Grandstand (BBC)

Grandstand (BBC)

infobox television
show_name = Grandstand

caption = An early set of programme titles.
format = Sport
runtime = various
creator = Paul Fox
Bryan Cowgill
presenter = Peter Dimmock
David Coleman
Frank Bough
Desmond Lynam
Steve Rider John Inverdale
country = UK
network = BBC One
num_episodes = 3000+
first_aired = 11 October 1958
last_aired = 28 January 2007 |

"Grandstand" was a British television sport programme, and was one of the BBC's longest running sports shows, alongside "BBC Sports Personality of the Year". It was created by Paul Fox and Bryan Cowgill and launched on 11 October 1958. Its first presenter was Peter Dimmock. After there were only four main presenters of the programme: David Coleman, who took over almost immediately from Dimmock, Frank Bough, Desmond Lynam, and Steve Rider. As a result of changes in the structure of the programme, it did not have a regular main presenter during the last few years of the show.

Previous more occasional hosts have been Alan Weeks, David Icke, Clare Balding, Hazel Irvine, Bob Wilson, David Vine, Dougie Donnelly, Harry Carpenter, John Inverdale, Tony Gubba, Helen Rollason, Ray Stubbs and Sue Barker.

The last editions of "Grandstand" after 48 years were broadcast over the weekend of 27 January-28 January 2007.



The show, whose iconic theme tune, composed especially for the programme by Keith Mansfield and first heard on October 11, 1975, was one of the most recognisable on British television, dominated Saturday afternoons on BBC One (just called BBC Television before 1964), and covered nearly every major sporting event such as the Boat Race, Wimbledon, the FA Cup Final, the Olympic Games, the Commonwealth Games, the Grand National and the FIFA World Cup. There was a spin-off from the show launched in 1981 named "Sunday Grandstand" which ran on BBC Two and from time to time included the "Ski Sunday" section. The Mansfield theme was not, however, the original theme tune for the programme, despite the impression created on a number of TV nostalgia websites. The original tune ("News Scoop" by Len Stevens), which introduced "Grandstand" from 1958 to 1971, can be heard in the Cult TV section of the BBC's own website. From 1971 to 1975, another, little-remembered tune was used.

Towards the end of full time in the late afternoon, the football results were once brought up on screen via a digital device dubbed the Teleprinter, with each character of the results displayed one by one. Although technology has since improved, the modern-day graphics (the Vidiprinter) used by the programme still emulate the original typing system.

One famous section of the programme called "Final Score" covered the main football results. It was introduced not only to update fans of the day's sporting results, but also to give the results of the football pools. Remarkably, only two people regularly read out the classified football results on the programme: the Australian Len Martin (from the first programme until his death in 1995) and Tim Gudgin.

Between 1965 and 1985 "Grandstand" faced competition from ITV's "World of Sport", but ITV eventually decided to drop Saturday afternoon sport in favour of other programmes.

Later years and demise

In its final few years, the show was rarely hosted from a studio and as such there was no longer a main presenter. The show tended to be broadcast from the various sporting events of the day; for example, Hazel Irvine would host the show if the main feature would be snooker, Clare Balding for the racing and rugby league or John Inverdale for the rugby union.

Since August 2001, "Football Focus" gradually separated from "Grandstand" having been the first feature on the show since 1974. It became a stand-alone programme in its own right, usually broadcast between 1210 and 1300 on Saturday afternoon before "Grandstand" began at 1300.

Following the success of Sky Sports' "Soccer Saturday" programme featuring match reports on the afternoon's football, BBC introduced a similar programme called "Score" which has pundits watching and analysing the day's action and is broadcast all afternoon on the BBCi interactive service. After the day's sports action on "Grandstand" the programme switched to the studio of "Score", which fulfilled the role of the old "Final Score" service.

On 24 April 2006, after 48 years, the BBC announced that "Grandstand" would be gradually phased out on a Saturday afternoon, due to the increasing use of interactive services and the need to meet the challenges of the digital, on-demand world. [cite news|url=|title=BBC is to scrap show Grandstand |work=BBC|date=24 April 2006] This had been first hinted by the dropping of the "Grandstand" title from the BBC's coverage of the Commonwealth Games, Winter Olympics and the World Cup.

With little or no notice, the BBC's own website only noted the news on the day of its cancellation had been brought forward from 2009 to 28th January 2007.

After "Grandstand" ended

The programme's final broadcast was on Sunday January 28, 2007, coming to an end after 48 years. A short tribute to the history of the show formed its final feature. Sport will still feature prominently on the BBC's programme schedules on Saturday afternoon. Other sports will feature on BBCi, the interactive service available on digital television. [ [ Roger Mosey on plans after Grandstand] ]

Historic, noteworthy or bizarre live events broadcast

*England's 4-2 victory over West Germany in the final of the 1966 FIFA World Cup
*Foinavon winning the 1967 Grand National at odds of 100/1 following a 23rd fence pile up in which every other horse fell or was remounted
*Tony Jacklin first ever live televised hole in one during the 1967 Dunlop Masters
*Gary Sobers first ever scorer of six sixes in an over in 1968. [ [ Sobers six sixes] cricinfo]
*Harvey Smith giving his notorious two-fingered "V" salute in 1971
*That game, That try. One of the most memorable tries ever scored. The Barbarians match with the All Blacks at Cardiff Arms Park on January 27, 1973.
*First known streaker at a major sporting event during the 1974 England - France Rugby Union match at Twickenham.
*University Boat Race - Cambridge sinking in 1978 and again in 1984 after colliding with a stationary barge
*The Hillsborough football ground disasters in 1989.
*Horse racing - Frankie Dettori winning seven races in a day at Ascot in 1996
*A fight breaking out between staff in the newsroom behind presenter Desmond Lynam while he was on air on April 1, 1989. This was later revealed to be an April Fool's Day joke. [ [ April Fool's day fight - unbroadcast version] ] [ [ April Fool's day fight - fit for broadcast version] ]
*Death of Ayrton Senna at the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1, 1994.



*"The term Grandstand also refers the main seating structure for spectators at a sporting event - after which the BBC programme is named."

ee also

*Broadcasting of sports events

External links

* [ October 2003 - 45 and still going strong]
* [ April 2006 - Why Grandstand is going]
* [ Museum of Broadcasting]
* [ BBC News 24 Video] Report by Adam Parsons on Grandstand's demise.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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