Children’s ITV Presentation (1983-present)
Instead of reviewing a classic CITV show today, here’s a look back at the bits in between the shows, and the various presenters who have appeared over the years. I have split this into seven eras.
1983-1987: Although children’s programmes had appeared on ITV for many years, a proper strand under the Children’s ITV name was introduced in January 1983 starting at 4pm. Matthew Kelly was the first presenter in the chair in the strange spaceship set, and the presenter changed every month, with the likes of Derek Griffiths, Gary Wilmot and Bernie Winters among many others also hosting. Unfortunately because the links were pre-recorded no-one knew if the presenter’s introduction would crash into the start of a show, or if there would be a 10 second shot of them staring into space before the show began.
1987-1989: CITV’s presentation became live for the first time and it came from the Central studio which had just dropped in-vision continuity. One of the Central announcers Gary Terzza was kept on and he was joined by Debbie Shore. They were great but after a while they were replaced in 1988 by the likes of Mark Granger and Andi Peters just before he joined CBBC, and he wouldn’t return to CITV until 1996.
1989-1991: This is the only time that CITV continuity was produced by an independent company which was Stonewall Productions. There were various presenters used in this era but the one I remember the most was Jeanne Downs and she was usually joined by puppet character Scally the dog who was rather funny. There were also lots of studio guests and competitions around this time among the great shows.
1991-1993: Scally and co. left us and Tommy Boyd returned to the chair after hosting CITV in the early days and he had a rather memorable style. I remember TV Cream saying that he was more literate and opinionated than your average children’s TV presenter and indeed it was always enjoyable watching him seriously trying to find the moral of the story in the episode of Tiny Toon Adventures that had just been shown. He also liked to sing along with the various theme tunes of the shows. Unfortunately Tommy did seem a little out of place by the end of his run by which point he was 40 years old, making him a lot older than most hosts on CITV and by the end of 1992 he was replaced by Glenn Kinsey who presented until the end of that era.
1993-1998: The presenter of CITV was out-of-vision for this era. It was Steve Ryde, who also appeared in a few CITV shows over the years including Your Mother Wouldn’t Like It and Wizadora. I presume that he was live and he would often wittily talk about the shows. They also around this time fiddled about with the CITV symbol a lot, and I do think that the variations were as great and imaginative as the Channel 4 1982-1996 and BBC2 1991-2001 looks.
1998-2006: In-vision presenters return, way-hey! The first of this era were Stephen Mulhern and Danielle Nichols, Stephen of course now hosts every other show on ITV. This was about the time that I stopped watching CITV but it seems that more presenters came along in later years, plus lots more guests and competitions, and this carried on until 2004 when out-of-vision presenters returned again and CITV left ITV afternoons a couple of years later.
2006-present: Since the launch of the CITV channel, the presenters have continued to be out-of-vision and they usually were only used to just introduce some cartoon called Fleabag Monkeyface all the time.