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OXFORD ROAD SHOW / ORS

BBC2
16th January 1981 - 29th March 1985

Live on a Friday night from the Oxford Road studios of BBC Manchester this was another attempt by the BBC at youth targeted current affairs programming. Something Else had its fans but it was felt that the amateur presentation was preventing some people from taking it seriously. It was also likely that unions were not happy with the format, replacing professional presenters with members of the public.

Presenters for the first series were Martin Bergman, Paula Yates (from the Record Mirror) and Rob Rohrer (from The New Statesman). Jackie Sprekley, Robert Elms and actor Graham Fellows would later replace them, while Yates later joined Channel 4’s The Tube.

The show covered issues affecting young adults, the arts, consumerism, employment, plus there would be a discussion,  while a couple of live bands would play live. The Oxford Road Show was just one of several shows using that format at the time.

Comedian and writer Ben Elton would join the series playing several characters, but would later go on to parody his colleagues in The Young Ones' 'Nozin' About' spoof.

By the third series Radio One's over-effervescent Peter Powell had taken over presentation and things started to look silly with Elton's spoof looking more like reality.

The third series bought a name change to ORS 84, then ORS 85 for the final series.

It gave a chance to many new bands that shows like The Old Grey Whistle Test didn't, but would be ridiculed for its presentation.