Girish Mahajan (Editor)


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Sportsnight was a midweek BBC television sports programme that ran from 1968 until 1997.



Sportsnight was a successor to Sportsview which started on 8 April 1954. Sportsview was devised by Paul Fox, later Controller of BBC1 and Peter Dimmock was the original host for a decade. The BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award evolved as a spin-off from Sportsview, when the last show of its inception year featured the Sports Review of 1954. Frank Bough took over as main host in 1964 and Sportsview was cancelled/replaced by Sportsnight with Coleman from 1968. A junior version of Sportsview also ran from 1956 to 1962.


Sportsnight was shown on Tuesday nights and during the David Coleman era dubbed as Sportsnight with Coleman until it moved to Wednesdays in 1973. Its theme tune was composed by Tony Hatch.

The show broadcast many sports and acted as a midweek version of Grandstand, although almost all of its coverage was in highlights form, often featuring midweek football action, particularly international matches and FA Cup replays. Pre-recorded features were also part of the programme. In the final few years the Sportsnight brand was used when the BBC was showing live European football.

The programme was not broadcast during the summer months and was generally on air from September until the following April.

A further show, Sport on Friday, ran from 1987 until 1997, acting as a companion to both Sportsnight and Grandstand. Its main live coverage was of sports such as snooker, bowls and horse racing. It was shown on BBC2 on Friday afternoons between October and April and ran from 2.15pm until 3.50pm with a three-minute newsbreak at 3pm although occasionally the programme was sometimes extended until as late as 5.30pm. The presenter was originally David Icke but he was replaced by Helen Rollason in 1990.

Regular hosts

  • Peter Dimmock (Sportsview, 1954–1964)
  • Frank Bough (Sportsview, 1964–1968)
  • David Coleman (1968–1972)
  • Tony Gubba (1972–1975)
  • Harry Carpenter (1975–1985)
  • Steve Rider (1985–1991)
  • Desmond Lynam (1991–1997)
  • References

    Sportsnight Wikipedia

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