Column: Set the dial for the 1980s

Carol Forster
Carol Forster
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Ah! I will always have a soft spot for earlier decades but this week I'm moving on briefly.

I think it’s time to give another wodge of time, an airing, in my quest to jog those old memories.

Back in the 1980s, when jumpers had a style bypass and high pitched male singers were in vogue, there were many programme that held me utterly transfixed. For example, one came from Brazil and told the sad tale of Isaura, the slave girl.

Although it was a serious and sad topic, the show had us rolling around in fits of laughter – not for the storyline, you understand - but because the dubbing was so appallingly bad, which rendered it exquisitely good.

Isaura would go through her daily tribulations on the plantation, but the voices used were entirely at odds with the characters and I remember the slave driver being somewhat peculiar, to say the least.

I also recall watching Young Doctors – a programme with such hideous characters, you were compelled to watch - and the storylines were so absurd and involved so many doctors, you really began to worry for their patients’ health outcomes!

It became essential viewing on return from college and seemed a little more risqué than Take the High Road though that indeed had its moments too.

Another that really sticks in my memory is that of Brookside, our homegrown one set in Liverpool. The men had delightful perms and shellsuits while the women just seemed to be in permanent crisis of one sort or another. It was a little more gritty than the earlier soaps too.

The stable family unit it promoted on the one hand, was seriously compromised on the other. It was good viewing and we all enjoyed it, but for sheer warm hearted humour, the sitcom Bread won hands down.

What a lovely programme it was, and it managed to turn hardship into something doable. Utterly hilarious, it had my vote.

Then, when Dallas and Dynasty, were thrown into the mix we were in a great place. The appalling characters and crazy storylines were enough to keep everyone blissfully happy for years - and they did.

In the era of the shoulder pad and two synth band, we were spoilt for the nuttiest viewing around.