Sunday 16 March 1986

…Had beef for lunch today.
Recorded EastEnders theme tune.
Went to Grannys and watched loads of TV programmes: Brat Farrar, Antiques Roadshow, Hancock’s Half Hour and some of Miss Marple while Granny and Grandad played Patience…

In 1986 I had three grandparents still alive. The two that came as a set lived in the same town as us, and visits for tea were common.

I used to really look forward to these occasions, chiefly because a) my gran made really nice homemade biscuits; b) they had a much bigger TV than us; and c) they took TV Times, whereas we only took Radio Times.

They also both watched far more ITV than BBC, whereas – again – the reverse was true of my parents.

Visiting my grandparents was therefore not merely a chance to plant myself amongst a whole other, slightly-alien generation, one that had a cooked meal everyday at midday and were in bed every night by 10pm, but was also a chance to read about and see a whole new world of TV faces.

Indeed, I think I watched my first ever episode of The A Team at my grandparents’ house.

Yet reading my entry for today in 1986, I’m surprised I was allowed to watch Hancock’s Half Hour. Years later my mum told me that her mother had never let her watch Hancock, believing him to be “a nasty piece of work”.

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