Sunday 29 June 1986

…World Cup football finishes. Final: Argentina 3, West Germany 2.
Watched Chariots of Fire this afternoon…

The BBC always seemed to show Chariots of Fire on a Sunday. And it always seemed to prompt this kind of correspondence, which would appear a couple of weeks later in Radio Times:

“I was disappointed that BBC chose to transmit Chariots of Fire on a Sunday afternoon. My family and I would very much have liked to watch this powerful and inspiring film about the challenges of faith and spirituality. However as practising Christians we believe we should not watch any television on a Sunday. Consequently we missed the film. Could the BBC please show it again, but not on the Sabbath?”

I’m sure this letter was sent to Radio Times several times during the decade, and usually followed more or less the same format, suggesting it could well have been the same person writing in every time.

As for me, the thing I liked best about Chariots of Fire wasn’t anything to do with faith or spirituality, but the music. I bought the album on cassette from WHSmiths, probably the first soundtrack I ever owned.

I remember being annoyed by the way the penultimate track on side two, a congregation haughtily singing Jerusalem, faded up during the preceding track, a bit of electronic noodling called 100 Metres.

Nowadays I’ m minded to think Jerusalem is a better tune than anything Vangelis has come up with before or since.

Meanwhile, with the World Cup now over, I was able to complete my Radio Times/Grandstand Wallchart, my Ladybird guide, and also this: a pull-out guide from TV Times, which I must have picked up during a visit to my grandparents.

Unfortunately I seem to have made a number of dreadful mistakes, including – erk! – the result of today’s final. Clearly I didn’t pay as much attention to the completion of this document than the, ahem, more classy offerings from Ladybird and the BBC.

Saint and Greavsie in giant Mexican hats and ponchos? Check!

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