After amassing over a decade of experience presenting and reporting on Formula 1 and other top-flight motorsports, Jennie Gow has been announced as Extreme E’s joint lead commentator for their world feed.
Jennie will be the voice of the groundbreaking electric SUV championship, commentating live from a London-based studio as the action unfolds.
“The key mission of the whole championship is to raise environmental awareness by going to impacted places and by trying to increase diversity, inclusion and equality,” Jennie says. “They're doing things in a different way and once you hear the names associated with it - not only the manufacturers and the teams but also some of the drivers who are getting behind it - that gives you even more of a reason why this is genuinely an exciting new series and I get to be a part of it!”
In its inaugural campaign, the 2021 Extreme E season will consist of five races. The first - in Saudi Arabia - will take place next month.
“I'm desperate to try and address and redress the balance of power when it comes to diversity and inclusion,” Jennie says. “For a championship to reach out and actively promote putting a female as a lead commentator into that box - that's something different and it's something that I wanted to try and achieve.”
As part of Extreme E’s inclusivity programme, each of the 10 teams have one female and one male driver, something which has received high praise from across the motorsport world and beyond. Jennie’s appointment as co-lead commentator is yet another significant move for the championship to promote gender equality.
“I want people at home to be able to hear this isn't just a man’s sport, this is an equal sport,” she says. “There are females on teams, there are females driving, there are females talking to me about this and not just as a presenter or a reporter, but doing the world feed commentary. It's a huge opportunity for me, but also as a sport, to be able to open that up and say, you can be inspired.
“It doesn't matter who you are, it doesn't matter where you come from, if you're a guy or girl, being a commentator is accessible. As long as you can tell a story and get excited when you know everybody at home's excited and you can be chilled when you need to be, it should come together really well.”
Jennie and her co-lead commentator Andrew Coley will be based in London throughout the five Extreme E events and will not travel to locations, in line with the championship’s core values surrounding climate change.
“That's all part of the story of Extreme E, to try and minimise the number of people that they're sending,” Jennie says. “Even the teams are really restricted in how many people are able to be on the ground because of the legacy programmes and the environmental impact that being somewhere like on a glacier would have.”
Even with the challenge of not being on location, Jennie is immensely excited about what’s to come with her role at Extreme E.
“When it comes to this commentary role it is a bit different - the races are short, sharp, it's adrenaline-fueled, but we are trying to get across the message of the environmental impact, sustainability and so it will be more of a storytelling and commentary role, which is unique,” she says.
“There's a lot for all of us to learn because it's a brand new series. We're still looking at how it's going to be broadcast and the setup of it, but it's really exciting to be tasked with inspiring people.”