September 2, 1968: The Morecambe & Wise Show (1966-1977) first airs on BBC2

Morecambe & Wise

The Morecambe & Wise Show was a comedy sketch show originally broadcast by BBC television and the third TV series by English comedy double-act Morecambe and Wise. It began airing in 1968 on BBC2, specifically because it was then the only channel broadcasting in colour, following the duo’s move to the BBC from ATV, where they had made Two of a Kind since 1961.

The Morecambe & Wise Show was popular enough to be moved to BBC1, with its Christmas specials garnering prime-time audiences in excess of 20 million, some of the largest in British television history.

After their 1977 Christmas show Morecambe and Wise left the BBC and signed with Thames Television, marking their return to the ITV network. The Morecambe & Wise Show title (or close variations thereof) continued to be used for many of these ITV shows.

Initially, The Morecambe & Wise Show showed little difference to their previous series on ITV. Bill Cotton‘s plan was to allow Morecambe and Wise to become comfortable with their new surroundings before implementing his plan to extend the show by an additional twenty minutes per episode. By the conclusion of the first series there was a welcome anticipation for the next series. But, on November 7, just over two weeks after the transmission of the final episode, Eric Morecambe had a serious heart attack while returning to his hotel following a show at the Batley Variety Club. This immediately put any thoughts of a new series on hold; while Bill Cotton said that the BBC would fully honour the contract that they had signed with Morecambe and Wise, with the only proviso that Morecambe take as long as required to fully regain his strength.

The duo’s writing team returned to ATV and Bill Cotton then suggested that the duo talk to Eddie Braben, who had recently stopped working with Ken Dodd. In Braben’s interpretation, he moved away from how Morecambe and Wise had previously been presented, instead creating characters that he perceived as exaggerated versions of their own personas as he had observed them.

The second series eventually began in July 1969 and a tradition that had begun with Two of a Kind to invite special guests and “insult” them was stepped up a gear with the BBC shows. The horror film actor Peter Cushing was one of the first to be so treated beginning the long-running in-joke that he had never been paid. The shows became more structured, with an opening “spot” in front of the curtains in a mock-theatre set-up that they insisted upon having, guest singers and groups, a sketch with the two in their flat, either in the lounge or in bed together, a lavish play “wot Ern wrote” and the final theme song, over the credits.

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Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links

September 2, 1988: Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio ceases broadcasting

Piccadilly Radio (1974-1988) [Logopedia]
Piccadilly Radio began broadcasting on April 2, 1974 as the first commercial radio station in Manchester. The station was later renamed Piccadilly Magic 1152, and later, Key 2. Today, the station is called Key Radio.

Named after Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, Piccadilly Plaza was home to the station’s first studios until 1996, when Piccadilly 1152 and Key 103 were relocated to the Castlefield area of Manchester.

Piccadilly’s founding managing director was Philip Birch, who previously ran the highly influential pirate station Radio London until it closed down ahead of the Marine Offences Act in August 1967. The first presenter on air was Roger Day – himself an ex-pirate radio presenter – and the first song played on air was “Good Vibrations” by The Beach Boys.

Piccadilly Radio split into two services in 1988, with Key 103 broadcast on FM with a contemporary format, while Piccadilly Gold broadcast on AM with a Gold format. In the mid-1990s Piccadilly Gold became Piccadilly 1152 as the playlist moved away from “golden oldies” to a mix of classic and current easy-listening music.

In 1994, Piccadilly (Key 103/Piccadilly 1152) were part of the Transworld Radio Group, which was bought by present owners Bauer Radio (then EMAP). In 1999/2000, parent company EMAP re-branded the station as Magic 1152, to fall in-line with the other nine Magic Radio stations they owned across London and the north of England.

Except for a short spell in 2000 – when Key 103 was briefly renamed Piccadilly Key 103 – the Piccadilly brand finally disappeared from the airwaves.

Notable broadcasters

  • Gary Davies
  • Chris Evans
  • Timmy Mallet
  • Steve Penk
  • Andy Peebles
  • Karl Pilkington
  • Mark Radcliffe
  • Nick Robinson

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Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links

September 2, 1978: K9 Mark II joins the Doctor


K9 was the designation given to a series of intelligent, dog-like robots who served as companions of Professor Marius, the Fourth Doctor, Leela, Romana, and Sarah Jane Smith.

K9 Mark I, II, III, and IV addressed whoever was directing them as “Master” or “Mistress” depending upon gender, and used the formal “affirmative” and “negative” rather than “yes” and “no”. They were programmed to be both loyal and logical, with a penchant for taking orders literally, almost to a fault. Their striped collars mirrored the Fourth Doctor’s trademark scarf.

K9 had a personality very consistent across the models with some contact with the Doctor. He was polite and formal, with pedantry bordering on condescension. Though he often displayed feelings such as sorrow and self-regard, he often stated that he had not been programmed to have emotions.

He did not use contractions such as “you’ve” for “you have” and addressed others by titles such as “Master”, “Mistress”, “Doctor-Master” (to refer to the Doctor) or “Young Master” (Adric). Though he did not seem to resent his subordinate status, he sided with the Doctor’s companions over the Doctor and showed a dark side, regarding other artificial intelligences with contempt.

With his great intelligence, he had a tendency to bore people with facts and did not stop immediately when asked, as he did to Leela on Pluto. When being told that he would have to stay behind in the TARDIS, K9 often argued, giving the Doctor reasons why he should go such as “he would be a good dog.” K9 always wanted to assist the Doctor.

K9 Mark I

Professor Frederick Marius, who invented the first K9 in the year 5000 while working on the asteroid K4067, described him as “my best friend and constant companion.” Marius had a dog on Earth, but weight requirements did not allow him to bring his real dog into space, so he built K9. Marius used his own medical computer, a state-of-the-art intraresponsive brain app, protective anti-radiation cladding, probes, a laser scalpel, a vision and voice box and two scanning antennas.

The Professor offered K9 to the Fourth Doctor as the same weight requirements made him unable to take Mark I back to Earth. After adventures with Leela and the Doctor, Mark I decided to stay on Gallifrey with his “mistress”.


  • The Invisible Enemy
  • Image of the Fendahl
  • The Sun Makers
  • Underworld
  • The Invasion of Time

K9 Mark II

The Doctor obtained or constructed at least one backup model of K9. Immediately after leaving Mark I behind with Leela, he unpacked K9 Mark II. This version of K9 accompanied the Doctor and his new companion on their quest to locate the segments of the Key to Time.

This K9 exhibited the ability to sense and warn others of danger. He was also more mobile than his predecessor.

K9 travelled to E-Space with the Fourth Doctor and Romana II, where they met Adric. Damaged by the time winds, K9 Mark II could not cross back into N-Space with the Doctor. He decided to stay behind at the Gateway with Romana II to help her free the remaining Tharils from slavery.


  • The Ribos Operation
  • The Pirate Planet
  • The Stones of Blood
  • The Androids of Tara
  • The Armageddon Factor
  • Destiny of the Daleks
  • The Creature from the Pit
  • Nightmare of Eden
  • The Horns of Nimon
  • The Leisure Hive
  • Meglos
  • Full Circle
  • State of Decay
  • Warriors’ Gate

K9 Mark III

A third model, K9 Mark III (again either obtained or constructed by the Doctor), was shipped in 1978 to Sarah Jane Smith at the home she had shared with her Aunt Lavinia in South Croydon during her companionship of the Third and Fourth Doctors (A Girl’s Best Friend).

After several adventures, K9 Mark III slowly began breaking down and eventually ended up deactivated in a cardboard box in Sarah’s attic. When the Tenth Doctor met Sarah Jane, he reactivated K9 and made temporary repairs. However Mark III ended up sacrificing himself whilst fighting strange, bat-like creatures.

As a heartbroken Sarah Jane watched the Tenth Doctor depart, the TARDIS dematerialised to reveal Mark IV. K9 said the Doctor rebuilt him with “new omniflexible hyperlink capabilities”.


  • A Girl’s Best Friend (K9 and Company)
  • The Five Doctors

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links.

September 2, 1978: Romana joins the Doctor

Romana (I), portrayed by Mary Tamm (1950-2012)

Romanadvoratrelundar (or Romana for short) was a Time Lady who was forced to be the Fourth Doctor‘s assistant in the search for the Key to Time during her first incarnation. During the course of their search for the Key, the two became friends.

The White Guardian assigned Romana to assist the Fourth Doctor in the quest for the Key to Time, appearing to her as the Lord President of Gallifrey. Though she was much younger than the Doctor, she considered him an academic inferior. The Doctor was initially unwilling to take Romana along and somewhat hostile to her.

After the completion of the Key to Time mission, Romana chose not to return immediately to Gallifrey; she and the Doctor shared a few more adventures. She thought that she should finish her thesis on the Doctor and continued to observe him.

The character was played by Mary Tamm (1950-2012) during Season 16. At the beginning of Season 17, Romana had regenerated, being played by Lalla Ward (1951-).


  • The Ribos Operation
  • The Pirate Planet
  • The Stones of Blood
  • The Androids of Tara
  • The Power of Kroll
  • The Armageddon Factor

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links.

September 2, 1978: The Doctor’s search for the Key To Time begins

The Key to Time was a powerful and legendary artefact which the Guardians of Time used to maintain the equilibrium of time itself, controlling omniversal order and chaos. It was a perfect crystalline cube split into six pieces, with each of the Guardians responsible for a piece, as it would be the end of time without the Key.

Needing the key to maintain universal balance, the White Guardian enlisted the Fourth Doctor to gather the Key’s six segments, which were hidden in the forms of objects & icons of power. To help him, he enlisted the help of the Time Lord Romana, to whom the White Guardian had misleadingly appeared as the Lord President of Gallifrey. Romana, whom the White Guardian had entrusted with a tracer, would serve as the Doctor’s companion during the quest.

The Segments

  • A lump of Jethrik crystal taken to Ribos by Garron (The Ribos Operation)
  • The pillaged planet Calufrax, shrunk down to football size by the planet Zanak (The Pirate Planet)
  • The former Great Seal of Diplos, kept in the form of a necklace on Earth by Cessair (The Stones of Blood)
  • Originally a meteor controlled by the Cronquist, which was dispersed by the Fourth Doctor and reformed as a statue on Tara (The Androids of Tara)
  • A holy relic of the Swampies, swallowed by Kroll on a Delta Magna moon (The Power of Kroll)
  • Princess Astra of Atrios (The Armageddon Factor)

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links.

September 2, 1978: The Doctor Who adventure The Ribos Operation begins

The Ribos Operation title card [Doctor Who Collectors’ Wiki]
The Ribos Operation was the first serial of season 16 of Doctor Who. It began the season-long quest to find the legendary Key to Time.

There was much debate as to whether K9 should return after the problems the prop had caused in season 15. The character was popular with younger audiences so, with the assurance that the new prop was more efficient, Graham Williams approved the introduction of K9 Mark II.

Tom Baker’s lip was cut in an accident in which a dog bit him. The dog belonged to Paul Seed, who played Graff Vynda-K in the serial, and Baker had attempted to perform a trick that Seed had previously performed. This meant he had a visible sticking plaster upon his face in the publicity stills for this story. The scar from the injury remained visible in much of this and subsequent stories.

The Ribos Operation was notable for seeing a number of debut appearances. It was the first serial to feature Mary Tamm as companion Romana I and was also the first to properly feature K9 Mark II. The White Guardian also made his debut. He was not seen again until Enlightenment, though his voice was heard in The Stones of Blood.

The Doctor is summoned by the mysterious and powerful White Guardian, and sent on a quest to find the six segments of the Key to Time, which, once assembled, will restore balance to the Universe. Joining the Doctor and K9 is the smart and sassy Romana I, a Time Lord fresh from the Academy.

Landing on the wintry planet of Ribos to locate the first segment, the TARDIS crew quickly find themselves embroiled in a little local trouble with a pair of con men and an unstable warlord…

The serial was novelised as Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation, written by Ian Marter.

Notable Cast

  • Doctor WhoTom Baker
  • RomanaMary Tamm
  • Voice of K9John Leeson
  • GuardianCyril Luckham
  • Garron – Iain Cuthbertson
  • Shrieve Captain – Prentis Hancock

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is the TARDIS Data Core* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & are not responsible for external links.