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British Television in The1980s Part 2

Detailed information on our featured shows

Juliet Bravo Juliet Bravo

Juliet Bravo was a drama that focused on two female police inspectors, neither of whom were called Juliet Bravo!!

These two inspectors worked in the small fictional town of Hartley, Lancashire. Jean D'Arblay was on the scene first and had trouble with her sexist colleagues. However she soon managed to gain their trust and prove a woman could be a successful police officer and housewife.

Jean's call sign was Juliet Bravo. When she was promoted and moved on, Kate Longton, who not only took over the patch, but also the headaches that went with it replaced her.

Only Fools and Horses Only Fools and Horses

This show is by far the greatest show in history with out any doubt at all. When it began in 1981 before i was born it was a instant hit but i got to see the videos from thr first couple of years which are good but the best episdoes are from 1985 onwards with the introduction of the bearded uncle albert and his famous quote 'DURING THE WAR'. But the best thing about this show is trigger who is the best tv character of all time even funny than chandler bing from american sitcom friends, he is so stupid it is so funny. In one episode he is talking about his brush which he has used for twenty years and how it is the same brush and then he says that he has changed the head 10 times and 7 new handles CLASSIC.I just hope they still give us the adventures of rodney and del for some time to come.

Hi De Hi Hi De Hi

One of those shows that always gets a mention when people hark back to the 'good old days' of BBC comedy. Set in a Butlins-style seaside resort in the late 1950s the show revolved around the lives of the holiday camp staff and their petty rivalries. Regular topics were the dodgy dealings of overweight comedian Ted Bovis, the one-way romance of camp boss Jeffrey Fairbrother and the overbearing Gladys Pugh, and - of course - cleaner Peggy?s quest to become a Yellowcoat.

Dangermouse Dangermouse

This cartoon about a crime-fighting one-eyed mouse who lives inside a pillar box with his hamster sidekick, Penfold, was the only thing to watch after school in the Eighties. Playgrounds echoed to the catchphrases 'Crumbs, chief!', 'Penfold shush', and 'Si, barone!', brilliantly voiced by Only Fools and Horses? star David Jason, and Terry Scott. Dangermouse was riddled with knowing references to dozens of films, and some critics now rank the series alongside Monty Python and The Goodies in terms of innovation.

The Young Ones The Young Ones

Four students Rick, Neil, Vyvyan and Mike lived in squalor in a decrepit house. Their frequent outbursts of mindless violence were so extreme and ridiculous that it was surely obvious to its critics that it wasn't meant to be realistic! They had brainless intellectual conversations, rebelled against the rest of the world and did absolutely no studying. Plenty of slapstick and toilet meant the younger generation loved it but it was heavily criticised by older folk. Alexi Sayle appeared regularly as their Russian landlord Jerzy Balowski - he also played other members of the landlord's family. The Young Ones paved the way for alternative British comedy despite the facts that only twelve episodes were ever made, and that one episode featured Cliff Richard and a double-decker bus.

Blockbusters Blockbusters

The aim was supposedly to find out if two heads were better than one, by competing in a Connect-4 style general knowledge quiz. Contestants had to win two out of three games and reach the prize 'Hot Spot' - and everyone hoped it would be the pretty one with the low-cut top. The prizes weren't quite Who Wants to be a Millionaire, with usually ?5 on offer per correct answer, but then you don't get to ask Chris Tarrant 'Can I have a 'P' please?'.

Eastenders EastEnders

'Cor, stinks in here,' were the immortal words that ushered in the BBC's most ambitious new show in 1985. Many critics said EastEnders would never catch on, that it was too depressing, and that its characters lacked the warmth of established rivals like Coronation Street. But, unlike other pretenders to the soap throne such as Albion Market and El Dorado, EastEnders stayed the distance. And it's not doing too badly really, is it?

Neighbours Neighbours

Series about the ups and downs of life in an Australian middle-class cul-de-sac in the fictional town of Erinsborough. The series was first a flop on the Australian network but the producer persevered and sold it to BBC1. It was first scheduled for the 10am and 1.30pm slots but on the advice of his school age daughter, BBC1 controller Michael Grade moved the earlier showing to a 5.35pm slot where it captured the child and housewife audience. Probably the biggest story line the programme has ever produced was the wedding of Kylie and Jason, which was flaunted in the tabloids and helped launch both young stars to pop success. Other story lines revolve around the Coffee Shop, Lassiters Hotel and of course their cul-de-sac Ramsay Street named after the one of the most prominent families.

Bread Bread

The Boswell families of Liverpool, like many other families in the 80s, are surviving on government handouts but they try and do so with pride. They knew the system inside out and exploited all the loopholes. The head of the household is Nellie Boswell (Jean Boht) and as a devout Catholic demands her family are present at mealtimes. Husband Freddie was a waster who spent most of his time at his allotment and they had four sons and one badly dressed daughter Aveline who wanted to be a model but ended up marrying a vicar.

Sky Television Sky

When Rupert Murdoch launched Sky TV in 1989 everyone was sure it was doomed to failure. 'Who needs more than four channels?' people asked. 'Who wants an ugly dish on their wall?' 'Who's going to pay to watch Sky when all the good stuff's on the BBC?' But he bought the soaps, he bought the sport, he bought the news. Resistance was futile. Dishes began sprouting everywhere. There simply weren't enough to keep up with demand. As John Lennon once said: "No hell below us, above us only Sky."

Challenge Anneka Challenge Anneka

First there was Treasure Hunt. Contestants would guide the lovely Anneka Rice around the country in a helicopter to win cash prizes. But as the 1980s came to a close greed was no longer good. It had to be 'for charity, mate.' So Anneka got back in her helicopter for the good of mankind. Browbeating hapless carpenters and DIY store managers into giving away their stock to build a scout hut or community. People watched it, of course. But only because they could watch Anneka's rear bobbing up and down throughout the show.

Going Live!Going Live

The first show to successfully pick up the baton of the defunct Multicoloured Swap Shop, despite the valiant efforts of Saturday Superstore. Hosted by Philip Schofield, Sarah Greene and glove puppet Gordon the Gopher, it featured the phone-ins, celebrity guests, competitions and cartoons. These have remained the hallmark of Saturday morning kids' TV - but with slightly higher production values. Going Live once left two presenters sharing one radio microphone.


I'm sorry but I am beginning to see a pattern of British dramas which I dare say is quite bland. The acting, the writing, and even the sets are just similar. Holby City and Casualty are two separate shows but I can't tell the difference. The actors and actresses look the same and I'm sure that the cast of characters of one show end up in the other at one point. Does it matter? Is Casualty popular enough to have spin off series like Holby City? I can't answer it because I don't live in the United Kingdom. It would be nice to see a familiar face among the cast. I watched Coronation Street and see the familiar faces of some cast members. EastEnders is popular simply because Wendy Richard who played Pauline Fowler for 21 years was the heart and soul and not to mention that she was a cast member of the popular comedy, Are you Being Served? and Barbara Windsor who is better known for her roles in Carry On series. That's the problem, I think the shows are stepping stone. In America, we have actors and actresses who have stayed and that's important is the regularity. I'm not saying that British soaps are bad. No way, British soaps like Casualty and Emmerdale are an important factor of British culture. I encourage people especially tourists to watch them. British soaps can be both funny and sad, happy and entertaining as well as enlightening. Don't think that I don't appreciate the British contribution to soaps because I think Britons are quite appreciative of their existence where as in America for example, soaps are only the stepping stone to their careers and sometimes the highlight.

The Bill

The Bill was compulsory viewing for its first decade or so, but its relatively-new executive producer and his team of gossip-writers have conspired to reduce it almost to farce, presumably driven by a desire to attract those who habitually switch off after the serial soaps. That is sad enough, but even sadder is the fact that even its degraded form, The Bill remains one of the better current offerings on television, purely for the two or three minutes per episode now devoted to the original concept. Perhaps we should be grateful for those few minutes, which those attracted to the programme for other reasons may ignore while making or taking bets on which of the Sun Hill staff will soon have a child kidnapped, or prove to be corrupt, have a serious problem with alcohol or drug abuse, turn out to be either adopted or the parent of a long-lost illegitimate child, become unfaithful or a bigamist, go mad or murder several colleagues. If only we'd known.

Taggart Taggart

Taggart is a long-running Scottish detective television programme, created by Glenn Chandler, who has written many of the episodes, and made by SMG Productions (stv) for the ITV network. An internationally famous Glaswegian detective television programme, which is translated into many languages including Dutch, French and Japanese is originally set and filmed in the area of Maryhill police station in Glasgow, Scotland. The series revolves around a group of detectives in the Maryhill CID The Scottish English used by the characters in the show have been the subject of a number of skits, including a long running Tennents lager advert where CG-animated pints of Tennents played Taggart characters. A common one-line parody of the entire show is the word "murder" pronounced with an extremely thick Glasgow accent rolling the 'r' in murder. The programme is considered in France as part of the 'film noir' genre due to its dark and grim storylines.


Data, links and Information courtesy of Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database.



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