There was only one way to start your Saturday morning in the late eighties, that was on the settee, in your pj’s, eating toast and watching Going Live!
Going Live! took over from Saturday Superstore on the Saturday morning BBC1 slot, with Phillip Schofield fresh from the Broom Cupboard and Sarah Greene who had also presented Saturday Superstore.
As the name suggests it was live TV, three hours and fifteen minutes of fun, with games, competitions, cartoons, celebrity guests, music, phone ins. The show ran during the Autumn to Spring months, from 1987 to 1993. There was six series in total and one hundred and seventy nine episodes.
The on screen presenter partnership between Sarah Greene and Phillip Schofield was fantastic, with the same sense of humour and fits of giggles!
Sarah Greene was a presenter on Blue Peter from 1980 to 1983, at the time at aged twenty two she was the youngest ever presenter.
Born in 1958, in London, Sarah attended the University of Hull where she studied for a degree in drama. She married TV and radio presenter Mike Smith in 1989 until his death in 2014.
In 1988 Sarah and Mike were both hurt in a helicopter crash and spent weeks in hospital. Sarah returned to presenting Going Live! weeks later still in plaster.
Phillip Schofield came to Going Live! after being the first face and very successful and popular presenter of CBBC.
Born in 1962, Phillip first worked for the BBC age seventeen as a booking clerk and tea boy. He was, at the time, their youngest employee.
At nineteen Phillip moved to New Zealand where he presented the youth music programme Shazam! In 1985 he returned to England and worked at CBBC.
Can you remember the comedy duo Trev and Simon? Who gave the show some character comedy! They ‘didn’t do duvets’ but they did enjoy swinging their pants!
Trevor Neal and Simon Hickson met in 1981 at Manchester University where they were both drama students.
They performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1984, and not long after that they moved to London to pursue comedy.
The star of the show was naturally Gordon The Gopher, who left the Broom Cupboard behind and followed his best mate Phillip Schofield to Going Live! as they were just inseparable!
Once or twice live on air Gordon did get a bit too big for his boots, especially when he bit and wouldn’t let go of Ruby Wax’s finger!
Gordon had his own merchandise which included his very own Gordon puppet which came out in 1990 and cost £15.
Gordon rolled the wave of success and parties, he did go off the rails and spent some time in rehab. But these days he lives the quiet life, and he doesn’t do interviews!
The phone in feature of the show was really popular, viewers could phone in to ask questions, or ask a question to a celebrity guest. There was also a feature where Phillip or Sarah would surprise a viewer with a phone call.
These phone calls were all live, one time Gordon was being attacked by a puppy whilst Sarah was on the phone! Another time a viewers question to Five Star was ‘why are you so f#+:ing crap?’ Oh dear! Luckily ever the professional Sarah Greene was quick in to sort the situation out.
There was also the game show Double Dare and of course, like all great game shows should, there was gunge involved! Later the game show was Run The Risk.
Phillip Hodson was the Going Live! Agony Uncle with his advice on all subjects in the Growing Pains feature.
Emma Forbes had her own cooking slot on the show, she later went on to present the next Saturday morning show Live And Kicking with Andi Peters.
On the 29th December 1990 a prerecorded pantomime edition of the show was aired. A pantomime of Scrooge, which was written by Trev and Simon. The cast included Sarah Greene as Sarah Scrooge, Phillip Schofield as Phil Scratchit, Emma Forbes as Mrs Scratchit and the star of the show was Gordon The Gopher as Tiny Gordon.
Going Live! How lucky us eighties kids were to have this fun, sometimes chaotic, always entertaining show! A joy to watch. It set the bar extremely high for future Saturday morning shows, it really was unbeatable!