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ABC Radio Grandstand is a live radio sports focused commentary and talk-back program which runs on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation local radio network across Australia and on one digital-only station. The program runs on Saturdays and Sundays, typically from noon or an hour before, until 6 pm. Sports that are covered by ABC Radio under the Grandstand banner include Test and One Day International cricket, Rugby league (mostly in Queensland and New South Wales), the Summer Olympics, Australian Football League games, Australian Open tennis and soccer matches, including games involving the Socceroos and the A-League competition. However, when there are major football, cricket or tennis matches in progress, or the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, the coverage is often continued for the entirety of the relevant time frame if Grandstand is broadcasting the competition, as opposed to simply reporting the results. This can result in broadcasts in the early hours of the morning if Australia is playing in a cricket Test on another side of the world.

Being a national program with significant local content, Grandstand includes live crosses to local ABC radio stations for sporting updates as well as centralised broadcasts of major events.


Presenters include:

  • Alister Nicholson (VIC)
  • Adam White (VIC)
  • Andrew Mayes (VIC)
  • Jim Maxwell (NSW)
  • Andrew Moore (NSW)
  • Ned Hall (NSW)
  • Shannon Byrne (NSW)
  • Kelli Underwood (NSW)
  • Clint Wheeldon (WA)
  • Brett Sprigg (WA)
  • Karen Tighe (WA)
  • Peter Walsh (SA)
  • Matt Clinch (SA)
  • Quentin Hull (QLD)
  • Corbin Middlemas (QLD)
  • Zane Bojack (QLD)
  • Tim Gavel (ACT)
  • Charlie King (NT)
  • Jonathan Agnew (England)
  • Chris Rowbottom (TAS)

Simone ThurtellEdit

Simone Thurtell was a presenter for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's ABC Local Radio's Grandstand program.[1]

She formerly shared the hosting of the summer Grandstand program with others, including Karen Tighe, Tracy Holmes and Peter Walsh. She was ABC's around-the-ground reporter during international cricket matches played at the SCG. She is probably best known for her Grandstand Active Show, which featured regular guests from Kerry O'Keeffe, Geoff Huegill and Al Baxter among others and covered the sporting issues of the day, overnight scores and live crosses to sport. Thurtell also took the programme to the people with many outside broadcasts across NSW and Queensland.[2][3][4]

Simone's career began in TV news journalism for Prime in Canberra and then freelancing for NBN in Newcastle before joining the ABC. Initially she worked for ABC TV Sport, before switching into the ABC Radio Grandstand team. She covered events such as the 2000 Sydney Olympics, 2004 Athens Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, 2002 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, 2006 New Delhi Commonwealth Games.[1] She called many sports, particularly Netball,[5] including Australia's Gold medal campaign in the World Championships in Singapore in 2011. She also commentated a variety of sports at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, including the Gold Medal for Beach Volley Ball, won by Australia's pair of Natalie Cook and Kerri Pottharst.[2][3]

In 2009, Thurtell returned to host ABC Local Radio's Grandstand program after previously presenting Drive on 1233 ABC Newcastle in 2007 and 2008. During this time she was a key anchor during the 2007 Newcastle floods, for which the 1233 team won a Walkley Award. Thurtell described firsthand the grounding of the Pasha Bulker on Nobby's Beach and the rescue from the ship of the crew.[1]


During the summer months, when cricket is predominant, National Grandstand is run across the country. Whenever an international cricket match is in progress, full commentary of the match is provided, and other sports are fitted in during breaks in play, or rain delays and so forth. Day-night matches continue into the night, and some night-time basketball or soccer matches are provided to certain states outside the usual timeslot if a team from the state is in action. When there is no international cricket in progress, the time is divided up more evenly among various sports. There are regular phone-ins to reporters at various sports events across the country for score updates as well as short stints of commentary and analysis from the reporter. This is mixed in with in-depth, pre-arranged interviews with sports administrators, coaches, scientists and athletes from a variety of fields. Sometimes there are panel discussions to analyse future or recent events, as well as opportunities for members of the public to partake in discussions or compete in sports quizzes.

During the winter seasons, the show is divided into Northern Grandstand (NSW and QLD) and Southern Grandstand. The northern states are given commentary of rugby league and rugby union matches, and the southern states receive coverage of Australian rules football. Matches are also held on Friday and Saturday nights. Unlike in Summer Grandstand, the winter coverage is almost entirely focused on Australian rules football and rugby at the exclusion of all other sports. While the cricket matches are often bookended by analysis by commentators for around 15 minutes before and after the start of play, football matches often have 90 minutes of preview and post-match discussion and interviews, while analysis will go on throughout the half-time break, whereas the longer breaks during the cricket season are usually used to go through other sports. Treatment of other sports is restricted to a perfunctory reading of scores, and there are no interview segments or reports on other sports, except for a 20-minute Grandstand Wrap at the end of Sunday afternoon. On Saturdays, the typical format is to 2–3 hours of football talk before the afternoon match, followed by the match itself and another 2–3 hours of post-match talk and a preview of the night match, before the evening match and another hour of analysis. As many matches occur at the same time, different states will receive different games depending, with priority given to matches involving a team from the state in question.


Grandstand CricketEdit

ABC Grandstand has been broadcasting cricket since the 1930, and is the only national Australian radio station to broadcast live Test, One Day and domestic cricket.[6]

The lead ABC cricket commentators are as follows:

  • Terry Alderman - Former Australian right-arm fast-medium bowler, who has played 41 Tests and 65 One-Dayers for Australia. Alderman is most notable for taking more than forty wickets twice in Ashes series, in 1981 and 1989. He was chosen to tour England in 1981 ; in 1982 he had a shoulder injury (received after tackling an English ground-invader) at the WACA Ground. Then went on a "rebel" cricket tour to South Africa in 1985, resulting in being ineligible to be selected for the official Australia team for two years.
  • Geoff Lawson - Former coach of Pakistan. He has played over 120 Test and One Day cricket matches for Australia and has a Test bowling average of 30.56.
  • Jim Maxwell - Highly experienced and highly regarded cricket commentator,[citation needed] Maxwell has covered many Australian One-Day, Test and World Cup matches. He also has broadcast many Rugby Union, Rugby league, golf, hockey and many Olympic Games.

Other notable callers include Ed Cowan, David Hussey, Mitchell Johnson and Stuart Clark.

Grandstand Rugby LeagueEdit

Grandstand Rugby League is the ABC's flagship NRL programme in the northern states. The programme calls every game live each week of the season including the State of Origin series and Finals with in depth previews and reviews, analysis, extensive talkback and interviews, and live score updates of other matches.

Grandstand AFLEdit

Grandstand AFL is ABC's flagship sports programme in the southern states. The programme calls six AFL games live a week with further match preview, analysis and talkback of the game. An introduction in 2008 was the Sunday Inquisition with Gerard Whateley highlighting the good and the bad of the AFL games for the past week. Coverage preference is given to local teams in their state. National coverage for games outside the home state is determined by the match with the highest appeal.

Commentators: Quentin Hull, Rob Cross, Peter Walsh, Clint Wheeldon, Corbin Middlemas, Adam White, Matt Clinch, David Parkin, Jon Dorotich, Kelli Underwood, Stan Alves, Mark Maclure

Grandstand A-LeagueEdit

Beginning in the 2013/14 season, ABC Grandstand began covering every match of the A-League live on either Local Radio, Digital Radio or via a dedicated mobile app. The ABC have secured the radio rights for the A-League until the end of the 2016/17 season


  1. ^ a b c profiles
  2. ^ a b Browne, Rachel (14 January 2007). "Thurtell steps down from the Grandstand". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ a b "ABC Local Radio at the Games | radioinfo".
  4. ^ info needed
  5. ^ "Netball gets its own digital radio channel | radioinfo".
  6. ^

External linksEdit