Saturday night TV

So I am sitting on the sofa, alone. Kids in bed, hubby out with an old school chum. First glass of wine of the week (I know!!) launched and ready. I fancy a girly movie….no such luck. I am led into a downward spiral of bitterness and disappointment. What the hell has happened to our Saturday Night TV?

The edges of my fury are only vaguely softened by the recollection of my childhood. Saturday night used to be a feast of family fun, a bonanza of excitement to my immature eyes (or am I wearing those rose-coloured contact lenses again?)

Family histories of Saturday night TV - Tomorrow's WorldWhere is Tomorrow’s World with the old fella and Judith Hann? Cool science. Where is the Generation Game which used to make me wet my knickers laughing, whilst munching our Saturday sausage-and-eggs tea?

Even though there were only three channels back then (and they all finished at a respectable person’s bedtime!) there seemed to be an endless list of wonders to enjoy.

Tonight I am faced with real people entertaining me on Britain’s Got Talent. So many real people on TV these days. I could switch over to a new channelĀ  but there I am faced with more real people – dancing. There are celebrities singing on another channel and I daresay if I really trawled with the remote I could find at least another dozen reality shows to choose from.

I used to have to get up and walk across the room back in the day to do this, so we rarely varied from the BBC. Maybe this is why there were only 3 channels. My dad always insisted that ITV was ‘trash’ anyway, so that left us with two to choose from. Since BBC2 was more dull than a day at school, we were invariably left with one channel.

Childhood memories - Great Egg Race

Does anyone remember the Great Egg Race? Professor Heinz Wolff dazzled us with science that was actually fun for the whole family. And why can’t we have Space 1999 or the Multicoloured SwapShop back?

Where is Black Beauty? Crackerjack? Crystaltipps and Alistair? Pipkins? Play Away? Record Breakers?!!!!!

Our personal family favourites as small folk were Animal Magic (Johnny Morris voicing the zoo animals) and Thunderbirds – remember those? All topped off with a tale well told in Jackanory, before bedtime.

As we grew older, my bro and I used to flop in from school and turn on the old brown wooden box, grab a packet of crisps (my bro had a really badĀ  habit of cutting great wads of cheese into his packet and shaking them up before eating – there’s a random memory!) and crash out in front of Vision On, only watched in anticipation of the real star of the show – Grange Hill. My parents worried that this programme was a bad influence – visions of me turning up at school one day and spiking my teacher’s flask with Senakot or something……they needn’t have worried, I was way too chicken to pull any stunts. Still am in fact.

So here I sit, wine glass now empty, head reeling with nostalgia, humming the theme tune to Little House on the Prairie and wondering how the hell I got so old so fast. I have 750 channels to choose from – I think I’ll read a book.

Childhood memories - Blue Peter

Relive your own personal family histories and childhood TV memories – capture the memories and sweet nostalgia of your childhood at, for free.

You can find loads more stuff like this, on video, at the BBC Archives website, or at the ScreenOnline archives.

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