It's A Knockout 1972
British Domestic Series

Presenters: Eddie Waring and Stuart Hall

Referee: Arthur Ellis

Scoregirls: Glynne Geldart, Laura Sutcliffe, Jean Galston, Tricia O'Donnell

Production Team: Geoff Wilson and Alan Wright

Engineering Manager: Geoff Lomas

Sound: John Drake

Designer: Stuart Furber

Producer: Barney Colehan

Director: Bill Taylor
A BBC North West Production

GB

It's A Knockout 1972

Heat 1

Event Staged: Sunday 16th April 1972
Venue: Wyvern Territorial Army Barracks, Exeter, Devon, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 19th May 1972, 7.45-8.30pm

Teams: Exeter v. Salisbury

Team Members included:
Exeter -
Phil McGouldrick (Team Coach), Paddy Flavin, Stephen Marchant, Susan Mason, Danny O’Sullivan, Frances Robins, Fran Watts;
Salisbury - Bill Toop (Team Captain), Bryan White (Team Manager), Paul Griffin, Michael Hayes, Roger Kelner, Sue King and Barry Pritchard.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 S • Salisbury
 E Exeter

12
9

Salisbury qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Spa, Belgium:
staged on Tuesday 23rd May 1972

Additional Information

At the beginning of the BBC’s transmissions of the Domestic Heats in 1972, and in celebration of the town’s Golden Jubilee year as a municipal borough, the Watford team (who would later compete in Heat 6) were chosen to be featured on the front cover of Radio Times magazine (13th-19th May 1972) posing in the guise of the new Radio Times Trophy, which was to be presented to the highest scoring winner of the domestic series. Ironically, it was against Watford that Luton scored the highest points in this year’s domestic series to become the trophy’s first winner!

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1972

Heat 2

Event Staged: Saturday 22nd April 1972 from 6.00pm
Venue: Congleton Park, Congleton, Cheshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 26th May 1972, 7.45-8.30pm

Teams: Banbury v. Congleton

Team Members included:
Banbury - Mike Swann (Team Manager), Brian Stone (Team Trainer), Ray Phillips (Team Captain), Louise Belcher, Sandra Boland, George Gibbs, Angela Harper, Derek Heywood, David Higgs, Eric Hillman, Helen Jarman, Stella Judd, Ann Mullard, Mike Palmer, Tony Puddifoot, George Reynolds, Stuart Smith, Lee Steadman, Gerard ‘Jed’ Sutton, Ellen Twiner;
Congleton -
Ann Brightwell (Ladies’ Team Captain), Robbie Brightwell (Men’s Team Captain), Glenys Baskerville, Kevin Cooper, Barry Cove, Fiona Dale, Robert Dale, Ivor Davies, Sandra Dyson, David Edwards, Tony Heath, Janice Holden, Paula Kennerley, Rona Livingstone, Colin McFadeine, Gordon Mellor, David Miller, Stephen Mulligan, Rita Powell, Eddie Pruden, Bob Roberts, Fiona Roberts, Richard Sawbridge, Peter Shufflebottom, Linda Swinyard, Leslie Taylor, Geoff Walker.

Games: Recycling the Cycle, Hammering the Flour, Seesaw Skittles, Giant Ball Slalom, Don’t Run…But Get the Water, Jelly Canvas Run and Elastic Skates;
Marathon: Water Carpet.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 B • Banbury
 C Congleton

12
10

Banbury qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Bern, Switzerland:
staged on Wednesday 7th June 1972

Congleton qualified as the highest scoring losing team for
Jeux Sans Frontières
at Sheffield, Great Britain:
staged on Wednesday 2nd August 1972.

The Venue

Congleton, Cheshire

This heat was held during the weekend festivities celebrating the 700th anniversary of the town of Congleton being granted its first charter in 1272. This charter enabled the town to hold fairs and markets, elect a mayor and ale taster, have a merchant guild and behead known criminals.

The Rehearsals

As in the final show, the Banbury team also emerged as victors in the rehearsals earlier in the morning when they beat Congleton 13-9.

Returning Teams and Competitors

Future domestic and international referee Mike Swann began his It’s A Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières career in this heat as the team manager for the Banbury team. He participated again in 1973 as an advisor to the Bicester IAK/JSF team, before becoming an It's A Knockout referee in 1977. He was a part of the Celebrities team in It's A Celebrity Knockout 1978, and participated in Anything Goes in 1985 with other members of his family.

Additional Information

The staging of this heat was peculiar to all others (apart from the Northern Ireland heats which were not held on Sundays due to pressure from religious groups) in that it was the first not to be held on a Sunday. The programme was also notable for starting at the latest ever time of the day - 6.00pm - in It's A Knockout's history. This was to accommodate Eddie Waring travelling down from Warrington after commentating on his usual Saturday afternoon broadcast. A helicopter had been specially chartered to bring him from the rugby match right into the park itself. The arena had to be specially floodlit towards the end of the programme due to the late start.

Congleton recruited Olympic medal winners Robbie and Ann Brightwell to lead their team. Ann, who won Gold and Silver medals in the 1964 Tokyo Games (as Ann Packer), was worried that she was expected to win simply because she had achieved a world record time over 800 metres. Ann was canny enough to realise that this did not automatically mean that she would be adept at springing across a series of wobbly platforms carrying a tray of jellies! Robbie would return as Team Advisor for the Macclesfield team when they participated in the 1977 series of It’s A Knockout.

In an article from local newspaper The Banbury Guardian dated Thursday 1st June 1972, team manager Mike Swann revealed that the team was fit and ready to go: “We can get a maximum of 56pts in the competition and we have set ourselves a target of 50,” he said. These words would soon come back and bite him at the International Heat in Switzerland.

Before the team departed for Switzerland, England football hero Geoff Hurst visited them at their final training session at Banbury United Stadium. “I always believed that people took this as a bit of fun, but it appears that you could be training for a football tournament,” he stated. Geoff's company, Unique Sportswear, presented the team with their International shoulder-bags, and he wished them all the success in Switzerland.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1972

Heat 3

Event Staged: Sunday 30th April 1972
Venue: Open-Air Swimming Pool, Folkestone, Kent, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 2nd June 1972, 7.45-8.30pm

Teams: Folkestone v. Canterbury

Team Members included:
Folkestone - Brian Spearpoint (Co-Team Coach), Steve Thomas (Co-Team Coach), Mike O’Grady (Team Captain), Keith Allen, David Anslow, Sue Anslow, Mike Berry, Van Betts, Sue Boardman, Lottie Boucher, Sue Clark, Gary Cooper, Sheila Crockford, Norma Devereux, Brian Fowler, Chris Fowler, Ron Fowler, Michael Hawkes, Janet Hughes, Pat James, Graham Jones, Peter Kennedy, Roger McCrow, Elizabeth Mount, Peter Munday, David Price, Ron Price, Jenny Thomas, Peter Warren.

Games: Rafter You Than Me, Water Seesaw, Target Run, Raft to Plank and Plank to Raft, Water Football, The Raft Jumpers and The Beach Requisites;
Marathon: Stepping Stones.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 F • Folkestone
 C Canterbury

13
7

Folkestone qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Westerland (Sylt), West Germany:
staged on Tuesday 20th June 1972

The Venue

Folkestone, Kent

This heat was held at the open-air swimming pool on the seafront at Folkestone, and was quite unique as it was filled with purified sea-water. The pool was situated alongside Marine Parade with the Rotunda amusement park. Sadly, today neither exists after both were demolished in the 1980s. However, the site of the Rotunda is still visible from the air, and the white poolside café buildings are still standing on the seafront.

Additional Information

A fierce gale was blowing during the recording of this heat, which made some of the games difficult and even hazardous. In one game, involving men having to cross a swimming pool jumping on to a series of floating platforms, a member of the Folkestone team cracked his leg badly against one of the platforms. After being rescued by frogmen, he insisted on continuing as he was a Physical Education teacher and his students would never let him live it down if he didn't complete the game!

At the time of recording, the venue for the West German International Heat was not decided. The souvenir programme from the Swiss International heat at Bern suggest that the West German event was due to be held at Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler or Westerland (Sylt). The latter venue, given simply as Sylt in the Swiss programme, was the venue ultimately chosen.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1972

Heat 4

Event Staged: Sunday 7th May 1972
Venue: Lanark Racecourse, Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotland

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 9th June 1972, 7.45-8.30pm

Teams: Lanark v. Dalkeith

Team Members included:
Lanark -
Billy Adams, John Barry, Billy Dempster, Diana Dunn, Brian Hawbutt, Marjorie Hunter, Gibby Kerr, Derek McIver, Susan McMoran, Richard Paterson, Robert Roma, Carol Smith and Marion Thompson; 
Dalkeith -
Marion Renfrew (Team Coach), Alice Anderson, Lib Anderson, Bob Barnes, Hunter Blair, Bill Ingram, Robert Gilfinnan, Maggie Holmes, Rob Holmes, Jim Ingram, Toby Morris, Minnie Robertson and Jim Smith.

Games: Game 1 (Unknown), Game 2 (Unknown), Barrel Stacking, Water Carriers, The Hod Carrier's Nightmare, Hula Hoop Across the Water, and Tiling the Roof;
Marathon: The Spinning Painters.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 MAR 7
Points Scored
(Joker games shown in red)
D 2 0 2 0 2 1 4

2

L 0 2 0 4 0 1 0

1

Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
D 2 2 4 4 6 7 11

13

L 0 2 2 6 6 7 7

8

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd

 D • Dalkeith
 L Lanark

13
8

Dalkeith qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Passariano, Italy:
staged on Wednesday 5th July 1972

The Venue

Lanark, Lanarkshire

This heat was held at the Old Lanark Racecourse, famous for hosting the annual Lanark Silver Bell, which was closed in 1977. During the programme, the starting gate can clearly be seen as well as the white rails around the course.

The Games in Detail

Game 7 - Tiling the Roof

The final game - 'Tiling the Roof' - ended with both teams disqualified by referee Arthur Ellis as neither team had laid their tiles properly. Arthur Ellis decided to award each team a point each, but forgot to double Dalkeith's score to two. Therefore, the recording ended with the scoreboard displaying Lanark 8, Dalkeith 12. Realising their error, the It's A Knockout team asked the audience to remain in attendance while a retake was staged from the point where presenter Stuart Hall asked Ellis to announce the points awarded in the game. This time, Dalkeith were awarded their full points tally and the scoreboard was shown with the correct score: 8-13. This sequence would have been edited into the finished programme and audiences at home would have been none the wiser.

Additional Information

The BBC's existing recording of this programme is unfortunately missing the opening of the programme, the first two games, the first two Marathon heats, and the first run (of two) of the third game, which was 'Barrel Stacking'. However, we can deduce from the commentary on the surviving material that Dalkeith had won the first game and Lanark the second game.

Made in Colour • Footage from this programme exists in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1972

Heat 5

Event Staged: Sunday 14th May 1972
Venue: Forest Recreation Ground, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 16th June 1972, 7.45-8.30pm

Teams: Nottingham v. Lincoln

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 L • Lincoln
 N Nottingham

14
8

Lincoln qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Nice, France:
staged on Wednesday 19th July 1972

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

GB

It's A Knockout 1972

Heat 6

Event Staged: Sunday 21st May 1972
Venue: Outdoor Pool, Wardown Baths Centre, Biscot, Luton, Bedfordshire, England

Transmission:
BBC1 (GB):
Friday 23rd June 1972, 7.45-8.30pm

Radio Times Trophy presented by:
Charles Hill (Lord Hill of Luton), BBC Chair of Governors

Teams: Luton v. Watford

Team Members (Full Squads):
Luton - John Riches (Team Manager), John Howells (Men’s Team Coach), Alan Baldock, Pat Barker, Janice Barton, Marilyn Borlase, Pamela Brebner, Geoffrey Brown, Peter Bruce, Linda Butler, Finlay Campbell, Patricia Cornes, Colin Curle, Stephanie Daniels, Sharon Dillette, Christopher Dunnington, Gary Dunington, Barry Elliott, Douglas Fleming, Kevin Hanna, Michael Harrison, Brenda Howe, Ann Howells, Annette Hunter, Andrew Maddox, Colin Mayes, Valerie McDonough, Steve Mizsei, Thomas Murphy, Linda Nash, John O’Kane, Geoffrey Osborne, Barry Penning, Jeanette Purdy, John Randall, Raymond Roach, Sandra Rogers, Frederick Standard, Peter Sturgess, David Watkins, Diana Windle, Paul Woolford, David Worker, Jean Wright, Caroline Yates. Unconfirmed: Pam Lewis (Women’s Team Coach);
Watford - Reg Morgan (Team Manager), Colin Southgate (Team Coach), Lynn Taylor (Women’s Team Coach), Chris Barker (Men’s Team Captain), Audrey Adams, Judith Almand, Susan Andrews, Geoff Arnell, Jackie Attree, Christine Badger, Hilary Ball, Bob Beazley, Derek Beevor, Donal Brewis, David Brown, Roger Castle, Tom Collins, Rose Cullen, Guiseppe De Piano, Nick Dobner, Peter Evans, Joanna Finch, Patricia Gaman, Bill Graham, Marcus Grodentz, Lawrence James, Vicky King, Penny Lawson, David Long, Sandra Marquis, Pat McCloughlin, Russell O'Connor, Amanda Parkin, Hilary Philips, Alan Poole, Peter Redmond, Philip Rider, Carol Robbins, Keith Roszell, Tony Shenton, Graham Stiles, Jean Tye, Dennis Webster. Unconfirmed: Roy Rogers.

Games (Official Titles): Rafts and Barrows, Football Skittles, Walking the Plank, Raft Race, Ball Transfer, Tarzan Swing and Canvas Slide;
Marathon: Water Carriers.

Game Results and Standings

Result

 Team

Points

1st
2nd

 L • Luton
 W Watford

16
4

Luton qualified for Jeux Sans Frontières at Delft, Netherlands:
staged on Wednesday 16th August 1972.
This result secured Luton with the new Radio Times Trophy for 1972
for the highest scoring team in the British heats.

The Venue

The venue for this heat was the Baths Centre in Luton which was opened in June 1935. Originally, it was solely an open-air pool and paddling area for children, but in 1963 the local council began building the Wardown Swimming and Leisure Centre adjacent to it which in itself included a heated indoor pool. This was completed and opened in 1965.
 

The It's A Knockout heat in progress at the Baths Centre, Luton
Photo: Russ Barker

 

As European travel and foreign holidays became more widely available and more fashionable in the mid-1970s and with Britain’s not so sunny climate, the open-air pool began to be used less and less and by the beginning of the 1980s the pool had fallen in to disuse and was finally closed to the public in 1981. The plan was to sell the land for local housing but this proved more difficult than expected, and during the first few years following the closure, the emptied pool was ‘opened’ as a skateboarding area for local children. However, with rules set down in the Health and Safety Act, and with the possible citations of legal action for injuries sustained, the area was sealed off at the end of the 1980s.

The site lay untouched for the next 30 years and in mid-2012 the dilapidated remnants of the pool could still be seen from the balcony of the Leisure Centre, before the council’s plans were finally realised, but in a different guise. Demolition of the site (including the heated indoor pool) commenced in the autumn of 2012 to make room for a new education facility. In September 2013, the new River Bank Primary School, a brand new Active Education Academy Trust Free School for boys and girls, opened its doors on the site which encompassed both of the old swimming pools. (See Venues.)

Returning Teams and Competitors

Four members of Luton’s 1972 team, Steve Mizsei, Sharon Dillette, team coach John Howells and John O’Kane participated many years later in It’s a Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières. Steve was a member of the 1977 St. Albans It’s a Knockout team, as well as the 1978 Stevenage and 1979 St. Albans It’s a Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières teams, whilst John O’Kane competed again for St. Albans in 1979. Sharon competed again for the Luton team in 1981 when they participated in It’s A Knockout and Jeux Sans Frontières, and John Howells returned as team manager for the squad during their 1981 participation.

Additional Information

Reports in the local press Luton News just two weeks before this heat was held show that the original venue for the Dutch International Heat this year was to have been Gouda. This information is borne out by details of the proposed venues in the souvenir programme for the 1972 Swiss International Heat from Bern. The Dutch venue had changed to Delft by time the heat was staged. Other reports show that this heat cost £4000 to stage (excluding the wage bill of the BBC’s one hundred personnel) and that on display was a six-foot wide wooden boater, which was made by 40-year old local library display assistant Bob Godfrey. Reports also showed in both towns’ local press Luton News and Watford Observer that the people of Watford did not take the programme to their hearts. Both towns had been allocated 2,500 tickets each but whilst the Luton allocation sold at an extraordinary rate, four days before the actual contest only 600 tickets had been sold in Watford and in the 19th May 1972 edition of the Watford Observer, three separate adverts were placed urging the locals to support their team. The town eventually sent back over 1,500 unsold tickets to Luton!

During this heat, Watford team member Tony Shenton had to be assisted to hospital by the local ambulance service after falling badly on one of the games. Whilst competing in Game 4 - ‘Raft Race’ - he had fallen from the raft and hit the side of the pool causing a hairline fracture to his left arm.

The town of Luton was presented with over £1000 of silverware and hard cash by the then BBC Chairman of Governors, Charles Hill (Lord Hill of Luton), after their routing of Watford. He presented the new Radio Times Trophy worth £600 for being the highest scoring team in the British domestic heats. The trophy was designed by Radio Times cartoonist, Bill Tidy. Hill also handed over a cheque for £500 to help the old people of Luton.

Made in Colour • This programme does not exist in the BBC Archives

 

JSFnetGB Series Guide pages researched by
Alan Hayes, David Hamilton, Neil Storer, Christos Moustakas, Philippe Minet,
Sébastien Dias, Ischa Bijl, Paul Leaver and JSFnet Websites