FOR ALL kids’ TV continuity obsessives, here’s SUE ROBBIE (a lot posher than we remember her, actually) introducing a montage of Children’s ITV presenters from 1985, during an edition of Granada’s never-popular Saturday morning compendium TX (warning: contains mild TONY SLATTERY).
The roll-call of celebrities that manned ‘Network Control’ (yes, Children’s ITV is now so important it has its own building) in 1985 is an eclectic one, featuring the likes of ROLAND RAT and Harry and Dawn off of Number 73, as well as one or two left-field choices (cue the worried face of KEN JONES), and the dumper-bound STU FRANCIS and ROD HULL.
Indeed, in the autumn of 1985, as the BBC relaunched its afternoon sequence with the fresh-faced PHILLIP SCHOFIELD in the chair, ITV had one-joke Irish caricature JIMMY CRICKET, and GARY WILMOT doing his Johnny Mathis impressions between Bellamy’s Bugle and Storybook International.
SUE ROBBIE escaped from unnecessary kiddies POINTS OF VIEW slot FIRST POST (“Manchester M60 9eeh-ayy”) to front this grim summer BLOCKBUSTERS fill-in quiz with nasty eighties blue and yellow colour scheme. Sixth form participants had to guess clues to illuminate nine people/objects/places on primitive video wall and make connection between them, James Burke style. “What have they won, Charles?” cried Sue at prize time, as affable Granada linkman CHARLES FOSTER voiced over prize information (lots of hang-gliding courses).
VERY EIGHTIES kidsters Saturday morning miscellany with TONY SLATTERY, ALISON DOWLING and First Post’s SUE ROBBIE. Chiefly remembered now for game show segment KNOCK YOUR BLOCK OFF, hosted by STEVE BLACKNELL, mostly famous for somehow being the one to interview Phil Collins on Concorde while flying from London to Philadelphia for Live Aid. Purpose of said game was to knock out three blocks of the same colour on your own wall to win a prize, without letting the Gold Blocks hit the floor, at the same time trying to knock the Gold Blocks off your opponents wall via a “Bean Bag Attack”. Teams consisted of a Brains (answered the questions) and a Bodger (brick-bodger/bean-bag thrower). Prizes were a KYBO plastic lunchbox and flask – in reality a Snoopy Lunchbox and Flask with a KYBO sticker.
PLAYGROUP POINTS OF VIEW fronted by Granada announcer SUE ROBBIE, first as regional Sunday afternoon filler, then as part of Children’s ITV. Usual complains from disaffected nation: not enough programmes about BMX, Mick Robertson’s a tosser, etc. BOB HOLNESS showed up one week in response to viewer’s complaints that BLOCKBUSTERS’ two-v-one format was “unfair”. Horrible northern child would read out the address at the end, guaranteeing proceedings always ended on a downer.