BBC Coverage of Grand National 1997
The BBC has covered every Grand National since 1960 on the TV (radio coverage dates back to 1927). In the year when the BBC covers its last National, for the time being, this is a reminder of how Grandstand covered the race back in 1997. It was momentous for two reasons: (1) it was to be Peter O'Sullevan's last National commentary and (2) in the event, the race didn't take place. A coded bomb alert message was received and the Aintree course had to be evacuated. The presenter that afternoon was Desmond Lynam. There's a chat with O'Sullevan who reveals that his race binoculars are from an old German sub. We see the Princess Royal reveal a bronze bust of the great commentator. As the course is evacuated Jim McGrath commentates and the TV coverage moves to the car park as Des speaks to former BBC commentator Julian Wilson and a tearful Jenny Pitman amongst others. In the OB van are Richard Pitman and Peter Scudamore. As the recording ends Des hands back to the Grandstand studio and Gary Lineker, who presumably was hanging around since Football Focus (and preparing for that evening's Match of the Day). The race was postponed until the following Monday afternoon and was won by Lord Gyllene.
Tags: BBC Grandstand, Horse Racing (Sport), National, Television
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