Auf Wiedershen Pet
Geordies Oz, Neville & Dennis joined brummie Barry, west country Bomber, cockney Wayne and scouser Moxey for adventures of a gang of workmates working in Dusseldorf , Germany after unable to find work in their hometowns. Supporyting cast included Michael Elphick and Michael Sheard
This comedy drama was one of the 1980s biggest hits and was written by Witzend's Ian La Frenais and Dick Clement and Produced by Tony Charles
Auf Wiedershen Pet
The second series sees the lads working in Spain and Central countyry Derbyshire. Excellent supporting performances here by Bryan Pringle as the local landlord.
Gary Holton died whilst filming this series even though he does appear in every episode.
The Central logo morphs into a roulette ball in this title sequence
The classic two versus one game show started with a 50 episode run in 1983 and was still going strong until Carlton(London) moved it into an afternoon slot.
Hosted by DJ Bob Holness, who is famous for having a 'P'.
A 120 episode run which saw the show scheduled for 6 days per week from September 1984. Here are the flipping titles for that time as well as a Central Promo...
Boon was a comedy drama running for 7 years created by Jim Hill and Bill Stair. Michael Elphick starred as Ken Boon, The Urban Cowboy who in partnership with Harry Crawford (played by David Daker) ran courier firm The Texas Rangers....
By 1988, Amanda Burton had left Brookside and joined the programme for a year.
Further adventures of The Texas Rangers. Neil Morrissey had now joined as long haired biker Rocky Cassidy. The catchy theme Hi Ho Silver was sung by Jim Diamond. The 1986/7 title sequence was created by Tiswas graphic artist Chris Wroe
Another morphing title sequence with Michael Elphick dreaming again.
Bolstered by NEW FACES before this series by SHINE ON HARVEY MOON's Lawrence Marks and Maurice Gran was thought to be so successful that production of series two started before series one was shown.
Alas, it bombed, series 2 was moved to a graveyard slot on Sundays and that was it. Overseas sales were thought to be good though. One of Central's many co-productions with WGBH Boston.
1984 / 1987
Sunday evening favourite Jim Bowen hosts a Christmas edition of the Darts & General Knowledge quiz Bullseye. Three pairs of contestants would battle it out to find out "what you would have won" behind Bully. Fantastic titles by Chris Wroe with Central Head of Music Johnny Patrick providing the theme.
Right clip - credits sequence from 1987
Central Job Finder
Central was one of the first to offer a text based job vacancy pages on a normal TV throughout the night accompanied by library music. When the 24 Hour operation started , the programme lasted for about an hour. Think Pages From Ceefax.
Did anyone apply for that Welder job in Mansfield?
Central's long running political programme which replaced ATV's LEFT RIGHT AND CENTRE in 1982.
The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady
These are the Phillip Bowman titles following a car around Birmingham. Phillip was brought in to add some glamour to the ailing soap in the form of new manager Gabrielle Drake and the motel now housed a leisure complex!
Titles were by Schools graphic artist Stuart Kettle who dispensed with the famous cross credits in favour of a familiar roller.
Crossroads Kings Oak
The Archers producer William Smethurst was now in charge. Much intended comedy was brought in as was the goings on of the village of Kings Oak where the soap was set.
right clip - The changesweren't enough, the same year the soap ended. Jill Chance drove offinto the sunset with her new man, John Maddingham, and Crossroads hadfinished forever... Or had it?
Cue Gary's Christmas Special
After success on LWT shows SATURDAY GANG and COPYCATS, Central gave him his own series.
These titles remind me of the PIPKINS sequence where Hartley Hare gets squashed.
Bernard Cribbins as Cuffy and Jack Douglas as Jake mixed with some of the lesser characters from ATV's SHILLINGBURY TALES for 6 half hours. Again written by Francis Essex. Produced at Elstree in 1982, for TX in 1983.
Again set in the fictional village of Shillingbury and filmed in the real village of Albury,Herts. Very close to Tring station and the very southern end of the Central region.
Animation by Michael Jupp, shown within CITV
Emu's Pink Windmill Show
After the cancellation of Central's THE SATURDAY SHOW, a similiar format was given to Rod Hull, Grotbags and Croc for their Pink Winmill Show which went out live on Wednesday afternoons. Credits only
England Their England
A regular regional documentary series that was started by ATV focussing on individuals in the midlands. This edition featured comic artist Alan Moore.
In 1983, Bob departed to the BBC's BOBS FULL HOUSE and Central found new host Max"Big Money" Bygraves who stumbled through 26 episodes before a brief cancellation.
Join Vince Hill and Suzi Quatro for Pebble Mill style lunchtime chat & song from Central's Gas Street studios in Birmingham. Gas Street is now where all of Central's news output comes from since the closure of Broad Street.
Girls on Top
Dawn French,Jennifer Saunders and Ruby Wax wrote and with Tracey Ullman starred in supposed girl version of the BBC's THE YOUNG ONES. Paul Jackson produced both series, with Ben Elton as script editor.
The credits include a little known at the time Harry Enfield. Unlike the BBC show this went out in peak-time ITV!
One of Ted Child's biggest winners as head of Central Drama was to commission a series of two hour block dramas from the pen of Colin Dexter. Excellent lead for John Thaw beer swilling detective, with Auf Wiedershen's Kevin Whately providing excellent support. Based in the southern end of the Central franchise using all the joys of the historic City of Oxford.
LINK and sister programme GETTING ON ran for most of 1978 to 1987 on Sunday mornings. Link was aimed at a handicapped audience, whereas GETTING ON was for the elderly. Here's a great Chris Wroe title sequence which shows handicapped people enjoying themselves. Theme by Chris Tookey.
By 1988, LINK was reduced to a 15 minute weekly frequency instead of fortnightly half hours. Regular presenter Stephen Mulhern produced Coffers Bear Productions and the show was out-sourced from Central.
Married for Life
After the success of The Upper Hand, which was based on US Sitcom Who's The Boss, Central tried another Americian adaptation. This time Russ Abbot played the Al Bundy character in the British version of Married With Children. Sadly this only lasted one series of six episodes.
This is a Thames show, when Thames lost their franchise other ITV companies had to "present" independent's programmes for the network. So it became a Tiger Aspect production for Thames presented by Central. Hmmmm
Rowan Atkinson played the bumbling Mr Bean.
New Faces of 86
New Faces returned with a change. All were recorded from the Birminghjam Hippodrome and presented by ex-winner Marti Caine who had returned to work for the midlands contractor after a spell with the BBC. Previous host Derek Hobson was now preoccupied by Thats My Dog.
Produced by Peter Harris abd Richard Holloway who had both worked on The Muppet Show.
New Faces of 87
Six acts were marked by the audience who had to "Press your buttons please!". The results were displayed on a weaving scoreboard called Spaghetti Junction. Celebrities on the judging panel included Chris Tarrant, Bernie Winters and Nina Myskow who was the ITV critic at the News of the World.
New Faces of 88
The 1987 series had problems with ratings disaster The Bretts following the show in the Friday schedules. Thus the 1988 series appeared back on Saturday nights where the series had begun. Unfortunately, 17.45 was a tad too early for big numbers and the show was cancelled.
The Nuclear Age
Documentary series co-produced with WGBH Boston dealing with the history of Nuclear War.
Picturesque medical drama set in the attractive Peak District National Park created by Lucy Gannon.
Kevin Whately from Morse and Amanda Burton from Boon played married doctors.
Theme music by nasty Nick Cotton AKA John Altman.
The Price is Right
Leslie Crowther was the first British host of the classic Goodson Todman Americian game show where contestants were told to Come On Down and guess the prices of objects to win bigger prizes. The initial run was made by comedy producer and Fifteen To One presenter William G Stewart who also acted as the warm up man. In the final series the contestants got consulation prize of a teddy bear..... called William!!
right clip - credits from 1985
PS It's Paul Squire
After two series of the show within a show that wouldn't be a show without THE PAUL SQUIRE SHOW came this - The Show.
A bizarre mixture of fast moving stand up, sketches and song designed to bring out the best in this versatile entertainer. Paul would slap and clap himself before before walking through a door into the next part of the programme. In the credits sequence he would leave through a door positioned in a massive Central endcap. Created, produced & directed by the legendary Royston Mayoh who had just finished work on Kenny Everett's Thames series. Made in 1982, but TX'd in 1983.
An offbeat surreal cartoon series written by Mike Wallis and Laura Milligan. Voiced by dad Spike!
Adventures of a family of rats that live down a hole! If only! Very silly and some how ended up on CITV whereas it deserved much more.
The original style titles of the satirical puppet show. There were plenty of different versions though. The Margaret Thatcher thumping the desk allegedly does not have any sound effects attached! : ) Right - Credit sequence using the Central font!
Script editor and all round nice guy, the late Geoffrey Perkins now produced the classic puppet show. An updated titles sequence to show the disappearance of Ronald Reagan and the introduction of George Bush as US president.
Max Mason went out on location in the Central version of this schools science series. Ron Geesin again supplied the music, and Stuart Kettle the graphics, but not a patch on the quirky ATV series. Plenty more in our Schools section.
After the furore of OTT , Tarrant and co were given the safety of a recorded sketch show. Each programme was recorded in a different midlands pub with the regulars partaking in the precedings. From the OTT lineup, Lenry Henry had joned the BBC, John Gorman stayed backstage, however, Tarrant, Carolgees, Helen Atkinson Wood remained on screen. Joined by new faces Suzanne Sinclair, Tony Slattery and Phil Cool. However my favourite was Kevin Seisay singing songs about Adolf Hitler and cannibals. Unfortunately this was pasted by Jasper Carrott's series in the ratings and it didn't return. Theme by Roy Wood, Graphics by Chris Wroe, of course.
The Struggle For Democracy
Late night historical documentary series, a co-production with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Ten years after ATV's BEASTS scifi writer Nigel Kneale and producer Nicholas Palmer teamed up again to produce the thriller Ladies Night. Just one of the series of seven.
Unchallenging light comedy series, one of a number written and produced by Glen Cardno. Set in a park! starring Ken Jones, Liz Smith, Daniel Peacock and David Thewlis. Series 2 was shunted back from peak time to a 1715 slot.
Central started making a few co-productions with National Geographic Society in the USA. When the original 60 minute programmes weren't given a network slot, this 30 minute series appeared scheduled against EASTENDERS.
Narrated by Juilan Pettifer for John Gau Productions.
Wayne Dobson - A Kind of Magic
After supporting Central entertainer Joe Longthorne, magician Wayne gets his own show. He makes himself disappear and change places with Linda Lusardi. Aided by puppet Ringo Rabbit played by Bobby Davro.