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Your Friday Night In...

Your Friday Night In… August 1983

Friday, 12th August 1983


Wither the eccentric? Leaving to one side the eponymous presenter’s own distant proximity to what constitutes normality, part of Harty’s stock-in-trade was to celebrate the great British oddball.  These usually came in the form of bewhiskered gentlemen of a certain age, often hat wearing, who wafted through life following their own singular path.  These days such a character would elicit suspicion, and so we don’t tend to see them on our screens anymore. But on this summer sojourn, Russell fetches up at Longleat House to look at wacky inventions. The Marquis of Bath, DLT, chimpanzees and Patrick Moore also feature.


Cultural polymath (and we really kind of mean that), Su Pollard traipses around her hometown of Nottingham, all intercut to what seems to be studio interviews, in which Su catches up with her bossy sister, best friend and director pal, John Evans – and that’s not all one person, by the way.  If you don’t enjoy Su’s singing there is some funny business in a joke shop, and Su quaffing a pint of lager. But actually, why don’t you enjoy Su’s singing?

One of those weird early days Channel 4 “happenings”, which was bereft of any cool people and doesn’t even seem to be designed to appeal to cool people.  In this episode, Alan Freeman intros the Rockin Berries, Desmond Dekker, Lipstick and The Mike Morton Band – all coming atcha from Cinatras dancing club in Croydon.



  1. Glenn A

    August 11, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Pre Wogan’s three nights a week chat show, you had to remember how big Harty was to the BBC, which was in a ratings slump in the second half of 1983 and short of popular hits. This summer offering was a prequel to his twice a week chat show that featured him dropping on members of the general public and interviews in a studio. However, once Wogan arrived, Harty became sidelined.

  2. Richard16378

    August 11, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere it was a shame the BBC couldn’t work things out so that Wogan & Harty could share the early evening chat show, especially as there were plans to have it on every weekday at one time, but Terry reckoned he couldn’t cope with the workload.

  3. Glenn A

    August 11, 2017 at 7:25 pm

    I think Harty was OK, but not the big hitter Wogan was and his show did have a feel of should this be on in daytime. Michael Grade saw far more potential for Wogan, and a chat show that was supposed to go out late at night was moved to 7pm. Also Wogan seemed to have a big budget, glamorous feel to it, whereas Harty dropping in on pensioners didn’t have the same appeal.

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