Saturday Night classics through the years

Saturday night prime time (6 till 11) is one of the most hotly contested times on TV. The main terrestrial channels will look to fight tooth and nail to get you to stay in and watch the programmes they have to offer. It’s been a source of great pride and competition when one gets a winner. In the past, before Sky satellite TV and the introduction of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, there were “event” shows. These are programmes that you dare not miss for fear of having nothing to talk about with your work colleagues on a Monday morning. Whatever you decide to watch, you’ll need to ensure that you have the correct way to receive the signal. The TV aerial installation Gloucester based outfit http://steveunettaerials can make sure you have no blurred characters or crackly detail.

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The first show you usually get on a Saturday night is a frothy comedy. This is to hook you into staying with the channel all night long. This is especially important to the ITV channels that use commercials between the shows to fund themselves. In recent years ITV would start with a show like Harry Hill’s TV Burp, but before that, they turned to their top man, Micheal Barrymore. Strike it Lucky and My Kind of People were all shows used to draw in a regular viewing public. On the BBC’s side, they would use a well worn old favourite like Dad’s Army or Are you being served? This was followed by Doctor Who, which has already gained a hugely loyal fan basis. After that, it was, and still is, Casualty, which would take us up to the news.

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However, the reality TV show began to feed into the Saturday night tv classics. Pop Idol and Pop Idol: The Rivals were the first. A 12-week competition to take you up to Christmas as the nation chose its favourite singer. It was perfect family entertainment. It’s where Simon Cowell learned to recreate when he started making the X-Factor.

Not to be outdone, the BBC found that an early-evening programme filler called Strictly come dancing was becoming very popular with the public. Soon it morphed into a vast and lavish competition and directly challenged the X factor’s dominance.

The shows are not that removed from what we’ve had in the past. Opportunity Knocks and New Faces were new talent shows searching for new stars throughout the ’70s and ’80s. Another was It’s a Knockout, where competing teams would partake in silly games; some even represented Great Britain in the European finals. Others that have faded to the wayside are Noels House Party on the BBC and Ultraquiz on ITV. At one point, the King of Saturday night was Bruce Forsyth. The Generation Game, You bet! Play your cards right, and the first presenter of Strictly Come Dancing, he was the man that fronted so many successful Saturday night classics it’s hard to imagine anyone else doing them!

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