TV Cream

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Weekend World

FIRST TV show to think that thunderously self-important po-faced analysis of politics would go down a treat at Sunday lunchtime. First TV show of its kind to keep on getting recommissioned despite less than 34 people watching. First TV show to put PETER JAY on camera. First TV show to put BRIAN WALDEN on camera. And, most importantly, the first TV show to get the axe once Greg Dyke took control of LWT. Guitar-heavy theme was Nantucket Sleighride by Mountain, personally selected by John Birt from…the record collection of John Birt.



  1. ansonort

    September 28, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Ooo, that theme tune! The only excuse you had for rocking out before Sunday lunch.

  2. Great Bustard

    August 8, 2010 at 7:43 pm

    Once you know why the theme tune is called Nantucket Sleighride you’ll be so revolted that you’ll never be able to enjoy the song again.

  3. Glenn A

    August 8, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    About the only reason to watch it was the brilliant theme tune.

  4. Matt Patton

    August 9, 2010 at 5:56 am

    There are self-important Sunday political chat shows that get CANCELED? This would be amazing to the average American TV viewer . . .

  5. wilberforce

    August 12, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    i always seemed to catch this last few minutes of this when i turned the telly on for “The Big Match”. Later on its place as Sunday afternoon pre-football fodder was taken by an Aussie drama about air sea rescue, that sadly didn’t interest me any more than Bwian Walden prattling on…

  6. bbbeyer

    August 14, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    I know this is nothing to do with “Weekend World”…but why no TVC obit. for Jack Parnell, musical director of ATV from 1956 to 1981, who died last week?

  7. Alan B

    August 21, 2010 at 8:21 am

    I have always wondered if Brian Walden’s nickname at school was ‘Saffron’.

  8. Rob Free

    August 21, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    I can do a great impression of Brian Walden. It never got me anywhere in life though.

    • TV Cream

      August 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

      It’s a valuable skill! Rare is the impression of Walden that manages not to turn into Harry H Corbett after a couple of sentences.

  9. fl3m

    August 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

    I remember David Baddiel incorporating an impression of Brian Walden into his stand up routine once

  10. john gerard

    January 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I remember my dad always watching ‘weekend world’ and its ‘nantucket sleighride’ by Mountain blaring out of the TV all distorted while my brother was asleep underneath ‘the observer’. my mum would be cooking a fry-up. and i mean a fry up – none of this grilled nonsense – proper 70s style fried bread cooked in ‘trex’ etc., even when it was boiling hot outside.

  11. Wombat Harness

    August 11, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Nantucket Sleigh-ride by Mountain was the brilliant theme tune – a ‘Nantucket Sleigh-ride’ was the name given to the moments immediately after harpooning a Whale – in a small Whaling boat!

  12. tian

    October 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    Brian walden was a self important cnut and class traitor. Ironically Thacther had the last laugh on the bag of shit with this put down…

    Brian Walden: “You come over as being someone who one of your backbenchers said is slightly off her trolley, authoritarian, domineering, refusing to listen to anybody else – why? Why cannot you publicly project what you have just told me is your private character?”
    Margaret Thatcher: “Brian, if anyone’s coming over as domineering in this interview, it’s you.”

  13. Glenn Aylett

    January 26, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Political shows still make up a large part of BBC One’s Sunday morning schedules. Should I want to fall asleep again, all I have to do is switch on The Sunday Politics and nod off to a debate about Brexit and fall asleep even faster when Richard Moss, the world’s most boring journalist ans little known outside the North East and Cumbria, does his regional round up of local politics. The Sunday Politics doesn’t even have a decent theme tune to save itself.

  14. Tom Ronson

    March 6, 2021 at 11:20 pm

    Completely agree with the synopsis – an unrelentingly serious programme that would not stand a hope in hell’s chance of being commissioned nowadays. Brian Walden, a man who bore an uncanny resemblance to Bela Lugosi in Dracula mode, discussing political matters in an exceedingly dry fashion, intercut with reports about escalating wars, industrial action, civil disobedience and pay cuts for public sector employees. One great big grey, foreboding slab of impenetrable adult tedium, and one of the few programmes (along with Out of Town and Last of the Summer Wine) that made me actively terrified of growing up.

  15. Glenn Aylett

    December 9, 2021 at 7:54 pm

    The kind of programme you’d never imagine ITV after 2000 making. I suppose their idea of current affairs now would be Phil Schofield discussing the events in last night’s soaps on This Morning, ironically made in the former LWT studios until recently. However, to be fair, Weekend World was quite heavy going and seen as an ITV rival to the old school, studio based Panorama.

  16. Droogie

    December 10, 2021 at 9:24 am

    Weekend World reminds me how screamingly dull Sunday tv viewing was if you were a kid growing up in the 70’s. You were lucky to find a cartoon amongst all the religious and farming shows ( which were a thing in my HTV West region.) The evenings usually meant some stuffy costume drama like The Onedin Line. I believe the reason That’s Life was so popular was that it offered some light hearted silliness on an otherwise dour day’s telly.

    • Glenn Aylett

      December 10, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      @ Droogie, Border had the joys of Scotsport on Sunday afternoons, a 90 minute boreathon of Scottish football highlights that always seemed to involve 0-0 draws that meant nothing to the English half of their region.

  17. Richardpd

    December 10, 2021 at 9:58 am

    I remember Sundays could be quite dull into the 1980s, with plenty of old kids shows dug out of the archives & something like Star Fleet or Terrahawks if you were lucky.

    At least the evenings had perked up a bit with the likes of Bullseye, a decent sitcom & normally a Mum-friendly drama like Howard’s Way.

    There was an odd period when Saturday nights on BBC1 started to go like a Sunday, with That’s Life & another easy going drama like All Creatures Great & Small being shown.

  18. Droogie

    December 10, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    @Richardpd Yes! Bullseye was a game changer for an early Sunday evening TV show involving a based on gambling. I always associate it with the smell of Bisto onion gravy after a heavy Sunday dinner

    • Richardpd

      December 11, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      Almost the same here, when I was visiting my Gran’s one of my Aunts used to insist on watching it & didn’t like us taking when the questions were being asked.

  19. Glenn Aylett

    December 11, 2021 at 3:20 pm

    Bullseye was quite good, but it still had to jostle for space with such sleep inducing programmes as Scotsport, Highway To Heaven( cloying imported drama with Michael Landon playing an angel in modern day America), Surprise Surprise and Harry Secombe. At least BBC One had the Eastenders omnibus, in the Den and Angie glory days, and war films.

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