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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… July 1986


Friday, 11th July 1986

PICK OF THE DAY

5.30pm THE CHART SHOW, CHANNEL 4
“WARNING: PREPARE FOR VDU OVERLOAD.” Behold the giant rotating headphones, it’s the original Friday teatime incarnation of the electronic pop compendium, piping the latest videos into your bedroom and delivering breaking news (“Robert Palmer is in Japan today and off to U.S.A. on Monday”) via the miracle of H.U.D. Bad news for the pop kids this week, though, as the specialist countdown was The Indie Chart, and in 1986, nobody could afford to make videos, so we had to make do with the record played over a black and white photograph of The Wedding Present standing next to some flats.

ALSO SHOWING:

7.40pm NO PLACE LIKE HOME, BBC1
It’s like the Woodstock of light sitcoms tonight, as we’ll see, with a fresh-faced Martin Clunes in the role of Jimi Hendrix and William Gaunt as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. If you’re struggling to distinguish No Place Like Home from the likes of Full House or All At Number 20, this was the one with the framed tapestry falling off the wall in the opening titles. And if that’s still not helping, it also featured Dave Allen’s accomplice Michael Sharvell-Martin as next-door neighbour Trevor Botting (that should be a guide to the level of comedy on offer), forever popping round for a glass of “Bulgarian sherry” (ditto) to escape animal-loving hausfrau Vera.


8.00pm THE GREAT EGG RACE, BBC2
Professor Heinz Wolff (of Brunel University, lest we forget) dons the bow-tie of science for another round of the colour-coded engineering deathmatch, challenging three teams of sweatshirted boffins to lock set-squares in bearded combat. In this final series, the assignments included building a wave-powered machine, constructing the biggest paper aeroplane in the world and, in tonight’s edition, drawing up a treasure map using just some wood and a school geometry set.


7.00pm ME AND MY GIRL, ITV

Put down that copy of Blushes and make for the West End HQ of Eyecatchers for the other half of tonight’s sitcom smorgasbord, starring Richard O’Sullivan as widowed advertising exec Simon Harrap building sandcastles for teenage daughter Joanne Ridley (while wearing a Cruyff-era Barcelona shirt, for some reason) and butting heads with ma-in-law Joan Sanderson and business partner Tim Brooke-Taylor. In this episode, the president of B.I.R.P. (the British Indian Restaurant Proprietors, of course) enlists Simon to hire Dean Martin (not played by himself, surprisingly) to perform the cabaret at a business conference, with hilarious consequences. Well, consequences.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Glenn A

    July 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

    The Chart Show, I always watched this and then continued when it moved to ITV in 1991. I can’t remember the indie charts being as cheap as you mention, but as these bands were often the complete opposite of the big budget stadium rock acts, and thrived on their low budget, hair shirt credentials, this week’s chart doesn’t surprise me. Also this was the era of The Tube and specialist music shows, often hosted by Andy Kershaw, on Friday nights and it was a golden era for music shows. Now what does Channel 4 have on Fridays, endless Simpsons repeats and Hollyoaks, a soap so badly acted it makes Crossroads look good.

  2. Richard16378

    July 14, 2017 at 10:20 pm

    It’s a shame C4 killed off the very good White Room, & never came up with a decent replacement to TFI Friday,

    • Glenn A

      July 16, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Channel 4 these days is awful. Where once you had music programmes, TFI Friday and offbeat cartoons, now it seems to be Come Dine With Me, which seems to be on a loop, Simpsons repeats and Hoillyoaks, where the cast seem to be reading off autccues.

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