Almanack: Counted out

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SPORT in Question, a London ITV show featuring Jimmy Greaves, tomorrow offers a Bank Holiday special on Henry Cooper, with archive film of the great man in action. Sadly, the programme will not include the one piece of film they really wanted: Henry Cooper knocking down Cassius Clay in 1963.

Bob Patience, the executive producer, rang BBC Enterprises to ask for the clip. 'They said, 'Yes, fine, we can sell it to you,' ' Patience told Almanack. 'But it had to be cleared upstairs. Upstairs said no - they referred to the clip as one of 'the jewels in the crown'.'

A bit mean, we thought. We called the BBC. They were most defensive, claiming ignorance of the situation meant that they could not comment officially and citing things like copyright problems and departmental confusion. They wouldn't have refused permission just for fun, we were told. Of course not.