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ITV Telethons (ITV, Michael Aspel)



Four Oaks Mystery

In the late 80’s with the huge success of the BBC’s Children in Need charity evenings the ITV Network decided to get in on the action with a series of ITV Telethons. One of the regional stations that make up the network had previously staged a ten hour Thames Telethon on 2 October 1980 and managed to raise over a million pounds, there was also a telethon on 23 September 1985.

For 1988 the network decided to go all out with a marathon 27 hour broadcast, a huge logistical enterprise the three events raised millions of pounds but died out after the 1992 edition. Host for all three events was Michael Aspel.

1. TELETHON 88 (Broadcast 29 – 30 May 1988)
Producers: Alan Boyd, Diana Potter.
There was a preview broadcast on 28 May 1988 looking at what was in store

2. TELETHON 90 (Broadcast 27 – 28 May 1990)
Two preview shows were broadcast 10 March 1990 (Get Ready For Telethon 90) and 26 May (ITV Telethon 90 is on the way), the telethon itself ran from 27 – 28 May and those taking part included Cilla Black (for a special edition of Blind Date), Matthew Kelly, The Roly Polys, Tom O’Connor, Faith Brown, Richard O’Brien, Lulu, Victoria Wood, Bruno Brookes, Gillian and Gail Blakeney (from Neighbours and at the time trying to start a singing career), Lesley Josphn, Anne Diamond, Jeremy Brett, Edward Hardwicke, Barry Foster, Pete Waterman, Michaela Strachan, Andrea Boardman, Chas N Dave, Cheryl Baker, Timmy Mallett, Gareth Jones, Andy Crane, Gaby Roslin, Rolf Harris, Pat Sharp, Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin, Bill Oddie, Lennie Bennett, Steve Davis, Ted Rogers, Tony Blackburn, George Baker, Shaw Taylor, Mark McManus, Jim Bowen, Richard Madeley, Judy Finnigan, Barbara Windsor and David Hamilton.

Chris DeBurgh opened the event with a specially written song for the telethon and there was also a round britain car rally; There were special editions of Coronation Street, London’s Burning, The Bill, a celebrity It’s A Knockout, Give Us A Clue there was a visit to a special Telethon nightclub which featured performances by Mud and the Rubettes.
There was also a round of what happened broadcast on 25 December 1990.

3. TELETHON 92 (Broadcast 18 – 19 July 1992)
The third and final telethon featured special editions of Blind Date (featuring kids somewhat bizarrely), You Bet; The Four Oaks Mystery – A special Telethon mystery featuring four TV tecs – Sherlock Holmes (Jeremy Brett), Van Der Valk (Barry Foster), Taggart (Mark McManus) and Inspector Wexford (George Baker), a special round of clips from concerts for the Princes Trust, Bullseye and Coronation Street.

UK / ITV Network / 1988, 1990 and 1992