I know that my friend Philip will be smiling broadly when he sees the image accompanying this post, if only because it features ace 1980’s puppet series Star Fleet (note to self: must write about Star Fleet properly sometime). Today’s post is actually concerned with Look-In, the magazine for which this image was once the front cover.
Look-In, also subtitled as The Junior TV Times, was initially conceived in the 1970’s as a way for children to find out about all the TV programmes that might be of interest to them over the coming week, with a particularly heavy emphasis on any show that aired on ITV. Given that TV Times magazine initially only contained TV listings for the ITV channels, this is hardly surprising.
The magazine was quite often given a plug at the end of childrens TV programmes, especially if there happened to be an article in that weeks issue about the programme that had just aired, using the catchy phrase “Look out for Look-In! Every week!“. The typical issue consisted of TV star interviews, competitions, and features on TV shows. It was also chock full of cartoon strips detailing further adventures of your favourite shows, or even more documentary style strips detailing the history of bands and pop groups.
TV listings were of course also prominent, with highlights from all the ITV regions detailed. This was both a useful and highly annoying feature, as quite often you would see a programme that you really wanted to watch that didn’t actually air in the ITV region in which you were located. You therefore sat there hating anybody who lived in the Tyne Tees broadcasting area because they got to watch some cool show you really wanted to see, whilst TVS aired some boring show about the countryside…
The magazine finally stopped being published in mid 1994, which given it started in 1971 meant it was around for around 24 years! For further information check out the The Look-In Picture Strip Archive, which is a project aiming to collect together information from every issue of the magazine. If you happen to have a stack of the magazine sitting in your attic somewhere, then I’m sure they would appreciate some scans of the front covers!