A Vintage Read, A Familiar Face?

The Book Tower, 1979

An often forgotten Kids TV show from ITV that, if memory servers me right, went out on a Tuesday afternoons.

The show seldom gets a mention these days but starting in 1979 it would run eleven series over ten years notching up an impressive eighty seven episodes along the way.

Initially the show was presented by a certain Doctor Who star (Tom Baker). He did a two year stint (strangely enough like his Doctor Who, he was the longest serving presenter) and was followed by a variety of presenters until 1988, when for the final series each episode would be fronted by a different presenter.

The theme tune, based on Paganini’s 24th Caprice and taken from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1978 album ‘Variations’


New and classic books were discussed, with passages read by well-known actors and authors, and short dramatisations used to bring the stories to life.


Main Presenters 1979 – 1988

Tom Baker, 1979 – 1981
Stephen Moore, 1982 – 83
Alun Armstrong, 1984
Neil Innes, 1985
Roger McGough, 1986
Bernard Bresslaw, 1987

Guest Presenters 1988 – 1989 (1 show each) Included

Victoria Wood
Nick Wilton
Margi Clarke
Wincey Willis
Timmy Mallett


Channel:  ITV
Created By: Anne Wood
Produced By: Yorkshire Television for ITV
Original Transmission Dates: 3rd January 1979 – 16th May 1989