INTERVIEW: Sky Sports F1 commentator David Croft to star in Disney’s Planes
- Credit: Archant
A SKY Sports commentator has seen his career hit new heights after being cast in Disney’s latest 3D film.
David Croft took his first job in the media industry as a sports reporter for the Comet in 1993 – two decades on he is now about to make his debut on the big screen in animation movie Planes.
The 43-year-old, who spent two-and-a-half years on the football terraces covering Stevenage for the newspaper, has been the voice behind Sky Sports’ Formula One television coverage since 2012 but during last summer his 18-year commentating career took an unexpected twist.
The Stevenage born father-of-two told the Comet: “I got a phone call from someone I know at Disney and he said ‘look I’ve seen a film that we’re going to be releasing and I think you’d be brilliant as one of the parts’.”
Following a series of conversations, ‘Crofty’, as he is known by TV viewers and friends alike, was offered a role in Disney’s Planes – a 3D animated comedy adventure featuring a plane with dreams of competing as a high-flying air racer.
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In February Crofty provided his voiceover for character Lofty Crofty, an airship who commentates throughout the movie, and will star alongside Hollywood’s John Cleese and Teri Hatcher when the film is released in the UK next Friday, August 16.
“If someone had said to me ‘you’re going to be in a Disney film’ I never would’ve believed them,” said Crofty, who now lives in Sandy, Bedfordshire, with his wife Vicky, and sons James, 4, and Daniel, 6.
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“I can’t believe they named the character after me as well.”
Crofty admitted that he had hoped to keep his part in the film, which follows on from Disney blockbuster Cars, a secret from his children but they heard his voice in a trailer while at the cinema last month.
“They heard my voiceover and my four-year-old said ‘daddy, why is your voice in the film? Daddy, you’re Lofty Crofty’,” he said. “It’s a big Disney film and if you like Cars you’ll love Planes. It’s really charming.”
After his stint at the Comet, Crofty spent three years at BBC Three Counties Radio before landing a job on BBC Radio 5 Live in 1998.
He became the Formula One commentator for the national radio station in 2006, where he remained until Sky Sports came calling last year.
About his career, Crofty said: “Twenty years ago I was writing reports on Stevenage Borough for the local newspaper, and now I’m commentating on a premium sports channel and appearing in a Disney animation as well. I kind of pinch myself sometimes.”
With Stevenage’s Lewis Hamilton one of the biggest names in Formula One, Crofty has also had the chance to watch someone from his hometown grow into a global superstar and win the Formula One World Championship in 2008.
“If Lewis Hamilton doesn’t win more than one title then there’s no justice in this world,” said Crofty.
“He’s a fantastic racing driver and I would love to commentate on a Stevenage boy winning the championship again.”