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Lee McKenzie smiling© S Meddle/ITV/Shutterstock

Formula 1 presenter Lee McKenzie has a very famous father – details

The Scottish presenter followed in her father's footsteps with her motorsport background

Matthew Moore
Online News Writer & Diversity and Inclusion Lead
July 4, 2024
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Lee McKenzie is back alongside Steve Jones and David Coulthard to lead Channel 4's coverage of the British Grand Prix.

Lee lives and breathes motorsports, even competing in some formats herself, and started her Formula 1 reporting career back in 2009 when she appeared as a pit lane reporter when the BBC used to broadcast coverage and would take the lead role when presenter Jake Humphreys was unavailable.

Lee McKenzie interview Lewis Hamilton© Clive Mason
Lee has interviewed giants of the sport like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel

When Channel 4 acquired the rights to broadcast the sport, Lee followed suit and has presented for the channel since 2016 and over recent years has often led coverage of Grand Prix weekends.

However, it was her famous father who got her interested in the sport after he was called out at the last minute to report on the 1991 Mexican Grand Prix.

Lee McKenzie with sunglasses on her head© Mark Thompson
Lee started her F1 career with the BBC

Lee's father is Bob McKenzie, a sports writer who worked for the Daily Express between 1979 and 2014. Bob was called to write for the event when the usual reporter was off sick and while watching her father, Lee became hooked and at the age of 15 she began writing for her local paper, the Ayrshire Post.

She recalled to the Sunday Post: "It was a great grounding. I'd go to whatever sport was on – usually rugby – on a Saturday and I'd get the Monday morning off school to go to the office and write up the rugby report and an equestrian column. I didn't consider doing anything else."

John McKenzie running around Silverstone© Mark Thompson
Lee's father did a charity run naked around Silverstone in 2005

The star even joked about following her father to Formula 1 races, saying: "My dad was a Fleet Street journalist and I was the annoying child who turned up at all the sporting events. So I had been to loads of F1 races by the time I was 12."

Commenting on her dad's career to Motorsport Broadcasting, Lee said: "I was going to Formula 1 races when I was ten years old, I've known Bernie [Eccleston] since I was a small child. My Dad was at [Ayrton] Senna's funeral, and wrote books on both Damon [Hill] and Nigel [Mansell]. I've been surrounded by all this, in different sports, not just motor sport, all my life."

Lee McKenzie holding a microphone in front of an F1 garage© Instagram
Lee helps to front F1 coverage for Channel 4

Career

Lee has had quite a broadcasting career and started her job at Borders TV where she covered major news events including the opening of the Scottish Parliament and the Lockerbie bombing trial.

Lee McKenzie with a horse kneeling down© Instagram
Lee started her career with an equestrian column

It's not just Formula 1 where Lee has made a name for herself, as the Scottish-born journalist has also presented coverage on horse racing, the Six Nations rugby, Wimbledon and both the Olympic and Paralympic games.

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