Television past, as LP Hartley might have once said, is another country. And, in the early 1980s it certainly was a different beast. There were still only three channels to watch; the evening's programmes finished with the playing of the national anthem; and the biggest prize on TV was not Chris Tarrant's million pounds but a speedboat on Bullseye . . .
But as Tom Bromley suggests in this funny and warming memoir, all that was about to change: The 1980s saw the end of the original golden era of television, and the beginnings of TV as we know it today. In 1982, Channel 4 became the first new terrestrial channel for almost twenty years and by the end of the decade, Rupert Murdoch's Sky Television was vying to become Britain's first multi-channel provider. The result of all this was that slowly but surely, British viewers had more choice than ever before and the cost of this choice was the erosion of television as a shared national event.
And no-one felt this change more deeply than Tom Bromley. Television played a large part in Tom's childhood. His first word was 'two', as in BBC Two, and his earliest childhood memory is seeing Johnny Ball at a church fete. With great humour and affection, Tom Bromley tells the story of a childhood spent with his three siblings and that other all-important family member; the television set.
Tom Bromley is the author of We Could Have Been the Wombles, two music-related novels, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Half a World Away, and co-author of Rock and Pop Elevens. He lives in Salisbury.
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