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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… June 1983

Friday, 17th June 1983


7.50pm DID YOU SEE?, BBC2
“Yes I bloody did, thank you!” Journalist and journeyman filler-in-er Iain Johnstone has a go on Ludo’s swivel chair to discuss the last three weeks of telly with film director Lindsay Anderson, choreographer Gillian Lynne and proxy-Willie Rushton, Ned Sherrin. The programmes under discussion: The Hot Shoe Show (Lynne is broadly in favour, but worries about the mystique of dance being lost), a South Bank Show special commandeered by Ken Russell (Anderson: “No imaginative cohesion”) and The Black Adder (Sherrin hopes to laugh more at future episodes). Plus evergreen chat about how ratings are collated, which includes an interview with BBC1 Controller Alan Hart.


“It’s the Christmas of 1953, the new Queen Elizabeth is just off on a six-month tour of the Commonwealth.” The mid-tempo Noel Edmonds nostalgia-vehicle parks itself in Norman Wisdom’s timeline, at the point his first film, Trouble In Store, debuted. Old codger who saw it in the pictures at Camden Town provides testimony – “Well, it went down marvelously” – before the comic himself is invited to join Noel on the rostrum for chats, faking a stumble along the way. Also features a sketch with Noel and the Flowerpot men, and – why not? – superfluous Molly Parkin. At the time of writing, this, incredibly, is available to view on iPlayer.

Ahead of the second series’ debut in September, a repeat  run of the first season of the Peter Bowles sitcom, a result of his contractual negotiations with Yorkshire TV who were keen to keep their man H-A-P-P-Y and on board for their other Eric Chappell comedy. He plays fraudster Howard Booth, who gets out of jail and moves in with his insipid sister Mary (Rosalind Ayres) and her husband Trevor (George Cole). Potential romance with Laura (Isla Blair) and slow-moving farce ensues.



  1. Applemask

    June 16, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    My mum and dad missed an episode of The Black Adder the following Tuesday due to my birth. I should have been born a few days earlier.

  2. Glenn A

    June 18, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    The original Blackadder series, while not rating as highly as the better remembered later series, was the funniest IMHO and the use of Alnwick Castle made it look better. Also it had that killer theme tune.
    1983 was not a good year for the BBC, though. A ratings slump began caused mostly by the abovementioned Alan Hart saw mutterings about the BBC taking advertising begin, and many of the station’s studiobound dramas started to look very cheap compared with the location based ITV and Channel 4 dramas. Indeed Hart,a sports nut, seemed more interesting in lavishing money on sport than anything else.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    June 5, 2024 at 8:12 pm

    I can’t think of Peter Bowles playing anything else but an upper middle class Englishman who probably attended a top public school and sometimes with a whiff of the cad about him like in The Bounder. Not that this was a bad thing as he seemed so suited to these roles and also has the indignity of his corpse having to be burned in the first episode of Survivors when he is kiled by the unnamed virus in the show. ( Again in this playing a wealthy stockbroker who comes home and is annoyed he can’t receive Radio 4 as it has gone off air due to the killer virus).

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