TV Cream

TV: H is for...


EVER-RELIABLE EARLY evening winter warmer which hoved into view every January, until perishing in a state much changed from its original, imperial incarnation. Began as demented Election results-esque affair with SIR CLIFF MICHELMORE helming proceedings in front of rows of telephonists and assistants “reporting” on up-to-the-second vacation palavers and package dealathons. Slowly mutated into more soft-focus, soft-centred soiree during the 70s, typified by – erk – breastage creeping into opening titles to the swinging guitar sounds of Gordon Giltrap. While Cliff idled in the studio, DAME ANNE GREGG and LORD JOHN CARTER packed their travelling chests and tote bags to fly the world armed only with a flimsy straw hat and a BOAC boarding pass. Much “first hand” experience of burgeoning bargain getaway bonanza and resort gold rush contrasted with “off the beaten track” forays into erstwhile colonies, always ending with a shot of our heroes enjoying a well-earned tipple on a hotel balcony in front of a glorious sunset. Show breezed into the 80s pretty much unchallenged, leaving the trash and the tacky to Judith Chalmers. Decade-defining jaunts courtesy of FRANK AND NESTA BOUGH on their annual motoring holiday in Pyrenees in a pea green Ford Fiesta. Programme became even more laid back when DES LYNAM took over and quota of celebrity charmers “sampling the delights” of exotic beaches reached dizzying levels. 1990s saw inevitable slide thanks to obsession with famous faces fannying about in ludicrously expensive places, culminating in bone-chilling sight of ROLAND RIVRON and family trying to sell virtues of the African outback.



  1. Matthew Rudd

    June 20, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Anne Gregg was one of the warmest, most charming personas ever to appear on television, and I’m not overstating this. When the BBC chose to ditch her as host in favour of Anneka Rice it made front page news and the middle-classes went apoplectic. My mother led the way and the BBC struggled to cope with the protest mail in a way that Jonathan Ross could only dream of. And inevitably, Anneka was shite and soon Jill Dando was beginning her extra-curricular activities away from the newsroom.

    I think Dame Anne went back to Northern Ireland, and I only ever saw her flogging an “elegantly-tailored suit” in a Sunday supplement for some clothing catalogue after that.

  2. Mr Grimsdale

    June 22, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Also notable for the first few series where they used part of “The Castle” by Love as the theme music

  3. Johnny Foreigner

    June 23, 2010 at 9:01 am

    And they used “souvenir” by OMD in one version too

  4. Applemask

    June 23, 2010 at 10:09 am

    Roland Rivron was a saving grace by 1999.

  5. Matthew Rudd

    June 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

    Wasn’t Souvenir the theme to that Des Lynam daytime BBC2 reminiscence show?

  6. Martin M

    June 24, 2010 at 12:06 pm

    Essential viewing for my brother for it’s guaranteed pre-watershed topless shots

  7. Richardpd

    May 2, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    Simon May had a go at a theme when he was one of the BBC’s “Go to” guys for writing themes, but it only lasted a year or 2. I have it on an LP of his which came from my Gran’s record collection.

    Paul “19” Hardcastle managed rather better with his theme in the later years of the show.

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