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Steve Williams2,005 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Given the CBBC anniversary thread is so popular, and we're getting some Saturday morning chat in it, I thought it might be nice to set up a fully-fledged Saturday morning thread, mostly inspired by me looking at some clips on YouTube.

When I say Saturday mornings, I mostly mean the four shows that ran on winter Saturday mornings on BBC1 between 1976 and 1999, because they were all basically the same programme. Certainly I enjoyed other shows on a Saturday during the summer (The 8.15 From Manchester) and on ITV (Get Fresh, SMTV) and after that era (Dick and Dom), but I think those four shows are absolutely the most fascinating of them all, and hugely influential. "My" show is Going Live and I think that more than anything else got me interested in telly and made me want to work in it. There was something very special about these shows, in terms of how they used TV Centre, how they interacted with the audience and how they felt genuinely exciting and important, and of course everybody watched it. I also like how you had all the various fixtures that would turn up every year, but always with a fresh spin on them.

One thing that spurred me on to this thread was finding on YouTube a VIVID TV memory, the Trevor and Simon 3D sketch!



I remember laughing hysterically at that at the time, I got it in my head that it went on for several minutes, though clearly the pair, and Jonathan Ross, are desperately trying to stretch it out at the end, presumably the next item had fallen through. The poster is wrong, this is actually from 1990, and it was a whole episode involving 3D sequences, with glasses free with Fast Forward. I used to love big things like that.

I would say 1989-91 was the golden age of Going Live, with the show at the peak of its powers, before Trevor and Simon left and Pip went part time. The episode that REALLY blew me away was the episode from March 1990 on a cross-channel ferry, which started in Dover and ended up in Calais. I really couldn't believe they could do a live telly show, with all the phone-ins and regular features, from a moving ship. At the time I thought it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen on television. None of it's on YouTube, alas, the below clip says it is, but it's actually from the show two years later on the ferry to the Isle of Wight, which will still ace, and technically brilliant, but not as impressive as the French one...



Actually the whole of that episode used to be on YouTube but it's been taken down, alas.

Of course, while it would be brilliant to have a show like this these days, in reality it would never happen because much of the appeal of Going Live, and the reason it could attract such huge names and be so important, was because loads of adults watched it too, because there was literally nothing else on. It was either that, the Open University or a blank screen, so everyone watched it. There's no situation these days where that could happen again.

Anyway, if anyone has memories of Saturday mornings, and would like to share clips and memories, go nuts.
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Brekkie27,366 posts since 4 Jan 2003
HTV Wales Wales Today
I only remember the end of Going Live really and don't really remember it without Phillip or Trev and Simon. Remember more from the Live and Kicking era really.

Still think Saturday morning shows would get a huge adult audience if they were resurrected - probably more so than the kids. I always feel embarrased for the guests on Saturday Kitchen having to endure what they pass off as morning entertainment. I do think the BBC and especially ITV (and C4 with T4) are really missing such an outlet not just for getting big stars in, but also for their own stars too.
Shouldn't that have been posted in the "John Logie Baird has Invented Television" thread?
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Steve in Pudsey8,228 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Yorkshire Look North (Yorkshire)
With apologies for going off at a tangent so early in a new thread, Steve mentions the technical challenge of a live show from a ferry, there's an interesting article here about an edition of Spotlight which was live from a ferry from Jersey

http://wiki.tx.mb21.co.uk/index.php?title=The_Great_Weymouth_Ferry_Disaster
Last edited by Steve in Pudsey on 13 October 2015 6:51am
Write that down in your copybook now.
mannewskev344 posts since 2 Sep 2011
I think Going Live! did 4 shows in total that were wholly OBs. (Towards the end of series 2 to 5.) I think series 2 (1989) was at Centerparcs, can't remember where series 3 went, series 4 was on a steam train and series 5 was on that ferry.
Whataday7,499 posts since 13 Sep 2001
HTV Wales Wales Today
Of course, while it would be brilliant to have a show like this these days, in reality it would never happen because much of the appeal of Going Live, and the reason it could attract such huge names and be so important, was because loads of adults watched it too, because there was literally nothing else on.


And that's why you'd have weird scenarios like Rik & Ade on promoting their post watershed sitcom.
Steve Williams2,005 posts since 1 Aug 2008
I think Going Live! did 4 shows in total that were wholly OBs. (Towards the end of series 2 to 5.) I think series 2 (1989) was at Centerparcs, can't remember where series 3 went, series 4 was on a steam train and series 5 was on that ferry.


Series 2 was indeed at Center Parcs, although as pointed out here, it was actually on 5th November, because I remember it ending with a big fireworks display. Actually there's something a bit odd in this because at four and a half minutes in Pip turns up to say they're going over to Mike Smartt in the newsroom and I have no idea what that's about. He looks jovial enough while doing it, so presumably nothing bad...



After that, the OBs were always in the last weekend of March. In 1990, as I say, it was the cross-channel ferry, and in 1991 it was the steam train on the Watercress Line which was I believe the most complicated of them all technically because of all the trees and everything. Then in 1992 was the Isle of Wight, as seen above, which also involved a ferry ride, and then when they got there at about 10am Saz did the rest of the show from a castle and Pip and Emma Forbes went off on another boat to a lighthouse. That was massively complex as well, in the full show (when it was up) Pip says some of the crew had to stay overnight to set it up.

Of course as well as that there was often Gone Live the week after Christmas and one year they did it from a stately home, but as the name suggests, pre-recorded. Usually that would be a few studio-based links (and it was always strange to see the studio without its usual audience of kids) around an extended Trevor and Simon sketch.
Steve Williams2,005 posts since 1 Aug 2008
Still think Saturday morning shows would get a huge adult audience if they were resurrected - probably more so than the kids. I always feel embarrased for the guests on Saturday Kitchen having to endure what they pass off as morning entertainment. I do think the BBC and especially ITV (and C4 with T4) are really missing such an outlet not just for getting big stars in, but also for their own stars too.


Well, I would wonder why appearing on Saturday Kitchen would be any more embarrassing for celebrities than appearing with the Singing Corner, much as I love Trevor and Simon. They get fed as well. I remember Kelly Jones from The Stereophonics saying on Buzzcocks that when they were plugging an album the best show they did was Something For The Weekend cos the food was good.

As for the adult appeal, first and foremost these shows are to appeal to children, if adults like them it's a bonus. Indeed you can argue that adult appeal was what saw the end of the golden age of BBC Saturday mornings, because I remember hearing at the time that, great though Zoe and Jamie were, they were getting a bit worried they were appealing too much to adults, they were all over the papers of course, and they thought this might be alienating the child audience too much. Hence the ill-advised revamp and the plunge towards more juvenile fare.

The thing is, though, if you think of what Saturday morning telly did - celebrity interviews, OBs, features, music - you've got The One Show. It's basically the same format. So many shows have taken their cue from the different factors of Saturday morning telly, like Saturday Kitchen, Saturday Breakfast, The One Show, adults can get that stuff elsewhere. There's two Saturday morning programmes in that style devoted entirely to football. I hate Tim Lovejoy so much I don't watch Sunday Brunch but write down the format and, for adults, it's the same programme as Going Live was. There is an argument that kids could do with a show where famous people can go on and answer questions but they can do that during the week, and it's up to kids to make it a success.

More clippage, anyway, and here are two fascinating clips from Swap Shop. It sounds a bit banal these days but it was genuinely really exciting to go behind the scenes at the past, and these two are great. First up, and as that year's Swap Shop book points out by popular demand, it's a jaunt to the gallery...



And then a week later, a look around the TV Centre and then a nose into the studio next door...

Rijowhi655 posts since 24 Jul 2005
Central (West) Midlands Today
I only remember the end of Going Live really and don't really remember it without Phillip or Trev and Simon. Remember more from the Live and Kicking era really.

Still think Saturday morning shows would get a huge adult audience if they were resurrected - probably more so than the kids. I always feel embarrased for the guests on Saturday Kitchen having to endure what they pass off as morning entertainment. I do think the BBC and especially ITV (and C4 with T4) are really missing such an outlet not just for getting big stars in, but also for their own stars too.


While I don't agree about Saturday Kitchen being a bad programme, I do agree with your comment generally. They are a great place to find the stars of the future too...something the likes of ITV would do well to remember instead of poaching BBC staff all the time!
On the Internet, you're reading Rijowhi!!!
Hatton Cross2,296 posts since 4 Jan 2003
Central (West) Midlands Today
Subconsciously yes, but Tim Lovejoy has said that the main inspiration for Soccer AM ver2.0. (The first incarnation was a dry look forward to the days games magazine format) was the 3-5 hours of pre-game padding on fa cup final day on BBC and ITV. All celebs and mucking around based loosely around football.
ITV "Occasionally it gives us something good, but for the most part, it is pathetic and puerile". Lord Taylor, House Of Commons, 1959.