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Broadcasting to the Nation

Episode 22 of 30

Clare Balding discovers how the birth of broadcasting in the early 1920s brought sport to a brand new audience and forever changed what and when we played.

Clare Balding discovers how the birth of broadcasting changed British sport for ever. Radio played a crucial role in the popularisation of sport, suddenly you didn't need to be at the event to know exactly what happened or to be swept up in the excitement of the match. Jean Seaton, the BBC's historian explains how the events that were chosen for outside broadcast began to provide a secular calendar for the year, with the schedule being dominated by the most commentator friendly sports; football and tennis were a fit, flying fishing and pigeon racing were not.

We hear some of the earliest and most celebrated sports broadcasters ; George ' by Jove' Allison, Raymond Baxter, Brian Johnson and John Arlott, who describes the man responsible for the first sports programming on the BBC, Seymour Joly de Lotbiniere.

The series was made in partnership with The International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University.

Readers: Stuart McLoughlin and Jo Munro
Technical presentation: John Benton
Producer: Lucy Lunt
Executive producer: Ian Bent.

Available now

15 minutes