Thursday, 18 February 2016
341 Sit Thi Deawn
First viewed : January 1978
There is a bit of a hole in Genome if you don't live in London. It doesn't consistently give you the variations in the Regional TV slots. And so throughout the early months of 1978 it shows a half-hour edition of news magazine Tonight in the 22.15 pm slot on a Friday night when the other regions were broadcasting something completely different.
In the early part of 1978 it was "Sit Thi Deawn" . As the title would suggest it showcased "traditional" Lancashire entertainment i.e non politicised folk music and humourous dialect poetry. It was profoundly backward-looking and you suspect that much of its intended audience would already be in bed with a cup of cocoa by the time it was broadcast but the programme ran on until the mid eighties so someone was watching it.
The programme was hosted by the Westhoughton folk group the Houghton Weavers and named after one of their songs. They were generous enough to give some exposure to a rival outfit The Oldham Tinkers. In the latter part of 1978 I discovered that the Tinkers were not a full time outfit because one of their number Gerry Kearns was a geography teacher at my final school. He wasn't very popular. I didn't do geography but he had the reputation of being strict, humourless and unyielding. That was only among the pupils though ; the staff I've talked to since remember him as being very charming and obliging. His son is the successful actor Gerard Kearns ( the gay lad in Shameless ) who must live somewhere near me as I've seen him in church a few times.