Saturday, 20 February 2010

They think it's all over but it isn't

My favourite thing I discovered this week is this. At the halfway stage of extra time in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany, with England leading 3-2, the announcer on the BBC overseas service broke off the radio commentary. It was time for the news. After five minutes of world events, with presumably thousands of expats east of Suez screaming at the radio, they went straight to ten minutes of enlightened public service radio called ‘Sudan Commentary’. The service returned to Wembley just as the final whistle blew. One of the corporation men at Bush House said, ‘I suppose the reason for breaking into the game is that the news is sacrosanct. Not everyone is interested in football, but everyone is interested in the news, so to speak. But I suppose it would have been better to have dropped Sudan Commentary.’

The interesting thing about the television coverage of the 1966 World Cup final is that they didn't have the endless pre-match discussion and post-match post-mortems that we would have today. On BBC's World Cup Grandstand, they broke off at regular intervals for the cricket, Glamorgan v. West Indies. And on ITV’s World of Sport they also covered the Australian Pools results and the wrestling.

Autre temps, autre moeurs ...

Mundane quote for the day: ‘The net curtain is itself a sophisticated kind of purdah – a touch of Eastern promise in suburbia. After lighting-up time the more exhibitionist householder does not immediately close his main curtains, but for an hour or so gives his neighbours the pleasure of looking in through the net upon the silhouettes of a television supper or the preliminaries to a dinner party ... The twitching of the net curtain, far from being merely interfering or neurotic, is in fact a precondition of the best in the mutual helpfulness of community life.’ – Nicholas Taylor, The Village in the City

No comments:

Post a Comment