September 3, 1988: Motormouth first airs on ITV

Motormouth (1988-1992)

Motormouth was a Saturday morning children’s television series that was produced by TVS and broadcast across the ITV network for four series, running between September 3, 1988 and April 4, 1992. Each series generally ran from the autumn of one year to the spring of the next, as was common among many ‘main’ Saturday morning series.

The programme was launched following the decision to axe No. 73, which had run in the same slot until early 1988. No. 73 had been revamped during its final series as 7T3, with a partially exterior set. However, the new 7T3 set-up was expensive and difficult to produce, and so it was decided to switch to a fully studio-based set-up. Whereas No. 73 had included an inherent narrative storyline, the decision was taken that Motormouth would have a straightforward magazine presentation format.

The studio set for the first series was dominated by several giant inflatable elements, including a giant motorised mouth, from which the show took its name. In the second series, billed in some cases as Motormouth II or Motormouth 2, there were changes, including the introduction of new graphics and set elements based on cogs and sprockets. The use of the giant mouth declined following this alteration.

The show’s third series – which boasted new graphics and remixed theme music, and was for a brief time billed as All New Motormouth – also had a new, predominantly white set; the giant mouth was removed altogether at this point, along with all other remaining inflatables. This series saw the introduction of a diner-style set (sometimes referred to as ‘The Motormouth Cafe’) which saw guests and audience members sitting at tables. This format and styling was left largely intact for the fourth series.

The first series was presented by a five-strong lineup of hosts, two of whom had previously appeared on No. 73. Neil Buchanan and Andrea Arnold.  Gaby Roslin joined in the second series and Andy Crane joined from series three.

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September 3, 1988: Noel Edmonds’ Saturday Roadshow first airs on BBC1

The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow (1988-1990) [Logopedia]
The Noel Edmonds Saturday Roadshow is a BBC television light entertainment show which was broadcast on Saturday evenings from September 3, 1988 to December 15, 1990. It was presented by Noel Edmonds, his first major TV project since the demise of The Late, Late Breakfast Show in 1986. The pre-recorded programme contained several elements which had been found in its predecessor, such as phone-in quizzes, celebrity interviews and bands performing in the studio.

The premise for the new show was that unlike The Late, Late Breakfast Show, which had been broadcast from the BBC’s studios each week, the Roadshow would come from a new, different and exotic location each week. These ‘locations’ were in fact elaborate studio sets dressed to resemble each week’s location, such as the North Pole, a space station, Hollywood, or Niagara Falls. The irony of this was not lost on Edmonds, whose self-deprecating presentation style frequently made light of the low budget production values.

The programme was a slow-burning success, and following the third series in 1990, Edmonds’ popularity and reputation were sufficiently re-established with the public for Edmonds to pitch Noel’s House Party to the BBC.

The show also introduced regular features such as the Gunge Tank, the “Gotcha Oscars” and “Wait ‘Till I Get You Home”, which would all be carried across and subsequently developed in Noel’s House Party.

The Gunge Tank was a booth with a large tank of slime at the top. A member of the public would sit inside and try to win prizes by answering a set number of questions before their time ran out. If they failed they would be ‘gunged’ by Noel Edmonds who would pull a lever at the side of the tank to empty the gunge over the contestant.

Another item was “Clown Court”, where a guest actor from a TV series would be on trial for all the bloopers made during the shooting of that show, such as Sylvester McCoy in the title role of Doctor Who, and Tony Robinson as his character of Baldrick in Blackadder the Third.

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September 3, 1988: The Hitman and Her first airs on ITV

The Hitman & Her (1988-1992)

The Hit Man and Her was a British television dance music show hosted by Pete Waterman and Michaela Strachan. The programme was produced for Granada Television and ran from September 3, 1988 until December 5, 1992.

The programme presented a taste of late-night clubbing, with long segments showing crowds dancing to popular hits, occasional celebrity performances, and party games – with Waterman and Strachan acting as masters of ceremony.  The show toured various nightclubs. Clubbers would arrive at the featured club hoping to appear on television. Often members of the crowd would be plucked out to participate in games such as “Pass The Mic!”, “Showing Out”, and “Clothes Swap”.

The programme was often recorded on a Saturday night, edited on-the-fly, and shown a few hours later in the early hours of Sunday morning, the second half of the Saturday/Sunday version being repeated during the following night. The earlier shows were split into two halves: the first at 0100 and the second at 0400, with the LWT‘s Night Network magazine show sandwiched in between. During 1988 The Hit Man and Her was moved to 2am in some areas, while London still broadcast the show at 4am. The Hitman and Her remained at the 2am slot from April 1989 until its very last broadcast. A special edition of The Hit Man and Her was broadcast as part of the ITV Telethon in 1992.

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September 3, 1988: Manchester’s Piccadilly Radio becomes Key 103

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.

Key 103 [Logopedia]
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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September 3, 1968: The Beach Boys were No 1 in the UK singles chart telling us to “Do It Again”

“Do It Again” (1968) by The Beach Boys [45cat]
“Do It Again” is a song written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love for the American rock band the Beach Boys, released as a single on July 8, 1968. It was written as a self-conscious callback to the group’s earlier surf-based material, which they had not embraced since 1964. Lead vocals were shared between Love and Wilson.

The song was issued only two weeks after the release of the band’s album Friends, with the album track “Wake the World” as its B-side. It became their second number one hit in the UK. A slightly edited version of the song, using an excerpt from the Smile outtake “Workshop”, subsequently appeared as the opening track on the Beach Boys’ 1969 album 20/20.

“Do It Again” has been rerecorded once by the band (in 2011), once by Wilson as a solo artist (in 1995), and twice by Love as a solo artist (in 1996 and 2017). Its “did-it” vocal hook was also a direct influence on Eric Carmen‘s “She Did It” (1977), ABBA‘s “On and On and On” (1980), and Hall & Oates‘ “Did It in a Minute” (1982).

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