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TV: S is for...

Sportsview/Sportsnight/Midweek Sports Special

ALL UNDER the banner of the “weekly review of sport”, these “sturdy” vehicles rounded up the action for the football-deprived midweek pundit. ‘View, fronted by PETER DIMMOCK, was technically daring for the time, and pioneered a mateyness then unheard of among the Beeb’s starched collars. Sportsnight was basically a name-only change, with fantastic bossa nova xylophone-riffed theme tune by The Tony Hatch Orchestra. Usually majored in football, especially those crackly-voiced commentaries from “beyond the Iron Curtain” as some hapless British outfit struggled to overcome the “crack” East German Stasi XI. Not so good when it was The Horse Of The Year Show. In the same way that you sat through TOMORROW’S WORLD as you waited for TOP OF THE POPS, sports fans had to endure a QED or Pollard/Wilcox-driven docusoap penury THE MARRIAGE. Originally had DAVID COLEMAN in the chair, later followed by HARRY CARPENTER. Meanwhile, Midweek Sports Special played the young upstart to Sportsnight’s assured uncle. Same format: footy highlights (after Alistair Burnett had helpfully told us to “look away now” when doing the results), bit of snooker, boxing, ice skating. Majestic orchestral march as signature tune.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Glenn Aylett

    May 8, 2022 at 2:38 pm

    Of its time, somehow I doubt BT Sport would allocate Liverpool 20 minutes of highlights of their Champions League semi final and surround it with some second rate boxing and a preview of the Grand National. However, this was the world of Sportsnight in the seventies and eighties and where football was strictly rationed on the television, with only a handful of live games, and it had to jostle for position with the vast array of sports the BBC had rights to.
    Midweek Sports Special was different as ITV had fewer rights, so could show more football, but again football could be shunted to the end if there was a live fight ITV had the rights

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