TV Cream

Your Wednesday Night In...

Your Wednesday Night In… July 1991

Wednesday, 24th July 1991


7.00pm WOGAN, BBC1
The unthinkable has happened and Old Tel has been prevailed upon to bring down the curtain on the BBC Television Theatre – or, in Wogan-ese, ‘Shepherds Bush’. What’s that, I hear you say?! A Wogan in the hand is worth two in the not in the Shep… no, we’re not sure how he came up with them either. On hand to help him mark the occasion and recall the glory days of The Frost Report, The Billy Cotton Band Show, The Generation Game and The Black And White Minstrel Show (no, not satire – they actually flagged it up in the listing) are Vera Lynn, Charlie Drake, Val Doonican, Leslie Crowther and ‘many more stars’ (so BA Robertson, then) as we say goodbye to what was apparently a ‘well-known and well-loved venue’. If you were Ronnie Barker short of a pun, maybe.


Sarah Kennedy in the days before she invented 70 per cent of your Twitter feed presides over teams of Sports Centre Managers, Booksellers and, erm, Composers, all vying for the chance to do their job in another country for a bit. Literally. That was the prize. Anyway, it can’t have been as good as the edition where some nuns were on and the thing that bleeps out swearing was broken, making it look as though they were launching into a Foul-Mouthed Four-Letter Rant every time they said anything.

The ‘Bearded Sceptic’ ((C) All Lazy Newspaper Television Listings Compilers Ever) was the rationalism-toting face of debunking tosspot conmen wrapped in orange curtains for a good while, famously challenging Uri Geller to move one grain of rice one millimetre with his mind under laboratory conditions which he couldn’t because ‘reasons’, and for a time he had his own ITV show. This week James is joined for a quick bit of scribbling on Russell Grant’s face by Nina Myskow, Jilly Cooper and – staggeringly – Fry & Laurie. We didn’t see THAT coming.



  1. THX 1139

    July 26, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Years later, Uri is still a millionaire, and The Amazing Randi is a confused old man. Though a confused old man with a point.

  2. Glenn Aylett

    July 28, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Wogan’s days were numbered as well, as a year later the chat show was axed to make way for the ill fated Eldorado. Yet Sir Terry was to flourish again in a second spell on the Radio 2 breakfast show, revitalising the fading show, and being even more successful than in his seventies glory days.

  3. Richardpd

    February 23, 2024 at 11:18 pm

    As mentioned elsewhere Terry had wanted to end Wogan after the 1000th show, but the BBC persuaded him to stay on until changing their minds when Eldorado was commissioned. Moving him back to Radio 2 was a masterstroke as the station was being drubbed as only appealing to the over 60s.

    I can’t remember Busman’s Holiday being on this late, but I remember asking my Dad what the title meant back in the mid 1980s.

    James Randi draws a blank with me, & probably for the best.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    February 25, 2024 at 12:21 pm

    The Radio 2 breakfast show was in a bad place in the early nineties; Brian Hayes was terrible at breakfast and lacked the wit of Wogan and the earthy charms of Derek Jameson, and audience figures were sinking in general for Radio 2 as it was facing strong competition from the Gold stations. Bringing back Wogan was the start of the Radio 2 revival that would gather pace as the nineties went on, to the point the station overtook Radio 1 in popularity in 1998.

  5. Richardpd

    February 25, 2024 at 10:36 pm

    I was going to link an article but I noticed Glenn had written it back in 2005!

  6. Glenn Aylett

    February 27, 2024 at 3:10 pm

    Yes that was me, writing on how Radio 2 had changed to being like a Radio 1.5 in 10 years and had nearly doubled its audience,

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