Television and sport is the ultimate marriage of convenience. The two circled each other warily for a while - sport anxious the sofa-bound might spurn the live product, TV reluctant in a limited-channel world to hand over too much screen time to flannelled fools and muddied oafs.
But they got together, and stayed together, for the sake of the money, and now you cannot imagine one without the other. They are indivisible, like an old couple sitting in a teashop finishing each other's sentences, and there is little doubt which is the dominant partner. You have only to think of the recent sports stars who have left their muddy fields to don sequins, grab partners and tango their way across the stage in ultimate Saturday-night television style, to see how far the two have come on their journey together.
In Sit Down and Cheer Martin Kelner traces the development of this relationship from its humble origins in the 1960 Olympics, by way of the first-ever Match of the Day in 1964, through to the financial impact of Sky, right up to the high-tech gadgetry of our present-day viewing. Insightful and very funny, this is an entertaining exploration of two major national pastimes and not to be missed.
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 213 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 20 mm
Any sofa-sprawler remotely interested in his obvious passion will find the wit, charm and sheer effervescence of Kelner's writing - as well as some brazenly boggling revelations - demand that it is 2012's sports book of the year, whether officially crowned or not -- Frank Keating * Observer *
A characterful mix of well-observed insight, surprising nuggets of obscure facts and brilliant moments of prose comedy * Metro *
Kelner's knowledge and research are impressive in this eclectic and erudite story * Sunday Times *
Brilliantly written ... An amusing and fascinating trawl through the history of sport on TV * Gary Lineker *