Everyone complains about the TV schedules these days. Saturday nights were a big TV ocassion in the 80s. With the BBC and ITV putting their flag ship shows in the prime time slots. There were amazing game shows, dramas and sitcoms but for this list we’ve chosen 10 amazing light entertainment shows that made 80s Saturday Night TV awesome!
Long before the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent New Faces was paving the way. It originally aired in the 70s but was revived in 1986 by ITV. It launched the careers of many artists including Billy Pearce and Joe Pasquale!
The show first aired as a pilot on 7 July 1973 and then as a full series from 29 September 1973 to 2 April 1978, it was recorded at the ATV Centre in Birmingham. The show was noted for its theme tune, “You’re a Star!”, performed by singer Carl Wayne, formerly of The Move, and it was eventually released, becoming a minor hit. Winners occasionally went on to greater success in television entertainment, like Lenny Henry the 1975 competition winner. Many top entertainers began their careers with a performance on this programme. The acts were evaluated by a panel of experts, including Tony Hatch, Mickie Most, Clifford Davis, Arthur Askey, Ted Ray, Ed Stewart, Jack Parnell, Alan A. Freeman, Muriel Young, Lonnie Donegan, Lionel Blair, Ingrid Pitt, Shaw Taylor, Terry Wogan and Noel Edmonds.
Four judges would make up the panel each week. Contestants received marks out of ten from the four judges in three categories such as “presentation”, “content” and “star quality” – The “star quality” category was later replaced by “entertainment value”. The highest score any act could attain was thus 120 points. Patti Boulayewas the only act who ever attained the maximum mark, doing so in the programme’s final season. Les Dennis received 119 points, with only Tony Hatch giving him less than three perfect ’10’s’. Arthur Askey was on the same panel and started singing “Tony is a spoilsport” when Hatch awarded Dennis 9 as his final score.
2. Bob Says Opportunity Knocks
Many people will remember the host of Opportunity Knocks to be Hughie Green, that’s because he presented from 1949 to 1978! When it was brought back by the BBC in the late 80s it was presented buy the late great Bob Monkhouse.
Opportunity Knocks is a British television and radio talent show originally hosted by Hughie Green, with a late-1980s revival hosted by Bob Monkhouse, and later by previous winner Les Dawson. The original radio version started on the BBC Light Programme, where it ran from 18 February to 29 September 1949, but moved to Radio Luxembourg in the 1950s. It was shown on ITV from 20 June 1956 to 29 August 1956, produced by Associated Rediffusion. A second run commenced on 11 July 1964 and lasted until 20 March 1978, produced first by ABC and then by Thames. Hughie Green presented a single episode of Opportunity Knocks for RTÉ in 1979. It was revived by the BBC from 21 March 1987 to 2 June 1990, hosted initially by Bob Monkhouse from 1987 to 1989 (under the title Bob Says Opportunity Knocks!) and subsequently by Les Dawson in 1990.