8. Saturday Night TV
Saturday nights were full of great shows just like this!
Russ Abbot (born Russell A. Roberts; 18 September 1947) is an English musician, comedian and actor. Born in Chester he first came to public notice during the 1970s as the singer and drummer with British comedy showband the Black Abbots, along with Leonard ‘Lenny’ Reynolds, later forging a prominent solo career as a television comedian with his own weekly show on British television. Continuing his musical career as a solo artist Abbot released several charting singles and albums. Latterly his career has continued with a shift into more mainstream serious acting in television shows, series and stage productions.
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
9. The Broom Cupboard
Rushing home from school to catch the next episode of Cities of Gold!
From its launch in 1985 until 1994, Children’s BBC was presented from the regular continuity announcer’s booth in the BBC1 network control area, which had a fixed camera so that the presenter could appear in vision; as it remained an operational continuity booth, the presenter would partly direct their own links by way of vision and sound mixers built into the studio desk. The booth became known as ‘the Broom Cupboard’ due to its small size (the term was first used to refer to a smaller temporary booth, but was later retroactively applied to the main booth). The plain booth wall behind the presenter would be livened up with elements of set dressing, VT monitors and pictures sent in by viewers. Occasionally, when Children’s BBC was going out on BBC2 rather than BBC1 due to events coverage, the presenter would be located in the BBC2 continuity booth, which was not set dressed for Children’s BBC, for transmission purposes.
There were two presentation studios – larger than the Broom Cupboards but smaller than full programme studios – known as Pres A and Pres B. It was not initially thought economically viable to use these for daily Children’s BBC links, hence the use of the Broom Cupboard. However, by 1987 these studios were being used for the mid-morning ‘birthday card’ slots and weekend and holiday morning strands such as But First This. The main afternoon strand remained in the Broom Cupboard.
Pencil cases, pens pencils and rubbers (erasers) were obviously a big part of our school lives, loved doing this to the school rubbers though!