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Old 25-07-2013, 16:38
MikeySaint859
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More and more I'm reading posts from people comparing how classic (or at least old) TV series are not a patch on what they used to be, how hardly anyone now watches programmes that used to draw in fifteen million viewers, and how despite there being hundreds of channels there is never anything to watch. Obviously, the easily pleased will always have something to watch, but for the perhaps more discerning it's easy to see how this could be the case as it can be just as hard as it was 25 years ago to find an evening's entertainment.

This led me to taking a slightly wider view of life and wondering, given the chance, how many people would step back a generation and take what we had on offer then instead. Here's a Saturday and a Monday evening from a December 1989 copy of the Radio Times I have:

BBC1 - Saturday 2nd December 1989

From 6pm.


Noel Edmonds' Saturday Roadshow
Bob's Full House
Hearts of Gold (Esther Rantzen)
Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
News and Sport
Off the Wall (comedy with poetry)
International Snooker
Film: Highway to Hell
Weather
Close (1.30 am)

Monday 4th December 1989

From 7.30 pm


Watchdog
Telly Addicts
Wildlife on One
Nine O'Clock News
Panorama
Frederick Forsyth's Cry of the Innocent
Clean Slate (education magazine)
Weather
Close (12.20 am)

Not very comprehensive, but due to space and the fact I had to type it all (!) at least a taste. But not that bad, really, I reckon, and a few things I would certainly watch now, deaths and descents into madness/self importance allowing. Plus, this ignores BBC2, ITV and Channel 4.

In those days, there were alternatives, and by then I believe a few people might have even had a few extra channels via cable/satellite, but generally if you didn't like what was on the box it was a case of "getting a video in" or being stuck with what you had. Now, if we don't like what we see most of us have our own DVD and BluRay collections to dip into, and for me I've never done that more. I knew hardly anyone in 1989 who had more than a few VHS videos as they were so expensive.

The future was always promoted to us as being about cars that hovered over the road, robots that did our household chores and travels to distant worlds. Instead, we have mobile phones, hundreds of TV channels, dozens of radio stations, PCs, PC tablets and laptops, game consoles (yes, I know, we had primitive ones in the 1980s too) and a quite general feeling of dissatisfaction. There's still "nothing to watch"! I know I'd be struggling without box sets and Amazon to buy them from as my town now hardly has anywhere to buy a CD, never mind DVDs - and that's another thread in itself; another symptom of life in the 21st century.

So, would you go back to what we had in 1989?
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Old 25-07-2013, 16:42
Doghouse Riley
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Hmm..

I try not to be, as the alternative isn't so good.
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Old 25-07-2013, 16:58
keicar
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Happily step back a generation, and not just for the TV...
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Old 25-07-2013, 17:48
Ramsay Ladders
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Yes definatly, Noel bloody Edmonds only on the telly twice a week as opposed to 6 now. Where's the time machine!
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Old 25-07-2013, 18:01
MR. Macavity
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BBC1 - Saturday 2nd December 1989

From 6pm.


Noel Edmonds' Saturday Roadshow
Bob's Full House
Hearts of Gold (Esther Rantzen)
Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
News and Sport
Off the Wall (comedy with poetry)
International Snooker
Film: Highway to Hell
Weather
Close (1.30 am)

Monday 4th December 1989

From 7.30 pm


Watchdog
Telly Addicts
Wildlife on One
Nine O'Clock News
Panorama
Frederick Forsyth's Cry of the Innocent
Clean Slate (education magazine)
Weather
Close (12.20 am)
So we've got consumer shows, brainless quizzes, light entertainment, wildlife documentaries, news and current affairs, a film that's been on loads of times before........ so different back then
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Old 25-07-2013, 19:11
MikeySaint859
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So we've got consumer shows, brainless quizzes, light entertainment, wildlife documentaries, news and current affairs, a film that's been on loads of times before........ so different back then
Haha. Quite.

Sometimes the late 1980s can seem like another country, and sometimes it feels really not all that long ago. TV programmes are really much the same, it's just that more of us watched the same things at the the same times. There was an informal communal aspect to TV back then - quite a bit like DS now I think of it, only verbal.

Not sure what I'd make of a house full of gadgets as being pretty much the sum total of 24 years of progress, though. I'd either be delighted with so many toys to play with (to stave off the monotony of having nothing on telly to watch), or I'd be horrified that this was all there was to show for a quarter of a century of progress.
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Old 25-07-2013, 22:07
FrankBT
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Originally Posted by MikeySaint859;67374506Here's a Saturday and a Monday evening from a December 1989 copy of the Radio Times I have:

[U
BBC1 - Saturday 2nd December 1989

From 6pm.[/u]

Noel Edmonds' Saturday Roadshow
Bob's Full House
Hearts of Gold (Esther Rantzen)
Film: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
News and Sport
Off the Wall (comedy with poetry)
International Snooker
Film: Highway to Hell
Weather
Close (1.30 am)

Monday 4th December 1989

From 7.30 pm


Watchdog
Telly Addicts
Wildlife on One
Nine O'Clock News
Panorama
Frederick Forsyth's Cry of the Innocent
Clean Slate (education magazine)
Weather
Close (12.20 am)

Not very comprehensive, but due to space and the fact I had to type it all (!) at least a taste. But not that bad, really,
I don't know why you chose 1989, which was hardly typical

Saturday night has traditionally been poor viewing for decades on BBC1. But I see no MOTD listed for a Saturday's winter schedule.That can't be right.

During the week I recall chat shows like Wogan. He usually had good guests on but was too sycophantic.towards them. Stillt way better than the awful TOS now

TV wasn't as dependent on soaps as of now. I think Eastenders was only shown 2 days a week.There were also great dramas in the 80s from the pens of Alan Bleasdale, Dennis Potter, Troy Kennedy Martin, the quality of which you don't tend to see now And in the early 80s you had good drama series on ITV like Minder. and the drama Jewel In The Crown. Can you imagine ITV doing that sort of quality now?

Channel 4 had not yet dumbed down and was still showing quality stuff trying then to be commercilal TV's answer to BBC2. And there were all those great American series like Dallas, Hill St Blues, Seinfeld and many others. And the Test Matches were free to watch on BBC in summer So IMO TV in the the 80s was much better than what you have now.
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Old 25-07-2013, 22:20
MikeySaint859
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I don't know why you chose 1989, which was hardly typical

Saturday night has traditionally been poor viewing for decades on BBC1. But I see no MOTD listed for a Saturday's winter schedule.That can't be right.

During the week I recall chat shows like Wogan. Not the greatest but way better than the awful TOS now. TV wasn't as dependent on soaps as of now. I think Eastenders was only shown 2 days a week.There were also great dramas in the 80s from the pens of Alan Bleasdale, Dennis Potter, the quality of which you don't tend to get now And in the early 80s you had good drama series on ITV like Minder. and the drama Jewel In The Crown. Can you imagine ITV doing that sort of quality now?

Channel 4 had not yet dumbed down and was still showing quality stuff trying then to be commercilal TV's answer to BBC2. And there were all those great American series like Dallas, Hill St Blues, Seinfeld and many others. And the Test Matches were free to watch on BBC in summer So IMO TV in the the 80s was much better than what you have now.
BIB - Well, I'm not a collector of TV guides, I just happen to have an old Radio Times from 1989. ITV and Channel 4 were, in those days, covered exclusively (I believe) by the TV Times, so I couldn't list what they were showing as I don't happen to have a corresponding TV Times for that week.

In 1989, I believe there was some kind of dispute between the FA and/or Football League and the BBC which consequently led to ITV getting lots of matches, live and highlights, and no league football and possibly no FA Cup and League Cup for BBC TV. In a nutshell, there was no Match of the Day during that time. Remember that stunning end to the 1988/89 season when Arsenal won 2-0 at Anfield to win the league and it was shown live on TV? That was ITV and the commentator was the great Brian Moore.

I mostly agree with the rest of your post. There was some wondrous stuff on TV in those days. Dennis Potter - still sadly missed.
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