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NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
Well its clearly green screen and the towers aren't particularly prominent (my attention was drawn initially to the Statue of Liberty and I had to look twice to see the towers).

Those titles were in use in 1999, long before 9/11:

(see very beginning)

In fact it looks like they just cropped it for the widescreen "version" from 2001 if you compare the above 4:3 to the TV-Ark 16:9...
IS
Inspector Sands
CNN's 'breaking news' of the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.


Proper old school news coverage - shambolically coming on air in a hurry and primitive use of telephones
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 5 October 2020 8:19pm
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GO
gottago London London


There was a story years ago about how Channel 5's kids stuff was going to be sharing studios with Richard Desmonds mucky channels in docklands. I don't know if that ever happened

Bit late but yes this did happen. Both based in the building's basement. I think the Health Lottery draws were also filmed there. Someone I knew worked for the then fledgling in house production company and 5 Creative (does this still exist in any form?) was also based there I believe.
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TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today
From the final week before Play School's ... controversial revamp, (and move to BBC One), the final Monday's edition, the 5000th one, too.

The theme for the final week was packing, as mentioned by Sarah Long. Watching some of the last editions in the original format just makes the transition all the more jarring, considering the revamp was all about modernising the show and stripping it of it's most iconic elements: (the windows becoming shapes, the toys disappearing, etc), although they backpedalled on this a little later on.


I wonder if the last original format editions were filmed simultaneously with the first new format ones, considering they had the knowledge of the revamp going ahead.
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IS
Inspector Sands
stripping it of it's most iconic elements: (the windows becoming shapes, the toys disappearing, etc).


Weren't the windows always shapes?


I wonder if the last original format editions were filmed simultaneously with the first new format ones, considering they had the knowledge of the revamp going ahead.

I imagine they just recorded them at the usual rate they always did. I don't see why they would need to do both types at the same time, they were still showing one a day so wouldn't need to make them quicker.

Was it really such the big thing that you're making out?
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 7 October 2020 7:37am - 4 times in total
TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today

Was it really such the big thing that you're making out?


There was a lot of backlash from the general public and the show's former presenters, most notably Fred Harris who dubbed it an "everyday Play Away", (ironically, that show got cancelled 7 months after the Play School revamp).

It's well documented it was partly the revamp that contributed to the show's cancellation in 1988, which was met with an even bigger outcry, Johnny Ball even calling it "the biggest disgrace at the BBC that happened to any department."

I recommend the Trumpton Riots episode about the series, which looks at the show's final years before it's axing, the key motive behind the revamp was to compete with the launch of Children's ITV in January 1983:
Last edited by ToasterMan on 7 October 2020 10:46am - 2 times in total
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SW
Steve Williams
Was it really such the big thing that you're making out?


Well, the revamp was big news for me, it's probably my very earliest telly memory. I was absolutely fascinated by the whole thing, with them packing up the old studio, with boxes all over the set and it being slowly dismantled for the final week of the old incarnation, and and then I remember the first of the new look shows started with them all bringing the boxes into the "new" Play School. I still think it was really nicely done, I have such vivid memories of it, it really stuck with me.

I've got the Radio Times from a few weeks later and someone writes in to say the whole thing fascinated their kids because they happened to be moving house at the same time. It's true to say it was quite radical, or as radical as Play School can be, and certainly over the following weeks and months they toned down some of the bigger changes and some of the older presenters started appearing more regularly again. But it was at heart still good old Play School, and the like the final axing of the show in 1988, it was all done to move with the times and reflect the current thinking in pre-school education.
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TM
ToasterMan Granada North West Today

I've got the Radio Times from a few weeks later and someone writes in to say the whole thing fascinated their kids because they happened to be moving house at the same time. It's true to say it was quite radical, or as radical as Play School can be, and certainly over the following weeks and months they toned down some of the bigger changes and some of the older presenters started appearing more regularly again. But it was at heart still good old Play School, and the like the final axing of the show in 1988, it was all done to move with the times and reflect the current thinking in pre-school education.

I suppose the Play School revamp could arguably seen as the prototype for many of it's spiritual successors, especially Playbus/Playdays, its replacement. It helped that many of the former presenters and crew went on to work for Felgate Productions on Playdays.


In a Radio Times article during the first week of Playdays, Anna Home and former Play School executive producer, Cynthia Felgate, explicitly said Playdays was taking the best bits of Play School and expanding upon it with new elements, as you said, here it is:
*

Strange to think Play School was and still is being produced by ABC in Australia to this day, after the original UK version got axed.
Last edited by ToasterMan on 7 October 2020 12:23pm - 3 times in total
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MA
madmusician Central (West) Midlands Today
I think we probably all know an ‘argumentative Welsh bird’...! Very Happy

Also amused by the quote in that article: “Some kids will find that there’s one day they like the best. Others will like another” - well that didn’t turn out to be true in the end, did it? Mr Jolly was everybody’s favourite stop!

Also interesting to note that by the end (and the era that I remember, having been born in 1991), rather than being five distinct programmes and productions, there was quite a lot of overlap between the stops, with Why Bird, Peggy Patch and Poppy being the regular puppet characters - each having their own ‘stop’, but all also appearing in the Roundabout Stop and popping up all over the place.
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SW
Steve Williams
I remember that article, especially Brian Jameson's rictus grin in the picture. It is interesting that Jameson suggests, as you mention, that kids will have their favourite stops because you would think that wouldn't do much to encourage viewer loyalty, and of course Play School had done sort of the same thing when it began which each day having a theme which was later abandoned as seemingly being too limiting. As you say, towards the end all the stops were spilling into each other, presumably for that reason.
NT
NorthTonight North Reporting Scotland
stripping it of it's most iconic elements: (the windows becoming shapes, the toys disappearing, etc).


Weren't the windows always shapes?


I wonder if the last original format editions were filmed simultaneously with the first new format ones, considering they had the knowledge of the revamp going ahead.

I imagine they just recorded them at the usual rate they always did. I don't see why they would need to do both types at the same time, they were still showing one a day so wouldn't need to make them quicker.

Was it really such the big thing that you're making out?


There was an extended week of repeats before the week about the move. IMO they recorded the week with Sarah Long etc before the repeats started and then showed it immediately before the new look.

It took them a while to get back to “ relatively normal “. They moved from the new look windows to a big spinning disc with shapes on round about Christmas 1984, and then eventually reverted to versions of the pre revamp windows later on. Once they’d done that you only saw one window at a time, so no more guessing which window. Also there was the addition of the diamond window.

They didn’t really “play much” on the use of the clock until the clock with cuckoo appeared.

A shame it’s still not around or been revived seeing, as someone has already mentioned in the thread, that it’s still around in Australia today. I know “ Tikabilla “ had the clock / windows but wasn’t around for that long.

Revamp day one :

https://youtu.be/Wbn4qRgeKsE

Day three windows clip ( 21.09.1983 not 1981 as the title states :

https://youtu.be/js2jrV6Kln8

Example with the “ return to normal “ windows

https://youtu.be/ETq-hednlBY
SO
Soupnzi London London
Did they really ditch the toys for the revamp? That seems incredibly short-sighted.

There’s an edition of R4’s The Reunion on BBC Sounds from about 10 years ago where musical director Jonathan Cohen admits the various attempts to revamp the programme regrettably failed.

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