Life in the 80s, for most of us, was great. The reason we read pages like this is because we long to go back to those simpler times of our childhood. Well we’ve broken 80s life down to a few headings and selected a couple of images for each heading that will take you back to Life in the 80s.
1. Thames TV Ident
This is 10 seconds that immediately transports me back to the 80s. Although the Thames TV ident had been around before the 80s, it preceded so many of my favourite 80s shows. That short burst of music has the power to take me back to childhood days sat watching the best kid’s TV!
Here it is in all it’s Glory….
Thames Television was a franchise holder for a region of the British ITV television network serving London and surrounding area on weekdays from 30 July 1968 until the night of 31 December 1992.
Formed as a joint company, it merged the television interests of British Electric Traction (trading as Associated-Rediffusion) owning 49%, and Associated British Picture Corporation—soon taken over by EMI—owning 51%. It was both a broadcaster and a producer of television programmes, making shows both for the local region it covered and for networking nationally across the ITV regions. The British Film Institute describes Thames as having “served the capital and the network with a long-running, broad-based and extensive series of programmes, several of which either continue or are well-remembered today.” Thames covered a broad spectrum of commercial public-service television, with a strong mix of drama, current affairs and comedy.
After Thames was acquired by FremantleMedia it was merged with another Fremantle company, Talkback Productions, to form a new independent production company Talkback Thames; consequently Thames ceased to exist as a separate entity. However, on 1 January 2012, the Thames brand was revived and Talkback Thames has now been split into four different labels; Boundless, Retort, Talkback and Thames within the newly created FremantleMedia UK production arm.
2. Variety TV Shows
In the 80s we were lucky enough to catch the tail end of the popularity of variety entertainment. Consequently our TV schedules were full of great shows like the Russ Abbot Show, Seaside Special, The Les Dennis laughter show and so many more!
As a drummer/backing singer, Abbot joined the Black Abbots (founded by the original Black Abbot, Robert Turner) in Chester during the mid-1960s and released several singles to modest chart success on minor labels in the early 1970s. The band only signed their first major recording contract in 1977, putting out a series of comedy singles and a lone live album with Abbot now taking lead vocals, before disbanding in 1980. Later on he appeared as a comedian, winning the Funniest Man On Television award five times. Abbot appeared on the television show The Comedians under his birth name (Russ Roberts). From 1980 onward, he released some albums as a solo artist and appeared in several TV series. The most successful of his music singles was called “Atmosphere”, which did well in the UK top 10, peaking at #7 in 1984.
Russ Abbot’s Madhouse and The Russ Abbot Show showcased his talents as an all-round entertainer, attracting millions of viewers. This show was especially popular among younger viewers, prompting two annuals to be published in 1982–83. These annuals featured comic strips based on popular characters, plus some publicity photos of Abbot in a variety of guises, including his well-known James Bond satire featuring characters named Basildon Bond and Miss Funnyfanny (based on the fictional MI6 spy duo James Bond and Miss Moneypenny). In 1993, Abbot hosted an Elvis special of Stars in their Eyes, originally to be presented by Leslie Crowther, who suffered serious injuries in a car crash in October 1992. Abbot was brought in as a temporary host and this was the only episode he hosted. He was replaced by Matthew Kelly, who then hosted the show until 2004 as Crowther was unable to return and he died in 1996. From 2000, Abbot played the lead role in the British National Tour of Doctor Dolittle. Taking a break over the Christmas period, Abbot stepped down for Phillip Schofield to take the part but returned to the tour subsequently. In 2003, his “See You Jimmy” character (called C. U. Jimmy) came third in the Glasgow Herald’s poll to find the most Scottish person in the world, behind Iain and Jimmy Krankie.
3. John Hughes
For us the 80s was the golden era of cinema and John Hughes films defined the decade for many. movies like the Breakfast Club, Ferris Buellers Day Off, Sixteen Candles and Pretty In Pink, seemed to really grab the imagination of the cinema going audience of the time! This led to nearly every John Hughes becoming a cult classic today.
John Wilden Hughes Jr. (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write and direct some of the most successful comedy films of the 1980s and early 1990s including the comedy National Lampoon’s Vacation(1983) and the sequels National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), the fish-out-of-water comedy Mr. Mom (1983), the coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles (1984), the teen sci-fi comedy Weird Science (1985), the coming-of-age comedy-drama The Breakfast Club (1985), the coming-of-age comedy Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986), the romantic comedy-drama Pretty in Pink (1986), the romance Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), the comedies Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), She’s Having a Baby (1988), Uncle Buck (1989), the slapstick comedy Baby’s Day Out (1994), the family film Beethoven(co-written under a pseudonym with Amy Holden-Jones) and the Christmas family slapstick comedy Home Alone and its sequels Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Home Alone 3.
His work in this mode has often been criticized for being cliched and lazy, not up to the standard of his previous films. Most have been popular with audiences, however; even Baby’s Day Out, a box office bomb in the US, was a hit in South Asian countries, inspiring a franchise made for those markets. Many of Hughes’ films have been set in the Chicago metropolitan area. He is perhaps most famous today for his coming-of-age teen comedies, which often combined magic realism with honest depictions of small-town teenage life. Many of his most enduring characters from these years were written for Molly Ringwald, who was Hughes’ muse. While out on a walk one summer morning in New York, Hughes suffered a fatal heart attack and was pronounced dead at the hospital. His legacy after his death was honored by many, and he was even honored at the 82nd Academy Awards by actors with whom he had worked, like Matthew Broderick, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Macaulay Culkin, and several others. Actors whose careers Hughes helped launch include Michael Keaton, Anthony Michael Hall, Bill Paxton, Matthew Broderick, Macaulay Culkin, and the members of the Brat Pack.