1984 was an odd year in British TV. The BBC gave debuts to only five new shows.
The Living Planet was the latest vehicle for David Attenborough, whilst Crimewatch was launched in the June. Bob Monkhouse got another quiz show, this time called Bob’s Full House.
Over on BBC2, we saw the first series of the seminal Alas Smith and Jones – the title being a very clever play on the title of the American western series, Alias Smith and Jones (which incidentally, I used to love!). Also on the BBC we saw the extremely disturbing drama documentary Threads, which showed us the effects of a nuclear strike on the city of Sheffield.
Dear old ITV had a frenzy of new shows, including The Jewel in the Crown – a lavish adaptation of the 1966 novel of the same name. We also saw debuts for such cult programmes as Spitting Image and The Trap Door and The Bill.
We also saw nonsense like Duty Free (I hated that programme!), Fresh Fields and Surprise, Surprise. Of course we should also remember the brilliant Robin of Sherwood – with Michael Praed in the title role and of course who can forget the definitive TV Holmes – Jeremy Brett taking the role in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
Things must have been tight on Channel 4 as they launched no new shows. Meanwhile we saw the end of Rentaghost, Crackerjack, Crown Court and The Gentle Touch to name but four.
It was goodbye also to Jack Howarth (Albert Tatlock), Tommy Cooper, Diana Dors, Reggie Bosanquet, Eric Morecambe, Bernard Youens (Stan Ogden), Leonard Rossiter and Alan Lake. The latter was Diana Dors’ husband – he committed suicide following her death.