“I can assure you this worked perfectly in rehearsal”

Friday, January 5, 2007 by

It’s somewhat exciting to see Tomorrow’s World being used to highlight BBC’s technology reporting at the top of a BBC press release. Despite the parodying of Look Around You and the messing about with the format in later years, I still think of it fondly as it was the cornerstone of my viewing when I was growing up and really did seem like a weekly window into the future. As this wikipedia entry shows, they were often really, really accurate. TV Cream has a history of the show, with pictures.

It’s a shame then that it isn’t to return as a weekly programme, but as a cross-platform brand on radio, online and of course television, predominantly in BBC News. Presumably whenever a new technology story is being presented, up will pop the familiar logo – whatever one that was – and perhaps that video of the baby swimming under water (which can be downloaded as a screensaver, complete with old rainbow BBC logo, here). To this day I’m convinced that was the inspiration for the Nirvana Nevermind album cover.

The pleasant surprise is that Maggie Philbin is being brought back into service as the face of the new version of the franchise, presenting the stories and “on hand to offer analysis and extra detail”. The presumed candidate would have been someone like Kate Humble or Adam Hart-Davies who presented the original show up to its cancellation in 2002. This does give the enterprise a bit of authority through seniority and after seeing Maggie on the Swap Shop nostalgia trip last week it’ll be nice to see her on television a bit more regularly again. Perhaps if this takes off, Judith Hann, Howard Stapleford and Phillipa Forrester will also be recalled into active duty.

Philbin’s first appearance will be on BBC Breakfast on Monday 8 January.


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