Creamguide

PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4ABBA at the BBC
Friday, 22.00, BBC4

No Mastermind this week, and not much else very interesting to be honest, hence the umpteenth appearance in Creamguide this year for this as part of an evening of familiar repeats. As we know, ABBA at the BBC isn’t really anything of the sort, just a load of ABBA videos and more of less the entirety of Disco In The Snow. Still, the music’s nice.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 00.30, BBC4

Been a fantastic run of shows recently and we’re particularly thrilled to see this episode, one of those we’ve been waiting to see since the repeats began. As you’ll have seen from his dynamic entrance last time out, it’s the first episode presented by Andy Peebles, but it’s also the last he does for three years, and because it was never shown on UK Gold, and very little of it appears to have been shown on TOTP2, we’re absolutely fascinated to see how he does. Presumably, he didn’t much enjoy it. As fate would have it, his appearance also coincided with the height of the ITV strike which means this is the highest rated episode of all time, pulling in a whopping 19.7 million viewers. Better yet, that enormous captive audience were met with a brilliantly eclectic line-up, one of the most diverse ever, heralded by the Dooleys’ silliest record – and therefore by far their best.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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Sky Arts 1Anarchy in Manchester
Wednesday, 23.00, Sky Arts 1

These shows get their first screening on Fridays but we’re going to carry on billing them here mostly because there’s nothing else on Wednesdays. Having now seen this series, we’re pleased to report it’s great fun, with plenty of Tony Wilson’s links, and these are fantastic – whether he’s slagging off Malcolm McLaren for claiming no TV company wanted to show the Sex Pistols when apparently they’d arranged to film them twice and McLaren pulled them out at the last minute, or refusing to apologise for showing footage of a fight in the audience of a Penetration gig, because “the best rock music has always had an aggressive, violent edge” and the fighting was “no worse than you’d find in a dozen pubs within a mile of the venue”. We like the punk-inspired presentation, too, coping with the irremovable original credits on some of the clips by just scribbling their own credits over them. Well worth a look.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Supernatural
Tuesday, 23.00, BBC4

Here’s something a bit interesting from the archives, an anthology series of ghost stories from 1977 with an extremely distinguished cast which apparently isn’t very good and was considered such a failure it was never repeated, and as of now we can check that with the Radio Times archive and that does appear to be the case. This repeat run might be a bit more exciting if it hadn’t been released on DVD last year, and if we were getting more than, it seems, just three of the eight episodes, but interesting enough, we think.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC1Holiday of My Lifetime with Len Goodman
Monday, 15.45, BBC1

It used to be that everyone in Britain went to the same place on holiday every year, and certainly Creamguide did that with its annual jaunts to Conwy in North Wales, where we had many happy times, though the other Christmas we nipped back for old time’s sakes and were amazed we exhausted the town centre in half an hour, and heaven knows how we used to get a week out of it. In this series Len will be taking a celebrity back to some old haunts, every day at this time, kicking off with Dave Myers on the Isle of Man.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4The BBC Music John Peel Lecture with Iggy Pop
Sunday, 20.00, BBC4

You may have heard this on the radio the other day, but here’s your chance to see him deliver it, and we’re billing it here because alongside his views on the future of music and how much people should pay for it, he’ll also be chatting about his career to Lozza Laverne and inviting questions from the obligatory distinguished audience.

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BBC1Doctor Who
Saturday, 20.25, BBC1

We knew he wasn’t, but when the Doctor offered Perkins a job fixing the TARDIS, for a millisecond we wondered if Frank Skinner might be about to become a regular. Would have been good, too, we think, he wouldn’t have to be in it much, the Doctor could just idly say “Hmm, what do you think, Perkins?” once an episode and Frank could stick his head over the console and offer his views. Always next series, but in the meantime we’re sticking with the usual gang, and this one appears to be a Clara-heavy story.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Jeff Lynne’s ELO at Hyde Park
Friday, 22.00, BBC4

Everyone used to laugh at Jeff Lynne for his silly hair, daft lyrics (“Bruuuuuuce!”) and shameless cribbing from the Beatles, but in the past decade he’s come to be cherished as one of pop’s greatest songwriters, surely second only to Bjorn and Benny with his ability to marry sonic experimentation with irresistible hooks. After the documentary from the other year it’s the first telly screening of his concert for Radio 2 from last month which was met with wild acclaim as he did all the hits and did them really well.

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BBC Radio 452 First Impressions with David Quantick
Thursday, 23.00, BBC Radio 4

Thanks to David for letting a TVC team take part in the quiz he was running the other night, in which we came fifth, which was pretty creditable, we think. That said, the Creamguide editor, who wasn’t there, has yet to ascertain how many teams were taking part. Because we had fun we’re billing his new series where he talks about the many people he’s interviewed over the years, comparing his expectations with what occurred – everyone from Bjork to Ned Sherrin.

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Sky Arts 1Anarchy in Manchester
Wednesday, 23.00, Sky Arts 1

The Whistle Test archive has been plundered extensively over the years but when it comes to punk, far quicker out of the blocks were Tony Wilson and the gang at Granada, so this series strings together the best bits of the seminal So It Goes. We think it’s just the music rather than Clive James and the other bits, but that’s good enough, and they’ve got a great host in John Cooper Clarke.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC Radio 1How John Peel Changed My Life
Tuesday, 21.00, BBC Radio 1

Remarkable to think that John Peel died a decade ago and it would be interesting to ponder what he might have been doing now. He’d only have been 75 and we’re sure Radio 1 would have kept him on air for as long as he wanted, and it would have been fascinating to see what genres he leapt on and how he adapted to the massive changes to the way we listen to music over the past decade. Either way it’s pretty likely he’d have been hugely embarrassed to hear programmes like this where loads of people queue up to say how much of an inspiration he was, including Annie Nightingale.

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BBC2The Rockford Files
Monday, 14.15, BBC2

The welcome return of archivery to the afternoons – although we can’t confirm if we’re getting the old idents alongside it – and this is something we haven’t seen on this channel for a while, presumably spurred on by the recent death of James Garner, so it’ll be something of a novelty.

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BBC1Points of View
Sunday, 16.00, BBC1

We were wondering recently the last time this programme actually got anything done, unlike during the Anne Golden Age when they managed to get Knots Landing moved from Wednesdays to Mondays after constant complaints about it being dropped for sport. Unless Vine can rustle up anything like that this show remains an irrelevance, though it would help if its correspondents didn’t say such relentlessly stupid things.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC1Doctor Who
Saturday, 20.35, BBC1

Quite enjoyed last week, as episodes set in space go, but we shuddered a bit at some of the dialogue, not least the suggestion from Hermione Norris’ character that her gran used to use Tumblr which sounded a clever line but as it was set only 35 years in the future it’s obvious she and Courtney would have been born around the same time. It’s just sloppy! Looking forward to this episode, though, not least as it features one of our favourite people on telly, Frank Skinner.

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BBC ParliamentElection 74
Friday, 09.00, BBC Parliament

Hooray! And that’s October 1974, which is a bit of a lesser spotted election, its only previous screening being exactly a decade ago. It’s the one with the groovy, doomy theme (which sounds a bit like Do Anything You Want To by Thin Lizzy) and Sue Lawley showing a bit of leg in the opening titles, although for most of the show she only does the London bits so most viewers would have wondered where the hell she was. She does get to explain the workings of ERIC the computer, though (“There’s no time for hellos!”). It’s the last election with bits in black and white and it’s the last presented by Alastair Burnet, who isn’t very good and at one point virtually picks a fight with Robin Day, which isn’t right. Still, last time they showed this we got ninety minutes of Michael Barratt at breakfast, including Katina the astrologer predicting a Liberal government by 1980, though sadly while we glimpse Richard Stilgoe behind a piano, we don’t get to hear him. It starts with another spectacularly wrong exit poll and ends with a bizarre interview with Enoch Powell who Alastair more or less suggests is drunk, and if you’ve got fifteen hours to kill today it’s a must-watch.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 00.30, BBC4

An excellent episode to kick off the new run last week, especially the debut of Madness, with Suggs’ saxamaphone brooch falling off after three seconds and then later the great man could be seen skulking behind Cliff. We’re now well into the ITV strike and so Pops was pulling in absolutely enormous audiences and bands like XTC, who we’ll see tonight, were being seen by upwards of eighteen million viewers. You’d need to go on an Olympics opening ceremony to get that kind of audience these days. The highlight of this episode, though, is the grand reveal at the end.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC Radio 2Dave Pearce’s Dance Years
Wednesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

There is stuff on television this week, we can assure you, but you’d be better off staying away from the telly this evening in case you accidentally switch on to the launch of ITVBe. Dangerous Dave Pearce doesn’t have a regular weekly show on Radio 2 anymore but they did promise he’d be back, and so as promised he’s here every week until Christmas. We’re not sure what kind of mood people are in for dance music on a Wednesday but the gap-toothed gypsy will try his hardest, with his featured year this week being 1987, when house music made it to the top of the charts and Newsround reported on the quest to find Steve “Silk” Hurley.

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BBC Radio 2Brit School Special
Tuesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

The Brit School was launched in somewhat inauspicious circumstances during that televisual triumph, the 1989 Brit Awards, where Alan Price – that contemporary star – announced its establishment and got the entire audience to boo Kenneth Baker. Back then it seemed a grand folly but 25 years later it’s still going and has indeed achieved its aim of nurturing a decent number of pop stars. Here’s how it all happened plus a chat with the current student body.

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BBC Radio 2Alex Lester
Monday, 02.00, BBC Radio 2

Next to nothing to kick off the week so we thought we’d take the opportunity, as Damien Cahill reminded us, to point out that this is the last week in which Alex Lester is delighting his audience with his Best Time Of The Day show after 24 years – albeit he’s shuffled around the early hours over the years. Budget cuts means it’ll be an extended Janice Long show followed by repeats from 3am – which isn’t a new thing because there were overnight repeats throughout the eighties – with Lester moving to the weekends, ever so slightly earlier, at midnight, which means a few more people may stumble across him, which’ll be nice. But it won’t be the same for one of the most loyal audiences on radio, so this is a real end of an era.

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BBC4The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse
Sunday, 21.00, BBC4

We haven’t billed this programme for a good few months and its return to the primetime schedules is reason enough to do so again because it’s an absolutely brilliant documentary, exploring not just his amazing life but also his incredible archive, and of course you can see the back of our head in it.

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