Anne Diamond: Nostalgia just ain’t what it used to be
PUBLISHED: 15:08 20 December 2016
Anne takes a look back at the 1980s, and it’s not just on the box where the decade is everywhere, as life does a re-run
You really know that your age is catching up with you when the era, the decade, in which you did most and achieved most and which you personally think defines you... is coming around for the second time!
I’m getting that weird feeling of deja vu. Porridge, Are You Being Served and Steptoe are on the telly again. Joan Collins is talking about a revival of Dynasty (even though several of the prominent characters’ actors are now dead) and Bros is reuniting. Platform shoes are wobbling around our high streets again, bling is back and now Tony Blair is talking of a re-entry into British politics because “we need him”. Apparently this Christmas we’re all going to be treated to an Andy Williams Christmas Special, hosted by the Osmonds (who must all be getting on a bit by now, too). What on earth is going on?
Is such a mania for nostalgia entirely healthy? Were the 80s really that much fun? I had a fantastic time in that decade, no doubt. I’d just cut my teeth in the world of television at ATV in the Midlands, become the regional newsreader with my very own bulletin every night within “ATV Today” and used to be flown by helicopter all over the Midlands to do my film reports, rushing to get them back to the studio in time to be placed in the processing bath before that day’s Crossroads rushes (if the Crossroads film went in first, you had to wait hours).
Then off to TVam, to start up that crazy thing they said would never catch on in the UK - breakfast TV. But life outside the TV bubble was not so great for everyone, as I was reminded by a recent TV documentary. Whilst Delia Smith was exploding into a superstar like a nuclear souffle, Margaret Thatcher was inside Number 10, dividing opinion in the country and overseeing everything from the rise of the yuppie to the fall of the miners. And then came her heir, Tony Blair. My old boss at TVam used to quote Confucius who said something along the lines of “If you wait long enough on the bridge, the body of your enemy will float by” which I always took to mean “Just be patient, for the person who stabbed you in the back will get his comeuppance!” There’s no doubt, if you live long enough, everything you experienced will happen all over again. Such time travel is very confusing, and can make you feel a little old. But it is such fun watching a whole new generation fall off their platforms!
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