In the 1980 season he was joined in the commentary box by 1976 F1 champion James Hunt. While an unlikely pair, who famously struggled to see eye-to-eye to begin with, the two struck up a popular double act, continuing to work together until Hunt died in 1993. Murray would continue commentating with Jonathan Palmer at the BBC and then Martin Brundle at ITV before hanging up his full-time microphone in 2001.
Although mostly known for his F1 commentary, some of Walker’s finest commentating moments came away from the Grand Prix scene, including for the BTCC in the early 1990s. He was also the lead presenter and commentator at the first Goodwood Revival, alongside Simon Taylor, in 1998, and was a regular visitor to Goodwood, for both the Revival and Festival of Speed presented by Mastercard. His final Goodwood commentary came at the 2012 Settrington Cup.
While Murray never returned to regular commentary after his retirement in 2001, he would take up the microphone on occasion, including stepping in for David Croft on Five Live at the European Grand Prix in 2007. He continued to conduct interviews for Five Live and then Sky Sports and Channel 4 until very close to his death, even returning after both a broken pelvis in 2013, and cancer treatment the same year.
A statement from the BRDC annoucning his death said: “It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of BRDC Associate member Murray Walker OBE.
“A friend, a true motorsport legend, the nation’s favourite commentator and a contagious smile. Murray will be sadly missed, his mark and voice will live on in motorsport and our hearts forever.
“We thank Murray for all he has done for our community. Sending our love and thoughts to Murray’s family and friends in this difficult time. RIP our friend.”
He is survived by his wife Elizabeth.