I know I am still going on about Bid TV almost five years after it closed down now, but this month is also the 18th anniversary of the launch, so I thought that I would take a look back at yet another memorable moment that made this channel worth watching for me. By its very nature Bid TV had to be a live channel, this meant that there was the potential for things to often go wrong, and this would be dealt with in various ways.
Sometimes the phonelines would go down, or the graphics would fail, meaning nothing could be sold. In the early days, to fill the gap they used to show a sequence on a loop featuring Andy Hodgson telling us how to bid, along with a couple of trails (which were usually the “well done Hazel that looks like!” or “Simon, bid again, Simon!” ones that were so awesome that I think they deserve an individual review at some point).
Later on they would usually fill the time by showing some of the infomercials from the likes of Screenshop that often turned up after Bid TV had closed for the night including No Wet Wonder Foam and the classic with the juicer starring “a thousand-year-old man in a leotard” as Andy Hodgson always called him (“a whole apple?”). And in later years, they would just keep the presenter live on air, and I remember some having to fill for about 30 or 40 minutes and simply keep talking while things were sorted out behind the scenes.
There was another way that Bid TV would have technical problems, but this time it would be beyond their control. On about three or four occasions they had a major powercut, which not only took all their channels off the air, but also made the website go down too. You can imagine just how frustrating this must have been for them, and the presenters probably had to stand there in the dark studio wondering if they would ever get back on air before the end of the night.
When they did eventually return though, which sometimes could take up to three or four hours, it would be worth watching simply because it would be total chaos, and they would have to wait for all of the technology to be ready and working again, so there would be the wrong graphics on the screen, sound faults, lights going out, random cuts to colour bars, and most of the time the presenters seemingly had no idea what item was coming next because the schedule was all over the place. It still wouldn’t stop some viewers from trying to phone in and buy though!