Sport And The British

Episodes

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01The Rise Of Olympism2012013020140630 (BBC7)
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Claire visits Rugby School, which can claim to be the birthplace of the modern Olympics.

CLARE BALDING charts how Britain has shaped sport and sport has shaped the British.Apart from the English language itself, the invention of modern sport has been our major cultural legacy to the rest of the world.In this thirty part narrative history series with the help of the academic team from the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University, Clare looks at the unique and vital role sport has played, and continues to play, in our national life. As we gear up for the 2012 games, in this first programme she looks at the birth of the modern olympics movement. While it was inspired by the Greeks and revived by the French nobleman, Pierre de Coubertin, his motivation came from a provincial English public school. It was while visiting Rugby and contemplating the work of its visionary headmaster, Thomas Arnold, that de Coubertin came to the conclusion that inferior physical fitness in young Frenchmen had played a part in their defeat by the Germans in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870. If they played more sport at school, he thought, the outcome might have been different. With Richard Holt and Tony Collins, Professors at the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University, Clare discusses what lessons can be drawn from the games since 1896, in order to achieve success when they return to us this year.

The reader is Stuart McLoughlin.

Producer: Lucy Lunt.

02A Level Playing Field2012013120140701 (BBC7)
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Unlike the French, was it our bonding love of cricket that prevented a revolution?

CLARE BALDING explores how the British shaped sport and sport shaped Britain. If the French had played cricket, would they have prevented the revolution? Clare visits Broadhalfpenny Down in Hampshire, the original home of Hambledon Cricket Club, that's widely regarded as the birthplace of modern cricket. The origins of the game go back to the sixteenth century, it was a farm game, played on landed estates. Highly competitive aristocratic landowners, with money and time to spend, would employ men on their estates who were the best cricketers, so they could use them on their team. Cricket brought together landowners and their agricultural workers, they played together on the same pitch, in the same team - on a level playing field. Professor Richard Holt of the International Centre for Sports history and culture at De Montfort University explains that while we shouldn't confuse social mixing with social harmony, this picture of cricket as a village game, played on summer afternoon, everyone knowing their place on the field, has become the image of Englishness.

Producer: Sara Conkey.

Clare Balding asks if the French would have had a revolution had they played cricket.

03The Bare Fists Of Boxing2012020120140702 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding explores the importance of boxing to the 19th-century alpha male.

Clare Balding explores the way the British have shaped sport and sport has shaped Britain.

An ability to box defined the 19th century alpha male. No gloves or weapons, pugilism was pure, painful and deeply patriotic.Even though prize fighting was technically illegal, it thrived under the support and protection of the aristocracy, notably Prince William, Duke of Cumberland, a son of George II. His nephew, the Prince of Wales - who later became George III was also passionate about pugilism and where royalty led, the rest followed. Dr Neil Carter of the International Centre for Sport History and culture at De Montfort University explains how the subculture of boxing was led by a group of wealthy influential backers known as 'The Fancy' a group of thrill seekers for whom gambling on a bout was part of the risk.Boxing was an underground, cultish fashion until the birth of sports journalism when Sunday newspapers, such as 'Bell's Life' and 'Weekly Dispatch' started to cover it.

Readers, Nyasha Hatendi, Brian Bowles and Stuart McLoughlin

Producer: Garth Brameld.

Clare explores the importance of boxing for the 19th-century alpha male.

04The Unsporting Side Of Sport2012020220140703 (BBC7)
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Sport and gambling are inextricably linked, especially when it comes to horse racing.

Clare Balding watches all sections of society gather on Epsom Downs to watch the Derby, the biggest day of the flat racing year. In her exploration of the way Britain has shaped sport and sport has shaped the British, Clare looks at the socially unifying power of the race course and the way sport and gambling have become inextricably linked. As Professor Richard Holt from the International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University explains, the British have always loved a flutter. Gambling is in the DNA of sport. Having a bet not only gives an incentive to the thrill of sporting competitions but also pushed early sports to have clear and enforceable rules. The extravagant losses of the eighteenth century aristocracy caused a moral backlash in the Victorian era that led to a crackdown in betting legislation.

Producer: Sara Conkey.

Clare looks at the socially unifying power of the racecourse.

05The Making Of Men2012020320140704 (BBC7)
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Clare visits Rugby School to discover why it produced men fit to run the empire.

The Duke of Wellington never said the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Eton but it could be argued that the might of the British Empire was moulded on the pitches of Rugby School.

As Clare Balding continues to chart the way the British have shaped sport and sport has shaped Britain, she visits Rugby to discover how the visionary headmaster, Thomas Arnold, ensured games lay at the heart of school life, producing men ready to rule. As the school archivist, Rusty MacLean, explains to her, on leaving, these pupils took the games they'd developed at Rugby to all parts of the globe, giving birth to numerous national sporting clubs in Africa and India, as well as developing new games like Aussie Rules and American football.

Readers, Brian Bowles, Stuart McLoughlin and Jack Firth

Producer: Lucy Lunt.

06Playing Like Ladies2012020620140707 (BBC7)
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Clare discovers the freedom that Victorian public school girls found on the sports field.

Clare Balding discovers that the freedoms Victorian public school girls found on the sports field were a precursor to the political and social freedoms that would change British society forever.

She visits Cheltenham Ladies College, founded in 1854. Headmistress, Dorothea Beale's vision for her girls was nothing short of a quiet revolution. Pupils began to do gymnastics, swimming and later, hockey and netball allowing them a physical freedom that previous generations had never known.

Readers, Sean Baker, Jo Munro and Jane Lawrence

Producer: Sara Conkey.

Clare discovers the freedom that Victorian public school girls enjoyed on the sports field

07The Corinthian Ideal2012020720140708 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding explores the founding of the Football Association in 1863.

Clare Balding examines the era when footballers were expected to be gentlemen,both on and off the pitch. The Football Association founded in 1863 was set up to ensure the boys that had attended the public schools of England could continue to play the game in adulthood by an agreed set of rules.They embodied the Corinthian spirit, the amateur ideal, one must not be seen to take sport too seriously, or to try too hard, superiority must be gained with apparent effortlessness. Clare looks at the life of C.B. Fry, the ultimate Corinthian - a polymath who could turn his hand to writing, politics, academia, cricket and football. In 1902 he was playing football for Corinthians and cricket for Surrey.

Reader, Brian Bowles

Producer: Lucy Lunt.

Clare Balding looks at the era when footballers were gentlemen, both on and off the pitch.

08The Formal Empire2012020820140709 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding reveals that sport was the glue that helped keep the British Empire together

In the nineteenth century a quarter of the world's habitable countries were part of the British Empire and if trade was the driving force behind it's expansion, sport was the glue that helped keep it together. Clare Balding explains how sport became a way of transmitting British values around the globe; it was a connection to the mother country and a means of educating the Empire's native subjects. Professor Richard Holt of The International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University reveals the role rugby and cricket played in making Britain great.

Readers, Brian Bowles, Nyasha Hatendi and Sean Baker

Producer: Garth Brameld.

Clare reveals that sport was the glue that helped keep the British Empire together.

Clare Balding reveals how sport was spread throughout the British Empire.

09Dawn Of Professional Football2012020920140710 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding tells the story of how football went from an amateur pastime to big business

Clare Balding tells the story of how football went from an amateur pastime to big business and it all started in the Lancashire mill town of Preston. In the season of 1888-89 The Invincibles, as the Preston team were known, were unbeaten in the League and the FA cup, becoming football's first double winners. As Professor Matthew Taylor of De Montfort University explains, their success was down to the vision of one man, their manager, William Suddell, a local mill manager. Clare visits Deepdale, Preston's ground to find out how Suddell became the 'father' of professional football.

Readers, James Lailey and Sean Baker

Producer: Sara Conkey.

Clare tells the story of how football went from an amateur pastime to big business.

10Exporting Football2012021020140711 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding charts how Britain spread the passion for football around the world.

Clare Balding charts how Britain spread the passion for football around the world. She particularly looks at South America where the game is central to their way of life. The FIFA World Cup has been staged 19 times and on 9 of those occasions, it has been won by either Brazil, Argentina or Uruguay.

Professor Tony Mason from De Montfort University explains that unlike cricket and rugby which was spread by soldiers, civil servants and settlers in British colonies, football took a different route. It was taken around the world by those who had made Britain the greatest trading nation in the world, by managers, engineers and teachers.

Readers, Nyasha Hatendi, Sean Baker and Jane Lawrence

Producer: Garth Brameld.

Professor Tony Mason from De Montfort University explains that unlike cricket and rugby which was spread by soldiers, civil servants and settlers in British colonies, football took a different route. It was taken around the world by those who had made Britain the greatest trading nation in the world, by mangers, engineers and teachers.

Clare reveals how Britain gave the world it's great sporting passion - football.

11Rugby's Great Split2012021320140714 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding tells a story of lies, expulsions and bigotry when rugby split in two.

As Clare Balding continues to explore the unique relationship Britain has had with sport, in today's programme she tells a tale of lies, witch hunts, bigotry and the north/south divide.This isn't the story of a battle-torn country, but of a civil-war within a sport with rugby becoming a symbol of class division and splitting in two.

From the home of The Wigan Wanderers, Professor Tony Collins of The International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University explains the birth of Ruby League.

It happened in the late 19th century, a clash between those who could afford to be gentlemen amateurs and those who couldn't. This story goes to the heart of how important class was and is in Britain, it illustrates that sport is just as capable of dividing people as uniting them.

It also shows that sport isn't just a leisure activity - it's about who you play with and how you play.

Readers, Brian Bowles, Stuart McLoughlin and Sean Baker

Producer : Sara Conkey.

Clare explores how rugby became a symbol of class division when it split in two.

From the home of The Wigan Warriors, Professor Tony Collins of The International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University explains the birth of Rugby League.

12Tennis And Golf In Suburbia2012021420140715 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding discovers how tennis and golf clubs were borne of Victorian middle classes.

Clare Balding continues to explore the history of sport in Britain and in today's programme visits one of the oldest tennis clubs in the country in Leamington Spa. In Victorian Britain, lawn tennis took off thanks to the growing numbers of a whole new strata of society - the middle class. Living in suburbia with clean air, space and leisure time, tennis and golf became increasingly popular pastimes. There were 250 clubs in the Lawn Tennis Association by 1900 rising to 3000 by the 1930's and 5000 by the 50's. The middle class had grasped hold of a sport that seemed perfectly designed for polite society. It didn't involve getting dirty or even particularly sweaty and the same could be said for golf. Clare also visits Kenilworth Golf Club where Professor Richard Holt of the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University explains that these clubs were as much about social division as they were about inclusion.

Readers, Nyasha Hatendi and Sean Baker

Producer: Sara Conkey.

Clare discovers that tennis and golf clubs were borne of the Victorian middle classes.

Clare Balding charts the rise of suburban sport, and the birth of tennis and golf clubs.

13Fighting Back2012021520140716 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding looks at the relationship between boxing and Britain's ethnic minorities.

Clare Balding looks at the relationship between boxing and Britain's ethnic minorities.Through the centuries, immigrants have had to literally fight for recognition in Britain and that means with their fists.

As Clare continues to explore how sport made Britain and Britain made sport, she visits the Lynn Boxing Club in South London.Founded in 1892, it's the oldest continuing amateur boxing club in the country. It was around the time that bare knuckle boxing was starting to decline and amateur boxing, with gloves, took over. As Professor Tony Collins from the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University explains, the history of Boxing is intertwined with the history of black immigrants and the struggle of Jewish sportsmen to find acceptance.

Readers, Brian Bowles and Stuart McLoughlin

Producer: Garth Brameld.

Producer Lucy Lunt,Sara Conkey,Garth Brameld.

Clare looks at the relationship between boxing and Britain's ethnic minorities.

14Women Between The Wars2012021620140717 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding discovers how working women were finally given their sporting chance.

Clare Balding discovers how working women finally got their sporting chance, through the leisure activities offered by many major employers, at the turn of the twentieth century.The number of female workers in factories, large retailers and service industries was growing hugely and the employers decided to provide them with sports facilities and equipment. Clare visits Bournville, home of Cadbury's, who, like the Lyons company, famous for their tea shops, or Boots in Nottingham, gave access to all their employees to tennis courts, hockey fields, football pitches, lacrosse fields and athletics equipment. She talks to Fiona Skillen from the University of Central Lancashire about the women's football teams of that period, like the Dick Kerr Ladies, that had the power to attract crowds of over twenty thousand spectators but were later banned by the Football Association.

Readers, Jane Lawrence and Sean Baker

Producer: Lucy Lunt.

15A Bit Of A Flutter2012021720140718 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding looks at the role gambling has played in our relationship with sport.

Clare Balding looks at the role gambling has played in our relationship with sport as she continues her exploration into how Britain made sport and sport made Britain.

Betting has played a crucial role in the way games developed, it gave incentive to competition which in turn necessitated clear rules. Establishing who's won and who's lost is crucial but who managed to have a flutter and where was a matter riven with class distinctions as Clare discovers.

Reader, Sean Baker

Producer: Sara Conkey.

Clare looks at the role gambling has played in our relationship with sport.

26Sport For All2012030520140801 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding asks why and when did the British government get involved in sport. How did sport become part of politics, in a country which had always prided itself on keeping them apart?

The Nazis threw immense resources behind the German team for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, while the British Foreign Office still thought sport should be, ' a private affair between private individuals' free of government interference. However by the 1950's post war politicians began to think that physical recreation and games might be a cure for the general apathy and discontent of British youth as exemplified by the teddy boys, mods and rockers of the era.

Professor Tony Mason of The International Centre for Sport Culture and History at De Montfort University explains the importance of the 1957 Wolfenden Committee's report in broadening access to sporting facilities for all sectors of society.

Technical presentation: John Benton

Producer: Lucy Lunt.

Clare asks why and when the British government got involved in sport.

Clare asks why and when did the British government get involved in sport.

27Golden Girls2012030620140804 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding explains how the 1960s saw women athletes finally take centre stage.

In the final week of her series exploring how sport made Britain and Britain made sport, Clare Balding looks at the female British athletes of the 1960's who finally took centre stage on the podium and in the press.

She visits the home of the Birchfield Harriers in Birmingham, one of the country's leading athletics clubs. There she meets Norma Blaine who'd been coaching young women athletes since 1951. Norma remembers when women were unable to compete in any distance race over two hundred metres. Her friend, Diane Leather ran a five minute mile, (breaking the women's world record), the same week as Bannister broke the male world record but Diane's achievement was never acknowledged.

Clare explores the legacy of Anita Lonsborough,Dorothy Hyman, Anne Packer, Mary Rand and Lillian Board and asks if this golden age of female athletes can ever be repeated.

The series has been made with The International Centre for Sport History and Culture at De Montfort University in Leicester.

Technical presentation: John Benton

Producer: Lucy Lunt.

28Rugby's Big Bang2012030720140805 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding explores the demise of the amateurism in rugby union.

Clare Balding explores why Rugby Union tried to stand firm against the encroaching tide of professionalism and in August 1995, lost.

One by one the old bastions of the sporting gentleman had fallen in the 1960s and 1970s. Cricket, tennis and athletics had all abandoned the Victorian distinction between amateurs and professionals. The word 'amateur' had almost become an insult. But of all the major sports, only one continued to uphold the banner - rugby union. It had introduced strict amateur rules into the game in 1886 and ever since had been determined to uphold them. Prof Tony Collins explains that when the Thatcher era did away with the old school tie mentality and money became an acceptable topic of conversation there was only one way rugby could go.

This series was made in partnership with The International Centre for Sport History and Culture.

Technical presentation: John Benton

Producer: Sara Conkey.

One by one the old bastions of the sporting gentleman had fallen in the 1960s and 1970s. Cricket, tennis and athletics had all abandoned the Victorian distinction between amateurs and professionals. The word 'amateur' had almost become an insult. But of all the major sports, only one continued to uphold the banner of: rugby union.It had introduced strict amateur rules into the game in 1886 and ever since had been determined to uphold them. Prod Tony Collins explains that when the Thatcher era did away with the old school tie mentality and money became an acceptable topic of conversation there was only one way rugby could go.

29Globalisation2012030820140806 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding explores the way television has changed our relationship with sport forever.

Clare Balding explores the way global television has changed our relationship with sport forever. It's no longer seasonal and is bankrolled by TV income and it bows to TV's needs.

This series was made in partnership with The International Centre for Sport History and Culture.

Technical presentation: John Benton

Producer: Sara Conkey.

30 LASTThe State Of Play2012030920140807 (BBC7)
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Clare Balding with Professors Richard Holt, Tony Collins and Mike Cronin explores the cultural importance of the great triviality that is sport.

The series was made in partnership with The International Centre for Sports History and Culture at de Montfort University.

Producer: Lucy Lunt

Executive Editor: Ian Bent.

Clare Balding explores the cultural importance of the great triviality that is sport.