CHANNEL 4 in the eighties

The playlist above features many different idents, and there were many variations of the original ident used during the 1980s. There was a softer version of the music with a twirling logo, as you'll see in one of the video clips. You'll also find a clip for the amusing Hamlet cigar advert which had it's own take on the Channel 4 ident.

Channel 4 was launched on 2nd November 1982. Not every area of the UK could receive it straight away, though. We didn't pick it up in the Cotswolds until 1985 if I remember rightly, but that's the kind of thing you had to put up with living out in the sticks!

One of my best memories from the channel during the eighties was The Comic Strip Presents... This debuted on 2 November 1982, the opening night of Channel 4, so I couldn't watch it! Luckily, all of the series was repeated several times throughout the 80s. This excellent comedy series featured the comedians Adrian Edmondson, Rik Mayall and Nigel Planer who also worked together in the BBC cult comedy The Young Ones, plus Peter Richardson (he also directed the series), Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders.

I must not forget the best music show of the decade, The Tube. Unlike Top Of The Pops on BBC1, the show featured live performances and was responsible for bringing many 80s bands into the limelight. As an example, The Proclaimers performed Letter From America on the show and the song quickly reached the Top Ten. 

The Tube's main presenters were Jools Holland, the late Paula Yates, Muriel Gray and Leslie Ash and ran for five seasons between 1982 until 1987.

These days, of course, we have Film 4, E4, More 4, 4 Music and all of those +1 channels, too. A new channel was launched in 2012 called 4Seven, which shows the best programmes that have been shown on the channel 4 throughout the week. This was originally titled the "shuffle project". 

Channel 4 Ident from the 1980s

The Channel 4 logo used from 1982 to 1996 

Paula Yates presenting The Big Breakfast on Channel 4 in the 90s
After the failure of Channel 4's TV news breakfast show The Channel Four Daily (which aired between 1989 and 1992), a new, light-hearted entertainment show was launched on September 28th 1992 called The Big Breakfast. It was presented by Chris Evans and Gaby Roslin, with Paula Yates (shown above) interviewing guests on the infamous bed.