Creamguide

PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC Radio 2Friday Night Is Music Night
Friday, 20.00, BBC Radio 2

More Blue Peter presenters in extra-curricular bits of business here. It’s Barney this time in what, though it’s billed under this title, is actually a Prom from the Royal Albert Hall. The Ten Pieces Prom is the climax of the Beeb’s initiative to get kids interested in classical music by picking ten of the most exciting and hummable bits, and everyone who was at this Prom says it was absolutely brilliant and yet another amazing thing only the Beeb can do. Lots of praise too for Barney’s co-hosts, the still fantastic Dick and Dom.

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CBBCBlue Peter
Thursday, 17.00, CBBC

As we mentioned up there, Richard Bacon was on telly this week as part of the VJ Day coverage and we thought he was absolutely brilliant, pitching it just right with his sensitive and intelligent interviews. It’s even more impressive when you realise he was a last minute replacement for Dan Snow who was at a funeral. It’s a further example of the wonderful training you get from Blue Peter, and this week Radzi is the latest presenter to make the leap to primetime as he’s presenting Songs of Praise. Plenty of time to do that given these clip shows, but we think this is the last.

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BBC4A Brief History of Graffiti
Wednesday, 21.00, BBC4

No Nigel Rees here, alas, but this still sounds a very interesting programme, as Dr Richard Clay, a bit of a wacky academic by all accounts, looks as how we’ve gone from Piss Shit Bollocks to very elaborate works of art which are now often welcomed by the neighbourhoods they arrive in.

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BBC4A Day In The Life Of Andy Warhol
Tuesday, 21.00, BBC4

What the hell did he see in the wimpy jazz funk stylings of Curiosity Killed The Cat, though? Don’t worry about that, we’re in his imperial phase in this new documentary, as Stephen Smith traces a typical day in the life of the great man which was unsurprisingly always atypical.

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BBC1The TV That Made Me
Monday, 15.45, BBC1

Last week of this, which in the end hasn’t really had that much to do with telly and is basically just The Brian Conley Chat Show, though there’s been some interesting stuff turned up with Pam Ayres talking about Protect and Survive and Adil Ray selecting clips from Nai Zindagi Naya Jeevan, surely getting its first outing on television for about thirty years. We’ve pondered in recent years as to when Gyles Brandreth became so likeable, possibly stopping being a Tory MP may have helped, but whatever, he’s the guest this week we’re most looking forward to seeing, which we do today.

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BBC4When Lucy Met Roy – Sir Roy Strong at 80
Sunday, 20.05, BBC4

After Dickie Attenborough last night, another giant figure in the arts under the spotlight here, though one still happily very much with us, and indeed in this programme he expresses his determination to make just as much noise as he has done for the previous eight decades. As director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the V&A he can genuinely be said to have done plenty to bring the arts to the British public, and here’s what he makes of it now.

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ITVThe Saturday Night Story
Saturday, 20.00, ITV

More people have now seen the Beadle alien stunt on clip shows than ever did at the time, when it was flung out at half five in the summer of 1996 as part of the final series of Beadle’s About, which was taken off mid-run as it was being thrashed by Dad’s Army. Some entertaining stuff here, though, and we always like seeing clips from the start of Strictly when it looks really cheap. You can be a massive pedant and complain about the presence of Morecambe and Wise in this episode given they were only regularly on Saturday nights when they were on ATV in the sixties (and on Christmas Day in 1971 and 1976) but most viewers will doubtless expect to see them. Some topical stuff on Blind Date too.

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Channel 5The Best Of Bad TV – The Noughties
Friday, 22.00, Channel 5

OK, we’ll do it – Football League Tonight five years too late for this show. Ha ha. The nineties episode the other week was perhaps most notable for the poorest quality archive clip in the history of television, the umpteenth generation VHS of Shaun Ryder on TFI Friday looking more like a brass rubbing than a TV show, while as with the eighties episode they got some interesting guests – like the star of Heil Honey I’m Home – and did next to nothing with them. And the person who decided to include Ghostwatch can fuck right off. This technically isn’t in our jurisdiction either but we mention it to complete the set, and it won’t be very entertaining because it’s so easy to make a TV show look professional these days so stuff doesn’t immediately look rubbish in the way Triangle and the bit of Doomwatch with the rats did. Still, here it is.

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BBC2The Fast Show
Thursday, 23.05, BBC2

Not quite as intriguing as the new series of Scrappers mysteriously disappearing from the schedules for “legal reasons”, but Newsnight shrinking to half an hour has puzzled a few people, although it’s only for the duration of the silly season where ostensibly nothing important happens. Filling the gap this week, for some reason, is a repeat of the second series of The Fast Show, which we’re highlighting here because it’s nearly twenty years so we’re saying it counts as coming from the Cream Era. Great series it was too, although at the time we snootily suggested it wasn’t as good as the first one. Because more people were watching it and it wasn’t obscure enough to make us sound cool when we mentioned it, obviously.

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Sky Arts 1South Bank Show Originals
Wednesday, 20.00, Sky Arts

The first half here is Harold Pinter in one of the very first programmes from 1978, though it’s the second half that’s of more interest as it reflects an episode from 1996 which didn’t feature anyone famous but instead a budding young actor who was just about to start at RADA. They certainly made a decent pick because it was Maxine Peake, now one of our most acclaimed actors of course, as you can see when the show is followed by her performance in Hamlet.

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BBC Radio 4Philip Glass – Taxi Driver
Tuesday, 11.30, BBC Radio 4

The definition of “acquired taste”, Philip Glass’ compositions often seem to accompany montages of journeys, such are their driving rhythms, and it’s perhaps not a coincidence that he came up with many of them when he trying to make ends meet and driving a cab. Here he talks about how the city of New York influenced him and his music, and how he took so long to make any money that he almost ended up giving people lifts to performances of his own stuff.

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BBC1The TV That Made Me
Monday, 15.45, BBC1

We liked Carol “Billy” Kirkwood’s episode the best last week, not especially because she picked particularly obscure stuff – although they did at least dig out her parents’ hotel on Holiday in 1979 – but because she picked Play School, Blue Peter and The Generation Game, as we would. Lesley Joseph was a bit duller the next day, picking stuff like boring old Muffin The Mule, but then promptly asked to see again a collection of idents! We look forward to seeing her at the next Kaleidoscope event. The most interesting episode this week is probably today’s, because Pam Ayres is the guest.

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BBC4Cilla at the BBC
Sunday, 21.00, BBC4

Well, the Beeb may have taken ages to confirm it – though rather that than getting it wrong – but they’re making up for it now with this tribute. And it’s important to remember what a hugely important person she was in broadcasting too, more or less breaking new ground as a woman with her Saturday night show in the sixties, which were hugely popular and broadcast totally live to boot. Then she did alright as a comic actress in the seventies before her return to prominence in the eighties with two decades of enormous success when she was undoubtedly one of the most famous people in the country and they even kept Moment of Truth running for four years, even though nobody liked it, simply because you didn’t axe Cilla. It all rather overshadowed her singing career, but Surround Yourself With Sorrow is a bloody ace song and we’re certain to hear that on this show, along with bits of business from throughout her remarkable career.

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ITVThe Saturday Night Story
Saturday, 20.00, ITV

Ooh, but obviously this is just a catch-all title to fit in everything that wouldn’t nicely fit in the Game Show, Talent Show and Magic Show Stories we’ve had in recent years. That means things like Game For A Laugh and Noel’s House Party, and incidentally our friend at www.bothersbar.co.uk suggested the other week someone should do a proper documentary on the rise and fall of Noel’s House Party, which we think is an excellent idea. This won’t be it, but these shows have generally come up with some interesting clips and are far better than they need to be for primetime ITV, so it’ll be worth a watch.

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Channel 5Whitney Houston – Her Greatest Hits
Friday, 23.00, Channel 5

There’s a docu drama about Whitney and Bobby Brown this evening but you don’t need to see that. A bit more palatable is this new compilation which features some of the biggest selling songs ever committed to vinyl.

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BBC4London to Brighton in Four Minutes Side by Side
Thursday, 20.55, BBC4

This pops up every so often and it’s always worth checking out, the original famous interlude film from the fifties contrasted with the second time they did it in 1983. Obviously that second film is just as much a period piece now so they should probably think about filming it again. We’ve all got widescreen tellies now so there’d be no problem showing all three side by side.

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Sky Arts 1South Bank Show Originals
Wednesday, 20.00, Sky Arts

Usually we wouldn’t be very interested in a programme from 2006 but this is well worth watching again because Armando Iannucci is interviewed, one of the funniest and most intelligent men currently working in the arts. Indeed we very much liked Stewart Lee in The Observer the other week pointing out that if people want the Beeb to make HBO-style content, the government’s panel should have included some people who are actually doing that, like Armando or Steven Moffatt, or indeed any programme makers at all. The other show here is about Laurence Olivier but, apart from being the first person on Ulster TV, he doesn’t have enough to do with telly for our liking.

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BBC2Yes Prime Minister
Tuesday, 13.45, BBC2

Of course, although we’ve missed out the Party Games special where we first hear that line because it’s too awkward to fit in the schedule. This is a bit of a spoiler for it anyway. We know most fans consider it inferior to the original series but that’s only a move down from very, very, very good to just very good.

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BBC1The TV That Made Me
Monday, 15.45, BBC1

Apparently the top clips this week come today when Rory McGrath is the subject, while Dame Helen Skelton graces us with her fragrant presence on Thursday. As for the series itself, Andy Ford says, “Having watched the first three episodes, this has been quite frustrating, too much talking and not enough footage, and the habit of cutting, mid-clip, back to the studio so that we can see Brian Conley and his guest watching the respective clip, is infuriating. Of course, we’re always looking for rare footage to be shown on such a programme, so hats off to the BBC for their efforts to get a clip of Out of Town for Monday’s programme as, according to Conley, it was the hardest bit of film to find as all the original tapes had been thrown in the bin. Hargreaves’ stepson had retrieved some footage and the BBC had contacted him in Greece to seek permission to show the clip. This surprised me somewhat as earlier that same day, I’d been at Dobbies in Gillingham and they had volumes of Out Of Town on DVD at three for £8. A subsequent look on Amazon revealed a ten disc boxed set of the 28 episodes that still exist.”

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BBC4Atomic – Living in Dread and Promise
Sunday, 21.00, BBC4

Oh no, BBC4 are running a nuclear season although at the moment thankfully there doesn’t seem to be a repeat of Threads, officially the shit-scariest television programme ever made, scheduled as part of it. What we do have is Mark Cousins’ history of nuclear power, which eschews narration in favour of continuous archive footage and music by Mogwai, which is apparently a very powerful combination.

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