Final score

Sunday, January 28, 2007 by

The demise of Grandstand this afternoon has come as a bit of a shock, given that the BBC had initially said it would be phased out by 2009.

I’m not going to rehash the arguments I used last time I blogged about this, but it’s interesting to read the responses on the BBC Sport blog, where the posts generally fall into two camps: a few people who recognise that all it effectively means is the end of a (truly great) theme tune; and the rest who seem to view it as the destruction of all they hold dear about England. I particularly liked the poster who lamented the fact that there’d be no more World Cup Grandstand, even though they haven’t used that title since 1994.

But of course, for true professional Getting Grandstand Wrong, you have to turn to the press. The Daily Mail “broke” the story, with a piece which largely seems to consist of David Coleman mourning the fact that Grandstand isn’t allowed to cover news any more. Admittedly the piece does quote Des Lynam’s pragmatic response to the news, and acknowledges BBC Sport’s strides in interactive coverage, but rounds off with the line, “So farewell Grandstand. One can’t help thinking that Final Score could never come up with the romance of East Fife 4 Forfar 5.” Given that Final Scorewas always a part of Grandstand, this is essentially meaningless. Moreover, it’s 2007 and nobody cares about comedy Scottish football results.

On to the clueless Jim Shelley in The Mirror, lazily cobbling together a load of guff about how Grandstand used to cover “Wimbledon and the Grand National” (yeah, when was the last time you saw those on the BBC?), how ITV nicked the Premiership (nothing to do with Grandstand and the BBC got it back anyway) and how Grandstand was reduced to … yes, trampolining. To cap it all off, he appears to think the April Fool fight amongst the production team was real. Mind you, Jim Shelley probably thinks the swearing Rainbow Christmas tape is real.

Best of all is this clown, Tom Little in Scotland on Sunday, and his eulogy to the glory days when Grandstand showed everything from “top-level football to Grand Slam tennis and the big horse races to Five Nations rugby.” It takes some chutzpah to come up with that in a week when BBC Sport is covering, er, top-level football, Grand Slam tennis and Six Nations rugby.

For all that, it’ll still be weird to look in the TV guide on a Saturday afternoon and see “1.00 Rugby”. I suspect the world will still be spinning on its axis, though.


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