Tuesday, 30 December 2014
47 Ask Aspel
First watched : Uncertain
Ah ,now the staples of my teatime viewing are coming thick and fast.
Ask Aspel arrived on our screens at 17.25 pm on Friday 18th September 1970 after The Basil Brush Show. The format was very simple ; ( hopefully ) young viewers wrote in and asked to see certain TV moments that they'd missed or simply wanted to see again. There would also be a studio guest who Michael Aspel would briefly interview and introduce a couple of clips demonstrating their work. At the time it started Aspel was 37 years old but a rising star in TV having started out as a local newsreader in Cardiff after completing his National Service. He had latterly moved into presenting and had been the main host of Crackerjack since 1968.
The programme of course was only as good as what it had to show and relied on a steady stream of mail which wasn't always forthcoming. The some time title sequence which had Michael throwing a rather paltry number of postcards over his head only highlighted the problem. This might be why it was first taken off the screen in 1973 but it re-emerged for another five years from 1976 until 1981. I remember the episode with Toyah ( promoting I Want To Be Free in June 1981 ) from which the still above was taken. The programme had its uses in creating an appetite for BBC's repeats
Michael Aspel signed an exclusive contract with LWT in 1982 and the show came to an end. I'm not sure which came first actually but either way the timing was impeccable as the VCR explosion would have soon removed the raison d'etre of the show anyway.