Sit Down And Cheer, by Martin Kelner
Sunday 30 September 2012
The 1936 Berlin Olympics marked the first live television broadcast of a sporting event, so perhaps it's appropriate that the sofa on which Martin Kelner spends much of his time is called a Mitford, as two of the famous sisters, Unity and Diana, were big fans of Hitler.
Britons had to wait until Wimbledon the following year, the historic experience slightly marred by the fact that it was impossible for the 2,000 viewers to see the ball.
Kelner marries wit with style, solid research and some good jokes as he tells the story of how we got from there to today's 24-hour, multi-channel, 3-D, high-definition screen world. Presenters, many of whom Kelner interviewed, loom large in the narrative, though today's sheer weight of programming means few, if any, of the current crop will achieve the national status that the likes of the Dark Lord, David Coleman, enjoyed in his heyday. And it seems a long time ago that the competition between John Motson and Barry Davies to commentate on the FA Cup was a matter of national debate.
It seems a shame not to have found room for a mention, however fleeting, of Sid Waddell and the rise of TV darts, but the bard of the oche sadly is no longer with us to tell his tale, and having found the bull's-eye so often in his entertaining book, Kelner is allowed to miss the board once.
Published in hardback by Wisden Sports Writing, £18.99
tv Review: Miranda Hart and co deliver the festive goods
tvReview: Older generation get hot under the collar this Christmas
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 President of Argentina adopts Jewish godson to 'stop him turning into a werewolf'
- 2 Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations
- 3 Sir Winston Churchill’s family begged him not to convert to Islam, letter reveals
- 4 AirAsia flight QZ8501 missing: Search for plane carrying 162 passengers from Indonesia to Singapore suspended overnight
- 5 Game of Thrones is most-pirated TV show of 2014
Downton Abbey Christmas special 2014, review: Love is everywhere, actually
The golden age of TV comedy is here
The Boy in the Dress, TV review: David Walliams' Boxing Day treat is a celebration of being different
From Marvel to Star Wars: The rise of cinema’s shared universes
Exodus: Gods and Kings banned in the UAE for 'religious mistakes'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Millions of Britons struggling to feed themselves and facing malnourishment
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Nigel Farage: Ukip leader named 'Briton of the year' by The Times
Immigrants make UK racist, says Ukip councillor Trevor Shonk