Signs of seasonal change are again reflected in television viewing figures. Average weekly hours' viewing per capita is now at 26 hr 10 min, nearly four hours down on its regular figure at the start of the year. It is also 1 hr 43 min down on last year's figure.
Race or no race, the Grand National was an extremely popular television event. Besides the 50,000-odd who went to Aintree to witness the fiasco, 15.17 million armchair viewers switched on that Saturday to watch the two false starts and Desmond Lynam, the Grandstand anchorman, with his repeated utterances of 'this was the race that wasn't'. The television audience was 3.57 million larger than last year.