Series 8 (continued)
  7T3 January 9th - March 27th 1988 9.25 - 11am
Harry Nick Staverson
Dawn Andrea Arnold
Neil Neil Buchanan
Kim Kim Goody
Jules Julian Callaghan
Nadia Nadia de Lemeny
Hamilton Richard Waites
Also featuring:  
Rob Robert Debenham
Frank Sidebottom Francis Sidebottom
Jo Jo Connor
David Taylor  

The outdoor set, on the site of the old netball court at TVS.
Their loss, our... loss.
7T3 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.

73... or not 73?

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...