It's A Christmas Knockout 1976

Entrants 1976: Belgium (B) • Great Britain (GB) • Italy (I) • Netherlands (NL) 

Presenters:
Paule Herreman and Mike Verdrengh (B)
Stuart Hall (GB)
Ettore Andenna (I)
Dick Passchier and Barend Barendse (NL)

Referees: Gennaro Olivieri and Guido Pancaldi
British Referee: Mike Swann

Producer: Cecil Korer
Produced by RTB-BRT (B), BBC North West (GB), RAI (I), NCRV (NL)

I

It's A Christmas Knockout 1976

Christmas Special

Event Staged: Tuesday 14th and Wednesday 15th December 1976
Venue: Stadio Olimpico del Ghiaccio (Olympic Ice Stadium), Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

European Transmissions (Local Timings):
BBC1 (GB):
Sunday 26th December 1976, 4.35-5.35pm (Christmas Sunday)
RAI Uno (I): Sunday 26th December 1976, 6.20-8.00pm (La festa di Santo Stefano)
NCRV (NL): Tuesday 28th December 1976, 8.30-9.35pm

Theme: Festive Fun

Teams: Waterloo (B) v. Leeds (GB) v.
Cortina d’Ampezzo (I) v. The Dutch All-Stars (NL)

Team Members included:
The Dutch All-Stars (NL) -
Ans Boekema-Schut, Jan Bols, Nico Chiotakis, Jan Jansen, Harm Kuipers, Atje Keulen-Deelstra, Arie Klein, Eddy Pieters Graafland, Trijnie Rep, Ans Smulders, Els Veentjer-Spruit, Eddy Verheyen.

Games: Cards into Sacks, Presents Under Tree, Snowmen, Polar Bears, Collecting Icicles, Fathers Christmas, Musical Chairs and Christmas Dinner Party.

Game Results and Standings

Games

Team / Colour

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Points Scored
B 3 4 3 4 4 3 4 4

GB

2 2 2 1 1 1 3 1
I 4 3 4 2 3 4 2 3
NL 2 2 2 3 2 2 1 2
Running Totals
(Leading teams shown in red)
B 3 7 10 14 18 21 25 29

GB

2 4 6 7 8 9 12 13
I 4 7 11 13 16 20 22 25
NL 2 4 6 9 11 13 14 16

Result

 Team

Points

Final Scoreboard

1st
2nd
3rd
4th

 B • Waterloo
 I • Cortina d'Ampezzo
 NL • The Dutch All-Stars
 GB • Leeds

29
25
16
13

The Host Town

Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy

This festive heat was staged at Cortina d’Ampezzo, a town in the Alps of Northern Italy with a population of around 6,200 inhabitants. Located in an alpine valley in the heart of the Dolomite mountain range, it is a popular winter sport resort known for its ski-ranges, scenery, accommodation, shops and après-ski scene.

Situated at the top of the Valle del Boite, Cortina d’Ampezzo is encircled for 360° by the Dolomites. The town centre is located at an elevation of 1,224m (4,015ft), although the highest point is that of the Tofana di Mezzo which towers at 3,244m (10,643ft). There is a significant water presence in the territory in the form of torrents, streams and little lakes, which fill particularly during the summer snow-melt season. Fauna include marmots, roe deer chamoises and hares.

During the Middle Ages, Ampezzo fell under the jurisdiction of the Holy Roman Empire, but in 1420, the village was conquered by the Republic of Venice. In 1508, it was conquered by Austria and by 1511, the people of Ampezzo swore loyalty to Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519). Following Italy's victory in World War I, Ampezzo was finally given to Italy and, although remaining a Habsburg possession until 1920 and being home to an ethnic German minority, Ampezzo never became a teutophonic (German-speaking) territory. Instead it conserved its original language of Ladin, which is similar to the Swiss Romansch language, but one that is only spoken in the Dolomitic area.

After the War, the town was renamed Cortina d'Ampezzo (Curtain of the Ampezzo Valley), adopting the name of one of the six villages that made up the territory of Ampezzo, located in the middle of the Ampezzo valley.

Already an elite destination for the first British tourists from the late 18th century up to the early twentieth, Cortina d'Ampezzo also became a favourite resort for upper-class Italians after World War I. On the announcement that the town had been chosen to host the VIIth Winter Olympics of 1956, a new airport was constructed, but today it is no longer in use.

After playing host to the Olympic Games, it became a world-renowned resort, experiencing increased mass tourism and as a result, the town and surroundings have found themselves being utilised for various world cup events and motion pictures. Much of 1963 classic comedy The Pink Panther, the progenitor of the film series starring Peter Sellers (1925-1980) was filmed in Cortina D’Ampezzo. One of the most memorable James Bond stunt sequences in the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, where Bond has to escape a crew of assassins on spike-wheeled motorcycles was filmed there, with his route taking them all onto the resort’s bobsleigh run. The scene of the first attack on Bond (portrayed by British actor Roger Moore) and his partner Melina Havelock (portrayed by French actress Carole Bouquet) in which two motorcyclists attempt to run them over only for Bond to eliminate them both, was set in the actual town centre. Also filmed on its slopes were several scenes in the 1993 film Cliffhanger starring Sylvester Stallone and the 1983 film Krull starring Ken Marshall and Lysette Anthony. The town is also known for its jet-set and European aristocracy crowd.

The games were played at the Olympic Ice Stadium which was constructed between 1952 and 1954, primarily as an open-air figure skating arena after the town was awarded the honour of hosting the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. The venue was inaugurated on 26th October 1955 and was designed to hold between 7-8,000 spectators, with the possibility of making temporary arrangements to accommodate 12-15,000 spectators for the period of the Olympics. During the Games, the arena held the opening and closing ceremonies, the figure skating events and selected ice hockey games. Although originally open-air, a roof was added to the structure sometime after 1981. Akin with the town, the stadium was also utilised in the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, for the scene in which Bond met with Aris Kristatos (portrayed by British actor Julian Glover) wherein Kristatos (the real villain) tries to trick Bond into pursuing and killing his rival Milos Columbo, portrayed by Israeli actor Chaim Topol.

The Venue

Stadio Olimpico del Ghiaccio (Olympic Ice Stadium)

The games were played at the Olympic Ice Stadium which was constructed between 1952 and 1954, primarily as an open-air figure skating arena after the town was awarded the honour of hosting the 1956 Winter Olympic Games. The venue was inaugurated on 26th October 1955 and was designed to hold between 7-8,000 spectators, with the possibility of making temporary arrangements to accommodate 12-15,000 spectators for the period of the Olympics. During the Games, the arena held the opening and closing ceremonies, the figure skating events and selected ice hockey games. Although originally open-air, a roof was added to the structure sometime after 1981. Akin with the town, the stadium was also utilised in the 1981 film For Your Eyes Only, for the scene in which Bond met with Aris Kristatos (portrayed by British actor Julian Glover) wherein Kristatos (the real villain) tries to trick Bond into pursuing and killing his rival Milos Columbo, portrayed by Israeli actor Chaim Topol.

Additional Information

The famous clip where Stuart Hall falls over with the giant polar bear (which was re-shown in many of the highlights programmes), is taken from Game 4 of this heat.

Made in Colour • This programme exists 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