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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December 2003, 17:47 GMT
25 things about Ski Sunday...
Ski Sunday is celebrating its 26th year on our screens and in honour of its silver jubilee here are 25 things you probably never knew about the programme.

1. The first Ski Sunday was introduced by David Vine in 1978 from Wengen in Switzerland.

2. The series was inspired by the audience reaction to Franz Klammer's dramatic downhill gold at the 1976 Innsbruck Olympics.

3. It is the second oldest BBC Sport strand behind Grandstand.

4. The first programme was the skiing equivalent of a washout with the Wengen downhill cancelled because of high winds.

Franz Klammer
Klammer in his skiing hey-day
5. The second programme produced a rare downhill dead-heat with joint winners in Kitzbuehel.

6. David Vine once introduced his producer as his chauffeur in an attempt to secure two hotel rooms - the only problem was they were in Wengen, where no cars were allowed in the resort!

7. In Val d'Isere the PA was deafening in the commentary box so David Vine reached up and pulled out the wire leading to the loudspeaker.

Unfortunately he manage to make every TV monitor, in every commentary box, go black.

Luckily a frantic re-connection enabled the world's broadcasters to cover the race.

8. David Vine was constantly asked if he had skied all the great courses.

His stock answer was that he would ski down Kitzbuehel when Harry Carpenter fought Mike Tyson.

9. David Vine was in the press centre at Lake Placid and greeted by a gentleman who looked at his accreditation and said "Vine, BBC ", the gentleman then reached out to shake David's hand with the words "Ford, President" - it was an historic shake!

10. Ski Sunday has had 14 presenters and reporters over the years.

David Vine, Hazel Irvine, Konrad Bartelski, Jonathan Bayntun , Martin Bell, Graham Bell, Matt Chilton, Sally Faber, David Goldstrom, Harry Gratian, Tony Gubba, Mary Nightingale, Julian Tutt and Ron Pickering.

11. Ski Sunday has covered seven Winter Olympic Games and 13 World Championships.

12. The life of a ski cameraman is fraught with danger - imagine trying to balance a camera, focus it and ski all at the same time.

The biggest fall by a BBC cameraman was 200ft down the Hannekahm in Austria.

13. The coldest temperature the Ski Sunday team has had to work at is -27C degrees in Norway.

David Vine
David Vine fronted the programme for 20 years
The warmest was +25C in Sierra Nevada where the snow was so slushy the women racers refused to ski.

14. The Ski Sunday theme tune is called Pop Looks Bach and was voted the fifth most popular television theme tune.

15. There has only ever been one Ski Sunday programme shown on BBC1 - 6 December 1981 when Klammer's comeback at Val d'Isere was shown that evening.

16. When Britain's Konrad Bartelksi led in Val Gardena in 1981 at the halfway split time the Ski Sunday team assumed the timing clock had a fault!

They were wrong and he finished an historic second - the highest ever result for a British skier.

17. The highest ever audience for a programme was seven million for the World Championships in Schladming in 1982.

18. Ski Sunday has only once been on the cover of the Radio Times in 1982 - with that man Klammer again.

19. Matt Chilton once wrote to Jim'll Fix It asking to ski the Hannenkahm with Konrad Bartelski.

Although he never got a reply he finally achieved his ambition to ski with the Brit when they ended up working together.

20. The worst Ski Sunday trip has to be to the World Championship in Sestrieres in Italy when the team had the camera and Julian Tutt's skis stolen.

Then the editor went home with pneumonia and to cap it all their car was clamped on the final day.

21. One New Year's Eve producer Paul Davies rushed some tapes to Munich airport to send them back to the UK.

On leaving the airport he took a wrong turn taking a 400 mile detour and not getting back to the resort until after 3am by which time the team had all gone to bed.

22. The rushes tapes from each show are sent back via courier.

Current series producer Gabby Cook was doing her first trip in Val Gardena in 1999 when the tapes were delayed by a fire at Heathrow and never made it in time - the show had to be presented from the studio and a whole week's work was wasted.

23. During the Nagano Olympic men's slalom the area was hit by an earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale.

The German skier on the course fell over and was allowed to repeat his run at the end.

The BBC commentary team consisting of Julian Tutt and Hazel Irvine carried on regardless.

24. Graham Bell has been fined for speeding - but only on the piste when he was clocked doing 70mph during an inspection run.

25. And finally ...commentator Matt Chilton has a cat called Ski Sunday (honest!).







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