Lately I have been coming over all nostalgic. This is because I’m reading Chris Evans’ autobiography “It’s Not What You Think” and autobiographies always get me pondering about my own past. Chris Evans’ autobiography is actually very good and, in the early years anyway (I’m currently only half way through), quite inspiring – the period of self destruction is yet to come.
One of the novel things in the book is that each chapter starts, in appropriate DJ fashion, with a Top Ten, which means that my personal bouts of nostalgia have also been framed in the form of Top Tens.
The telly has always been a big feature in my life (still is, far too much so), so my first Top Ten (there may well be more to follow) is of the TV programmes from my formative years.
I actually have a shocking memory for my earliest years, and anyway the TV programmes that I loved as a very young child are probably not that interesting (Andy Pandy, the Flowerpot Men, Play School, Trumpton, etc) so I have chosen to stick with my school years from Junior school onwards, circa 1973-1983.
10. Champion the Wonder Horse
I don’t remember much about this show, but I do remember that I loved it. It was in black and white and apparently was originally aired in 1955-56, running for just one season of 26 episodes, so clearly I was catching repeats. I don’t particularly remember Skippy or Flipper, but Champion the Wonder Horse was, well, champion!
9. Banana Splits
Early Saturday morning anarchic madness courtesy of Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper and Snorky. This series also originally aired too early to fall into my timeframe, being the late 60s, but the fact that I can remember it quite well means they must have been shown (or repeated) quite a bit later here in the UK.
8. Kenny Everett Video Show
Totally bonkers and totally brilliant – there had never been anything like it! Sid Snot, Cupid Stunt, Captain Kremmen and, of course, Hot Gossip. Awesome!
7. Dr Who
Despite its recent revival, to me the golden age of Dr Who will always be the Jon Pertwee/ Tom Baker years. And for some reason, the monsters that stick most in my mind, apart, of course, from the Daleks, are the Sea Devils. I don’t remember ever actually hiding behind the sofa.
6. Noel Edmunds Multi-Coloured Swap Shop
I really wanted to like the much cooler and much more anarchic Tiswas, but despite the undisputed attraction of Sally James, I always preferred Swap Shop.
5. The Two Ronnies
Saturday tea time family viewing and pure genius. Still is!
4. Charlie’s Angels
Three beautiful women who could also kick ass: what was not to like!
3. Dukes of Hazard
The second coolest car on TV but with the added advantage of Daisy Duke. If you think I am getting too hung up on the women for my TV selection, bear in mind these were my teen years!
2. Star Trek
This was the programme that spawned the most playground mimicry in my early school years and I always preferred the cool, logical Spock over the overly hammy action man that was James T Kirk – especially as the captain kept going around kissing girls and as this was in my pre-teens I was not impressed by such behaviour.
1. Starsky & Hutch
The coolest car on TV and, despite some dodgy knitwear, Starsky was the coolest all-action role model a boy could want. A truly superb show, badly let down by the travesty of the Ben Stiller/ Owen Wilson film.
Honourable mentions also have to go to: the Magic Roundabout, the Clangers, the Goodies, Minder, Porridge, the Sweeny. I’m sure there are loads more that I’ve forgotten.
I have also deliberately left cartoons out of my selection, but I loved cartoons. So much so, in fact, I thought they needed a Top Ten of their own:
10. Arabian Knights (from Banana Splits)
9. Road Runner
8. Count Duckula
7. Wacky Races
6. The Flintstones
5. Top Cat
4. Scooby Doo
3. Tom & Jerry
2. Danger Mouse
1. Bugs Bunny
That’s all folks…!