TV Years (Sky One, 2001-2002)
Rather famously in the early-2000s, there was a time when there were a lot of nostalgia documentaries and list shows, so for example, the debate about what the 46th greatest children’s TV show was or the best toy of 1979 could finally be settled. Sky One also did some series like this, although the idea was becoming a little stale by this point, and almost lapsed into self-parody.
In every edition of TV Years, there would be a look back at some popular shows, and the stories behind them. The 80s and 90s were covered, I do remember that there was a piece about the launch of Bullseye in the 1981 edition, and I also spotted some of an edition online that was about 1992. About four or five shows would be featured, and a wide variety of people contributed.
These included a few people who actually appeared in the shows, plus whoever else they could get hold of. Among them were Peter Kay, Bill Bailey, and Johnny Vegas, who always seemed to turn up in these type of shows, plus others, including Jim Bowen (who definitely didn’t seem to think that everything was “marvellous”), and Harry Enfield (who seemingly had signed a 20-year contract with Sky and had to be given something else to do after his sketch show ended).
There were even appearances from Mel And Sue, and I could be wrong, but some of the observations did seem to have the “watch a short clip and them just describe what happens” tone. And there were the usual “what were the prizes about on Bullseye?” and “do you remember being sat at home watching Gladiators?”-type comments, but you have to remember that even these were new jokes once.
But overall, TV Years was interesting for the “I wonder what’ll be featured next” element, and there were a few good memories in among the clichés. So not long after, Sky One decided to do it all again with Pop Years, which took a look back at the biggest pop music of the 80s and 90s, including some of the singers who were on the scene, plus the usual commenters again.