Do It (CITV, 1984-1988)
This is a CITV show from the 80s that I don’t really remember watching that much at the time, but some of the clips that I have seen online (uploaded to YouTube by “TheMeakers”) have been very enjoyable so I felt that it was worthy of a review here. Do It (a TVS Production) was set in an office for the magazine The Belston Weekly (“The People’s Paper”) which was created and originally hosted by Sheelagh Gilbey (who also hosted a few other shows around this time including BBC2’s epic schools series Zig Zag).
Every edition would feature things that viewers could also do themselves at home that were under various titles, so making food would be under “eat it” and so on (usually accompanied by an entertaining song). One of the highlights of the show were the contributions from the great Neil Buchanan in some of his earliest TV appearances (he was also featuring in CITV Saturday Morning show Number 73 around the same time).
Along with Sheelagh, Neil would show off some of his great creative ideas (including what could be considered to be his first Big Art Attack), and his artistic skills would be put to further use in later years when he went on to host the classic CITV show Art Attack for 17 years. I couldn’t help but notice that amusingly he also seemed to have the same hairstyle as Sheelagh.
And despite all of the chaos that surrounded them, the staff always managed to get the Do It supplement in the pages of The Belston Weekly filled with ideas and sent to the presses with moments to spare. And well, the circulation went through the roof. But that wasn’t all. Viewers were also able to send off for a copy of the supplement, I hope that they were able to keep up with the demand in Maidstone. There was also a book released.
Do It also featured some rather bizarre moments including Sheelagh doing a dance that even Madonna herself couldn’t better, and a rap about an old glove (an earworm if ever there was one). Every edition also began and ended with the excellent theme music. However, there was much despair from viewers (probably) when Sheelagh didn’t feature in the fifth and what turned out to be final series, despite their efforts the new hosts couldn’t keep things going. You just can’t get the staff nowadays.
There doesn’t seem to be too much online about Do It, and it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry, but it definitely seems to have influenced the later long-running TVS Productions for CITV Art Attack and How 2. From what I’ve read a lot of people do still seem to be rather fond of the show, and the imagination that was in the ideas was impressive.