TV Cream

TV: N is for...

Network 7

Nozin' Around - back! back! back!HYSTERICAL HARBINGER of that STREET-PORTER-led microphenomenon that was “yoof TV”. Programme was thought up on the hoof by Janet and Jane Hewland on the way to Channel 4. It showed. Each “episode” hailed from a shitty Docklands warehouse, wherein dwelt walking and occasionally-talking beings looking like front covers of The Face whose job was to introduce factunaimnent. Because entertainment = news and news = entertainment, don’t you know. Head boy was MURRAY BOLAND, head girl was dead-looking atrophied-eyed know-nothing deb MAGENTA DEVINE. Others, such as SANKHA GUHA, JASWINDER BANCIL and SEBASTIAN SCOTT, wore giant suits and dwelt in caravans. No beards, white coats or green allowed. Swoopy cameras piled around the premises, while endless pointless captions (“Temperature in studio – 32°”) flashed pointlessly. Reports covered yoof crime, yoof racism, yoof bands, yoof drugs and, most famously, yoof cash machine diddling. Whole thing went out – implausibly – on Sunday lunchtimes, ensuring maximum outrage and minimum viewers. But it ushered into living rooms a genuine new TV “genre”, albeit one that dated before it was even aired, and hence from here onwards flowed CLUB X, THE WORD and DEF II.



  1. Ken Shinn

    September 22, 2009 at 5:29 pm

    It did at least have Gerry Anderson’s Dick Spanner. Just a shame about the two hours of shite wrapped randomly around it.

  2. A man in a big suit

    September 23, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Come on, it wasn’t all bad. It also gave us the hilarious French and Saunders parody (with the cameraman falling over and the Ben Elton interview that lasted a nanosecond) and the fascinating fact that the bass player out of Westworld had a phobia about celery. He was in the studio looking worried when the vegetable in question was held near him – was this where Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out got the idea of Les’s fear of chives?

  3. Lee

    September 24, 2009 at 11:08 am

    I was 13 when this show launched, and I thought it was the most amazing thing ever. It’s aged very, very badly, that’s for sure, and it was pretty farcical at times, but it was a genuine attempt at something new and sowed the seeds for some great stuff to follow. “Reportage” on BBC2 soon after was a much more professional and slick version.

    A friend of mine was on Network 7 many moons ago and has yet to receive her fee.

    I remember the cash machine fiddling demonstration – I wonder how many people managed to successfully pull that one off as a result?

  4. Mark Jones

    September 25, 2009 at 12:20 am

    I still can’t believe the cash machine ‘hack’ wasn’t a hoax. As far as I remember, it was basically a bit of VHS tape superglued onto a phonecard, wasn’t it? How would you ‘guess’ the PIN?

  5. Mark Jones

    September 25, 2009 at 12:23 am

    Meanwhile, the TVC Bits section should possibly include BT phonecards, one of those 1980s ideas that never really took off. I’m a bit jiggered as to what would make up the entry, other than the popular schoolground myth that spraying muim’s Harmony hairspray onto the magnetic strip would ‘magically’ refill the remaining credits on one.

  6. Adrian

    September 25, 2009 at 9:33 am

    Presumably BT phonecards gave up the ghost when mobile phones started to become popular, although they are considered quite collectable today, by some. Remember those TV adverts for them featuring David Jason?

  7. Richard Davies

    December 20, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    I remember something going around school about keeping things like Sky subscription cards & car radios in the freezer for a few days to unscramble.

    More recently drawing on copy protected CD’s with a green marker to enable rip it was something I heard, along with spraying number plates with hairspray to fool speed cameras.

  8. Richardpd

    December 2, 2023 at 1:13 pm

    I was too young to appreciate any of it apart from Dick Spanner, especially as my Mum didn’t want me watching features on life in a Young Offender’s Unit!

    Unsurprisingly one of the Spitting Image annuals poked fun at it, with the captions pointing out how weird it was & letting viewers know features like a Gay Wedding were coming up!

    At least I was almost the right age for DEF II & Reportage, which had that logo with live electrical wires dragged over it & an exploding telephone when they had a number to call!

  9. Glenn Aylett

    December 3, 2023 at 1:16 pm

    There were a rash of these fast paced yoof programmes on BBC Two and Channel 4 in the late eighties and early nineties that seemed to come and go quite quickly. Rough Guide was quite good as it was like a more hip version of Holiday, The Tube was just two hours of live mayhem, but the others were often dreadful and will have dated very badly. I doubt anyone seriously would want to sit through Club X or Network 7 as they were pretty bad even 35 years ago.

  10. Richardpd

    December 3, 2023 at 1:43 pm

    Earlier on there were the likes of Something Else, Riverside & The Oxford Road Show, which were mocked on Not The Nine O’Clock News “Off the scaffolding!” & The Young Ones “They’re still wearing flared trousers!”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top