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Sin On Saturday

1 9 8 2 (UK)

A series of seven episodes of Sin On Saturday was commissioned from BBC Scotland. Hosted by respected television journalist Bernard Falk, the series was to feature one of the deadly sins each week with live discussions on the theme, illustrated through music and comedy (from up-and-coming comedians Robbie Coltrane and Elaine Loudon).

Debuting on 7 September 1982, the first episode boldly tackled ‘Lust’ and invited guests as diverse as Linda Lovelace, a former nun, a gaggle of beauty queens and Oliver Reed to discuss it.

Things did not go well as the show devolved into a debate on pornography and any attempt at serious analysis was stranded by the cheesy setup, while attempts at comedy also floundered. Falk looked relieved when the end credits rolled.

The flaws in this series ran deep and it quickly became clear that the second show – on the theme of ‘Covetousness’ with guests including disgraced MP John Stonehouse – was no better.

Episode Three, ‘Envy’, duly followed but the axe fell before Falk and co. could gorge themselves on the subject of ‘Gluttony’. BBC1 controller Alan Hart was not alone in his opinion that the series had committed the worst sin of all in television terms, “being both boring and banal”.

Falk rarely appeared on television again.

Bernard Falk