Britain on Film: This Sporting Life

Britain on Film: This Sporting Life

Series 2



This week’s clips from the reels of Rank’s 1959-68 Look at Life series fall into the drawer marked “sport”. Soccer grabs the lion’s share (players carry orange footballs; Jimmy Hill has a beard). But there’s also cricket (yes, that is Richie Benaud on voiceover duty). And golf, at a time when nearly half a million women play - “some with desperate seriousness, others because it makes a break from the kitchen sink”.

The boom in air travel opened up ski slopes to the plucky Brit, while stock-car racing gave commentators the chance to say “whoops a daisy”. It’s a cheap, easy half-hour for BBC4, but a Danny Baker-style voiceover would add immeasurably to the entertainment value.


Documentary featuring footage from film company Rank Organisation of clips reflecting Britain's deep interest in competitive sports during the 1960s, including cycling, skiing, golf and stock-car racing. The programme also includes recordings of cricket commentator Richie Benaud, and colour footage of the England football team in training for the 1966 World Cup.

Cast & Crew

Executive Producer David Okuefuna
Producer Kathryn Williams