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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… May 1986

Friday, 9th May 1986


A long-running yet little-remembered transfer of the Allen Sherman-punted US game show classic, hosted over here by Tom O’Connor, whose question-mastering gigs continued apace despite his steady metamorphosis from spangly-garbed perfectly-suited ’70s showbiz razzle-dazzler to avuncular pun-peddling ’80s bloke in jumper. On this occasion, the celebs trying to guess the surprising facts about the in-studio members of the public were Anneka Rice, Derek Jameson, Alan Titchmarsh and that regular light entertainment show-stopper, Times Diary editor Angela Gordon. We have nothing to back this up, but we’re really, really hoping one of them was a sardine.



We’re midway through a repeat run of the first series of Eric Chappell’s Thaw’n’Dinsdale generation gap comedy here, doubtless to the delight of grandparents rolling on the floor with hysterics everywhere. This week, Matthew suspects that his father is dating again, but is acting strangely to throw him off the scent. Unusually for a sitcom, it turns out that the object of his affections is actually a lady (called, erm, ‘Barbie’), and not a lawnmower after all.


One of those epic shows that everybody videoed but few of them ever got round to watching, Video Jukebox saw Johns Peel and Walters take a wry, sideways look at the history of the pop video, stretching way into the small hours and finishing with them doing some comedy ‘nightshirts and candles’ business. One disgruntled viewer wrote in to Radio Times to complain that, with the exception of ‘a few here today gone tomorrows and Rod Stewart’, the 1970s had been almost completely ignored. That basically was the seventies, wasn’t it?!



  1. Droogie

    May 5, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I seem to remember a controversy about I’ve Got A Secret and Jeffrey Archer being a celebrity panelist years before everything went tits up for him. Archer had an unusually high success rate correctly guessing the guests secrets, until it transpired he’d supposedly bribed someone on the floor crew to feed him the answers .

  2. Glenn A

    May 6, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Shows how popular pop videos were in the mid eighties that BBC One could give up a large chunk of their schedule to them. I do recall a few pubs having video jukeboxes that played three videos for 50 pence. One night the popularity of VJs was so big, and football’s popularity so low then, that a semi final in the World Cup was switched off in one pub so people could watch the VJ. Couldn’t imagine many town centre pubs now switching off football for music videos.

  3. Glenn A

    May 6, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    The burning issue of the day with this video marathon among Kate Bush fans was, was her hair naturally short, as on the Cloudbusting video, and did she wear a wig for the previous single, Running Up That Hill. One mega fan stated the truth to those of who thought her normally flowing locks weren’t real, she had her deliberately cut short for the Cloudbusting video to look like a teenage boy from the fifties.

  4. Richardpd

    May 5, 2024 at 10:45 pm

    Certainly before MTV Europe started there were only so many ways to watch music videos. Even after it started it took a long time for most homes to pick it up.

    When my parents eventually got cable TV the music channels were often watched.

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