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All in the Best Possible Taste: Growing Up Watching Telly in the Eighties [Paperback]

Tom Bromley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
Price: 8.79 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

19 Aug 2010
Television past, as LP Hartley might have once said, is another country. And, in the early 1980s it certainly was a different beast. There were still only three channels to watch; the evening's programmes finished with the playing of the national anthem; and the biggest prize on TV was not Chris Tarrant's million pounds but a speedboat on Bullseye ...But as Tom Bromley suggests in this funny and warming memoir, all that was about to change: The 1980s saw the end of the original golden era of television, and the beginnings of TV as we know it today. In 1982, Channel 4 became the first new terrestrial channel for almost twenty years and by the end of the decade, Rupert Murdoch's Sky Television was vying to become Britain's first multi-channel provider. The result of all this was that slowly but surely, British viewers had more choice than ever before and the cost of this choice was the erosion of television as a shared national event. And no-one felt this change more deeply than Tom Bromley. Television played a large part in Tom's childhood. His first word was 'two', as in BBC Two, and his earliest childhood memory is seeing Johnny Ball at a church fete. With great humour and affection, Tom Bromley tells the story of a childhood spent with his three siblings and that other all-important family member; the television set.

Frequently Bought Together

All in the Best Possible Taste: Growing Up Watching Telly in the Eighties + Wired for Sound: Now That's What I Call an Eighties Music Childhood + A 1980s Childhood: From He-Man to Shell Suits
Price For All Three: 22.97

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (19 Aug 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847378536
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847378538
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 694,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Tom Bromley was born in Salisbury in 1972 and grew up in York. A writer and editor, he is the author and co-author of eight books under his own name, and the ghostwriter of many more. His books include the novels 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'Half A World Away', and the non-fiction works 'We Could Have Been The Wombles', 'All in the Best Possible Taste', 'Rock and Pop Elevens', 'The Encyclopedia of Guilty Pleasures' and 'Shopping While Drunk'. Tom's latest book, 'Wired For Sound' is published by Simon and Schuster in June 2012. He lives in Salisbury with his wife, two daughters and his record collection.

Product Description

Review

`An engaging primer for 1980s TV which will have you stacking up a whole new YouTube play list' --Metro

`Good fun . . . Bromley makes an entertaining guide' --Daily Mail, Book of the week

`An enjoyable slice of nostalgia' --Choice

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I heart the 80s, on paper-view 2 Feb 2011
Format:Paperback
I'm sure you remember, a few years ago, there was a spate of nostalgia programmes, most of them I think on Channel 4, with names like `I love the 70s', `The Hundred Best TV moments of the 80s', `I love that bit 15 minutes ago they haven't given a name to yet', and `Your All Time Greatest Test Cards'. The trend for nostalgia about things that we didn't think much of the first time seems to be slightly in abeyance now. But never fear! Because, through the technological breakthrough known as `Pay-per-view'... sorry, I mean `Paper-view', you can relive all your favourite 80s TV moments, like, you known, when that thing happened on Neighbours, and JR said that thing on Dallas, and the shoulder pads eh? And goodness didn't we laugh?

OK, I'm being unfair. Just like `I love the 80s', `All in the Best Possible Taste' was clearly intended as a bit of fun, and not high art, and that's what it is. If you enjoyed that sort of nostalgia-fest, there's a fair chance you'll enjoy this too.

But it does suffer from three problems. Firstly, I'm afraid to say it's not actually that funny. A lot of the humour involves rather heavy handed riffs on what a lot has changed in 30 years. `Can you believe we only had three TV channels!?! I mean, less than four?!!?! Until Channel 4 of course. And we didn't know what a mobile phone was??! Isn't that amazing!?!! And did I mention the shoulder pads??!' Given that the book is subtitled `Growing Up Watching TV in the 80s', there's very little here about the growing up bit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended! 12 Aug 2011
By Paul99
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book. I read it in a week - which is very quick for me. I'd recommend it. Do you want to know what happened to Petra the Blue Peter dog? What drove Zammo to take heroin? Or, what happened in the Falklands War? There's a lovely mix in this book between the shared experience of having just 3 - and then 4 - TV channels, and autobiographical detail. The format's good too, with 'adverts' interleaved between the chapters. I used to love the adverts, although I never saw the one where Morecambe & Wise advertised Atari. The books a great mix of stuff I'd forgotten I knew and stuff I never knew. Put on your headband, turn up the Jan Hammer and enjoy!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A warm and funny look at 1980s TV. 27 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback
If you, like me, were convinced that TV was so much better in the old days, prepare to have your illusions shattered. This is a great book about growing up in the 80s, and not just watching TV, but living for it. Tom Bromley, as he cheerfully admits, was born to watch television and this memoir shows an unrivaled depth of knowledge on the subject. As well as covering the programmes we all know and love, it also dredges up memories of programmes that it's best not to remember. For me, the funniest chapters were the ones that dealt with game shows. How some of them made it on air is beyond me.

The book succeeds because it resists the temptation to use 80s TV as an easy target and is, instead, genuinely affectionate. There's also a lovely ending which I won't spoil for you. This is a book I highly recommend to anyone who enjoys great writing and a night in front of the box.
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5.0 out of 5 stars As reasurringly comforting as fuzzy felt 16 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A very easy read this. Packed with nostalgia - it promises nothing more than what it says (and shows) on the cover. It's not merely a brainstorming of "Do you remember this.... oh, and that". But programme memories are presented thematically, interspersed with other (perhaps obvious) cultural, social and political event references. If you're 35 or older, try it out, and I bet it will give you a warm glow inside. My guilty pleasure.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A proper page-turner 17 Jan 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
If I'd watched a lot less telly in my life and read more books then I'd probably worry less about the price of a lb of mince than I currently do.

What a stroke of luck finding a book about telly. Booky people are often quite snooty about it, apart from the ones who earn bundles in both, so I found this a really refreshing read. I laughed out loud a lot. The 80s was actually the decade when I watched the least TV in my life. I left school at the beginning and was married and a mother by the end. Still I found much to be nostalgic about and also picked up some tips on what I missed.

I loved the child's eye view and insight on family life in the good old days when homes had one TV and everyone called it a 'set'. I was reminded of so many family TV moments shared, like in the seventies, and how everything was discussed at school the next day. I like how the author grew up alongside television itself -- there was much more to learn about the changes than the number of channels. This is a social commentary on the decade too with the history of the decade and how it was viewed.

One to keep. I would read it again but there's quite a lot of factoids so could be handy in a family argument.
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