Friday, 6th January 1984
PICK OF THE DAY
7.00pm THE ZODIAC GAME, ITV
Sorry, we got that title wrong. Of course it’s <vocoder>”THE ZODIAC GAME!”</vocoder>. Twas here Tom O’Connor launched his astrological quizzer pitting celebs and plebs together, by dint of them sharing the same star sign. Tonight! Faith Brown and Frank Carson! Tom gave press interviews at the time, fretting folks would forget his comedy roots, but resident astrologist Bernard Fitzwalter foresaw only positives for him: “Tom’s stars point towards him having a very good year indeed.” What Bernard didn’t predict – ho ho! – was that he’d be replaced by Russell Grant come series two.
9.25pm THE FAMILY RULES, BBC1
A one-off presented by – and we can’t stress this enough, even italics don’t give it quite the emphasis – father-of-three Frank Bough. A studio full of “real mums, dads and kids” commune to reflect upon their own familial set-ups. With the ‘help’ of a fictional family, The Hargreaves, created by Alan ‘Plater’ Plater.
7.05pm THE OXFORD ROAD SHOW, BBC2
Or as it was starting to call itself, ORS ’84 – making it another exponent of that ’80s obsession for tagging the ’80s year onto franchises. Peter Powell presents, and possibly penned this presumptious prose for the Radio Times billing of the day: “Just when you thought it was safe to turn the TV back on, channel 2’s live electronic magazine returns.” Yes, that said, “electric magazine”. And also, “channel 2”. Guests: Aswad, Jean Jacques Burnel, Steve Levine, Marilyn, Nick Rowan, Thompson Twins and Dick Witts. More of that billing: “Description defied. Satisfaction guaranteed. Inspection recommended.” Dazzlement deferred.
9.00pm DREAM STUFFING, Channel 4
The arrival of the short-lived, never-loved comedy about two women (Mo and Jude, played by Rachel Weaver and Amanda Simmons) sharing a hi-rise flat and subsisting on the dole-line in Thatcher’s Britain. By 1984, sitcoms were becoming more valued for their provision of a handy bolthole for Britain’s final few punk rockers. With Ray Burdis as The Gay Neighbour.