Nice to See it, to See it, Nice: The 1970s in Front of the Telly: Bk. 4

The 1970s was not just the decade of power-cuts and three-day weeks, of Chopper bikes and Spacehoppers, of kipper ties and bad perms, of Abba and the Bay City Rollers was also the decade of Fawlty Towers and Porridge, A Bouquet of Barbed Wire and I, Claudius, The Sweeney and Starsky and Hutch. There was no such thing in those days as Wacky Warehouses or Playstations or even video recorders; for its entertainment, the nation switched on the telly. Some programmes, such as The Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show, were practically part of the national psyche, while some characters -- such as Benny from Crossroads and Olive from On The Buses -- became the unlikeliest of icons. Watching the box will never again be the collective experience it was then, and Brian Viner, in this hilarious and affectionate memoir, pays tribute to an era in televison -- the forgettable as well as the memorable -- which happily coincided with his own formative years.