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  1. #1
    Member Country: England
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    Does anyone remember a show on BBC2 in the eighties that was in their early evening (Friday?) "yoof" tv slot?

    It was a sort of question & answer session with a guest taking questions from an audience of usually sneering teenagers. I often think about it because I remember two episodes, one with Ben Elton and one with Stephen Fry.

    The Ben Elton one was quite funny because he clearly didn't know what the show was like because he was expecting non-stop praise and adulation and was clearly shocked and angry when they started on him with "you call yourself a socialist but you live in a house" kind of questioning. He ended up looking like a petulant, prima-donna.

    The Stephen Fry episode was a brilliant contrast. When they started on him with questions about his prison sentence and his sexuality he wasn't at all phased but just answered everything with honesty and good humour and by the end had them eating out of his hand. I've always felt that the two programmes showed them both in their true colours.

    Anyone remember what this was called?

  2. #2
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    I'd love to know what this was called as well, I can clearly remember an episode with Bob Geldof as a guest.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    One of these?

    DEF II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    (The article linked to the OfftheTelly website might trigger some memories).

  4. #4
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    The series may have been called Open to Question.


    E.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    Stephen Fry was interviewed in 1989:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AiE7IwfZIE

    Ben Elton in 1987.


    E.

  6. #6
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    Thank you for the responses.

    It was Open To Question and it was shown as part of Def II (I'd forgotten all about Def II) but, apparently, this is from its pre-Def II, BBC Scotland incarnation (I think).

    The clip is great though it looks totally different to how I remember it but I was right about remembering Stephen Fry as being open, honest and entertaining (as usual).

  7. #7
    Senior Member Euryale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by melade View Post
    Thank you for the responses.

    It was Open To Question and it was shown as part of Def II (I'd forgotten all about Def II) but, apparently, this is from its pre-Def II, BBC Scotland incarnation (I think).

    The clip is great though it looks totally different to how I remember it but I was right about remembering Stephen Fry as being open, honest and entertaining (as usual).
    The series Open to Question started in 1984, and it seems to have been aimed at schoolchildren at first. Later it morphed into a show for teenagers/young adults. It appears to have always been produced by BBC Scotland. There's an incomplete guest list at the BFI:

    BFI | Film & TV Database | OPEN TO QUESTION


    E.

  8. #8
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    The edition with Stephen Fry was originally shown 1 May 1989.

    It's interesting how the show changed. It may well have changed its target audience as Euryale suggests, but equally it looks to have started with a heavy political slant, which was definitely on the wane by the time of Fry's edition.

    Early shows featured the likes of David Steel, David Owen, Tony Benn, Jeffrey Archer, Cecil Parkinson, Arthur Scargill, Enoch Powell, Neil Kinnock, Denis Worrall, Ian Smith, Derek Hatton, Walter Mondale, Denis Healey and Ron Miller with most of the remainder made up of those on the political fringes. No more than a quarter per series seem to have been based around a comic, musician, sports-person or what have you.

    By Fry's time (the seventh series, I think, which only had seven editions) there was definitely more of a media/entertainment bias with Fry, Pamela Stephenson and Janet Street-Porter among those being grilled.

    The Fry edition was fascinating, thanks for the YouTube link.

  9. #9
    Member Country: England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simon Coward View Post
    The edition with Stephen Fry was originally shown 1 May 1989.

    It's interesting how the show changed. It may well have changed its target audience as Euryale suggests, but equally it looks to have started with a heavy political slant, which was definitely on the wane by the time of Fry's edition.

    Early shows featured the likes of David Steel, David Owen, Tony Benn, Jeffrey Archer, Cecil Parkinson, Arthur Scargill, Enoch Powell, Neil Kinnock, Denis Worrall, Ian Smith, Derek Hatton, Walter Mondale, Denis Healey and Ron Miller with most of the remainder made up of those on the political fringes. No more than a quarter per series seem to have been based around a comic, musician, sports-person or what have you.

    By Fry's time (the seventh series, I think, which only had seven editions) there was definitely more of a media/entertainment bias with Fry, Pamela Stephenson and Janet Street-Porter among those being grilled.

    The Fry edition was fascinating, thanks for the YouTube link.
    Thanks for this. They managed to attract some interesting political figures. I never thought I'd see Walter Mondale on a list between Derek Hatton and Denis Healey.

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