Happy Birthday Channel Four!

In the week of celebrations for Channel Four I’ll add my congrats here.

As the first real UK TV channel to launch in my lifetime (Channel Five and a million digital channels appeared much later) I can hardly remember a time it wasn’t out of my personal viewing schedule or the papers.

I can remember watching Brookside with my mum and that it was a world away from the cosier Coronation Street on the other side. Max Headroom was plain weird and The Crystal Maze was a revelation compared to the likes of the Krypton Factor or Mastermind.

Then, just as Nintendo and Sega were taking over the world, GamesMaster appeared with Dominik Diamond and Patrick Moore. This was cult viewing in my school, certainly amongst the geekier elements.

Vic Reeves Big Night Out was also required viewing in the early 90s, though I don’t remember being a huge fan – it was more a case of being uncool if you missed it. The Word was very risky, needing to be watched in your room on the portable telly.

And mornings weren’t complete without The Big Breakfast. Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush and TFI Friday were the natural progression.

There are loads more series that stick in my mind: Nightingales, the TV Heaven season, Sean’s Show, Whose Line is it Anyway?, Chance in a Million, Brass Eye…

But the one that probably remains with me most depicts the misadventures of three priests off the coast of Ireland. A true classic (a word I’ve been told I use too much, but this time I think a few million others agree) and the death of Dermot Morgan at the end of series three was truly a tragedy. In memory of Ted Crilly, here’s just one clip out of too many I could have chosen from Father Ted. You’ll enjoy it…ah you will, you will, you will…


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