Cel­e­brat­ing mo­ments from Satur­day night TV

Macclesfield Express - - TVWEEK -

Rock on Tommy - here's a chance to re­live some of the best mo­ments Satur­day night TV has de­liv­ered over the decades The Satur­day Night Story (ITV, 8pm). Ac­tu­ally, let's qual­ify that some­what, some of the best mo­ments to fea­ture in ITV's shows, be­cause this is re­ally just a low-bud­get way to fill up the sched­ules while the broad­caster gives it­self a good, old­fash­ioned, pat on the back. Last De­cem­ber, Michael Grade hosted a rather more se­ri­ous and in-depth pro­gramme en­ti­tled The Fight for Satur­day Night TV over on BBC Four. He was the ideal man to take charge, ba­si­cally be­cause he'd been in the thick of it him­self, do­ing bat­tle for both the Beeb and ITV at dif­fer­ent times in his ca­reer. The doc­u­men­tary ex­am­ined how and why Satur­day's evening sched­ule had be­come such a bat­tle­ground over the years, and that it was a war for rat­ings that was still rag­ing, with the heavy­weights, Strictly Come Danc­ing and The X Fac­tor, cur­rently pack­ing the big­gest punches. Over the years, ITV has prob­a­bly fared the best out of the two sta­tions; per­haps glitz, glam­our and flash­ing lights sit more easily on the third chan­nel than they do on the BBC, a place that no mat­ter how hard it tries, can't shake of its man­tel as a ven­er­a­ble in­sti­tu­tion. We're not sure we'd want it to, ei­ther. So while Strictly may have bucked the trend by pum­melling Si­mon Cow­ell's all-singing jug­ger­naut into sub­mis­sion dur­ing the past few years, over­all, ITV has fea­tured more light en­ter­tain­ment clas­sics than it can shake a stick at. And there's one woman who will cer­tainly fea­ture highly in this short se­ries. It may have been pro­duced be­fore Cilla Black's sud­den death a fort­night ago, but as she had been a stal­wart of Satur­day nights on ITV thanks to Blind Date, you can bet she'll pop up be­fore too long. But there are plenty more celebri­ties and their pro­grammes fea­tured here. 'Rock on Tommy', the words that open this ar­ti­cle, is, of course, the once-fa­mous catch­phrase of Bobby Ball, and were al­ways spo­ken to his com­edy part­ner Tommy Cannon, usu­ally ac­com­pa­nied by a pull on his brightly coloured braces. They were pop­u­lar with ev­ery­one from the age of five to 95, and had a lon­grun­ning show that lasted from 1979 to 1988. They're among the fa­mous faces of­fer­ing their opin­ions on Satur­day night telly here.

Top TV Bobby Ball and Tommy Cannon look back.

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