The lockdown has served as a time to reminisce for all of us. Not least for Eurosport commentator Barry Nutley who, over the years, has talked about bikes, cars, planes and boats! In this week’s 75th Full Throttle podcast, ‘Bazza’ provides Greg Haines with some fabulous gems from the evocative worlds of motorsport and television.
One vivid memory for Nutley is of friend and colleague Murray Walker broadcasting to a shocked nation the death of Didier Pironi on Sunday 23rd August 1987.
“We were at Thruxton and live into Grandstand,” Nutley recalls. “At about 2 o’clock in the afternoon, down the line from London came the news into our ears that Ferrari driver Didier Pironi had lost his life in a powerboating accident off the Isle of Wight. That’s big news. They said to Murray, ‘We’re coming to you in ten minutes and we’d like two or three minutes from you on the life of Didier Pironi.’ Murray broke off, which left me to do the commentary on something like a 250cc bike race at Thruxton. I did that race on my own while Murray sat in the corner with a little book. He scribbled away and made some notes.
“At the end of my race they said, ‘There’s the result for the 250s. We’re now going back to Thruxton for some shock news from Murray Walker.’ I remember the words clearly. He said: ‘The world of Formula 1 is reeling to the shock news of the sudden death of Didier Pironi, not – as you might think – on four wheels but in a powerboat.’ He then went through Didier Pironi’s achievements and his career – and all of that came from his little pocket book. I shall always respect that. What a man.”
Listen to the full Barry Nutley interview in this week’s Full Throttle podcast, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and all other good podcast suppliers!