Wake Up London (ITV, 1985-1988)
This blog was set up for me to look back at any old TV show that caught my interest, whether it be a long-forgotten oddity or a ratings-topping classic, and you can probably guess which category this show falls into! ITV on Sunday mornings in the late-80s/early-90s used to be rather odd has it had to cover a wide variety of programming.
TV-am would usually feature a political debate hosted by Sir David Frost (or maybe Jonathan Dimbleby), and this would followed by various children’s cartoons such as The Smurfs, and then there would be things like Morning Worship (which because of advertising restrictions on religious programming featured no breaks), and Link, the show aimed at people with disabilities, and by the start of the afternoon you might feel like going back to bed.
When looking through some old TV Times from the 80s I noticed something unusual that was shown in this slot. TV-am would be followed at 9:25am on Sunday mornings in the LWT region in the mid-80s by a ten-minute programme called Wake Up London. This is something that I have been interested in seeing for a while, so I was pleased to recently discover an edition on YouTube, uploaded by a user called “Nearrrggghh”, so thanks goes to them.
Wake Up London was originally hosted by a comedy duo called the Vicious Boys who were Andy Smart and Angelo Abela. In 1989 Angelo would go on to be one of the presenters of CITV Saturday Morning show Ghost Train under the alias of Gerard. I’m fairly sure that I also saw him in pantomime at the Hackney Empire about 100 years ago when he was at the height (?) of his fame, aren’t I lucky.
The idea of Wake Up London was that it was a what’s on guide as our presenting duo went around London showing us various fun things to do during the weekend including checking out the latest technology, so if you want more information, look out for the phone number at the end of the show. The later editions were hosted by a female comedy duo called Rabbitt And Doon, Doon being Doon Mackichan who would go on to have further success in comedy shows including The Day Today and Smack The Pony.
I did enjoy seeing Wake Up London, it was a fun idea, but what a bizarre piece of scheduling by LWT. I don’t know why someone decided that this was something suitable for Sunday mornings. One thing is for sure though, because of the way that ITV now works with almost no regional programming anywhere, we definitely won’t see its like again.