Just For The Record (Ten, 1988-1989)
In the late-80s/early-90s there were a huge amount of Australian soaps shown on British TV, and most of them were rather successful. But they weren’t the only shows from Down Under that were imported to this country around this time. The memory is a little vague on this one, and it doesn’t even have a Wikipedia entry, but you’ll soon discover why I think it deserves to be featured here.
Just For The Record had a rather similar idea to CBBC’s long-running Record Breakers, as people who had taken things to the extreme all around the world were celebrated, whether they held rather unusual records, had achieved daredevil stunts, or remarkable feats of endurance, in the endless aim to go one better. The hosts in the studio were the rather terrifically-named Garry Who and Louise Wallace. They also did various location reports across Australia and beyond along with additional hosts Brett Clements and Geoff Fitzpatrick.
The show’s symbol was the famous discus thrower statue, which also appeared in the studio as a neon sign. Among the highlights of the show though were the opening and closing sequence, where Garry sang the theme song (“it’s the challenge of a lifetime!“) accompanied by two glamorous women. As it was the late-80s, Garry was wearing a grey jacket with rolled-up sleeves and a skinny tie, and he performed the song as if it was a rather emphatic power ballad. Go on, give it some welly!
There was also a rather weird moment at the end of the song where the two women suddenly vanished and Garry looked around with a rather shocked expression on his face. That’s a way to get viewers’ attention, they don’t make them like that nowadays, it was all rather terrific really. And after a report was shown that featured something spectacular about the biggest or the smallest, and so on, Garry (wearing a horrible sweater) would often ponder why people would do such a strange thing, usually whilst chomping an apple.
As for the scheduling, as far as I can remember Just For The Record was only shown in this country in the CITV Summer Mornings slot in the early-90s, and it wasn’t ever shown in the main afternoon strand. I’m also not entirely sure if the show was originally made for children’s TV in Australia. But – just for the record – this was yet another show that I really enjoyed watching when I was younger.