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Your Wednesday Night In...

Your Wednesday Night In… September 1982

Wednesday, 8th September 1982


8.10pm FAME, BBC1
Television series spun off from films are inherently troubling affairs. Somehow the cinematic and televisual renditions of M*A*S*H* seemed to be able to just about peacefully co-exist, but the same could not be said for the respective big and small screen versions of Fame, perhaps in part because of two things; 1) The greater casting continuity between the two (four of the film’s cast appeared in the TV series); and 2) the divergence in tone.  Specifically, whereas the 1980 Alan Parker film was rude, the telly version wasn’t. So, from an in-universe perspective, fans were left to ask “where did all the rudeness go?” This episode, “A Big Finish” reminded the students of the ephemeral nature of stardom, but failed to tackle the question of where all the rudeness had gone.


This Ron Pickering helmed sports-day-writ-large TV bonanza boasted a panopoly of great logos (until it hit the 1990s, when they went shit, naturally). But the format was a bit unrelenting. Doubtless, this episode (which featured St. Colmcille’s High School, Dingwall Academy and Northfields School, Birmingham battling it out in the series final), will have included a bit where the participants have to trample very quickly over a number of hoops, before making their way to the swimming pool, where one of the three teams has already accumulated an unassailable lead, turning this section of the episode into both a dead rubber and a damp squib.  And we didn’t approve of the state-sanctioned end of episode dive-bombing either.

The loveable moptop troupe  of Mr Tippex, Ena’s grandson, Metal Mickey and the Other One, spent this episode (which apparently first screened on UK television on 22 April 1967) spying on a lady who Davy had taken a shine too. Then when it transpires that Davy would need a chaperone in order to date said lady, the band broke into song, while doubtless running into, and then very quickly out of, the sea.



  1. richardpd

    September 12, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Recently I managed to pick up the DVD of the Fame film when my sister was having a clearout. It’s quite gritty at times, having a gay character was quite daring for 1980 (sadly he was straight in Kids From Fame), & Coco being exploited stand out.

    Janet Jackson had one of her many pre-fame parts in KFF being their version of Coco.

    • THX 1139

      September 12, 2018 at 7:31 pm

      Between Fame and Certain Fury, Irene Cara should have realised taking her clothes off in a movie was always a bad idea. But Erica Gimpel was Coco on TV, Janet was (checks IMDB) Cleo.

      • richardpd

        September 13, 2018 at 10:29 pm

        OK I didn’t have time to check the cast list yesterday.

        As for the Monkees I remember BBC1 screened them in the summer holidays for years, often between a parting of either Why Don’t You?, The Pink Panther or Huckleberry Finn.

  2. Mark Raven

    September 12, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    “STAAAAAAAAR-MAAAAAAKEEEERRRRR! We’re happy now. We’re sooo happy NOOOOOWWWWWW!!!!!”

  3. Droogie

    September 12, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    The Monkees was possibly my favourite TV show as a kid. The only way to see it back in the the late 70’s/early 80’s was whenever the BBC decided to screen it, which was sporadically (and usually during school holidays.) I became such a Monkees nut in later years that I bought an imported American book that listed all the shows with detailed plots descriptions, and realised the BBC only owned 12 or so episodes which they kept repeating! 58 episodes were made in total, but I only got to see these years later when Channel 4 repeated most of the series in the late 90’s.

    • THX 1139

      September 13, 2018 at 12:34 am

      I’d recommend the US box sets on DVD (if you have a multi-region player), both seasons and they reveal the BBC stuck the titles of season 2 on the season 1 episodes for some odd reason (they also left out the Kellogg’s plugs for more obvious reasons). The last ever episode is really druggy (on purpose). Last person ever seen on The Monkees? Tim Buckley!

  4. Droogie

    September 13, 2018 at 1:51 am

    Thanks for the recommendation THX 1139! I used to get confused by the continuity of the BBC repeats as a kid. One week would be an early episode with The Monkees in their squeaky clean phase – the next would see the later trippy Monkees era where Micky Dolenz almost had an Afro and the show would play out with hippy song For Pete’s Sake rather than Hey Hey We’re The Monkees.

  5. Applemask

    September 13, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Are you sure about that statement on We Are The Champions logos? Because all I’ve found is the title written out in utilitarian fashion in the Grange Hill font, a blue and yellow circle thing that’s nothing special and the one I remember with a great big torch and the words “BBC TV” for no particular reason, which was ace. Mind you, almost none of it survives in the archives, even up to 1987, and the ones after Pickering died in 1991 don’t count anyway.

  6. Glenn Aylett

    September 15, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I can remember the elderly and slightly cranky Austrian music professor on The Kids From Fame, Sherovsky, being sent up by Bruno in a song called Shoo Shoo Shoo Sherovsky. He wasn’t best pleased, but for all he could be a bit gruff and not approving of modern music, he had the kids best interests at heart and you genuinely felt sorry for Sherovsky when he was mugged in one episode. Also he bought a Morgan sports car, which was very rare in America.

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