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Last Updated: Monday, 29 January 2007, 10:18 GMT
Grandstand on the BBC

David Coleman on the set of Grandstand
David Coleman was one of the first presenters of Grandstand
The first broadcast of Grandstand was on 11 October 1958.

Running on Saturday afternoons, it was the first programme on British television to pull together a variety of sports in one show.

The inaugural transmission from Lime Grove Studios consisted of horse racing from Ascot, golf and the Horse of the Year show.

The host that day was Peter Dimmock and he was followed into the hot seat by a who's who of sports broadcasting.

The legendary David Coleman took over the presenting duties just weeks later, hosting the show for more than 20 years.

Frank Bough was then next to take the reins before housewives favourite Des Lynam presented the show for over 300 editions.

The final regular host of the programme was Steve Rider who took over from Lynam in 1991 and presented the programme until 2005.

But Grandstand has over the years been hosted by some of the BBC's most famous names.

Sue Barker, John Inverdale, Cliff Michelmore, David Vine, Hazel Irvine, Clare Balding and Harry Carpenter have all introduced the show after it has been ushered on screen by its iconic theme tune.

Keith Mansfield composed a theme tune especially for the show which ran until 1975, before he created the now famous opening music for the 1,000th edition of Grandstand.

More than 3000 editions
23 summer and winter Olympic games covered
13 Commonwealth Games covered
Largest audience was 27m for 1966 World Cup final

From its inception, Grandstand became synonymous with the big sporting events and covered some of the greatest moments in British sporting history.

From the 1966 World Cup final, to Wimbledons and Grand Nationals, plus every one of Sir Steve Redgrave's five gold medals, its cameras and production teams were there to help the nation saviour the moment.

The show was also a trailblazer with an up-to-the-minute sport results service that was the first of its kind.

Football scores and horse racing results were displayed on a giant scoreboard that required people to dangle precariously on a 15 foot ladder to operate it.

Everything was made out of cardboard and sellotape and it was a world away from the electronic scores and computer technology that was introduced in the 1980s.

The show was not without its humour and one of its most infamous moments came during a April Fools prank involving a mock fight behind presenter Lynam's head.

Viewers jammed the switchboard as two BBC colleagues fought it out only to be informed it was a practical joke.

The final Grandstand took place on 28 January 2007 after more than 3000 editions.

As BBC Director of Sport Roger Mosey explains, a change in the way viewers like to enjoy sport means that Grandstand's format simply does not fit in with sports broadcasting in the 21st century.

"Sport shouldn't be defined by what's on one television channel on a Saturday afternoon, and we want the freedom to schedule more events where viewers want them," said Mosey.

The rise of interactive TV, via the red button, will play a crucial role in the future of sport on the BBC as it allows more live sport to be screened as it happens.

The BBC remains committed to sport as ever and there will continue to be as much action on the BBC on TV, Interactive, radio and online.

Grandstand axed in BBC facelift
25 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Presenters' reaction
25 Apr 06 |  Grandstand
Why Grandstand is going
25 Apr 06 |  Grandstand
Grandstand photos
25 Apr 06 |  Photo Galleries
Ten top facts
15 Aug 02 |  Grandstand


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