Christmas With Anglia (ITV, 1985)
Following on from my piece taking a look back at some 80s Christmas adverts and continuity from the Thames region, I thought that I would review another ITV region. And thanks to “TheBluechickens” on YouTube, here’s a look at some of what was shown on 25 December 1985 in the Anglia region. This is a part of England that I have been to, but not as long ago as this, let’s see what they had to offer their viewers.
After the end of Moonraker (another James Bond film, what a shock), there’s a long pause before a (generic branded!) slide for a Superman film that has no announcement, so I don’t know why it’s there. Then there’s a trail for programmes coming later in the evening, including sitcom Fresh Fields (“carried away with Christmas spirit”), Minder, Des O’Connor Tonight, and the premiere of Gregory’s Girl.
Then, we get to some adverts. And once again, they’re mostly for sales that are starting on Boxing Day, but with stores that I am less familiar with. There are also some tobacco adverts, something that’s now long gone from TV. I noticed too that there was another advert for Whiskas, this time starring Marmalade who does a little dance before licking the plate clean, how adorable. Do Whiskas spend all their money buying advertising slots on Christmas Day I wonder?
I also noticed that Anglia don’t seem to have a Christmas Line equivalent, but instead we are told about the Anglia Television Holiday Service. After a scary Channel 4 trail, it’s 5:30 and time for ITN with Carol Barnes, introduced by an ancient-looking clock and the silver knight that would hang around on the screen for a couple more years yet. There was still no ITV National Weather at this point, so all viewers get is the local weather voiced by the announcer. Game show Name That Tune is next.
Then there’s a simple advert for a sale at a store called Joshua Taylor, which reminds me of when there was a handbag brand with that name on Bid TV, and Peter Simon once called it by accident for some reason a “Joshua Taylor hamburger”, after which he looked really embarrassed and everyone in the studio started to laugh rather loudly. Other adverts include Kaliber with Billy Connolly.
After another very long pause, we see the Anglia announcer, bow-tie wearing Michael Speake sat next to a big tree in his armchair, it seems that a few regions did this and it is a rather nice touch. Name That Tune begins, hosted by Lionel Blair (who recently had his 90th birthday), and a car could be won. Adverts include sales at Carpet City, Barretts Of Woodbridge, and B & Q. What no DFS? It’s now Coronation Street time.
There are more adverts including Kaliber again, but this time with Lenny Henry. Speake then returns, very pleased about all the entertainment lined up. This was when I’m sure that Coronation Street was only shown on Christmas Day if it fell on a Monday or Wednesday, the only two days it was shown on ITV at that point (Christmas was on a Wednesday in 1985), and there are no hour-long extravaganzas here. The episode begins with Curly and Emily bickering about forks, at which point the video comes to an end.