The YouTube Files – 30 Years Of Grandstand.

Grandstand (BBC1, 1988)

A while back I reviewed some sport programmes including Grandstand. Wanting to have another look back at these type of shows, I recently found on YouTube some highlights from the 30th anniversary edition of Grandstand that was shown on BBC1 on 8 October 1988 (the BBC Genome’s entry for this edition is simply “see panel”, and then the panel isn’t there which is rather frustrating).

The time is 12:15pm and Des Lynam (before he cleared off to ITV) is once again about to introduce a busy afternoon of sport action, today is the 1,777th edition. They even made a sign specially and everything! We begin with the BBC Sport symbol that had only just been introduced and would be used until 1992. We then have the original opening sequence from 1958 (“today’s sport as it happens”). vlcsnap-00905

There is then a montage of all the memorable sporting moments that had been shown hundreds of times even then (the 1966 World Cup Final and so on), and all these were probably shown again on the final edition in 2007. Des tells us that Grandstand is the longest-running TV sports programme in the world, and he is very grateful about that. And the idea behind Grandstand hasn’t changed in these 30 years. vlcsnap-00910

This afternoon’s sport (before Sky bought it all off them) includes golf, racing and motor sport. Des then interviews Harry Carpenter who worked on the first edition, and today is at the golf (although I believe that it’s a myth that he was once introduced as “your carpenter is Harry Commentator”). John Motson reviews the week’s European football, and Steve Rider has a motor sport update. vlcsnap-00900

There is also some top racing from Ascot, and as it was on day one, the commentator is Peter O’Sullevan. Now his was a great voice that I remember from coverage on Saturday afternoons for many years, and he is also interviewed by Des about his memories. Shortly after retiring in 1997, O’Sullevan was knighted for his outstanding service to talking very quickly. vlcsnap-00904

Then we have the football results with the vidiprinter. Des remembers the old days when the teleprinter used to rattle them out, but modern technology has now taken over. Pools coupon at the ready. One of the results in Division Two is Blackburn 5 Crystal Palace 4, that sounds like a right old whizz-bang of a humdinger. And then, wait, is Des packing up and going? vlcsnap-00661

No, he’s going over to the other side of the studio to introduce us to some more of the highly professional team, including another who has contributed since day one. It’s Len Martin who is sat in the corner and has all the football results, and still remembers when Tottenham put ten past Everton, you got value for money in those days. Len left Grandstand in 1995. vlcsnap-00907

Des finishes off this special edition by telling us what used to follow Grandstand in its earliest days. Now… who was that man? It was The Lone Ranger, and that show’s theme brings this show to an end instead of the more familiar regular theme. What an entertaining trip back in time. Don’t forget that there are golf highlights on BBC2 at 12:35am.

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The YouTube Files – Grandstand.

Grandstand (BBC1, 1958-2007)

In one of my previous pieces on here I reviewed ITV Sport’s Results Service, the show on Saturday afternoon where they featured the football results. Now it’s time to review the BBC’s equivalent Final Score which was shown as part of Grandstand for many years. The example I’m using was shown on 21 March 1992 and uploaded to YouTube by “BiroWyb2” so credit goes to them. vlcsnap-00572

Saturdays always seemed to be exciting on BBC1 when I was younger. After the CBBC Saturday Morning show ended after over three hours, you’d then get about five hours of the latest exciting sport action in Grandstand, followed by lots of great primetime entertainment shows. Grandstand ended with the segment Final Score, which featured the day’s football results. It was usually hosted in the 80s and 90s by Desmond Lynam, Bob Wilson, or, as in the example I’m using, Steve Rider, and all of them handled this fast-moving segment of the show well. vlcsnap-00568

The style in which the results were received was of course distinctive and memorable. In the early days of the show the teleprinter was used, but as technology advanced, the computerised vidiprinter was introduced. I am sure that lots of people will remember the late goal flashes and results scrolling on the screen and the weird veep-veep-veep noise that accompanied them. There were also reports from the ground from the likes of Tony Gubba as the matches reached their conclusion. Come on Tony, just when we need you… vlcsnap-00574

A lot of people used to watch to discover the fate of their team and their rivals for that week. One of the most memorable things about the vidiprinter was when a team scored seven or more goals in a game the number was also spelled out. As far as I know, the highest ever score to appear was a Scottish Cup match in December 1984 that finished Stirling Albion 20 (TWENTY) Selkirk 0. vlcsnap-00567

Once enough results had come in it would be time for the classified check. Cue every other comedian having a “why are the results classified if they’re public knowledge?” routine. They would be read out by Len Martin or Tim Gudgin and they could both do that thing where you would know what the result would be just from the tone of their voice. vlcsnap-00569

Then it’s time for a look at the league tables. What with this being near the end of the final season before the Premier League came along in England, there aren’t many games left to play. Will Leeds become the champions? It’s possible. Also featuring in the relegation zone are Luton and Notts County, who did go down, and they haven’t been back in the top flight since. vlcsnap-00570

There would also be a look at the pools news, so get your coupons ready to discover those all-important score draws. The results carried on being reported like this until the end of the 2000-2001 season, at which point Final Score became a programme in its own right and the technology was modernised. After Grandstand ended in 2007, the show continued and can now be watched for the whole afternoon on the red button.