Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. Martin Roberts looks back at the TV moments that set him on the path to being the man he is now.
Browse content similar to Martin Roberts. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Telly, that magic box in the corner.
It gives us access to a million different worlds,
all from the comfort of our sofa.
'In this series, I'm going to journey through the fantastic world
'of TV with some of our favourite celebrities.
'They've chosen the precious TV moments that shed light...'
Oh, I loved this!
-'..on the stories of their lives.'
Oh, listen, this looks smashing, John.
-# Right on time. #
'Some are funny...'
-I love you.
-# Became of the people. #
-Just like that.
I'll let you into a secret I've never told anyone before.
'Some are inspiring...'
I've always wanted to be a Miss Something.
The best TV transports you.
Did George Orwell get his predictions right?
-It's also dramatic.
-'..are deeply moving.'
-The death of John F Kennedy...
-This takes me back.
-Oh, makes me want to cry.
-Oh. You can have a cry if you want.
So, come watch with us as we hand-pick the vintage telly that
helped turn our much-loved stars into the people they are today.
Welcome to The TV That Made Me.
My guest today is a broadcaster, journalist and presenter.
He has been a regular host of Wish You Were Here,
and the travel editor of Woman magazine but these days is
best known as the host of BBC One's Homes Under The Hammer.
It can only be Martin Roberts. And the TV that made him
include Britain's love affair with exotic travel...
Fish and chips. Pint of English ale and all the trimmings.
..the birth of interactive television...
What do you want to swap it for today?
That tape recorder down there.
-The one and only Martin Roberts, here you are.
-Good to see you.
Good to see you, too. I'm a huge fan of Homes Under The Hammer.
Well, I'm very proud of it, thank you very much.
12 years we've been going for now, so...
-Are you looking forward to today?
Honestly, when I was asked to do this and I looked through,
delved into my history, and...
Shows from your childhood, they trigger off so many memories
and so many emotions.
It was... Sort of it was tears, some of it was laughter, some of it
was just, "Oh, my gosh, I'd forgotten all about that."
And, so, yeah,
really looking forward to just seeing some of the bits from my childhood.
We're looking forward to it.
I mean, as you're well-known today, it's a selection of TV shows that
I feel has probably even shaped you into the person you are today.
Shall we have a little look at what it was likely to be the young Martin Roberts?
Let's do that. It's going to be a bit scary, this, isn't it?
In 1963, the same year Doctor Who debuted,
Martin Roberts also made his very first appearance.
Born and bred in Warrington,
he was an only child and, no doubt inspiring his lifelong
thirst for knowledge, both his parents were research scientists.
-It's your first TV memory we're going to show now.
I won't say any more. Because I do think it has the best opening ever.
Here it is.
THEME MUSIC PLAYS
Aw, it just makes you feel warm and cosy.
It's everything that was nice about being a kid, isn't it?
The year was 1967 and this was Trumpton,
the much-anticipated sequel to Camberwick Green.
13 episodes produced, in animation terms, at record speed in just
You look at the animation here, and it's the simplest
kind of stop-motion animation and yet, as a child...
I think what's interesting is how much of it's repeated.
It is that repetition. So I think you derive huge comfort from that.
When you look back at it now, as an adult, you think,
"Is that a bit boring, perhaps?"
But actually as a child you want the repetitiveness.
It sort of goes in there and provides that whole comfort.
"A red rose will do nicely instead of a carnation."
Not only was the action simple, so were the stories,
with each episode telling the tale of a single and usually
quite small mishap attended to by the Trumpton Fire Brigade.
"Trumpton Fire Station.
"What? Mrs Cobbit's cottage? Branch through roof?"
Mrs Cobbit's cottage.
-It's all so dramatic.
"Yes, yes, by all means.
"We'll come right away, right away."
Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew,
-Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub.
-Yeah, of course. Absolutely.
"Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert, Dibble, Grub."
ENGINE TURNS ON
The style of the programme also meant the writers had to get
creative as neither water, steam nor fire could be shown
because they were too difficult to animate.
Then as they drive along, isn't it,
# Did-i-la-ding ding! Did-i-la-ding, did-i-la... #
Where is this stored in my mind?
"No, no, not the hose, we don't want to wash the branch off the roof.
"Cuthbert, to the box. Drive to the cottage."
The end result was classic storylines such as the mayor's hat
getting stuck in a tree
and the equally dramatic tale of a paint tin jamming the town clock.
It does take you back to that simple time
and maybe sitting, you know, on Mum's knee or whatever it was.
So, do these shows remind you of this happy childhood that you had?
For me, as a child growing up, television was a magical thing.
I remember when we got our first colour television. And I actually...
The day it arrived, I couldn't sleep the night before.
And as it turned out, we were going to a pantomime or something.
And I actually came out of the school trip - I must have
been about seven or something - left the whole school trip,
walked down the road away from the theatre, found a phone box
and phoned home to find out if the television had arrived.
Because it was so exciting.
And we rented it from like some RentaFusion, or Rediffusion,
because you didn't own a television, or Granada, whatever it was.
-Radio Rentals, that's it!
You rented the TV, you didn't actually own the TV.
It sat there and the first time I saw colour television...
was-was truly amazing.
The Beeb started transmitting in colour in 1967.
But what really made the likes of Trumpton
so appealing was its narration, provided by the legendary
children's presenter Brian Cant.
"Done it already?" says Chippy. "My word, you have been quick."
"What are you going to do with this branch?"
"Oh," says Captain Flack, "We hadn't thought of that."
Brian's big break came in 1964 with the creation of Playschool,
a series he would host for the next 21 years.
Though he also found time to narrate the Trumptonshire Trilogy
concluding with Chigley, the tale of life in an industrial hamlet.
Then, in the '70s, came Playaway,
famous for its groan-inducing humour.
Even so, it kept British kids laughing for 13 years
and Brian went on to work on countless other shows.
In 2010, he was awarded a well deserved BAFTA for his outstanding
contribution to children's television.
No wonder he was regular viewing in the Roberts household.
So, what was your living room like, then?
What was the seating arrangement with regards to...?
So, I guess, I used to sit really close,
probably on a beanbag or something.
Don't you worry about that. We want to make you feel at home.
-No, you haven't got a beanbag?!
-Of course we have.
-There you go.
-You just... There's no expense spared, is there?
Look at that.
-Do you want me to sit there, then?
-Yeah, of course.
-Well, actually, no.
-I probably would have been more like...
-Is that the look?
-That is the look, yes. Definitely.
-And what would you watching?
-What would I be watching?
Can you not hit your feet on the floor, please?
-This is what I would have done.
-No, I'm not having it.
-But you're going to ruin the carpets.
-I don't think they had...
It's so surreal, you chatting to me seriously laying on a beanbag.
-Does it make you feel better if I do that?
I won't stay here for long, by the way, because I do feel a bit...
slightly out of my comfort zone. Although, actually, it's quite nice.
So, on your beanbag, what sort of things would you be watching?
It was something you were scared of.
Well, my mum and dad were both sort of scientists
and very much into educational programmes so we used to watch
things like Horizon and all sorts of documentaries and stuff.
But there were some which I definitely don't think were suitable for kids.
And I remember there was one documentary about the Pharaohs
and about Tutankhamen, in particular, which absolutely put
the complete heebie-jeebies over me.
And I couldn't sleep and I've been paranoid and frightened
of mummies and I've never watched any those horror movies with mummies.
Do you think you can cope with sitting up here and having a look at...
-Can we hold hands?
-..one of those Pharaoh things. Yes, we can.
-In a manly way, let's hold hands.
Don't get too frightened now, Martin. Have a little look at this.
Peering beneath the southernmost of the three great couches,
we noticed a small, irregular hole in the wall.
Here was yet another sealed doorway and a plunderer's hole.
First uncovered in 1922, the tomb of Tutankhamen is
one of archaeology's biggest ever discoveries.
50 years later, this programme,
Tutankhamen Postmortem, celebrated the anniversary,
as well as documenting the reopening of the Pharaoh's tomb
to allow for a series of x-rays.
Only the head, protected by the golden mask,
had escaped this carbonising damage,
and when the last decayed bandages were removed from it,
Carter was able to look at last at the face of the king,
whose name on some pottery jars had set him digging for the tomb
some ten years before.
I mean, look, it's just spooky, spooky, spooky, spooky.
And it's the thought that, you know,
the people who went in there got these curses on them,
so you know, Lord Carnarvon and his whole family was cursed
and it carried on through the generations,
and just this whole thought that, you know, gosh, what is that spooky stuff?
And I don't know, the whole thing with the wrapping and all that,
I don't now. Looking back at it now...
Actually, this has been good therapy,
cos I do look at that and think, what's scary about that?
When Professor Harrison reconstructed the facial
features on the basis of the skull of these remains, again,
it was quite clear that they were those of a young man.
And this would disturb the young Martin?
It would, and I would hide behind a sofa just like this,
but it doesn't sometimes make any sense as to why you found
things either very appealing, like Trumpton, or very scary,
like a silly documentary about Tutankhamen.
Just, it all goes in there and you won't get me
inside a pyramid for love nor money.
I'll get rid of the beanbag now, cos I don't want you banging your feet.
-No, I'm sorry that was annoying there.
-Yeah, it was annoying me.
What have you got back there?
-I've been in the kitchen, love.
-Oh, look at this!
-So, this was part of your...
-Do you want some?
I used to eat cereals while I was watching telly, I have to say.
-What's your favourite?
-Well, this was more than this, because...
-I don't know why...
-I'm going to have Frosties.
I'm going to have Coco Pops, that works well.
-It's always the Rice Krispies that are left at the end.
Nobody wants the Rice Krispies!
Erm, but whenever we used to go on childhood,
I used to go on childhood holidays,
that was the only time we ever had little packets of cereal,
and it was such a treat, and nowadays,
whenever we go on holiday, cos I'm a huge fan of caravans...
-Thank you very much.
-Yeah, I'm a huge fan of going on caravan holidays,
and we've got a caravan, and the kids absolutely love it.
For my age group, there's no better holiday for kids,
but I always insist that in the caravan we have little
packets of cereal like this. And why does it taste any different?
But, I tell you, if I poured this out of the big packet,
-it would not taste... Mm-mm, mm-mm.
-It is lovely.
And little packets and everything. Excellent.
-I've got your parents' choice now.
-I won't say anything.
-Well, time to go.
But it's true, it was that sort of tax in that
sort of part of the world, in that country, Wales.
The name of the game was Call My Bluff.
Two teams, each with three celebrity contestants.
They were given one word and three possible definitions.
As I was saying when I was interrupted...
A simple idea that ran for 33 years and was later revived for nine more.
an extremely important, nay, vital part of a barometer.
It is the little bowl cistern at the bottom of a barometer,
which contains the mercury, which expands
and contracts according to atmospheric pressure.
-Mum and Dad loved crosswords.
Mum was an absolute wizard, she was also -
and this is where it's quite interesting -
she was also very into puns, my mum,
so she would always be coming up with interesting ways of, well,
making jokes and puns and stuff, and, actually, this probably
went to make me what I am in terms of the stuff I say on telly.
Robert Powell, true or bluff?
Oh, what a shame.
Your comedy hero is the person we are about to see.
It's interesting, cos I went through comedy heroes
and there's obvious people like Ronnie Barker and Dave Allen
and Morecambe and Wise, I mean, they were true comedy heroes, but in
terms of effects on me, this person was somebody who made, who had fun...
-Well, let's have a look.
-..with normal people.
-Don't tell anyone.
This is Martin's comedy hero, ladies and gentlemen.
Good morning, Noel!
-What a superstar.
Well, they say there's nothing like blowing your own trumpet
and you're right, that was nothing like blowing my own trumpet.
Keith Chegwin began his career as an actor,
but it was Swap Shop that made him a household name.
He was walking down the road with two sacks in either hand
full of telephones, and this policeman came up to him
and said, "Hey, what are you doing with those two sacks?"
He said, "Well, my brother said I can join his band
-"if I have two sacks of phones."
Just not taking himself too seriously.
In later life, he did that, didn't he do the naked darts thing?
Let's not go there, let's not go there. Yeah, he did.
But that, just again,
sums him up in a way that he didn't take himself too seriously.
-Cheggers, swap away.
-Oh, thank you very much, Noel.
Well, the swapping is going very well, here in Blackpool.
The live Saturday morning programme allowed kids to swap
just about anything they didn't want.
-And what do you want to swap it for today?
-That tape recorder down there.
Oh, right, we're doing well this morning. There you go, madam.
That was the first time that I felt that you, as a viewer,
-as a child, could interact with the television...
-Without a doubt.
..because you could pick up a phone or you could go along
to where they were doing their live bits, and you could actually
swap physically which you owned and get something else back.
It's like, suddenly the television wasn't just there,
something you watched, you could actually interact with it.
I mean, let's remind everyone, it was ground-breaking, wasn't it?
I mean, no-one was doing this.
No, and because it was real kids phoning up,
so people like you as a viewer watching were actually on telly.
"Oh, my gosh, wow! I'm talking to Noel Edmonds!"
-Is your hand all right?
-This is a phone, Brian.
Why do I do that?
It's now time to look at the person that most influenced your career...
-..Martin. There you go.
'Many Chinese learn English,
'so the chance to try it out is quite an event.'
Do you know the BBC?
Do you know what BBC...?
BBC is the British Broadcast Company.
Inspired by Jules Verne's classic novel,
Around The World In 80 Days saw Michael Palin,
formerly of Monty Python,
transform himself from one of Britain's favourite comedians
into one of the world's most recognised travel presenters.
What comes over about Michael Palin in this,
and everything that he does,
-is just what a nice guy he is.
A genuinely nice guy.
And you felt like it really was an adventure,
and it wasn't scripted.
It was almost like let's just see what happens.
It was a true adventure.
'I'm now only six days behind Fogg,
'and he'd lost his Passepartout,
'who got drunk in Hong Kong.'
So after visiting 14 countries,
travelling 28,000 miles
and contracting one case of Delhi belly,
Michael Palin did indeed travel the world in 80 days,
or to be more precise,
79 days and seven hours.
I'm only doing this so the cameraman can get the sunset,
so I'll leave you to it.
All yours, Nigel.
It's over there, the sunset, if you can't see it.
That big red thing behind the building, all right?
When I started out when I was at university,
I was also doing the hospital radio station,
and in the local theatre was Michael Palin and Terry Jones,
doing a two-man show.
I thought, well, I'll go and do an interview.
I went along and I went when they were doing the sound check.
I went up to Michael Palin - my absolute hero - and said,
"Can I do a little interview with you for the hospital radio?"
And he said, "Well, come and see us at the end of the show."
So at the end of the show, duly I went backstage into the green room.
There was the mayor there with chains and all these local dignitaries,
they were all in this green room.
After about ten minutes, Michael Palin stood on a chair and said,
"OK, everybody, you're all going to have to go now,
"cos we've got an important interview to do."
So I thought, that's a shame.
Anyway, I'm walking out with the mayor, the great and the good,
and Michael Palin comes running after me and said, "No, no, it's with you!"
Cherished by Martin, this lesser-known Monty Python interview
still exists, as well as a promo voiced by the stars themselves.
Oh, you are listening to Radio Royal.
You're listening to M-m-m-martin Roberts...
Yes, Martin Roberts is available on the National Health
as part of your treatment.
And while it played to an audience of dozens rather than millions,
Martin will never forget that day.
There they were, comedy legends,
you know, travel, TV reporting legends,
my superheroes, and I was basically a nothing.
And yet they spared the time to be with me and to do those things.
And so when I meet people now, you know,
people ask for autographs and they want their picture taken,
I remember how that made me feel at the time
-and I'll always say, "Fine, absolutely delighted."
So, hero? Absolutely.
For what he does, for what he did with Monty Python,
for what he did subsequently, for what he does now.
Martin, you've been a broadcaster for well over
-a quarter of a century.
Erm, but I want to take you back now
-and we're going to have a look at your first big break.
-Have a look at this...
Now, it's time for another report from Martin Roberts.
This week, motorsports.
Fantastic! This is The 8:15 From Manchester!
-Saturday morning kids' TV...
From Manchester, surprise, surprise!
If you've outgrown your BMX, you're in for something a bit more
exciting, something with a bit more speed...
This could be the place to come.
Boreatton Park in Shropshire, where you can spend the whole week trying out different motorsports.
Like zinger quads!
MUSIC: "The Race" by Yello
Ha-ha-ha! I can't believe you found a clip of that!
I didn't even think they had video recorders recording those shows!
When you come on this holiday,
you spend the mornings doing motorsports and in the afternoon,
you can do other things, like the death sli-i-i-ide!
The year was 1990 and this was 8:15 From Manchester.
Or you can go canoeing!
A Saturday morning children's magazine show,
which featured cartoons, repeats of Rentaghost
and a long-haired roving reporter called Martin Roberts.
'How important was that to your career?'
It was actually the first thing I did on television.
And I'll tell me how that came about, very strange,
I was actually working at the local radio station in the same
building in Manchester, as where the television was produced and I actually went to the canteen
and I was standing in the queue for the canteen and there was some
lemon meringue pie, which was, like, phosphorescent yellow.
And I said to the man standing beside me, "Look at this lemon meringue pie, ha-ha..."
We laughed about it being radioactive.
As we were walking away, he said, "By the way, what do you do?"
I said, "I work downstairs in the radio station." He said, "Oh, have you ever thought about television?"
I went, no! He went, "Oh, well, if you ever fancy it, Peter, fifth floor." I went, "Oh, yeah, right."
So, later that day, I phoned up the operator and I said, "Is there a Peter on the fifth floor?"
And they said, "Oh, only the Peter - head of television." I was like...
-So, my big break, if you want to say...
-..came as a result of talking about lemon meringue pie in the queue of the canteen.
-Now, we're going to move on to comfort viewing.
So, you're at home, you're feeling a bit under the weather
and this is what you watch...
Fish and chips, a pint of English ale and all the trimmings.
First launched in 1969, this is the programme that spent
the next 38 years enticing us to go abroad.
It inspired a series of short lived spin-offs, including
Summer Holiday, Holiday On A Shoestring, and even
Holiday - Fasten Your Seatbelt, where the presenters took on holiday-related jobs.
This goes to show that going to Spain doesn't mean you must
change your holiday habits.
It's John Carter's voice, those wonderful, dark, syrupy, treacly...
Because of the fuel and currency surcharges,
this year's package deals are bound to cost more.
But in spite of it all, some people reckon Benidorm can still
give Blackpool a run for your money.
'In its heyday, the Holiday programme attracted audiences of up
'to 20 million and in 1974, ITV decided to get in on the act,
'launching their own travel show, Wish You Were Here.
'A series that would one day feature a fresh-faced Martin Roberts.'
So, I was there as a travel journalist, working alongside
Judith Chalmers, and actually John Carter and people who I had grown up with again,
and it's just like, "Oh, my gosh,
"I can't believe I'm working with these people!"
It changed your life very much so doing that.
Well, actually, it did because doing Wish You Were Here,
one of the things I did was, I used to do a charity climb for the NSPCC.
-And I filmed the charity climb up Kilimanjaro.
So, I climbed Kilimanjaro and on that charity climb,
I met my...person who became my wife. And the mother of my children.
So, erm, we actually, you could say,
we fell in love on the top of Kilimanjaro because I got really
badly sick with altitude sickness and just about made it to the top.
Did my final piece to camera right at the top of Kilimanjaro, saying,
"That was absolutely horrendous and I've still got to get down.
"But I've raised all this money for the NSPCC."
And, very emotional, did that, and it was almost like,
my body then said, "Right, your work's done, it's MY turn."
And...I got really badly sick with altitude sickness, which is
very serious and you've got to get off the mountain really quickly.
But through the mists on the top of Kilimanjaro appeared this
behuddled figure, clutching a piece of fruit cake and it was my wife,
subsequent wife-to-be, whose nan had baked her a fruitcake to
take on this trip and it was the last piece of fruitcake that she had
and she gave it to me on the top of Kilimanjaro.
Soon after that fateful slice of fruitcake,
Martin and Kirsty were married and today are proud parents of two.
As for Wish You Were Here, the show that brought them together,
it came to an end in 2003, after almost 30 years of being on the box.
But that very same year, Martin was asked to present a brand-new
show, one which would go on to exceed all expectations.
We've got a clip here. Have a little look at this first.
This is a very old clip. I can tell straightaway.
Hello and welcome to the programme.
We're both property developers and we love the thrill of a good deal.
Absolutely. And in today's programme, we've got
three potential good deals to show you.
It's even more exciting because they're all coming up for auction.
So, let's find out what happens to them when they go under the hammer.
After 12 years on our screens,
Homes Under The Hammer can boast some pretty impressive numbers.
Over 2,000 properties featured
and more than 180,000 miles travelled up and down the country.
And the number of puns? Impossible to count!
When they come back and you go...
And they have done an incredible amount of work on that house,
they're not lying when they say, "Oh, yes.
"I've done this for 6,000..."
And I can't even, I don't know, buy a toilet...
One of my favourite stories was a chap who was going to do
the entire house, new roof, new electrics, damp proof throughout,
build a conservatory, rewire, new kitchen, new bathroom.
I said, "What's your budget?" He said, "2,000 quid."
And I was like, "OK. And how long?" "Three weeks."
So, not surprisingly, when we came back,
he hadn't quite finished it and he'd gone a bit over budget.
Sometimes, quite seamlessly,
you'll go from a little story into an apt bit of music,
something that very much fits that moment.
I take a bit of credit, but it's the editors.
The editors are amazing at finding tracks that fit perfectly
and not in... Sometimes in a really subtle way.
You'll hear a few bars of a song and think,
"What's that got to do with what I'm watching?" And then, you'll twig that
somewhere in the lyrics, there's a little line,
or sometimes it's really in your face. I know what you're thinking.
Yuck! But no, it's a piece of architectural history.
Do what you like with the rest of the house, but touch that at your peril!
# You can't touch this
# You can't touch this
# You can't touch this. #
It is amazing. I mean, you know...
Problems with the sewers - Going Underground by The Jam.
I mean, it just goes on... It is very, very good.
So what do you watch now? What keeps...
What floats your boat, love?
-I tell you what, I watch a lot of CBeebies and...
-Yeah, with the kids.
And CBBC, and that's great cos they're repeating
a lot of the programmes that I used to watch when I was a kid.
Which is fantastic. So that... We sit down, we watch a lot of films.
A lot of it is driven by the kids,
so they love things like I'm A Celebrity, they love Strictly...
-How about you? Are you a big fan of I'm A Celebrity?
-Is it something you would like to do?
-I'm up for that.
-Martin, you have been a wonderful guest.
-I hope you've enjoyed it.
-It's been a pleasure. Really good fun.
I want you to choose a theme tune now that we can go out on.
Well, I think I'd like to go back, to the Gerry Anderson stuff
and those theme tunes were amazing.
The Captain Scarlets, the Joe 90s... But it has to be Thunderbirds.
My favourite. Yeah, without a doubt. So, my thanks to Martin
and my thanks to you for watching The TV That Made Me.
We'll see you next time. Bye-bye.
# Theme from Thunderbirds by Barry Gray
Homes Under the Hammer star Martin Roberts joins entertainer Brian Conley to look back at the early TV moments that set him on the path to being the man he is now.
On his trip down memory lane, Martin reveals his early inspiration came from two very different men - the first, none other than Keith Chegwin in his Multi-Coloured Swap Shop days, and the second, Michael Palin as he journeyed Around the World in 80 Days.
Martin's TV tastes were certainly eclectic, from early animation in the shape of Trumpton via the classic word game Call My Bluff. But how did all of these influences come together to make Martin one of our best-loved daytime presenters?