Tonight’s HTV and Channel 4… in 1989 

28 February 2018

The TVTimes tells us what was on HTV and Channel 4 on Tuesday 28 February 1989. Things worth noting include:


  • On the same page as the day’s line-up from TV-am is something unlikely to be printed in contemporary editions of the TV Times – an adjudication summary by the Broadcasting Complaints Commission. Such notices were also, at the time, broadcast on television, a practice which, in the current internet age, appears to be surplus to that medium’s requirements. The BCC was replaced by the Broadcasting Standards Commission in 1997, which became subsumed into the omnipresent Ofcom in 2003.
  • As snooker coverage commands the bulk of the afternoon schedule, the choice of Australian soap opera – and the point which they’re at in the storyline – varies from region to region. The most current example of Down Under drama at the time, and the only one where all ITV regions are transmitting the same episode on the same day, is Home and Away, which on this day is three weeks into its UK transmission run, and is also only getting an early-evening screening.
  • Thames take two of the three slots in the Children’s ITV strand for the day; and dominate further in prime-time with a current affairs quiz, two sitcoms, a historical drama, and the first visit of the week to Sun Hill. At this time, Emmerdale Farm is transmitted on Wednesdays and Thursdays in most of the ITV regions.
  • Following separate regional documentaries for the West and Wales, and on a day earlier than usually broadcast, Midweek Sports Special at 11.05pm, which Welsh viewers “opt into” at 11.35pm, picks up on the snooker coverage enjoyed by afternoon viewers, alongside highlights of football action involving Scottish and English clubs – given the structure of the billing, perhaps this is what viewers in the principality didn’t get to see.
  • HTV’s Night Club offers standard post-midnight fare, while the regional variations panel indicates this is also true for viewers of More on Central, Late Night Late on TVS, and Night Time on Granada and TSW.


  • With the launch of the Channel Four Daily still seven months away, the station commences broadcasting at 8.30am with Sesame Street, before further educational fare is offered for schools and colleges from 9.25 onwards.
  • This day provides evidence of regional variations in the Channel 4 Schools system: after 11.05am, viewers in Northern Ireland miss out on Seeing and Doing in favour of UTV’s Swings and Roundabouts; at 11.22am, Videomaths is skipped for It’s In Wales in, er, Wales; and at 11.39am, Science Matters more to viewers in the Border, Grampian and Scottish regions than How We Used to Live.
  • Following daily briefings in the realms of politics and industry, the educational slant resumes with Open College broadcasts until 2.00pm, after which follows a typical C4 afternoon and early-evening schedule of the era: combining programmes from the UK, the United States and Europe.
  • TVTimes readers in this particular region will recognise one of the presenting team on 4 What It’s Worth at 8.30pm: Susan Osman began her TV career as an announcer for HTV West in the early 1980s, and bookended her time on-screen as one of the anchor team for BBC Points West.
  • Meanwhile, if you thought the Reverend Richard Coles’ career as a television personality was a 2010s phenomenon, think again. The pre-ordained pianist takes the helm of Out on Tuesday at 11.00pm.

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5 responses to this article

Alan Keeling 28 February 2018 at 3:33 pm

Early in 1989, Tuesdays at 5pm on Channel Four saw the return of The Lone Ranger (1950/57), a five season juvenile western series produced by Apex Films/ Wrather Corporation. “Rustler’s Hideout” was episode 5 from season 1. It may be interesting to note that the final season was shot in colour.

Alan Keeling 28 February 2018 at 3:47 pm

Late night British B movies were always welcomed on Channel Four and at midnight The Golden Disc (1958) was shown, filmed at Walton Studios, Walton-on-Thames by Butchers Film Productions. The two main stars were Canadian actor Lee Patterson and Mary Steele plus appearances from the BBC’s David Jacobs and pop singer Terry Dene. The film centred around a young couple who expand their coffee bar to cash in on the ‘rock and roll’ era.

Arthur Nibble 28 February 2018 at 9:16 pm

I like the way the listing for “Countdown” gives the name of the challenger but not that of the current champion.

Arthur Nibble 28 February 2018 at 9:23 pm

Actually, the “Countdown” champion wuldn’t have been known at that stage , would it? Oops.

Former “Liver Bird” Elizabeth Estensen seen in “T-Bag” some years before she joined “Corrie” and then started her long career in “Emmerdale”.

Mark Jeffries 2 March 2018 at 3:42 am

“Hitman,” which had already screened for 26 unsuccessful weeks on NBC daytime six years previous, was the creation of Jay Wolpert, a game show devisor who loved to go for the offbeat, in this case using video game graphics as scoring for what was basically a memory quiz. Its greatest moment? Probably on the last telecast, where announcer Rod Roddy(who you know from narrating “Soap”) proclaimed, “If you want to be a contestant on ‘Hitman’…FORGET IT!”

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