The Guardian and Observer archives go online today, and it’s free to access, just for the moment. I had a look at Tuesday 6 March 1973 — to pick a date at random. I’m afraid I bypassed the news and, as usual, went straight for the TV pages. BBC2 starts at midday with Play School, then closes down until 4pm. Good grief. As Anna said: in those days children played. But only because we didn’t have a choice. I would have tried to watch TV and found that afternoon will have been one of the more depressing afternoons I had as a child, because BBC1′s coverage is consumed — from 3.15pm for two and a half hours — with budget coverage. Do people remember this when they talk about the Beeb abandonning its public service remit?
Still, some things don’t change. Nancy Banks-Smith is still writing the TV review (Play for Today), and even then had the same style of sly wit and home-spun wisdom. How reassuring.