Moviewatch (Channel 4, 1993-1998)
I must admit that I have never really been that interested in films, or TV shows about films, but I do remember watching this one, probably because it was a quirky take on the genre (and it even had an amusing opening sequence featuring someone having a good time at the cinema). I am also fairly sure that it was shown on Sunday evenings for a while, so even thinking about it now gives me that “about to have a bath” feeling.
Moviewatch was the first TV show that I can remember seeing Johnny Vaughan (who I share a birthday with) host, and I did enjoy his style, so I was pleased that he went on to further success and hosted some more shows on Channel 4 in the 90s including The Big Breakfast (where he was particularly entertaining) and Here’s Johnny (the less said about his sitcom the better though).
The format of Moviewatch changed a little over the years, but originally the idea was that every week the show would be in a different place in the UK, and four people (usually oh-so crazy youngsters) would be invited to review the latest films to have been released at the cinema, which was the highlight for me. They would sit in front of a video wall and give their verdict, and we would also see some clips from the film.
Four films would be reviewed in every edition, and at the end the critics would give their score out of ten, and this would be indicted by them waving around a big number, the higher the score, the glossier the number was. Sometimes the opinions could differ somewhat. These would then be added together to give the final score out of 40. The film that had the highest score would be declared the Moviewatch Recommendation Of The Week!
There would also be various features in Moviewatch, including Vaughan’s interviews with various actors and directors about the hottest films around, along with reports from America about what was happening stateside. By the later series things were a little different as the reviewers were all now in the studio alongside Vaughan to give their verdicts as a round table discussion (and Vaughan would say “marvellous” too often). The later series were also made in widescreen, a few years before this became the norm on TV.
I even remember that there was at least one edition of Moviewatch with a celebrity panel, and who wouldn’t want to know what that bloke off that thing made of the film scene? After Moviewatch ended, in the late-90s Vaughan went on to host another series about films called The Johnny Vaughan Film Show that was also shown on Film4. I did enjoy this show, but it’s the kind of thing that you don’t see much of on Channel 4 nowadays.