Channel 4 Racing has announced its broadcast team for the Aintree Grand National on 11 April, with English racing broadcaster Nick Luck set to be lead anchor for the race, replacing Claire Balding who hosted last week’s Cheltenham Festival coverage.
Luck will be joined by popular flat jockey champion Frankie Dettori and Channel 4 fashion expert Gok Wan as the broadcaster looks to broaden the appeal of the race.
Channel 4 reported another year of declining viewing figures for the Cheltenham Festival, which peaked at just under a million viewers on Wednesday 11 March. Overall daily TV viewership of the 2015 Cheltenham Festival was down 20,000 year on year.
In December 2014, Claire Balding’s management announced that the anchor would reduce her commitments to Channel 4 Racing who had acquired the TV rights for the Grand National (4 year TV broadcast contract) from the BBC. Balding is contracted to host nine days of coverage with Channel 4 Racing, it is believed that she will bow out from Channel 4 at Royal Ascot on 20 June.
Luck a regular pundit for Channel 4 Racing, is thought to have beaten lead anchor competition from chat show host Jeremy Kyle and BT Sports football anchor Jake Humphrey.
Channel 4 has stated that it expects to generate +8 million viewership for the 2015 Aintree Grand National.