Indoor League Interview

Indoor League is back on Front Runner (Freeview Channel 91) – currently showing repeats from Series 1. I caught up with the Executive Producer of the show, John Fairley, to talk about his time on the show.

What do you remember about your time on the show – I believe the first series (which is on now) was filmed at the Queens Hotel in Leeds, but the series moved onto the Irish Centre, is that right?
You are right that we started at the Queens and then moved to the Irish Centre – though one day’s recording was interrupted by a bit of a rumble between some of the Centre’s regular drinkers. But we got over that OK.
I live in Bradford, so it’s great to hear/see Bradford residents take part! I believe the late, great Sid Waddell devised the show, is that correct?
We (and that means myself, Sid Waddell, John Meade from Scarborough) started to dream the Indoor League up after we had shown some Yorkshire games on the regional programme Calendar, including Knur and Spell which, being an outdoor sport, never made it to the Indoor League.
Fred Trueman is a perfect host for the show – how did he get considered to host the show?

At the time we knew Fred Trueman quite well because, not only was he the world’s greatest fast bowler but he came into the studios because he was trying to become a stand-up comedian. Sid, by and large, wrote Fred’s scripts. And I think in a lot of the programmes you will hear Sid trying out some of the wonderful turns of phrase which he refined when he himself became a commentator. Dave Lanning was one of the commentators, and even Bill Maynard.

It’s great to see some games you don’t see in pubs anymore such as bar billiards and ‘Yorkshire Darts’! Was you surprised when the series ended in 1977, or had the show reached a natural conclusion?
Personally I think the show could have lived for ever, but both Sid and John Meade moved on – and both have since died.


2 thoughts on “Indoor League Interview

    1. Hi Greg thanks for your comment. No sign of Series 2 yet… if i hear anything different from Front Runner I will post it on my blog. Would be great to see more episodes. Chris


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