Wednesday, 29 June 2016
429 Armchair Critics
First viewed : 12 April 1980
This only lasted for six weeks on a Saturday night on BBC2 but there are some interesting aspects to it.
It was a TV review discussion programme in which three critics ( unfortunately not identified by Genome ) discussed three shows broadcast that week, usually one each from BBC1 , BBC2 and ITV. That in itself was highly unusual at the time. Nowadays we're well used to the channels plundering each other's archives for clips but this was the first show I can remember where the BBC acknowledged ITV even existed.
The host was Susan Hill who , I recall, looked like a librarian. On the balance of probabilities I think she was the same person as the successful novelist but I can't find any definite proof.
As you might expect I only tuned in when they were discussing something I'd watched so I only saw three at the most including the first when they discussed Yes Minister ( which I hadn't watched at that point but this encouraged me to do so ) , Rebecca and Death of A Princess. If it is the same Susan Hill, it's worth noting that she later wrote a sequel to Rebecca. I also definitely saw the one where they discussed Not The Nine O Clock News and Coronation St in the same episode.
The show was superseded by the longer -running , more ambitious Did You See ? later that year.