The last ever Grandstand
Yes, it seems that after 50 years, we have seen the end of Grandstand on BBC TV. Apparently Claire Balding introduced the last one this afternoon......
Like Top of the Pops, discussed on here earlier in the month, Grandstand is/was a remnant from one's childhood, being shown every Saturday on BBC One. Every week with the same signature tune. It would include, in the old days the best of football, rugby, cricket and racing but as the year went by the contracts for broadcasting such sports often went to commercial companies and Grandstand was left showing silly 'sports' like darts and snooker.
The best editions of Grandstand were ofetn when there was a big event such as teh Grand National, the FA Cup final or the Six Nations rugby, when they would leave the studio and spend the whole time building up the match with interviews, flashbacks and special films made for the occasion. The Grand National editions would often be the most watched TV sports events of the year and, since 1977, when Red Rum won his third Grand National there would every year be an interview with his trainer, Ginger McCain, who ended up winning the 2003 event with Amberleigh House as well!
We are told that the sport will stay, just the programmes will be given a different name. Now if they could just get round to closing off all the spy-on-the-wall documentaries, the BBC would be doing us a real favour!
It is a long time since the BBC brought coverage of Cheltenham Races, mores the pity as their camera work is far better than Channel 4's. but here is a photo of Hardy Eustance who won three times in a row at Cheltenham and I backed him each time, the first time being at 40-1! Yes, indeed, very lucky bet. He won the 2004 and 2005 Champion Hurdles but only came third last year, having not been at his best. Today he won the Irish Champion Hurdle and now he is third favourite to regain his crown at Cheltenham on March 13th. He has never really had the plaudits he has deserved but now he is getting old and will be coming back for the fifth year in a row, I think people are warming to him, such that he will be the most popular winner at Cheltenham this year if he does manage to win.