Peter Dimmock: Former BBC broadcaster dies aged 94 - BBC Sport
Peter Dimmock - the first presenter of Grandstand, Sportsview and the Sports Personality of the Year awards - has died aged 94.

Dimmock joined the BBC as head of outside broadcasts in 1946, and was responsible for bringing the Queen's coronation to the nation's screens.

A former Royal Air Force flight lieutenant, he worked for the Press Association before 31 years at the BBC.

BBC director general Tony Hall described Dimmock as a "true pioneer".

He added: "As the man who oversaw coverage of the Queen's coronation, he was also responsible for a seminal moment in British broadcasting history.

"Peter's broadcasting mirrored the man - charming, warm, and authoritative."

Former BBC One controller Sir Paul Fox said Dimmock had "introduced the British public to television" and "led BBC Sport to some of its greatest successes".

He said: "He persuaded the people who mattered that the coronation of the Queen should be televised, thereby ensuring the arrival of television in this country.

"More than 20 million watched the coronation, the majority outside their homes. Within 12 months television licenses had doubled."

BBC director of sport Barbara Slater said Dimmock had made an "extraordinary contribution" to the broadcasting industry.

"He was hugely admired by both the audience and those that worked with him. He will be sadly missed."

The Queen's coronation


The Queen's coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June, 1953 was the largest outside broadcast the BBC had ever undertaken.

It was also the first time a television audience for an event of national importance had exceeded the number of people listening on radio.

Dimmock produced the coverage but later revealed that he had also needed to use his powers of persuasion to be allowed to film the ceremony.

In an interview with the BBC detailing the corporation's history, Dimmock recalled: "[Prime Minister] Winston Churchill was against it, several of his government were against it and I don't think the Queen was even asked at that stage.

"We performed every trick in the book because people wanted to see and deserved to see the Coronation.

"Eventually we persuaded Bernard Norfolk, who organised the coronation, the Queen's press secretary Richard Colville and the Archbishop of Canterbury to let us have a trial of the camera.

"But there was a rule that no camera could be closer than 30 feet from the Queen.

"I got a girl to walk down the aisle as though she was the Queen, but used a two-inch lens - the widest there was - and she looked a mile away. They were happy with that, but what they didn't know was that I was going to use a 12-inch lens that would give the best close up of the Queen that there had ever been."