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BBC racing results reader Tim Gudgin

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    It’s the end of an era now that Tim Gudgin has read the football results on the BBC’s Final Score for the last time.
    Racing fans, and many members of this forum, will remember that, for many years, he also read the racing results and gave the betting shows for the BBC’s TV racing coverage. He followed in the footsteps, of course, of Len Martin, who also for many years provided the same service in his equally distinctive voice.
    Gudgin is now 81 and deserves high praise for launching a blistering attack on the BBC, after his retirement yesterday, for ludicrously spending millions of pounds on a totally unnecessary and pointless shift of part of its operation from London to Salford.
    Gudgin, based in the south, quite rightly did not want the bother of travelling to Salford in the depths of winter.
    I remember Gudgin and Len Martin fondly from the days when there was a role for a betting and results reader. This was before the advent of the lightweight, shallow antics of John Parrott and Gary Wiltshire in the betting ring. Angus Loughran, although no pin-up TV pundit, did a slightly better job.
    I remember Gudgin from his BBC Radio 2 newsreader days. He was the Radio 2 newsreader on the day when I, as a student, woke up to hear the news that John Lennon had been shot dead in New York in 1980.
    Have a good retirement, Tim.

    This is the text of the Mail Online article about Tim Gudgin:
    The veteran broadcaster who has been the voice of the BBC’s football results for 16 years has bowed out because of the Corporation’s move to Salford.
    Tim Gudgin, who was a quintessential part of the nation’s Saturday afternoons, yesterday read his last ever match results on Final Score. He then launched a scathing attack on the BBC switch.
    ‘They have splashed out £875 million on this Salford nonsense, even before you count the cost of transferring people. I don’t see what was wrong with Television Centre. I read that one of the men in suits said it wasn’t suitable for purpose, but a few million would bring it up to any standard you like.
    Talking about why he was retiring after a broadcasting career spanning 46 years, Mr Gudgin said he did not relish the journey to Manchester after BBC Sport’s relocation. ‘I live on the South Coast and it would be ridiculous to try to go up there during winter,’ he said. Mr Gudgin, 81, is to be replaced by Radio Lancashire’s Mike West.
    Speaking before his last shift, Mr Gudgin said: ‘It will be emotional. I will miss it. It has been part of my life.
    But as far as I am concerned I will go in and do it and that will be it.’
    Famous for his distinctive rising and falling intonation, he said the secret of his success was ‘a very recognisable voice, which has been my fortune, whereas with appearances, I would have gone down the drain’.
    Having joined the BBC’s flagship show Grandstand in 1976, where he read horse-racing and rugby results, Mr Gudgin became only the second person to read the football scores on Saturday afternoons following the death of Australian-born presenter Len Martin in 1995, aged 76.
    When Final Score became a separate programme in 2004, he continued in the role. A consummate professional, Mr Gudgin claims he has only read a score wrongly three times in his career – and always corrected himself immediately.
    He admitted he used to dread pronouncing the Scottish team Hamilton Academical, though he eventually mastered the tongue-twister.
    However, he had never been confronted with the ‘much-feared “Forfar 5, East Fife 4” result, but Len Martin did get that one once, which amused me greatly’.
    Before the pools were replaced by the Lottery as the flutter of choice, football fans would follow his every inflection. If it rose as he read the name of a team, it meant it had won, while a steady tone indicated a draw.
    Mr Gudgin said ‘a musical ear’ had helped him.
    Despite being known to millions for his links with football, the game has not always been Mr Gudgin’s favourite sport and his loyalties have shifted, though Crystal Palace remain high in his affections.
    ‘I’ve supported various teams depending on where I have lived,’ said Mr Gudgin, who is now based in Emsworth, Hampshire.
    He said his preparations for reading the results were limited to using nasal drops if he was feeling blocked up.
    ‘We used to get a hard copy of the results to read before doing it live, but now I read them cold from the same screen that viewers are watching,’ he said.
    A father of six and a grandfather of seven, Mr Gudgin said he was expecting a busy retirement.

    • Total Posts 917

    The role of the betting and results reporter on TV racing coverage years ago was that of an unsung hero.
    Many years ago, going back to at least the early 1980s if not before, Peter Moor used to read the racing results and betting shows for ITV midweek racing, often produced by Thames Television.
    The job on World Of Sport, produced by London Weekend Television, was done for the ITV 7 by Peter Scowcroft.
    He was later replaced by John Tyrrel, who made the switch to Channel 4 Racing along with the rest of the racing team.
    Tyrrel, or "JT" as he was called by Tommo and most of the others, was a great bon viveur and raconteur, and was also a noted racing historian, who produced a number of important books on notable subjects, including famous horses. I’m sure Jeremy Grayson or others will know more about this.
    Tyrrel was always very keen on his lunches when at the races and was known for his love of good food and drink.
    He revealed that he and colleague Bob Colston, who for years read the football results for ITV, were known as the Colonel and the Major (or something similar). Tyrrel died quite some years ago.
    Tyrrel’s stand-in for certain meetings, especially two York Saturday meetings every year, was none other than racecourse commentator Raleigh Gilbert, whose Channel 4 commentating role reduced with the advent of Simon Holt. Raleigh couldn’t resist adding in his famous extra bits even when giving betting shows and in one race, for every horse mentioned in a betting show, he gave a piece of information about it, such as "the only course and distance winner", "bidding for a hat-trick" or "at 12, the oldest horse in the race".
    Peter Scowcroft’s name popped up again a few years ago on the Morning Line when he was one of the winners of the champion tipster competition. Tommo read his name out and you could tell, by the slight pause, that he recognised the name from his own days on the ITV 7. Tommo clearly felt he had better not let slip that he recognised the name, no doubt in case any viewers thought Scowcroft was being given preferential treatment as a former colleague. Canny old Tommo. I’m sure it must have been the same Peter Scowcroft.
    I grew up watching World Of Sport, with Dickie Davies and his stand-in, Fred Dinenage. Dickie ended up on Sky after World Of Sport was shamefully axed and Fred Dinenage was also known for his long-running association with the children’s programme How? His daughter, Caroline Dinenage, was elected as Conservative MP for Gosport at the general election last year with a majority of 14,413.

    • Total Posts 305


    Some legends mentioned there! As a relative youngster I have vague memories of World of Sport and Grandstand. They were wonderful must see TV on a Saturday afternoon / tea time.

    Every 2nd weekend I’d be sent to my grandparents on a Saturday afternoon and we’d catch the racing then the football results at 4.45.

    Some great memories – keep them coming!

    • Total Posts 917

    Thanks, Oasisdreamer. It’s amazing how for, many people, the mere mention of World of Sport will mean bringing back memories of the wrestling at 4pm every Saturday.
    Kendo Nagasaki, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Les Kellett, Vic Faulkner, Bobby Barnes, Catweazle. Not forgetting dear old Kent Walton, the commentator. "Hello, again, grapple fans, it’s tag team time."
    When I was a student, I remember having heated arguments with one of my friends about whether the wrestling was fixed. I can’t believe now that I used to argue vehemently that it was not fixed. The final proof of my folly was when I went to see some live wrestling at a hall in Market Rasen and couldn’t believe how one of the TV wrestlers was writhing around on the deck in apparent agony after barely being touched by his opponent. What a total idiot (and that was just me for thinking it was not fixed).
    I used to love the old ITV 7 or 6, with its hosts John Oaksey, John Rickman, Brough Scott and Ken Butler. Tommo made his first appearance on the ITV 7 at Ayr after a distinguished career as a Radio 2 sports commentator and presenter of sports bulletins during shows presented by David Hamilton and others. Mike Ingham, who I think is still a radio football commentator, was one of his colleagues, along with Ian Robertson, who even back then in the early 1980s, was a rugby and cricket commentator. He is still going strong and popped up on BBC Breakfast last week, looking not much older.
    Even when the racing was abandoned, as often happened in those days, World of Sport would put on greyhound racing from Harringay, introduced by Gary Newbon, with decidedly laid-back race commentary from Reg Gutteridge, better known for his boxing commentaries.
    The ITV 7 was what got me hooked on racing as a schoolboy and then student in 1979. I liked Dickie Davies but am old enough to remember the black and white days when he was known as Richard Davies, in I think 1969, and had a name card on his desk saying so. I still blame him for the modern fad of saying the person’s name first before thanking them. After the lunchtime news bulletin from ITN, he started saying to newsreader Carol Barnes: "Carol, thank you very much indeed" instead of the much more natural "Thank you very much indeed, Carol." Now everyone, from TV newsreaders and reporters to weather presenters, says, for example, "Huw, thank you very much". Dickie has got a lot to answer for. Yes, it is time I got a life. Don’t encourage me…..

    • Total Posts 5505

    Dickie Davies aka Swiss Toni :) … re=related

    Crusty Patch,

    Do you remember Sam Leitch, the broad-Scots Eric Pickles lookalike who presented Football Preview on Grandstand?

    I once encountered him nursing a G&T in the lounge of the Paddington Hotel, looking somewhat flustered and ill-at-ease

    ‘are you that bloke off the telly’ I asked (or rather didn’t, but you know what I mean :) )

    ‘yes, and I cannae find a focken hotel room anywhere’

    • Total Posts 919

    Mike Ingham, who I think is still a radio football commentator

    Ingham is chief football correspondent for Radio 5 Live:-

    • Total Posts 6965

    I grew up watching World Of Sport, with Dickie Davies and his stand-in, Fred Dinenage. Dickie ended up on Sky after World Of Sport was shamefully axed and Fred Dinenage was also known for his long-running association with the children’s programme How? His daughter, Caroline Dinenage, was elected as Conservative MP for Gosport at the general election last year with a majority of 14,413.

    Mr Dinenage was also an unpaid director of Portsmouth FC in the pre-administration days of the early- to mid-2000s, and was awarded the MBE in 2010.

    This is still the finest 90 seconds of telly he ever did, though:



    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 917

    Dickie Davies aka Swiss Toni :) … re=related

    Crusty Patch,

    Do you remember Sam Leitch, the broad-Scots Eric Pickles lookalike who presented Football Preview on Grandstand?

    Drone, I’m ashamed to say I don’t remember Sam Leitch, not being a football fan. I remember the late Brian Moore doing the football spot on World of Sport.
    Not to mention football reporters Gerald Sinstadt, Hugh Johns and a young Clive Tyldesley, before he went on to better things. I’ll draw a veil over Saint and Greavsie (Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves).
    Glad to hear from Lingfield that Mike Ingham is still going strong on the radio. I thought he was. I loved his smooth, throaty voice when he did the sports bulletins on Radio 2 all those years ago. I was a student then back in 1980 so he certainly will be no spring chicken now. All credit to him for his longevity with the BBC.
    Chris Rae, Christopher Martin-Jenkins, Jeff Stelling, Ian Darke, Ian Carnaby, Peter Baxter, George Hamilton, Joanne Watson and the brilliant Peter Jones, who tragically died, were all radio sportsdesk presenters in those days.
    Tommo was also one of the Radio 2 sports team before he joined the ITV 7. I remember reading at the time that he had to take a pay cut to join ITV but did so because racing was his first love and it was his dream job.
    He couldn’t resist his puns even then. At a Christmas showjumping event at somewhere like Olympia that he provided reports from for Radio 2, he slipped in festive mentions of it being a "plum" event and a "tasty" contest. You’ve got to hand it to him. Chris Rae told him during one of the handovers: "Derek, I don’t know how you get away with it." Prophetic words indeed…..

    • Total Posts 861

    Racing Results on the radio and TV….those were the days!

    Rest in Peace Tim Gudgin.

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    • Total Posts 3777

    I remember when Tim Gudgen used to stand in for Len Martin, when the Aussie was absent.

    Frank Bough or David Coleman reading the old vidiprinter followed by Len Martin reading the football results. Happy days indeed.

    Tim Gudgin was an able deputy but Len Martin was the daddy. :wink:

    Gambling Only Pays When You're Winning

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    • Total Posts 5104

    Rest in Peace Tim Gudgin.

    He has retired not died :roll:

    • Total Posts 917

    As a lad, I remember listening to Tim Gudgin as one of the questionmasters on the Radio 4 schools quiz, Top of the Form. Eager pupils vied with each other to prove they had the best all round knowledge in a wide spectrum of areas. Excellence was valued, not sneered at as elitist.
    Nowadays, such a programme, with its emphasis on knowledge and achievement, would not even get on to the airwaves because it would be criticised for being middle-class and elitist (two of the greatest sins in today’s society). You certainly wouldn’t be able to say "questionmaster". It would have to be "questionperson", no doubt. You can’t even say "headmaster" these days. It has to be "head teacher".
    Can’t be seen these days to be asking pupils (sorry, students) to know anything, or to be learning anything, of an academic nature. Prizes for all and mustn’t have any of today’s young darlings feeling inadequate.
    Today’s "students" have probably never even heard of Latin (sorry, "La’in") and, if they have, probably think it’s some sort of "cool" dance they hear when they are getting blind drunk and hurling foul language at the local residents in Ibiza or Spain. It’s a sign of the times, sadly.
    The TV equivalent of Top of the Form, Ask the Family, hosted by Robert Robinson, on the screens at around the same era, would no doubt be similarly vilified by the egalitarian lot these days, not to mention today’s sandals-and-beard university lecturer brigade.
    I see a lot of today’s young people in a work situation and cannot believe the appalling standards of spelling and grammar they have. It never occurs to many of them to wear a tie when they work in an office or come for an interview.
    All of them seem to have this annoying habit of speaking with their voice going up at the end of sentences, as though they are asking a question. The Australian rising inflection, as Anne Robinson calls it.
    If I hear another one of them say: "I’m good" (as though they mean they are virtuous) when you ask them how they are, I will scream.
    I know I will be howled down as judgemental for daring to say any of this. I couldn’t resist it. I apologise. I’ll get back in my box and go for a lie down (sorry, lay down) in a darkened room.

    Old Applejack
    • Total Posts 209

    Crusty, while possibly agreeing with your lament that in some circles, a little knowledge is wrongly frowned on, I can quite happily tell you that the rest of your post is rubbish.

    Eclipse First
    • Total Posts 1569

    Crusty, a pupil is one who has not yet reached the legal school leaving age (now 43 I believe), a student has chosen to pursue their academic career beyond the legal requirement.

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