The YouTube Files – Easter With Thames.

Easter With Thames (ITV, 1989)

At the end of last year I looked back at some continuity and adverts that were shown at Christmas and New Year on various ITV regions and Channel 4 in the 80s. Now I thought that it would be a good idea to look at some adverts that were shown around Easter. So I was pleased to find some adverts that were shown in the Thames region on Easter Monday (because they wouldn’t be on air on Easter Sunday of course) 27 March 1989 that were uploaded to YouTube by “SaxSells” (a very good account that I definitely think is worth subscribing to). Here are some of the highlights. vlcsnap-01095

Most of the adverts in the video are during an afternoon showing of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I must admit that I have never really been a fan of Star Trek so I doubt that I watched these at the time. Adverts include Peperami, Selfridges, and a rather odd one for board game Pictionary, featuring someone who is having a little trouble communicating his answer. vlcsnap-01084

Then we have an advert for pop compilation “Now That’s What I Call Music 14”, featuring 32 of the hottest hits around, the only one that is referenced by David “Kid” Jensen is Bananarama and Lananeeneenoonoo’s classic cover of “Help!”, but then it is the best track on it of course. Available on double album, double cassette, double CD and VHS. vlcsnap-01085

Thames announcer Peter Marshall informs us that Star Trek: The Motion Picture will continue after the news. Then we have a trail for the big Easter Monday evening film, The Man With The Golden Gun. A James Bond film on ITV, who would’ve thought it. We are then told that Channel 4 are about to show the film musical Calamity Jane, which is delightful. vlcsnap-01090

Now this is an odd one, it’s an advert for the second issue of short-lived magazine TV Guide, which launched before the deregulation of TV magazines in March 1991, when you had no choice but to buy both Radio Times and TV Times as no other magazines were able to publish TV listings, even something as basic as “10pm News” wasn’t permitted, so it seems that this magazine didn’t actually feature any listings, only including some interviews and reviews, but it was the first step to getting the regulations changed. vlcsnap-01086

Also notable is that Steven Hartley is on the cover of TV Guide, who was in EastEnders at the time, before going on to appear in many other things including a few episodes of US sitcom Married… With Children, The Bill, and he has also provided voiceovers for about 10,000 trails on radio station TalkSport. After the news is the conclusion of the film, don’t go away. vlcsnap-01087

Then there’s an unbranded trail for soap Home And Away which had launched on ITV only a month or two earlier and became rather popular in this country, although nowadays it’s at the “is that still going?” point with most viewers. Adverts include the return of that man who isn’t very good at playing Pictionary, and a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Then there is a rather odd advert for Head & Shoulders that has been very badly dubbed and seems to feature a vampire (“brilliant, you look awful!”). vlcsnap-01092

The film has now ended, and we are off to Summer Bay after the break. There’s that The Man With The Golden Gun trail again, and another advert for “Now 14”, which apparently does feature some other tracks apart from Bananarama, we also have big hits from Sam Brown, Roy Orbison, Erasure, Phil Collins and Marc Almond, you’ll find them all here. vlcsnap-01088

There is then another advert for McDonald’s (this time promoting Double Features), Mr Dog has been renamed Cesar, and also TV Times, Britain’s biggest-selling magazine called TV Times. Jason Donovan is on the cover this week, how exciting (there had been a big relaunch of Radio Times about a week earlier). Then there’s a trail for a new series of LA Law on Thursday which like all the others features the booming voice of Bruce Hammal. vlcsnap-01094

Then there’s the famous Thames skyline ident (that had been used in various forms since 1969!) and would remain onscreen for about another five months after this, as Peter Marshall out-of-vision introduces the first showing of the day of Home And Away. The ident wouldn’t really be used regularly in this way until 1988. And that’s where the video comes to an end.

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More TV Memories – Coronation Street.

Coronation Street (ITV, 1960-present)

I have been thinking for a while about whether to review this show or not, because it is not exactly one that people won’t remember, and its story is well known, indeed it’s one of the most successful shows in the history of British television. So I have decided to do something a little different, and pick an episode from YouTube to review, along with the adverts featured, and some of my memories. Having already reviewed some less successful soaps including Family Affairs and Night And Day, I thought that I might as well now review one of the big ones.

Although I have watched Coronation Street a lot over the years, I suppose that I am more fond of BBC1’s rival soap EastEnders, partly because it is set in practically the part of London where I live (so proud about that), and I might review that show one day too. Coronation Street (a Granada Production for ITV) has been going for almost 60 years now, and so many famous characters have come and gone throughout the years. The episode that will be reviewed was shown on ITV on 31 July 1985 (episode 2,539, fact fans). This is a little before my time as they say, but I’m sure that as ever there’s plenty of action happening on those cobbles in Weatherfield.

This episode was recorded in the Yorkshire region, and firstly there’s a trail for ITV’s other long-running soap (since 1972) Emmerdale Farm (although I have never been a regular viewer of that one, so I don’t plan to review that). There are also trails for sitcom Duty Free at 8pm, followed by sketch show The Funny Side (including Derek Griffiths having a trousers mishap) at 8:30pm, so the comedy begins later on YTV at 8:30pm (boom-boom). vlcsnap-00293

YTV teases the episode by telling us that tonight Terry gets a mixed reception when he makes Andrea an offer. YTV never had in-vision continuity during this time, and their announcers were the poshest-sounding outside of the BBC. I’m fairly sure that the announcer introducing the episode is the rather unenthusiastic-sounding Paul Lally (who in his career as an actor also appeared in a few episodes, maybe he was disappointed that this wasn’t one of them). vlcsnap-00292

I know that people get annoyed when when people say things like “if they did this story nowadays they’d blow up half the street and someone would be killed off”, let’s just see what’ll happen as we meet the characters (this was back in the days when there were only two episodes a week and the cast was much smaller). Was this a golden era for the show? After the opening sequence, the first scene is with Kevin and Hilda. We also see Ken and Deirdre, maybe they are debating whether they will get married or divorced for about the 17th time, and wondering who is playing Tracy this week. vlcsnap-00525

This was also in the days when scenes on location were still on film, so we go to the Duckworths where Jack is taking a look at his pigeons. They’ve gone off their food, and Vera thinks that Jack’s gone deaf. We also have one of the final appearances of the little-remembered Clayton family, who came and went in barely six months and made little impact with viewers. I thought that one of them was looking into the camera at one point, maybe it was just bad acting. vlcsnap-00526

We also visit Alf’s corner shop, where you are welcome to buy a box of Corn Flakes at any hour of the day. Leather jacket-wearing Mike meets Hilda, and we also visit The Rovers Return which looks rather different to how it does now. Bet and Betty are behind the bar and customers include Vera and Mavis (insert Les Dennis reference here), going on about flamingos hopping about on one leg. Emily takes Tracy ice-skating, but not before Ken reveals some big news, and that’s the end of part one. vlcsnap-00527

The adverts include Persil, Pizza Hut, and Sodastream featuring a young Tony Slattery (who eventually appeared in five episodes of Coronation Street himself), and it’s rather funny, definitely as good as Just A Gigolo. We also have an great example of a type of advert you don’t see much of nowadays, and I didn’t expect it to turn up in this primetime slot – the low-budget local advert. It’s for the car magazine Yorkshire Motor Trader, only 20p. Now it’s time for part two. vlcsnap-00530

And Alf’s got nothing concrete to go on. Jack is now in the Rovers dreaming about mattresses. Tracy has come back from the ice-skating and she didn’t fall over, so she is given an ice-lolly as a treat. Maybe Deirdre will get her those flippin’ ice-skates one day. Emily has to leave quickly as Norman wants his supper. The cliffhanger is Alf insisting that he won’t go over £14,000 for Hilda’s house, cue the credits and the famous theme music. vlcsnap-00537

After this, there are some more adverts including Charlie Brown’s (a tennis tournament), Rowntree’s wobbly jelly, Granada (as in the TV shop), and Persil. I remember I used to watch Coronation Street when it went three episodes a week, then four episodes a week, but I began to lose track around the time it went five episodes a week (along with the increasingly over-hyped stories), and I’m not too familiar with the current cast. vlcsnap-00528

I also remember watching the repeat runs of Coronation Street on satellite channel Granada Plus in the late-90s (beginning at 1976 and ending at 1994) which helped me to learn a lot about the older days, and another repeat run (this time starting at 1986) recently began on ITV3. There have been plenty of episodes released on VHS and DVD, and there is also a comprehensive website with lots of information and trivia. I know that viewers have always felt this it has more warmth and charm than any other soap, and I’m sure that it’ll remain a TV institution for many years to come.

The YouTube Files – An Evening With Central.

An Evening With Central (ITV, 1994)

I’m always on the lookout for old adverts online, so I was pleased to discover a video on YouTube recently which was almost an hour’s worth of adverts and continuity from the Central region that was recorded when someone left a tape running one night. I just can’t resist things like this and I had to review it. It was recorded on 10 April 1994 and uploaded to YouTube by “Betaman” so credit goes to them. There is a lot to get through here, so here are some of my highlights. vlcsnap-00419

We begin with a trail for the film being shown on Wednesday, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Then we have some adverts including McCoy’s, and Kellogg’s Frosties, they’re great. There is an advert for BRMB radio which is interesting because it’s almost identical to the one that would be shown in my region featuring Chris Tarrant promoting his big money Birthday Bonanza competition on his Capital FM Breakfast Show, I didn’t know other stations did it too. It’s not a silly gimmick. vlcsnap-00420

We then have an advert for Whiskas which stars Smokey the cat. The Daily Express could have your head in a spin as they are running a competition with a star prize of £1million. Then there are trails for Phillip Schofield’s game show Talking Telephone Numbers, and sitcom The 10%ers, from the same team behind Red Dwarf. It ran for two series and I would like to review it but there seem to be no full editions online. vlcsnap-00421

There is also a trail for an hour-long edition of Coronation Street, designed to coincide with the first edition of BBC1’s EastEnders shown on a Monday after going to three episodes a week. Adverts include Rolo, Clorets with Hale And Pace, and a ruined blouse, before a trail for The Bill, and then a Central cake ident going into an episode of Prisoner: Cell Block H from 1979. vlcsnap-00428

This features adverts including Pringles and Hugh Dennis for BT. There is then a trail for soap Shortland Street, along with a rather scary Tango advert, and Kellogg’s Bran Flakes. After a trail for Class Act, we then have an ITN summary which gives us a chance to meet the very exciting Phil Roman, before another Central cake ident going into the next programme. vlcsnap-00433

There is then another scary Tango advert, along with Nestle Clusters, tastes nice. We then have a trail for a repeat of the first episode of Heartbeat, followed by an advert for Chatterbox (the only 0898 phoneline advert in this video, I thought that there would be a lot more of them), and then we have another Central cake ident going into The ITV Chart Show, hooray! vlcsnap-00435

Then we have an advert for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes that is interesting as it seems to be a parody of a programme viewers might’ve been familiar with if they watched late-night ITV a lot during this time, the low-budget cookery show G*t St*ff*d!! with what appears to be the woman who was in sitcom Spaced. Considering how precious the production team seem to be about the show, seemingly spending most of their time nowadays removing clips of it from YouTube (as I discovered to my cost), I wonder how they got away with that (It also reminds me of when there was a repeat run around 2002/2003 and I visited the show’s official website which just seemed to consist of one page of text in Comic Sans which seems about right). vlcsnap-00436

There are also adverts for Cadbury’s Fruit And Nut, Peugeot with those two women, and BRMB radio again. Les really wants to give away £5,000! When then have one of those music compilation adverts, this one features the greatest rock tracks on 6 CDs, call now. The ITV Chart Show ends, and we have another music compilation advert, this time for “The Emotion Collection” with 24 original songs. vlcsnap-00437

After another ITN summary with Phil, it’s time for Riviera (don’t ask), and the realisation that it must be about 3am by now but there are still plenty of adverts around, if not viewers. We also have a trail for Central Sports Special, with crucial points at stake in the football, before a few more short shows including Night Shift which I think managed to have a production team even smaller than G*t St*ff*d!! if such a thing is possible. We conclude with Jobfinder and an advert for a bed that looks like the LWT symbol. Goodnight. vlcsnap-00438

More TV Memories – Another Afternoon With CITV.

Another Afternoon With CITV (CITV, 1993)

Last month I did a piece looking back at some programmes and adverts that were shown during CITV one afternoon. This was very well received, and indeed it’s currently my most viewed blog piece of 2019. I remembered that I did record another afternoon of CITV in full, so I thought that it would be a good idea to review that as well. I’m fairly sure that it was recorded on 15 April 1993 in the Carlton region, here are some of the highlights. vlcsnap-00174

We begin with some of the break before the start of CITV, which includes an advert for a partwork about The Animals Of Farthing Wood, a cartoon that was actually shown regularly on CBBC at the time, so it seems to a little unusual to promote it here. Also featuring is Galaxy chocolate and Vortex, a bleach which helps out toilets that are full of noisy germs thanks to its patented thickening system, much to the relief of Michael Fenton-Stevens. vlcsnap-00185

We also have Kellogg’s Coco Pops (which I have never liked myself) and its invisible jigsaw free gift. CITV begins with a trail, there are plenty of great shows to enjoy, made for you. We are then welcomed by Steven Ryde who is now a couple of months into his five-year stint behind the microphone. It’s a Thursday and there’s plenty to come, but as we’ll see the emphasis seems to be more on what’s coming tomorrow. Today’s programmes are Garfield And Friends, A Disgraced Antipodean Didgeridoo Player’s Cartoon Club, and Tiny Toon Adventuresvlcsnap-00186

After Garfield And Friends ends, there’s a trail for a programme coming on Monday all about the environment called Go Wild. Adverts in this break include Burger King, Snickers, Kellogg’s Frosties, and Fruit-Tella, which has been classified by the The Really Juicy Board Of Classification apparently, and it also features a song about the joys of Fruit-Tella that is almost to the tune of Right Said Fred’s “I’m Too Sexy”. vlcsnap-00188

We also have adverts for computer game Super Mario Land 2 on the Nintendo Game Boy featuring the floating head of Wario and his horrible laugh, Monster Munch with a free gift for your bike, and the pool-playing Munch Bunch Pot Shots and their yoghurt. Then there is a trail for cartoon Tale Spin that is coming tomorrow, followed by a pair of goldfish who introduce the next programme which features some classic Warner Brothers cartoons. vlcsnap-00189

Then we have the CITV Word Of The Day which is “participate”. There is some big excitement about the major event coming tomorrow though, the start of the fifth and final series of acclaimed drama Press Gang! Julia Sawalha and Dexter Fletcher are back. I recently got this on DVD as I do remember watching it, and I plan to review it on here some time soon. Tiny Toon Adventures is next. vlcsnap-00203

We have some more adverts including a few repeats of the ones shown earlier such as the Burger King Kids Club Meal with its free mystery gift, along with the return of The Robinsons Gang who I presume are still sucking on their oranges. We also get adverts for Thorpe Park (I must admit I’ve never been myself), Kinder’s Teeny Terrapins (hand-painted as they’re extra special), and McCain’s Oven Chips, healthy and great. vlcsnap-00213

After a trail for drama series Runaway Bay on Monday (one that I don’t really remember watching myself), we have another creative CITV ident going into Tiny Toon Adventures starring Plucky Duck. We then see a girl who is very keen to tell us about CITV, before being told once again that Tale Spin and Press Gang are coming tomorrow, they really are. Steven informs us that we’d have to be off our trolley to miss any of it. vlcsnap-00214

Although I recorded lots more CITV clips and adverts over the years, I don’t have any more full afternoons, and I never recorded a CBBC afternoon in full, but I hope you enjoyed this look back over 25 years ago.

The YouTube Files – A Night Down Under.

A Night Down Under (ITV, 1997)

This is a collection of programmes and adverts that caught my interest. This is because they are from A Night Down Under, a special theme night that was shown on ITV around midnight-6am on 26 January 1997 to celebrate Australia Day. These clips were recorded in the ITV Central region and uploaded to YouTube by “Axion”, and I remember that I recorded some of this night myself (in the LWT region), here are some of the highlights. vlcsnap-00043

Inbetween the shows we had an insight into Australian life as we said G’day to presenter Jonathan Coleman who was also on Virgin Radio at the time (and I think I’m right in saying he was actually born in Hackney, which definitely isn’t in Australia), and throughout the night there was a chance to see some of the culture along with some TV shows that are popular down under. vlcsnap-00030

As it’s past midnight, we begin with the famous advert for Chat Back, that must have been shown on every other break on ITV night time from about 1993 to 2000. “0891 50 50 50” indeed. This service may involve a long call. Adverts also include Kellogg’s Rice Krispies (that sounds like it’s voiced by Chris Evans), and the MFI sale. But it’s not even Boxing Day! vlcsnap-00046

Then there’s an advert that I can’t help think has been deliberately placed here as it’s for Foster’s, during the time that it was advertised by the Aussie duo Roy and HG. I think I’m right in saying that not long after this they got their own comedy show that was only shown in the ITV Anglia region at around midnight, so if you live and Norwich and like gags about Vegemite you’re in luck. “Tickle it you wrigglers!” is also a catchphrase that was probably said by no-one ever. vlcsnap-00048

Also featuring is Peperami, excitement as News Of The World has a free gift of a poster of that bloke off EastEnders, and what must be about the 100th advert for Flash with Karl Howman, it does the tough bits so you don’t have to. Following a few more adverts (but none for Kanga Brew unfortunately), we have a mishap as instead of going into the next show, we get some colour bars on screen instead. vlcsnap-00112

Eventually it turns up though, and it’s Shark Bay, a parody of Australian soaps, including Shane off Home And Away, how amusing. After a break including another advert for Foster’s, we go into what was one of the highlights of the night for me, and the reason that I set the video. It’s the first ever episode of soap Home And Away from 1988! This ran on ITV from 1989-2000, before moving to Channel 5 in 2001 where it remains to this day. vlcsnap-00118

After a few more adverts (including Chat Back yet again Kellogg’s Frosted Wheats), we see the thrilling cliffhanger at the end of Home And Away, I can’t wait for the next episode. We then meet a few more people having a boogie with Jono, but this is where the video ends, so we don’t get to see the rest of the night which included a concert from Crowded House in Sydney, an episode of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo, and some rugby highlights.

The YouTube Files – A Morning With TV-am.

A Morning With TV-am (TV-am, 1988)

After some of my recent pieces looking back at TV adverts were successful, I thought that I would do another one. I was pleased to find a full edition of TV-am on YouTube courtesy of Gavin Martin, and it was recorded on 16 November 1988. This piece will concentrate on the adverts that were shown, but there will also be some comments about a few other things that are notable.

The first few years of TV-am were rather traumatic as has been well documented, with many struggles to fill advert breaks in the early days, but they were in a much better situation by this point after almost six years on air, the format had settled down. TV-am begins at 6am and the first hour is The Morning Programme featuring the latest news, sport, business and so on. vlcsnap-00923

The first break is at about 6:16am (I was never very good at being able to tell the time by TV-am’s onscreen clock) featuring only a couple of adverts, but there is a rather odd one for Wisdom toothbrushes. The next break is at about 6:40am and features one of the highlights from this video, an advert that I remember for the Early Learning Centre featuring a rather odd talking doll. vlcsnap-00930

The next break includes Ross (a lot of these adverts seem to be voiced by Chris Tarrant), Thomson with Cilla Black, Sellotape’s special crystals, a bowlful of Corn Flakes and the excitement of Rolo which has one extra free. At 7am we go into the second hour and the start of Good Morning Britain which is the main segment of TV-am and features Mike Morris among the hosts. vlcsnap-00931

Following Gyles Brandreth’s postbag and Huckleberry Hound, the next break is at about 7:30am, and features lots of adverts for children’s toys. I don’t think it was half-term, maybe the Christmas rush was about to begin. The only trail during TV-am for a programme coming later on ITV is for Des O’Connor Tonight with guests including the chart-topping Five Star and Les Dennis. vlcsnap-00932

Then after yet another news update, adverts include the Bed Bugs board game (I think I had that one), Commodore Amiga, Tyco Super Dough and Transformers. The celebrity guest being interviewed on the sofa that day was the singer Tiffany. Then there are more toy adverts including Super Cup Football (I want one for Christmas!), McDonald’s, Perfection (this one looks like it’s from about ten years earlier), Baby Secrets, Yawnies, Hobby Girl… well there are definitely no sale adverts shown endlessly here. vlcsnap-00938

The first break after 8am brings us more even toy adverts including Fisher-Price and Grand Prix racing (it’s faster than the real thing), I am starting to think that this is a children’s channel. Then there are even more for Nosy Bears, Mr Chimney Pot (whatever that was), Ghost Castle (another board game that I’m fairly sure I had), Cup Final, Spirograph, Tuneyville Choo-Choo, Tesco (even they’re promoting toys), and squeezed inbetween all of this is another weather update. vlcsnap-00939

Then we have a rather rare non-toy one for McCain’s Moon Waffles, tasty. We are now past 9am an into the final segment of the morning which is After Nine. Just a couple of short breaks here featuring cheese and one last lot of toys before it’s exercise time with Lizzie. And with that weird eggcup copyright picture, that’s the end for another day. vlcsnap-00941

CITV Memories – An Afternoon With CITV.

An Afternoon With CITV (CITV, 1993)

After having a look back at various continuity clips recently, I remembered that a long time ago I left a tape running to record a whole afternoon of CITV, so here’s a look at some of the adverts that featured along with the shows. I’m fairly sure that it was recorded on 18 February 1993 in the Carlton region. Will there be lots of adverts for toys and things like that, let’s find out. vlcsnap-00931

We begin with the break just before CITV when Blockbusters has ended at around 3:45pm. There’s an advert for Daz featuring Danny Baker who has decided to ask Diane from Coventry if she would take their challenge. And no, she wouldn’t swap her Daz for anything else. Also featuring is Pampers with rather alarming references to clammy bottoms, and the soundtrack to ITV drama series Head Over Heelsvlcsnap-00910

CITV then starts, and we’re in the very early days of the host being Steven Ryde out-of-vision (although the symbol that was introduced in 1991 was retained) who would be behind the microphone for the next five years, before going off to work behind the scenes in children’s TV. There was a different look used for every day of the week and as it’s a Thursday there are some wooden things everywhere. Today includes Where’s Wally?, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Mike & Angelovlcsnap-00915

But now it’s time for Starfax, today featuring Angelo from Mike & Angelo, and we learn lots of things including he is approximately 3,000 nanoscroobles old, and his best friend is Concita Wobblybots. Adverts include Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes have an offer to get a free BT phonecard worth £2. Then there is some fancy yoghurt which is peach and maracuya flavour (I still don’t know what a maracuya is) and the Burger King Kids Club. vlcsnap-00917

There is a trail for cartoon Tale Spin that is coming tomorrow, and Steven almost does a spoonerism (“obnexious nophew”) going into a series 5 episode of Mike & Angelo, accompanied by a lively animation (I did enjoy how they fiddled around with the CITV symbol at this time), people can’t wait to watch. Guest stars this week include John “Ashley, I say, Ashley!” Savident and Joe “Spatz” Greco. A Carlton programme for ITV. vlcsnap-00920

Next is the first in a new series of Tiny Toon Adventures. There are adverts for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies with a free gift of a Red Nose Bike Reflector, plus strange ones for Sun Valley and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. CITV isn’t only on weekdays though, we get a trail for what’s on offer on Saturdays and Sundays with What’s Up Doc? and The Disney Club at 9:25am. Cartoon Time with Bugs Bunny is next. vlcsnap-00924

Most notable in this break is a revised advert for Robinsons, removing the song which featured the memorable lyric “the bison sucks on his orange“. Then there is a trail for Just Us, the drama series featuring the Clarksons and the Holdsworths, coming on Friday. Tomorrow’s treats include Thomas The Tank Engine, Zzzap!, Tale Spin and Just Us. That’s all for now! vlcsnap-00929