'It'll Be Alright on the Night' is a British
television programme broadcast by ITV
, traditionally on Saturday
evenings. It is semi-regular, with new episodes appearing once or twice a year. It is frequently repeated because it is a popular way to fill up an hour, and the blizzard of blips mean that it's hard for the audience to tell whether they have seen the episode before. It has been broadcast since 1977
and takes the format of an hour of televisual and cinematic out-takes
, presented by Denis Norden
who, despite his name, is not French
The out-takes concentrates on the following hardy perennials:
- British sit-coms
- American news programmes
- Non-English language light entertainment programmes, often involving odd-looking people being un-naturally happy in Czech.
The show is not to be confused with Denis Norden's Laughter File, which is a collection of quirky clips in the mould of similar programmes featuring Clive James and Chris Tarrant (all of which rely heavily on the old Japanese perennial 'Endurance'). It's odd that these programmes are all presented by genuinely intelligent, professional people; presumably you have to have a passion for television to muster believable excitement when presenting shots of newsreaders getting their own names wrong. When clip shows are presented by jobbing presenters the results are usually disastrous; Shane Richie's 'Caught in the Act' is a good example.
IBAOTN's format is quite simple, despite which the programme has been a consistent ratings-winner. Essentially, Norden stands alone on a large, hi-tech stage and delivers a few jokes, after which five or six clips are shown, usually with a uniting theme to them (news reporters falling over, for example, or standing in the surf as the tide comes in). This cycle is repeated, with gaps for commercials, until the programme ends. After that, ITV shows more programmes, each one broken up with commercials, until the next edition of It'll Be Alright on the Night is broadcast.
There are occasional special editions - the last was an election-night special broadcast in 2001, consisting of election-related mistakes. A 25th anniversary special was broadcast in 2002, although there was no attempt at tying the contents of the programme in with the jubilee theme.
The saxophone-led theme music - along with Norden, one of the series' constants - was written by Rod Argent and Peter Van Hooke.
As mentioned in the previous write-up, many clips are repeated between programmes. Classics include:
- An American newsdesk: "Hi, my name's X", "And my name's Y", (pause), "No, no it's not, it's Z";
- An old American man telling a reporter, repeatedly and hilariously, that he doesn't know what's going on, he just doesn't know;
- An Australian person who placed a classified ad for his house in the local paper specifying that he didn't want any enquiries from agents, but the newspaper printed it as 'asians', to great hilarity and embarrassment;
- "Colin Baker*, for Thames News, Westminster, soaked, with cold feet, and an aching heart, married, several children, pissed off, really dreadfully pissed off";
- A female singer being attacked by a monkey.
* Not to be confused with 'Doctor Who' Colin Baker; this is a different Colin Baker, a heavyweight news reporter.