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 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.
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.
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.