I haven’t always been an early riser. In fact, when I was in my twenties there were times during the winter when I didn’t get up until 4:00pm. And there were times during my teenage years when I attempted to stay up all night, only to be defeated by sleep at around 5:00am. (Of course, that’s the sort of irresponsible behaviour one can expect of a teenager.)
But there were times when I was regularly up and ready to go at 7:00am and sometimes even earlier. And at those times I usually had the TV on (at low volume so as not to disturb the parents) while I got my breakfast and did my morning ablutions. In those days we only had four channels, compared to more than a hundred today, and only BBC1 and ITV broadcasting before 9:00am. So, on weekdays when I had no school and I was free to do whatever the heck I wanted, I would usually spend mornings in front of the TV watching whatever TV-am had to offer.
“Good Morning Britain” usually had what it takes to hold the attention of a teenage boy. Its atmosphere was relaxed, quiet and didn’t focus too much on the heavy side of the news.
The programmes that really captured my attention were on Saturday and Sunday morning. They showed “The Get-along Gang”, “Jem and the Holograms”, “Yakari”, “Curious George” and the “Care Bears”.
It was also on TV-am that I first discovered “Rainbow Brite”. This was in late 1984 and by the following July I was totally in love with her! I knew full well that she was only a fictitious character, that she only existed in this world as a doll which cost £10 (remember, this was in the mid-80s) and there was absolutely no way I could let anyone know about my infatuation. My parents would not understand and my peers at school… I don’t even want to think about how the boys would have reacted. Suffice it to say, I’ve been a fan of Rainbow Brite ever since.
But I’m going off on a tangent. Maybe it’s better if I just leave you with a link to TV-am’s YouTube channel.
And this documentary about TV-am’s fortunes from 1983 to 1992 should interest you (as long as you can ignore Lloyd Grossman’s commentary).