Less Remembered 1980s Children’s Programmes #3: The Untied Shoelaces Show

BBC Scotland’s early 1980s summertime treat The fusion of popular music and children’s television programming has been a solid formula for public service and commercial broadcasters around the world. In the United Kingdom, its commercial potential was seen in programmes like Lift Off With Ayshea (Granada Television) and Saturday Scene (London Weekend Television). By the…

The Other UK Singles Chart: 1. Independent Local Radio Music Charts

A beginners’ guide to chart tracking on ILR stations from 1974 to 2008 If you mention the UK singles chart, the first thing that springs to mind in the Official Charts Company’s countdown. This goes out every Friday on BBC Radio One. Before then, it used to go out on Sunday afternoons and, prior to…

The Return of Pablo: Series Two Starts Next Week

How the second series of Pablo will make thinking differently cool again Was it really two years ago when Pablo hit the screens? On the 01 October, Paper Owl Films‘ and Kavaleer Productions‘ part-animated part-live action series broke new ground when it was aired on CBeebies and RTEjr. It is the first television series to…

The Duffers’ Guide to 8-Bit Computing #1: Software on Tape

The first of a new Duffers’ Guide, celebrating the joys of 8-bit computing I have recently found a YouTube channel that celebrates the wonder of audio tape. It is headed by a fellow from Lancashire who knows his TDKs from his Maxells, and his chrome tapes from his ferric tapes. What has amazed me is…

(Do You Remember) Needle Time?

Past of the M60 looks at the long forgotten practice of needle time If you have a few records, CDs and cassettes in your collection, you may have come across this notice: “Unauthorised public performance or broadcasting of this record is strictly prohibited.” Today, this notice or the like refers to the public performance of…

TV Licences: Another Tory Promise Down the Tubes

Non-means tested free TV licence plan for over-75s binned We’ve been here before, haven’t we? Anyone with half a brain would know that a Conservative Party election promise has the longevity of a Primark suit. As we age, our brain power begins to wane unless we exercise our mind with sudokus, quizzes or other creative…

Crosswits, Coffee and Biscuits: Daytime on ITV, Late 1980s Style

Who remembers when morning daytime TV on ITV meant Crosswits instead of people at their wits end? The 07 September 1987 was a seminal date in Independent Television’s history. Before then, all ITV franchisees from 9.25 am carried schools programming. Instead of The Jeremy Kyle Show or This Morning, viewers tuning into Granada or Central…

TV Review: Our Lives: Battle of the Bands

East of the M60‘s review of BBC One’s documentary on brass banding Our Lives: Battle of the Bands: BBC One, 27 May 2019, 7.30pm Presenter: Ruth Madoc; Musical Director (Tredegar Town Band): Ian Porthouse; Musical Director (Cory Band): Philip Harper; Executive Producer (BBC Wales): Christina Macaulay; Executive Producer (Yeti Media Ltd): Siân Price; Producer and…

On Reflection: Fifty Icons of London Weekend Television

50 reasons to celebrate LWT’s fiftieth birthday If you are a child of the 1970s or 1980s (the latter like yours truly), an ITV weekend schedule without an LWT programme would have been unusual. For many, Play Your Cards Right on a Friday night, Blind Date on a Saturday, and Surprise Surprise! on a Sunday night, was…

Must-Listen Alternative Radio Stations: The Not So Perfect Ten

East of the M60 looks at ten must-listen-to alternatives to more familiar radio stations In the last month, we have seen Key 103 change into The Hits Radio. Its transmission area has been extended from Greater Manchester and parts of Cheshire and Lancashire to become a national station. A national station with its headquarters in…