'Why Don't You?' or, to give it its more snappy title 'Why don't you just switch off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead?' was a massively bizarre television programme, broadcast throughout the United Kingdom in the late seventies and early eighties. It was a very BBC affair.

It was always on during the summer holidays - you always got five or so weeks of it - during the week from about 9 till half past. Technically it was a magazine type show, with loads of things to do, make, eat, visit... and so on, but - and this was the 'good' bit - it was presented by kids, usually in some sort of a youth hut, or other idealized, stereotypical, suited businessman's conception of a place where kids like to be.

It was heavily scripted, and usually very over rehearsed: occasionally bits were so clunky (almost always involved them making peppermint creams with sugar, peppermint essence, sugar, food colouring and sugar; or bashing digestives in a plastic bag with a rolling-pin - no-one knows why) that it's a wonder the whole thing didn't come crashing round their faded jeans and multi-coloured socks. But, marvellously, it didn't - and it was, actually, reasonably good fun. It certainly had a golden era, though, round about 1980 I think. It was the time they took to telling jokes using puppets made of spectacles: take your glasses off, extend your middle finger and stick the glasses on it, as if it was a nose (you're all doing it, I can tell); use second and fourth finger to grip the top of the glasses, and then connect the thumb up to the 'nose' to make the mouth. Now you can make it talk. Use half-moon glasses for intellectual jokes, Barry Humphries glasses for outrageous jokes, and National Health glasses for jokes about the working class. Fun, huh?

And then there was Doris. Doris came and got people if you said her name - her trademark was a large, stripey sock. It all made so much sense at the time.

Ho hum. The fickleness of youth.

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