Sportacular

Sportacular

by Stuart Linnell

Sports Editor

It’s two o’clock on a Saturday afternoon, and the theme of Radio Hallam’s “Sportacular” is playing on thousands of radio’s throughout South Yorkshire and the North Midlands. As the programme’s presenter, I’m at the control desk in Studio ‘A’ at Hartshead, ready to play the records and link to the various sporting events our team of reporters is covering. From now on, I’m in the hands of our engineering staff, and our Outside Broadcast equipment. The show itself is the culmination of a week’s organisation and preparation and it constantly presents our Chief Engineer, Derrick Connolly, and his team with a set of new problems to resolve — and, I might add, they’ve yet to fail to come up with an answer (even though the answer is sometimes unrepeatable!)

Although, “Sportacular” is what we build up to each week, it is only part of Radio Hallam’s sports output. There are ‘Sports Desks’ every morning in the ‘Breakfast Show’, and at 4.30 and 6.10, Monday to Thursday afternoons, in Colin Slade’s ‘Roundabout’. On Friday’s, the afternoon ‘Sports Desks’ give way to “Sportscene” at 5.45, presented by either myself or by Ken Knighton, the Sheffield Wednesday captain.

Ken’s emergence as a broadcaster may have surprised some people, but his natural wit and the professionalism he applies to everything he does makes him a natural for the job. He recently added being a disc-jockey to his list of achievements, taking over on two Saturday afternoons while I was on holiday.

In addition to our coverage of the ‘Hallam Big Six’ soccer clubs — Sheffield United, Sheffield Wednesday, Rotherham United, Barnsley, Chesterfield and Doncaster Rovers — and Yorkshire and Derbyshire’s County Cricket teams, we also have regular features on racing, speedway, rallying, cycling and rugby (union and league), and have a number of notable ‘firsts’.

Apart from being the first radio station in the area to broadcast it’s sports programmes in stereo — including quizzes and boxing commentary — we also broadcast ‘live’ commentary on the whole of the schoolboy soccer international from Bramall Lane, England versus Scotland. Peter Jenkins and Ken Knighton, assisted me with commentary and we were joined in the press-box by Sheffield United skipper, Keith Eddy.

With our first twelve months behind us, and new improved Outside Broadcast facilities now becoming available, I hope that we’ll continue to provide you with a factual, entertaining sports service, and that you’ll continue to “get the score on 194”.

Stuart Linnell
1975 ● THIS IS TRANSDIFFUSION