Author Topic: ITV families  (Read 2799 times)

hamfist

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ITV families
« on: April 26, 2021, 08:33:47 PM »
I was born in 1975.

Growing up I was always snooty about ITV. I considered that there were other families who were “ITV Families” and they were trashy and common. We were a BBC family.

ITV families would have for example
- Fish & Chips every Friday
- A commodore or sinclair computer
- Big plastic toys like Mr Frosty or Bigtrak

This had nothing to do with class I think -  growing up, I was in a single parent family, my mum worked nights as a waitress and we were in no way well off.

My brother reminded me of ITV families tonight after he found the kind of pans *they* would have in the Argos catalogue from 1984.

touchingcloth

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2021, 08:35:14 PM »
Mr Frosty is NOT a toy. He is a kitchen utensil.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2021, 08:35:54 PM »
We were both. I was an avid watcher of both CBBC and CITV. And I always wanted a Mr Frosty.

hamfist

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2021, 08:38:29 PM »
We were both. I was an avid watcher of both CBBC and CITV. And I always wanted a Mr Frosty.

That’s the thing. I secretly wanted those things too, but it wouldn’t have been allowed - in fact we couldn’t afford it and I wonder if we were encouraged away from ITV to not see adverts.

buttgammon

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2021, 08:48:34 PM »
Although I tended towards CBBC a lot of the time, I grew up in an ITV household. It was one of the last vestiges of true working-classness we kept after a period of social mobility that saw my mum and her siblings all living in privately-owned homes, each of which contained a TV that was usually tuned to Granada. And it always was Granada; it still is, even though we've been watching digital TV in the Wales region for many years.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2021, 09:32:41 PM »
I was also born in 1975.  As a kid, ITV seemed like a perfectly respectable channel.  It had stuff I loved like The A Team, The Krypton Factor and Spitting Image.  Children's ITV had some reasonable productions like Dramarama and Knightmare. Then stuff that felt intimidatingly serious and sober like World in Action and News at Ten.  And then light entertainment guff like Gladiators and Blind Date, lowbrow perhaps but not really "naff".  All in all, a good balance of stuff, good production values for the time, nothing to get snooty about.

And one day, I saw some pamphlet or other that was lying around, which classified the demographics of the local area by various metrics, and one of them was the perjorative "ITV viewership".  It was the first time I'd seen it suggested that ITV was S4C.  And as a suggestible teenager, I took it on board, and started looking down my nose at it.  Pamphlet wankers.

Of course ITV is total bullshit now.  Just like BBC.

Blinder Data

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2021, 09:36:59 PM »
I was born in 1975.

Growing up I was always snooty about ITV. I considered that there were other families who were “ITV Families” and they were trashy and common. We were a BBC family.

ITV families would have for example
- Fish & Chips every Friday

that's Catholics

ITV families are more likely to get a Chinese/Indian takeaway every Saturday

Re: ITV families
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2021, 09:43:18 PM »
- Fish & Chips every Friday

Easy there Reverend.

Rizla

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2021, 09:49:50 PM »
ITV, very garish. Bright, over-lit sets, colour-saturated, loud, compared to BBC picture. Heavily compressed audio, audience laughter identifiably more working-class and northern. Very few ITV sitcoms are today regarded as classics, in the same way BBC ones are. Rising Damp maybe the only real classic that truly stands up today (there are plenty other good ones, Home to Roost, New Statesman, Shelley, but so much dross - On The Buses, Get Some In, Bottle Boys, the list goes on).

Kaiser Chiefs were once described by a friend as "ITV indie"; you immediately know what that means.

DJ Bob Hoskins

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2021, 09:51:30 PM »
It was the first time I'd seen it suggested that ITV was S4C.


shiftwork2

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2021, 09:52:22 PM »
This reminds me of my friend's wife who was most definitely not brought up in an ITV family.  In fact such was the middle classery that almost all of the BBC was off limits too.  She was allowed one TV show per week and that was chosen on its wholesomeness and unlikeliness to corrupt.  It was a Saturday night BBC1 programme.  Now then, now then, would you like to guess which show that was...

DJ Bob Hoskins

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2021, 09:53:09 PM »
Gah, ignore

Re: ITV families
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2021, 10:05:54 PM »
We were definitely BBC when I was small, and my parents were newly middle class thanks to the miracle of free university education. My dad was firmly in control of the TV and it was pretty much constantly on BBC (except Bond films and maybe some sport). This was the era when BBC would show American shows like Perfect Strangers and Taxi and shitty American TV movies in prime time, so it can't have been about highbrow TV, and my dad didn't read anything more intellectual than Robert Ludlum and James Clavell. We also got the Radio Times and kept it in a leather binder (honest, I am not on a Channel 4 clip show). My dad was a Labour voter until the SDP came along, and my parents played bridge every other week with a (probably upwardly-mobile) working class couple.

Better Midlands

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2021, 11:01:02 PM »
A commodore or sinclair computer

Not having that, BBC Micro (if that's what you're implying) was Radio 4 families - Dragon 32 was definitely ITV families.

Rizla

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #14 on: April 26, 2021, 11:18:30 PM »
Dragon 32 was definitely ITV families.
No nono. Dragon the very epitome of S4C, in so many ways. Well, they were Welsh. Also -

 C64 = BBC. VIC20 = ITV. Amstrad CPC = BSB.  Just the way it is.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2021, 11:34:54 PM »
That’s the thing. I secretly wanted those things too, but it wouldn’t have been allowed - in fact we couldn’t afford it and I wonder if we were encouraged away from ITV to not see adverts.
Oh, my mum absolutely hated adverts, she went on a massive rant to my brother after he asked her for a toy one time too many. But she had a degree of tolerance towards it. Gladiators was often Saturday teatime viewing. But then the BBC had Captain Scarlet and Doctor Who and CBBC and sometimes my dad would be on the news, so that evened it out.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2021, 11:38:27 PM »
A lot of modern TV seems to resemble the stuff from the US and Japan that Clive James used to present to us on Saturday Night Clive when I was a kid - to laugh at and be aghast about their sheer bad taste, and the willingness of people on foreign TV to humiliate themselves in the name of attention-seeking.

A lot of the ITV stuff from the same era seems positively stuffy and wholesome by comparison. Can’t say I was particularly aware of any ITV-BBC class divide at the time. In the four-channel era everyone I knew seemed to watch a bit of both. Although I don’t think I would have had any difficulty in identifying which was the most prestigious, I think the first time the idea of ITV being infra dig occurred to me was when Paul Merton mocked Ian Hislop on HIGNFY for the very idea that Hislop would’ve ever been permitted to watch ITV (a hoary old joke, like much of the rest of the programme, which seems to have been trotted out by Merton since the 90s).

canadagoose

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2021, 11:41:38 PM »
I used to have a pal and his mum would sit in the living room watching ITV, every single time I was over. Never any other channel. The TV didn't have a remote but it didn't matter. She must have fair liked it.

non capisco

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2021, 12:31:32 AM »
We were an egalitarian dual channel family thanks to the melting pot of my mum's family (lower middle class, Tory, definitely BBC) and my dad's (working class, Labour if they voted at all, travellers on my nan's side, died in the wool ITV so much so that my grandad looked exactly like Jim Bowen, like he'd achieved this by some strange osmosis of watching Bullseye all the time, his physiognomy becoming that of Bowen through sheer levels of exposure). I presumably wasn't alive for the years where mum and dad argued it out and ended up achieving the cross-cultural TV detente I was always used to. Hands across the water, hands across the sea. The only strong reactions I recall were my dad in delicious ecstasies of venom over "that fat dickhead" Eddie Large. Also a memory of my mum just having the test card on, not even waiting for a programme to start, almost using it as a radio station. It was The Monkees doing 'Daydream Believer', to be fair. The actual one, not a re-recording or an instrumental. That girl and her clown, the Mona Lisa of the late twentieth century.

idunnosomename

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2021, 12:42:42 AM »
gladiators was great though. BBC tried but never came close to it.

was always funny how shit the contestants' leotards were. they always fell apart on Hang Tough. well we only saw the men's. wahey! eh lads. imagine

JesusAndYourBush

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #20 on: April 27, 2021, 01:01:32 AM »
I don't understand this thread.  You do know you could watch either channel (depending on what programme you wanted to watch), you didn't have to stick to one.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #21 on: April 27, 2021, 01:17:28 AM »
Yes, but I get what the OP's getting at, there was a definite set of values associated with the channels which sort-of maps onto social class, but not quite. My family watched mostly ITV and lo and behold....


ITV families would have for example
- Fish & Chips every Friday
- A commodore or sinclair computer
- Big plastic toys like Mr Frosty or Bigtrak

My family ticked every box there!

Though ITV might have been more working-class in style, (the BBC would never have made something like Bullseye, obviously),  but I don't remember it being especially dumbed-down or having weaker production values on the whole in the 80s. And the fact that it was the home of the 7up series, one of the greatest British TV series, meant it couldn't really be written off. It became awful, but that's to do with specific government decisions about how it should be run and regulated (the Broadcasting Act 1990).. The programming quality dropped off a cliff from January 1st 1993 onwards when Thames TV lost their franchise and were replaced by Carlton.

The connections between working class culture and commercial/consumerist culture in the 80s are interesting.  People who left school earlier started earning money more quickly and got hooked on the pleasures of shopping, people who stayed in education necessarily adopted a more  skeptical attitude to a consumerism that they wouldn't have been able to take part in.

Better Midlands

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #22 on: April 27, 2021, 01:27:08 AM »
I don't remember it being especially dumbed-down or having weaker production values on the whole in the 80s. And the fact that it was the home of the 7up series, one of the greatest British TV series, meant it couldn't really be written off.

ITV had some really good children's programmes in the 70's/80's - Chocky, The Tomorrow People and Marmalade Atkins spring to mind.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2021, 01:50:37 AM »
ITV had some really good children's programmes in the 70's/80's - Chocky, The Tomorrow People and Marmalade Atkins spring to mind.
All three of those were Thames TV productions, a good example of the way the Conservatives' decision to get rid of Thames in favour of the higher-bidding but inexperienced Carlton TV was an act of cultural vandalism.

Tony Tony Tony

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2021, 02:54:42 AM »
I reckon the epitome of BBC v ITV has got to be Blue Peter v Magpie. I watched both and managed to get a Magpie badge simply by writing a shit letter about my dad having built a greenhouse. No such luck with Blue Peter. Mind you I understand the BP badge did get you into some National Trust (?) places for free so I guess you had to work for it.

Oh and I always thought Jenny Handley was far sexier than Lesley Judd.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #25 on: April 27, 2021, 08:50:23 AM »
O I don't know: have an ogle at Randy Housewife here.


hamfist

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #26 on: April 27, 2021, 08:57:59 AM »
I don't understand this thread.  You do know you could watch either channel (depending on what programme you wanted to watch), you didn't have to stick to one.

Exactly, it's not grounded in absolute reality, more a perception of "those households" as viewed from the culture of my (and others who also had this weird divide) family of the 1980's.

In Switzerland there are two main major supermarkets. COOP and Migros. And you are either "COOP" or "Migros" - it's a cultural divide of sorts too.

I had forgotten about the ITV families thing until last night browsing through a 1984 Argos catalogue I saw in another thread, and sharing some of the items with my brother, he pointed out that a particular set of pans were "what ITV families would have had" and it brought that concept back. I wasn't sure if it was just us who had that perspective or if others growing up in the same era also had it too.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #27 on: April 27, 2021, 09:00:45 AM »

I was in a BBC family. But on sunday evenings we watched ITV: Spitting Image, The New Statesman, The Smurfs, Police 5 etc... BBC as all songs of praise, the money programme, last of the summer wine.

Re: ITV families
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2021, 09:09:05 AM »
Quote
I had forgotten about the ITV families thing until last night browsing through a 1984 Argos catalogue I saw in another thread, and sharing some of the items with my brother, he pointed out that a particular set of pans were "what ITV families would have had" and it brought that concept back. I wasn't sure if it was just us who had that perspective or if others growing up in the same era also had it too.

It's called snobbery mate.

hamfist

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Re: ITV families
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2021, 09:12:16 AM »
It's called snobbery mate.

it is, though we were in no position to be snobs

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