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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… December 1986

Friday, 12th December 1986


Let’s play! It’s the quarter-finals of the teatime pub quiz-team Olympiad, pitting quaintly-nicknamed trios of local government officials and sub-postmistresses against one another over the Crispy Pancakes. In tonight’s encounter, the irresistible force of the Antrim Coasters from Northern Ireland met the immovable object of the Triple Connection from London, under the matronly aegis of a fiercely bloused Angela Rippon. Look away now if you don’t want to know the score, for the Coasters went to sweep the board in the final, receiving their trophy from Bill Cotton, back when BBC mandarins made it their business to appear on screen at every possible opportunity.


For a good portion of the 1980s, the BBC wouldn’t stop going on about the Domesday Project, its ambitious scheme to mark the 900th anniversary of the Domesday Book by cataloguing every square inch of modern-day Britain on that beacon of Micro Live-era technology Which Experts Predict Will Soon Be In Every Home, the Laserdisc. In essence, it was the biggest school project ever attempted, but it wasn’t entirely in vain, for the findings provided the questions for this daytime quiz fronted by a sweatshirted Paul Coia, which, for some reason, had the intro to A Forest by The Cure as its theme tune. The law of averages suggests that more than a few questions related to topography, making this, we’re saying, an actual Paul Coia quiz show about hills.

The final instalment in the first run of LWT’s likeable co-habitation sitcom, starring Nicholas Lyndhurst and Janet Dibley as the titular “Two” sharing a sizeable collection of Habitat shelving and a bright yellow 2CV, as seen in stop-motion photography in the opening titles. Domiciled upstairs was Lyndhurst’s raffish grandfather Perce, giving Patrick Troughton a well-deserved break from delivering creaky cross-talk with Jon P’twee at Doctor Who conventions in America. Alas, this was to be Pat’s last appearance in the series, due to his untimely death at, well, a Doctor Who convention in America.



  1. Glenn A

    December 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    Masterteam was good, the Eggheads of its day, and I wasn’t a happy bunny when it was cancelled a year later to make way for a cheap Australian soap that really belonged on ITV in the afternoons. Also Masterteam in the pre Neighbours era gave BBC One a popular show to follow Children’s BBC One, as for a year they seemed confused about what to show between 5 and 6 with repeats of Star Trek, poor parlour games like The Railway Carriage Game and Grange Hill filling the slot.

  2. George White

    December 9, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    Troughton’s mysterious death – all I know is it involved the words “bed”, “costume” and “looked”, “like”. “Rustie” and “Lee”,

  3. Richard16378

    December 10, 2017 at 12:10 am

    The 5:35 slot had a few other interesting shows like Fax, Go For It & Hospital Watch before Neighbours claimed it.

    • Glenn A

      December 10, 2017 at 5:46 pm

      Exactly, and I also quite enjoyed the Doctor Kildare repeats in this slot. Sorry, I never got the appeal of Neighbours at all, it was no better than dross like Sons and Daughters that Border used to show at 3.00 in the afternoon, and mercifully now it’s in a graveyard slot on Channel 5 opposite The Chase and Pointless.
      On a lighter note, there used to be an American sitcom shown around 1985 and 1986 on BBC 1 at 5.30 that used to be quite funny and had a bull mooing at the end of the credits. Anyone know what this was called?

      • Richard16378

        December 11, 2017 at 1:46 pm

        I remember Charles In Charge with Scott “Bugsy Malone” Biao in that slot.

        Another was Gloria, one of many spin-offs from All In The Family, it’s self a remake of Till Death Do Us Part.

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