Wednesday, 25 September 2013

TV in the 1970's

Nice to see it, to see it nice by Brian Viner (the 1970s in front of the Telly) isbn 978 1 41652 777

Is an excellent book, but only i guess if you used to watch a lot of TV in the 1970's.

If not, I expect even the programme title will past you by.  Viner is an entertaining writing and skillfully mixes just enough (not too much) of his own childhood in with his telly watching habits.

Fascinating to see a BBC schedule from October 1976.  BCC 1 came on at 8.50am and finished at 11.20.  BBC didn't even start 3.05 but did continue till 12.55 if you wanted to watch an old black and white film.  For me just Dr Who and the Two Ronnies stand out as something I would have wanted to to watch.  Probably Basil Brush and the generation game if I couldn't find something better to do and that made me nostalgic - today there is perhaps too much TV you can spend 10 minutes just flicking through the channels.  One theory is that programmes used to get huge ratings because there was nothing better on, but I am more sympathetic to the idea that for their time the programmes were the best that could be provided. Knowing one had to entertain a large part of the population was an incentive to make something worthwhile.  While there was certainly a lot of stuff that doesn't bera repeating, there was and is stuff of excellent quality and depending on ones taste in TV, entertaining viewing.

Perhaps my favourite bit of the book was Michael Parkinson saying "I don't believe in the honours system" Honours he explained should be for real heroes not  people like him did not deserve honours for "being highly paid and having the time of our lives. I've never ever woken up and and said sod it I've got to go to work."  He said too many celebrities did charity work in the hope of getting an honour.

That is the now Sir Michael Parkinson CBE.

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