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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… December 1992

Friday, 4th December 1992


Back in the 1990s, you had to get your Who wherever you could find it, so if Alan Yentob pencilled in a season of reruns for Friday evenings, “Rave Night” at the students’ union would just have to wait. It’s destination Devil’s End for five-rounds-rapid and a live broadcast from BBC3, which seemed as unlikely in 1992 as it must have done in 1971 (and, indeed, is now in 2017). If you’re still reading this bit, you’ll know that ‘The Daemons’ had been wiped after transmission, but a black-and-white telerecording had recently been restored into colour, prompting this commemorative reprise. And if you’re still reading this bit, you’ll know it was the Master. Again.


Perhaps the least exalted chapter in Terry’s chat rendezvous chronology, Friday Night attempted to reinvent Old Mother Wogan’s broth of a boy as something of a late-night Johnny Carson figure. Delivering a topical monologue from behind a semi-circular desk (and the Tao of Wogan dictates that Tel should NEVER appear behind a desk), the old flabfighter looked ill at ease, not helped by the worst theme tune (“It’s Friday niiiiiight!”) of his career. A rotating squadron of “sidekicks” failed to improve things, although the best of them, Frank Skinner, was on duty tonight, doubtless essaying a couple of risque quips about star guest Cliff Richard.

If you dimly remember “that thing on ITV about greyhound racing with Harry Enfield, Alison Steadman and Warren Clarke”, which was actually called Gone To The Dogs, then this was a sequel of sorts, best described as “that thing on ITV about a garden centre”, but with the cast from the original series (sans Enfield) in different roles. And now with added Peter Cook. All of this sounds a slightly improbable concept for early ’90s ITV, and with good reason.

One of our abiding memories of early 1990s (and thus imperial phase) Corrie is the time that Angie Freeman flung the personal effects of her actually-still-married boyfriend Neil into his cement mixer, including an Arrested Development CD. All of which is a slightly circuitous way of noting that the then-ubiquitous alternative hip-hop collective were guests on tonight’s edition of The Word, along with Dannii Minogue, Marky Mark and, unfortunately, Shabba Ranks, for this was indeed the “that’s absolute crap and you know it” episode.



  1. Richard16378

    December 1, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I remember I was getting back into Dr Who in a big way in 1992 so The Daemons was a welcome treat.

    Tommorrow’s World had a feature on the restoration.

    My parents liked Gone To Seed, which was quite good, like a few ITV comedy dramas at this time.

    I remember the episode where they scatter someone’s ashes of a bridge & they fall on a party on a river boat.

  2. Applemask

    December 1, 2017 at 9:32 pm

    That Daemons repeat was one of the first Doctor Who stories I ever saw the whole of. In fact it might have been THE first. I was temporarily scared off from the show in 1988 by part 3 of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, but the massive pile of Target paperbacks that got me to watch that in the first place soon sucked me straight back in, just in time for the 30th anniversary and the concomitant, if irregular, repeats surrounding it. I watched part 5 of The Daemons in an armchair in Hereford in which I later slept because my Great-Aunt didn’t have a spare room in her council flat.

  3. Glenn A

    December 1, 2017 at 10:00 pm

    I knew by 1992, after killing Doctor Who off by showing it against Coronation St and starving the show of funds in the eighties, the BBC weren’t bringing back the show. However, for the considerable army of angry fans, the BBC re running some classic Pertwee stories during 1992 and 1993 was just what we needed. Also it was interesting to see how much the BBC spent on The Daemons, which for its time would have been quite expensive being mostly filmed on location, than the cheapo Colin Baker era with effects that seemed to be made on a ZX Spectrum.
    On a different note, was The Word that night the one where Shabba Ranks defended Bujo Banton’s homophobic single Boom Bye Bye to uproar from most of the audience? The Word, never missed it then, and still recall a totally gone Shaun Ryder having to do an interview through his PA and more or less kill off The Happy Mondays.

  4. David Smith

    December 3, 2017 at 8:12 am

    Frank Skinner was reliably fab on Terry Wogan’s Friday Night, even though he was only a few years into his own telly career.

    One great episode I remember is when a “still-male-and-pre-Lauren” James Harries was on. Skinner was talking about Ron Atkinson for some then-topical reason which escapes me, and young James chipped in that he found him “a bit slapstick”, evidently mixing him up with *Rowan* Atkinson, who was then well into his stride over on the other side as Mr Bean. Skinner quipped back (actually quite affectionately, sparing James too many blushes), “Yeah, Ron Atkinson always was a bit slapstick.” I did wonder, when Lauren Harries turned up on Celebrity Big Brother the other year with none other than, yes, Big Ron, whether she’d have remembered her James-era confusion!

    I think James Harries was also on that episode with Nigel Kennedy. James was still very much in his Little Lord Fauntleroy dickie-bow antique dealer phase, whereas Nige was rocking his “incongrously scruffy oik” look. Frank rather brilliantly remarked that James looked like he should have been playing the violin in an orchestra, while Nigel looked like *he* should have been the antique dealer…

    I’ve always loved Frank Skinner, can you tell?

  5. Simon Tyers

    December 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    That Wogan is the one Skinner talks about in his autobiography, as Cliff and fellow guest Sister Wendy Beckett had an argument about women priests that had been re-edited on transmission to make Cliff look much better, and when Frank got his own show that was why he chose to sit in on the edit every week.

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