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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… July 1982

Friday, 30th July 1982


“Press those buttons and gamble away!” Feet up for the sedate brains-and-betting quiz with Jimmy Tarbuck on hand to detect a “slight difference of opinion” and Geoffrey Wheeler as the invisible proto-Osman doing the admin. We were always slightly confused by Geoff’s wide-ranging portfolio, especially when we had to listen to him presenting the BBC’s Thursday morning radio assembly for schools, although that might explain why the Come And Praise songbooks had the same logo as Winner Takes All. “We all called it Winner Takes Sod All after that!”


It often seems Russell was genuinely never off the telly in the 1980s, interrogating the Grace and the good on his twice-weekly chat show, before heading to the coast for this summer season of postcards live from the nation’s holiday resorts, starting tonight on Blackpool beach. Being the sort of northerner who never needed an excuse to start reminiscing about guest houses and charabancs, Russ was in his element among the glamorous grannies and knobbly knees competitions, promising “a choir of seaside landladies” on this week’s edition.

Brrr, here’s a classic piece of Cold War telly that’s largely been overshadowed by Threads and the like. Five days earlier, we’d had QED’s A Guide To Armageddon, a measured, forensic examination of what would happen if a nuclear bomb exploded over St Paul’s Cathedral, annotated by Ludovic “Ludo” Kennedy (spoiler alert: it’s not looking good for ballet dancers). In this companion piece, two couples dig up the rhododendrons and see what it’s like to live in a nuclear bunker for 10 days, with less grimly amusing results than that Dave Allen sketch.



  1. Glenn A

    July 30, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    I remember Geoffrey Wheeler doing A Service For Schools in the seventies. There was a trio called Rainbow Wood who sounded rather like Rod, Jane and Freddie and could possibly have been RJF moonlighting as a religious music group. Also The Wheeler used to do cycling safety videos in those days that the school made us watch.

  2. Glenn Aylett

    July 15, 2022 at 6:29 pm

    These were the days when Jimmy Tarbuck, that well known golfing buddy of Bruce Forsyth, was one of the biggest names on television due to his down to earth scouse wit and easygoing nature with contestants on Winner Takes All. On here he looks like someone who is dressed to go to his local to sink a couple of pints of Whitbread.

  3. Richardpd

    July 15, 2022 at 11:24 pm

    Circular logos were popular in the early 1980s, Watch It! was another that comes to mind.

    Tarby must be one of the last of the celebrity golfers clique left, with Brucie Kenny Lynch & Ronnie Corbett leaving us in recent years.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    July 16, 2022 at 5:35 pm

    @ Richardpd, I was thinking that, as celebs of that era were often members of their local golf club in Weybridge. Can’t think of many golf loving celebs these days, apart from Chris Evans and Tarby. Nowadays it seems to be celeb spotting at Wimbledon or celeb football fans.

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