Friday, 10th April 1992
PICK OF THE DAY
8.00pm BRUCE’S GUEST NIGHT, BBC1
Drown your sorrows the day after the election with Brucie and, it says here, “the series I’ve been waiting 20 years to do”, not that anyone remembers it now. RUBBISH name, and it helped if you really, really liked Brucie, as the great man was joined by a host of guests for chat, song and his trademark bits of business. On this opening episode Cliff and Howard Keel were the big hitters, but Lisa Stansfield helped bring the average age of the participants down by about 40 years, and there was space for some gags with Pat Cash. Brucie said, “I want the viewers to ask, ‘I wonder what he’s going to do with them this week?’”, but to be honest this was the kind of series he’d have been better off doing 20 years earlier when it might have been a bit more exciting. Sadly this was the beginning of the end for Brucie on the Beeb as they ummed and erred for ages over a second run, and when they finally commissioned one they chopped it down to half-an-hour and flung it out in the summer, much to his disgust… and a major factor when ITV came calling. Don’t worry, he won’t be gone long.
9.00pm Heartbeat, ITV
A pretty low-key start for this new series, as Yorkshire TV weren’t especially sure about it and suggested it was scheduled in a quiet slot. Of course, it immediately took off and within about 18 months was the biggest show on TV. Post-watershed Fridays seems the most bizarre slot for this series imaginable, though they do have to edit it when they repeat it on ITV3 because it’s actually got swearing in it. We know it was the ultimate bit of boring Sunday night telly in the end, but the first few series were amiable enough, and Heartbeat also deserves kudos for the most comforting sponsorship stings ever, where Yorkshire Tea was advertised by a friendly bobby having a nice cup of tea and a sit down. Ahhh.
7.15pm 100%, BBC2
The ghost of Nozin’ Aroun’ always haunts the Beeb’s attempts to create shows aimed at teenagers though this effort, intended as a halfway house between CBBC and DEF II, was a little more credible than most. Much of this was thanks to the presence of Trevor and Simon, during their year off from Going Live, who contributed sketches throughout and were even permitted to do some mild swearing, while John Hegley offered up his poems. TVC watched it every week, though we can’t remember much else apart from an interview with Reeves and Mortimer filmed on a pig farm and, one week, a Mary Whitehouse Experience-styled comedy slot with teenage stand-ups including one Vicky Coren. It would have come back the next year, but was cancelled due to a BBC economy drive, so this was the last we saw of it.