Saturday Morning Memories – the others (part 3).

Here’s the third and final part of my look back at some more Saturday Morning shows.

SMTV (CITV, 1998-2003) Dear old Ant and Dec became Saturday Morning presenters and ended up being a huge success. I didn’t watch this show that much but I do remember some of the fun games including Challenge Ant and the classic Wonky Donkey. After Ant and Dec left the show they were replaced by some bloke who used to be in Hollyoaks, and then he was replaced by some bloke who used to be in Steps, and it just wasn’t the same. sat9

Swap Shop (CBBC, 1976-1982) One of the earliest CBBC Saturday Morning shows which was groundbreaking with many of its ideas and is still very fondly thought of today by the viewers who watched it, as Noel Edmonds and his telephone invited lots of star guests into the studio.

Teleganticmegavision (CITV, 1996) Another short-lived show that shared its timeslot with It’s Not Just Saturday, although this was one aimed at younger viewers, with Dave and Emma and features including going behind the scenes of various TV shows. sat10

Tiswas (CITV, 1974-1982) One of the all-time classics, as Chris Tarrant and co. cause lots of chaos with buckets of water and flans everywhere. It was so memorable that some of the best highlights were released on VHS and DVD in more recent years and the fun really does come across, terrific stuff.

TX (CITV, 1985) Another short lived show, notable for being hosted by the combination of Sue “Connections” Robbie and Tony Slattery. Also featured a regular game show called Knock Your Block Offsat11

UP2U (CBBC, 1988-1989) A show which ran through the summer for a couple of years when Going Live! was off and hosted by a pre-Blue Peter Anthea Turner and a pre-TOTP Tony Dortie. The title also seemed to invent “text speak” about a decade before it existed.

Wow (CITV, 1996) Yet another CITV Saturday Morning show from 1996, this was one at the sillier end, hosted by Simeon Courtie who had recently left CBBC (I wonder how he revealed the news to his mate Otis the Aardvark), and Sophie Aldred who messed about as vaguely embarrassed pop stars looked on. Also only ran until 11am as it shared the timeslot with The Noisesat12

And that’s it. This is my final look at Saturday Morning children’s TV. I hope that these pieces have brought back some memories of classic shows from throughout the years such as Going Live! and Motormouth. I watched this slot very regularly when I was younger and there were lots of terrific presenters, features, games, puppets and moments that I still think fondly of after all this time.

Comic Memories – Wow!

Here’s a review of another comic from Fleetway. Wow! was rather-short lived, only running from June 1982 to June 1983 and 56 issues, at which point it merged with Whoopee! Although this comic actually closed before I was born, again I was lucky enough to find a couple of issues in a charity shop. Here’s a page-by-page review of one (No, 37, 12 February 1983) with my analysis of the strips and their artists. wow0001

Pages 1 & 2: Shipwreck School. The adventures of some children and their teacher stranded on a desert island, but they still have to learn!

Page 3: Bleep. A short three-panel strip about a robot.

Page 3: Ossie. Another short strip featuring an ostrich and his friends, drawn by the talented Robert Nixon. This page also features contents for the issue and a message from the editor.

Page 4: Here Is The News. A strip featuring short silly stories. I always liked the jokes and drawing style of this strip but unfortunately I haven’t been able to track down who drew it. plonker0001

Page 5: Adam And His Ants. Do you see, very funny. The ants would always come to the rescue. wow0002

Page 6: Creepy Comix. A boy who has a comic where strange characters inside it come to life.

Page 7: Homeless Horrors. A rather odd strip featuring various ghost-like characters.

Page 8: an advert for the Health Education Council.

Page 9: Wow! Star Turns. A chance for readers to send in their jokes, with £2 for every one published.

Pages 10 & 11: Boy Boss. A strip about a boy who runs a big business.

Page 12: Penny Dreadful. The outrageous adventures of a girl, but they were hardly in the Minnie The Minx/Beryl The Peril league.

Page 13: Bill And Coo. You’d probably think from that title that this was a strip about a boy and his pet pigeon… and you’d be right.

Pages 14 & 15. Team Mates. A strip about a useless football team who have difficulty playing with one another, drawn by Tom Paterson, another one of my favourite comic strip artists. wow0003

Pages 16 & 17. TV Quiz Kids. The centre-pages spread (in colour!) featuring puzzles presented in the style of game shows such as Call My Fluff with Robot Robinson and drawn by my favourite comic strip artist J. Edward Oliver. It may not surprise you to learn that I like this one. jeo0010

Pages 18 & 19. Kids Band Radio. Some children who like talking to one another on those CB radio thingies. It was fun in those days, honest.

Pages 20 & 21: Family Trees. Another strip drawn by Robert Nixon about some adventurous trees.

Page 21: An advert for Buster which promotes the free gift of a badge.

Pages 22 & 23: Gulliver’s Troubles. The adventures of a rather lanky boy and the fun that causes. Page 23 also features a coupon to reserve your weekly copy of Wow!, and some adverts for philately which always seemed to turn up in children’s comics for years, as if it was the only hobby that children wanted to have. wow0004

Page 24: Kid Comic. Another boy who enjoys telling jokes.

Page 25: an advert for Top Trumps.

Pages 26 & 27: The Upper Crusts And The Lazy Loafers. Yet another “rich v poor” strip.

Pages 28 & 29: Spare Part Kit. A boy with really strong false big arms and legs, and another triumph for Robert Nixon!

Page 30: an advert for Whizzer And Chips, plus this. Honestly, children nowadays, they talk a language all of their own… wow0005

Page 31: Country Cousin. Some bumpkin goes to live with his family in the big city. Chaos ensues.

Page 32: Barney’s Badges. A boy called Barney who has adventures with his magical badges. Drawn by Terry Bave, another great artist who deserves a lot more appraisal for his work. wow0006