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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.