With the rise of retro telly, it's never been easier to look back. But should we let old favourites lie?

These shows give us the warm fuzzy feeling of being ten again

Share

When I was a child the weekend began at teatime on Friday. As I feasted on something orange (Findus crispy panckakes, fish fingers or mini chicken Kievs), Fun House, a gameshow that featured physical challenges, quiz questions and a metric truckload of multicoloured gunge, came on TV and the good times rolled. It was fronted by a chap called Pat Sharp, who had a luxuriantly 1980s mullet, aided by two cheerleaders called Melanie and Martina (I used to see the girls around the town where I grew up a few years later, looking glamorous if quite hard). It was loud, bright, messy and on ITV, so my mum thought it was common. Which made me like it even more.

I mention it now because I’ve just learned that, according to Pat’s website, he, Melanie and Martina are available to book to “re-run the fun” at “your event, be it corporate, club, Xmas or private”. Dear god, what have we become? I mean, good on Pat, Mel and Marty for finding a new stream of revenue, but surely some things are meant to be left in the past. The idea of seeing Mike from accounts being gunged, or my sister-in-law battling it out in a soft-play arena while Pat looks on chills me. Surely our inner children should stay where they are, inside us, calcified under layers of disappointment and cynicism?

But it’s never been easier to enjoy a blast from the past. Knightmare, my other Friday-night favourite, a fantasy role-play show (think wizards, rather than horny housewives) that was like an analogue video game, was recently recreated for cable TV. I couldn’t resist watching it, as I can’t resist watching reruns of Catchphrase and Bullseye. It doesn’t take effort to enjoy these shows, there are no subtitles or subtleties, just a warm fuzzy feeling of being ten again.

I know I’m being lazy, and that in letting myself be infantilised I’m hardly alone: the easiest way to start a conversation with anyone who seems roughly the same vintage as you is to play a spot of kids’ TV tennis. One of you serves your favourite after-school show over the net and soon you’ll be volleying away. Someone will put a bit of backspin on Byker Grove and you can carry on until rain, or running out of wine, stops play. Thanks to YouTube and the ravenous schedules of cable - not to mention the thriving retro back-to-the-insert-decade-of-your-choice industry, it’s never been easier to look back, rather than forward (nostalgia really ain’t what it used to be - before you had to remember, now you get to rewatch). And the faster the world gets, the more comforting it is to do so.

However, just as I’m done with Findus crispy pancakes, I think it’s time I stepped away from the retro telly bingeing. After all, I need to find some new things to watch so that I have something to reminisce about in 20 years time.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost, Data Mining

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst - C++, Boost...

Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Support, Help desk)

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst- (Desktop Su...

Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Learning, SQL, Brokerage)

£30000 - £50000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Junior Quant Analyst (Machine Lea...

UNIX Application Support Analyst- Support, UNIX, London

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Harrington Starr: UNIX Application Support Analyst-...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Mosul dam was retaken with the help of the US  

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Robert Fisk
 

Next they'll say an independent Scotland can't use British clouds...

Mark Steel
Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

Air strikes? Talk of God? Obama is following the jihadists’ script

The President came the nearest he has come yet to rivalling George W Bush’s gormless reaction to 9/11 , says Robert Fisk
Ebola outbreak: Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on the virus

Billy Graham’s son declares righteous war on Ebola

A Christian charity’s efforts to save missionaries trapped in Africa by the crisis have been justifiably praised. But doubts remain about its evangelical motives
Jeremy Clarkson 'does not see a problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC

Not even Jeremy Clarkson is bigger than the BBC, says TV boss

Corporation’s head of television confirms ‘Top Gear’ host was warned about racist language
Nick Clegg the movie: Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise

Nick Clegg the movie

Channel 4 to air Coalition drama showing Lib Dem leader's rise
Philip Larkin: Misogynist, racist, miserable? Or caring, playful man who lived for others?

Philip Larkin: What will survive of him?

Larkin's reputation has taken a knocking. But a new book by James Booth argues that the poet was affectionate, witty, entertaining and kind, as hitherto unseen letters, sketches and 'selfies' reveal
Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?

Waxing lyrical

Madame Tussauds has shown off its Beyoncé waxwork in Regent's Park - but why is the tourist attraction still pulling in the crowds?
Texas forensic astronomer finally pinpoints the exact birth of impressionism

Revealed (to the minute)

The precise time when impressionism was born
From slow-roasted to sugar-cured: how to make the most of the British tomato season

Make the most of British tomatoes

The British crop is at its tastiest and most abundant. Sudi Pigott shares her favourite recipes
10 best men's skincare products

Face it: 10 best men's skincare products

Oscar Quine cleanses, tones and moisturises to find skin-savers blokes will be proud to display on the bathroom shelf
Malky Mackay allegations: Malky Mackay, Iain Moody and another grim day for English football

Mackay, Moody and another grim day for English football

The latest shocking claims do nothing to dispel the image that some in the game on these shores exist in a time warp, laments Sam Wallace
La Liga analysis: Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Will Barcelona's hopes go out of the window?

Pete Jenson starts his preview of the Spanish season, which begins on Saturday, by explaining how Fifa’s transfer ban will affect the Catalans
Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape