In 1985 Noel Edmonds hosted the first series of Telly Addicts where two teams of viewers were asked a variety of questions about archive television.
From then onwards, having an interest in archive television became more understandable. Telly Addicts was a great success and lasted until 1998. I used to particularly enjoy the opportunity it gave to see clips of television shows not seen for years.
Since then of course archive television has become more and more accessible to the general public because of satellite channels and DVDs. Many classic programmes are now available for anybody to watch whenever they wish to.
Unfortunately not all old programmes are preserved in the archives, although the recently rediscovered Patrick Troughton Doctor Who episodes might point to the fact that perhaps there are more missing programmes still waiting to be found. This week has seen a new quiz show appearing on ITV from four to five o’clock in the afternoon focussing on archive television. This series is hosted by Richard Bacon and has a team of avid viewers playing against a team of TV professionals. The professional team is captained each day by Chris Tarrant with the guests being Denise Van Outen and Andi Peters (Wednesday); Ricky Tomlinson and Nicky Campbell (Thursday) and Michelle Collins and Jeremy Kyle (Friday). However in recent years there has been a huge number of new television channels.
This means that it will be very difficult for anyone to keep up with everything that has been broadcast each year. It remains to be seen whether this quiz show will concentrate on the well-known programmes from recent years or whether it will include some of the classic and more obscure shows of the 50s, 60s and 70s as well.