No. 73 (1982-1988)
N0.73 was originally broadcast only in the Southern region until 1984 when it was broadcast across the whole ITV network. It had many presenters and casual presenters but the main two were Sandy Toksvig and Neil Buchanan. It featured pop stars and actors of the time and one of its most popular features was the Sandwich Quiz.No 73, later re-titled 7T3, was a British 1980s children's TV show produced by Television South (TVS) for the ITV network. It was broadcast live on Saturday mornings and ran from 1982 to 1988. The show starred, amongst others, Sandi Toksvig, Neil Buchanan, Andrea Arnold, Kim Goody and Kate Copstick. When Television South won the contract to provide ITV coverage for the South of England in 1980, the first thing they set up was a children's department. A team put together with a background in theatre and drama, soon decided to produce a Saturday morning show that differed from the usual Tiswas and Saturday Superstoreformula: This show would feature actors in character as hosts, performing their own comedic storyline around the usual guests, music videos, competitions and cartoons. Much of the show was improvised, and a whole week of rehearsals plus an extensive dress rehearsal on Friday preceded each live broadcast on Saturday morning.
Wide Awake Club (1984-1989)
This was actually on as part of TV-AM on a Saturday morning. Hosted by Tommy Boyd, Michela Strachan and of course Timmy Mallet! Believe it or not the show also launched the career of Mike Myers who of course has gone on to be a hollywood superstar!Wide Awake Club started on Saturday 13 October 1984, broadcasting for an hour each Saturday morning at 8.30 am as the first Live kids show on TVam. It was presented by Arabella Warner, James Baker and Timmy Mallett to begin with. Tommy Boyd and Michaela Strachan joined a little later on – all newcomers to television, except Boyd who had previously presented Magpie and Mallett who had presented the Oxford Road Show.It was devised by producer Nick Wilson to be TV-am's flagship children's programme, replacing Data Run and SPLAT which were created by Anne Wood then as Head of Children's Programmes, as part of the cost cutting by management. The live programme combined comedy, games, celebrity guests, competitions and viewer interaction. There were also more educational features, including visiting experts such as Carol Vorderman for the science slot, as well as attempts to explain historical and contemporary events like the Cold War. A spelling contest, 'Bonk and Boob' was praised by teachers for encouraging children to learn to spell properly. The show also launched the career of Mike Myers, later a major Hollywood star, who made guest appearances with Neil Mullarkey on the show for a brief time, parodying the show's title in his segment "Sound Asleep Club", in which he sported pyjamas and a "bed-head" hairstyle. His roles included making earrings out of spoons, tape and string, as well as making a glass of water in a cookery section.
When Wide Awake Club returned after its summer break on Saturday, 14 September 1985, the series was extended to broadcast for almost two hours from 7.30 am until 9.25 am. The programme was so successful that it launched two spin-offs: Wacaday, a programme for holiday mornings presented solely by Timmy Mallett (joined by Terry a puppet during its first series and Michaela Strachan for later editions) that became even more successful than its parent, and WAC Extra, a Sunday morning version of the show. Both Wide Awake Club and Wacaday introduced the Wacawave, done by making a 'w', by putting one's thumbs together, and waving.
Get Fresh (1986-1988)
Presented by Gaz Top, Charlotte Hindle and Gian Sammarco. Sammarco famously played Adrian Mole in the TV series but he only lasted one season on Get Fresh being replaced by Gilbert the snotty nosed alien for the next series. A Saturday-morning kids' TV show, broadcast on the Children's ITV network. The show featured Gareth Jones (aka Gaz Top), Charlotte Hindle, and, for the first year of its run, Gian Sammarco, the British child actor best known for his portrayal of the character 'Adrian Mole'. Sammarco was replaced for the 2nd and 3rd series by a puppet named Gilbert the Alien (voiced by Phil Cornwell). Each week the series would be broadcast from a different UK location and centred on the Millennium Dustbin, a fictional space ship in which the presenters would travel the country. The show invited a live audience to attend and give vox-pop comments, to give presentations on local community activities, and to participate in games and challenges. The show featured a unique play-by-phone challenge, using the Amiga video game Xenon, where viewers would call in and shout "left, left, right, shoot" commands to a blindfolded player. Get Fresh also featured the animated series The Centurions and The Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers
Motor Mouth (1988-1992)
ITV's replacement for No.73 it was set completely in studio and so was cheaper to produce. Neil Buchanan wasn't out of Job though as he went on to present this along with Andy Crane and various others.Motormouth is a Saturday morning children's television series that was produced by TVS and broadcast across the ITV network for four series, running between 3 September 1988 and 4 April 1992. Each series generally ran from the autumn of one year to the spring of the next, as was common among many 'main' Saturday morning series. The programme was launched following the decision to axe No. 73, which had run in the same slot until early 1988. No. 73 had been revamped during its final series as 7T3, with a partially exterior set. However, the new 7T3 set-up was expensive and difficult to produce, and so it was decided to switch to a fully studio-based set-up. The new show was produced as the same studio complex (The Maidstone Studios) as its predecessor, and many of the production team (and several presenters) transferred to the new show. Whereas No. 73 had included an inherent narrative storyline, the decision was taken that Motormouth would have a straightforward magazine presentation format.The studio set for the first series was dominated by several giant inflatable elements, including a giant motorised mouth, from which the show took its name. In the second series, billed in some cases as Motormouth II or Motormouth 2, there were changes, including the introduction of new graphics and set elements based on cogs and sprockets. The use of the giant mouth declined following this alteration. The show's third series - which boasted new graphics and remixed theme music, and was for a brief time billed as All New Motormouth - also had a new, predominantly white set; the giant mouth was removed altogether at this point, along with all other remaining inflatables. This series saw the introduction of a diner-style set (sometimes referred to as 'The Motormouth Cafe') which saw guests and audience members sitting at tables. This format and styling was left largely intact for the fourth series.