By Richard Haynes

This e-book offers the 1st special account of the formative a long time of BBC televised game while it introduced its flagship programmes Sportsview, Grandstand and Match of the Day. in response to broad archival examine within the BBC’s written data and interviews with best manufacturers, editors and commentators of the interval, it offers a ‘behind-the-scenes’ narrative heritage of this significant establishment of British cultural existence. In 2016 the BBC celebrated the 50th anniversary of its tv assurance of England’s international Cup victory. Their assurance produced essentially the most oft-played moments within the background of tv, Kenneth Wolstenholme’s well-known line: ‘Some individuals are at the pitch, they believe it’s in all places … it truly is now!’ as Geoff Hurst scored England’s fourth target, securing England’s 4-2 victory. It was once a landmark in English soccer in addition to a watershed within the BBC’s hugely professionalised method of televised game. How the BBC reached this top of tv services, and who was once at the back of their luck in constructing the recommendations of televised activity, is the point of interest of this book.

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56. Radio Times, 22 July 1938, 16. 57. Radio Times, 12 August 1938, 15. 58. Rait-Kerr to de Lotbinière, 14 March 1939, MCC Archive B12/F2. 59. Dorté to Rait-Kerr, 28 April 1939, MCC Archive B12/F2. 60. Barnett, Games and Sets. 61. Radio Times, 22 April 1938. 62. Cock to Fowler, December 1937, BBC WAC T14/34. 63. Programme Report, 2 December 1938, BBC WAC T14/34. 64. C, London Television service to Tel. , 16 December 1938, BBC WAC T14/34. 65. The Times, 8 April, 1938, 18. 66. Moran, J. (2013) Armchair Nation: An Intimate History of Britain in Front of the TV, London: Profile Books, 40.

Laying cable for OBs cost approximately £1,000 per mile and the GPO developed the coaxial cable to ensure a high-definition signal could be transmitted. Marconi-EMI’s research team led by Shoenberg calculated that the coaxial cable (manufactured by Siemans Brothers) could be used to transmit video signals up to eight miles from Alexandra Palace, double that with a link from Broadcasting House in central London. 41 An essential feature of television outside broadcast equipment was, most obviously, a need to be mobile.

33 Further demonstration sports followed in or around Alexandra Palace and included: the Women’s League of Health and Beauty, whose leader, Prunella Stack, had studied the methods of women’s physical culture in Nazi Germany34; Archery with members of the Royal Toxophilite Society; Weaponless Self-Defence, a programme on Ju-Jitsu featuring Bob Gregory; snooker, with exhibition play by Horace Lindrum and Willie Smith showcasing a sport that was beginning to challenge billiards as a dominant professional game; a cycling race around a circuit in Alexandra Park as part of the National Cycling Festival; ‘pub games’ including darts 24 BBC SPORT IN BLACK AND WHITE and shove-ha’penny between two London hostelries; and a filmed series called Golfers in Action, introduced by golf journalist Bernard Darwin and presented by Leslie Mitchell, which took professional golfers such as Charles Whitcombe, one of the famous trio of Whitcombe brothers who had represented Britain in the 1935 Ryder Cup, round the miniature course at Alexandra Palace.

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