Barendse (1907-1981) was probably the most distinctive of the presenters of
the Netherlands Jeux Sans Frontières competions. He was a veteran
sports commentator and broadcaster who was instantly recognisable wearing his
trademark checked cap.
Barendse presented both Spel Zonder
Grenzen (as the Dutch referred to Jeux Sans Frontières) and Zeskamp, the Dutch domestic equivalent of
It's A Knockout.
Aside from these, Barend fronted many other entertainment programmes on the
NCRV such as Rodeo and Zo Vader Zo Zoon ('Like Father Like Son')
in addition to his sports duties. Barendse had made his first forays into
sports reporting via his love of cycling and contributed commentaries for
radio coverage of the Tour de France after the Second World War. He made his
television debut in 1952 and became a famous and much-loved personality of the
Dutch television service for the following quarter of a century.
Sadly, Barend Barendse was diagnosed with a
brain tumour in 1980 and was given a matter of months to live. In those short
months, he had a red tulip named after him and was also appointed a Knight of
the Order of Orange-Nassau, a prestigious royal award which he considered his
greatest ever achievement.
Barend Barendse passed away in the
Prinsengracht Ziekenhuis (Hospital) in Amsterdam on the 5th February 1981,
by Alan Hayes