Saturday, 28 April 2012

A wide world of sport and a whole new world for me...

In the past couple of weeks I have decided to spread my wings somewhat by trying to write for the local Portsmouth News, by doing a piece for their Saturday TV Nostalgia column. It may not be an in-depth piece, that it is not the style of the column at all, but its a start a I suppose... Here it is..

In today's world of multiple sports channels, its hard to forget there was a time when two shows dominated Saturday afternoons, the BBC had Grandstand whilst ITV's version was World of Sport. Though the two could not have been more different at all, if Grandstand was like  a luxury sofa, then World of Sport was like a beanbag.

It was presented by Dickie Davies for all of its life, a man who looked like a cross between a badger and a used car salesman whilst all the time helming a mixed bag of sports from the sublime to the ridiculous titled including the World Clown Diving Championship. Which was basically men in fuzzy rainbow coloured wigs diving into a paddling pool for entertainment.

On Christmas Eve 1977, Eric Morecambe brought his brand of comedy to help Dickie Davies present the programme. Even leading to Morecambe commenting on Davies' trademark moustache whilst Dickie was introducing the next with the line "The last time I saw anything like that they kill a whole herd of buffalo to make it!" With Davies trying to keep a straight face throughout this chaos happening around him!

In the end with ITV wanting to head in a new direction with its sports coverage, World of Sport was axed in 1985. But for a programme which was going to be called 'Wide World of Sports' originally, it did pretty good by covering events more close to home.

2012 (c) Rob Williams

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