January 9th - March 27th 1988 9.25 - 11am
- The outdoor set,
on the site of the old netball court at TVS.
- Their loss,
was a bit of an oddity. The outdoor scenes didn't really
work; they were so technically difficult that the
presenters often looked ill at ease trying to conduct
interviews and stay in character with so much going on
around them. Another problem was that, for the first time
since the fourth series, an audience of kids was
reintroduced to the programme.
Otherwise, it was business
almost as normal. The usual parade of exotic dancers, bands and
students from Maidstone art college were all present and correct,
but with more room to spread out. Another technical problem was
that the interior of the main set was not on location but in the
TVS studios, a quick sprint round the corner from the exterior
set. This kept the cast nice and fit as the disappeared through
the swing doors on location, then dashed round the back and into
the studio ready to appear in the saloon for their next scene.
The demise of No. 73 was the
result, ironically, of attempts to save the show. Apparently the
new outdoor 7T3 was too expensive to produce, and the decision
was taken to axe it. The first viewers knew of this was when 7T3
failed to return in the autumn, being replaced instead by the
high-concept 'Motormouth' (which actually used a thinly
disguised version of the 7T3 set!).
The team last appeared, all
together, on the first ITV Telethon in May. Nick Staverson
appeared on Get Fresh during the summer to update viewers on his
charity trek with Ian Botham, but as himself, rather than as
Harry. And that was it.
- Motormouth started out with an
elaborate concept. It mostly took the form of a
traditional Saturday morning show, with Andrea Arnold
among the presenters. Interspersed throughout this,
however, was a fictional narrative supposedly set in the
television studios which produced the show ('Spin-off').
Among other ex 73-ers, this segment featured Richard
Waites, playing a very Hamilton-esque character. The
Motormouth segment improved considerably after a dodgy
first few weeks, but the two parts of the show never
really gelled. By the end of the first series the
pretence had completely slipped, with the real-life
presenters introducing the Spin-off segments in the same
manner as the other fictional elements.
So much for the suspension of
disbelief on Saturday mornings...