Tonight’s Anglia TV… in 1980 

25 July 2015

  • We come on air at 9.30am with a full-length start up, making the first programme air at 9.35 – which is why the handover between breakfast and ITV proper is at 9.25am to this day: the shadow left by allowing five minutes for a full start up and the first programme at 9.30am
  • Peter Davison reads a children’s story at 12.10pm. He was famous at the time for his role in the BBC’s All Creatures Great and Small as Tristan Farnon. He would go on to do other things
  • We drop in on the Olympics in Moscow several times today, starting with two hours of coverage from 3.30pm. These were controversial games – the hosts, the USSR, had recently invaded Afghanistan, leading US President Jimmy Carter to call for a boycott. Most western nations agreed; the US boycott was complete, but many European athletes competed as individuals under the Olympic flag to get round their country’s national boycotts
  • The Olympic coverage knocks all the ITV regional news programmes to 5.30pm for 20 minutes
  • Granada’s The Spoils of War at 8pm would be one of the series mercilessly parodied by Granada’s Brass in 1983
  • The music for The Spoils of War was by Derek Hilton. Now there’s a surprise
  • 7 Days at 10.30pm looks very ambitious. Good on Anglia
  • The Friday Late Film is the first ever “TV Movie”, NBC’s See How They Run from 1964. A bog-standard chase movie, it proved to US television executives that one-off drama on film was both economical and popular with viewers. The film itself has never had a commercial release
  • Soap at 11pm was a fine, funny parody of US daytime soaps of the era, and was notable for Billy Crystal’s character Jodie being only the second regular gay character in a US TV series; the series seemed progressive at the time, but by today’s standards the character’s cross-dressing and briefly seeking sexual reassignment surgery would not be seen as a positive portrayal of a gay man
  • Anglia goes off-air after 1.15am’s Your Music at Night, where an amateur children’s choir sing a hymn at you in a useful reminder of the 440hz tone coming up in five minutes or so

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4 responses to this article

Dave Rhodes 26 July 2015 at 8:56 pm

The Spoils of War is probably my favourite TV drama of all-time – it’s a close-run thing between it and A Kind of Loving; similar era, same company, same mid-budget class themed drama, and yes, both have brilliant themes by Derek Hilton. Spoils was conceived by John Finch as a sort-of follow on from Family at War a decade earlier, but is less remembered now. John’s ex-Coronation Street colleague, Harry Kershaw, chipped in with a few scripts during the 20 episodes across three series. Seemed to shift around the schedules a bit – the first series 7.45 Sundays, the second starting at 8 on Fridays, shifting to 9 after the Olympics, and the third at 9 on Tuesdays – arguably the best ‘fit’.

Dave Rhodes 26 July 2015 at 9:34 pm

A few more thoughts on the day. The Mackenzie Affair at 11am, is a delayed airing for a 1977 co-production between Scottish and New Zealand TV. You can find the full episode listed above here:

For Maddie With Love (1.30) dealt with the title character’s death from cancer. Despite a strong premise and Nyree Dawn Porter in the title role, the one episode to have surfaced on DVD is spoiled by some hammy direction.

7 Days was not the only ambitious effort in the world of current affairs features from Anglia – for years they ran Arena with Brian Connell in an early evening slot. The title 7 Days has also been used for two religious affairs series (one for ITV in the 70s, another for C4 in the 80s with Michael Charlton) and a local review-of-the week thing on TVS.

As well as Soap on Anglia, the variations box shows us LWT screening an earlier daytime soap-opera parody – Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman at 10.30. They follow this with End of Part One, which at its best offered some clinically accurate parody of the contemporary television scene; and which oddly saw its first network run at 4pm on Sunday – odd timing for something that really wasn’t a children’s programme.

Joe Bloggs 26 January 2016 at 5:44 pm

This was surprising given this was the day after Peter Sellers died and Alan Whicker presented a tribute programme at 10.30pm which was screened by Yorkshire Television.

Russ J Graham 26 January 2016 at 5:47 pm

The TVTimes, being published the week before, reflects what was planned to be shown, not what was actually shown. Accordingly, our articles do the same – it’s almost impossible for it to be otherwise.

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