Ghost Train (CITV, 1989-1991)
Here’s my second review of classic Saturday Morning TV. This review will be mostly based on the third and final series of Ghost Train that I remember the most and will be accompanied by some pictures of the last-ever episode where they had a This Is Your Life-style retrospective looking back at some classic moments on the show.
This was a rather odd one. Each week the Ghost Train (as it was) would land in a different place and the show would be hosted from there. However there was something of a plot to the show which added some excitement. First I’ll have a look at the presenters on the show, and then explain the features they did.
Gerard was supposed to be an alien or something, I never really grasped what was supposed to be happening there. His real name was Angelo and unless I am going silly I am sure that I saw him in pantomime at the Hackney Empire once during the run of Ghost Train. Yes, that’s how popular the show was at the time.
Sabra was a presenter who used to interview all the pop stars that were around at the time, for a long time after the show ended I thought she was called Sabrina but I realised recently that’s not right.
Along with all this, there was also comedy from the bizarre double act The Two Marks. One of them was none other than Mark Heap, who many years later would turn up in a lot of great comedy shows including Spaced, Big Train and Look Around You. I very much enjoyed his madcap style at the time, and he was the only person to rival Peter Simon when it came to falling over in silly ways on Children’s TV, so it was terrific seeing him again so long after the Ghost Train days.
The features included Skull, a ludicrous gunge-filled game, Boo!, where The Two Marks simply shoved a custard pie in a child’s face, and cartoons including Samurai Pizza Cats. The guests were mainly the pop stars who were big at the time who liked to perform their new single (Jason Donovan and Dannii Minogue seemed to turn up every week). There were also competitions. Look, Sonia wants you to win a Sega Mega Drive!
The final show ended with the presenters being banished to a mysterious planet. Amusingly, only Nobby The Sheep out of the presenters was ever seen again when he co-hosted Gimme 5. I imagine the others are still on that planet. Overall though I very much enjoyed the show in those early-90s summers.