25 March 2016

Easter EastEnders Greetings From 1986...

Compulsive viewing though it was - with some tremendous characters and writing, the BBC's EastEnders was also a bag of miserable, middle class, leftie propaganda in its early years. Not the sort of thing you'd imagine contributing to the spirit of peace and renewal at Easter.

But Auntie wanted to make a few more bob, so 1986 gave us the EastEnders Milk Chocolate Easter Egg - with chocolate beans. Cor! It also 'ad views of the Queen Victoria, Sue and Ali's cafe, the railway bridge and some of the grotty Albert Square 'ouses on the box. 

Lovely, eh? Unless Lou Beale misses 'er bleedin' bingo.

Then there'll be runctions. Not to mention if Sue and Mary get started.

And wot about Den and Ange?

Actually, I think it odd to have an Albert Square-themed Easter egg. But then it takes all kinds to make a world, dunnit, darlin'?

Wishing you a peaceful and happy Easter anyway! x

08 March 2016

Spitting Image: Nick George - The Man Who Gave Us Nouvelle Cuisine Du DHSS

It's always a pleasure to get e-mails up here at '80s Actual Towers. We don't get many, but we treasure those we do get.

Recently, we had a corker from Nick George, regarding our post on Spitting Image, must-watch TV for us in the mid-to-late 1980s (let's face it, its "more peas, dear?" subject matter in the 1990s didn't really have the same appeal).

Nick wrote:


Way back in 1984 I was working as a very junior art director at an ad agency in London. I did an ad for Lego, it was photographed by a guy who had worked with Fluck and Law.

The photographer and I got on well. He introduced me to John Lloyd, the Spitting Image producer.

They were putting a book together.

I contributed a bunch of ideas, one of them got into the book though I didn't write the text I did title it:

Nouvelle Cuisine Du DHSS.

Over thirty years later it was pleasing to find a scan of that page on your blog. So, thanks, I don't have that book any more.

Trivia: the photographer also shot the model of Prince Andrew for the Spitting Image book.
The pic, attached, caused the book publishers, Faber and Faber, to lose their royal warrant.

London, eh.

Best regards,


And here we have it - Prince Andrew, in all his latex glory! '80s humour still floats my boat, although many "sensitive" 21st Century souls I know flinch at it. But then they also have an attack of the vapours and write outraged letters on Digital Spy if somebody so much as drags on an e-cigarette in their vicinity (whilst quite happily gumming up the atmosphere by undertaking walking or bussing distance "jaunts" in their broom brooms).

It's our considered opinion that the prissy 21st Century needs to do a bit of manning and womaning up.

The shape of things (then) to come - 31st December, 1983 - a preview of Spitting Image. And isn't that Mr President (gasp!). God bless America!

Anyway, back to subject. We wrote to Nick George to ask if he'd mind us publishing his email, and received a reply containing another goodie - the Lego Arthur Scargill pic at the bottom of this post.

Many thanks to Nick. His second e-mail, which also contains a link to a Spitting Image site, is included below.

Hello Andrew, glad you appreciated my memories. Please, publish the contents of my mail to you, I have no problem with that.

The photographer was John Lawrence-Jones. He had shot a Lego trade ad for me. Attached here, it shows Arthur Scargill, at the height of the contentious miners strike.

More background on Spitting Image here: 

Includes the infamous Randy Andy pic.

John also shot the Luck and Flaw Treasure Island book, a couple of years prior.

Really like your site. keep at it.

all best

cheers now.


Thanks again to Nick.