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
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 HeForShe campaign: Iceland to follow up Emma Watson speech with UN women's rights conference – for men only
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 Teenagers irritable because early school hours mess with their biological clocks
- 5 Now we know whose fault it is if you end up being murdered in Thailand
Before They Pass Away: In pictures
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?
Kylie Minogue Kiss Me Once tour, London O2 - review: Pop princess still reigns supreme
Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican named highest-selling female comedians
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
The Osborne Ultimatum: Chancellor’s benefits freeze bombshell will affect ten million households
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
- < Previous
- Next >