1987: We haven’t included a lot of adverts in this Advent Calendar so far because there’s great vats of them on YouTube and there’s actually fewer within a good festive setting this close to the big day then you might have thought. Regardless this selection from Thames is worth a look for plenty of reasons – Helen Lederer for Warnink’s, Marmite getting in on that Full Metal Jacket (I Wanna Be Your Drill Instructor) hype, Nigel Mansell delivering the least dynamic drink-driving PIF in history, a gorgeously illustrated Boots concept, Ever Ready casting as its urban bad guys as what appears to be a My Mum’s Beastie Boys and an abbreviated advert for Paul McCartney’s greatest hits that decides his best known solo hits are No More Lonely Nights and We All Stand Together. Amid all that, Peter Marshall is reduced to the overnight shift.
1989: Pip pops back into the Broom Cupboard (“Press something!”) and ungallantly tries to give Andy Crane his cold before plugging that Going Live! includes his first ever cookery item, which means his reign of terrifying Emma Forbes was finally upon us. Meanwhile Sarah appears to be trying to disguise herself as Des Lynam. There’s a neat ‘faces of BBC1’ Christmas trailer in between closing link and Neighbours intro too.
1992: The preceding Bob-fronted appeal for contestants for The $64,000 Question nearly overshadows it, but the impending end of TVS meant the end of their production of daytime Anne Diamond-fronted behind-the-scenes magazine TV Weekly. The handover is only mentioned in passing with reluctance at the end, though. As for the meat of the show, Home And Away’s Emily ‘Marilyn’ Symons (who after her Emmerdale stint moved back to the soap in 2010) and Les ‘Blake’ Hill are in the studio as examples of the many Australian soap stars over for panto that year, illustrated further with a live link-up to Bournemouth with Stefan Dennis and, er, June Brown. Annabel Giles casts herself as the soap expert and Barry Took pops in as he did every week to link some black and white clips, closing with both he and Diamond having pictures of each other when they looked slightly different.
1992: You could always tell Christmas was near… well, by the date, but also by when the Telly Addicts final was upon us. For your records this is the On The Box/Telly Test Card era, with the Paynes and the Wilsons dressing pointlessly as people off the telly by way of introduction.
1992: An hour later, more prime-time quizzery with A Question Of Sport (part two, part three) John Aldridge, whose obligatory light chat with David Coleman about his prospects for the season is so gnawing even he reacts appears embarrassed to be saying it, and boxer Duke McKenzie join Ian Botham; Robin Smith and Pippa Nolan – a three day eventer, as all Question Of Sport female panellists who weren’t Tessa Sanderson seemed to be – are on Bill Beaumont’s side. Connisseurs of this era will be delighted to know there’s a Picture Board question where everyone stands up and arcs themselves so they can look at it from a funny angle but will be disappointed to learn the closing viewer competition isn’t backed by There Are More Questions Than Answers.