TV Cream

Cream over Britain

Advent Calendar: December 13th

1970: “The work to rule is over!” And unfortunately so is the online presence of the full Bob-fronted Golden Shot that was on YouTube for years. Someone has at least retained the last two minutes, so while we don’t see the Kidney Machine Stamp Appeal or the shot taken by Alf Ippititimus, nor more than a very brief moment of Clive Dunn performing Grandad, we do see Bob having to do Anne Aston’s job for her and in the meantime pine for the rest of the show, one of only two Monkhouse hosted that still existed when someone last asked, to reappear some day.

1981: The late BBC news, which starts here, would be one of Kenneth Kendall’s last. He could claim overtime too as the bulletin was extended to keep Michael Buerk busy as he covered the introduction of martial law in Poland (which lasted until July 1983 and find room for reports from across a record breakingly cold country, with Brian Hanrahan looking at stationary train carriages. Stay for David Vine’s excitable commentary as Britain’s Konrad Bartelski finishes second in the World Cup downhill and for a trailer for Radio 4’s Today basically becoming what your local station becomes in a snowstorm.

1984: From the business documentary strand Commercial Breaks, this is pitched as a view of the Christmas present battle based around the growing computer games industry, with Ocean Software also featured, but actually inadvertedly served as a bird’s eye view of the decline of Imagine Software. Imagine had had a huge hit in 1982 with Arcadia and was getting huge publicity of the type that means a young company might be interested in bringing in a BBC film crew. As such the cameras arrived just in time to spot everyone having personality clashes, the groundbreaking ‘megagames’ development the company threw their lot into turning out to mean some sketches on paper and little else, and the whole company collapsing into a spectacular bankruptcy.

1985: “Hello tinsel lovers everywhere” Micro Live (part two) gets festive, including a feature on Formula 1 technology in no way influenced by Olivetti’s ownership of the BBC Micro, a section channelling Points Of View with its letters on the thorny LENSLOK copy protection system, and that well known word processing expert Ann Leslie. They think they’re clever with that graphical endcap.

1992: With two and a half weeks left to live TVS was slowly starting to pack up its belongings, first with its long running spiritual programme The Human Factor, into the Sunday local news and then the final edition of regional political show Agenda, mostly about their own correspondent Brian Shallcross, who retired rather than shift over to Meridian.

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