“OH, I MUST say, Princess Diana looks really scrummy in that picture, don’t you think so Nick, really gorgeous.” Main, indeed for a time only, plank in ITV’s half-built semi-bodged creaking edifice of a breakfast television service, responsible for making household names of ANNE “TODAY’S NUMBERS ARE 3, 15, 26…” DIAMOND, NICK “…27, 33 and 45” OWEN, WINCEY “AND SO IS WINCEY WILLIS” WILLIS and a host of other day-glo undesirables. Whole thing almost sank with all hands after a mere two weeks on air thanks to original boss PETER JAY’s demented policy of ultra-earnest mithering, having the weather forecast at 7.52 and 13 seconds precisely, and letting fellow investor DAVID FROST do interviews that went on for five hours. Frostie was one of original “Famous Five” supposedly destined to piss all over rival BREAKFAST TIME business thanks to “sexual chemistry” of ANNA FORD, ANGELA RIPPON, MICHAEL PARKINSON and ROBERT KEE. Only chemistry evident on screen was that of rapidly combusting careers and evaporating viewers. GREG DYKE showed up to save the day, not before JONATHAN “HE LIED AND LIED AND LIED” AITKEN had sacked Anna and Angela (big news) and made Robert quit (nobody noticed). Parky hung about sulking for a year before pissing off. In came Anne, Nick (promoted from sports presenter), Wincey, ROLAND “RUN VT!” RAT, GYLES BRANDRETH, JIMMY GREAVES, CHRIS TARRANT, HENRY KELLY, JAYNE IRVING, MIKE MORRIS, RICHARD KEYS, ULRIKA JONSSON, LORRAINE KELLY and, over in the kids corner, TIMMY MALLETT, TOMMY BOYD and MICHAELA STRACHAN: basically your entire gamut of harmless mid-80s ITV faces who could hold their own on a shit-brown coloured sofa for as long as necessary going on about a) which members of the royal family were in the tabloids today b) the weather c) what happened on telly last night d) where they were going for their holidays e) Gyles’s knitted jumpers. And people watched in their millions. Genuinely ace opening titles had GOOD MORNING BRITAIN spelled out by pigeons in Trafalgar Square, crew of a Royal Navy ship, load of people on the Bristol Downs and so on. Loads of memorable stuff ensued: Rat On The Road, Tarrant going round the resorts, John Stapleton reporting on the Brighton bomb in a call box, industrial action every other week meaning endless repeats of FLIPPER and BATMAN, Anne quitting, Anne coming back, Anne quitting again, the eggcup copyright slide at the end of every programme, Mallett’s Mallet, After Nine, Mad Lizzie, Commander Philpott doing the weather, GORDON HONEYCOMBE doing the news… Party came to an end when Mrs Thatcher decided GMTV would do a better job of things, except she had second thoughts and wrote BRUCE GYNGELL a letter saying how sorry she was. Too late! Fell off the air on New Year’s Eve 1992 with Mike Morris blubbing to the sound of ‘Simply The Best’.
Posts Tagged With 'Nick Owen'
QUITE POSSIBLY the dullest quiz show of all time. The case, m’lud. Exhibit A: your host, a post-TV-am, post-SPORTING TRIANGLES for fuck’s sake, NICK OWEN. Exhibit B: the same set as CATCHPHRASE, right down to that spinning-thing-with-big-screen-and-desks. Exhibit C: a format in which the contestants were shown a 10-minute film about farming, flower arranging etc. a la STOP, LOOK, LISTEN and were then forced to answer observational questions about said footage. Jesus. Stupefyingly mind-numbing, and deservedly died a death opposite EASTENDERS every Tuesday night.Read More
ALL UNDER the banner of the “weekly review of sport”, these “sturdy” vehicles rounded up the action for the football-deprived midweek pundit. ‘View, fronted by PETER DIMMOCK, was technically daring for the time, and pioneered a mateyness then unheard of among the Beeb’s starched collars. Sportsnight was basically a name-only change, with fantastic bossa nova xylophone-riffed theme tune by The Tony Hatch Orchestra. Usually majored in football, especially those crackly-voiced commentaries from “beyond the Iron Curtain” as some hapless British outfit struggled to overcome the “crack” East German Stasi XI. Not so good when it was The Horse Of The Year Show. In the same way that you sat through TOMORROW’S WORLD as you waited for TOP OF THE POPS, sports fans had to endure a QED or Pollard/Wilcox-driven docusoap penury THE MARRIAGE. Originally had DAVID COLEMAN in the chair, later followed by HARRY CARPENTER. Meanwhile, Midweek Sports Special played the young upstart to Sportsnight’s assured uncle. Same format: footy highlights (after Alistair Burnett had helpfully told us to “look away now” when doing the results), bit of snooker, boxing, ice skating. Majestic orchestral march as signature tune.Read More
LAME RIP-OFF of A Question Of Sport (no, it’s different, it’s got three teams, see?) hosted by NICK OWEN with team captains JIMMY GREAVES, TESSA SANDERSON and a pre-Sky ANDY GRAY. Weird synthy theme tune (“Boing! Boing! Boing!” it went), spinny dice titles and crappy triangular perspex set.Read More