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    Brookside

    Brookside

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    Channel 4 (ended 2003)
    The first episode was shown on Channel 4's opening night, November 2nd 1982 at 8pm. Initially screening twice weekly, it created hysteria in its opening months as bad-language and poor acting meant the series was panned by critics and viewers alike. However, after its first year, 'Brookside' became extremely popular and was Channel 4's top rated series for the rest of the 1980's. High points from the early years included the terrifying siege from 1985 in which 3 characters were held hostage in Number 7 by a crazed gunman. The following year, perennial favourite Sheila Grant (Sue Johnston) was sexually attacked and the writers of 'Brookside' sensitively handled the issue with admirable restraint. It was also during 1986 that 'Brookside's most long-running and popular character Jimmy Corkhill (Dean Sullivan) first appeared. It was at the turn of the 1990's that things started to change. A third episode was added to the schedule and to accommodate this extra air time, a new shopping parade was built and new characters and storylines tended to revolve more around Brookside Parade than good old Brookside Close. Perhaps 'Brookside's most remembered storyline came in 1993 with the arrival of the Jordache family. Mandy (Sandra Maitland), Beth (Anna Friel)and Rachel (Tiffany Chapman) were the victims of a hard-hitting domestic & sexual abuse storyline which climaxed with them murdering violent father Trevor (Brian Murray) and burying him under the patio! Here, 'Brookside' celebrated its highest ever audience figures of 8.5 million viewers. However, the need to shock and create sensational storylines is what ultimately killed 'Brookside'. 1996 saw the soap at its most contentious with the new, posh Simpson family. Viewers were subjected to incest as Brother and Sister Nat & Georgia jumped into bed together! And, with the re-appearance of Clair Sweeney as Lindsay Corkhill, the soap descended into gangsters, guns, murders and a good 3 years of explosions and carnage that wasn't all that well executed and viewers switched off in their droves. An attempt to take the show 'back to its roots' in 2002 completely backfired with the addition of the hideously mis-cast Gordon family. In 2002, just as the soap was celebrating its 20th Birthday (with yet another siege involving armed drug-dealers, culminating in a Police helicopter crashing on Brookside Parade!!), Channel 4 announced it was relegating its flagship soap to a 'graveyard' Saturday afternoon slot after viewing figures dropped to below 1 million. It was here 'Brookside' became unwatchable. During its final year, characters left with little or no explanation, storylines became repetitive and boring and it was literally only when Channel 4 then decided to screen the soap in a new 10.30pm late-night slot that things improved. The addition of vile drug-dealer Jack Michaelson (Paul Duckworth) saw 'Brookside' return to its hard-hitting core but it was just all too late... The axe fell and the remaining characters left one by one as an incinerator plant was due to be built on the demolished Brookside Close! We never did see the Close being flattened! After the demise of 'Brookside' a DVD was released wrapping up some open-ended storylines. It was called 'Unfinished Business'. BROADCAST HISTORY 1982 - Tuesday & Thursday 8pm-8.30pm Jan 1983 to Nov 1984 - Tuesday & Wednesday 8pm Nov and Dec 1984 - Monday & Wednesday 8pm Jan 1985 to July 1988 - Monday & Tuesday 8pm Aug 1988 to July 1990 - Monday & Wednesday 8pm From July 1990, an extra episode was added screening: 1990-1994 - Monday, Wednesday & Friday 8pm 1994-2001 - Tuesday, Wednesday & Friday 8pm 2001 - Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday 8pm (NB Channel 4 moved 'Brookside' around the schedule from around 2001, sometimes screening 2 episodes back-to-back) 2002 - Wednesday, Thursday & Friday 8pm November 2002 - Saturdays 4pm-5.30pm September 2003 - Tuesdays 10.30pm-12.00 November 4th 2003 - Final episode. 2915 episodes altogether were made.moreless
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    Countdown

    Countdown

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    Channel 4
    Countdown is a game show adapted from the French format "Des Chiffres Et Des Lettres". The show was originally broadcast on British regional TV channel Yorkshire Television, at 6.30pm following the local news programme "Calendar" (1968), and was originally called "Calendar Countdown". The show works on a winner-stays-on basis, with contestants retiring after eight wins. The top eight players return at the end of the series to compete in a knockout phase with the top prize being the complete (20 volume) Oxford English Dictionary, worth around 6000 UKP. Champion-of-Champions competitions are also held about once every two years, seeing who is the best of the best.

    Richard Whiteley had been a presenter on "Calendar" from 1968 until 1995. "Countdown" shortly thereafter moved to Channel 4 upon that channel's launch. Originally, Carol Vorderman only presented the numbers rounds of the game - the letters rounds were presented in the early series by other hostesse's (Kathy Hytner, Beverley Isherwood and Linda Barratt have all had this role, Hytner the longest, due to budget-cutting, the other 2 were axed in 1983) After Kathy Hytner Left in 1987, Karen Loughlin took over until the end of 1988. Throughout 1989 before Carol became the sole hostess, Lucy Summers took the role of presenting the Letter Rounds. The show has had many on-screen adjudicators, of whom the longest-serving and best-known is Susie Dent (January 1992 to present).

    Sadly Richard Whiteley passed away after contracting pneumonia in October 2005, their was rumours that the next series (series 54) would be presented by a different guest presenter every week, although a good idea auditions for a new host were held (Richard Digance,Noel Edmonds and Paul Merton all have being rumoured to have auditioned), Sport-Presenter Des Lynam won the role, and presented from October 2005, until the travelling distance got too much for him. He has being quoted on saying, that he is a natural Sports presenter, and even though Carol kept him sane, he would rather go back into the area he is more familiar with.

    The Newest series to broadcast, is to be hosted by All-Round Entertainer, Des O'Connor who will be joined by Carol Vorderman and Susie Dent.moreless
  • 3
    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK)

    Whose Line Is It Anyway? (UK)

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    Channel 4 (ended 1998)
    The funniest improvisational show to hit UK (and later on US) screens. The show features four contestants playing games, with suggestions sometimes taken from the studio audience. The games include: Scenes From a Hat, Party Quirks, Hoedown, and Let's Make A Date. Whose Line is it Anyway? began as a radio show on BBC Radio 4 in 1987. It was moved to television a year later in 1988. Both shows were hosted by Clive Anderson. During the first season, the show featured one regular contestant (John Sessions) and three guest contestants. From the second season onward, the contestants rotated from episode to episode and have included Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Tony Slattery, Josie Lawrence, and Brad Sherwood, just to name a few. In 1998, episodes of the show were filmed in Hollywood to celebrate the show's 10th anniversary. Episodes of the show were also filmed in New York in 1991 and 1992. Beginning in 1998, a US version of the show was made for the ABC Television Network. The original ran on Comedy Central for many years. On April 3, 2006, Whose Line returned to American television on BBC America. Whose Line is It Anyway? currently airs on BBC America in the US. It also airs on The Comedy Channel in Australia. Here is a list of some of the people who appeared on the radio show but never made it on the TV show: Lenny Henry Dawn French Nonny Williams Hugh Laurie Kate Robbins Colin Sell (music)moreless
  • 4
    The Secret Life of Machines

    The Secret Life of Machines

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    Channel 4 (ended 1993)
    Welcome to The Secret Life of Machines guide at TV.com.

    Tim Hunkin explains how the machines we use every day actually work, using a fascinating combination of experiments, analogies, animation, and larger-than-lifesize working models.

    The TV series was the outgrowth of a series of cartoons for the Observer newspaper called "The Rudiments of Wisdom", which Tim researched and drew for 14 years.

    Series 3 was also known as The Secret Life of Office Machines because an office theme ran through the episodes.

    The theme music is a version of Dave Brubeck's "Take Five" by Val Bennett, retitled "The Russians are Coming".moreless
  • 5
    True Stories

    True Stories

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    Channel 4
    True Stories is a British documentary series that has been airing since 1988. Some of the documentaries were commmissioned for the series, while others were independently made award-winners from around the world.moreless
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    One Hour with Jonathan Ross

    One Hour with Jonathan Ross

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    Channel 4 (ended 1990)
    British talk show
  • 7
    First Love

    First Love

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    Channel 4 (ended 1985)
    First Love was a series of one-off TV dramas commissioned and broadcast on Channel 4. The first episode P'Tang, Yang, Kipperbang was broadcast on the 3rd November 1982 which was the second evening Channel 4 had been broadcasting. Episodes features appearances from Alison Steadman and The Bill's John Salthouse.moreless
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    The Corner House

    The Corner House

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    Channel 4 (ended 1987)
    British sitcom
  • 9
    Just For Laughs (UK)

    Just For Laughs (UK)

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    Channel 4 (ended 1998)
    Hidden camera the British way. Not just any other comedy program. Unlike many others, this group of English comedians/actors do the most outrageous acts. But as a viewer, you are just meant to have a good time.moreless
  • 10
    Pushing Up Daisies

    Pushing Up Daisies

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    Channel 4 (ended 1985)
    British sketch comedy show
  • 11
    Desmond's

    Desmond's

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    Channel 4 (ended 1994)
    Desmond's is centered around Desmond Ambrose played by Norman Beaton. Desmond owns a barber shop in Peckham, London which is a local gathering place for a group of West Indian immigrants. Little hairdressing gets done, as this is more a meeting place than a barber shop. This is one of the most successful home grown sitcoms Channel 4 has ever screened.moreless
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    Dispatches

    Dispatches

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    Channel 4
    Award-winning investigative documentary series produced by Channel 4, exploring complex and contemporary issues facing the UK, and the world. Established in 1987, it has a reputation for tackling subjects other shows shy away from.moreless
  • 13
    The Bluffers

    The Bluffers

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    Channel 4 (ended 1987)
    Welcome to The Bluffers guide at TV.com. The Bluffers are friendly forest creatures who dwell in the land of Bluffunia, which was once a beautiful, untainted place of peace and tranquillity, until the evil tycoon, Clandestino transformed most of Bluffunia into a technology-ridden wasteland, within his evil fortress, Clandestino plots his wicked agendas, confident that he is keeping the Bluffers docile and afraid. But Bluffunia residents were not about to give up, led by the brave rabbit Zip, the Bluffers fight to preserve what's left of their home, and to drive out Cladestino for good, during their adventures, they learn many lessons about life and what is the right and what is wrong. On occasion, the wise Owl Zock will provide the Bluffers with guidance, advise, and riddles that will aid them in working out their own problems The Bluffers are also obsessed with discovering Cladestino's most closely guarded secret, "The Secret of getting it all", with the firm belief that it will help them restore Bluffunia to it's once majestic state. The Bluffers Theme Song You're just a bluffer, a candle snuffer, Can't get enough of your dreams A half a buffer, a pillow stuffer You're bound to suffer it seems Your head is full of steam - To turn the world around. But all your fancy dreams Are from the lost and found Are from the lost and foundmoreless
  • 14
    The Comic Strip Presents

    The Comic Strip Presents

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    Channel 4 (ended 2000)
    Broadcast history: C4 1982-1988 BBC2 1990-1993 C4 1998-2000 Running times are given in the production code field for episodes longer than 35 minutes.
  • 15
    Chance in a Million

    Chance in a Million

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    Channel 4 (ended 1986)
    Tom Chance is a very likeable bloke to whom bizarre things, which are a-million-to-one-chance for most people, happen to Tom Chance as a matter of course.
  • 16
    The Max Headroom Show

    The Max Headroom Show

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    Channel 4 (ended 1985)
    British talk show not to be confused with the TV series "Max Headroom"
  • 17
    Prospects

    Prospects

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    Channel 4 (ended 1986)
    Gary Olsen and Brian Bovell star as Pincey and Billy, best friends who try and make a fast buck with various dodgy deals on the streets of London.
  • 18
    S.W.A.L.K.

    S.W.A.L.K.

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    Channel 4 (ended 1984)
    Amanda is a teenage girl who solves her everyday problems using teen magazines.
  • 19
    The Irish R. M.

    The Irish R. M.

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    Channel 4 (ended 1985)
    The Irish R.M. was based on the stories by Somerville and Ross and tells of the adventures of the monocled Major Sinclair Yeates (played by Peter Bowles) as an English army officer who resigns his commission and becomes the Resident Magistrate in a rural Ireland village at the end of the nineteenth century. He finds himself living in a ramshackle old manor house surrounded by the colourful and eccentric inhabitants of the district... Especially the Knox family, who seem to have a finger in every pie.moreless
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    The Manageress

    The Manageress

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    Channel 4 (ended 1990)
    The male-dominated world of professional football is broken when Gabriella Benson becomes the manager of a professional team in England.
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