A host of names have been added to ITV’s racing line-up as the channel moves towards the start of its coverage next year.
A range of key presenting, reporting, commentating and on-screen expert roles have been filled as ITV gears up to broadcasting its first race on New Year’s Day.
Oli Bell will present ITV’s weekly racing morning magazine show and Richard Hoiles will be the lead commentator, joined in the commentary box by Mark Johnson. Experts on the team include Hayley Turner, Mick Fitzgerald, Jason Weaver, Luke Harvey and Brian Gleeson. Brough Scott will also appear as a regular guest offering his insight 30 years on from when he presented ITV’s Racing coverage.
Frankie Dettori will be a regular contributor to the programmes working around his riding commitments and Victoria Pendleton will bring her perspective to the channel’s coverage.
Alice Plunkett, Rishi Persad and Sally-Ann Grassick all have reporting roles. Lucy Verasamy will provide reports on one of the key elements of any racing meeting – the weather.
Richard Hoiles said: “It is a fantastic opportunity to be part of the ITV team and have the privilege of calling the superb array of big races we will be covering next year. Racing is a unique sport that offers beauty and drama in abundance and hopefully we can really bring that to life for the viewers whether they be ardent fans or new to the sport.”
Oli Bell said: “I am hugely excited about this opportunity and am really looking forward to fronting the Saturday morning magazine show. I am hugely passionate about the sport and will look forward to the afternoon's action every bit as much as the viewers at home and I hope to share that enthusiasm with them. I can’t wait to kick on now and work closely with the excellent team that ITV have assembled both on screen and behind the camera."
Hayley Turner said: “We hope to give viewers an enjoyable ride, giving them a close insight into the world of racing with plenty of laughs along the way. For me, this opportunity is a new chapter, having recently retired from race riding, so I’m looking forward to getting to grips with the role with this talented new team.”
Mick Fitzgerald said: “I’ve spent most of my life in racing, so I’m relishing the prospect of being part of ITV’s coverage from next year and sharing with viewers the unrivalled excitement and entertainment this sport offers.”
These new appointments follow the announcements earlier this year of Ed Chamberlin as ITV’s main racing presenter and his co-presenter for the Flat season, Francesca Cumani, as well as Matt Chapman as betting presenter and reporter.