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Your Wednesday Night In...

Your Wednesday Night In… October 1989

Wednesday, 17th October 1989


“Hello? BBC, yes. You want me to what? Go round the world?” It’s the second leg of Michael’s epic attempt to circumnavigate the planet armed with just an inflatable globe and a pair of chinos, and our man is in Alexandria (cue mystical Arabian fanfare from Paddy Kingsland) attempting to buy a train ticket (“Cairo? One way to Cairo! One!”). On arrival, he lands the coveted role of “man in elevator” in a thriller being filmed in the Cairo branch of Safeways, but a catalogue of nautical problems ensures this instalment ends not with a gallivanting Python being piped aboard a boat to Dubai but, less excitingly, driving a boxy 1980s Toyota across Saudi Arabia instead.


7.40pm MOTORFAIR 89, BBC2
If you’re a bit confused, the Motor Show was the one at the NEC in even years, while this was the one held at Earls Court in odd years. The power combo of Janet Ellis, Chris Goffey and erstwhile Top Gear correspondent Noel Edmonds (and let’s face it, Noel’s triumphant return to Top Gear is long overdue) roamed the rotating stands, tested some motoring innovations and, hopefully, put their foot up on a bumper and proclaimed “but let’s see how she fares out on the open road!”

It’s a big week on the cobbles, with the arrival of an extra Friday instalment, but this feature is no longer called Your Friday Night, so we must turn our attentions instead to the much-anticipated trial of Alan Bradley for defrauding the Castlewell Building Society after pilfering the deeds to number 7 from a biscuit tin, and attempting to suffocate Rita with a scatter cushion. In a bid to rival what we’ll never call “the doof doofs”, this episode ended on a freeze-frame of Alan’s face, before slowly zooming in on his eyes as the credits rolled.

1.10am BEST OF STAR TEST, Channel 4
A late-night rerun for the all-star teatime touchscreen talk-in, with Sam Brown, fresh from the pop crucible that is cassette one, side one of Now That’s What I Call Music 14, answering the questions on Love & Passion, Faith & Fortune and Bread & Butter (very much the Star Test equivalent of Spanish Pop on Pointless) from the proto-Siri.



  1. THX 1139

    October 17, 2018 at 10:24 am

    Sad that Michael Palin wouldn’t be able to do his round the world docs now because he says it would be too dangerous. He’s right, too, about the Indian Ocean episode being the best, it was a wonderful hour of television.

  2. richardpd

    October 17, 2018 at 1:52 pm

    Also getting to & from some places without flying is almost impossible, even more now than 30 years ago.

    Michael was lucky to get lift on a freighter crossing the Pacific as regular passenger services had ended, but he managed to make up lost time as it was a lot faster than the crossing in the book.

  3. Glenn Aylett

    October 20, 2018 at 12:06 pm

    The third Coronation St episode also marked the start of the soap getting an omnibus, something viewers of Brookside, which pioneered the weekend omnibus, and Eastenders had enjoyed since the soaps started. For all catch up and I Players have made watching soap omnibuses redundant for most viewers now, and the Eastenders one was cancelled due to low viewing figures, Coronation St’s omnibus is still on at 8.30 every Saturday morning on ITV2.

  4. richardpd

    October 20, 2018 at 1:14 pm

    Albion Market was shown as an hour long omnibus on Sunday afternoons in some ITV regions, who were reluctant to screen it in prime time.

  5. Glenn Aylett

    October 20, 2018 at 7:29 pm

    @ richardpd, I think Tyne Tees did this in the show’s last months. Albion Market was probably the biggest flop in Granada’s history.

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