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Popular TV hits of the 1980s revisited by Channel 5

Channel 5

Popular TV hits of the 1980s revisited by Channel 5

Having looked at the popular programmes of the 1960s and 1970s Channel 5 now turn their attention to the 1980s.

The Greatest TV of the 80s is a two-hour celebration of the very best and popular television of the decade that saw Miner strikes, rubik’s cubes, huge mobile phones and Margaret Thatcher almost blown up by a bomb.

Featuring the stars from the shows and footage from the archives Channel 5 remember the very best comedy, drama, kids TV, sitcoms and event television.

The 80s was a time of great change. Music TV was revolutionised thanks to shows like The Tube (Tyne Tees TV/Channel 4). Comedy got a shake-up thanks to The Young Ones (BBC) and the rise of alternative comedy. Traditional-style sitcoms also remained huge hits with Only Fools and Horses (BBC) and Blackadder (BBC) pulling in the viewers.

There was also big drama from the BBC with Tenko and ITV gave us Brideshead Revisited (Granada TV).

There was an explosion of soaps with Brookside (Mersey TV/Channel 4) and EastEnders (BBC) making huge impacts on the schedules – not to mention the arrival of the glossy US super-soaps Dallas (Lorimar/CBS) and Dynasty (ASP/ABC). Coronation Street (Granada TV/ITV) marked 21 years while Crossroads (ATV/Central/ITV) said goodbye to Noele Gordon. Crossroads producer Reg Watson however had a new hit on his hands with the Australian cul-de-sac serial Neighbours (Grundy/BBC/Channel Seven/Network 10).

There was the arrival of breakfast TV; ITV launched Good Morning Britain (TV-am) and Breakfast Time was the offering from BBC One. Cilla Black said Surprise Surprise (LWT/ITV) to Blind Date (LWT/ITV) and Spitting Image (Central/ITV) burst onto screens.

Tiswas (ATV/Central/ITV) came to an end while Swap Shop transformed into Saturday Superstore (BBC). There were also new cops on the box as The Bill (Thames TV/ITV) began an almost 30-year beat in London.

In this show, Michael Buerk speaks frankly about that news report, seen in over 100 countries. William Roache remembers his biggest storyline which saw Ken Barlow in a love triangle with wife Deirdre and arch nemesis Mike Baldwin and Chris Tarrant remembers a spectacular prank involving Lenny Henry and Sir Trevor Macdonald.

Other’s reflecting on the programmes of the decade include Trudie Goodwyn, Ann Bell, Nina Wadia, Jimmy Tarbuck, John Sargeant, Anne Diamond, Sherrie Hewson, John Thomson and Debbie McGee who recalls her late husband Paul Daniel’s magical career while Cheryl Baker remembers the moment that she was part of Eurovision (BBC) winning Bucks Fizz.

The Greatest TV of the 80s, Saturday, November 18th at 10.25 pm on Channel 5. The Greatest TV of the 60s and The Greatest TV of the 70s can be seen on My5.

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