Saturday, 12 January 2013

CITV: The 'Old Skool' weekend left us wanting more!

So, last weekend CITV ran two days of classic shows from their past, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of CITV as an ongoing concern. Thus we were treated to two days of spectacularly entertaining stuff from the 1980s and 1990s, which varied in quality but never failed to entertain.

Seeing stuff like Knightmare, Spatz, The Raggy Dolls, Count Duckula, Fun House, Press Gang, Children's Ward and the like made my lady and I crave more. Checking online, it was clear that a hell of a lot of people felt the same way.

This got me thinking, how about a classic CITV channel in its own right? There is a massive wealth of material out there which can still be enjoyed by children and adults alike, and while there would surely be rights issues, I'm sure there are ways around that here and now. I mean, these shows are hardly going to be a major concern any more, so any new revenue generated by them would surely be in the favour of the rights holders. In addition, I'd imagine that revenue would be more than what they may gather with the limited DVD sales available to classic shows.

A dedicated channel of CITV classics would appeal to both children and a large number of adults, including parents who would love to share this stuff with their children how it should be seen – on the TV, not on YouTube.

Some early Knightmare (not the later stuff we saw at the weekend – stuff with Pickle! Pickle being camp and sinister) along with lots of Funhouse (which has aged surprisingly well, even taking into consideration the many tragic hairstyles of Pat Sharpe) would be a good start, but things like Press Gang would be a really important thing to show.

Press Gang in particular was a landmark in TV for kids, as it didn't talk down to them (at the time “us”) and offered some proper drama (like trying to deal with Dexter Fletcher's dodgy American accent). The same goes for Children's Ward, which I wasn't a big fan of but recognize how much it was enjoyed by other kids at the time. Stuff like that, interspersed with cartoons, classic links, perhaps the occasional full rerun of a Saturday morning show (or at least clips), classic interviews and so on would be superb.

I mean, if Challenge can get away with showing terrible old gameshows, then surely there would be a decent audience for some more Old Skool TV fun? At least that way, we adults who grew from the original CITV audiences would then be able to say to our kids: “Look, I TOLD YOU it was better in my day!”

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