We've made it through another week and, at the end of this weekly rainbow, there's a pot of gold waiting for you. Unfortunately, it's not the type of gold which will make your fortune and keep you in Betamax tapes for the rest of your life, but it will stimulate your nostalgia gland and remind you that life used to be a little bit simpler. This week we take a look at gentle childhood romps, early examples of colour TV and a rather grand piece of music to get you feeling all patriotic.
Children's ITV & Ragdolly Anna - 1986
One of my favourite shows when I was a pipsqueak pre-schooler, Ragdolly Anna was based on the stories of Jean Kenward and ran for three series during the 1980s. This particular episode encapsulates everything that’s fantastic about the series. Starting off as a genteel day out, ‘Ragdolly Anna Gathers Primroses’ soon indulges in a spot of exceptionally mild jeopardy before the cutesy (but far from cloying) denouement arrives.
Also included in this clip is a helping of Children’s ITV continuity featuring Bernie Winters and Schnorbitz the dog. Now, as Children’s ITV wasn’t live at this point and programming was usually transmitted from whichever ITV region an individual programme was produced by, it made for a few production errors. There was often a delay in programmes starting and this is why Bernie Winters is left holding his skiing pose for slightly longer than is comfortable.
Channel TV Opening Routine – 1982
Despite being much closer to France than Britain, the Channel Islands are most definitely British and if proof were ever needed then Channel Television is all you need. A regional outpost of ITV, Channel Television provided unique programming in amongst the standard ITV network schedule. Launched in 1962, Channel Television (now known as ITV Channel Television) has been running for 50 years. And, to give you a taster, here’s a 1982 startup routine which welcomed viewers each morning.
The Moody Blues on Colour Me Pop – 1968
One of the earliest British TV shows to take that new-fangled colour television to its hearts was Colour Me Pop. Providing a showcase for the contemporary pop sounds of the day it featured a whole swathe of 1960s movers and shakers. Only a few episodes still exist in the BBC archives, but here’s a clip featuring The Moody Blues with a suitably psychedelic intro which makes full use of the new colour palette.
Thames Continuity - 15th February 1979
From the end of the 1970s comes this snippet of Thames continuity featuring a bearded David Hamilton introducing The Jim Davidson Show. Prior to this is a series of promos for upcoming shows featuring Jasper Carrott, Alan Bennett and Richard O'Sullivan as Dick Turpin.
Channel Four Closedown December 1984
The final pick for this week may not offer much in terms of moving images, but the soundtrack more than makes up for it. By 1984, Channel Four had already dispensed with in-vision presenters taking late night viewers through the closedown and, instead, the order of the day was a few animated slides detailing the next day's schedules. The line up featured here is nice enough if nothing spectacular, but the use of the Four Score theme tune is out of this world.