14 May 2010

The Shake 'n' Vac TV Ad - 1980-2010: Jenny Logan Answers Your Questions, And A Look At 1980...

Bliss! Doesn't it take you back? Shake 'n' Vac by Glade had first appeared in our shops the year before, but 1980 saw the debut of the now legendary TV ad. And it ran, on and off, for nine years!

Jenny Logan, the star of the ad, has answered some questions from '80s Actual readers about the Shake 'n' Vac experience, her showbusiness career, and her other famous 1980s TV appearance - in the fondly remembered Two Ronnies serial, The Worm That Turned. Thanks to Jenny for her detailed answers to the questions we sent. We think it's lovely to see her again! Jenny's answers are split into two videos, below.


So, what were things like in 1980, the year the Shake 'n' Vac TV ad launched? Well, it was a different planet! Adam and the Ants and Spandau Ballet first hit the pop charts. There were three TV channels. Only 5% of UK households had a VCR. And as for home computing... what on earth was that?!!

Let's do the Shake 'n' Vac through a few memorable 1980 events and trends...

Who shot JR? The country went Dallas crazy as the mystery hung in the air for months... "I Shot JR" T-shirts, badges, and stetsons abounded!

In November, America elected a new President, Ronald Reagan. It was in America a year or two later that the term "yuppie" was first coined. But in 1980 they simply didn't exist!

Naughty goings-on as Brighton opened the first nudist beach in England - and indeed the whole of Britain - on 1 April, 1980...

Well I never!

CB radio, invented in the USA in the 1940s, had been used in the UK (illegally) in a very small way since the 1960s. In 1980, talk of legalisation was in the air (it would happen in November 1981) and a huge illegal craze sprouted. Breaker break!

First released in Japan in June 1978 with arcade machines debuting at UK trade shows in 1979, the Space Invaders invaded the early 1980s. In 1980, BBC Radio 1 announced: "Space Invaders have well and truly landed!"

Buster Bloodvessel of much-loved pop band Bad Manners helped to make 1980 fun. Here he is on Tiswas, eating some very posh nosh - a jar of pickled onions seasoned with pork pie.

1980, of course, belonged to Jenny Logan and the Shake 'n' Vac dance - and also to Madness. It was a truly golden year for the band with the "Nutty Sound". Remember Baggy Trousers? The lads could do no wrong.

It came from behind the Iron Curtain - Hungary, to be exact. In 1980, an obscure Hungarian puzzle called the Magic Cube was re-manufactured for the Western World and renamed.

What should the new name be? The "Gordian Knot" was suggested, but Rubik's Cube was chosen. The name gave credit where it was due - the inventor was Erno Rubik.

Launched in the States in May 1980, the Cube was in tremendously short supply. It began to infiltrate UK toy shops not long before Christmas, amidst tremendous interest. The British Association Of Toy Retailers noted this and declared it "Toy of the Year", but the country would not be fully stocked until the spring of 1981. The Cube also won the Toy of the Year award for 1981.

Also in 1980...

Simon Bates began his long-running Our Tune programme on BBC Radio 1.

Female cops Jean Darblay of the BBC's Juliet Bravo and Maggie Forbes of ITV's The Gentle Touch made their debuts.

On at the flicks was Breaking Glass and The Shining.

The romance between Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer began.

The UK's first personal stereo, the Sony Stowaway, arrived.

Margaret Thatcher declared: "The lady's not for turning."

And London cabbie Fred Housego won Mastermind.

1980 was a memorable year...

All that, and Jenny and the Shake 'n' Vac too!


Keith B said...

Jenny Logan is brilliant. Fascinating to hear some of her story before 1980, too!

Sara Morgan said...

What a lovely lady - I'd love to have a cuppa and a good natter with her. Her showbiz recollections are so cool!

Yvonne said...

Jenny Logan is an accomplished star of stage and TV. Good to watch her interviews.

Anonymous said...

Jenny should write her autobiography - I think it would be a lovely read!