Video And Chips (CITV, 1985-1987)
One genre of TV that I have found interesting is shows about computing from the 80s. There were a lot of them, and I have reviewed some, including the rather odd and short-lived Chip In. I thought that I would would take one last look at these type of shows, as this was CITV’s contribution. I must admit I don’t remember watching it at the time, but having seen some online I feel that it should be featured here.
I have also enjoyed taking a look back at old computer magazines from the 80s online, and there have been plenty of articles and features that caught my attention, mostly consisting of developers going on about how to create sprites without running out of memory, and that feeling of having to wait to play a game while the cassette loads, and so on. I hope that I am not being too romantic or cliched about this kind of thing, but plenty of gamers from that era should have had those experiences.
Video And Chips (what a nice pun, and not to be confused with Whizzer And Chips) had a few presenters, the most notable being Mick Brown, who would go on to further success as a radio presenter and also team up with Pat Sharp for some hit singles, and Sonya Saul, who I remember contributed to the entertainment reports in the early days of Carlton’s London Tonight, and I didn’t realise she was on TV as early as this (she might have also hosted CITV’s 90s computer game show Bad Influence but I’m not sure).
The show didn’t just feature computing, but technology in general, and if you follow their advice, you’ll soon finally be able to advance off level one. As well as plenty of games, where using blue-screen technology the presenters would be added to them, there would be a look at how things like robots and keyboards work (and even keyboard-playing robots), and also how they could be made to make some rather odd noises. The keyboards that is, not the presenters. Everybody will want one for Christmas I’m sure. They’ll soon take over the world!
There was also a chance to get interactive, but not by contacting a website in those days, you could enter competitions, send off for a free factsheet, or you could even phone a number. I don’t know if there was a scientist on the other end of the line eagerly waiting to solve all your problems though. There were two series of Video And Chips, and once again it does have to be said just how far technology has advanced in the years since, it really is remarkable.