The show will be presented by Ed Chamberlin, who will be a familiar face to viewers of Sky Sports football coverage over the last 16 years. Chamberlin ended his work for the satellite channel in May, and has spent the last few months increasing his knowledge of the horse racing world and getting to know the people who operate in it.
Oli Bell, who was previously presenting on the Racing UK channel, is another confirmed member of the ITV Racing team, and will present a weekly magazine programme called The Opening Show. Francesca Cumani, who is the daughter of trainer Luca Cumani, will co-present the Flat Season, and quite a few famous faces will contribute to the show, including Frankie Dettori, Mick Fitzgerald, Victoria Pendleton and AP McCoy. Channel 4 Racing regular Richard Hoiles has been hired as lead commentator.
The first show on Sunday 1 January, 2017, will present live coverage of the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle and the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase, both from Cheltenham. In addition, Oli Bell will present live racing from Musselburgh.
ITV haven’t broadcast live racing since 1985, so the television company is understandably pleased to have the sport back on its schedule. ‘The launch of our racing coverage is an exciting new event for ITV,’ said Kelly Williams, who is Managing Director of Commercial at ITV. ‘I look forward to working with William Hill which has such a history with the sport.’
William Hill are also feeling good about the new show. ‘We’re delighted to be the new sponsors of ITV Racing,’ said Cem Miralay, who is Chief Customer Officer at William Hill. ‘The new format on ITV is set to attract millions more viewers to the sport and we’re excited to have this opportunity to engage with this new audience on a weekly basis.’