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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Roxy Music at Frejux
Friday, 23.50, BBC4

Despite the timeslot we’re not sure this programme has ever been on this channel before. Unlike some people we like Roxy just as much in their post-Eno phase and the run of hits they’ve just started on Pops 79 are all pretty ace, the highlight being The Same Old Scene which we think is a brilliant song and also has an ace video where Bryan has a fag on the go throughout then leaves after he’s done his bit to let the rest of the band finish the song off. Here they are at the height of their powers in 1982 in a suitably glamorous location.

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BBC1Scotland Decides
Thursday, 22.35, BBC1

So away we go with what’s bound to be an absolutely fascinating 24 hours as after various dull by-elections nobody’s that bothered with, we’ve got a genuine piece of history on our hands. It’s going to be absolutely fascinating whatever happens. Of course BBC Scotland are going their own way with Glenn Campbell, Brian Taylor and the gang and their coverage will last the best part of 24 hours, though it does break for Pointless, otherwise you can join Huw Edwards and the usual network team – though no Dimbleby – examining what it all means for the rest of the UK through the night, and then maybe pondering what happens to the channel they’re actually broadcasting on.

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BBC4Oh! You Pretty Things – The Story of Music and Fashion
Wednesday, 21.00, BBC4

Pretty sure the concept behind this series has been wheeled out a few times over the years, but here we go again with a look at the links between pop and clothes over the years. It’s very much Cilla season on all channels as we start off in the sixties and her role as the face of Biba is highlighted, and it looks like we might get some decent clippage throughout which is all you can ask for on these kinds of shows.

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BBC1Crimewatch
Tuesday, 21.00, BBC1

All together now… it’s hardly likely to be Crimewatch Peru, is it? Though of course they got rid of the “UK” a few years back, rather spoiling that joke. The reason we’re billing it here is not just to do that joke again, but because it’s the thirtieth anniversary – well, it was a few months ago, but this is where they’re celebrating it. That must make it one of the longest running primetime shows in TV history, although these days it turns up whenever there’s a gap unlike in the eighties when it was an immovable object one Thursday a month and whatever comedy show was running at the time had to miss a week. Nick Ross and Sue Cook are back for this special show to reflect on what it’s achieved, though we don’t know if Nick will remind us not to have nightmares. Creamguide’s mum always had to leave the room while our dad watched it because it did indeed give her nightmares, despite Nick specifically instructing her not to have them.

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BBC Radio 4Yesterday’s Papers – The End of the Music Press
Monday, 16.00, BBC Radio 4

We last bought the NME last year when it printed its list of the hundred greatest Britpop songs, and we wouldn’t particularly argue that feature illustrated the dire straits of the current pop scene because when we bought it regularly during the actual Britpop era it was forever harking back to punk. In fact the music press seems to have been at death’s door for many years now, first back in the early nineties when Sounds and Record Mirror closed down, then ten years later when Melody Maker and Select went, so it’s perhaps amazing we’re still pondering its future another decade later. David Hepworth knows a thing or two about the music press, but then he did also think those appalling illustrated covers on Word magazine were a good idea, so we’re not sure we’ll be too convinced by his argument. Good job the Bake’s going to be contributing as well.

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ITVSunday Night at the Palladium
Sunday, 19.00, ITV

This has caused a bit of a stir, although it’s hardly the most sensational of revivals, because not only did we have For One Night Only in this same exact slot five years ago doing the same kind of thing, but we’ve already had a variety series from the Palladium just over a decade ago, with one of the original hosts in charge to boot! Indeed it doesn’t look like we’re getting Beat The Clock so it looks like it’s just going to a bog-standard variety show of the kind we still get quite frequently anyway, with the dull Stephen Mulhern the first host and a pretty uninteresting line-up topped by Bryan Adams.

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BBC1Doctor Who
Saturday, 19.30, BBC1

Capaldi certainly confirmed himself as the Grumpy Doctor last week, with loads of great gags, and we’d be fascinated to hear what some of the nation’s kids are making of him. Maybe it’ll be worth waiting until after tonight to find out because the concept of this episode seems to be the Doctor’s day off, kicking his heels while Clara’s off on a date, which sounds fascinating.

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BBC2The Perfect Morecambe and Wise
Friday, 22.00, BBC2

When BBC1 showed That’s Television Entertainment in 1986 to mark their fiftieth birthday, Eric and Ern’s Singin’ In The Rain routine was the last thing on it, so we can presumably say that they considered it the greatest moment in the history of BBC television. We wouldn’t argue that much, and here it is again. Plus some other stuff.

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BBC Radio 4Andy Warhol – Time Regained
Thursday, 09.00, BBC Radio 4

When he wasn’t doing his most famous work, and promoting Curiosity Killed The Cat, one thing Warhol liked to do was create little time capsules, filled with ephemera that he’d discovered or made, and bury then around Pittsburgh. There’s only two left to open now, and Lenny Henry has nipped off to America to watch them open the penultimate capsule, examine its contents and consider what it means about the great man and society in general.

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ITVCelebrity Squares
Wednesday, 20.00, ITV

We almost got a revival of this a decade ago on Channel Five a decade ago, but it never got anywhere, but it’s clearly a format that nobody wants to leave alone for very long because here it is again for a third incarnation, though the first without its original host. Warwick Davis is the perhaps curious choice but apparently he’s quite good at it, but of perhaps most interest is the quality of the guests, with Tim Vine and Joe Wilkinson as regulars and throughout the run all kinds of interesting bookings including Reece Shearsmith, who did it purely because he used to love it, and for surely the first time on primetime ITV, Bridget Christie. There does seem to be an incredible amount of old formats about at the moment but by the looks of things this may be one of the most successful revivals, and the more harmless light entertainment in the schedules the better.

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GoldThe Two Ronnies
Tuesday, 07.00, Gold

The big news about daytime telly this week is that we’re finally getting new episodes of Pointless for the first time since the World Cup, which is great news. The other big story is that we’ve got this, both at breakfast time and then at lunchtime, and it’s the first ever series from 1971. We’ve seen this before, when ITV3 showed it about a decade ago, and it’s quite bizarre, interspersing the sketches with variety acts and a few bits where they’re still fiddling with the winning format, Ronnie C delivering one of his monologues from behind a piano. It doesn’t seem quite right, to be honest, not least because in the opening sequence Ronnie B is clearly still a bit uneasy at being himself so is really po-faced, whereas one of the bits we love the most about the show is Ronnie B laughing at the jokes. Certainly worth a look, for novelty’s sakes if nothing else.

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BBC4Abstract Artists In Their Own Words
Monday, 21.00, BBC4

We all know that while the Beeb were happily wiping hours and hours of what was considered to be totally ephemeral pop music, they would always keep hold of footage relating to the finer arts, hence there are plenty of episodes of Monitor and Omnibus in the archive. They were certainly worth keeping, obviously, and to accompany Matthew Collings’ new film about abstract art, here are some clips of its most famous practitioners in action.

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BBC Radio 4The Reunion
Sunday, 11.15, BBC Radio 4

ITV4 are currently running through all the Bond films on Saturday nights, up to Diamonds Are Forever this week, though we wonder why they don’t show them on ITV1 as they certainly would have done better than the Star Wars films they flung out to general apathy in recent weeks. We mean apart from Quantum of Solace, obviously, which they show every five minutes. It’s a Bond reunion here, and they’re not messing around, Roger Moore himself joining John Glen, Britt Ekland, Richard Kiel and Barbara Broccoli.

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BBC1Doctor Who
Saturday, 19.30, BBC1

Highlight of last week – Clara reading The Guardian! We enjoyed all of it, actually, and we’re really looking forward to this one because apparently it’s a really daft romp and Peter gets to deliver loads of jokes which as we know he does so well.

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BBC2The Perfect Morecambe and Wise
Friday, 22.00, BBC2

George McGachey told us, although we’d actually looked it up already, that they’ve apparently made nine of these programmes so no doubt they’ll be filling odd slots over the next few months. What’s perhaps amazing is that they left it to number six before the Tom Jones routine is included.

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BBC Radio 4Tupac Shakur – Hip Hop Immortal
Thursday, 11.30, BBC Radio 4

A documentary about Tupac on Radio 4! We never thought we’d see the day, though it’s no different to them doing a documentary about The Beatles in the eighties. He certainly is a fascinating figure too, not least because he was almost more prolific after his death in terms of the amount of product he released. Even the Vatican were moved to commend him for his thoughtful lyrics so he’ll well worthy of further study.

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Sky Arts 1Diana – Her Story: The Book That Changed Everything
Wednesday, 18.00, Sky Arts 1

A very broad definition of “arts”, this, the story of the tell-all book by Andrew Morton, the man we best remember for being called “a daft little lad” by Bernard Ingham on that ridiculous ITV Monarchy debate. The reason we mention it this week is not just to fill a hole on a dull day but because it’s seventeen years since the crash and the dates fall exactly this year, the accident happening on the evening of Saturday 30th. Rather brilliantly, the MHP’s Death of Diana page, which catalogues the truly bizarre and memorable TV coverage that day, is still online. “As most of the world now knows” indeed. We’re pretty sure more people have heard Bingo by Catch in that clip of The Chart Show being faded out for the news than ever did when it was actually in the charts.

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BBC121 Up New Generation
Tuesday, 22.35, BBC1

Ooh, we’ve mentioned this a couple of times recently and we’re pleased to learn that it wasn’t just us who’d remembered. This is the reboot of 7 Up they started in 2000 with the same intention though, obviously, with more women. They came back seven years later although the Beeb had seemingly already lost interest because it was dumped out on a Sunday teatime with no promotion, but they’re sticking with it because here – first part yesterday, second part today – we get to meet them for a third time. We’ve watched both previous films but we’re sorry to say we’ve totally forgotten everyone who’s taking part is, though we recall last time out they were all extremely well-adjusted and intelligent which was nice to see. Sounds like they’re all doing OK this time round too and, if it’s not quite as fascinating as its big brother series, it should make for an interesting record of the everyday life of your average 21st century young person.

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BBC4Return to Betjemanland
Monday, 21.00, BBC4

Metroland is at ten o’clock, John Betjeman’s rightly celebrated tribute to the suburbs behind the various stops on the Metropolitan Line, which was warmly nostalgic in 1973 and even more so forty years on. Before that it’s Betjeman’s biographer AN Wilson who pays tribute to the great man by taking a similar journey but a little further afield, exploring the places in Cornwall, Somerset and Oxfordshire that influenced his life and his work.

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ITVCome on Down! The Game Show Story
Sunday, 19.00, ITV

Been good fun, this series, far better than we really have any right to expect from primetime ITV, and they’re certainly coming up with the goods clips-wise in the montages, last week bringing us both Talkabout – a show which, though only from the early nineties, now looks more ridiculously outdated than anything from the sixties and seventies they show thanks to the lurid patterned waistcoats sported by everyone – and, best of all, Cannon and Ball’s Casino, a show Tom and Bob later referred to as “the monkey on our back”. Who knows what’ll crop up in this final episode?

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