Tonight’s Thames Television and Channel 4… in 1985 

12 June 2018

We’re up bright and early this morning for TV-am at 6.15am. And, as dear Sir Tom Edwards would say, it’s Good Morning Great Britain. Today’s edition is presented by Nick Owen and Jayne Irving, with cuddly Mike Morris on sports duty, Wincey on her spinning weather board and Mad Lizzie stretching bits of the body that clearly don’t need to be stretched at such an ungodly hour. Also cropping up is the lovely Russell Grant, who will adlib about Uranus and Venus rising. He’s also on the front cover of the TVTimes this week, going gay in New York. -_-

Then, it’s a click, a thump and a wobble, as the mighty beast that is Thames Television fires up it transmitters and prepares for its broadcast day. Straight into the Thames News Headlines, then it’s time for schools. Time to Gather Round and watch the first schools clock of the morning disappear in front of your very eyes. Note that schools programmes are running five minutes short today, and this is amply filled by a cartoon at 11.55am.

Lunchtime fun for the kiddiewinkles next, staring at midday by Tales from Fat Tulip’s Garden, which is lazily repeated at 4pm. At 12.10pm is a programme which I don’t recall – Our Backyard. One can only guess it’s not a patch on Rainbow.

The usual 80’s afternoon fodder follows from 12.30pm, aka soaps and fluff. Fluff includes Talking Personally and later we see what’s fresh in On the Market at 2.30pm, yawn. Your afternoon soaps including A Country Practice, Take the High Road and Sons & Daughters… Loves and laughter, tears of sadness and happiness…

CITV now and at 4.15pm, pinched from the BBC, Crystal Tipps & Alistair. Did you know there were no less than 50 episodes of this, lets face it, very odd cartoon series? Groovy man! We’re down at Fraggle Rock at 4.20pm, then we go poptastic with Razzmatazz. Finally, for the older children, it’s a game of Connections with Sue Robbie.

After the news and a shout for Help!, the evening on Thames begins with a trip to the Crossroads Motel at 6.30pm. We investigate why people walk on fire in Arthur C Clarke’s World of Strange Powers at 7pm. Then it’s Weatherfield and Coronation Street. Drama with Bullman at 8pm, no doubt shoved forward to make way for the football at 9pm.

After the news the Thames Power Couple, Judith Chalmers and Peter Marshall are your hosts for the Royal Premier: A View to A Kill. To end a rather lacklustre day on Thames, a few Night Thoughts.

Your ITV regional variations are also a tad dull on this particular day. TVS has The Sullivans at 12.30pm, then Whose Baby? at 1.30pm. This was hosted in 1985 by Bernie Winters, and is followed by Border’s Look Who’s Talking chat show, hosted by Derek Batey, of course. The Young Doctors at 3.30pm and then Day by Day, er, Coast to Coast at 6pm. Company at 12.05am.

Anglia shows Whose Baby? at 12.30pm, About Anglia at 6pm and ends with a bit of religion at 12.05am.

Central airs Something to Treasure at 12.30pm and a cowboy comedy drama at 1.30pm with the brothers Simon & Simon. Crossroads at 6pm followed by Central News. A swift closedown at 12.05am brings it in line with the other ITV companies, so an early night it is then!

Over on Channel 4, our coverage of the ETP1 test card is rudely interrupted by programming starting at 2.30pm. A dull film called Song of Freedom to start the day then cartoon fun with Ragtime Bear. At 4pm, Pamela Armstrong (ITN) presents Female Focus. Interestingly, it looks at the Irish divorce law, shortly to be rejected in a referendum. The people were asked again 1995 and had changed their minds – just. Allow another few decades to pass and Ireland is happily voting progressively for same-sex marriage and abortion reform.

The much-missed Alan Coren is host for Television Scrabble at 4.30pm; at 5pm, in US comedy Alice, Flo is wondering if she should leave… which of course she did and so began the sitcom Flo.

Farming on 4 from Tyne Tees and Anglia no less! A look at Wales: Landscape & Legend at 6pm is followed at 6.30pm by The Heritage Game made by HTV West. ITN’s Channel 4 News at 7pm followed by political Comment at 7.50pm. I do like the programming so far on C4 today, film action, something for the kids, something for women, a quiz, a US sitcom, farming, geography and now documentaries in the shape of Losing Track at 8pm, looking at the history of the railway; and that’s followed by Diverse Reports.

Then, finally onto nature and About Time looking up to the moon for inspiration. Now that was a public broadcasting station to be proud of!

Drama at 10pm from the Mary Tyler Moore-spin off Lou Grant, starring Ed Asner; and finally back to public service programming with Voices at 11pm.

Channel 4 also seems to close early this evening, at 11.50pm. Now where did I put that EPT1 card…? ah yes…


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4 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 12 June 2018 at 10:10 pm

I always found “Crystal Tipps & Alistair” weird – just as mad as a box of frogs as “Ludwig”.

Geoff Nash 12 June 2018 at 10:26 pm

Wasn’t Fraggle Rock a TVS Production? It isn’t listed as such here.

Joanne Gray 13 June 2018 at 11:29 am

Our Backyard was, as the title suggests, set in the yard out the back of a woman’s house, where she plays with her preschool daughter, telling her stories and singing songs. They are joined by their slightly thick next door neighbour (you get the impression that her husband has recently upped and left and the man next door wants to be more than friends). The series didn’t last long.

Dave Rhodes 13 June 2018 at 12:28 pm

Not sure I’d describe a half-hour head to head with the widow of an IRA assassination victim (1230) as ‘fluff’.

Bullman looks odd at 8pm – not typically a slot for hour-long drama on ITV – although pre-Grade BBC1 often showed more-or-less ‘adult’ series in the 8.10 slot.

Anna Ford pretty much in her wilderness years picking up the narrator’s fee for Arthur C. Clarke’s half-hour at seven o’clock – within a couple of years, she’d be hosting a magazine show for the shortlived Open College before her newsreading renaissance.

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