AND talking of the 1980s…
I had a call yesterday from the people at Unique Television, the company founded by Noel Edmonds.
They were behind It Started With Swap Shop, the nostalgia-fest screened on BBC2 last Christmas.
Now Unique is producing That’s What I Call Television, a series of three shows for ITV1 looking back at iconic TV programmes and ads from 1979 to 1989.
The series, to be recorded in May and June, will be presented by Fern Britton with guest co-hosts – former Coronation Street star Bradley Walsh is the first.
One of the items to be featured will be the Saturday teatime wrestling from World Of Sport.
The call brought back memories of a story I wrote for the MEN back in the 1980s, involving a trip to a draughty town hall somewhere near London.
I’ll try and dig out the cutting at some stage but it featured an interview with the legend who was Kent Walton.
We spoke an hour or so before the doors opened for a televised wrestling event.
Long before the days of World Wrestling, grapple fans will recall just what a cult hero Kent was.
He commentated on the ITV bouts for 33 years, with wrestling filling the gap on World Of Sport between the half time and full time football scores.
My favourite was the ever popular Les Kellet, but other legends of the ring included Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Jackie “Mr TV” Pallo, Kendo Nagasaki and Pat Roach, who went on to play Bomber in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
Check out the Hall of Fame here.
As the clock ticked down to the final whistles elsewhere, Kent would sign off, “Have a good week…till next week.”
Were you ever sat ringside at the wrestling, dodging the grannies and their umbrellas? Or perhaps you were one of the battling senior citizens?
If you were, the makers of That’s What I Call Television want to hear from you.
You can contact them via this website – which has more info about the shows – or on 020 8987 6471.
As for Kent, he died in 2003 at the age of 86.
You can read more about him here.
Auf Wiedersehen, Pat
Swap Shop Returns