As the show became more popular in Great Britain, the BBC
decided to expand its franchise by staging the first annual It’s A Cup
Final Knockout special. Recorded a week or two ahead of the prestigious
match, the competitors were generally supporters of the two teams that had
qualified to contest the FA Cup Final. Current and former players linked with
these teams and other celebrities were present to lend the events extra
colour. Over the seven years that It's A Cup Final Knockout was in
production, the programme was transmitted as an integral part of the BBC's
lead-in coverage on the day of the FA Cup Final during the sports magazine
programme Cup Final Grandstand.
the International front, the Jeu Intermédiaire in the International
competition officially had its name changed to the more familiar and permanent
name of the Fil Rouge. There was also the introduction of a new blue
scoreboard which would remain until 1977, by which time technology would
finally catch up with Jeux Sans Frontières. This scoreboard had been
trialled in 1970 at the Dutch International Heat at Groningen.
However, for one year only, the new master scoreboard displayed
the teams in order of Fil Rouge participation and this resulted in every
country appearing in every position on the scoreboard.
Unlike previous years in Jeux Sans Frontières, the order of
participation in the Fil Rouge was determined by a draw before the start of
the series. All countries were guaranteed to miss a different numbered game
spread out over the series, instead of the normal sequence of the country
alphabetically first after the home team.
This year saw the Fil Rouge played after every two games and featuring two
teams at a time. The last round would be reserved for the home team, who would
tackle it using expert, professional or semi-professional competitors (but
with a further degree of difficulty).
For the second year running, the way in which Jokers could be
played led to a disparity in the highest achievable scores. In 1970 and 1971,
teams were permitted to play their Jokers on the final game. This game was the
only standard game in these two series that featured a full complement of
teams, the others each having one team sitting the game out. This meant that
teams could win 12 points on a Joker in the other games, but 14 on the final
game. However, from 1972 a change in the rules meant that Jokers were no
longer permitted to be played on the final game, restoring a parity to the
highest achievable scores once again.
One notable absentee from this series was the animated opening
sequence, which was dropped for this year only. Editions instead opened with
non-descript captions against live pictures from the venue. Unusually, in
addition to denoting the various international names for the series and the
national broadcasters, the captions also introduced the teams who would be
competing in each edition.
At the end of the year, Blackpool did Great Britain proud in
the International Final by bringing home the nation’s second Jeux Sans
Frontières Golden Trophy in three years.
Finally, after five years loyal service, it was a sad
farewell to commentator David Vine as he retired from the BBC TV It’s a