WHAT RICHARD O’SULLIVAN was to Friday night telly in the 80s. Call-to-arms curtain-raiser for the weekend and ubiquitous front room appointment-to-view, helmed by KEITH FORDYCE, MICHAEL ALDRED and a big star in the 60s and an ever bigger star in the, er, CATHY MCGOWAN. What your school disco would’ve been like without teachers present. Much hyped exaggerated 60s swingingness and “hey there!” shambolic presenter style would go on to define all pop shows for evermore. The Beatles appeared, as did Glenda Collins and The Orchids. Got axed just as British rock was on a roll. For some reason Dave Clark (of the Dave Clark Five) ended up owning the rights, re-packaging what highlights remained in the archive as a series of compilation shows bundled out on Channel 4 in the 1980s…to an assuredly far greater audience than the one which saw it the first time round.Read More
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When Ali Came To Britain
Friday, 23.00, ITV
As the obituaries have mentioned, while his home country was often cool towards him, mostly thanks to his views on Vietnam, in Britain Ali was always hugely popular, and he appreciated that as well, coming back as frequently as he could. Often that would be to appear on TV but he also did lots of work to help charities and promote the value of sport, the most famous man in the world thinking nothing of nipping off to a grotty gym or boys’ club to meet his adoring and often unsuspecting public, as this repeat illustrates.
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