Back to Christmas 1985 (1st January 1986)

Happy New Year. Surprisingly held over from Christmas week, today the feature length Last of the Summer Wine special Uncle of the Bride finally airs. We’re into the era where it’s been noted that the supporting cast began to snaffle a little more of the limelight (although to be fair, this had been happening ever since the first series) and Seymour (Michael Aldridge) makes his debut.

Seymour obviously had to be a different character from Foggy and although eventually the series would end up in a rut (many episodes during the next few years revolved around Compo being used as a guinea pig for Seymour’s latest impractical invention) it’s impossible not to enjoy Aldridge’s turn.

BBC2 offers a couple of films that are worth VCRing – The Front Page with Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau followed by the Marx Brothers’ Animal Crackers.

I continue to lament that there’s not more of A Frame With Davis in the wild, so until the happy day when the whole series suddenly appears we’ll have to make do with fragments like this.

C4 offers a very solid evening. First up is Mr Parnes, shillings and pence, a film documentary about Larry Parnes – Britain’s most notable pre-Beatles pop manager. That’s followed by Blue Suede Shoes (although this show has had a few different names over the years) in which Carl Perkins corrals a group of his famous friends – George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Dave Edmunds, Eric Clapton – for an hour’s worth of good-natured rockabilly. Then there’s episode one of Unknown Chaplin, Thames’ top-notch three part documentary series.

4 thoughts on “Back to Christmas 1985 (1st January 1986)

  1. That’s a lovely illustration of greylag geese in the Radio Times listing. There was so much interesting and attractive design in the magazine’s heyday.

    The only thing that I recall watching on this day was the Timewatch about the Public Records Office. If I were watching today I would plan to see; the Philip Larkin tribute, Crossroads, Coronation Street and The Comic Strip Presents: Consuela (looking back now it’s extraordinary quite how long it took the Comic Strip before they trusted French & Saunders with a film of their own). The 1964 Larkin Monitor film is the pick of the day and would get videoed to keep. It would fit very neatly on the end of the Channel 4 Granada night on a four-hour tape!

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  2. I didn’t see much on that day. I saw some of Unknown Chaplin when it was shown on ITV. It was narrated by James Mason who also narrated the early 1980 series Hollywood, and I think it was made by the same production company. Carl Davies wrote the music for both series.

    I have seen Clash of the Titans, but I don’t know if I saw it on New Year’s Day 1986. The film was made in 1981. Was this its first tv screening?

    I saw the Cliff Richard films, but they weren’t that good. Summer Holiday was the best of the three. Cliff’s best film was Thunderbirds Are Go!

    I may have seen Michael Aldridge’s fiirst Last of the Summer wine on its first broadcast.

    How long have BBC been doing the New Year’s Concert from Vienna. I have seen it once. It’s Austria’s equivalent of Last Night of the Proms, but the audience are more formally dressed, and the audience participation is more restrained.

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  3. The New Year’s Day episode of Coronation Street was a corker with Julie Goodyear putting in a decent performance as Bet Lynch, when she gives love rat Frank Mills his marching orders.

    1986 was a decent year for Corrie as they began to hit back at their new rivals Eastenders with some grittier plots that included Mike Baldwin’s relationship with Susan Barlow, the Rovers fire and the arrival of Alan Bradley.

    The BBC1 evening film for NYD was Rocky 2 – I believe Rocky 4 was released in the cinemas at the end of 1985, so this was a nice touch by the Beeb to ramp up some captive viewing.

    January 1986 would also see the arrival of one of my own personal TV favourites – Boon – but it wouldn’t make it’s debut until the 14th. Hi ho silver!!!!

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