Tiswas

Tiswas is a British children’s television show which aired on Saturday mornings from 1974 to 1982. “Tiswas” stands for “Today Is Saturday: Watch And Smile. Presenters included Chris Tarrant, Sally James, Lenny Henry, John Gorman, and others – including returning special guests and famous personalities. One of the most popular characters was the masked Phantom Flan Flinger – the arch villain of the show who would think nothing twice of chucking a custard pie in your face.

The show was all about fun, mayhem, riotous and slapstick humour, jokes, custard pies, puppets, impersonations, music, and famous faces. Popular slots included ‘Flanorama’, ‘Compost Corner’, and ‘Flan Your Folks’. The show spawned a hit single called ‘The Bucket of Water Song’, performed by members of the cast as ‘The Four Bucketeers’.

My Saturday morning TV childhood memories are full to bursting with excellent programmes, but Tiswas will always have a special place for its sheer mayhem and fun.

Recently I received a little bit of Tiswas in my life again – namely an armful of 1981 issues of the Tiswas Family Fun Book (later Tiswas Magazine). Flantastic! Here are the covers, ads, and selected content – all wiped clean of custard pies, and dried out from their buckets of water soaking.

Enjoy! I’m off to practice my Dying Fly movements 🙂

Tiswas Family Fun Book Vol 1 N°9 1981.

Tiswas Book of Silly Superstitions 1981.

Tiswas official money box and digital watch. 1981.

Tiswas. Bob Carolgees and Spit the Dog.


Thank you for flinging flans with us 🙂

British comic book promotions in 1983, and a look at some Frank Langford ads

2000 AD Weekly Order newsagent form. 1983. UK.

Hope you’re staying healthy and well, vintage mates, as we continue on through the 2020 pandemic, into glorious May, and a new monthly edition for TVTA #110!

 

Today’s post is a surefire blast from the past which will take anyone who was around in Britain in the 1980s on a most pleasant stroll down memory lane.

From a lot of 1983 British comics which I ordered weeks ago – but which was only delivered this week – due to the pandemic – TVTA is pleased to present a range of comic book free gifts and promotions, plus some superb advert goodies from British artist Frank Langford.

Frank Langford (1926-1996)

Frank Cyril Langford was born Cyril J. Eidlestein in Stepney, London, on 2 June 1926. His earliest work in comics was in Roxy in the late 1950s. His highest-profile work in British comics was “The Angry Planet” (1963) in Boy’s World, some pages of which are signed “Eidlestein”, and the title strip in Lady Penelope (1966-69). From 1969 to 1973 he drew romance comics for DC in the US, in titles such as Secret HeartsYoung LoveYoung Romance and Falling in Love.

Angry Planet

“The Angry Planet” Boy’s World 1963

Langford also drew “Doctor Who” for Countdown (1971) TV Action (1973) and the Doctor Who Holiday Special (1973), “The Persuaders” (1973) for TV Action, and the daily strip Jack and Jill for the Herald and Sun (early ’70s).

Print adverts

He had a long-standing sideline in advertising strips, from ads for the W.R.A.C., Lyons Maid Ice Cream, Corgi Toys, KP Outer Spacers, and Philips Video Games Club – to name a few. Info adapted from UKComics.Fandom

Frank Langford – Philips Video Games Club

Philips Video Games Club with Terrahawks game. 1983. UK. Art Frank Langford.

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A newspaper life – pop culture ads from the defunct French Metronews

Metronews. Astérix. 24 Oct. 2013.

A TVTA special

One of the first jobs I did when I moved to France was working as a newspaper and advertising distributor. The newspaper in question was Metronews, which was launched 18 February 2002 as Metro then renamed Metronews in 2013 until it ceased print publication and moved online in 2015.

Metronews was hand-distributed on weekday mornings to commuters and students, and deposited in self-service racks in and outside of public buildings and city transport networks. The title was part of Metro International – a Swedish global media company since 1995 based in Luxembourg that publishes the range of Metro newspapers around the world. 

Metronews was a freesheet newspaper, and it gained the bulk of its revenues from advertising, which ultimately led to its 2015 demise due to the growing trend of advertisers and readers migrating to online services. As a consequence of the print title ending, I, and the rest of my distribution team, lost our jobs and were offered free government re-training packages.

I remember my last morning as a distributor; Friday, July the third, 2015, the day the print title ended, handing out that final ever edition with mixed emotions: it would be a relief not to have to work in the noise and bustle of one of France’s big cities full of traffic fumes and freezing wind in the winter, and to not have to wear the green T-shirt and baseball cap uniform!… but I was sure going to miss some of my daily acquaintances, the early morning chats and improving my French language skills. Plus, as a writer, there was always plenty of inspiration to be found by observing human nature and the dynamics of people when spending significant time in a big city.

TVTA never misses an opportunity to archive!

Being as my blog has always been about pop culture advertising, it was only natural during my time with Metronews I saved some of the issues – including that last ever edition I mentioned… funny to think that each of the covers you are about to see I personally handed out at one time, thinking to myself: hmm, I must remember to save one of these to post up on my blog one day…

Metronews. Grand Theft Auto V. 17 Sep. 2013.

Metronews Star Wars Rebels. 2014.

Metronews. Star Wars Rebels. 30 Sept 2014.

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The drinks are on TVTA!

Orangina 60s and 70s promotional bottles.

The ultimate in liquid container refreshment satisfaction! Are you prepared for the greatest drinking sensation of the decade? Let TVTA take you on a trip to tackle your thirst. Bottoms up! Santé! Tchin Tchin! Cheers!

Once more TVTA hits the spot as we feature a cool cache of collectable beverage bottles guaranteed to make you thirsty!

That’s collectable!

Many of the bottles and glasses you are about to see are promotional or limited edition designs and have become, or will become, collectable.

Take these Orangina ‘decades’ bottles, which kick off our post… an ideal fit for TVTA as they span the decades we regularly blog about.

Glug, glug, glug! Perfect!

Orangina 80s, 90s and 2000s promotional bottles. France.

Thirst!

Coca-Cola

French Coca-Cola promotional bottles. Disneyland Paris 25 years and Coca-Cola 125 years.

UK. 1979.

Thirst!

It’s a pelican thing!

Pelforth promotional bottles with art by Kylab.

TVTA’s new, favourite beer is Pelforth Pelican beer – a northern French beverage with a most agreeable taste and a pleasant kick. The limited edition label designs for these 2019 bottles are a celebration of northern French culture by Lillois artist and designer Kylab

There are eight different label designs to collect, and it only took us five cases to complete the run (being the completist collectors that we are… and -hic- a most pleasant way to enjoy archiving 🙂 )

Pelforth Pelican limited edition bottle labels by Kylab. 2019. France.

Thirsty!

TVTA alternative reality editor and alternative reality office cat Wooof indulge in last moment glass bottle of Dubonnet. Hurrah! Cheers vintage mates!

Quinquina Dubonnet par Cheret 1896

Thirsty thirst!

Star Wars Promotions

A selection of mineral water bottles, soft drinks, and mustard glasses featuring Star Wars characters.

Star Wars Volvic mineral water bottles. France.

Star Wars Volvic mineral water bottles. France.

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Homework assignment: building a better robot

We can do it!

Gerry Anderson Andromedan Warbot. 1979. UK.

Starlog Japan. 1981. Maximilian.

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British Comics 1970s and 1980s – as promoted in print advertising

2000 AD advert. 1988.

A TVTA Special

TVTA is pleased to present a selection of 1970s and 1980s British comic book titles as seen in print adverts found in… 1970s and 1980s British comic book titles 🙂

My memories of British comics.

Many of the titles featured in this post I grew with up. I have fond memories of saving up my pocket money for the weekly visit to the newsagent, and then the Sunday visit to our Grandparents’ house where there would always be a bag of sweets and a pile of comics waiting for us kids as treats. My parents split up when I was young, so when Dad visited this was yet another occasion to receive a pile of comics. As a supplement to the weekly and monthly comic books, Mom always bought us a number of hard cover annuals each Christmas.

Free Gift in this Week’s Issue !!

The kids in the grove where we lived were just as comic-mad, and we had regular get-togethers to share our comics and marvel at the free gifts we had received. Indeed, many of the adverts in today’s post are promotional adverts for free gifts included with the title. Gifts ranged from stickers to toys, badges to posters, and special offers made in conjunction with many popular sweets, crisps and chocolate brands of the day.

One good memory I have regarding comics is the day I accompanied my mom to the weekly launderette run. Completely bored, I was mooching about the premises when I found a Fifty Pence pence piece sticking out from under one of the machines. To a kid in the late 1970s 50p was not to be sniffed at. My mom was a good sport and allowed me to keep it, so I popped next door to the newsagents and came back with comics. Another good memory is of a friend having a clear-out of his stuff, and he gave me about a hundred issues of his old Beano and Dandy comics which kept me in happy reading spirits for months. Another good memory is of rainy days at school when at breaktime we stayed indoors and played toys and games or… read comics. Looking back there was many a good time spent with comics, and it’s been fun browsing some of those old titles again in search of adverts.

So, onto the ads, and there’s a little bit of everything here from Star Wars to Buster to Victor to Dan Dare, Spider-Man and Hulk, Tiger, Roy of the Rovers, 2000 AD and Doctor Who!

Enjoy.

Star Wars Weekly. 1978.

Victor Summer Specials. Victor. 1975.

Wow! Eagle 17 Jul.y 1982.

Buster. Eagle 19 Feb 1983.

Rowntree’s Fruit Gums promotion with Girl. Eagle 31 July. 1982.

Red Dagger. 1980.

2000 AD as advertised by Lemmy. 2000 AD. 1987.

A Close Encounter for Dan Dare. Eagle. 1983.

Doctor Who Weekly. 1980.

Playmobil figures promotion with Buster and Whizzer and Chips. 2000 AD. 1983.

MASK vs VENOM. 2000 AD. 1987.

Battle and Whoopee! Eagle 1983.

Roy of the Rovers. Eagle 12 Feb. 1983.

Bubblicious promotion with Tiger. Eagle 9 Apri.l 1983.

Spider-Man and Hulk.1980.

The Empire Strikes Back Weekly. 1980.

Battle Action Force. Eagle N°156. 1985.

Frantic. 1980.

2000 AD. UK. 1980.

Thank you for finding Fifty Pence pieces with us 🙂


Post updated June 2020 with new images.