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Thursday, 15 August, 2002, 15:29 GMT 16:29 UK
Ten top facts
A few facts about BBC Sport's longest running show
A few facts about BBC Sport's longest running show
Running since 1958, most people think they know everything there is to know about Grandstand.

But here we reveal some facts, figures and secrets previously unknown...


One:

At the 1993 Open Championship, Steve Rider hit the BBC2 button instead of the BBC1 button on his mixing desk live on air.

He expected to hear commentary through his ear-piece; instead he was treated to a war film.

"All I could hear was the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbour," he recalled.

Two:

Viewers in the 1980s were somewhat surprised to see a punch-up developing in the studio behind Des Lynam.

The BBC switchboard was inundated with calls - but callers were then reminded of the date - April Fools day.

Three:

HRH the Duke of Edinburgh is man of many talents - but who knows presenting was was one of them?

The Duke fronted the show for an hour on 14 May 1960 in his capacity as President of the National Playing fields association.

Four:

During a power strike in the 1960s, David Coleman had to host the programme from a fire escape due to insufficient lighting.

Five:

In 1964, David Coleman was sent to cover the return of The Beatles from their tour to America.

On hearing that Grandstand's presenter was on hand to cover their arrival, Paul McCartney was heard to exclaim: "Christ, we must have arrived!"

Six:

The prize for the best on-air introduction goes to...well nobody is quite sure, but what we do know is that it is a classic.

"Welcome to Grandstand - for those of you who haven't got television sets - live commentary is on Radio 2."

Seven:

In one of his many chats with Muhammed Ali, Harry Carpenter had to conduct the interview standing on a wooden block because of the height difference between them.

Eight:

Len Martin was the voice of Grandstand's classified football results until his death in 1995.

Martin loved his job, but there was one result that he feared...

Forfar - five, East Fife - four.

Nine:

The current theme music was introduced on 11 October 1975, to mark the show's 1000th edition.

Ten:

In Grandstand's early years, David Coleman wore a suit with specially-enlarged pockets and strategically placed holes to contain the receivers, aeriels, transmitters and batteries that enabled him to move around the set.


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