November 1, 2015
This anarchic live saturday morning children’s TV show (but adults loved it too) ran from 1974 to 1982. Initially conceived by ATV continuity announcer Peter Tomlinson, it soon made a star of Chris Tarrant. Chris had already been working at ATV for the early evening magazine news programme…usually handling the odder/funnier outside broadcast news items. Initially TISWAS (Today Is Saturday Watch And Smile) consisted of Chris and John Asher sitting behind a desk linking assorted cartoons. It wasn’t too long before it had expanded into a cast of thousands (along with an audience of both children and adults ) crowding the studio along with Peter Tomlinson, Trevor East, John Gorman, Bob Carolgees (with Spit the Dog), copious numbers of buckets of water, Lenny Henry and many more (not forgetting eventually the Phantom Flan Flinger and Sally James).
Poster Magazines were quite popular in the 1970s. Subjects were usually Pop Groups like the Bay City Rollers and cult TV shows like Starsky and Hutch. This TISWAS Poster Magazine was published in 1975 when the show could only be viewed in the ATV Midlands region so I guess it was only available in shops in the Midlands too?? Later there would be annuals and a magazine and various other merchandising.
PS: After around seven years of saturday morning madness Chris and a few of the regulars left TISWAS to move on to create an adult late night version of the show. Titled OTT (Over the Top) it only survived for one series in the early 1980s.