THE BRITISH Film Institute’s attempt to get a snapshot of What We Watch, and an absolutely stunning one at that. Genius premise: anyone and everyone gets invited to keep a diary of what TV they saw on Tuesday 1st November 1988, including telly professionals and bigwigs. Meanwhile cameras follow life at all the main networks, film shoots and studios around the UK. The result: an achingly of-the-moment account in words and pictures of the state of the crystal bucket. ANNE DIAMOND crossing a picket line. JEREMY PAXMAN on a bike. GORDON HONEYCOMBE slagging off NICHOLAS WITCHELL (“Twatchell!”). The wrong guest turning up on BREAKFAST TIME. “I do wish CAROL DOOLEY wouldn’t block the South-East corner of the UK with her body and dangling objects.” People on OPEN AIR complaining about the previous night’s PAUL DANIELS Halloween special. CHERYL BAKER eating “some pernicious-looking green balls”. “LUCKY LADDERS is a game show that is cheap television at its worst, but watchable.” FIONA ARMSTRONG singing the virtues of Border Television’s NEW COUNTRY. NIGEL HAWTHORNE moaning about being filmed rehearsing YES PRIME MINISTER. STEPHEN FRY throwing up. “I think we are talking about THE GENERATION GAME”. ESTHER RANTZEN brainstorming ideas for HEARTS OF GOLD. Meerkats. “WHAT’S YOUR STORY was good and I phoned up about 50 times but didn’t get through”. MIKE NEVILLE giggling. Cliff singing ‘Wired For Sound’ on WOGAN. “It is good to see that NOEL EDMONDS has bounced back.” MARTYN LEWIS singing JOHN BIRT’s praises. “I was a bit disappointed with the pullover of question master DAVID COLEMAN.” And GARY WILMOT celebrating his 8th wedding anniversary.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
This is the first and potentially the most interesting of the anniversary programmes, and despite the name it’s not just pop featured but also jazz, folk, classical and the whole of the musical spectrum that’s been covered on the channel, with David Attenborough our VJ for the evening. Inevitably we’re most interested in the pop and they promise it won’t just be Whistle Test, Jools Holland and the last desperate year of Top of the Pops but music and chat from all kinds of shows. Let’s hope too for stuff from the shorter-lived series like Behind The Beat, Snub and The O Zone, a show we were always very fond of.
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Points of View
- In 'Fast Forward', Scott McPhee says: "This was shown on Australian television, too. I seem to remember Fast Forward had a vox pop segment. In this, a camera crew went to a generic..."
- In 'Rainbow', Scott McPhee says: "Why no mention of Zippy and Bungle?"
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "I remember the programme made for their 18 birthday was really good. Lots of archive footage, at the time Newsround seemed to have a feature..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richie Brown says: "There’s the thing – Morecambe and wise came second to…Ant and Dec. Oh dear, Channel 5 still the preserve of the brain dead and..."
- In 'TTV', Richard16378 says: "Other segment of this I remember was Top Of The Mops, a music show with an audience of mops pointing upwards."