Politicians beware! Jeremy Paxman made his TV debut this year.
As regards programmes, we saw quite a raft of new shows in 1989. Some were great, some were good, others were ordinary whilst others were dross. Some even achieved cult status. Step forward Byker Grove. This was the show that gave us Ant and Dec, Jill Halfpenny and Donna Air. It was also famously name checked in Father Ted (episode 6 in series 2 – The Plague).
Anyway, we were also introduced to Peter Davidson as Campion and Tony Robinson in Maid Marion and Her Merry Men. The we had Pauline Quirke, Linda Robson and Lesley Joseph in Birds of A Feather. It seems odd nowadays but in 1989, Stephen Fry wasn’t ubiquitous, as he and Hugh Laurie first gave us their first taste of A Bit of Fry and Laurie. Also on BBC2 we had KYTV the Sky piss take that they just didn’t get then and certainly don’t get now.
ITV threw in another cult kids programme, Press Gang along with David Suchet as Agatha Christie’s Poirot. Channel 4 gave birth to a couple of brilliant programmes, namely Desond’s and Absolutely.
A few programmes, notably The Benny Hill Show and Dr Who came to the end of their runs – although of course Dr Who has since been resurrected. TV deaths included Lawrence Olivier (narrator of The World at War) and Dr Graham Chapman – erstwhile member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus.