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  • With its wall-to-wall soaps, crass quiz shows, tacky news coverage and brainless reality series, the launching of Rupert Murdoch's 'Sky T.V.' in 1988 led some commentators to gloomily predict the beginning of the end for British television. 'K.Y.T.V.' was a retaliatory strike against this new threat; by ridiculing Sky's output it hoped to stave off the tidal wave of 'dumbed down' dross. The first edition featured the striptease game 'Gettem Off!' and a pop show hosted by Ernie Wise and Eddie 'The Eagle' Edwards. A World War Two tribute had presenters who clearly had no idea what they were talking about, and reconstructions of famous wartime events done with shop window dummies. The series grew out of the Radio 4 comedy 'Radio Active' with the same cast reprising their roles. Funny though it was it failed to have the intended impact. Terrestrial television eventually decided 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em'. 'K.Y.T.V'. was British television's last scream of despair. Before the lunatics took over the asylum...
  • This spoof of the then embryonic SKY TV satellite network surfaced just after UK Television was deregulated in the late 1980's. This meant that the whereas up to that point you'd had 4 television channels, regulated by government to control content and quality and of course free to view (bar the licence fee that funded and indeed funds the BBC) – now anyone in theory could add a t.v channel onto the new satellite based service. In 1989, despite the promise of more channels and therefore more choice, the curious euphemism for repeats, SKY was still considered a bit of a joke – in contrast to the relatively high quality of Terrestrial broadcasting and the pool of talent it had monopolised for 50 years, SKY seemed tacky and low-brow by comparison – toe curling (un)original programming acting as water breaks between streams of cheap US imports, lashings of repeats (something people had always complained about – now they were willing to pay to see them) and as I recall,dreadful Euro stations that no-one wanted to watch – one channel was just a burning fireplace. KYTV sent up this absurd low-brow Daily Star bullsh*t. Coaxing the proles by buying up all the football and therefore bribing them with their own money to take up a service they'd previous enjoyed for nothing, SKY appealed to the viewers worst instincts. Why watch original comedy, documentaries and domestically produced drama made to quota when you could pay £30 a month to see wall to wall movies, footie and of course tits on some of the more racy German T.V networks? Deayton, Atkinson-Wood and co. made it all look very funny – appalling programmes, shameless advertising, terrible presenters. Why KYTV seems even better now than then is that it predicted something no-one could imagine, that one day 10m people would be subscribing to the visual equivalent of dysentery. Who in 1989 would have believed that by 2006 SKY would be a major player in the UK TV marketplace and that despite being no better now than it was then, it would have convinced enough people to pay to support its sports monopoly and maintain a network that offered no original content – just ream upon ream of stuff ripped from the US broadcasters thus allowing Sky to keep its costs down and make maximum bread for News International and that Australian American Scrotum that sits on the top of the cash pile. Meanwhile TV has become more niche marketed because everyone in UK broadcasting wants us to become American – apparently we don't want channels with varied schedules, catering for a variety of audiences; that's akin to some kind of antiquated lunacy. Now audiences decline, hundreds of channels sprout up with nothing to show thus more repeats, low budgets, rock bottom quality programmes and of course no innovation because the market makes risk to, er, risky. That's the current state of play and that, not KYTV is the real joke. If it went out today it'd be part of the Sky Digital package.
  • K.Y.T.V. (instead of SKY TV, an english satellite channel) is a parody on not just English television, but ANY television. They've got news, commercialbreaks, TV-dramas, gameshows, talkshows, phone-ins and all the stuff only a TV-channel with no skills and no budget can produce. The writers of this really funny series are Geoffrey Perkins and Angus Deayton, who also stars as the TV-station's anchormen. We follow the rise of the station, from the start (which is postponed almost a year) through the highlights as "Brown-nose day", "Talking Head" (a show on sex, of course), and "The Sexciting Sixties", a trip along the memory lane which ends with a superb documentary on Woodstock 3 - complete with Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra (?).

    Every detail in the series of K.Y.T.V. is polished on and gives a realistic impression. It feels like you're watching a real TV-station, only this one is full of goofs, jokes and a high number of puns. It is the most well-written and well- produced show on television I've ever seen. The actors' timing is absolutely impeccable and I'm pleased to see they are mocking the hysteria of TV as a media. I mean, watch an average satellite channel in any given country and you'll find equally funny stuff - not meant to be funny!

    K.Y.T.V. is english humour at it's best - great comedy to which all of us can relate - we've all watched TV since we were kids, right? So if you're getting a chance to watch it - do!
  • KYTV was probably one of the greatest(and most underrated) British comedies of the last fifteen years. The premise was simple: set around a TV station the show is a satire on the sensationalism of such tabloid stations - of which there are now many.

    The writing was clever, witty and, in places, extremely subtle. Ironically, it could also be coarse and very base.

    The production values for the time were excellent. It's a shame that British comedy has fallen so much since this high point with paltry pretenders to the KYTV mantle such as `The Day Today' falling far short of the mark when placed up against KYTV(although taken purely on its own merits, `The Day Today' is a pretty good show). Much of the humour and attention to detail(or, for want of a better term, reality) present is noticeably British, as opposed to the American style that has crept into BBC productions since then (benefits of an Irish viewpoint there!).

    The quality of performance is excellent also, with every actor giving just the right performance.

    If you're after a good side splitting laugh, you'll find it in this show.

  • I haven't seen it for years, but I'd like to get it on DVD. I remember thinking at the time that it was a lot like the early 80s comedy "Not the Nine O'Clock News" right down to the three-guys/one-girl format. Some of the content was a bit "post-watershed" There was one scene with a topless woman and it cut back to Geoffrey Perkins who said "hmmm... I'd like to have seen a bit more of that." Philip Pope, who was previously with Angus Deayton in spoof group the Hee Bee Gee Bees, went on to success in shows like "Only Fools and Horses", Deayton in "One Foot in the Grave" and Perkins is now a successful producer. Martin Fenton-Stevens has appeared in several commercials Helen Atkinson-Wood seems to have disappeared without trace.

    Time for re-runs on a cable channel, I think.
  • Dal_Cyrus11 August 2018
    Anyone struggling to find dvd's of this (They sell for between 30 and 80 quid on amazon) just go to YouTube, everything is there in a play list, tried my luck and was shocked to find them all there, quality is not amazing but it is 30 years old!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    KYTV is a show that has been forgotten in the years since it has been shown. Part of the reason is that much more savage though no less funny shows like The Day Today and Brass Eye stole it's thunder. Yet in a way it paved the way for those shows. Each episode centres on a type of programme , for example the coverage of a Boxing title fight has in it's action reply of the poor contender being shown knocked out in a large number of angles some of which would require the camera to be inside the ring itself. The cast of Helen Aktinson-Wood, Angus Deyton, Micheal Fenton-Stevens,Philip Pope and Gefforey (who also produced the show) Perkins performing as both regular characters and one-offs provide many memorable moments including one in which Anneka Rice comes face to face with someone ripping off one of her programmes. It is about time that KYTV should be lauded as the ground breaking show it was, perhaps with a repeat run.
  • This was so funny I would class it in the same bracket as I'm Alan Partridge (series one) and Twenty Twelve in the modern comedy series. The characters work so well together with the only downside being character of Martin Brown-ironically played by the best actor (Fenton-stevens) in the series so much so the character did not return for the final series... Each episode tended to focus on a different topic which meant the jokes remained fresh..

    Watching again 25 years after the show first aired it could be argued the show had dated slightly but comedy of this type does tend to although IMHO it remains superbly funny. It was probably best to end after three series which at least meant the show bowed out whilst the quality was at its best. WELL RECOMMENDED
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The launch of Sky Television was bound to attract some wrath from the comedy circuit back in the day, hence the arrival of 'KYTV' back in 1989. The idea was a neat one, targeting crass chat shows and banal games shows of the 'Strike It Lucky' variety. A good cast was made up - consisting of Phillip Pope, Helen Atkinson Wood, Geoffrey McGivern and Michael Fenton Stevens, though sadly Angus Deayton was in the cast but we'll let that one pass. Sadly the show was rarely, if at all, funny.

    It began life as a radio show entitled 'Radio Active' before coming to life as a 'Comic Asides' pilot for BBC Television. A year after the pilot the series followed. No one could deny that it was popular but personally I just could not see its appeal. Many of the sketches for my liking carried on for far too long and the one basic theme of mercilessly taking the mick out of TV hosts and newsreaders wore off very quickly.

    The first two series were released on DVD in 2006 however the release of the third series was pulled due to a decline in sales figures. It has never been repeated since its initial screening and if I am honest is not likely ever to be. The closest it came to a new lease on life was in 2008 when some sketches were included as part of Angus Deayton's six part series 'Comedy Sketchbook'.