Journalist and publisher David Hepworth has been clearing out his loft and has helpfully scanned a Guardian TV guide from June 1981. Worth a look:
For a start there were just three channels. Channel Four was still a year away from launch. Unless you count Emmerdale Farm, which was still in the bucolic innocence of its teatime years, there were no soaps at all. BBC still provided lots of sport, from the Test Match to Royal Ascot and the pre-Wimbledon tennis from Eastbourne. ITV had an original single-episode drama at nine o’clock. BBC-2 was showing a 50-year-old Ealing war film right across prime time. Between ten and midnight on BBC-1 it was serious news and current affairs all the way. All the channels closed down at midnight.