Creamguide

PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC2Back In Time For Dinner
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC2

Packets, packets and more packets this week as we head to the seventies, where convenience was king whether you boiled it in the bag, added water or froze it, so we can look forward to a host of evocative brand names and packaging getting an airing tonight. It’s not all crap, though, because we’re also got the rise and rise of health food and self-sufficiency.

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BBC2Wogan – The Best Of
Monday, 15.00, BBC2

Last week of these, which has at least illustrated that before Tel started phoning it in a bit he was a genuinely good interviewer and Wogan as a show could often come up with the goods, albeit not every night. Sadly it doesn’t look as if his chat with the cast of Pobol Y Cwm is going to make it into this series, but Wednesday’s episode looks the most interesting this week as we’re promised Rik Mayall and Ronnie Barker, the latter perhaps smashing up his Sun award in protest at a crappy story they ran about him.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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GoldPolice Squad
Sunday, 16.45, Gold

We’re pleased to see this series turn up on heavy rotation on this channel because we’ve always been very fond of it. We first saw it via the frequent BBC2 repeats in the early nineties, after the success of The Naked Gun, though you may have caught it earlier depending on where you live because in the eighties, when it had just been shown in the USA, it was picked up by some ITV regions – some even showed it in primetime – while some didn’t screen it at all. We’ve all seen it now, but we’ll happily see it again

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC Radio 4The Clocks Go Forward Tonight
Saturday, 10.30, BBC Radio 4

A few years back we received an email from the local Chamber of Commerce reminding us the clocks were going forward, though we really think that if you’re relying on the Chamber to tell you, you probably don’t have the wit to make a success of your business. The title of this show is another reminder, heralding a documentary presented by Stephen Fry on why we do it and if we still should.

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BBC2Mastermind
Friday, 21.00, BBC2

The series of Mastermind almost lasts as long as the football season, this run starting way back in August, so you can’t argue the winner of tonight’s final doesn’t deserve their prize. This is now we think the only time we get to know about the contestants rather than just watch them answer questions, and we’ll find out why they picked subjects including the Falklands War and The Ashes.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4

Some bizarre editing in the primetime showing of Peter Powell’s episode the other week, only four new performances in the whole show and two of them were skipped, and interesting ones too in Shaky and Iron Maiden. Pretty cheapskate show, actually, stuffed with repeats and seemingly filmed in a tiny studio, with Pete delivering most of his links rooted to the same spot and, the dead giveaway, the studio pan at the end heading straight for the lights. We’ve skipped our first episode of 1980, which isn’t a great tragedy as there’s only three this side of the strike and most of the interesting stuff gets on again, though it does means there’s some swift repeats here alongside the second outing for Steve Wright, having smartened himself up a bit.

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ITVPop Gold
Wednesday, 22.40, ITV

The eighties-themed episode of this series was great fun, enlivened by several clips from Razzmatazz, not least that excellent performance by Eddy Grant and a gang of incredibly enthusiastic kids bellowing along to Electric Avenue. To be honest we’d be happy if this show was all Razzmatazz, and there’s loads to go at as well given as the Wikipedia page points out between 1983 and 1985 it was on virtually every week of the year. Might get some more tonight, and although the clip research is pretty inspired, the episode themes are less so, hence female singers, all of them, ever, are under the spotlight here.

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BBC2Back In Time For Dinner
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC2

We’ll bill all of these, although it’s a six part series and we wonder how fascinating the last instalment’s going to be covering the noughties. We’ve still got stuff in our cupboards from that decade. We’ll worry about that when we get there because we’re back to the sixties tonight, which means the rise and rise of convenience foods and motorway services.

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BBC2Wogan – The Best Of
Monday, 14.55, BBC2

These compilations have been great fun so far, covering all the eras – including Saturday nights and Friday nights as well as the seven o’clock show – and with lengthy extracts, some of which we’ve never seen before, including a great chat with Cuddly Ken, although unsurprisingly all the famous bits with George Best had to be jettisoned for daytime viewing. The most interesting one this week seems to be Thursday’s, with what we think was Fanny Cradock’s last ever TV appearance.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC2Three Up Two Down
Sunday, 15.30, BBC2

Claire writes, “Why you not elaborating on the excellent Three Up Two Down in your listing? I am taping it and catching up with it later and enjoying it enormously. I liked it very much first time around when I was a kid and a rewatch hasn’t disappointed, it’s really well written. The two leads, Angela Thorne and the much loved and missed Michael Elphick, are brilliant, sparring and sparking off each other. It’s also a smashing look back at the eighties, the fashions, Lysette Anthony’s hair and how betting shops didn’t used to have tellies – just a radio. I didn’t know that! I think it deserves a reappraisal.” Well, we hope this makes up for it. Just in time for it to finish on Thursday.

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BBC Radio 4Remembering Sue Townsend, Aged 68 3/4
Saturday, 20.00, BBC Radio 4

Adrian Mole’s back in the news because the book’s now been turned into a musical, opening of course in Adrian’s home town of Leicester, which illustrates that despite the references to Frank Bough and the Falklands War it remains a much cherished book that is just as relevant to this day, in a way the later attempts with a grown-up Adrian, not least that BBC series a decade ago, maybe aren’t. Sue Townsend did loads of other stuff too, and one thing we’re particularly interested to hear about in this documentary is a TV soap she devised but which never made it to the screen.

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BBC1Eclipse Live
Friday, 09.00, BBC1

This eclipse has rather taken us by surprise, given the event back in August 1999 was supposed to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience to tell the granchildren about and now there’s another one. In fact it’s not a proper total eclipse but interesting enough, and it will cover more of the country. Last time round it was on the Beeb, Channel Four and Channel Five, plus the radio, and ITV got a load of flak for not bothering and showing Lost In Yonkers instead, but only BBC1 are arranging a screening this time round, with Dara O Briain and Brian Cox making an unusual appearance on daytime TV to anchor.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 01.00, BBC4

The Bates episode was a pretty turgid affair, one of the dullest for some time, and the 7.30 edit didn’t help by losing the most entertaining bit, that being Stiff Little Fingers miming and dancing along to The Shadows while waiting to go on themselves. A far more interesting line-up here, one of the best of the year we think, and some interest behind the scenes as well. Credits watchers will have noticed that while Robin Nash is always Executive Producer, numerous people have filled the role of Producer over the last year or so, thanks mostly to the Beeb assigning rookie producers a spell on the show as part of their progression up the Corporation’s career ladder. Hence here’s the first of a couple of shows under the auspices of Paul Jackson, later to enjoy great acclaim in a hugely distinguished career, with his big idea involving Elvis Costello and a bungee rope.

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ITVPop Gold
Wednesday, 22.40, ITV

There was certainly some intriguing clippage of the first of these programmes, although it did seem to suggest that you only appeared on ITV (or The Tube) on the way up or on the way down, hence an unfamiliar Motorhead line-up and Ian Dury with some new Blockheads (less jazz funk than just jazz, alas), while Supersonic must have seemed a pretty hip show in 1975 getting on Arthur Brown to do his six year old hit. All very interesting and entertaining for that, mind. This one’s about guitar heroes.

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BBC2Back In Time For Dinner
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC2

We seem to have about half a dozen shows like this every year but they’re frequently entertaining, and this one will doubtless offer up a fair amount of easy uncritical nostalgia via old adverts and packaging. Each week we follow a luckless family as they dine solely of the cuisine of a particular decade, starting this week in the fifties where things can only get better as rationing is still on.

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BBC2Wogan – The Best Of
Monday, 15.00, BBC2

Wow! Very much like The One Show these days, Wogan in its imperial phase was never a show Creamguide would generally go out of their way to watch but would alight on it if the opposition didn’t appeal and it really was part of the furniture. That was all to Tel’s liking, of course, saying he was delighted to be on so often because it meant they didn’t have to ensure every show was a spectacular because if you didn’t like that one there’d be another one along any minute. There were certainly some memorable moments, though, and we’ll be reliving them every afternoon for the next few weeks. They’re all themed, starting off today with Hollywood legends, though the most interesting one looks to be tomorrow’s instalment with David Icke and George Best, or at least as much of the latter as is suitable for three o’clock.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4London To Brighton In Four Minutes Side By Side
Sunday, 19.40, BBC4

The original London to Brighton film was a familiar interlude from the fifties and then the re-recorded version in the eighties became equally as familiar thanks to its frequent screenings on the likes of Windmill and Boxpops. A few years ago they put the two films together, though they’ve not shown it again since we started listing BBC4 here, so this is well worth another look. It won’t take up too much of your time.

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BBC Radio 4Did Douglas Get It Right?
Saturday, 10.30, BBC Radio 4

We wonder if, in the future, the early noughties will be the least documented period in history, as we were pondering the other week about 2000 Today, where had it happened a few years earlier would have been preserved on thousands of VHSs and a few years later would have been straight on YouTube, but in that awkward transitional phase it now seems to mostly have been recorded in obsolete formats on defunct websites. Back in 2001, just before he died, Douglas Adams made a series pondering what might occur in the next decade and now Mitch Benn is digging it out via a search of GeoCities to see how much of it turned out to be correct.

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BBC4The Irish Rock Story – A Tale Of Two Cities
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

The two cities being Belfast and Dublin as this new documentary explores music from the entire island, contrasting the folk traditions of Dublin with the harder-edged sounds of Belfast, the latter being perhaps the most interesting as it did its own thing more or less out of sight of the rest of the UK music industry who couldn’t even be bothered including sales there in the charts until the mid-eighties. Then it’s a new clip show which again crosses the border and means we get ace bands from both nations including Thin Lizzy and The Divine Comedy.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4

Another Friday episode here, much to the bemusement of the modern day audience, but blame Robin Cousins for that. The Plastic Age by Buggles has really grown on us over the past few weeks to the extent we now probably know it better than Video Killed The Radio Star, and clearly Pops want to make up for their non-appearance during the chart run of that single, what with them not really existing, by showing it again this week. Quite a lot of repeats here, actually, along with the debut of two acts who would appear many more times in the eighties, in the shape of Shaky and Iron Maiden.

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