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Your Friday Night In… November 1993


Friday, 19th November 1993

PICK OF THE DAY

9pm DEMOB, ITV
Hyped up as the next big hit comedy drama that wasn’t – and there were millions of them around that time, and none of them were either – and starring Griff Rhys Jones and Martin Clunes as two ex-forces types in the 1940s with a dream of becoming a top radio comedy double-act. Amanda Redman and Samantha Janus did the eye-candy-with-a-mean-left-hook honours, while Les Dawson appeared in one of his last screen roles as, you guessed it, a world-weary club comic. Almost entirely forgotten now, but for the fact that there is one copy of the tie-in novel, with a faded back cover, in every single charity shop in the land.

ALSO SHOWING:

9pm NAKED VIDEO 2½, BBC2
BBC Scotland’s premier sketch show where you couldn’t work out whether you liked it, or not nor indeed which of those three bits of music was the actual theme tune, went on for terrifyingly longer than anyone remembers – and even then they kept trying to revive it in new guises. Here’s one of the 10 billion Best Of compilations that they flung out during that time. Doubtless featured Rab, Siadwell, Lizzie, The Baldy Man, Thingy in the wine bar, the Outer Hebrides Broadcasting Corporation, and loads of other unfunny ones about being a delivery driver and falling in a sewage trough or something.

7pm EVERY SECOND COUNTS, BBC1
Another that went on for far longer than you’d imagine, with Paul Daniels overly verbosely dispensing a series of shockingly easy questions while contestants with fixed grins stood there saying absolutely nothing and a none-more-1980s bleeping timer bleeped merrily away. From the early computer generated opening titles nicked off Sixty Minutes and the ludicrously over-arranged blaring brass theme music to the eye-hurting neon-and-pastel set nicked off the TWO ident’s nightmares, this was everything that’s gone missing from early evening TV since then. And Paul was absolutely brilliant at hosting it. Yes, a lot.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Applemask

    November 17, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    According to Wikipedia, Every Second Counts ended a month earlier. But this is is from the Genome, I presume, so Wikipedia can eat a bag of hell.

  2. Richard16378

    November 17, 2017 at 2:14 pm

    I remember my parents watching Demob, the period detail was good, with a pre-fab estate used as a location. There were a lot of short run comedy dramas around this time (often historically set), most of which are forgotten about apart from a DVD release if you are lucky.

    I only started watching Naked Video after seeing Rab C. Nesbit so it was a little odd to see him in bite sized chucks. Pulp Video was a late rebranding IIRC, unless that was an unrelated show, the BBC seemed to make a lot of “show once & forget” sketch shows around this time.

    By 1993 the very mid 1980s styling of Every Second Counts seemed out of place, though watching the rerun of early Supermarket Sweep on Challenge some people seemed to be wearing clothes at least 5 years old stylistically.

    • Applemask

      November 17, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      Pulp Video was meant to be like the Next Generation of Naked Video. It was technically a new show and had an all-new cast, but much of the production and writing team was the same, like Ron Bain. Unfortunately, despite having the likes of Greg Kemphill, Ford Keirnan, Fred MacAuley, Mitch Benn and (inexplicably) Mark and Lard on said team, it wasn’t funny.

  3. Glenn A

    November 19, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Demob was probably an attempt by ITV to revive the huge success they had ten years earlier with another post war drama, Shine On Harvey Moon. Shame Demob didn’t work as it had an excellent cast and was well produced.

    • Matthew Harris

      April 30, 2018 at 9:36 pm

      They tried it more literally the following year. It worked marginally better.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    November 12, 2021 at 7:57 pm

    Naked Video meant one thing, the bedsit loser from Wales called Siadwell and his never seen pet wasp and Llanelli terrier. He always reminded me of the sort of person you occasionally encounter in pubs who looks stoney broke, has few friends and makes a pint last over an hour, and should you encounter a Siadwell, the conversation is likely not to involve the match on Sky or the attractive young barmaid. Actually there was a man I knew who was like the Whitehaven Siadwell who used to come out with such conversation killers as playing football on Skylab or wanting to start a revolutionary political party.

  5. Richardpd

    November 12, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Demob probably suffered from being made a few years too late, after that nostalgia for mid 20th century (c.1935-1955) had peaked & people weren’t that interested in shows set in the era of valve radios & young men in tank tops with patterns that wouldn’t look out of place on a novelty Christmas jumper.

    Even Dennis Potter embraced Rock & Roll around this time with Lipstick On Your Collar, swapping the 78s for 45s.

    I think I’ve met at least one Siadwell in my time.

  6. THX 1139

    November 13, 2021 at 10:18 am

    I was pleased to see Jonathan Watson off of Naked Video was the Sontaran leader on Doctor Who last week.

  7. Glenn Aylett

    November 13, 2021 at 1:38 pm

    The local Siadwell did live in a row of bedsits, now demolished, near me. He was never out of a grubby cagoul and jeans, wasn’t the most fragrant of people, should we say, and was given a wide berth in every pub he appeared in, or was chased out by the landlord.

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