The YouTube Files – Anglia Through The Night.

Anglia Through The Night (ITV, 1990)

I’ve enjoyed watching lots of continuity clips on YouTube, but recently I came across one that I thought was so great that I’ve decided to review it here. It was shown on 26 November 1990 in the Anglia region and it was uploaded by Neil Miles who really has uploaded lots of great TV videos so credit goes to him. In this piece I’ll reveal my favourite adverts that feature in this video plus various other things. vlcsnap-00010

Firstly, I do have a soft spot for this era of continuity from the Anglia region because it reminds me of when I went there in the early-90s and got to see some for myself. It’s a shame I didn’t stay up because their overnight service was rather enjoyable. When Anglia went 24 hours in 1987 their programmes were introduced by a live continuity announcer who had to sit there all night. In this clip the announcer is Paul Lavers, who became popular with viewers for his funny comments and being very enthusiastic about the programmes, even at 3:30am when everyone else had nodded off. vlcsnap-00009

There’s also ITN. When ITV went 24-hours they would have regular news updates throughout the night, meaning that a whole wave of presenters came along who never got to do the big shows such as News At Ten. On this night the presenter is Phil Roman, who sounds awfully posh by modern standards and is remembered by most viewers as possibly the most dour news presenter that there has ever been. He’s got plenty to report tonight though as the search for a new prime minister is on. Who could it possibly be? Then Paul introduces the late film Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, CinemAttractions and music show Transmission

The first of my favourite adverts in the video is for Currys. It features a couple who want to buy a dishwasher. It’s easy to now mock adverts which feature old-fashioned technology, but it is amusing to see the them being impressed by microwaves, CD players and TVs with stereo. By the end they’re so impressed they decide to buy about half the store because “they made it all so easy!”. That’s Christmas sorted out then. vlcsnap-00003

Then there’s what is my favourite advert in the video, for HEAT (Heat Electric Advisory Team). It seems that not only will these people fix your boiler, due to their teamwork and skill they might fly through the air for you because they all seem to be acrobats too. This advert also has some very odd music and seems to be voiced by Ray Brooks who is impressed by all of this. There’s also some great early-90s hairstyles on view and you can never go wrong with that. 

There’s also a great advert for Pictionary. This is a board game that I never had myself, but it seems a lot of fun. It features someone who is having some difficulty in communicating the word that he has illustrated which was “take-off”, and his teammates only get it in time after he takes off his shirt too. How odd. vlcsnap-00006

One thing that was popular around this time was adverts for those ridiculous 0898 chatline things. Apparently people across the country are waiting to speak to you and want to have a good time! This one seems to be voiced by radio presenter and Celebrity Big Brother megastar James Whale, and it’s arguably the peak of his career. vlcsnap-00007

Has this ever happened to you? Never mind Rap’Tou, one of the more ridiculous adverts selling “too good to be true” items was Didi Seven, which would remove massive stains in just one second. Of course it did. One tube is yours for just £6.95, what a bargain. Remember, it’s not available in the shops. vlcsnap-00008

One thing to note about this video is that it has adverts at all, you wouldn’t get that on ITV through the night now, and when Anglia dropped in-vision announcers for a generic Night Time service in 1991 a lot of viewers were very disappointed, and I can see why because this video was very entertaining. We didn’t see the last of Paul though because he went on to the bright lights of shopping channels and Haribo adverts, what a star.


One thought on “The YouTube Files – Anglia Through The Night.

  1. Des Elmes says:

    No doubt many viewers in the South, the West and Wales were disappointed, too, when TVS and HTV did the same thing as Anglia and dropped their own night time services, with in-vision announcers, in favour of Thames and LWT’s less personal “ITV Night Time” service.

    Wouldn’t surprise me if the upcoming franchise auction was a factor in this development. True, Central and Scottish continued doing *their* own things at night time, but of course they were both unopposed.


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