Why Don’t You?

Part of the Why Don’t You opening sequence, foot is about to meet TV screenOr to use the full title: Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead?

This programme was on in the school holidays only. As a youngster I laughed at the irony of a TV show telling us to turn of the TV. The producers decided against the much longer title of Why Don’t You Just Switch Off Your Television Set and Go Out and Do Something Less Boring Instead, But Obviously Not Until We Finish Showing You All These Less Boring Things That You Could Be Doing?

In fact, according to the people who do the write-ups on the BBC site, TV Cream and others, the things they showed you were not less boring than staring at a blank wall. I didn’t find it so, I quite liked the arty crafty things that they did. And I loved the thing with the spectacles, I still do that now sometimes! You make a sort of beak-mouth with your middle finger and thumb, then balance the specs on the top of the finger as if it were a nose, and put your forefinger and ring finger on top of the specs to stabilise them. Then you make it talk.

One of the significant points about this programme is that it was presented entirely by children, which may be common now but was unheard of then. Also you heard local accents from different places around the UK, which you just didn’t hear back then even from adult TV presenters.

According to Wikipedia, Why Don’t You? launched Ant McPartlin’s career (of Ant and Dec) and also actress Pauline Quirke was on a team of presenters as a child. It was also produced by the fabulous Russell T Davies.


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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