Sit Down and Cheer

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Martin Kelner
It's about: 
As the subtitle says: "A history of sport on TV". Martin Kelner's guide to the history of British TV sport, from Lord Reith to the present day. Plenty of Kelnerisms for the fans, but this is a welcome retrospective that brings into focus the contributions of the likes of David Coleman, Dickie Davis, Frank Bough and Des Lynam, whose work has been somewhat sullied by parody and false memory. And it's as much a social history of the UK — through the lens of sport — as a history of broadcasting. A thoroughly enjoyable read and an unashamed discussion of sport from the armchair (and sometimes from the bookies). And currently £4.91 on the Kindle.
Length of read: 
Might appeal to people who enjoyed: 
Sport, sport on TV and Martin Kelner. Mr Kelner doesn't overegg the pudding with his trademark wit, but there are enough gags to keep the fans happy.
One thing you've learned: 
Well, two things: 1. Tony Gubba debunks the Kennedy assassination conspiracies. Upon visiting the book depository on Dealey Plaza (with John Motson and Des Lynam), Gubba — no stranger to a rifle himself — announces: "Bloody hell, I could have shot him from there." 2. The BBC struggles to reconcile county cricket coverage running into Children's Hour: "While Brian Johnston is more than capable of adjusting his commentary to children, other announcers would not be so good at it."


I had no idea that David Coleman was such a presence at the BBC. Until reading this book, I thought he was a chummy, nice bloke TV presenter and commentator. Turns out that Coleman was quite a powerful figure.

Kelner's writing bounces along nicely. I like his advice to columnists and article writers - start with a good joke and then run like hell to the end.

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