TV Cream

TV: B is for...

Book Tower, The

"Hello.""Harry Sullivan is an imbercile!"
READING-IS-FUN ENDEAVOUR which wasn’t set in a tower and didn’t show many books. Famous faces took turns to recite tall tales to camera a bit like JACKANORY only less po-faced. DR WHO did it for a while, before STEPHEN MOORE took over in 1982, providing a less harrowing introduction to the likes of Tom’s Midnight Garden and Not Now, Bernard. Then ALUN ARMSTRONG ascended the steps in ’84, swiftly followed the year after by NEIL INNES, capably interviewing the ageing writer of the Green Knowe books, Lucy Boston. Still, the Tom Baker era is forever associated with the programme: that unnerving kids-in-stately-home-hiding-behind-sliding-panels-and-being-spied-on-by-scary-man atmosphere. Continual references to something called the Book Tower Watcher’s Guide, which we’re pretty sure no-one ever bothered with.



  1. Angryhead

    October 18, 2009 at 3:30 am

    I used to love this programme. Unfortunatley though, the mists of time have erased any clear memories I had of it. the only thing I can remember is the theme tune (and Tom Baker, of course).

  2. Jason Goy

    October 19, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Hi, this show was produced by Anne Wood for Yorkshire Television. I might be wrong but I thought Roger McGough was a presenter at one point too. Bye.

  3. Ben Reed

    October 24, 2009 at 1:01 am

    I remember the theme tune was an excerpt from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Variation” album. It used to scare the crap out of me!

  4. Rob Free

    October 25, 2009 at 10:53 am

    I rememeber in one series there was an ongoing serial called Starstormers. I think it was about some children who went into space. It was pretty dire.

  5. Michelle

    October 25, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    I used to love The Book Tower – and believe it or not still have one of the watchers guides, I remember having one that had a tear off book mark too!

  6. Jacqui Laird

    November 7, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    I adored this programme and I was convinced that Roger McGough was the presenter, I was obviously wrong!

  7. Jo's Mum

    January 1, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    I’ve tried all ways to see if I can get hold of a copy of footage of one particular episode of the series networked in 1982 presented by Tom Baker, The reason being that my daughter acted in a scene from a book called ‘The Mustang Machine’ Sadly Jo lost her battle with an inoperable brain tumour in 2007 aged 36. 🙁

  8. Palitoy

    January 2, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Here is a link to the literary agents of the author of ‘the Mustang Machine’ – Chris Powling:

    Perhaps you could persuade them to persuade him to provide a tape/disc of the Book Tower adaptation of his work, if he has it?

  9. Jo's Mum

    January 11, 2011 at 11:47 pm

    Palitoy, that is a great idea, I’ll give it a try, thank you for that. I’ll let you know if I have any joy.

  10. Em's mum

    January 26, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    My daughter was in the 1985 series, recomending her book ‘Marianne Dreams’…with Neil Innes…has anyone out there have a recording, would love to see it again….

  11. sirita

    May 24, 2014 at 10:38 am

    The Star stormers serial was actually quite good I thought? It was bright and visual with a clear narritive, and it had scorpio bucket chairs too lol.
    The book tower was a great programme, and when we were children, we didn’t get half as patronised by television programming, not like todays dumbed down viewing.
    We were treated like young adults. Back then, no matter what or how bad or how good the programming allegedly was, tv was thought about in a creative way, kids were remembered proper, and drama for kids and teens was a given, we had a lot to get excited about back then, it is such a dire pity now that kids get brainwashed zombified drivel.
    I remember tom bakers era so clearly I was glue to him, a great presenter fabulous story teller too.

  12. Droogie

    May 28, 2014 at 12:17 am

    Strange program…I was always confused why the theme tune was almost the same as The South Bank Show. For a show trying to get kids interested in books, I much preferred Smith And Goody from around the same time

  13. Scott McPhee

    June 18, 2020 at 4:50 am

    I think I remember seeing this show. The panelists discussed Anne of Green Gables, and The Machine Gunners.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top