Thursday, 21 July 2016

450 Looking Good Feeling Fit

First  viewed  : August  1980

For  the  first  two  of  its  four  seasons  this  was  a  summer  replacement  for  Tomorrow's  World  and  so  watched  for  much  the  same  reason i.e  it  directly  preceded  Top  of  the  Pops. It  was  presented  by  Richard  Stilgoe  , musical  wit  for  Nationwide  and  That's  Life,  though  he  presented  this  in  straight  fashion  alongside  Gillian  Reynolds  ( better  known  as  a  critic  for  the  Daily  Telegraph )  and  a  doctor  named  Mike  Smith.

The  programme  was  an  early  attempt  to  latch  on  to  the  burgeoning  interest  in  personal  health  maintenance. The  first  season  of  four  programmes covered  broad  topics  such  as  diet, stress  relief  and  the  beauty  industry  and  talked  to  ordinary  people  and  expert  practitioners. It  was  fairly  humdrum  stuff  and  with  Stilgoe  on  board  it  was  sometimes  difficult  to  tell  when  Nationwide  had  finished  and  this  begun.

From  the  second  season  onwards  there  was  much  more  of  an  emphasis  on  celebrity  guests  such  as  Roger  Daltrey, Felicity  Kendall ,  Jimmy  Savile  ( ahem )  and  in  the  first  episode  of  season  two  Kate  Bush .  n  a  pre-recorded  item  Stilgoe  went  down  to  Pineapple  Studios  to  film   her  rehearsing  an  energetic  dance  routine  for  the  video  to  Sat  In  Your  Lap.  Kate  then  gave  Stilgoe  an  interview  in  situ  in  which  she,  possibly  unintentionally ,  undermined  all  the  rationale  for  featuring  her  on  the  programme.

RS : You  do  not  have  pimples, spots  and  all  the  things  that  the  rest  of  us  get  if  we  stay  up  if  we  stay  out  late  all  night. How  do  you  manage  that ?

KB: Well  I  do . I  do  get  pimples  and  things   but  luckily  I've  found  some  creams  and  things  that  are  incredibly  good  for  my  skin  and  I  use  them  morning  and  night  and  seem  to  be  OK. But  I  do  get  spots,  everyone  gets  spots.

RS : You  obviously  enjoy  yourself  and  you're  obviously very  happy . Do  you  think  that  is  why  you're  a  healthy  person ?

KB : I  don't  think  I'm  a  healthy  person. You  see  I  dance  because  I  want  to  dance  not  cause  I  want  to  keep  fit  and  it's  just  a  sort  of  side  thing  that  I  happen  to  keep  fit  at  the  same  time.

Whether  she  meant  to  or  not  she  conveyed   the  impression  that  Stilgoe  had  just  gone  along  to  gawp  at  her  and  tried  to  find  a  justification  for  it  afterwards.

Alas  the  programme  was  never  so  interesting  again. For  the  fourth  and  final  season  only  Smith  survived  as  Sarah  Kennedy  and   Christopher  Lillicrap   took  over  presenting  duties. The  last  episode  was  broadcast  on  5  July  1983.  

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