it focused on motor racing, and judging by the number of listeners that phoned in, it was a great success.

And when things got a touch delicate, such as when one punter phoned in to suggest that Lewis Hamilton was overrated, or when another maintained that McLaren had shown Fernando Alsonso a great disrespect by hiring Hamilton, Walker stopped them dead in their tracks and moved on to the next call.

There was a nice symmetry to Walker's cameo - he spent the vast majority of his commentating career with the BBC before moving to ITV when it bought the F1 broadcasting rights in 1997.

But while many seemed to be under the impression the Nurburgring would be Walker's swansong, this may not be the case - Murray has been carrying out commentary duties for the Australian Grand Prix's host broadcaster, the Ten Network, in recent years, and apparently he's keen to return to Albert Park in 2008.

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