It’s Not! (GMTV, 1993)
When TV-am lost their Breakfast TV licence they were replaced at the start of 1993 by GMTV. One of the things that I liked the most about TV-am was their terrific children’s show Wacaday which was hosted by Timmy Mallett and shown in half-term, so when GMTV came along I wondered what children’s programming they would have to offer.
GMTV showed a lot of children’s programmes at the weekend including Saturday Disney, but in the early days they also had a half-term show. It was called It’s Not! and was hosted by Simon Parkin, who had been a presenter on Children’s BBC for about four years before joining the launch line-up of GMTV.
I’m not really sure why it was called It’s Not!, but there was some play on the title including going into advert breaks with the caption “It’s Not… over yet” and ending the show with “It’s Not… back until tomorrow”. It also had a bizarre title sequence featuring clips of GMTV presenters mixed with old cartoons and bits of Teletext.
Simon hosted the show live from the GMTV studio every weekday during half-term so you would see crew members in shot and everything, it was chaos! There was the usual mix of cartoons and features, including the cartoon version of Super Mario Brothers. There were also competitions to win things including a Sega Mega Drive!
The features on the show included a look at the latest video games with someone called Byte Man and a review of film releases. Also if they had enough time they would show a fancy music video at the end.
There were a lot of celebrity guests on the show and Simon would interview them including the guy off Home and Away, Geoffrey off Rainbow and Take That seemed to turn up all the time too. There was also a lot of use of bluescreen technology on the show so the picture and colour of the background would constantly change while Simon hosted the show.
The mix of all this was rather good, but about a year later the show returned with a different title and slightly different format. It was now called Parkin’s In… and it was still hosted by Simon, and what he was “in” seemingly changed every day and cleverly when going to the advert break they changed it to “Parkin’s In… terval”.
I also remember they used bluescreen technology again by getting a guy and making him wear a blue thing all over his body so he would disappear against the background so when Simon hosted the show it just seemed that there was a pair of eyes, a nose and a mouth floating around next to him, how peculiar.
Although GMTV did continue to show lots more children’s shows at the weekend until the end of their run I don’t remember them doing anything for half-term after Simon left but it was a good try at providing something lively to start the day with.