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The real cost of F1 on Virgin Media

British Grand Prix 2011 - Hamilton & Massa

Last year the BBC decided to sell out and give half their F1 rights to Sky in a move that can only be described as a bloody outrage. Sky have also taken Martin Brundle, David Croft & Ted Kravitz, meaning that their coverage will be excellent – probably the best we’ve ever had.

I’ve looked into how much it will cost, and whether that cost is justified, to see all races live. The BBC will have 10, although their coverage will undoubtedly be inferior. (That said, it’s the race that matters, not the commentary team and pundits.)

There will be highlights of the Sky exclusive races on BBC, but I wouldn’t always consider these an acceptable alternative; I watched the Turkish GP highlights last year and it was almost impossible to follow the story of the race. (That’s an extreme example – the tyre degradation and DRS meant last year’s race had far more overtakes and pit stops that usual – but I still prefer to watch a race in its entirety.)

Virgin Media have now announced the only way to watch it on their platform (which I currently have,) is to add the Sky Sports package (which I do not,) so I’ve been able to do some mathematics and see how much it’ll cost per race.

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30 Before 30

Today I am having a birthday. Hooray!

I am literally 29 years old. Oh no!

To ensure the transition into my thirties causes as little anguish as possible, I have come up with a list of 30 things to do before I hit the Big Three Oh.

I spent the last year compiling this list and will spend the next year ticking things off it. Here it is for your viewing pleasure:

  1. Throw a molotov cocktail
  2. Obtain and wear a dooo-rag (this is the correct spelling, I checked)
  3. Black up
  4. Travel 5 miles on a Kalamazoo (up and down train car thing)
  5. Drive a Zamboni
  6. Go on a weighbridge. In Weybridge.
  7. Time travel and use this ability for Good (ref: China time travel ban)
  8. Win a fight and/or Royal Rumble
  9. Avert a disaster by reversing the polarity of something
  10. Illustrate a point by pointing to a black man and saying “this guy knows what I’m talking about”
  11. Kick a door in
  12. Do 180mph on the Autobahn
  13. Become amphibious
  14. Impress on my F1 debut
  15. Buy and fill a sticker album (not football)
  16. Learn the firetuba (ref: Covent Garden)
  17. Light a Cuban cigar with a $100 bill
  18. Smash up a pub
  19. Obtain a gold bar
  20. Do the perfect sneeze
  21. Tie someone’s shoelaces together without them knowing
  22. Join the Blue Man Group
  23. Call a lion a prick
  24. Make a citizen’s arrest
  25. Achieve enlightenment OR eat five scotch eggs in one sitting
  26. Be an extra in ‘Allo ‘Allo
  27. Get the Bumatron 8000 to market
  28. Get knifefighting into the Olympics
  29. Win Knightmare
  30. Do a motorbike stoppie

I see no reason why I shouldn’t be able to achieve all of these. I will post my success stories on this blog.


Over the last couple of years I’ve been getting into photography. I’ve got an entry level DSLR, the¬†Nikon D3000 – it’s basic but perfect for my needs and abilities at the moment.

My photos are all on my Flickr stream, and the rest of this post contains some of my favourites.

(If you’re viewing this at a later date from archives then some of the photos may have dropped off my photostream – I don’t have a Pro account.)


Gemma and I went on holiday to Barcelona in 2010.

This photo was taken in La Sagrada Familia. It was taken handheld so not the sharpest, but I like the colours.

The EXIF data was lost when I converted it for Flickr and I don’t have the RAW file to hand. I’m pretty sure this was on the 50mm lens, but I don’t know what settings.


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