All in A Tiswas: Chris Tarrant interview, 18th April 2020

Well, they don’t come much bigger than this! Chris Tarrant is the most prolific presenter of Tiswas, and the show is indelibly linked to his name. We were extremely lucky to get him on this stream, at a time when ITV’s drama Quiz – looking at the furore around a contestant’s behaviour on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire – was making headlines. 

Understandably, Chris had been doing the rounds of promo for that and only just had enough time to chat to us. You’ll notice the sound quality isn’t that great, hence the subtitles and there’s a good explanation of the situation when presenter Toby Riding blogged about doing the technical work to ensure Chris appeared on our stream, last year.

Seven years custardy

We start with Chris’s days as an ATV Today reporter, covering news in the midlands and then moonlighting as a zany presenter on the early Tiswas shows. He acknowledges producer Peter Harris as transforming his life by getting him on the cult Saturday morning show.

Keeping Tiswas on air was a bit of a battle, and at one point ATV wanted to reboot with a new title – W.H.A.M! (We’re Here All Morning), which is discussed here. Obviously, Tiswas turned into a Saturday morning juggernaut, eventually getting broadcast in nearly all the regions. London Weekend was the final one and Chris talks about the intensity of fame the team gained from that.

There are all kinds of eye-opening anecdotes in this, from turning Matthew Butler into a megastar to getting a kicking from Kenny Rogers’s bodyguard. Plus, we’ve preserved our live Twitch chat stream from this!