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  1. #26
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    We used to always watch The Dukes of Hazzard - I seem to recall Dad being quite a big fan, which sort of puzzled me at the time but with hindsight is probably very self-explanatory! Another thing that puzzled me for ages was the credit each week for "Waylon Jennings as the Balladeer" as I was always trying to work out which character that was.... it was probably months before I twigged that he was the narrator!!!

    Juliet Bravo was a fixture in our house too, I'm just surprised to see it was on quite early - before the Paul Daniels show, rather than after. I'm sure it was an excellent series, but what I really remember of it is the superb theme tune which I can happily hum even now.

  2. #27
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    Juliet Bravo had an excellent theme, it's true.

    I used to like The Dukes of Hazzard. Especially so for the way they'd pile into their car through the windows which seemed impossibly exciting to me at 5.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  3. #28
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    Me and Zel still occasionally suggest doing that!!

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Curnow View Post
    Juliet Bravo was a fixture in our house too, I'm just surprised to see it was on quite early - before the Paul Daniels show, rather than after. I'm sure it was an excellent series, but what I really remember of it is the superb theme tune which I can happily hum even now.
    I enjoyed Juliet Bravo too. Apart from a recent part in At Home with the Braithwaites, I don't know what happened to Stephanie Turner who played Jean Darblay in the first three series, but did you see Anna Cartaret in last night's Casualty?

  5. #30
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    Once upon a time, 16.2 million people - that's 16,200,000 individual human beings - watched "Give Us a Clue". Minor celebrities playing charades. Sixteen million, two hundred thousand people watched Una Stubbs and Lionel Blair miming that it's got three words and the first word is The.

    And I was probably one of them. I liked Give Us a Clue.
    Dennis, Francois, Melba and Smasher are competing to see who can wine and dine Lola Whitecastle and win the contract to write her memoirs. Can Dennis learn how to be charming? Can Francois concentrate on anything else when food is on the table? Will Smasher keep his temper under control?

    If only the 28th century didn't keep popping up to get in Dennis's way...

    #dammitbrent



    The eleventh annual Brenty Four serial is another Planet Skaro exclusive. A new episode each day until Christmas in the Brenty Four-um.

  6. #31
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    For some reason it was a fixture in our house too. Many a week I'd find myself sitting through it without really knowing why. It always puzzled me.

  7. #32
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    Here's the Top 20 for November 1980 :

    1) To The Manor Born - 21.5m
    2) Dallas - 20.2m
    3) Mastermind - 19.1m
    4) Coronation Street - 17.5m
    5) This Is Your Life - 17.3m
    6) The Two Ronnies - 17.3m
    7) Coronation Street - 17.1m
    8) London Night Out - 17.1m
    9) Give Us A Clue - 15.6m
    10) Blankety Blank - 15.6m
    11) Rings On Their Fingers - 15.6m
    12) Generation Game - 15.4m
    13) Play Your Cards Right - 15.2m
    14) Juliet Bravo - 15.2m
    15) In Loving Memory - 15.0m
    16) Crossroads - 15.0m
    17) Survival Special - 14.1m
    18) Hammer House of Horror - 13.9m
    19) Arthur C Clarke - 13.8m
    20) Crossroads - 13.5m

    Into the dark long autumn nights and as the ratings increase the BBC brings out its big hitters. In October, it only had 2 programmes in the Top 12, now it has 7.

    Mastermind has an astonishing figure - IIRC this was the year that taxi driver Fred Housego (?) won it. I do have vague memories of it and it did get press attention. Dallas wasn't for me, but I didn't realise it was quite that popular - I guess it was riding the wave of Who Shot JR earlier in the year (according to my book it was #1 in April 1980 which was probably for that cliffanger).
    Last edited by Jonno; 17th Oct 2010 at 1:20 PM.

  8. #33
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    The Fred Housego series is currently showing on Sky Arts 2.

    Si xx

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    Dallas wasn't for me, but I didn't realise it was quite that popular - I guess it was riding the wave of Who Shot JR earlier in the year (according to my book it was #1 in April 1980 which was probably for that cliffanger).
    Yes indeed,as a huge Dallas fan I was one of the 20m + who were waiting for the resolution of that cliffhanger, and boy!! didn't they string it out. The tapes arrived in the UK amongst great secrecy and security, not even Terry Wogan was in the know as to whoudunnit, and as it was Wogan who contributed a lot to the success of Dallas in this country, you'd have thought he'd be in on the secret.
    The series began in mid November but it was still several weeks before the would be killer was unmasked therefore guaranteeing the series a huge audience which was carried through for several seasons to come.

    Nice to see Audrey Fforbes-Hamilton at #1 in that TV chart.

  10. #35
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    Me too, Steve. I seem to think series 2 aired on a Sunday night here in the UK didn't it, because I remember us all talking about it on a Monday morning - even discussing it with Mrs Barrow (our teacher of the time). Quite a feat for a US soap to have a whole class of Primary School kids talking!

    And To The Manor Born was just huge wasn't it - not 1980, but in 1981 when the last series aired I remember my Mum had a prior engagement on the evening of the final episode and (in those pre-VCR days) being really pretty miffed about having to miss it.

    Another name that jumps out is In Loving Memory - that's the Thora Hird/Christopher Beeny sitcom I think, with them as mother & son running a funeral parlour. I have a feeling it was another Roy Clarke series, and I always remember that Thora Hird's character used to answer the phone something like "To whom am I speaking to" which used to make us roar with laughter! Ar, them were the days!

  11. #36
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    Here's the Top 20 for December 1980 :

    1) Coronation Street - 19.0m
    2) This Is Your Life - 18.4m
    3) The Two Ronnies - 18.3m
    4) Dick Emery Hour - 18.3m
    5) Dallas - 17.9m
    6) Generation Game - 17.3m
    7) Coronation Street - 17.3m
    8) Give Us A Clue - 16.3m
    9) Juliet Bravo - 16.1m
    10) Play Your Cards Right - 15.7m
    11) Blankety Blank - 15.6m
    12) Crossroads - 15.5m
    13) In Loving Memory - 14.8m
    14) Starsky and Hutch - 14.4m
    15) Sink or Swim - 14.2m
    16) Crossroads - 13.8m
    17) Buck Rogers - 13.5m
    18) The Professionals - 13.4m
    19) Life For Christmas - 13.3m
    20) Minder - 13.3m

    Notice Buck Rogers entering the Top 20 with around 2.5 times as many viewers as State of Decay! Also note Peter Davison in the popular Sink or Swim - I have vague memories of it being on but it wasn't a particular favourite. Starsky and Hutch though was liked in our family, along with Professionals and Juliet Bravo - cops ruled 30 years ago!

  12. #37
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    I seem to remember us really liking Sink or Swim at the time, but I suspect it would be a definite 'memory cheats' if UK Gold was to ever get its hands on it! I can't remember anything much about it at all now, except that the theme was (I'm certain) a version of the Hollie's "He Ain't Heavy" - and that Davison's character's girlfriend was a bit of a scene-stealer, in terms of being a bit weird (I have a feeling she may have been called Sonja?). And (and then I'll shut up) when Davison says, "Sooner we get to this zero room place the better eh" in Castrovalva, at the time we all thought he sounded very like his Sink or Swim character - ironically, nearly 30 years on, I can't recall the character, only the contemporary opinion!!

  13. #38
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    I remember Sink Or Swim - a lot revolved around Davison's brother being a bit of a plonker and getting them into trouble I think.

    I remember one episode where the brother got a giant turkey for Christmas, which they couldn't get in the oven, so had to donate to the Salvation Army to get cooked ... then pretend they were homeless or something to get their Christmas dinner. Ah simpler times ...

    I remember Davison's rant about the turkey and how they'd be buried with leftovers of this turkey, as they'd never be able to eat it all ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  14. #39
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    Robert Glenister was the brother wasn't he? I can't remember any actual episodes, EXCEPT I have a feeling the end of (probably) the final episode was set on a bus.

    In these instances, I usually turn to Wikipedia for a little more information...

  15. #40
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    By Wikipedia standards, the page on Sink or Swim is pretty sparse (no list of episodes or anything) but it does confirm three series, from December 1980 (so this was it's first year) through to October 1982 - and apparently Gillian Taylforth was in series 2 as 'Christine'.

    Hmm, not very illuminating...

  16. #41

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    There's a bit more about it here.

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0081931/

    Brian Webber lives on a leaky houseboat in London. He's trying hard to make his way in the world, thus far with limited success. His girlfriend, Sonia is a very serious minded young woman who is passionate only about things like vegetarianism and ecology. When Brian's younger brother Steve arrives in London looking for somewhere to stay, his lazy, cynical, noisy "Northern lout" attitude disrupts Brian's already messy life.
    Peter Davison ... Brian Webber (19 episodes, 1980-1982)
    Robert Glenister ... Steve Webber (19 episodes, 1980-1982)
    Sara Corper ... Sonia (15 episodes, 1980-1982)

    Cast and crew

    Full episode list

  17. #42
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    Perhaps this has been canned in the BBC vault for containing some awful stereotypes ...
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  18. #43
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    I'd forgotten I have some editions of Top of the Pops from 1980 recorded from UK Gold, among them a recording from 23rd October on which DLT introduces Matthew Waterhouse as the new Dr. Who companion.
    Among the acts featured are The Nolans, OMD, Status Quo, videos from Air Supply and Kate Bush and of course Streisand at #1.
    It's a good 'un.

  19. #44
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    among them a recording from 23rd October on which DLT introduces Matthew Waterhouse as the new Dr. Who companion.
    That's interesting! I know the BBC are missing a whole selection of TOTP, I presume they'd have this one but you never know!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob McCow View Post
    ..I presume they'd have this one but you never know!
    I'd assume so too Steve, it was part of the UK Gold batch. I was surprised when watching it though that it was almost sparkly free, which tainted a lot of satellite recordings in those days, it was quite a good recording.

  21. #46
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    Here's the Top 20 for January 1981 :

    1) Benny Hill Show - 20.0m
    2) Coronation Street - 19.7m
    3) This Is Your Life - 19.1m
    4) Coronation Street - 18.3m
    5) Shelley - 17.3m
    6) Crossroads - 16.9m
    7) Holiday On The Buses - 15.6m
    8) News At Ten - 15.2m
    9) Family Fortunes - 15.2m
    10) News At Ten - 15.0m
    11) Crossroads - 14.9m
    12) Jim'll Fix It - 14.8m
    13) Beulah Land - 14.7m
    14) Nine O'Clock News (BBC) - 14.7m
    15) Starsky and Hutch - 14.6m
    16) The Jim Davidson Show - 14.5m
    17) The Professionals - 14.3m
    18) The Gaffer - 13.9m
    19) Sink or Swim - 13.9m
    20) 3-2-1 - 13.9m

    ITV dominates again with BBC only managing 4 out of 20 and nothing in the Top 10, meaning Jim'll Fix It was the most popular BBC programme that month - I used to enjoy it, but had no idea it was that popular! And I wonder what was so news-worthy that month - it's a little after the death of John Lennon, so maybe related to his funeral?

  22. #47
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    There was no funeral as such for Lennon. Fans held a vigil outside the Dakota building for days after his death. Yoko had him cremated on 10th December 1980, two days after the shooting.
    At a guess I'd say the reason the news was so highly rated in January 1981 was due to the inaugeration of Ronald Reagan as US President on January 20th, plus there were some US hostages released from Iran around the same time.

  23. #48
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    Thanks Steve, it was probably the US factor then! Here's the Top 20 for February 1981 :

    1) This Is Your Life - 18.3m
    2) Coronation Street - 17.3m
    3) Coronation Street - 17.1m
    4) Crossroads - 15.9m
    5) The Gaffer - 15.8m
    6) Starburst - 15.5m
    7) Family Fortunes - 15.1m
    8) Crossroads - 14.9m
    9) The Golden Gate Murders - 14.9m
    10) 3-2-1 - 14.8m
    11) Solo - 14.8m
    12) Wildlife On One - 14.6m
    13) Jim'll Fix It - 14.5m
    14) Wish You Were Here - 14.3m
    15) That's Life - 14.2m
    16) Shelley - 13.9m
    17) Second Chance - 13.6m
    18) The Professionals - 13.6m
    19) The Jim Davidson Show - 13.5m
    20) The Sweeney - 13.3m

    As with January, BBC only has 4 entries with none in the Top 10. 3-2-1 moves into the Top 10 - we used to watch it for some reason but it was quite incomprehensible and impossible to play along with!

    I wonder if the That's Life of this period was the one with the dog that spoke "Sausages!" - anyone remember that? I'm sure we used to imitate that in the playground!

  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonno Simmons View Post
    I wonder if the That's Life of this period was the one with the dog that spoke "Sausages!" - anyone remember that? I'm sure we used to imitate that in the playground!
    I think the "sausage" dog was a little earlier Jonno, though don't quote me on that, but as the dog was so popular it led to many imitations and many repeats of its performance.
    That's Life was a bit of a mixed bag, I watched it regularly, but sometimes it could be quite depressing viewing, chillingly so with the case of some of the stories it featured. But then they would turn the mood around and feature a comical story, usually about little old ladies they encountered in the market place, anyone remember Annie Mizzen? She raised many a laugh on the programme when she was discovered.
    As I said, some of the stories cold be quite dark and depressing for a Sunday evening. That's Life featured many stories about child abuse, and children's ilnesses, most famously Ben Hardwick who was in desperate need of a liver transplant. Despite many appeals on this show sadly the lad died before a suitable donor could be found.
    Stories about child abuse also featured heavily on the show, it's many appeals led to the creation of Childline, a phoneline that children could use in confidence if they needed help.
    Childline still runs today, and such was the power of That's Life that it inspired me to donate 2 of my wages each week to Childline, which I still do today.

    Inevitably That's Life had it critics, many levelled at host Esther Rantzen's sanctimonious, and sometimes patronising delivery of her lines, nevertheless, the show constantly delivered, which shows in it's consistently high ratings throughout its 23 years run.

  25. #50
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    How odd, I was just thinking of poor Ben Hardwicke yesterday afternoon! I was a big fan of That's Life, I always associate it with Sunday evenings after having a bath, as the last bit of excitement before 'back to School on Monday'.

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