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TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1980 | by brizzle born and bred
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TV Shows We Used To Watch - 1980

UK TV Events 1980


20 January - The British record TV audience for a film is set when some 23,500,000 viewers tune in for the ITV showing of the James Bond film Live and Let Die, released in 1973 and starring Roger Moore who is now in the process of filming his fifth film as the spy.


24 January – The IBA reappoints most ITV franchises.


25 February – first episode of the popular political sitcom Yes Minister broadcast by the BBC.


4 April – Violet Carson makes her last appearance as Ena Sharples on Coronation Street.


9 April – ATV airs the critically acclaimed Death of a Princess, a drama documentary about a young princess from a fictitious Middle-Eastern Islamic nation and her lover who are publicly executed for adultery.


The drama is believed to be based on the true story of Princess Masha'il and its showing causes a great deal of controversy, provoking an angry response from the Saudi Arabian government.


6 May - The BBC's five-year-old Ceefax service is rebranded as Orbit.


November – The first annual Children in Need charity appeal organised by the BBC.


21 November – 21.5 million viewers tune in to watch the 1980–81 season premier of Dallas, which answers the question of Who shot J.R.?. At the time the audience figures are a record for a soap in Britain.


9 December – The single drama The Flipside of Dominick Hide is first broadcast as part of the Play for Today series on BBC1.


9 December – 20th anniversary of the first episode of Coronation Street.


28 December – A shake-up of broadcasting franchises paves the way for the launch of breakfast television.


TV-am is awarded the contract to begin transmission in 1983. Also, it is announced that TSW will replace Westward and TVS will replace Southern. ATV must restructure the company to create a separate East and West Midlands service, and reduce the shareholding of its parent body to 51% by February 1981.




Hi-de-Hi! was a British sitcom that aired on the BBC from 1980 to 1988.


It was set in Maplins, a fictional holiday camp, during 1959 and 1960 and was written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, who also wrote Dad's Army and It Ain't Half Hot Mum amongst others.


The title was the phrase used to greet the campers and in early episodes was written Hi de Hi. The series revolved around the lives of the camp's management and entertainers, most of them struggling actors or has-beens.


The inspiration was the experience of writers Perry and Croft: after being demobilised from the Army, Perry was a Redcoat at Butlins, Pwllheli during the holiday season.


The series gained large audiences and won a BAFTA as Best Comedy Series in 1984. In 2004, it came 40th in Britain's Best Sitcom and in a 2008 poll on Channel 4, Hi-de-Hi! was voted the 35th most popular comedy catchphrase.


Watchdog was first shown in 1980 as a weekly slot on BBC1's news magazine programme Nationwide. Hugh Scully, best known for presenting the Antiques Roadshow, was the original host. Nationwide ended in 1983, but Watchdog continued with its successor, Sixty Minutes. Sixty Minutes lasted only nine months, and Scully left the programme at the end of the 1984 series.


Juliet Bravo is a British television series, which ran on BBC1 between 1980 and 1985. The theme of the series concerned a female police inspector who took over control of a police station in the fictional town of Hartley in Lancashire.




Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way was a hit television series on BBC in the 1980s starring Barbara Woodhouse. It was taped in 10 episodes at Woodhouse's home in Hertfordshire, England. The show was also internationally syndicated. In the show she often used two commands: "walkies" and "sit"; the latter of which was parodied in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy where James Bond does a Woodhouse impersonation, puts his hand up in a command posture, repeats Woodhouse's catch-phrase to a tiger and the animal responds to it by obeying.


Newsnight is a daily BBC Television current affairs programme which specialises in analysis and often robust cross-examination of senior politicians. Jeremy Paxman has been its main presenter for over two decades.


Yes Minister is a satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC Television between 1980 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total there were 38 episodes, of which all but one lasted half an hour. Several episodes were adapted for BBC Radio, and a stage play was produced in 2010, the latter leading to a new television series on UKTV Gold in 2013.




Crossroads is a British television soap opera set in a fictional motel near Birmingham, England. Created by Hazel Adair and Peter Ling, the commercial ITV network originally broadcast the series between 1964 and 1988. Produced by ATV (until the end of 1981) and later by Central it became a byword for cheap production values, particularly in the 1970s and early 1980s. The series was revived in a glossier version by Carlton Television in 2001, but was again cancelled in 2003.


The original theme tune was composed by Tony Hatch, and notably covered by Paul McCartney & Wings on their 1975 album Venus and Mars. A new version, which was first aired in 1987 when the series was relaunched as Crossroads, Kings Oak, was composed by Raf Ravenscroft and Max Early.


The Streets of San Francisco is a 1970s television police drama filmed on location in San Francisco, California, and produced by Quinn Martin Productions, with the first season produced in association with Warner Bros. Television (QM produced the show on its own for the remainder of its run).


It starred Karl Malden and Michael Douglas as two detectives in San Francisco. The show ran for five seasons, between September 16, 1972, and June 9, 1977, on ABC, amassing a total of 119 60-minute episodes.


Emmerdale, known as Emmerdale Farm until 1989, is a long-running British soap opera set in Emmerdale (known as Beckindale until 1994), a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale Farm was first broadcast on 16 October 1972. It is produced by Yorkshire Television, now part of ITV Studios, and has been filmed at their Yorkshire Studios since its inception. It has since been shown in all regions of ITV almost throughout its existence. It is the UK's second oldest soap opera and one of the 'Top 4' alongside Coronation Street, EastEnders and Hollyoaks.


It was originally broadcast as a daytime programme in an afternoon slot, becoming an early evening programme in 1978 in most ITV regions, but excluding London and Anglia, both of which followed in the mid-1980s. Until Christmas 1988, Emmerdale took seasonal breaks; since then it has been broadcast year-round.


Magpie was a British children's television programme shown on ITV from 30 July 1968 to 6 June 1980. It was a magazine format show intended to compete with the BBC's Blue Peter, but attempted to be more "hip", focusing more on popular culture. The show's creators Lewis Rudd and Sue Turner named the programme Magpie as a reference to the magpie's habit of collecting small items, and because of "mag" being evocative of "magazine", and "pie" being evocative of a collection of ingredients.


Only When I Laugh is a British television sitcom made by Yorkshire Television for ITV between 29 October 1979 and 16 December 1982. It is set in the ward of an NHS hospital. The title is the answer to the question, "Does it hurt?"


It stars James Bolam, Peter Bowles, and Christopher Strauli as patients Roy Figgis, Archie Glover, and Norman Binns. Mr. Gordon Thorpe, their consultant surgeon, is played by Richard Wilson; and Gupte, the staff nurse from Delhi, is played by Derrick Branche.

The show was one of many successes for writer Eric Chappell, and was rerun on ITV3 in 2007.


UK TV Commercials Adverts from 1980 from ITV

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Taken on July 28, 2013