Tonight’s LWT… in 1981 

14 March 2016 tbs.pm/8510

The TVTimes gives us a run down of LWT programmes for Saturday 14 March 1981. Things worth noting include:

  • In the pre-TV-am days, ITV proper has no fixed starting time. LWT comes on air at 8.20am with a full start-up sequence, leading to the first programme being at 8.25am. ATV’s first programme is at 9.10am; Anglia’s at 9.20am; Southern’s at 8.50am.
  • ATV’s Tiswas is being shown across LWT, ATV, Anglia and Southern. At the end of the year, Southern would disappear and its replacement, TVS, would drop Tiswas in favour of their own Number 73. That, plus disinterest from ATV’s successor Central, would begin the process of killing the madcap show.
  • Primetime is not very inspired. While there’s something for everybody – import, quiz, film, drama, news, sport, variety – there’s no big draw for the evening.
  • Buck Rogers at 5.40pm is part 2 of the season 2 opener. The series had suffered a reboot with season 2 and viewers deserted the show, leading NBC to cancel it mid-production after 11 episodes.
  • Part quiz, part variety, part confusing mess, 3-2-1 at 6.35pm trundles along with its usual mix of sexism, “villainous characters” and Ted Rogers (no relation).
  • Doctor at Sea at 7.35pm is a fun enough film, but showing its age – 26 years – by this point. It’s a surprise to find it in primetime as it reeks of “Sunday afternoon matinee”.
  • The Professionals at 9.15pm, while technically still in production, is in the middle of a two-year break. LWT fills the gap with this episode first shown November 1979 but curiously not marked as a repeat by the TVTimes.
  • At 11.30pm, The Monte Carlo Show is just as terrible as it sounds. Made in the US for syndication, the internet has lost track of how many episodes were produced, who appeared in it and whether much still survives in 20th Century Fox’s archives.

You Say

9 responses to this article

4ever_eighties 14 March 2016 at 3:39 pm

3-2-1 ep seen recently on Challenge TV, with Dusty Bin dressed up as a spy.

DAVID RHODES 14 March 2016 at 4:28 pm

Richard O’ Sullivan was in the odd position of being a bankable star for LWT and Thames simultaneously – Dick Turpin and Robin’s Nest overlapping for a couple of years. Note also ATV getting a couple of adult ed series away between 9.10 and 10am – BBC1 had similarly odd juxtapositions of educational programmes and flagship kids’ fare early in the Swap Shop era.

steve brown 14 March 2016 at 4:58 pm

Big Match that night was Aston Villa 3 Man Utd 3

Gordon Beattie 14 March 2016 at 7:17 pm

I don’t know why everyone had/has it in for 3-2-1, it was a very enjoyable 60 minute show and I still like it. A damn shame that ITV/BBC can’t come up with a decent show the WHOLE family can watch these days – and by that I mean one that Cowell or Ant & Dec haven’t got involvement with…

Victor Field 15 March 2016 at 5:41 am

“Happiness Is… Adventure with an Australian helicopter rescue crew.” You said it, not me. Of course, for LWT (and ITV in general) happiness on weekends would come later in the decade with an American helicopter-and-boat rescue crew, although they didn’t get an Australian cast member on board (the irksomely named Jaason Simmons) until a few years later.

Arthur Nibble 15 March 2016 at 10:36 am

If the title’s anything to go by, ATV have arguably the shortest beauty contest programme imaginable at 10.30 pm.

I remember that dreadful Ploom from “The Monte Carlo Show”. The edition listed features Bernie Clifton, recently seen on telly having a go at “The Voice”.

Russ J Graham 15 March 2016 at 6:41 pm

Unless it’s a message to the future that the TVTimes truncated and in full reads

You Will Miss ATV

Alan Keeling 5 April 2016 at 8:51 pm

LWT were, at that time, repeating the Australian produced “Chopper Squad” series, filmed on grainy 16mm film stock, it was screened by ATV (Midlands) on Sunday lunchtimes.

Mark Bunn 19 April 2016 at 11:17 am

Correct about the “Big Match” they didn’t show a local London game that Saturday, instead they showed ATV’s Aston Villa 3 Manchester United 3 game, plus Anglia’s Ipswich Town 3 Tottenham Hotspur 0 & from the Third Division Sheffield United 3 Charlton Athletic covered by Yorkshire.

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