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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… January 1980

Friday, 18th January 1980


A high-water mark for the ‘Stars, 1980 saw the UK under the thrall of Brian Jacks, who was to face his greatest threat – Daley ‘Daley’s Decathlon’ Thompson. This was also the year of International Superstars, but right now attention was faced on the parochial Ferguson Trophy, with a heat that took our heroes to Scotland for the first time, and the Grangemouth Sports Complex (it really is the jewel of the Falkirk Community Trust). Competitors included: Grant Anderson, a 22-stone former weightlifter turned Highland Games professional; Steve Assinder, the National Basketball Association’s ‘Player of the Year’; weightlifter Andy Drzewiecki; and Scottish international and Manchester United player Joe Jordan. With your hosts, David ‘The Guvnor’ Vine and Ron ‘chest sweat’ Pickering. Produced in collaboration with Trans World International and Candid Productions Inc.


6.10pm MONKEY, BBC2
“Old Chinese proverb says: ‘He who mixes Monkey business with pleasure liable end up making people laugh’.” Yup, actual Radio Times billing for you there. This is the seventh episode of the first series, ‘The Beginning of Wisdom’. Our records are perilously scant on whether or not this was one of the ones where Tripitaka made Monkey’s headband shrink, and he went: “Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi-yi!’

7.30pm 3-2-1, ITV
“Another friendly session of family fun… parade your pinkies and do it with me!” It’s a jungle theme tonight, with Acker Bilk and Bob Carolgees dropping by to help things along. As ever, it’s lights down for the five sketches, clues and the hope of winning a car. Notably, in this instalment, the female quotient of the heterosexual married couple-players falls ill during the first funny and has to quit the show. But no worries! Ted’s got the zingers as the evening continues: “You try explaining David Bellamy to a chimpanzee”. Watch the entire thing above!



  1. Glenn A

    January 21, 2017 at 12:56 pm

    BBC 2 was always interesting in the early 80s in the slot now owned by the interminably dull and never ending Eggheads. Apart from Monkey, quite a bizarre but watchable show, BBC 2 often had Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd, Phil Silvers and Will Hay seasons and in summer had Doctor Who repeats. What would you really want to watch, though, an anti divulian and strange Chinese tale that was quite gripping in a way, or some elderly bores trying to prove who clever they are ad infinitum?

  2. Droogie

    January 21, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    Agree with Glenn A about BBC2. I remember getting a portable black and white TV for for my 11th birthday and would always watch BBC2 in my room while my parents watched the news after the kid’s programmes on BBC1 had finished. I remember a lot of old 1930’s adventure serials being shown in the BBC2 6pm slot like King Of The Rocket Men and Undersea Kingdom with Ray “Crash” Corrigan! Also George Formby films, Tex Avery cartoons( I loved Screwy Squirrel)and a strange show called World Of Animation that would show strange avant-gard cartoons usually from Eastern Europe. I’m sure BBC2 also showed a horror film called The Legend Of Boggy Creek in an early evening slot. This was a mock documentary about a Yeti bog monster thing that attacked local hillbilly types in the Deep South swamps and was terrifying to a young child.

    • Glenn A

      January 22, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Not forgetting seasons of Tarzan films from the forties, sci fi B movies and whatever else BBC 2 considered different enough for viewers to switch over from the news for. I even remember a strange film about World War Two with a Beatles soundtrack.
      Also with regard to Superstars, Brian Jacks was one formidable character who seemed to thrive on pushing his body to the limits. While judo was never the biggest sport on television, everyone knew who Brian Jacks was.

      • THX 1139

        January 23, 2017 at 9:46 am

        The WW2 Beatles film was All This and World War II, which set wartime clips to starry cover versions of the Fabs. Never released on home video after flop cinema showings, but last year the producer put out a re-cut version with the more problematic to get the rights to tunes excised and new clips added. Avoid this version!

    • THX 1139

      January 23, 2017 at 9:41 am

      I watched that broadcast of The Legend of Boggy Creek as well! Or at least I watched about half of it until the thought of a towering apeman lurking around outside forced me to reconsider. Saw it decades later and erm, not sure what was so scary, it was pretty amateurish. Nice shots of the bayou, though.

  3. Richard16378

    January 23, 2017 at 1:44 pm

    A few years later BBC seemed to show old American shows in the 6pm slot, like Star Trek, Mission: Impossible, & M*A*S*H, along with The Adventure Game.

    • Adrian

      February 29, 2024 at 2:46 pm

      I think it was the 80s that BBC2 showed MASH every Wedndesday evening at 9pm seemingly for years on end..

  4. Glenn Aylett

    February 27, 2024 at 3:26 pm

    The Ferguson Trophy, named after a television manufacturer that vanished in the nineties, the Grangemouth Sports Centre, Brian Jacks, sort of feels like a BBC outside broadcast from 1979/80. Nothing too glamorous, let people in a small town say they’ve been on BBC1, and Brian Jacks probably was easier to get hold of for Superstars than Steve Ovett, and no doubt the local judo club would be in attendance to spar with him and get a photo. Rather a shame, these BBC OB programmes don’t exist much now, beyond Children In Need, as they were always great fun, particularly It’s A Knockout, which for obvious reasons can never be shown now.

  5. Richardpd

    February 27, 2024 at 10:20 pm

    Dual code rugby player Keith Fielding was another Superstars regular, he was also a PE teacher at my secondary school, but not while I was there.

    I only remember the later series of the original run of Superstars, & it was briefly revived in the early 21st century.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    February 29, 2024 at 6:12 pm

    There was an English teacher at my first secondary school who appeared on The Krypton Factor in 1979. I was never taught by him, but seemingly he was bored with his role of a teacher and quit to join the Metropolitan Police. Seemingly Mr Crouch was rather a character who had a dunce’s hat for pupils who came last in English tests and also jumped on a pupil’s table and shouted ” Wake up” if they weren’t paying attention.

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