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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 April 2006, 12:39 GMT 13:39 UK
Presenters' reaction

Des Lynam
Lynam understands the reasons for the decision to axe Grandstand
Flagship sports show Grandstand is to be phased out as part of the BBC's strategy to survive in the digital age.

The programme has been on air for 48 years - since October 1958 - but will be screened for the final time in 2008.

Here, three of the best-known presenters of the show give their thoughts on its demise.

BOB WILSON

"I would have to say I'm truly shocked. To me, Grandstand is the flagship of BBC Sport.

"Having presented nearly 300 Grandstands, it has an iconic status for me.

"The title of the programme is synonymous with sport. It's such a powerful brand name.

"Generations of family around the British Isles have been brought up on it.

"Even when satellite television came in, it changed and caught up if it ever fell behind.

"It filled your afternoons in the most amazing way. If you had any love for sport, it was able to fulfil you.

"I truly cannot believe they are thinking of getting rid of it."

DES LYNAM

"There haven't been that many presenters down the years - only four main ones.

"But Grandstand has out-lived its time and is a bit of a dinosaur.

"People won't sit for five hours now unless there's something specific to watch.

"People watch big events when they want and how they want.

"We showed a lot of minor sports, but people have grown out of the habit of watching minor events on the television."

STEVE RIDER

"There was a feeling in the last five years that this was a possibility.

"But it was always felt to be a fundamental gesture about commitment to sport if Grandstand were to be abolished.

"I think it is a tremendously sad day."



SEE ALSO
BBC to end sports show Grandstand
25 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Why Grandstand is going
25 Apr 06 |  Grandstand
Grandstand photos
10 Oct 03 |  Photo Galleries


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