The YouTube Files – Christmas With Central.

Christmas With Central (ITV, 1988)

Let’s continue this look at what some of the ITV regions had to offer viewers on Christmas Day in the 80s. It is about 3:55pm on 25 December 1988 (a Sunday) in the Central region and they are about to show the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, although I personally don’t have much interest in the Star Wars films. To see what adverts and continuity featured, thanks goes to “thesearethedays” on YouTube, and here are some of the highlights.

We begin with the Central ident. In-vision announcers had long-gone from this region by this point, to be replaced by the fancy computer-generated “cake” symbol which would be used for almost a decade more until 1998. This isn’t a special Christmas variation though. As Central is one of the bigger ITV regions, I imagine that they won’t have much trouble filling their breaks, especially during a much anticipated film like this! vlcsnap-00798

Will there be any epics? Well, adverts include Kaliber with Billy Connolly, Scotch VHS tapes, and a McDonald’s advert featuring the man himself Ronald! And yes, there are some sale adverts. These include MFI, but you’ll have to wait to grab the bargains until Boxing Day. We also get a Ronald-free McDonald’s advert, another one to feature a pre-fame Denise Van Outen if I remember correctly. vlcsnap-00803

One advert that really brings back memories is for Quavers, featuring Colin, who likes all of the curly flavours. Whoever thought that bacon flavour Quavers would catch on though. Whilst watching these breaks I was rather surprised by the lack of Enn Reitel, as based on most of the videos that I’ve seen online he seemed to voice every other advert on TV around this time. vlcsnap-00804

Then there’s a great advert for Philips. Having helped to develop the sound quality of the CD, they have decided to go one better and add pictures too. This means that when you want to watch the video for “Misfit” by Curiosity Killed The Cat (directed by Andy Warhol, fact fans), Ben will jump out of the screen and be in the room with you! That’s modern technology. vlcsnap-00805

And then, we’ve waited a long time for it, but there’s an advert for the DFS sale! Everything is just £129 it seems. Sale starts 10am Boxing Day, ends probably around mid-June. There are also adverts for sales at Allied, Dudleys, the excitement of The Holiday And Travel Fair ’89, and a memorable one for KitKat with a pop group that are not very good… they’ll go a long way! vlcsnap-00815

Then after The Empire Strikes Back ends (or the credits are cut off at least), when get an animated Central endcap (also used on various shows at the time including Bullseye), followed by a trail for Boxing Day’s James Bond film Octopussy, featuring the cake in a nice Christmas scene. Adverts include Brooke Bond with what appears to be John “Boycie” Challis (without a moustache?), an annoying Walkers advert, and Texas’s end-of-year sell out. Then as we start to go into the evening, the video ends. Merry Christmas! vlcsnap-00825

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