The YouTube Files – Another Evening With Oracle.

Another Evening With Oracle (Channel 4, 1992)

Following on from my recent look back at what was on offer one evening on Oracle on ITV, I thought that I would now have a look at what Channel 4 had to offer. This is on the evening of 20 December 1992 (one day after the previous review), not long before the closure at the end of that year, and again this video was uploaded to YouTube by “WEBFAX”.

The pages 500-699 are covered (pages 700-899 were never used, apart from 888 for subtitles), and 400-499 was Channel 4’s ancillary service 4-Tel (I might review those pages one day too). Whereas ITV covered things like news and sport, on Channel 4 you would get things like entertainment news, things for younger viewers, adverts, and so on. Again, I’ve picked out some of my highlights.

We begin with some finance pages, so if you are rich and are eager to know where the FTSE is, then this is for you. There are also some city news updates, that are provided by ITN, although not much seems to be happening at the moment, maybe that’s a good thing? And then we come on to the pages that I probably looked at back then.

First there is Beat Box, featuring pages about pop music, including trivia, charts, and a gig guide. It is determined by their critics that the album of the year is “Copper Blue” by Sugar. Then there are some children’s pages, featuring lots of animated pictures, rather terrible jokes, and stories. And don’t forget to take a look at the advent calendar too.

The next section is Buzz, featuring computer games, pen pals, competitions, all those kind of things. There is also the soap Park Avenue, which featured lots of episodes and characters, and as usual it’s all happening. And there is also Debbie’s Diary and Josh’s Diary. These pages were popular as they featured a teenager trying to deal with life.

I’m not sure why horse racing was featured separately from the other sport news on ITV, I suppose it was because they could have enough pages to fit in all of those ludicrous bookmaker “this’ll romp home!” adverts. There are also results, and columns from tipsters, although they all seem to be on holiday at the moment. Diversions is a section about hobbies, including pages on angling, chess, and recipes.

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Then there are film, theatre, and video reviews, followed by more money pages. On p669 for some reason, there is a picture of snooker, even though there is nothing else on that page. Was this an advert or a test page? It’s rather unusual. The last pages feature engineering and transmitter news, the A-Z index, and just like on ITV, a farewell from everyone at Oracle.

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