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Spooky and magical kids' TV dramas of the 1980s: 1985-89

Alex Westthorp Sep 19, 2016

We revisit Tom's Midnight Garden, Moondial, The Chronicles Of Narnia and a few lesser-known UK children's TV series...

Read our look-back at UK kids' fantasy dramas 1980 - 1984 here.

By 1985 British TV's children's drama had really hit its stride, achieving "a balanced diet of programmes" as Edward Barnes, the head of the BBC children's department observed. The late 80s, arguably, saw a new golden age for spooky and magical kids drama. Excellent production values, improved significantly by well-honed special effects work using Quantel, Paintbox and Harry, and moreover some interesting casting - often of very talented newcomers - produced some of the most memorable dramas of the era.

The second half of the decade saw the BBC riding high on the back of the success of their state-of-the-art adaptation of John Masefield's Box Of Delights. Meanwhile, anthology series Dramarama was going from strength to strength on ITV.
See full article at Den of Geek »

TV highlights 21/08/2014

  • The Guardian - TV News
Educating Yorkshire: One Year On | The Honourable Woman | Kids with Cameras: Diary of a Children's Ward | Our World War | Women's International Football: Wales v England

It's back to Dewsbury for a catch-up with the staff and pupils of Thornhill Community Academy, who charmed the nation with plenty of poignant moments last time round. The Gcse results are in, but will Mr Burton's year 11s have the C grades they needed? Now that prefect Musharaf who battled a severe stammer with Burton's help and co are at college, it's time for the teachers to prepare the class of 2014 for the next set of life-changing exams. New series Educating the East End is due later this year. Hannah J Davies

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Taylor Lautner's Cuckoo continues with 500,000 viewers on BBC Three

Cuckoo continued with more than 500,000 viewers on BBC Three, according to overnight figures.

The half-hour sitcom, which stars Taylor Lautner, picked up 516k (3%) from 10pm.

Elsewhere on multichannels, America's Next Top Model grabbed 113k (0.6%) on Sky Living in the 8pm hour, before Scandal continued with 68k (0.3%).

On the terrestrials, BBC One's Who Do You Think You Are? earned 4.56m (22.8%) from 9pm. The Sheriffs Are Coming nabbed 3.1m (15.6%) earlier.

The penultimate episode of BBC Two's The Honourable Woman took 1.51m (7.5%) in the 9pm hour.

On ITV, Harbour Lives aired to 2.2m (11.1%) and Kids with Cameras: Diary of a Children's Ward had 1.31m (6.5%).

Channel 4's Location, Location, Location appealed to 1.37m (6.9%). It was followed by Embarrassing Bodies (1.09m/5.4%) and First Time Farmers (508k/3.3%).

The last highlights episode of this year's Big Brother was watched by 1.22m (7.6%) on Channel 5 from 10pm, with 588k (6.2%) sticking around for Bit on the Side.
See full article at Digital Spy - TV news »

TV highlights 07/08/2014

  • The Guardian - TV News
First Time Farmers | The Killer Next Door: The Last Hours of Joanna Yeats | Scrappers | The Honourable Woman | Kids With Cameras: Diary of a Children's Ward | Cuckoo | Our World War | Golf: PGA Championship

Kate, 23, from Herefordshire, has an unusual line in chat-up openers. "What's your favourite tractor?" is one. "Ever milked a cow?" is another. Kate (nickname: "The crazy calf lady") is a dairy farmer and is as far removed from the shotgun-toting "Get orff moi laaand" stereotype as is possible to imagine. In a new series of the reality show showing the changing face of tradition, we meet another dozen young farmers, whether novices or inheritors of their family farms. "I've definitely got a point to prove," says Kate. Ali Catterall

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See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Citv celebrates 30th birthday with ‘Old Skool’ weekend

  • ScreenTerrier
ITV’s children’s brand Citv celebrates its 30th birthday in 2013. To mark the occasion, ITV1 will air a documentary on 29th December 2012 charting the history of the brand, and the Citv channel will be holding an action packed ‘Old Skool’ weekend on 5th and 6th January 2013.

From 9:25am to 6pm on the 5th and 6th January 2013, Citv will be broadcasting a selection of its iconic shows including Fun House, Press Gang, Knightmare, The Raggy Dolls, Count Duckula, Art Attack and Children's Ward. Additional episodes will also be available to view and rent online at www.itv.com/itvplayer for an exclusive period giving viewers the chance to re-live their favourite childhood programmes.

Jamila Metran, Head of Programming, Citv said: “We are very proud of Citv’s heritage, and look forward to bringing back all the old favourites for this one-off, not to be missed event and show the
See full article at ScreenTerrier »

Old Skool weekend celebrates 30 years of Citv

News Louisa Mellor Dec 17, 2012

Nostalgia trip ahoy! Get ready for an entire weekend of the best of Citv’s last thirty years…

Super Gran. T-Bag. Knightmare. Count Duckula. Press Gang. Dangermouse. The sights and sounds of your childhood (assuming that you grew up near a TV set in the UK after 1983) are coming back for one weekend only.

To celebrate its thirtieth birthday, digital channel Citv is programming an entire two days of the best of its content from the last three decades on Saturday the 5th and Sunday the 6th of January 2013.

The full schedule for the Old Skool Weekend (yes, with a 'k') is below, so fill your nostalgic, Puddle-Lane branded boots:

Saturday the 5th of January

09.25 Mike & Angelo

09.50 Super Gran

10.15 Wizadora

10.30 T-Bag Strikes Again

10.50 Engie Benjy

11.05 The Raggy Dolls

11.15 Puddle Lane

11.35 Count Duckula

12.00 The Sooty Show

12.25 Art Attack

12.40 The Big Bang

13.00 Finders Keepers

13.30 Fun House

14.00 Knightmare

14.30 Fraggle Rock

15.00 The Worst Witch

15.30 Woof!
See full article at Den of Geek »

Jaimie Etkin: 'Pretty Little Liars' Recap: That S--- Crazy

  • Aol TV.
Note: Do not read on if you have not seen Season 3, Episode 7 of ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars," entitled "Crazy."

Just as Hanna's on the phone with her mom, saying that no one is coming over, there's a knock at the back door. It's Wilden, who didn't get the front door memo. "Why do they all have glass doors?" my mom asks of the Liars' living spaces. "You know what they say about people you live in glass houses." I mean, I do, but I'm not sure how this applies here. I appreciate her effort nonetheless.

Wilden tells Hanna that the new blood sample matches her's -- O negative. And that she needs to come in for a blood test. She denies it could be hers, but a sassy Wilden replies, "Then why do you look so scared?"

Hanna is telling the girls about Wilden on Rosewood's only block
See full article at Aol TV. »

Is pre-school TV having a golden moment?

Ex-Doctor Who boss Russell T Davies says kids' TV is in decline – but just look at Abney and Teal, Peppa Pig or Charlie and Lola

No less an authority than former "Whopremo" Russell T Davies – who cut his TV teeth on Children's Ward and whose latest project is Cbbc action romp Aliens Vs Wizards – recently lamented the decline of kids' TV. "I'm amazed people don't recognise the genius of children's writers," he said. "For example, Andrew Davenport, the creator behind Teletubbies and In The Night Garden, is up there, in my opinion, with Tom Stoppard and Samuel Beckett."

Putting aside the curious choice of comparison, his comments were fired by anger at ITV for ending production of children's shows. But judging by the TV I watch over my toddler's shoulder – Ok, sometimes he watches over my shoulder – Davies need not worry. There's enough excellent stuff on the BBC, Five's Milkshake,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Doctor Who writer Russell T Davies laments decline of children's TV

Writer claims the creators of classic shows have been marginalised and fears the genre is endangered

Award-winning television writer Russell T Davies, best known for resurrecting Doctor Who in 2005, has told the Observer that children's programming is an "endangered species". He said he was shocked that ITV no longer makes children's shows and added that writers of hits such as Teletubbies should be ranked alongside acclaimed dramatists such as Tom Stoppard and Samuel Beckett.

Davies, who started his TV career working on Granada's Children's Ward for ITV in the 1990s, said: "I am passionate about children's television, but it is, as ever, an endangered species, under threat.

"The most shocking thing I have seen is that, apparently unnoticed, five years ago ITV dropped children's programmes. There is now the complete absence of children's programmes made by ITV on Citv. It is amazing to me, when I contrast it with all
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Doctor Who Writer Takes On Aliens Vs. Wizards

Doctor Who's Russell T. Davies has found his next project. Variety reports that the screenwriter is taking on Aliens vs. Wizards, with the help of BBC and FremantleMedia Enterprises. The story "depicts the clash between young wizard, Tom Clarke, and aggressive aliens, the Nekross." The 12-part series was created by Davies and Phil Ford, who also worked on Doctor Who. BBC Wales is producing along with Fme's Kids and Family Entertainment division. Fme is working to increase its number of children's shows and is overseeing distribution of Aliens vs. Wizards in all territories apart from the U.K.

Here is what Davies had to say about the show: "Writing for children is the biggest challenge of all, and I think Cbbc (which will air the show in the U.K.) stands right at the heart of broadcasting. We're joining genres -- the show's a wild, funny, thrilling and sometimes
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Claude Close obituary

The world of acting does not contain many former environmental health inspectors. Indeed, my brother, Claude Close, may well have been the only one. Claude, who has died aged 55, was a brilliant theatre performer and a familiar face on the small screen.

Born in Bradford, he was educated at Hornsea school in east Yorkshire. He cut his teeth as an actor in local amateur dramatics with the Mascotte Players. After A-levels, he trained as a health inspector in Hull. But the acting bug had bitten and in 1977 he won a place at Manchester Polytechnic school of theatre. Claude was equally at home in serious roles, comedy, pantomime and musical theatre. Thanks to his beautiful singing voice, he was often seen and heard in Sondheim musicals, Gilbert and Sullivan, and operettas.

His many theatre roles included Jimmy in Sing Yer Heart Out for the Lads at York Theatre Royal; Old Major
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Interview Russell T Davies

The Doctor Who screenwriter has been in La working on a new-look Torchwood – with a revolutionary funding model

Russell T Davies does not look as if he's just back from a wet weekend in Swansea. He bounds in, straight off the train and all glowing Californian tan, guffaw-punctuated anecdotes and booming, boisterous chat. Not that Davies is just about jolly asides and bonhomie. Back in London to promote the UK launch of Torchwood, the BBC spin-off series now reborn as a Us premium cable show, the man who reinvented Doctor Who seems only too happy to fight the corporation's corner against a licence fee freeze that will see 20% cut from budgets.

"We all forgot how clever the Tories are, that's the start. We're all falling for how comic they are: the comedy of the coalition; Clegg and Cameron beside the hospital bed. They're fooling us into thinking they're funny – but they're not,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

My TV hero: Russell T Davies on Paul Abbott

Screenwriter Paul Abbott injects real life into everything he touches, from Coronation Street to Shameless

I noticed his name before I knew him. Because if you watched a Coronation Street that was really good, where Deidre suddenly had a sex life or Liz had a party at the back of the Rovers, that was Paul Abbott. He put that salt into Coronation Street. Something real comes out of his characters.

I met him on my first day at Granada, on a show called Children's Ward that was created by him and Kay Mellor. I was the luckiest man on earth. You'd pay about £1,000 an hour now to walk into a room with them and have that kind of tutelage.

So I sat at the great man's knee. He's got an absolute selflessness and dedication to other people's scripts, and he believes anyone can be a writer; that everyone's got a script,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

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