In a rant about pointless consumerism and the cult of self, satirically aiming her guns at Rupert Murdoch’s Sky television (the Fox of British TV) Jennifer Saunder’s once said, “I don’t want more choice, I just want better things”. Perhaps this random slice of live sign-off life, from the days pre-multi-channel cable and satellite, is what she was talking about?
I’ve no doubt those days are gone forever. ITV recently announced a series of job cuts, in an attempt to salvage what’s left of the network which once threatened to rival the BBC for quality regional news and current affairs.
The man in the clip is called Neville Wanless, by the way. He once read out my birthday card. He also used to do the continuity announcing on Tyne Tees television, the regional ITV company in my part of the UK. Just hearing his voice again reminds me of plonking myself down in front of the box on no-school days, watching Knight Rider, The Fall Guy, The A Team and then flicking over to the BBC for Doctor Who, Ask the Family and Jim’ll Fix It.
I’m also reminded that “Uncle Neville” wasn’t exactly what you’d call smooth. You’d know it was his time to appear on your screen when the closing titles of the program you were watching, were interrupted with a CLUNK as he dropped his own microphone into the audio stream, overriding the national feed, only to just as clumsily cross fade himself into vision on what was obviously an antiquated potentiometer, that would noticeably squeak. Hmm, maybe some things are better through rose tinted glasses after-all?
Do you have links to regional television from a bygone era in your part of the world? Please share them in the comments