THE nostalgic journey back to Christmas 1976 continues courtesy of Radio Times. After the mishap of falling off my cluttered desk and landing near the waste paper bin, the 1976 edition sustained no major damage and remains in pretty good nick (see my previous blog ‘Aerials, Cassettes and lashings of booze!’). Hopefully it will survive for another 20 years under watchful supervision.
Christmas viewing has always been a point of discussion – who’d win the war of the ratings? Which James Bond film would be shown after The Queens Speech? Whatever we ended up watching in 1976, we were watching them on a pretty chunky television without the comfort of a remote control. These were the TV’s that really needed two strong people to safely manoeuvre them into our homes. Once plugged and operational, the next step would be to manually tune in the three channels. After tuning in, then it’s a case of getting a decent reception – indoor aerials usually took up a spot on top of the television set. Due to the lack of remote control, we’d be clocking up the steps walking back and forth juggling with channels and adjusting the aerial. One other thing … there were still a lot of black and white televisions knocking around in 1976.
So what sort of stuff was on television this time 41 years ago? Programmes began on BBC1 at 8.50am! That would be considered pretty late these days. If you thought 8.50am was late then BBC2 was a part-time channel … it kicked off at 1.40pm! If you were up by 9am then you’d be able to catch Noel Edmonds on Multi-Coloured Swap Shop. After that you’d be stuck with Grandstand, the BBC’s sporting giant that lasted for almost 5 hours! Racing from Ascot, Boxing and Table Tennis were some of the sports we’d tune into. Not into sport? Part-timer BBC2 came to the rescue with a couple of Hollywood films. Play Away provided a bit of children’s entrainment after the film fest. BBC1 programmes ended at 12.12am and BBC2 at 1.35am.
How times have changed – we now flick TV channels without shifting our bums. We now have so many channels that it causes confusion. The chunky, four-buttoned TV’s have been replaced with sleek, sexy flat screen models. There’s no room inside for aerials so they’ve been banished to the roof. 24 hour television programmes, numerous channels, flat screen TV’s, remote control … we’re being spoilt!