BBC’s First Wimbledon Broadcast

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History on 21st June

BBC’s First Wimbledon Broadcast

Wimbledon, London The 21st of June 1937 AD

The painful part first: since Wimbledon was first televised in 1937, and our most recent men’s singles champion Fred Perry last won Wimbledon in 1936, we have obviously never had the pleasure of watching a British man victorious in that event at the tournament on our TV screens. We live in hope.
Wimbledon was a very early outside broadcast, indeed the BBC’s first had only been on May 12 that year when George VI was crowned, and the technology was still evolving: it was in February that year that Logie Baird 's system was dropped in favour of Marconi-EMI's. Only half an hour a day of tennis was shown, and only matches on the Centre Court featured, but it was a start, and given the short duration there would have been far less time for the BBC to feature annoyingly jolly presenters.
For the record there was a British singles winner that year: Dorothy Round Little, who also took the title in 1934, beat Polish player Jadwiga Jedrzejowska 6-2 2-6 7-5. The men’s was won by Don Budge of the USA; we can only wonder if Dan Maskell , then in his pomp, would have won Wimbledon – as a professional Maskell was excluded at that time.

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