BBC TOMORROW'S WORLD IN THE 80S
by Mark Nobes, chief editor
Tomorrow's World Presenters
Kieran Prendiville was a presenter from 1979-1983. Before this he had worked as a co-presenter on the BBC consumer programme That's Life from 1973 until 1978. He was also a co-writer for numerous TV series including the TV drama's Boon, Roughnecks and The Bill, and was the creator of Ballykissangel.
Judith Hann was the longest-serving and best-remembered presenter, appearing on the programme from 1974 to 1994. In 1997 she appeared in the Shredded Wheat TV adverts advising us on the benefits to our heart. Judith also appeared on the comedy panel show Shooting Stars the same year. She currently lives on a farm in the Cotswolds (in Lechlade) and runs a media training company with her husband John Exelby, who was the co-founder of the BBC World Service.
Howard Stableford was a presenter from 1985 until 1997. He also hosted the game show Beat The Teacher during 1984. In 1999, Stableford test-drove cars for the Men & Motors TV channel. Now in his mid 50s, he has recently worked for BBC Radio 4, the Open University and Granada Television.
Howard Stableford and some ghastly wallpaper in 1993
TOMORROW'S WORLD THEME Music
Although the 70s theme music is fondly remembered, the early to mid 1980s theme tune is a personal favourite as it had that futuristic electro sound. This was, of course, perfect for a show that reviewed/pre-viewed futuristic products. Sadly, this was ditched later on in the 80s as it had become "unfashionable", but with the recent revival of analog style synth music (original analog synths fetch a fortune these days) this would sound pretty cool these days.
A new theme tune was introduced in 1986. Unfortunately, the electronic sound was replaced with a more orchestral arrangement. Far too Conservative for my liking, but then these were the Thatcher years!
Feast your eyes on Lesley Judd and Fred Harris and these 80s computers, on BBC Micro Live (series 3) from 1986. It's amazing how dated this now looks, but at the time the graphics looked pretty decent. It's also interesting how Harris could adapt his presenting style from hosting kids TV programmes including Play School and Ragtime to a serious science show. I guess, the same applies to Judd, who, of course, is best-remembered for presenting Blue Peter.
It's hard to find a decent technology show on the BBC these days, of course. All we have is Click on the BBC News channel. Lasting less than half an hour, the "technology" show seems to be obsessed with mobile phones. As it's called "click", why isn't the show dedicated to computers? And why can't it have a regular slot on BBC1 or BBC2 so we know when it's actually aired, seeing as there are no listings for BBC News 24 in the TV Magazines. How I miss the 80s!