1987 saw a brand new show appear in the Saturday Morning slot - that
show was Going Live!
This show again followed the tried and tested formula, with a few
additional ideas that were to make this incarnation the best yet.
Phillip Schofield took a side-step from the CBBC broom
cupboard to become presenter, and was joined by Sarah Greene who
came on board from SuperStore. If Phillip was there, then there was
no doubt that his infamous side-kick had to be too, so undoubtedly, the
star of the show was Gordon the Gopher (who was, and always had
been, performed by BBC Executive Paul Smith!)
There were a couple of additional team members - Trevor Neal and
Simon Hickson, who injected a comedy strand to the proceedings -
little did we know from the early days just how entertaining and mad they
The pace of the show was quite frenetic compared to it's two
predecessors (although Live & Kicking subsequently even outstripped it
for pace!) and had the ability to move seamlessly from pop, cartoon,
guests, comedy, cooking (ah yes, the cooking exploits of Mr. Schofield
shall live forever in the mind...), and some of the more serious bits that
had been tossed into the formula.
The introduction of these 'more serious' bits - notably Growing
Pains and All About Me added a distinct pace change to the show
but these bits were undeniably popular with the audience - and something
that has not been attempted on a similar scale since on Saturday Mornings.
The show has brought us a few of TV's classic moments - remember when
Gordon got attacked by a small hairy dog? or when Phillip got hit by a
giant prop conker? (see the Sound and Video gallery)
Another innovation was that the odd programme was broadcast away from
the studio. One came from Center Parcs, but the most challenging
technically were when they broadcast from a 'moving' base. An early
outsider came from a ferry - but the most entertaining was
from a moving steam train on the Watercress line. Everyone was dressed in
period costume, and yes, they even attempted cookery on a live, moving
steam train - with the predicable results.
Going Live! ran for a total of six years (the same as Swap
Shop), and it was decided by all that it should go out whilst it was
still at the top. The last programme was broadcast on April 17, 1993 and
was quite understandably an emotional affair.