Night Network and the rise and fall of UK night telly

As a night owl in the 1980’s (and now, notice the time of posting this!) I used to watch Night Network all the time – probably have some on my old tapes. ITV In Your Face goes through all of the original late night programs in the UK, including Late Night Late which was less interesting that watching paint dry as being on the border of TVS and LWT/Thames areas I could see both…I sadly did watch James Whale Show when later he made it national late night or was syndicated *shudder*. My excuse is there was nothing else on…apart from BBC’s Ceefax teletext. Actually I think I used to watch that instead of him sometimes…

Anyone remember the shit chat shows (other than Whale) like Leee’s Place (Leee from Imagination – made that car crash Bananarama MTV UK Leigh Bowery chat show appearance look like Wogan!). Get Stuffed’s punk/student cookery, all these odd DIY camcorder programs and weird student & art short films – Channel 4 loved those. C4 Nightime – I’d forgotten that – but pretty sure I was watching that Jan Svankmajer ident/programme at the time. Spook! Also some of my first experiences of gay programming was the late night shows – once saw a really strange live-action animation set in a 1970’s cottage (T-room for those in the States) where male couples danced the tango. Mmmmmmkay.

Sadly Night Network and it’s early cable-esque ilk didn’t really survive, I remember watching late night telly until the late 90s I’d tuned out by the time execrable Carlton had gotten their mitts on it, so dimly remember Hotel Babylon debacle – Dani Behr gawd she was awful, made Hitman and Her seem like Hamlet – but it mainly was for the repeats of The Chart Show (hence I’m sure I probably have the odd bit on a few of the crumbling VHS tapes I saved – which I may go through and digitise one very bored day. Or not).

And less said about the Red Triangle the better (that was the precursor to late programming as they put on the softcore very late…past 12am/1am or later).

ITV in the Face via Beardyman

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