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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 11:26 GMT 12:26 UK
R.I.P. Grandstand
GRANDSTAND has reached the end of normal time. Stoppage time will last until 2009 but there will be no extra time and definitely no penalty shoot-out.

The powers that be at the BBC have decided that with the fragmenting, multi-channel modern television world there is no place for the Saturday afternoon sports show, first broadcast on 11 October 1958.

Today's classified results are: Much-loved Five-decades-old Sports Show 0, New On-Demand Digital Era 1.

Des Lynam on Grandstand
Happier times
The advent of the show heralded a blossoming of televised sport as a quintessential part of the British Saturday afternoon.

The first show featured golf from St Andrews, racing from Ascot and show jumping "direct from Harringay".

And who could forget cult composer Keith Mansfield's theme tune.

"Baddla dit dat dat da-na naa diddle-it ba baa da-na naa di-na naa dat! Daa!," was how it ended.

Friends of Grandstand may have predicted its demise when it suffered one of its darkest days on 20 May 2000, the occasion of the last FA Cup final at Wembley.

Having lost the rights to ITV, and with Channel 4 having acquired that day's test against Zimbabwe at Lord's, the BBC appeared to have inadvertently run out of sport.

The show was cancelled that day and replaced by My Fair Lady and a repeat of Allo Allo, to widespread derision in the press.

It wasn't all bad as Chelsea's defeat of Aston Villa proved to be one of the dullest matches played beneath the Twin Towers.

But the writing on the wall was as clear as the scores on the Teleprinter.

Grandstand's success in promoting the idea of regular live sport on television has been the progenitor of its downfall.

Like it or loathe it, sport is everywhere now and people expect to pick and choose.

No flowers.


Add your tributes using the form below.

Sudden death
Candace, New Jersey, US

Three to four years: definitely a grand (last) stand!
Dave Slater, Glasgow, Scotland

They think it's all over. It is now
Jeremy, London

Coleman to Coleman, Lynam to Lynam; off to the great terracing in the sky. Thank you.
Jaffs, Edinburgh, UK

Grandstood-down
Nicholas, Belfast

...and so, the time approaches for Grandstand to take its final Bough...
Simon Jackson., Barnet, Herts.

RIP - footballs, golfballs, colemanballs
Nigel Garnham, Leicestershire

Grandstranded!
Dave Wilkins, Northampton

And that's it, the final whistle is blown.
Jordan Dias, London/Edinburgh, UK

We had a ball.
Rik, Nottingham, England

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Hear the little-heard Grandstand guitar solo



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