TV debuts in 1987 were a case of quality and not quantity.
Of greatest merit, for my money at least, must be French and Saunders. These two have been consistently funny in whatever they have put their minds to since they first appeared as part of the Comic Strip in 1982.
Close on the heels of French and Saunders was ITV’s Inspector Morse. Of course, you will remember that it was John Thaw playing the lead character with Kevin Whately as his sidekick Robbie Lewis. Finally, we had Rik Mayall’s latest vehicle, The New Statesman. This was one of those rare items – a comedy on ITV that was actually funny, and sometimes it could be viciously so. For example, B’Stard’s treatment of his colleague Piers Fletcher-Dervish was deliciously wicked.
There was also the debut for the gentle Friday evening comedy on ITV called Watching. It starred Paul Brown and Emma Wray as Malcolm and Brenda – a slightly mismatched couple, he the quiet motorcycling birdwatcher, she the slightly mad and very confident people-watcher. There were two strong supporting characters in Malcolm’s mother played by Patsy Byrne (Nursie in Blackadder II) and Pamela (Brenda’s sister) played with vitriol by Liza Tarbuck.
Leaving our screens in 1987 were Razzamatazz, Jossy’s Giants, We Are The Champions, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Terry and June. Also seen for the last time was The Tube. Although officially not directly related to Jools Holland’s use of the F word during a live trailer broadcast when loads of children were watching, his little faux pas can’t have helped.
1987 saw several people take their final bow, amongst them Patrick Troughton, Fulton McKay, Eamonn Andrews and Harry Locke.