Tonight’s HTV and Channel 4… in 1990 

31 May 2017

The TVTimes tells us what was on HTV and C4 on Thursday 31 May 1990. Things worth noting include:

  • The schools are out for half term in some places and for exams in others, so there’s no schools programmes on Channel 4 and Wacaday is in session for the last 35 minutes of TV-am.
  • Channel 4 uses the schools slot for black and white films, starting with the 1952 comedy Time Gentleman Please, very much in the vein of Ealing Studios but actually out of Associated-British. Not being Ealing has allowed this gentle romp to fade into obscurity.
  • We stay with Associated-British, and in 1952, with Judgment Deferred at 10.55am. A bit of a weird film, with some light comedy and music thrown in amongst the disturbing idea of mob justice in a mock trial.
  • The next film is at 2.30pm. 20th Century Fox’s Week-end in Havana from 1941 is a fluffy musical comedy that seems perfect for most people to miss on a Thursday afternoon.
  • Over on HTV at 1.30pm is Daytime Green. The European Parliament election in 1989 had seen both major parties being fairly unpopular and the SDP/Liberal Alliance on the wain. This led to a huge jump in support for the Green Party – although no seats because of the insane voting system. This was interpreted by politicians and the media as meaning the public had new concerns about environmental issues, leading to both major parties adopting some Green policies and new programmes about recycling and organic food appearing on screen.
  • The first programme flagged as having Oracle subtitles is Emmerdale at 7pm.
  • HTV West viewers get Sporting Triangles from Central at 7.30pm; in Wales, the quiz is shunted to 11.05pm.
  • Meanwhile, HTV Wales viewers get their pre-devolution parliamentary programme at 7.30pm; West viewers wanting to know what’s been happing in parliament must wait until 10.30pm, when Wales viewers will be watching Anglia’s Survival.
  • LA Law at 9pm sticks with the policy of having a big American show in primetime on ITV that has now been long left behind but was once the norm. Viewers who get the Wenvoe or Mendip transmitters get to have Digital Stereo Sound for this one.
  • Channel 4 was designed to show alternate programmes to that of ITV, but had trouble getting schedules far enough in advance from the ITV companies to plan this very well. They manage it tonight, providing the 4th episode of the first season of NBC’s sitcom My Two Dads against This Week over on ITV, then abruptly switching to the worthy, dry and unremittingly bleak Film on Four In Fading Light at 9pm.
  • The third black and white film of the day finishes the day on 4 with 1962’s Truffaut masterpiece Jules et Jim at midnight before going off air at 2am.
  • ITV is mostly 24hrs by this point – the only network in the UK to stay on air all day – and is largely not networked after 11.35pm.

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6 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 31 May 2017 at 1:29 pm

Some interesting details in HTV’s line-up, namely “Blockbusters” in a semi-prime time slot as opposed to the kids’ and students’ time makers Central have placed it in, plus a weather outlook for the weekend in the West on a Thursday evening.

The programme notes for “Emmerdale” don’t tell us any more as to why Kathy appreciates appreciation – nice photo of soon to be chart star Malandra Burrows, whose first name is an amalgamation of her parents’ (Malcolm and Sandra).

Alan Keeling 31 May 2017 at 8:39 pm

Interesting to see that the 1949 war documentary tv series, Crusade in Europe is nearly coming to the end of its 26 episode run. This US series was first shown on BBC TV during the 1950s, TWW screened it in the mid 1960s & now all 26 episodes of this series is available on DVD.

Victor Field 2 June 2017 at 5:46 am

The Gold Run on “Blockbusters” vs. the never remotely funny Jane Curtin on “Kate and Allie”? No contest.

Paul Mason 3 June 2017 at 10:17 pm

Two recently departed people to note, on the cover Jean Alexander who died last year aged 90 and four days. Also from Sporting Triangles the jockey Walter Swinburn, who rode Shergar to victory in the 1981 Derby. By 1990 I was less of a telly addict than I was in childhood and we avoided breakfast TV. 1990 was the last full year when Radio and TV Times confined themselves to BBC and ITV,/C4 respectively.
Wasnt Wales under S4C by 1990? Curiously before 1991 Radio Times listed only the BBC produced Welsh output, with Rhaglenni Saesneg against English language programmes.

Paul Mason 5 June 2017 at 12:49 am

This TV Times covers the HTV Wales and West region, so there should have been listings for S4C.Just imagine having to buy both TV and Radio Times to get listings for the same channel, which would have been the case from November 1982 until spring 1991. OF course local newspapers would have listed S4C in full..

Paul Mason 5 June 2017 at 1:03 am

Arthur- Malandra Borrows appeared on New Faces as a child act (I don’t know when precisely, let’s say between 1974-77). She was invited to meet the panel of four men plus Derek Hobson. She got through to the All Winners show and here is where I have some queasiness about children on talent shows. She was torn apart by the Daily Mirror TV critic Clifford Davis and given a low score but his reasoning is understandable. He told her to go to a stage school and wait until she was older for fame. Her name wasn’t mentioned, but.CD had borne in mind the recent success of Lena Zavaroni, which soon turned sour on her. CD was probably cruel to be kind, as hurtful though his comments were, he saved Malandra Borrows from the fate of many child stars who were finished by age 18. She is accepted as an adult star at fifty.

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