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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We know he’s bloody useless at it, but actually quite a lot of the shows from 1982 we’re looking forward to seeing are presented by Simon Bates. It’s not for him, obviously, but he just happened to be hosting episodes featuring cracking line-ups or hugely memorable performances. His first edition of the year isn’t perhaps one of them, especially as a number of performances you’ll already have seen on the clip show, though that does emphasise there are lots of famous songs about.
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Points of View
- In 'Duncan Dares', Richard16378 says: "Peter tried driving a modified VW Beetle at sea (can’t remember if it was the Channel or the Irish Sea) but it sunk on the way."
- In 'Duncan Dares', Marc Ricketts says: "I remember Duncan dares. Whats this bit he drives a car at sea. And it didin,t work out?"
- In 'Butterflies', Glenn A says: "The Liver Birds had reached its natural conclusion by 1978, so the BBC wanted a successor from Carla Lane. Butterflies was actually quite good in a..."
- In 'Telebugs, The', Applemask says: "I am still waiting for the opportunity to unveil my modern-day re-imagining of these guys."
- In 'Open University', Richard16378 says: "With an interesting combination of “Very British” things the OU jingle can be heard in the Wallace & Grommet film The Wrong..."