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GOING LIVE

BBC1
26th September 1987 - 17th April 1993

The third Saturday morning show in a row for BBC1 and this time they got it right from day one. It took many, many years, but this time the BBC had got the picture, kids didn't want to be lectured and bullied into learning on a Saturday morning. If they did, they'd switch over. Blue Peter was for school days.

The host this time was not brought in from Radio One, but from the confines of the broom cupboard at Children’s BBC, the weekday continuity link between the cartoons, dramas, comedy and Blue Peter. Philip Schofield was considerable younger than his two predecessors and more likely to have an idea about what made good kids television. His partners this time around were Sarah Greene (from Superstore), Gordon the Gopher (from the broom cupboard) and two new faces, Trevor Neal and Simon Hickson, whose various guises, the laundrette, the record store, the leprechauns, the hippies etc were clearly inspired by Tiswas as much as stand-up comedy. The old phone number (something of a classic) 01 811 8055 was dropped and a new phone one 081 811 8181 was introduced.

A new angle was approached with this show, an agony uncle Phillip Hodson was employed and it his job to deal with children’s enquiries and issues such as anorexia, periods and sexual abuse, rather than the Andy Pandy way that Swap Shop / Superstore dealt with children.

During the second series Sarah Greene was hurt badly in a helicopter crash and was replaced briefly by Carol Decker from T'Pau, while Robbie Williams helped fill in the spot when host Schofield left for a role in the West End hit Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

Emma Forbes joined the hosts later on for the cookery spot. However, of interest to us was the band and acts that appeared every week, from Sting to Cher, most of whom were willing not only to sing and be asked questions from the young audience but to participate in the live sketches, sometimes with unforgettable results. The nearest to Tiswas the BBC were ever likely to get.