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

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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

The YouTube Files – New Year With Carlton.

New Year With Carlton (ITV, 1998)

Moving on from Christmas, here’s a look at some adverts and continuity that were shown on the last day of the year. Although the video doesn’t go right up to midnight, there is still plenty here that’s worth reviewing. It was shown in the Carlton region on 31 December 1998 (almost 20 years ago now) and it was uploaded to YouTube by “randomVHStat”. As always, here are some of the highlights. vlcsnap-00887

We begin with adverts during Emmerdale (sponsored by Toyota). And I am not even kidding, the first advert in the break is for the DFS sale. Well they didn’t hang about did they? There are lots of adverts for sales beginning on New Year’s Day in these breaks, maybe even more than for ones that began on Boxing Day. There is also the Millennium Experience. This reminds me of when people were going to go on about “the millennium” for the next 12 months, what a time that was. vlcsnap-00890

Courts then tell us that they’re going to be open on New Year’s Day, that’s great. Something else that is advertised a lot at this time of year is partworks. The first issue is always at a reduced price, does anyone continue to buy them after that? Why not collect them all. There are also adverts telling you where you should go for your holiday in ’99, along with the annoying Sainsbury’s advert with John Cleese. vlcsnap-00892

After Emmerdale ends, The Bill is coming next. But before that, there’s a cryptic McDonald’s advert (all will be revealed on Saturday 2 January), and yet more sale adverts with massive savings. There is also a trail for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Chris Tarrant which is about to return for another series where people can play for “the biggest cash prize in TV history”. So call now, because the contestant who gets the chance to play tomorrow night might be about to party like it’s 1999. vlcsnap-00893

There’s then a Carlton ident (the Christmas look has left the screen by now, these idents were used until September 1999 when the star symbol was introduced) into The Bill (also sponsored by Toyota). There are yet more sales, that “daddy or chips?” advert, Cable & Wireless, and Daz with Michael Barrymore, who is very pleased that there’s 50% Extra Free (“now that’s a bargain worth catching”). vlcsnap-00894

After The Bill ends, there’s a trail. There’s also an advert for Strongbow with Johnny Vaughan, and then an ident going into The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (sponsored by… you guessed it… Toyota). Another thing about these adverts is just how many of them contain what Teletext page you should look at for more information instead of a website. Chris Evans then turns up and tells us who he wants to have a One2One with (groovy, man!), and that’s the end of the video. vlcsnap-00895

The YouTube Files – Christmas With Carlton.

Christmas With Carlton (ITV, 1997)

Well would you believe it, we have a very late entry for this series, as another video that fits all the criteria was uploaded only a day or two ago. So let’s go to the Carlton region (no, come back, it’s worth reading) on 25 December 1997 (a Thursday), courtesy of “Coldclough” on YouTube. There’s plenty of adverts and continuity worth reviewing here, and as ever here are the highlights. vlcsnap-00864

The first breaks are during the evening premiere of Home Alone 2, and once again, there are plenty of sale adverts. Among them are Allders, Harveys, and DFS (just before their advert appeared in every break on Christmas Day). The highlight of them all has to be the one for Courts with Bruce Forsyth, informing us of their great savings, so be there on Boxing Day, it’ll be a cracker. vlcsnap-00853

Among the few non-sale adverts are SpiceWorld: The Movie. I saw this once, and I still don’t think I’ve ever recovered. There is also an advert for M & M’s that is still being shown on TV this year, and it’s now so old it’s been cropped and looks all blurry and horrible, and also plenty of fancy adverts for Daewoo. The film (which was sponsored by a bag of Doritos) then comes to an end. vlcsnap-00857

There is then a promotion for a competition. If you want more information you can look on Teletext, and it ends with the ITV symbol rather awkwardly turned into a Christmas tree. It also features a website address, which looks a little odd alongside a symbol that was introduced in 1989, which makes you realise how long it was used for (it was finally retired from the screen a year later in 1998). vlcsnap-00860

Then there’s a trail for entertainment coming to Carlton in 1998, including The Brit Awards, and, er, Babewatch. The time is almost 9:45pm and Starting Blocks is next. Then there’s a trail for what is coming later tonight, followed by a nice Christmas Carlton ident (these were also used in 1996 and 1998), which featured things such as the “O” turning into a bauble or a snowman. vlcsnap-00862

Starting Blocks (sponsored by Panasonic) was a one-off show looking back at sportspeople before they were famous that was hosted by Chris Tarrant. There are then even more sale adverts, including one for Uno with the guy off Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (I thought he would’ve preferred to be on Tyne Tees!). Then there’s a trail for McCallum, and next is The Bare Necessitiesvlcsnap-00866

There is also a promotion for Christmas Line (still featuring the reindeer character as late as this), supported by Carlton, LWT (Carlton had better relations with LWT than Thames did), and Capital Gold (instead of Capital FM), which is voiced by Chris Tarrant (is this the best work that he could get in the year before Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?). Then there’s a trail for a terrible-looking drama on New Year’s Eve, before another Carlton ident going into comedy-drama (and what appears to be a knock-off of The Full Monty) The Bear Necessities, at which point the video ends. vlcsnap-00867

I’ll be back with a review of the year soon. Until then… Happy Christmas!

The YouTube Files – Christmas With Meridian.

Christmas With Meridian (ITV, 1999)

This review will probably be the last in the series, but it’s another look back at a bumper-sized continuity clip from ITV on Christmas Day (to make up for it I might go on to review some clips from Boxing Day or New Year’s Eve soon). We’re off to the Meridian region on 25 December 1999, almost 20 years ago now which is rather hard to believe. This video was uploaded by “Coldclough” to YouTube, and here are some of the highlights. vlcsnap-00850

Well I was hoping that the breaks would contain some frequently repeated low-budget local sale adverts, and I wasn’t let down. Although there were plenty for the likes of Homebase, Magnet, PC World, and so on, one that stood out to me was for Landmark that featured a Tony Slattery lookalike getting rather overexcited by their prices. Also being rather old school were Reading Wholesale (no fancy music for them) along with their price promise. vlcsnap-00842

There are also plenty of computer adverts, including Intel who have everything you need for a great internet experience, and Tiny. Also featuring is the famous Werther’s Original “now I’m the granddad” advert (which I don’t remember running as late as this), featuring uncommonly good butter-candy. And yes, there is also the DFS sale, featuring “More More More” (what an unusual choice of song). vlcsnap-00847

This video comes from about a month or two after the launch of the second ITV corporate era (and also from the early days of Digital TV, but I don’t think that many people had an OnDigital box at that point). After A Touch Of Frost ends, there’s a preview of the next episode, followed by a rather complicated Yorkshire endcap, and also a trail for the next series of London’s Burning that’s coming soon to ITV. vlcsnap-00848

Then there’s a brief promotion for “Spirit Of The South”, a slogan that had been used ever since the launch of Meridian at the beginning of 1993, featuring the excitement of ice hockey players in Basingstoke. After a trail for Bank Holiday Monday, we then get a heart-filled generic Meridian ident (not sure who the out-of-vision announcer is). It seems that it isn’t a special Christmas variation, and it reminded me that LWT thought that these we so dull by comparison to their previous looks they dropped them after a few months. vlcsnap-00849

The ident is introducing Who Wants To Milk A Franchise To Death… er, I mean Who Wants To Be A Christmas Millionaire with Chris Tarrant (sponsored by Jacob’s Twiglets), which was at the peak of its popularity as this point and was returning for its third edition of the evening. Jim from Beckenham is in the chair. Just who is the comedian with the chunky glasses? It’s for £8,000. However, this is the point where the video comes to an end. vlcsnap-00851

The YouTube Files – Christmas With Central.

Christmas With Central (ITV, 1988)

Let’s continue this look at what some of the ITV regions had to offer viewers on Christmas Day in the 80s. It is about 3:55pm on 25 December 1988 (a Sunday) in the Central region and they are about to show the premiere of The Empire Strikes Back, although I personally don’t have much interest in the Star Wars films. To see what adverts and continuity featured, thanks goes to “thesearethedays” on YouTube, and here are some of the highlights.

We begin with the Central ident. In-vision announcers had long-gone from this region by this point, to be replaced by the fancy computer-generated “cake” symbol which would be used for almost a decade more until 1998. This isn’t a special Christmas variation though. As Central is one of the bigger ITV regions, I imagine that they won’t have much trouble filling their breaks, especially during a much anticipated film like this! vlcsnap-00798

Will there be any epics? Well, adverts include Kaliber with Billy Connolly, Scotch VHS tapes, and a McDonald’s advert featuring the man himself Ronald! And yes, there are some sale adverts. These include MFI, but you’ll have to wait to grab the bargains until Boxing Day. We also get a Ronald-free McDonald’s advert, another one to feature a pre-fame Denise Van Outen if I remember correctly. vlcsnap-00803

One advert that really brings back memories is for Quavers, featuring Colin, who likes all of the curly flavours. Whoever thought that bacon flavour Quavers would catch on though. Whilst watching these breaks I was rather surprised by the lack of Enn Reitel, as based on most of the videos that I’ve seen online he seemed to voice every other advert on TV around this time. vlcsnap-00804

Then there’s a great advert for Philips. Having helped to develop the sound quality of the CD, they have decided to go one better and add pictures too. This means that when you want to watch the video for “Misfit” by Curiosity Killed The Cat (directed by Andy Warhol, fact fans), Ben will jump out of the screen and be in the room with you! That’s modern technology. vlcsnap-00805

And then, we’ve waited a long time for it, but there’s an advert for the DFS sale! Everything is just £129 it seems. Sale starts 10am Boxing Day, ends probably around mid-June. There are also adverts for sales at Allied, Dudleys, the excitement of The Holiday And Travel Fair ’89, and a memorable one for KitKat with a pop group that are not very good… they’ll go a long way! vlcsnap-00815

Then after The Empire Strikes Back ends (or the credits are cut off at least), when get an animated Central endcap (also used on various shows at the time including Bullseye), followed by a trail for Boxing Day’s James Bond film Octopussy, featuring the cake in a nice Christmas scene. Adverts include Brooke Bond with what appears to be John “Boycie” Challis (without a moustache?), an annoying Walkers advert, and Texas’s end-of-year sell out. Then as we start to go into the evening, the video ends. Merry Christmas! vlcsnap-00825

The YouTube Files – Christmas With LWT.

Christmas With LWT (ITV, 1987)

This is a look back at what another ITV region had to offer on Christmas Day in the 80s. Having looked back at Thames, I thought that I would review some adverts and continuity shown on LWT. Now of course, this region didn’t get many opportunities to be on air at Christmas, and as 25 December 1987 was a Friday, they only had about half the day. The clips are from various people on YouTube including “dunebasher1981”, and here are some of the highlights.

Although I wasn’t going to review Thames again, I do want to point out that the first in-vision announcement after the end of TV-am at 9:25am is also online, and it features Philip Elsmore who begins “Ho-ho-ho! Well you can tell that I’m in a good mood!”. We then go on to the afternoon film Bedknobs And Broomsticks which began at 4:35pm, which means that the usual Thames/LWT handover at around 5:15pm happened during the film. vlcsnap-00781

So as the third break during Bedknobs And Broomsticks is the first to be shown on LWT, let’s start there. It’s a Friday evening, and there will be lots of people watching, is there anything fancy on offer. Well there’s an advert for McDonald’s, but Ronald doesn’t feature. And of course, there are lots of sale adverts including World Of Leather and Selfridges, where there are millions of bargains to bag (starts Monday!), and we also have a weird advert for Alka-Seltzer and meet the Oxo family who are all having a good time. vlcsnap-00784

After skipping past Blind Date, we then go to the next clip, which features the end of Coronation Street. This is a famous episode as it is the final one to feature Hilda Odgen. It is also significant because it was the first time that three episodes had been shown in a week, it was the highest-rating episode ever, and it was also the first to be shown on LWT. So we get the views of the out-of-vision announcer Peter Lewis (“what an emotional moment”). vlcsnap-00785

Then we have a trail for Boxing Day (LWT have that day all to themselves as it’s a Saturday), including The Sleeping Beauty, Bobby Davro’s TV Annual ’88 (featuring Davro as various pop stars in a parody of ITV’s music show The Roxy as The Poxy, how marvellous), the TV premiere of Ghostbusters, and Dame Edna’s Christmas Experience. Next is It’ll Be Alright On Christmas Night (later repackaged for repeats as It’ll Be Alright On The Night 5) where there will be plenty of cock-ups guaranteed. vlcsnap-00787

We then have more adverts including a rather bad one for Wimpy, plus a promotion for Christmas Line (“open when London closes”). Bobby Davro then returns accompanied by some nice graphics to kindly wish all LWT viewers a Merry Christmas (I thought his shows were made by TVS?). Adverts in It’ll Be Alright On Christmas Night (when there were only two breaks in hour-long shows) include Courts, who are having their biggest-ever sale (aren’t they always). vlcsnap-00792

There are also adverts for tobacco, Heineken featuring a young Harry Enfield, and the news that you can do it when you B & Q it. It’s now coming up to 9pm and a new episode of Inspector Morse is next, but before that, there’s another trail for Ghostbusters (being shown on TV for the first time, honest) and Dame Edna’s Christmas Experience, plus adverts for the AA and Radio Rentals, before another Christmas Line plug, Arthur Daley wishes us a Happy Christmas, and then the video comes to an end. vlcsnap-00794