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Big Match, The

BRIAN MOORE-HELMED ITV rival to MATCH OF THE DAY, originally only shown in London leading to insane capital bias: “Coming up, Liverpool v Manchester United, but first to Selhurst Park…” Heralded by that joyous march, accompanied by a frenzied fresco of evocative football images: Terry Hennessey winking at Moore, Dennis Tueart frozen in bicycle kick mid-air etc. JIMMY HILL was also originally involved, memorably covering for an injured linesman at Highbury in a fetching turquoise tracksuit, and bizarrely accompanying Raquel Welch to Stamford Bridge: “These guys are just such great athletes!”. Other ITV regions had their own versions, featuring a dizzying array of eccentric commentators such as Hugh Johns (ATV), Gerald Sinstadt (Granada), John Helm (Yorkshire) and Gerry Harrison (Anglia).

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  1. wilberforce

    August 18, 2010 at 10:48 am

    Yes, as a fan of football (as opposed to a football-fan) the London-centric obsession seemed absurd to me (especially as I lived 150 miles away from The Smoke in the football wastelands of the south coast), but presumably in those days the producers reasoned the fans wouldn’t watch unless their own local teams were heavily featured (how times have changed…)

    As a result, it always seemed to feature what seemed the entire 90 minutes of the Gooners grinding their way to a 1-0 victory (thus inspiring the ironic terrace chants), followed by 5 minutes squeezed in at the end where Gerald Sinstadt would go almost hoarse with excitement commentating on a 5-goal thriller at Anfield or Maine Road…

  2. MikeyC

    July 23, 2011 at 12:40 am

    ..and Brian Moore’s head did look uncannily like London Planetarium

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