It's A Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières boldly entered the new
decade and appeared for the first time in colour (with the exception of
International Heats 1-3).
Domestic It’s A Knockout series saw a four-way tie for the
highest-scoring losing team to represent Great Britain in the West German
International Heat, and a play-off game had to be held to decide it!
West Germany, in Spiel Ohne Grenzen, fourteen cities fought it out for
the right to represent their country in the International series. The lavish
Radevormwald Domestic Heat proved a highlight and was held at the Kollenberg
Stadium - quite distinct from Spiel Ohne Grenzen's usual marketplace,
castle courtyard and car park settings. The theme of the competition was 'The
1001 Nights' and the edition was notable for its impressive sets. With the
exception of the first heat, which Kellheim won at a canter, all the 1970 West
German Domestics were close run contests, as might be expected considering the
high level of performance of West German teams during this phase of the
new Domestic competition made its debut this year in Spain, produced by
Televisión Española (TVE). Entitled Un Pueblo Para Europa, this series
was intended to lead to qualification for Jeux Sans Frontières 1971,
but in the fullness of time TVE reconsidered their position and withdrew due
to financial concerns (see the
1971 Introduction for further details).
Meanwhile on the International stage, France returned to Jeux Sans
Frontières after a year out (and two years out as broadcaster) and
Netherlands joined in the fun for the first time making the 1970 series the
animated opening title sequence this year lasted 1 minute 34 seconds and
utilised footage from the 1969 animation with the addition of the Netherlands
as flower-sellers and the France represented by the Can-Can dance and
champagne. The theme music was rearranged to incorporate these new elements.
choice of games was up to a European Committee, based upon suggestions made by
each country. Apparently, experts could tell which country had proposed which
game: the British favoured games to test strength and toughness, while the
Germans went for games which involved dressing up. Meanwhile, the French
favoured a sense of danger, although this meant that many of their suggestions
had to be turned down for being too risky!
Jokers were permitted to be played on the last game until the end of 1971,
after which the rules were changed and teams had to play their Jokers on the
games on which teams missed out (i.e. Games 1-7). The result was that for this
year and 1971 there was an imbalance of the highest achievable score
(dependant on where it was played) because the last game carried 14 points if
the Joker was won, whereas the other playable games carried a maximum of 12
points on the Joker. However, from 1972 a change in the rules meant that
Jokers were not permitted to be played on the final game, restoring a parity
to the highest achievable scores once again.
The first three International Heats in Italy, Switzerland and
Belgium were all made and transmitted in
black and white. The remainder of
the series was made in
colour - the
first series of Jeux Sans Frontières to be transmitted in this way.
However, not all international broadcasters were by this time in a position to
screen the series in anything other than monochrome. Belgium's colour
television service began in 1971, the French were still sporadically
broadcasting in black-and-white in 1973 and incredibly, the Italians had to
wait until 1977 for colour to be introduced, the delay accredited to political
Although the series moved into colour, the main scoreboard used
remained resolutely black and white. However, the blue electronic scoreboard
that would be used from 1971 in Jeux Sans Frontières was tested out at
the Groningen heat as a secondary scoreboard.
International Final was held this year at the historic Roman Amphitheatre in
Verona, Italy. After four years of West German domination, the Jeux Sans
Frontières Golden Trophy was won by the host nation.
end of the year saw the first of fifteen annual It’s A Christmas Knockout
specials, starting with teams from Great Britain and the Netherlands, who did
battle in the competition held at Leiden, Netherlands. The teams were made up
of It's A Knockout and Zeskamp competitors, with professional footballers from
Chelsea Football Club (Peter Bonetti and John Hollins) joining the Great
Yarmouth team and Dutch professionals
Jan Van Beveren (PSV Eindhoven FC) and Johan Cruyff (Ajax Football Club)
joining those representing Alphen aan den Rijn.