We started this site with the aim of promoting both sportswomen and women in sport so were absolutely delighted to have the opportunity to speak with BT Sport pundit Suzi Perry, following the announcement that BT Sport had signed a new three-year deal to continue as the exclusive live broadcaster of MotoGP™ in the UK and Ireland until the end of the 2021 season.
It was great to hear the excitement in Suzi’s voice, she is obviously thrilled by the announcement telling me that the contract extension gives them great continuity in developing the television programme and giving them the ability to tell the story of MotoGP. Suzi has been working in motor sport for more than 20 years but her passion and enthusiasm for the sport is undimmed and truly infectious.
Suzi’s story is an extraordinary one, the ultimate sports fan, she said she enjoyed taking part in all sports at school (except swimming) and after school used to go to football with her dad, she is still an ardent Wolves fan. As she got older and attended more events she used to go to the motorbike racing at Donnington Park, even camping at the weekend meets.
It’s a big step from being a fan to a career sports presenting, but combining her passion with hard work and expansive knowledge this dynamic young woman talked her way into a job with Sky in 1997 and entered the male dominated world of motorbike sport and was the first woman in the world to present the World Superbike series. It is a position she now owns.
Since 1997 Suzi’s career has gone from strength to strength; she has presented a whole host of shows from the popular Gadget Show to the iconic Superstars and appeared as a guest on shows like a Question of Sport and the Alan Titchmarsh Show, to name but a very few.
However, live television and motorbikes are indeed her passion and her speciality. She is clearly very happy working with an amazing team of pundits on MotoGP: Craig Doyle, Colin Edwards, Neil Hodgson, James Toseland, Keith Huewen, Gavin Emmett and Michael Laverty who will be joining the BT Sport team (and as he is still riding he will add another layer of experience to an already illustrious team).
Suzi is captivated by the skill and bravery of the riders and of course the excitement of the race – she pointed out that in MotoGP you can even see the eyes of the riders and the fierce concentration as they compete on the circuit, which she believes adds to spectacle of the race, something you don’t get in Formula 1 for instance.
The new season is almost here and Suzi and the team are obviously raring to go; with 19 Grand Prix all across the world and with 20 hours of coverage per race the presenters need to be as well prepared as the riders and have as much stamina.
When she does get some leisure time Suzi enjoys a spin on her Triumph Bonneville, these days opting for comfort over speed. I don’t know how she copes with her schedule, but she obviously thrives on it and I now look forward to the season with a renewed respect for all involved.
BT Sport is where the best in sport go head to head. Watch the new MotoGP season exclusively live on BT Sport 2, starting in Qatar on Sunday 18th March. For more info visit www.BT.com/sport