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Move over M&S, because here comes the GB GP


Speedsters: Lewis Hamilton and Frankie Dettori

Speedsters: Lewis Hamilton and Frankie Dettori

Getty Images

Speedsters: Lewis Hamilton and Frankie Dettori

As Suzi Perry clambered about a helicopter in clothes so tight they looked like they'd been sprayed on, I thought I had stumbled upon an old episode of Treasure Hunt by mistake.

Her opening gambit of "it's the scenery of ripening crops and thickening plots" was worthy of Kenneth Kendall himself, only what normally sits at the bottom of the grand prix rainbow is far from glittering or gold and Anneka Rice wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

But it was Silverstone that sparkled on Sunday, with the Beeb getting a live gig and things couldn't have gone much better, the build-up a nice mix of chat interspersed with a great piece as Lewis Hamilton joined Stirling Moss for a race down memory lane in two classic Mercedes.

The highlight was the pair browsing at an old picture of Moss' old sparring partner Juan Fangio and a glorious moment of political incorrectness that must have them in meltdown in the editing suite.

"That's me and Fangio there and his piece of crumpet," said Moss and talking of things that are best left quiet, three of the Spice Girls turned up - well, the three whose careers are in the pits - with Eddie Jordan sent to have a word with Geri, Emma and the sporty one who had nipped to the loo, Mel P, I think she's called.

The preliminaries were almost over when it was time to unveil a piece of national treasure with the great Murray Walker asked to voice a rather weird take on that annoying M&S advert, with obligatory Fleetwood Mac accompaniment (just how much money have they made out of the Beeb over the years?) - "this is not just any Grand Prix, it's the British Grand Prix".

A brave boast and for once justified as the race had just about everything, a lightning start for the Williams cars, a pile-up, fake pit stops, the weather changing more often than Suzi and a British winner getting the better of two Germans.

Of course this also meant a huge amount of biased commentary, David Coulthard making some very alarming noises in the commentary box and even throwing in a Capt Mainwaring 'don't panic' as worries over a pitstop hadn't been so prevalent since Penelope was fending off Dick Dastardly.

Before anyone could shout 'help, help' Hamilton made a brave move to change tyres and our unbiased commentary team went into overdrive.

"Let's start doing a rain dance if you want to see a British winner this afternoon," said Coulthard, although in jeans that tight it may need a quick race to M&S for a spare pair if it went wrong, but he needn't have worried.

Lewis was crowned king by a man who knows a fair bit about horsepower in Frankie Dettori, and there was even a bit of time left for Jordan to rip into McLaren which was later to produce a response from team boss Ron Dennis on Sky Sports that he was a 'village idiot'.

Lawyers from the Guild of Village Idiots are believed to be weighing up their next move.

In the meantime, let us all bask in very unbiased fashion in the glory of a British win. As Coulthard said "it's very difficult not to be biased" but while Carlsberg may not do perfect grand prix weekends, the Beeb does.

Belfast Telegraph