British horse racing speaker, pundit and TV presenter Jim McGrath is best known as one of Channel 4’s most prolific horse racing commentators and worked with the broadcaster from the programme's debut in 1984.
Originally harbouring dreams of becoming a jockey McGrath was told early on that he would not be suitable for the role, refusing to relinquish his passion for the sport Jim McGrath began working as a horse racing speaker and racecourse reporter for the publishers Timeform. McGrath remained with Timeform throughout his career, becoming Managing Director in 2000 and Chairman in 2008, eventually leaving when the group was bought out by Betfair.
A popular TV presenter McGrath became known as 'the Sage of Halifax' by his fans thanks to his knowledge and insight into the sport. The nickname remained with McGrath throughout his career as a broadcaster and television and radio presenter.
In 1984 McGrath joined Channel 4 racing as one of the lead TV presenters and became associated with former National Hunt Champion and fellow television and radio presenter John Fanscome, with whom he frequently co-commentated and whose friendly banter and obvious bond became part and parcel of the 4 Racing Experience for many of its listeners.
In 1993 McGrath became a member of the British Horseracing Board’s Jump Racing Advisory Panel and the Horserace Writers and Photographers’ Association Committee, stepping down from both in 2004. In 2005 he became an independent director of the British Horseracing Board, retaining the position when, in 2007, the board was rebranded the British Horseracing Authority.
As well as working as a TV presenter Jim McGrath is a breeder and owner and has worked with notable horse racing trainers such as jockey Jamie Osborne.