CHANNEL 4 IN THE 80S
by Mark Nobes. chief editor
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 our part of Gloucestershire 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".
The Channel 4 logo used from 1982 to 1996