Column: Yearning for those simpler days of sixties television

George and Mildred was a firm favourite with Carol Forster
George and Mildred was a firm favourite with Carol Forster

With much nostalgia, this week I recall the television programmes of yesteryear with genuine affection and those that followed on from ‘Watch with Mother’ days.

Still watching with mother, we enjoyed dramas like ‘The Saint’; ‘The Champions’ and ‘The Avengers’. Quintissental 1960s style, all slick, sassy and sexy.

Utterly brilliant.

We would also watch the police dramas ‘Dixon of Dock Green’; ‘Z Cars’ and ‘Softly Softly’ which we enjoyed.

Unfortunately, sexism was rife back then with programmes such as ‘On the Buses’ which both amused and riled.

Who could forget long-suffering Olive, for example?

However, at that time, sitcoms were happy affairs, long before the days of cynicism, and tended to be humorous and light, thus giving you a feel good factor.

‘Man about the House’; ‘And Mother makes Three’ and ‘George and Mildred’ were all harmless fun, if the sexism was ignored.

Then, we also had ‘The Two Ronnies’ and ‘Morecambe and Wise’ to brighten our evenings, with their brilliant wit and humour.

‘The Mike Yarwood Show’ would see politicians of the day being mimicked. All good fun.

Another theme at the time was the cowboy drama so we were graced with ‘The Virginian’ and ‘High Chaparral’ to name just a couple, Cowboys and Indians was a childhood game.

A lot was left to the imagination, so we were not bombarded, as now, with graphic imagery. It worked and, I believe, helped to create a calmer, happier society. I think the later trend towards gritty realism was a big mistake as TV was a form of escapism back then.

Its later reflection of life at its worst, hardly rendered it a relaxing escape from the humdrum concerns of people’s lives.

And who could forget the soaps of the time such as crazy Crossroads. I still recall watching it and how we laughed at the ridiculous storylines; collapsing sets or characters.

Common problems were typical themes but dealt with lightly, then vapourised with each lighthearted poke at the human condition .

I can honestly say, I would happily sit through all these again and enjoy them thoroughly. I really do miss those early TV days.