Matt Gallagher on commentating in the real and virtual worlds and racing for charity.
This week on Nitro Nights, Indiana meets Matt Gallagher – host of WTF1 and racing commentator in both the real and virtual worlds. So who better to give an insight on the contrast between the two?
A “whirlwind” career
Matt is a well-known face to followers of Formula 1, but his career started from much more humble beginnings in his bedroom at home. There, he created the YouTube channel xMattyG1 simply commentating on and playing the F1 2010 game. By doing so, he unintentionally kick-started a dream career path which led him to hosting videos and podcasts on WTF1, and the clear highlight of driving a Renault F1 car! He describes it as an experience he’ll “never forget”, spurring him on to perhaps attempting to gain a racing license at some point in the future.
Commentating in different worlds
Matt recently made the jump into ‘serious’ motorsports commentary by joining Alex Jaques to cover the F1 Esports Pro Series 2020. F1 Esports liked the duo so much that Matt was subsequently asked to commentate on the real-life F2 series as well. The Brit explains to Indiana that he felt like he had been “thrown in at the deep end” at first, as the two series require very different styles of commentary. Whereas a crash in esports can be hyped up, real-life racing requires a completely different tone, as there is always a chance that someone could be hurt. Although he felt like he was learning “on the fly”, he soon found his feet, and is sure to be a more regular fixture in motorsports commentary in the future.
Racing for charity
On November 29, Matt was one of a host of sim racers who took part in The Race For Mental Health, organized by Jimmy Broadbent. The endurance event was a 23-hour race at Zolder, with all proceeds going to Mind. Just like last year the event far exceeded expectations, raising a massive £70,000 in total.
I’m absolutely speechless.— Jimmy Broadbent (@JimmyBroadbent) November 29, 2020
Our figure at the end of the race more than DOUBLES what we raised during last year’s event.
This will do a massive amount of good for @MindCharity and you should all be proud of your contributions, be they big or small. pic.twitter.com/4aiitfd25W
Matt, who finished third in the race, explains that it was highly competitive, but it had a fun side too. For example, drivers could pay to get rid of penalties – either with a financial donation, or by doing a forfeit. Matt himself fell foul of this system and ended up singing “Barbie Girl” – a novel way to cleanse your racing soul!
Afterwards, Indiana and Matt discuss the top social media posts from the week. Then it’s time for the Trackmania challenge! Will Matt channel his gaming skills to beat his F1 Esports co-host Tom Deacon on track? Tune into episode 30 of Nitro Nights to find out!