Grandstand

If you lived through the 70s and 80s then you don't need me to tell you that Saturday afternoon TV was dominated by sports programmes, with World Of Sport on ITV and Grandstand on BBC1 - the latter usually aired from 1.00pm to 5.45pm and was followed by the news and weather.

But can you remember all of the presenters?

Grandstand Presenters

The first episode was aired in October 1958 and presented by Peter Dimmock. He was quickly replaced by David Coleman who became the main host until 1968 - he went on to present Sportsnight With Coleman (which aired on Tuesday evenings) and then A Question Of Sport.

Between 1968 and 1983 Frank Bough became the main presenter of Grandstand, before quitting to host Breakfast Time with Nick Ross and Selina Scott. However, the following year he was sacked by the BBC when the newspaper headline "I took drugs with vice girls" appeared, totally destroying Bough's squeaky clean image.

Des Lynam became the main presenter until 1991 and an occasional host until 1999. Steve Rider was the main presenter from 1991 until 2005.

There were lost of other presenters and commentators, too, and here are a few names you may have forgotten about...

Alan Weeks - who is best remembered for hosting winter sports and the Winter Olympics

David Icke - he was a co-presenter from 1982 until 1990, but then went bonkers by announcing he was the "son of the Godhead" in 1991 and and that the world would be hit by devastating earthquakes and tidal waves.

Bob Wilson - the ex-Arsenal and Scotland player also hosted Football Focus between 1974 and 1994.

Barry Davies - his voice is probably more recognisable than his face, and he's provided the commentary for countless football matches and has covered nine World Cups.

Harry Carpenter - he's best-remembered for commentating on major boxing matches (including the "Rumble in the Jungle" in Oct 1974 between Muhammad Ali and George Formen) and also Sportsnight between 1975 and 1985. He was a regular member of the Grandstand team during the 70s and 80s.

David Vine - a very likeable guy who presented many sports-themed shows inc. Match Of The Day, Rugby Special, Ski Sunday and Superstars.

Helen Rollason, BBC Sports Presenter (1993)
Helen Rollason became Grandstand's first woman presenter and presented suring the early 90s. Sadly, she died from cancer on 9th August 1999 aged just 43.
David Coleman presenting Grandstand on BBC1
David Coleman presenting Grandstand
Des Lynam in 1986
Des Lynam in 1986
Bob Wilson - Arsenal FC goalkeeper (1963 to 1974) - Signed Autograph
BBC TV - Grandstand Sports Annual 1979

Sports included on Grandstand

Major British sporting events were included as part of Grandstand, including The Grand National, Wimbledon and The Boat Race. When these weren't on then there would be a variety of sports including rugby union, racing, cricket, and athletics, depending on the time of year, of course.

At 4.35 it was time for Final Score (this is still going strong!) which actually started in 1958. Before the actual football results were read out (along with a few other sports results such as rugby union) the latest football scores would be fed onto the screen (one letter at a time) on the teleprinter - this became the vidiprinter during the 80s. I used to get pretty excited when I saw Aston Villa's latest score slowly appearing on the screen!

For the full classified football results, Division One always came first (this became the premiership in 1992) and in the harsher winters that we used to experience there would often be a lot of "match postponed" announcements due to frozen pitches or deep snow, particularly in the Scottish leagues.

Between 1965 and 1985, the sports programme had to compete for viewers with ITV's World Of Sport, and it's biggest competition came from the popular wrestling matches between family favourites such as Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. I spent many Saturday afternoon's at my Gran's house watching these two play-acting with each other - us Brits love a bit of pantomime!

One of the best-remembered moments of Grandstand (for myself, at least!) was actually the theme tune. Composed by Keith Mansfield, the tune was first used on the opening titles for the edition aired on 11th October 1975. Before this, a tune composed by Barry Stoller was used, and his most famous work is the Match Of The Day theme tune.

The last edition of Grandstand was aired on 28th January 2007.
Football results screen on Grandstand (BBC1) in 1986
Football results on Grandstand in 1986