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Speedway

By: Jennie Gow, Chessie Bent
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  • Summary

  • Speedway was a prime-time sport in the 1970s and 1980s. Its most successful riders were household names, and events would be held in venues as large as Wembley Stadium, attracting tens of thousands of spectators. In a time of only three terrestrial TV channels in the UK, you were guaranteed to find Speedway racing on one of them on a Saturday afternoon.

    At one point, London alone was home to 11 separate clubs. Today it has none.

    So what put this once-dominant sport on the slide? It’s especially puzzling given that one of its leading lights (and three-time World Champion), Tai Woffinden, is British. He’s hugely famous within speedway circles, but lacks the public recognition of his F1 equivalent Lewis Hamilton. Tai now chooses to race in Poland, where the sport is as popular and well-loved as it was in its UK glory days.

    Sports journalist and broadcaster, Jennie Gow, is best-known for her F1 coverage, but she believes that speedway is, in many ways, the superior spectator sport. Jennie hears from speedway riders, promoters, academics, writers, commentators, musicians, bosses and fans (and even a vicar for good measure) to ask if this exhilarating sport can roar back to greatness.

    A Listen Entertainment production for Audible Originals.

    This is an Audible Original Podcast. Free for members. You can download all 5 episodes to your Library now.

    ©2020 Audible, Ltd. (P)2020 Audible, Ltd.
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Episodes
  • Ep. 1: Start Your Engines
    Jan 23 2020

    Meet the people who will help us understand speedway’s rise and fall in popularity.

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    28 mins
  • Ep. 2: Kings of the One Fixed Gear
    Jan 23 2020

    Speedway rider Scott Nicholls tells us what life is like as a professional racer, and we visit Wolverhampton Wolves for a league meeting.

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    32 mins
  • Ep. 3: Big in Poland
    Jan 23 2020

    In Poland, speedway is still a major draw, and its biggest names are highly revered and rewarded. Can the UK scene learn anything from the Polish experience?

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    28 mins

What listeners say about Speedway

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A trip down memory lane

Absolutely brilliant podcast .
Took me back to when I used to watch the King's Lynn Stars with my uncle

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enthralling ..

Told me so much I didn't know .. I didn't know ..
Has brought me upto speed on the sport ..
Inspired me to go and watch Bellevue Aces and Colts at the opening of tbe season ..
In March ..
Thank you x

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Speedway a brief history.

A well narrated in site to the history of British Speedway. Interesting insights into what has happened to British Speedway and what is to become of it in the future.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I now want to watch some speedway!

My family is big into motor sport especially my brothers who ride in the motorcross (amateur) and watch speedway. I loved listening to these episodes and it's influenced me to want to see the speedway. The history was fascinating and now i understand why my brothers like it (they were in their early teens in the 70s). I know the names of some of the riders (Ty Wofenden particularly) so it would be good to see them 'in the flesh.


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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great series and presentation!

Great short series and well presented. Good variation of perspectives and insight into speedway and challenges in the modern era. Presenter has infectious enthusiasm

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A great look into Speedway

This was a great look into the history of British speedway, the potential future of the sport and how other countries have kept it alive. Put well together, good interviews and information

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • GC
  • 11-06-21

enlightening

well narrated and structured giving a broad overview of the sport its history and characters.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

For the speedway fans...

An interesting tour through the current state of British speedway, which probably raises more questions than answers. Good input from riders , promoters and avid fans who, like me, are old enough to remember the halcyon years of the 1970s and 80s.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Not just for speedway fans

Loved this series despite not knowing much about speedway. I thought I'd give it a go and I'm glad I did - it's a really warm production with some great insights from fans and riders. Their love for speedway is infectious and I found myself rooting for a sport I hadn't given much thought to previously. Lots of laughs along the way too!

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3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fascinating

A fascinating insight into the world of speedway, showing its decline from a TV regular to an almost forgotten sport. Interesting views from the owners, riders and fans. I listened to all these on one evening.

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