How 2 (CITV, 1990-2006)
Many years ago before I was born, there was a fun educational show on CITV called How, which ran for 15 years from 1966 to 1981 and had a rather scary opening theme. After a break of almost a decade, there was a sequel called How 2, which ran for even longer, and the two eras of the show spanned a remarkable 40 years. In each show questions on a subject such as science or maths which begin with the word “how” would be asked and then the presenters would reveal the answer in a fun way.
One of the presenters was Fred Dinenage, who was also one of the hosts of the original version and hosted every series of the revival, staying with the show for the whole 31 years. Also at the time he was hosting the news on ITV in the South, as he still does now, and probably always will. Alongside him also appearing in every series was Gareth “Gaz Top” Jones, who also presented a few other CITV shows including Saturday Morning funfest Get Fresh, and I always liked the way that Fred called him “Toppy”.
Alongside Fred and Gareth was a female presenter who did change throughout the series but the one I remember the most was Carol Vorderman who co-hosted the show in its earliest years. The show was always great to watch with viewers always learning a thing or two in the process and it famously always ended with all the presenters saying “and that’s How for now!”.
How 2 ran for a sensational 16 years and almost 200 episodes, in addition to the 250 episodes in the original run, and the show only came to an end because the CITV department seemed to disintegrate around this point, with the other long-running great Art Attack also ending around this time. The show remained very popular throughout its run though and a classic episode from 1995 was repeated as part of the great CITV Old Skool Weekend a couple of years ago, and the show was also featured in the 30 Years Of CITV documentary.
How 2 always tried to be pioneering in its presentation. In the mid-90s you could find out even more information about the topics discussed on the show with the Datablast that appeared at the end of the episode, which you had to record and then watch back, which was in a similar style to Bad Influence. They also had one of those fancy new-fangled websites too!