Childhood TV heroes of the 80s who would have made shit friends

THANKS to age and hindsight, you now realise most of the TV heroes of your childhood would have been a disaster to hang out with. Here are just some of them.

The Krankies

The last word in hilarity for a child. However since the husband-and-wife team appeared in character all the time, there was a risk you’d walk in on them and the blood would drain from your face as you screamed: ‘WHAT’S IAN DOING TO WEE JIMMY KRANKIE?’

Avon from Blake’s 7

The character everyone wanted to be in playground games, but not friend material. It’s not so much that he was a ruthless, self-interested killer, more that you’d get sick of his inane banter with Villa they used to pad out episodes because the budget was about 20 quid.

Mystery Inc.

The activities of Scooby-Doo’s friends looked like fun, but the villains were ultimately small fry whose convoluted scams deserved pity more than condemnation. It’s probably more exciting catching people slightly over-claiming Housing Benefit. Even fancying Daphne throws up issues of paedophilia – and the fact that she’s a two-dimensional cartoon from 1969. The whole thing, sadly, is a non-starter.

The Why Don’t You? gang

A readymade set of friends much cooler than your own! Or maybe not. They spent their time reading out shit jokes like ‘What goes Zzub zzub? A bee flying backwards’ and were always doing reports on tabletop war games. The cool kids at their schools were spending their holidays experimenting with alcohol and poring over porn mags found in bushes. These were the runts of the litter.

Noel Edmonds

Imagine being friends with the fun-loving host of Swap Shop! He could probably get you a Millennium Falcon! However, Edmonds believes he’s visited by the spirits of the dead, presented The Late, Late Breakfast Show with its fatal bungee stunt, and won’t shut up about ‘Crinkley Bottom’. Your dad would have punched his lights out if he’d come round.

Sapphire and Steel 

Both were extremely cool, but as interdimensional elements ostensibly from the periodic table correcting errors in time (yeah, no one’s sure how that worked) they probably wouldn’t be interested in collecting conkers or going for a Wimpy. It was surprisingly scary, and since the Daleks scared you shitless you were probably best off not seeing Joanna Lumley’s face turn to goo.

Bodie and Doyle from The Professionals

As their name suggests, highly skilled undercover security operatives, but extremely bad role models for a child. You’d have been the only eight-year-old at school capable of downing nine pints with a huge repertoire of sexist comments about any passing female.

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Noel Fielding's guide to dressing like a deranged indie grandmother

HI, I’m Noel Fielding, the quasi-Goth comedian who confused everyone by turning up on Bake Off. Here are my everyday fashion tips for all occasions.

Presenting a nationally-loved baking show

When appearing with Pru Leith in her blocky 80s primary colours, it’s best to think minimalist – something elegant and understated, like an oversized bright red angora jumper coming down to my knees and adorned with crocheted sticking-out tongues. A style classic.

Getting a Nando’s

Nando’s calls for something with ease of movement for easy soft drinks refills. I suggest stacked black boots and a red cape decorated with mini felt coronavirus bobbles, for easy swooping between tables. 

Being team captain on Never Mind the Buzzcocks

The ideal time for a series of silk shirts that make you look like an 80s band member crossed with Dracula after a heavy night’s drinking. Complete the look with a classic accessory, such as a Brownie’s necktie or a pair of furry ear muffs. Thick, badly-applied eyeliner is optional.

Popping to Asda

You don’t want to stick out in the local Asda because you never know when a kid is going to shout ‘Cake wanker!’ and throw an orange at you, so go for something discreet and practical such as a silk camisole in baked bean print topped with an Astrakhan puffa jacket, a top hat and twirly cane. 

Dental check-up

Many people dread the dentist’s, so it’s Important not to scare anyone in the waiting room. A full skeleton costume and a waistcoat embroidered with teeth, along with some fire-engine red cowboy boots, should do the trick nicely.