FROM THE ARCHIVE OF: YouTube: Doubledeckers
Every so often the past throws up little mysteries. Sometimes they are very trivial in themselves but can still be a fascinating insight into a bygone era.
One of these mysteries concerns the 5.35pm junction on BBC One on a handful of occasions between 1985 and 1988.
As all Pres fans of a certain age will remember, this junction was not voiced by the regular announcer. Instead Phillip Schofield, Andy Crane and the other CBBC presenters would do the link.
Clearly this was an editorial decision – not just an operational necessity because they were in the broom cupboard.
It would have been easy enough for the regular announcer to record a link or use the lip mic which was apparently located in the main NC1 control room for emergencies. (This happened regularly during the link before CBBC at 3.50pm after the start of the new daytime schedule in 1986 when the regional news stopped providing a buffer.)
Creatively, it was always a little awkward having the CBBC presenter link into the 5.35pm programme. In those days, the voice behind the globe really did help to establish the authority of the BBC.
But when the link was simply into The Flintstones, Cartoon Time or the schools quiz First Class it hardly mattered in practice.
It was maybe more of an issue when the 5.35pm programme was not particularly child friendly – say Masterteam.
But what about the occasions when a significant or important programme was being shown at 5.35pm?
During the 1986 Mexico World Cup, Phillip was allowed to link into the regular highlights programme shown between CBBC and the Six o’Clock News.
You can begin to see why some in Presentation were apparently less than keen on having someone who wasn’t an announcer in the continuity suite.
But here’s an even bigger question.
There were a few occasions between 1985 and 1987 when the regional news moved to 5.35pm to accommodate extended editions of the Six o’Clock News or other special output.
Outside London and the South East, of course, there would have been a standard opt-out link.
But what was happening in NC1 Con? Were Phillip and Andy really linking into London Plus?
You can begin to see why this could have been an issue.
An announcement before the news by someone who didn’t represent the authority of the BBC, a real handbrake turn from the fun in the broom cupboard, a voice quite unlike that of the announcers of the time.
So does anyone know what happened?
A very trivial mystery from a long time ago needs resolved.
PICTURED: Phillip Schofield in NC1 Con in June 1986. SUPPLIED BY: YouTube Channel - doubledeckers. COPYRIGHT: BBC.