Over the past few weeks, nearly 30,000 votes have been cast by RT readers and the users of RadioTimes.com in an attempt to create the ultimate night of British television to help celebrate our 90th birthday. So, in the kind of announcement that ought to be accompanied by a drum roll, here goes…
Your evening begins with a favourite for the younger members of the family: Blue Peter. No era was specified, so whether you’re of the John Noakes vintage, or prefer Konnie Huq and Matt Baker, it matters not: stock up on some sticky-backed plastic and enjoy.
Next up is comedy, and the clear winner was Only Fools and Horses, John Sullivan’s saga of the Trotter clan that made “you plonker” and “luvverly jubberly” household phrases.
For drama (the category that garnered the most votes of all), you went for Doctor Who, another show where you can take your pick from one of 11 Doctors over the past 50 years.
We next asked how you would like to be entertained and it was no surprise that Morecambe and Wise, probably Britain’s greatest and most loved comedy double act, emerged victorious.
Your fantasy evening continues in the company of Michael Palin, with his first globetrotting journey, Around the World in 80 Days. The 1989 classic was a genuine challenge – he managed to repeat Phileas Fogg’s challenge in 79 days and seven hours – but with the most engaging guide you could hope for.
And after such a whirlwind of entertainment, who better than Trevor McDonald – your choice as newsreader – to tell you what has been going on in the world? After all, you’ve been sat in front of the box all night, haven’t you?
Your fantasy night’s television viewing…
5.30pm: Blue Peter
In the spirit of John Noakes, Barney Harwood scales Nelson’s Column while assembling a replica of Tracy Island out of cereal boxes. Back in the studio, an elephant runs riot as the Chalk Farm Salvation Army brass band plays Away in a Manger. Plus, this year’s appeal to turn used milk-bottle tops into lifeboats.
6:00pm: Only Fools and Horses
When Del is hospitalised after a falling chandelier causes him to topple through the Nag’s Head bar, he once again exploits Rodney’s precious memories of their late mum in order to pursue a get-rich-quick scheme. But can Rodders be trusted to sell some knock-off Trevor Francis tracksuits to the menacing Driscoll brothers?
7.15pm: Doctor Who
Having been exiled on Earth in a bid to cut back on expensive alien-planet sets, the Doctor and Jo are being held captive by the Master inside a Dungeness power plant. Can the Doctor reverse the polarity of the neutron flow before it’s too late?
8.00pm: The Morecambe and Wise Show
Another outing for the ratings-busting Christmas special that was originally watched by 21 million people. Eric and Ern perform big musical numbers, share a bed in an entirely non-sexual sense and disparage Des O’Connor.
Guest appearances from Andrew Preview, Elephant John and Vanilla Redgrave.
9.00pm: Around the World in 80 Days
It’s day 32 and Michael Palin is nursing a deep cut after being shaved by a blind Delhi barber. The injury causes him to miss his connection and he’s forced to travel by hot-air balloon. Thankfully, the photographer gets some stunning shots for the book that accompanies the series.
10.00pm: The News at Ten with Trevor McDonald
The headlines with Britain’s most trusted news anchor. And finally… sherry-drink- ing mice, dogs with maths skills and a hamster with a bus pass.
This week’s bumper 180-page edition of Radio Times is available from Tuesday, priced £1.60