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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 15:28 GMT 16:28 UK
Grandstand through the ages
David Coleman
David Coleman presenting one of the first Grandstands

Grandstand was first broadcast from the Lime Grove Studios on Saturday 11 October 1958.

Peter Dimmock presented the programme, which featured racing from Ascot, golf's world amateur team championship and the Horse of the Year Show.

There was an up-to-the-minute sports results service, which involved John Tidy posting results on a giant scoreboard using a 15 ft high ladder.

The show's first editor, Sir Paul Fox, had high hopes for the new venture: "Grandstand plans to provide a new type of sports survey," he said at the time.

"The quickest way of knowing what has happened in sport will be to watch Grandstand throughout the afternoon."

As an added bonus, Grandstand was followed in the schedules that first day by The Lone Ranger.

After three programmes, David Coleman took over from Peter Dimmock as presenter and became the face and voice of Grandstand.

Des Lynam
Des Lynam: Seventies style

Coleman has been followed by a number of top-class presenters over the years.

Desmond Lynam hosted his first show in 1979, admitting later that the prospect of fronting Grandstand: "frightened me to death."

Steve Rider made his debut in 1985 while Sue Barker arrived in 1994, although she had initial reservations about the role.

"I couldn't believe they were offering me the chance to do it and thought they might change ther minds once they saw me in action," she said.

Still going strong after more than 3,000 editions, the programme has covered 22 summer and winter Olympic games, 11 Commonwealth Games and several World Cups.

Its largest-ever audience was for the 1966 World Cup, when 27m viewers saw England beat West Germany at Wembley.


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