Tonight’s Anglia… in 1980 

5 December 2015 tbs.pm/8117

The TVTimes gives us a run down of the programmes on Anglia for Friday 5 December 1980. Things worth noting include:

  • Once Upon a Time at 12.10pm is Granada’s answer to BBCtv’s Jackanory. By this point in time, the presenter has signed a contract with the BBC to play the lead role in Doctor Who, but has not begun filming the series.
  • The answer to the question “What did Bill Grundy do next after ploughing his career into the ground on Today in 1976?” appears to be answered at 12.30pm. He actually had a fair number of minor presenting jobs in the years after the Sex Pistols incident, but never re-reached the heights of his earlier career, not helped by a deep love for falling-down water.
  • Armchair Thriller at 1.30pm is, as the ‘Armchair’ bit suggests, a Thames production from the same stable as Armchair Theatre. It’s very gritty for a lunchtime slot.
  • The opposite of ‘very gritty’ at 2pm: Southern’s Houseparty continues its interminable run that would only end with the death of Southern itself. Thames, YTV and ATV all sensibly take Thames’s After Noon which was far less mumsy.
  • The Friday Film Matinee at 2.25pm is NBC’s 1975 TV movie The Dream Makers. It’s awful, just awful. And has Kenny Rogers in it, basically playing himself but carved out of lumber.
  • At 4.15pm it’s nice to note that Rainbow Has a New Baby. A special edition of the long-running pre-schoolers show, it looks at how children cope with the arrival of a sibling. It gets an extra few minutes on the usual 20-minute-ish run-time.
  • 4.45pm: gently spin it on its side – the inertia from a liquid centre causes a raw egg to spin slowly; the lack of inertia from a cooked egg causes it to spin quickly; Clarence Birdseye.
  • About Anglia at 6pm is an hour long. Meanwhile, other companies are dividing that hour between news and features – Thames News at 6pm is followed by Thames Report at 6.30pm; YTV’s Calendar is paired with Calendar Sport. Southern backs up Day by Day with yet another edition of Out of Town.
  • LWT takes over the supply of programmes from London at 7pm, so we get Play Your Cards Right followed by the short-lived and seemingly completely forgotten sitcom Fancy Wanders at 7.30pm.
  • 8pm is the imports slot, so the regional companies largely go their own ways; Anglia sticks with The Incredible Hulk from LWT, YTV has the painfully cheap Vega$, ATV has Charlie’s Angels and Southern does some fancy timeshifting footwork to put Charlie and his Angels on at 7.30 and Fancy and his wanderings at 8.30pm.
  • The ambitious local programme 7 Days at 10.30pm deserves to be remembered by history, especially if you look at what other regions were doing: Benson (LWT), Barry Westwood’s local chat show (Southern), and Soap (YTV and ATV). It isn’t.
  • The Friday Late Film is the brilliant 1961 Paul Newman vehicle The Hustler. It is, as TVTimes notes, ‘not in colour’, a curious circumlocution to avoid the poisonous words ‘black and white’.

You Say

4 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 6 December 2015 at 4:53 pm

“Fancy Wanders” is largely forgotten because it had very little substance. From memory, it starred comedian Dave King as the ridiculously named title character, an unemployed layabout. “Shelley” it wasn’t.

DAVE RHODES 6 December 2015 at 6:21 pm

‘Mumsy’ Houseparty arguably was, but better that than shallow and celebrity-obsessed like today’s daytime fodder. I do agree though, on the quality of After Noon/Plus/A+ (really the same show with a periodic lick of paint), which I remember as a programme of real depth.

7 Days – as I’ve remarked elsewhere, one of those titles that kept being applied to a number of different shows – does indeed sound ambitious. Anglia arguably batted above the average when it came to regional interest, with long runners like Match of the Week and Farming Diary, as well as Brian Connell’s high-end talk-in, Arena.

Bill Grundy wrote on the Press and Television for The Spectator in the late sixties and early seventies – quite a few pieces worth reading in their (free) archive online.

David Miller 7 February 2016 at 9:59 pm

From memory, Anglia certainly did bat above the average, with regular regional programming slots (other than news or news magazines) occupying 4 evening slots a week 6.30pm on Monday, 10.30pm on Monday, Thursday and Friday for most of the 1980’s.

David Barber 1 July 2016 at 12:47 pm

The Incredible Hulk episode shown by Anglia, Deathmask, was never shown by Granada (until 1990) and Yorkshire TV and probably most likely Central because of what was going on in the UK regarding The Yorkshire Ripper. There was also an episode of The Six Million Dollar Man called Outrage In Balinderry that was banned by ITV because it was about the IRA.

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