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World of Sport

"Dickie can't be with you this week"ITV’S ANSWER to GRANDSTAND, of course. First in the presenter’s chair was EAMONN ANDREWS, introducing a line-up that ran something like this –

PETER LORENZO of the “Sun”analyses the latest football news and sums up the day’s outstanding games.

JOHN RICKMAN gives informed selections of the day’s televised races.

IAN WOOLDRIDGE of the “Daily Mail” reports from South Africa on the M.M.C. tour.

FREDDIE TRUEMAN voices a down-to-earth opinion on controversial issues in sport.

JIMMY HILL takes a fresh look at soccer’s problems.

POOLS SERVICE: an exclusive feature on the Treble Chance and the immediate news of the day’s probable dividends.

RESULTS ROUND-UP: the full classified scores, Rugby League and late racing results, League tables and sports headlines

Then in ’66, one “Richard Davies” took over – better known as moustachioed silver-streak DICKIE DAVIES, and billed as such from about ’72 onwards. FRED DINENAGE was a co-anchor for a while. In its late ’70s pomp, the running order went:

12.35 On the Ball

13.00 International Sports Special: some crap novelty thing from the US, such as cliff diving or truck racing; once they actually had the World Bus-Jump Classic: someone jumping a bus over 100 motorbikes. Didn’t work.

13.20 (after the news) The ITV Six (later Seven) – a seven horse-race accumulator beloved of Ladbrokes-frequenting uncles in front rooms up and down the land.

15.10 Another ISS

15.50 Half-time round-up

16.00 Wrestling – proper old-school Daddy/Haystacks/Mad Mick McManus/Cyanide Sid Cooper wrestling, mind.

16.50 Results service (always got the football results in late).

Some of our favourite WOS commentators – Brian “Retired” Moore and Gerald “crackly voice” Sinstadt (football), Kent Walton (wrestling, of course) and Reg Gutteridge (boxing).



  1. Glenn Aylett

    April 18, 2021 at 4:38 pm

    It might have been short on major sports events due to the BBC having all the rights, but World Of Sport tried its best and audience figures were always good. What would you really want to watch, Evil Knievel jumping a row of buses or a sleep inducing fourth test where England can’t win the series? Then there was the wrestling, so bad it was good, and the legend that was Kent Walton.

  2. Richardpd

    April 18, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    Saint & Greavsie started off as a segment in WOS before becoming a stand alone programme.

    • Glenn Aylett

      April 20, 2021 at 6:44 pm

      There was an update in 1982/83 where a synth theme came in, Saint and Greavsie replaced On The Ball, and younger presenters like Jim Rosenthal started to sideline Dickie Davies. Yet a lack of sport beyond horse racing and wrestling counted against World Of Sport and it was ditched in 1985 when ITV decided it had run its course, and they wanted to invest more in boxing and athletics, which were mostly seen at night.

  3. Droogie

    April 22, 2021 at 11:30 am

    I recall watching Evel Knievel’s aborted jump in his rocket across the Snake River Canyon on WOS and the massive disappointment I felt. I also owned the toy version of the rocket along with the Scramble Van.

    • Richardpd

      April 22, 2021 at 12:05 pm

      David Frost also made a documentary about the Snake River Canyon jump, which was repeated a few years ago when BBC2 had a theme night.

      • Droogie

        February 6, 2023 at 11:19 pm

        I recently heard a podcast by brilliant American comedian Dana Gould talking about the Snake Canyon Jump . It showed what a deluded maniac Evel Knievel was by not accepting that making that long jump at such speed without oxygen would make any human black out, which is what happened and why he panicked and pulled the emergency parachute.

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