Journallist and broadcaster Andrew Marriott writes with a light and humorous touch about a multi-faceted career covering some six decades.
He reckons he was the youngest ever person to report a Formula 1 race for a national publication and now the oldest person to regularly report from the pit lanes of Le Mans, Daytona and Silverstone.
He has covered every aspect of car and bike racing from Formula 1 to NASCAR as well as World Championship motorcycle racing plus inshore and offshore powerboat racing. Along the way he has interviewed thousands of competitors and, indeed, show business personalities . He says that he has interviewed or worked with every Formula 1 World Champion bar Farina, Ascari and Hawthorn.
He has been driven across Buenos Aires by Fangio, starred in a hilarious TV blooper episode with Mario Andretti, judged competitions with James Hunt, provided a flat floor for Jody Scheckter to sleep on, played charades with Jochen Rindt, persuaded Denny Hulme to go truck racing, covered up for Alan Jones after an altercation with a van driver and door-stepped Alain Prost as he came out of a Monaco portaloo. Ayrton Senna secretly signed his Lotus contract in front of Andrew but subsequently stood him up when the Brazilian decided that taking a ride in F16 jet was a better option than a Marriott interview.
Add to that ghosting road tests and much more from motor cycle world champion Barry Sheene, working with George Harrison on a sponsorship deal and for 25 years interviewing the Le Mans 24 Hour winners at the end of the great race. He says he is not sure how many times he has covered the French classic but at least 50 and he has worked at over 130 different race tracks. He came up with the idea of a feature film about Steve McQueen which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and is currently working on a follow-up.
Add to this a career in sports management and sponsorship embracing such events as the Hong Kong-Beijing Rally, various major Truck Races and the Birmingham Superprix. He has launched racing cars everywhere from London’s Albert Hall to a former carpet warehouse in Didcot. Add to that a brief career as a rally co-driver which included winning internationals in South Africa and the UK and finishing up stuck in a mud hole in Paraguay.