Catchup: all posts in the last 24 hours

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Steve Williams1,774 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I wish there was a timeline of the presenting teams, because I do recall the seemingly revolving door of presenters after Ant and Dec left, but I feel that things settled after Cat left and we had Tess and Brian for ages. But it was a long while ago now.


Because I haven't written enough in this thread, I think the post-Ant and Dec presenting line-up was...
Jan-Mar 2002 - Cat, James, Tess and Brian
Mar-Apr 2002 - Cat, Tess and Brian
Apr-Sep 2002 - Tess, Brian, H and Claire
Sep 2002-Mar 2003 - Tess and Brian
Mar-Aug 2003 - Tess, Brian, Des and Shavaughn
Sep-Dec 2003 - Des and Stephen Mulhern (SMTV Gold)

I think, anyway. The revamp with the new titles and theme was in March 2003. I thought Des Clarke was quite a good presenter, I thought Shavaugn definitely wasn't.
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Brekkie26,727 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
Hmm. I've always argued that having the PP logo at the start or on the break bumpers, is pointless because that's not where the paid promotional items are seen.

The PP really should be on screen as the paid for promotion is on the screen - that way there is no argument, or stops any attempt by either the broadcaster or advertiser at 'hiding' or 'blurring the lines' of the promotion. as straight forward content.

That's fine for a show like SNT where it's in one package, but other shows have the product placement as part of the set so it would basically have to be on screen throughout those scenes.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
Steve Williams1,774 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Not quite sure what the point was behind making people wave at their window when Scarlett just picked the house she was closest to, especially when there were houses down the road lit up to oblivion.


Yeah, I wonder if they might have got in trouble for that, as they announced you had to stand by your windows to win, and then someone who wasn't won. I liked how they said they were watching it on a delay to fast forward through the adverts, mind, because I do that, and also in case one of them dies during Ant vs Dec. Of course, the whole concept of putting all your lights on was taken straight from Don't Forget Your Toothbrush. I liked Scarlett on it, though, I've never watched Gogglebox or saw her on I'm A Celebrity but she was very quick-witted and likeable.

Only thing missing really was the bit where they bring someone down from the audience. There was the couple whose parents were there for their honeymoon but that felt a bit half-arsed, as if they'd filmed it but it turned out to be not very good.


Yeah, I was assuming that was going to lead to something a bit more substantial but it never did, and maybe it is as you say and it turned out to be unusable. It's a thing they've done before anyway, though it seemed a bit elaborate to chuck it away like that. In a way it's quite good they're prepared to do that rather than drag stuff out for the sake of it, but it made the beginning of the show seem a bit of a non-evenr.

Ant v Dec isn't too bad when they keep to the same level of abseiling down the South Bank studios, as opposed to playing Catchphrase with Stephen Mulhern.


Well, I would always go for the latter, partly because of the dying thing, but also because I just want to see the pair of them mucking about and ad-libbing. The thing about Ant vs Dec is that you can do virtually anything in it. I used to love the ones where they became weathermen and stuff, just because it was great fun to see them do all the training.
VMPhil6,958 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
I wish there was a timeline of the presenting teams, because I do recall the seemingly revolving door of presenters after Ant and Dec left, but I feel that things settled after Cat left and we had Tess and Brian for ages. But it was a long while ago now.

I do remember that they had a major revamp with a brand new title sequence, re-recorded theme tune, an all new set, the works. And then shortly afterwards it was axed and replaced with SM:TV Gold, going back to the old titles and old sketches!

And of course Stephen Mulhern presented it for a bit, at a time when he seemingly was destined to appear on every CITV show on the air. Now he's just destined to appear on every ITV show on the air.
Steve Williams1,774 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I admit I always prefered The Chart Show to CD:UK personally.


At the beginning, CDUK seemed a step down from The Chart Show if only because CDUK was a bit of an unknown quantity so they couldn't entice any big guests on, so you went from the guaranteed big hits on The Chart Show to a load of stuff at number 36 in the charts. But as it became more important to the industry, the line-ups improved hugely and I would say that around the turn of the century, it was a great show, they got everyone on there.

It's a bit like when Planet Pop was replaced by Popworld, Planet Pop had ended with Lauren Laverne making cool indie references and being all arch and it seemed a massive step down to go from that to Popworld which had two nobodies as hosts and Simon Fuller lurking in the background. Of course, not long after Popworld was brilliant, and everyone forgot about Planet Pop.

Ultimately with SM:tv they played around with ideas for that first year and found things that worked (it's not flaming good enough with the two Anne Robinson's), Wonkey Donkey (brilliant from day one) and Challenge Ant to name a few. Thank goodness they were commissioned for 52 weeks, it gave them time to slowly morph the show in response to the viewers and through new writers and producers and Saturday Aardvark as summer competition it found its feet and became a much loved Saturday morning institute.


There's some interesting stuff in Ant and Dec's book about those early days, they were terrified it was going to be axed which is more or less why they agreed to do panto that Christmas, they say they used to have to fly to Sunderland straight after the show to do the matinee on Saturday (although as they point out, nobody in the audience were impressed by their dedication because they weren't watching the show anyway). They say that while they were doing the panto they were getting loads of laughs from messing around and bantering with the audience, and realised that's what they should be doing on the telly. So after they did the panto they decided to do that on the telly and it was 100% better.

As everyone else says, I started watching SMTV after Live and Kicking finished for the summer in 1999 (in those days, even if you stuck with the Beeb, you would always end up watching at least the end of ITV's show because the Beeb finished much earlier in the summer). When the new Live and Kicking began I moved back to that, but it was so bad I defected back to SMTV within about a fortnight. I was in my twenties at this point, by the way. Later on they would always target the Beeb, I remember in the summer of 2000 they stopped doing Chums, Challenge Ant and so on and then brought them all back on the day Live and Kicking came back, and trailed them as such for weeks.

Although the "Saturday Chart" was hadly new, as The Chart Show had been using it for years, though CD:UK did push how you could og out that day and buy records to influence the final chart the following day. The first few shows had OBs from a record store finding out what people were buying, though it didn't last long.


Yes! Pete Mitchell and Geoff Lloyd, then of Key 103 and now on Absolute, did the first show from Manchester, but it wasn't very successful, they were a bit uneasy on camera and the concept itself was pretty dull. I also remember they did it on the second show, but then abandoned the idea. They also had Phil Swern in the studio, billed as "Doctor Pop", who wore a spangly jacket and said things like "There are ten new entries in the chart this week!" while looking about eighty, and he soon got the push.

When the show was in its pomp, the other benefit of the chart was that it was less than 24 hours after Top of the Pops, which was still using the previous week's chart, so it seemed much more up to date. The comment about Pops trying to replicate it with the features is a good one - on CDUK they had a record review for a bit and they managed to get in the papers quite a lot, some of it was a bit contrived but I remember Mel C and Louis Walsh having a bit of a spat and it caused a bit of a stir. That's what Top of the Pops wanted to replicate, but they never managed it.

A 10:40 start time due to the Grand Prix, in later years it was CD:UK that was pushed back to a 30 minute edition to allow for more SM:TV time. For what it's worth I did enjoy the early CD:UK as it felt wonderful, live and as though the chart was changing there and then, something that nowadays would work a lot better with the chart based on streams and downloads (the UK Big Top 40 make a point of this).


In the summer of 1999, sometimes in Grand Prix weeks they wouldn't do a normal CDUK but CDUK Popumentary which would be an extended feature on something or other. I remember one about the "new breed" of pop bands who, gasp, played instruments, featuring Hepburn, 21st Century Girls, Next Of Kin and The Moffatts, who had about one and a half hits between them. During the 1999 Rugby World Cup it got shoved around all over the place, one episode of CDUK went out at 5.20, which seemed at the time like a bit of an experiment to see if it could work there full-time, but nothing came of it. I remember they also did a ten minute CDUK one week, where at the end of SMTV they just did the chart and showed the number one.

Also during the summer of 1999, there was a brief contractual issue with the F1 where they couldn't show qualifying live but instead had to show it on a delay, which lasted for a couple of Grand Prix. Then at the last minute, the dispute was solved and they could show it live again, but unfortunately that week's SMTV and CDUK was pre-recorded, so Ant and Dec had to come in and film a new bit for the end of SMTV, outside the studios, to say that CDUK would now be on later that afternoon.

A pal of mine used to work at LWT around this time and he said it was great fun being there on Friday afternoons when they were doing the rehearsals for CDUK and anyone who was hanging around was asked to stand in for the bands.

Wasn't the original producer Ric Blaxill, the same person who "saved" TOTP from the dire 1991-94 era?


Indeed it was, he didn't last long though - I think he might have gone by Christmas.

Maybe it's nostalgia on my part but I think with the right presenters the show could work, after Ant and Dec left you had a period of who is hosting the show and some weeks H and Claire from Steps were there and James Redmond appeared and disappeared quickly then Cat left and you had Tess and Brian which I believed worked well then others joined and disappeared quickly and people left so it was never the same.


What happened after Ant and Dec left was awful, they completely messed it up. At the time I thought James Redmond was a really good choice, because he'd been on the show a lot and had been a great guest - for ages I had on tape an episode from a few months before he took over and in the Dec Says sketch he was absolutely brilliant, the rest of the cast and crew were in absolute hysterics at his performance throughout. I'm assuming that was the moment they decided to offer him the job.

But then when he joined they also hired Tess Daly and Brian Dowling as well, which in itself was not a bad idea, but it meant James was immediately overshadowed. The problem was that Brian was probably more famous and certainly more of interest to the papers than James, so it meant James could never make an impact. What they should have done was just have him and Cat for at least a couple of months to establish him, rather than try and replace him before he'd even started. And then when he left, they did that terrible thing programmes do in never referring to them again, no matter how stupid it looks.

And then you had that bizarre interlude where H and Claire presented for a few months, then they left without any notice at all, but the week after appeared as guests to perform their new single, and were introduced as if they'd never been on before! So within a year you'd gone from this really popular and famous team to a revolving door of hosts and nobody knew who presented it.

As mentioned - Slap Bang tried to recreate SMTV for adults in 2001 - it didn't quite work. For me (watching eps of that back now) - was down to very limited space. It was a lot of SMTV features on the one long studio. If they had the 360 type layout or even used the SMTV studio just with different branding then it might have worked. Also no Cat Deeley kind of took the glue out the middle.


There was lots more wrong with Slap Bang, mind, they admit as such in their book. They say they were no point to it other than being Ant and Dec just doing stuff, and they weren't famous enough for people to tune it just for that. They were very famous and popular by the standards of Saturday morning, but in the grand scheme of things they weren't so most of the audience had no idea who they were.

And if you did know who they were, the stuff taken off SMTV just wasn't as good as SMTV, so you had Challenge Ant with old people, but it was rushed through in about two minutes. If you liked it on SMTV, it wasn't as good, if you didn't know it from SMTV, who cared? Also as well, they mention in the book that you can mess around and do crap jokes for several hours on a Saturday morning, but on a Saturday night you need something more substantial. So they had the spoof sitcom like Chums, but Chums worked because it was knowingly cheap with a load of crap jokes. But when you've got a big budget and a live audience, you're now passing off crap jokes as the actual jokes. You're not parodying a crap sitcom, you are a crap sitcom. It wasn't good enough.

Gosh, went on a bit there, didn't I?
Last edited by Steve Williams on 26 February 2017 5:17pm - 2 times in total
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Hatton Cross2,117 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Hmm. I've always argued that having the PP logo at the start or on the break bumpers, is pointless because that's not where the paid promotional items are seen.

The PP really should be on screen as the paid for promotion is on the screen - that way there is no argument, or stops any attempt by either the broadcaster or advertiser at 'hiding' or 'blurring the lines' of the promotion. as straight forward content.
ITV "Occasionally it gives us something good, but for the most part, it is pathetic and puerile". Lord Taylor, House Of Commons, 1959.
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derek500556 posts since 10 Dec 2003
Westcountry Points West
So the BBC source thinks it will get less viewers than it already gets, without ITV competition and the usual depletion of figures due to an internal ad break?

Of course, with its live second by second return path data from 7m+ Sky homes, Sky will have a more accurate picture of the number of pay homes tuning in, than BARB (who will be more useful for Freeview and cable stats).


Switching off or to another channel in the ad break? Surely, viewers would want to see the stories that are previewed in "Coming Up" just before the commercial break.


Look at any ratings' timeline and you'll see figures drop when ads are on and they pick up again when the programme restarts. This lowers the slot average. Not having an ad break will give the programme a bigger rating, even if the same number are actually watching the programme.

We have the Press Preview on series link and watch it delayed. Spin through to the 10.33pm start and again through the ad break, back up, delete when they go to the weather. Possibly around 20 minutes actual viewing. If I was a BARB panellist I would count as 2/3 of a viewer as only watched 20 of the 30 minute slot.
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