Creamguide

PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Rock’n’Roll America
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

BBC4 seem to have run out of British musical genres to give the documentary treatment to so we cross the pond for this new series. As the Onion’s “New Caucasian-based teen craze sweeps America” headline suggests, rock’n’roll certainly didn’t come from nowhere and took influences from all over the place, with this series settling on Fats Domino’s performances in 1949 as the starting point. Then get ready to slash your sofas with Rock Around The Clock at ten.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 01.00, BBC4

“Do you like disco music, Roger?” “Oh, I hate it!” Quite the episode, this one, because after just one week the grand guest presenter idea collapses around them as Tommy Vance is joined by “the McVicar himself”, Roger Daltrey, who is spectacularly off-message throughout the programme, not least in his notorious Village People introduction. In fact even without him it would have been a notable episode, thanks to Tommy’s extended explanation of what the arrows in the chart rundown mean and the performance by the amazing Sue Wilkinson. You’ll note the late edition is still billed as “edit” and is in a half hour slot but it was only half an hour in the first place so we think we should be getting this remarkable programme in all its glory.

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GoldThe Interviews
Wednesday, 21.00, Gold

We haven’t actually watched last week’s first episode of this series yet but they do appear to have gone off the beaten track a bit in terms of the clips, which is encouraging to know, though they lose a bit of goodwill with some truly awful cropping to widescreen. It’s The Two Ronnies this week, with a bit of luck including Ronnie B smashing up his Sun award on Wogan after they printed a made-up story about him.

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BBC Radio 2Disney’s Women
Tuesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

This is the last episode of this series which actually creeps out of the Cream era a bit and looks at the Disney heroines from the nineties like The Little Mermaid and Pocahontas, though as it’s made in 1998 we are at least spared the era when they stopped drawing them properly.

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CBBCMorph
Monday, 07.10, 15.10, 06.25, CBBC

There isn’t much else on today so we thought we’d remind you of this new series, and after its debut last Saturday, this is now shown every day before school, after school and after tea. They’re not brand new, because they were first shown on YouTube last year, which explains why they’re all about ninety seconds long, but this is their first time on telly and they’re great fun. And you can get even more entertainment out of them by watching them with the subtitles on. We want that job!

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BBC4Arena: Nicholas Roeg – It’s About Time
Sunday, 22.00, BBC4

While Channel 5 wheel out their Greatest 80s Movies clip show again to make their half-arsed eighties weekend, here’s a more interesting take on cinema with a profile of one of the most acclaimed and innovative directors of all. As you’d expect from something under the Arena banner it’s far from straightforward and is a rather stylised portrait that happily flits between eras and films, but if you just want the facts you can read his Wikipedia page.

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Channel 5The 80s – The Best of Bad TV
Saturday, 22.00, Channel 5

Channel Five are having an eighties weekend! But they do that most weekends anyway! Because as usual it’s just a load of eighties movies back to back, but there is one new programme in it. It doesn’t sound particularly edifying, especially as one of the clips promised is Anthea on fire on UP2U which is bloody horrible and we don’t know what kind of amusement you get from it. However, we’re also promised Brits 89 which is absolutely brilliant and we’re happy seeing clips of that over and over again like an old friend (“Wind away!”) and maybe something else unusual will turn up along the way. One to record and watch on fast forward, though, we think.

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BBC2Arthur Ashe – More Than A Champion
Friday, 21.00, BBC2

Wimbledon’s moved a week later this year which is good news for Glastonbury at least as it doesn’t have to battle for space, and the edition of The One Show from Glastonbury, which is supposed to showcase the festival to a wider audience on BBC1, can actually go out on BBC1 rather than get flung to BBC2 at the last minute and get its lowest audience of the year, as it has done the past two years. As part of the build-up to this year’s tournament is this new documentary which tells the story of one of the sport’s most charismatic and fascinating champions, forty years since he won it. As well as being no slouch on the court, he was also a major political voice and it’s likely he would have made an even greater impact on the world had he not died at a terribly young age. Here’s how.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 23.45, BBC4

Well, here’s a show we didn’t expect to see again so soon! Rather awkwardly the Proms don’t start for a while yet so the two month strike of 1980 is condensed into just two weeks and it’s now August. More excitingly, though, it’s a new look! Michael Hurll’s now in charge and it’s miming all the way, but we don’t immediately head straight into neon and streamers territory and there are a few months of rather odd programmes, stuffed with special guests, features and “news”, while the audience if anything get less animated and some of them are actually seated. There are a few familiar aspects that make their debut, though, including the charts spread throughout the show, the big stage and the snazzy graphics after each performance. It all makes for an absolutely fascinating period and we can’t wait to see them, although we wonder how hard they’re going to be to edit down to half an hour for the half seven slot. Good job the full one’s on nice and early.

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GoldThe Interviews
Wednesday, 21.00, Gold

The final part of the Lord Bob doc was as fascinating and entertaining as the previous two, and here’s another new series delving into the comedy archives – albeit one that appears identical to the Talking Comedy series that briefly turned up on BBC2 a few months back, which tells the story of various personalities through their appearances on chat shows. Not that it won’t be worth watching, though, especially this first episode as it’s about Kenneth Williams. The fascinating thing about Kenneth is that on TV at least he only ever had one proper starring vehicle, in 1970, which was a total disaster (although it was hardly Ken’s fault, his co-writer died while they were making it, so nobody’s heart was in it) and, aside from Jackanory, his TV fame in the eighties came entirely from his appearances on chat shows and panel games. Brilliant he was at them, too, as we’ll see here.

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BBC Radio 2Disney’s Women
Tuesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

Second part of this series which this week looks at the opening of Disneyland, the reason this series has been dragged out of the archives, and also The Mickey Mouse Club, a real American institution which has famously been the training ground for many people who have gone on to huge success in the entertainment industry. Very much the American equivalent of the Central Junior Television Workshop, we feel.

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BBC4How To Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell
Monday, 21.00, BBC4

This series has been on for a couple of weeks but we’re only alighting on it for its final show as it moves into the post-war era. The idea Victoria is pitching this week is that everyone is now in a sense bohemian because we let our emotions run free and people are allowed to wear clothes of more than one colour. Still plenty of time to meet some people who have spent their life doing not much other than what they fancy, like Molly Parkin and the irksome AA Gill, plus some who decided non-stop partying was too much like hard work and went and got proper jobs like Richard Coles.

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BBC2The BBC at War
Sunday, 21.00, BBC2

This was interesting last week, although we would probably agree with the Radio Times that it certainly doesn’t deserve to be on television, other than to give us the pleasure of watching Jonathan Dimbleby in a range of attractive overcoats. This is the second part which as well as considering the advances in reporting also reviews the shows like ITMA that boosted morale back on the home front.

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CBBCMorph
Saturday, 11.40, CBBC

We received a couple of comments on Twitter after last week’s edition that it’s not The Clangers, it’s just Clangers. Whatever you call it, it was lovely and loads of kids seemed to enjoy it as well. Here’s the next revival, though it’s not as if kids TV is running out of ideas as surely it’s the same as revisiting great children’s literature which has been a staple of TV since day one. It just so happens most of the most famous and popular children’s characters in recent generations have been on television. This’ll be great fun, anyway, as Morph has always been ace and all the gang at Aardman are involved again. Apart from Georgie Fame, before someone writes in.

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BBC4Glastonbury Golden Greats
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

It’s odd to think that contemporary artists like Kanye West and Jay-Z now get more criticism appearing at Glastonbury than the likes of Dolly Parton and Neil Diamond who in the past would have received nothing but disdain. But as the festival has grown to become a celebration of pop culture in general, so very established and hugely mainstream artists now play a major role in proceedings, a slot there very much the equivalent of a knighthood. Here we recall performances from people like Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett and BB King, though sadly not Brucie it appears.

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BBC Radio 4Mrs Thatcher and The Writers
Thursday, 11.30, BBC Radio 4

Probably the most famous encounter of politics and the arts in recent years was Tony Blair’s Cool Britannia evening attended by the likes of Noel Gallagher, but what’s perhaps more interesting is that fact that Thatcher, who always seemed to be a bit of a philistine when it came to the arts, regularly invited writers to Downing Street, and from all sides of the political spectrum too. Many seemed to attend thanks to a fascination with Thatcher rather than any great liking for her, and this programme will talk about these meetings and ask why she still inspires so much fiction.

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GoldBob Monkhouse – The Million Joke Man
Wednesday, 21.00, Gold

The second episode was worth it for the chance to see on screen Bob’s notes for “The ATV Sunday Afternoon Quiz” that became Celebrity Squares, including him suggesting Bob’s Galaxy Game as the title, which they really should have gone for. As has been mentioned, he always tried to make sure his name was in the title of his shows so he wouldn’t get the sack. The episode also pointed out he wasn’t really doing much in the early nineties, wasting his time on dull quizzes like Bob’s Your Uncle and The $64,000 Question which were unworthy of his talents but, thanks to The Big Breakfast and Have I Got News For You, he underwent a remarkable renaissance, and we’ll celebrate the topical, relevant Bob here.

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BBC Radio 2Disney’s Women
Tuesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

BBC cuts have meant there are more repeats on Radio 2 then there used to be, though a more interesting use of the archive than simply repeating every episode of Friday Night Is Music Night three months later comes here, as this programme was first broadcast in 1998 and indeed host Diane Disney Miller has since died. It’s topical again now though because it’s the sixtieth anniversary of Disneyland, and it highlights the various female figures that shaped Disney’s output both on and off screen, in this case both Snow White and Walt’s mum.

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The Clangers
Monday, 17.30, CBeebies

We think this is the first time we’ve ever billed this channel in Creamguide, but obviously we must for this high profile arrival. Apparently they’ve tried very hard to make this look like a continuation of the series rather than a revival, so it’s still made via stop motion, Oliver Postgate’s son and Peter Firmin are still involved, and it’s even at more or less the same time it used to be, while Michael Palin is probably the perfect choice to replace Postgate on voice duties. It won’t be the national talking point it was forty years ago or so but it’ll doubtless amuse greatly any parents looking in, while not baffling or boring today’s kids either.

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BBC2The BBC at War
Sunday, 21.00, BBC2

Along with the General Strike, the Second World War is now a hugely important moment in the history of the Beeb as it proved itself an indispensable part of British life as a form of information and entertainment, although it got off to a rather awkward start as while the programme makers were evacuated to Evesham in Kent and Bristol, for the first few months all they managed to broadcast was news bulletins, first aid lessons and endless hours of Sandy Macpherson on the BBC theatre organ. However very quickly they got up to speed and were still on air even while Broadcasting House was being reduced to rubble. Richard Dimbleby was a major player in their broadcasts and it’s Jonathan who, over the next two weeks, will chronicle its history.

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