Art Attack Scrapbook (CITV, 1997)
One of the most popular shows on CITV throughout the 90s was Art Attack, the big art show that always gave viewers’ eyeballs a shock. I have already done a few pieces looking back at this great show, including the rather bizarre unaired pilot that was made three decades ago now, and the Christmas specials. But I thought that I could squeeze one more piece out about the show by looking back at yet another variation.
In 1996 there were a couple of best-ofs, where host Neil Buchanan took the opportunity to take a walk down memory lane and look back at some of his favourite moments that seemed to do rather well with viewers. So in 1997 there was a full series called Art Attack Scrapbook that featured lots of highlights. One difference would be that Neil started every edition by saying “this is in my scrapbook”.
Neil would then come on with his scrapbook and treat us to having a look at some great moments from the past seven years (and I bet that Neil didn’t realise that Art Attack still had about a decade to run at this point). Now of course I don’t know if Neil really did keep his favourite ideas in a scrapbook or if he put them in a frame and hanged them on his wall, but he should be proud of what he achieved.
Looking back at some of these pieces made me realise that the “I’d like to have a go at doing that myself” factor was as big as ever, as I’m sure it was for many others too. And despite every edition beginning with the usual “Pencil And Paper Alert”, Neil actually didn’t use those materials very often and tried out all types of things, and he constantly went on about squidgy bottles of glue and deciding what colour he would paint everything.
There would also be the occasional Quick Art Attack, a few ideas from schools, and Neil also shared some of his Big Art Attacks which for many viewers were the highlight of the show. After watching, you soon realise how creative you can be with unexpected things like old cardboard boxes. Also occasionally appearing as ever was The Head who opened his scrapbook too, even though he didn’t have any hands.
The best bits of this series were then released on VHS (one of many Art Attack tapes), although I didn’t have that at the time. There were only eight editions in one series of Art Attack Scrapbook made, but I suppose it was a creative way of recycling some old material. Neil clearly had a lot of enthusiasm for making the show, and the ideas are still enjoyable to watch all these years on.