The Afternoon On Thames (ITV, 1988)
As well as enjoying lots of TV programmes over the years, I also like the bits inbetween them, such as adverts. I’ve uploaded lots of videos myself, and I must have watched thousands of classic continuity clips on YouTube by now, so I have decided to pick one of my favourites to write about. It was shown on 23 March 1988 (27 years to the day!) and it was uploaded by “LuthansaTerminal” so credit goes to them.
I particularly like this clip because being a Londoner I enjoy watching the continuity from the Thames region and because this was shown just before I turned five years old it comes from about the earliest era of TV that I can remember. The clip begins with a trail for Wednesday at 8, a variety-type show hosted by Jim Davidson that I don’t particularly remember myself, I always thought Des O’Connor Tonight was shown in that timeslot in those days, I wonder where Des was that week.
Then we have some in-vision continuity from Peter Marshall, a great announcer. He seems to be rather looking forward the evening film premiere Unfaithfully Yours, particularly because it stars “Cuddly Dudley”. I really like the way he says “this is where you’ll find all the programmes”, making an afternoon of old game shows and imported soaps seem really showbizzy and exciting.
Then after the classic Thames ident we get the introduction to the game show What’s My Line? It was a very long-running show that was originally hosted by Eamonn Andrews and shown in a primetime slot. However, after he popped his clogs the previous year the show continued a little longer in an afternoon slot with Penelope Keith becoming the new host. Will the panellists including Garth Crooks guess correctly?
After that ends, there’s a trail for Headliners, a prime-time game show seemingly about the world of news that I don’t remember much about. Then there’s an advert for TV Times. There’s so much in it! New drama Codename Kyril is on the cover, and you can also win a holiday! Then Peter says it’s time for us to play detective in Crimestoppers, which is voiced by Shaw Taylor who died earlier this month. Then there’s a trail for Busman’s Holiday, another primetime game show.
Then there’s a slide for Australian soap A Country Practice, described by Peter as “one of our three dramas that you may be looking forward to”. No, not really, Peter. Then we have some adverts, my favourite in this break is for Disprol, I like the way the man shouts “where’s my jacket!”. We then have a trail with some impressive computer graphics for Paul Nicholas And Friends, featuring “an evening full of star-studded entertainment and showbiz personalities” including “bubbly Bonnie Langford”. Needless to say, you wouldn’t get this type of thing on ITV nowadays.
Then there’s an ident into A Country Practice, which ran in Australia from 1981 to 1994 and was shown in this country for many years too. There were lots of Australian soaps on ITV at the time, including The Young Doctors, The Sullivans, and Home and Away would be about to launch. The credits are then curtailed for a trail for Codename Kyril.
Peter then promotes Votes For Women, where women debate the latest news. We then have a trail from the rather busy newsroom promoting the launch of ITN’s News At One. Then there are some more adverts, including “where’s my jacket!” again! We then get an amusing advert for Oracle’s review service, and a trail for Thursday evening on Thames featuring Sporting Triangles, yet another prime-time game show.
Peter then returns one final time to tell us about programmes “that are guaranteed to make you feel good”, and he’s still going on about “Cuddly Dudley”, before one final ident into Votes For Women and its eye-splitting title sequence.
It’s not for nothing that at least one commenter on YouTube described this video as “fantastic”. It really brought back great memories of this era of TV, with Peter Marshall being a very engaging and warm announcer. I plan to write a lot more about my memories of Thames and TV continuity from this era in the future, with this video being one of the best and most entertaining examples that I’ve seen on YouTube of why Thames was so great to watch and is still so fondly remembered.