6th September 1980 - No.37 Edit
to 7th March 1981 >> Edit
replaced by Unknown
Although Chris Tarrant is more famous recently for his extra-marital exploits, once upon a long ago he fronted one of ITV's first flagship Saturday morning shows, 'TISWAS'. the title of the show came from the phrase 'This Is Saturday Watch And Smile ', and was basically 3 hours of chaos, a lot of it way off the script. ITV knew it had to come up with an answer to BBC's mega successful 'SWAP SHOP' and Tiswas proved to be a huge success. The main memory about the show was the mess the studio got into, due to the custard pie flinging, and gunge slinging. Tiswas was the first shows to use this sort of entertainment, but hoards of show emulated this afterwards, as kids seemed to like seeing people get 'gunged', 'Crackerjack's' Stu Francis was a major exponent of this, and was always well and truly covered by the end of the show. Alongside Chris as a main presenter, was Sally James, who did most of the more 'serious' stuff, like interviewing pop stars and such, she had bee poached from 'Saturday Scene' where she was doing a similar role. Later on they started bringing in other people, including impressionist Lenny Henry, and ex-Scaffold member John Gorman, who fast became regular fixtures, and were considered part of the Tiswas team. Frank Carson, Bob Carolgees (with 'Spit' the dog), and Sylvester 'Dr.Who' McCoy were later additions to the clan, who appeared semi-regularly. Characters came and went, Like comedian David Rappaport as 'Green Nigel' a parody of Blue Peter', but one character, 'The Phantom Flan Flinger' became synonymous with the show, striking fear into kids whenever he appeared on set. In 1980 Chris decided to leave TISWAS whilst the series still had good ratings, Lenny, John and Bob decided to join him, They were to be found soon after, in a late night slot fronting 'OTT', an adult version of TISWAS.
ATV meanwhile, decided the TISWAS ratings were still good, and set about finding a new team. DJ Gordon Astley, became the new front man alongside Sally who stayed on. The new comedy duo were Fogwell Flax, who had made a name for himself on quiz show 'Punch Lines' and Ex-Darts singer Den Heggarty. The series went into decline when Chris left, and a year later, when Sally announced it would be her last series, the writing was on the wall. Tiswas ended on 3rd April 1982. The Tiswas On Two feature was a mix of letters from readers telling of their crazy and/or charity raising exploits and competitions. There was also 'Flan Your Folks' where you could send a picture of your mates, family etc, and have them 'flanned', (a drawing of a flan superimposed on the photograph. The feature was ok I suppose, but I saw it as just an extra 'Letters' page which was doing similar things to Stewpot's Newsdesk, and I really didn't see the point..