Tonight’s Tyne Tees TV… in 1984
29 Mar 2017 4 comments. tbs.pm/11262
The TVTimes tells us what was on TTT on Thursday 29 March 1984. Things worth noting include:
- TV-am’s dire financial state is on-going and they’re unable to afford to come on air at 6am. However, the breezy style of presentation, the short “spots”, the pop video and cartoon offerings to the kids and the evident chemistry between presenters Anne Diamond and Nick Owen are working. Coming on 5 minutes before the BBC’s Breakfast Time is also working to capture early viewers. It won’t be long before TV-am starts to dominate the the ratings at this time.
- Yorkshire and Tyne Tees were divorced just over 2 years ago and their schedules, which had slowly consolidated over their time as Trident Television, have rapidly drifted apart.
- ITV has discovered the joys of cheap Australian soap operas. These cost far less to import than ITV’s many 1970s attempts at daytime soaps and serials and often drew more viewers, partially due to the fact that students liked to watch the wobbly walls of the worst of them. The Sullivans at 12.30 was actually very good, although the series had started to falter in about 1981 and departures of cast members caused its cancellation in Australia in 1983 after 1114 episodes. As ever, British TV is running behind.
- Sons and Daughters is less good, but much, much more campy and fun. Plus it had every Australian actor ever in it.
- Happy Days at 5.15pm would later be a staple for Channel 4 when it got into its babyboomer-pleasing phase in the late 1980s. Here is rounds off Children’s ITV, which is being presented by TV-am alumnus Roland Rat from Central’s studios on Broad Street in Birmingham.
- Tyne Tees decides to drift from its neighbouring regions (if Grampian can be called a neighbouring region with any degree of certitude) by showing Crossroads at 6.02pm, after some local headlines. Everywhere else puts it on at 6.25pm.
- But whether they put the local news on at 6pm or 6.25pm, it’s still crucifying the opposition: BBC-1’s dire Sixty Minutes, which is dying a death and would be gone in July.
- Emmerdale Farm at 6.50pm is up against the ailing Doctor Who over on BBC-1. The Who episode is part three of “The Twin Dilemma”, Colin Baker’s first adventure as the Doctor, but the change in style of the show – it got very dark and violent for an early-evening serial aimed at a family audience – sent viewers off looking for something else.
- If the timings tonight look a bit weird, that’s because they are. Everything between 6pm and 7.20pm has been displaced or shortened to fit in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever.
- The Bond movie is not a premiere, but it’s still somewhat wasted by being thrown away at 7.20pm on a Thursday evening in March. There’s nothing huge against it on the other side, except for episode 11 (of 12) of David Attenborough’s The Living Planet. That was very popular, so may have savaged ITV’s viewing figures over the past two months, leading them to pull out the big guns in response.
- The likelihood of theory being correct seems confirmed by the movie being fitted in before TV Eye (This Week as it was known earlier and later). It’d usually go on at 7.50pm and run until the News at Ten. That would save the messing with the schedules around 6pm. But if we’re wanting to take the away the strong lead into The Living Planet – Top of the Pops with its announcement of the new chart – we need to crush that as well. What a web we weave!
- A digression into political history: the recession of 1981-1983 plus Mrs Thatcher’s conscious decision to prolong it outside of southern England to produce mass unemployment, producing a second, advertising, recession, not only sees TV-am coming on air 25 minutes later than it might, it also sees Channel 4 coming on air a whole hour later than it had done in 1983 and would do again in 1985.