Back in the 1980s, the bigger the better seemed to be the rule – not only for hair and shoulder pads – but TV as well, writes Ali McNamara…

ali-mcnamaraBig hair, big hats and huge shoulder pads were displayed in American soap operas – like Dallas and Dynasty.

There were explosive American shows like The A-Team, Miami Vice and Airwolf, which had even bigger characters like Mr T starring in them. There were big moustaches on Tom Selleck in Magnum, big fancy cars like KITT from Knight Rider, and huge extravagant dance numbers in the TV series, Fame. Before anyone had even thought about Downton Abbey, the big house filling our TV screens was Brideshead – in the award-winning period drama, Brideshead Revisited.

This side of the pond saw us laugh for the first time at iconic sit-coms like Only Fools and Horses, and Blackadder, and introduced us to the residents of Albert Square when Eastenders began in 1985.

I loved TV in the 80s. A few people had begun to own video recorders, but the vast majority still sat down to watch together when a programme was shown for the first time; something that rarely happens now with the invention of cable and skyboxes. We had less channels, three until Channel4 came along in 1982, so although our viewing options were more limited than today, the output was of a higher quality.

The 80s may have been filled with explosive TV shows jostling to make their mark in the decade, but it was a simpler, and in my opinion happier TV experience to come home to.

SBITHow many lifetimes would you travel to find a love that lasts forever? When single career girl Jo-Jo steps onto a zebra crossing and gets hit by a car, she awakes to find herself in 1963. The fashion, the music, her job, even her romantic life: everything is different. And then it happens three more times, and Jo-Jo finds herself living a completely new life in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. The only people she can rely on are Harry and Ellie, two companions from 2013, and George, the owner of a second-hand record store. If she’s ever to return from her travels, Jo-Jo must work out why she’s jumping through time like this. And if she does make it back, will her old life ever be the same again?

Ali McNamara is the author of From Notting Hill With Love… Actually; Breakfast at Darcy’s and From Notting Hill to New York… Actually.    She attributes her over active imagination to one thing – being born an only child. Time spent when she was young dreaming up adventures, has left her head constantly filled with stories waiting to be told. Ali lives in Cambridgeshire, England, with her family.

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