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Steve Williams2,781 posts since 1 Aug 2008
The main thing I remember about that show is the opening titles which had her in a chair spinning round and grinning inanely while the camera zoomed in and out with some incredibly cheesy music playing. I still giggle thinking about it, it was so ridiculous.


For all that it was a pretty controversial show, it was an adaptation of an Australian series and there were lots of complaints that it was making fun out of people with dementia - the main comedy of the series came from the conflict between how much Stephanie Cole's character was really suffering from dementia and how much she was putting on.

Despite not being especially popular, it was recommissioned, but that was at least in part because BBC1 launched ten sitcoms in 1997 and they all flopped massively, so in lieu of any better ideas they gave it another go (and this was also the period where they were commissioning a second series at the same time as the first). But it flopped even worse.
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bilky asko gave kudos
01tomki119 posts since 4 May 2006
Granada North West Today
This thread is bringing back so many memories! I can remember as a child in the 90s, we had a large 20 inch 4:3 CRT as our main TV and 1 day I noticed small black bars at the top and bottom of screen. I can’t remember anyone talking about it but it’s something I certainly do. We got freeview not long after launch and seem to remember the big black bars did not go down well! We got a proper 28 inch widescreen CRT tv in 2004. The digital picture was amazing! My Nan was not impressed because she couldn’t couldn’t find a cabinet big enough to hide it in! At that time pretty much everything we watched was in widescreen. However, I remember BBC North West Tonight was broad-caste in WS but there was very small black lines at each side of the screen. Was this because manchester was not set up for WS? It was years before they disappeared
itsrobert6,320 posts since 23 Mar 2001
Granada North West Today
BBC News 24 launched in full 16:9 production in N9 (though it wasn't really known as that then) in November 1997


Speaking of that, I've always found it unusual that N6, 8 and 9 (there was no N7 because they were worried about it being confused with TC7 apparently) opened in reverse order. N9 opening, as you said, in November 1997, N8 roughly a year later when News 24 moved there, and N6 in May 1999 when the main news bulletins moved there.


I may be talking complete rubbish here, but I'm pretty sure I read/heard somewhere that the last year/months(?) of the virtual era news came from N6. Is that right? I've never really been able to confirm it again. I know that TC7 replaced TC2 for some news programmes in 1997 and that N9 opened in November 1997. Stage 6 (the News Centre) opened in 1998 and this section included both N6 and N8. News 24 moved into N8 and World moved into N9. At this point, N1 and N2 were no longer used for News bulletins. So, did the BBC1 bulletins move into N6 in 1998 or not until May 1999 and the rebrand of BBC News? Can anyone in the know confirm what actually happened?
Revitt457 posts since 13 Mar 2007
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
BBC News 24 launched in full 16:9 production in N9 (though it wasn't really known as that then) in November 1997


Speaking of that, I've always found it unusual that N6, 8 and 9 (there was no N7 because they were worried about it being confused with TC7 apparently) opened in reverse order. N9 opening, as you said, in November 1997, N8 roughly a year later when News 24 moved there, and N6 in May 1999 when the main news bulletins moved there.


I may be talking complete rubbish here, but I'm pretty sure I read/heard somewhere that the last year/months(?) of the virtual era news came from N6. Is that right? I've never really been able to confirm it again. I know that TC7 replaced TC2 for some news programmes in 1997 and that N9 opened in November 1997. Stage 6 (the News Centre) opened in 1998 and this section included both N6 and N8. News 24 moved into N8 and World moved into N9. At this point, N1 and N2 were no longer used for News bulletins. So, did the BBC1 bulletins move into N6 in 1998 or not until May 1999 and the rebrand of BBC News? Can anyone in the know confirm what actually happened?


Wouldn't that have meant they had to completely rip out the blue set and build the new cream one in the space of 13 hours? Last virtual bulletin ended just after 10pm on 9 May 99 and first appearance of the new set was 11am next morning.
thegeek4,964 posts since 1 Jan 2002
London London
Some drama shot on Super 16 was telecined to 14:9-15:9 letterbox (whilst still being edited in the 4:3 domain) before digital TV launched, so some shallow letterboxing was beginning to be seen outside of movies.


This includes 'Our Friends in the North' I think, which was shown as far back as early 1996 - presumably it's possible to remaster it in full widescreen but all DVD releases have been 4:3 with small black bars.

Annoyingly my one big TV drama I was in (BBC's 'Victoria and Albert' in 2001) was released on DVD in non-anamorphic widescreen, so letterboxed 16:9 in a 4:3 frame - the image quality's far less than I'd hope for a production so recent, but I should be happy at least it made it to DVD at all.

When I worked in playout (2005 or thereabouts), and 4:3 programmes had to be put on server as pillarboxed (12P16), the occasional transmission tape that showed up as 14:9 (14L12) was a bit vexing.

I think what we were meant to do was treat it as 4:3, but then widescreen viewers would see thick black bars at the sides and thin ones at the top and bottom.
What I usually did instead was ARC it to 14P16, so widescreen viewers would get it full height but with narrow pillarboxes; and analogue viewers in a 14:9 letterbox as delivered - just with a bit of a loss of resolution from all the picture smushing.
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judin, VMPhil and 3 others
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VMPhil9,777 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Interestingly, I put the Drama channel on a few times yesterday and noticed a 1998 episode of Dalziel & Pascoe in 14:9 in a 4:3 frame, and a 1998 episode of Kavanagh QC in 16:9.

Probably a question only the director of the original show would know, but I wonder if Dalziel & Pascoe was framed only with the intention of it being seen in 14:9 or whether it was future proofed for a 16:9 version.
Neil Jones5,421 posts since 23 Dec 2001
Central (West) Midlands Today
Dalziel & Pascoe went 16:9 (it says here) at the beginning of its 4th series which started in June 1999.

However that being said Drama and some of the UKTV network went through a long period of only obtaining 14:9 prints of a lot of stuff that was already 16:9 and for whatever reason they nevet got round to updating these prints which they're probably still using today.
VMPhil9,777 posts since 31 Mar 2005
Granada North West Today
Dalziel & Pascoe went 16:9 (it says here) at the beginning of its 4th series which started in June 1999.

However that being said Drama and some of the UKTV network went through a long period of only obtaining 14:9 prints of a lot of stuff that was already 16:9 and for whatever reason they nevet got round to updating these prints which they're probably still using today.

Yes I did think that, but most of those old prints have been updated now and as you say, the Internet claims that the show only went 16:9 from the 1999 series on. So it seems to be one of those ’90s dramas with 14:9 letterboxing as James above says.


If the original film elements still exist and they do a HD transfer though, I’m wondering if it’d be in 16:9 or if the director would still have wanted it to be seen in 14:9.