Friday, 4 July 2014

Retro Random Video: ITV World Cup 78 (again)

Way back at the start of the year, we brought you a wonderful video clip (courtesy of our good friend Geoff Downs) that showed just what ITV's coverage of the 1978 World Cup was like. In short, it had Brian Moore and a two dubious hair styles worn no doubt for a bet by Andy Gray and Kevin Keegan.

Needless to say that must have whet your appetite for the rarely seen delights of ITV Sport's logo-shaped studio and everything else besides, so here's another clip for you. This time, we go back to the start of the tournament and a chance to see part of the opening ceremony, again presided over by Brian Moore and Kevin Keegan.

As before, we humbly provide you with our handy go-to guide on what to look out for and when, as we thank Geoff Downs once again for allowing us to peruse this televisual gem.

Once again, the blue caption board makes an appearance. None of your over-familiar 'ITV Sport' here, you know - oh no... 'Independent Television Sport', if you don't mind...

The opening titles are well underway and to get us in the mood, here's some imagery taken from... the 1974 Opening Ceremony. Oh well, if that's all that was available... There are huge half-footballs on the pitch, each one opening up to show a random collection of young people that have been paid a nominal fee to look excited. And a succession of captions telling us which teams have reached the 1978 Finals. And an 'F' in the bottom-right corner for no apparent reason.

There's a bit of time to spare before "the satellite pictures are due up to Europe" so Brian Moore introduces Kevin Keegan as a studio guest. Bet you can't wait to get out there on the pitch and start playing, eh Kev? Oh no, you can't, can you? WE FAILED TO QUALIFY, DIDN'T WE...?

OK, so you've been recharging your batteries instead, eh Kev? What's that? You've had a rest since the end of the league season? Great... What have you been up to, then? You visited your wife... Oh right... Go anywhere nice? The Costa Brava, perhaps? Somewhere sunny and hot near the Meditteranean? Ah... right. Not the answer I was expecting...

Ooh look - more footage from 1974, and this time a chance to see Poland play West Germany on the Wettest World Cup Pitch Ever ™. Gerry Harrison is your commentator.

Ah, good - the pictures have arrived, so it's over to the River Plate stadium to see how good Gerald Sinstadt is at describing a meticulous formation display featuring 1,700 Argentinian children.

"This is Argentina 78" he says, and by jove, he's right if the performance on the pitch is anything to go by.

"Flight of pigeons" remarks Sinstadt, seemingly unaware that we're looking at hundreds of doves taking to the wing. Or maybe they are pigeons? Pure bred doves must be hard to come by? Expensive, even. It'd make sense to go for the economical option, especially if... sorry - move on...

Oops. Accidental inclusion of some obscure advertising, there, thanks to our friends at Argentinian TV filming the whole occasion for us. Nice scoreboard though...

Er, out of interest, what is an Autotrol?

The parade of the competing nations begins as the Argentinian flag is walked in, held firm by 22 tracksuited assistants. Unfortunately their progress is impeded somewhat by a considerably large gaggle of photographers... idiots.

According to Brer Sinstadt, "that football symbolises the World Cup"... Except it isn't a football really, is it? It's more like a stylised globe, if you want our opinion. "It's inside a horse-shoe shape which is probably seen as the Argentine 78 symbol", we're told. Well it might be if they ever get round to finishing it off...

And in come the flags of every country comprising the happy family of FIFA. A glorious technicolor parade and one that's totally wasted on the Argentine audience as apparently they're watching all this in black and white. Seems hardly worth it, really...


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