Creamguide

PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC1The FA Cup Final
Saturday, 12.10, BBC1

Back on the right channel, the Beeb are certainly going to town with it by presenting a whole day of programmes, and even co-opting Saturday Kitchen into proceedings like Cup Final Swap Shop. With the 5.30 kick-off, though, we don’t actually get onto the match in question until around four o’clock and before that it’s the Wembley scene including at five past two a new episode of TOTP2, we think the first time an episode of this series has debuted on BBC1 in its twenty plus year history. You can probably guess the kind of thing we’re going to get and presumably much of it will come from that momentous episode of Pops from 6th May 1982 when Spurs, England and Scotland all performed in the studio, which we can’t wait for BBC4 to get round to. And they surely must!

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4When Pop Ruled My Life – The Fans’ Story
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

Altogether now… “It’s just a gimmack, innat!” Hopefully that brilliant clip will turn up again in this new documentary which looks at the relationship between pop stars and their fans. It’s not just teen bands, either, and we well recall someone from The Frank And Walters telling Smash Hits about how in 1980 he was such a big fan of Buggles he opened the All Ireland Buggles Fan Club, which had a membership of two, him and his mate, and their activities mostly involved going for walks while carrying Buggles LPs. Kate Mossman presents and talks about her obsession with Queen’s Roger Taylor while Alan Johnson recalls his Beatlemania.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4

A pretty pivotal episode, this one, and not just for Peter Powell’s wardrobe reaching an all-time low with his ridiculous flying suit. If this repeat run has done nothing else, it’s disproven the myth that you had to be in the Top 40 to get on Top of the Pops as over the past four years we’ve seen dozens of acts appear while deep in the bowels of the charts, or indeed not in them at all, and who despite performing to several million viewers never got there. Hello, Glamourpuss. It’s a practice that’s soon to disappear but for one of the last occasions, they certainly struck lucky while trying to pad out the show during a quiet week as we don’t just get the debut of Jona Lewie but also, famously, the only appearance of the original incarnation of The Human League (although they also make a guest appearance in another song on the show) and their deadly enemies OMD.

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ITVCome on Down! The Game Show Story
Wednesday, 22.40, ITV

The highlight in this episode are the clips from Cannon and Ball’s Casino and Talkabout, the latter managing to look more dated than any other programme in this series thanks to everyone wearing hideous lurid waistcoats throughout. This one also meets the Johnson family, mostly to talk about mad old Uncle Bob and his turkey obsession although it’s worth pointing out the rest of the clan hardly covered themselves in glory in the Name A Famous Irishman round.

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BBC Parliament1955 General Election
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC Parliament

Shame it didn’t start five minutes earlier. This is clearly outside the Cream era but it’s a fascinating document all the same, and made for intriguing viewing when this channel last showed it a decade ago. Only three hours exist, and it’s not three consecutive hours either, so there are slightly odd bits where it fades to black and it’s suddenly four hours later, but as an example of the conventions of fifties telly in particular and society in general it’s well worth a watch. David Butler and Bob McKenzie are still around, although in those days they spent as much time explaining how the election worked as what it all meant.

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BBC2The Many Faces of Les Dawson
Monday, 22.30, BBC2

Such a shame Les died when he did because he was just on the brink of a Brucie and Lord Bob-esque reinvention, lauded by the next generation of comedy stars and bright enough to take a few risks and move with the times. Still plenty to enjoy from the archives, mind, and if you can’t get enough you can probably see many of the same clips earlier today on The Unforgettable Les Dawson at half twelve on ITV. This one’s better, though.

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BBC2The Many Faces of Stanley Baxter
Sunday, 23.00, BBC2

Every schoolboy knows the reason you stopped seeing Stanley on the telly was that his shows were too expensive but he’s still working, making several series for the radio. Sadly unlike his peers Eric and Ern we don’t get to see much of Stanley’s stuff on the telly anymore, presumably because many of his references are totally lost on most people under the age of fifty, but he’s clearly a master at work, whoever he’s doing.

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BBC1The Eurovision Song Contest
Saturday, 20.00, BBC1

And away we go, preceded by a special celebrity edition of our favourite lottery quiz (not much of an honour, we admit) Who Dares Wins. This is the only bit of the Contest the majority of people really need, although a brief look at the semi-finals suggest that it’s a bit downsized this year with a rather small stage, although we do prefer Eurovision when it’s a bit homely. At three and a half hours, though, it’s surely the longest ever, not helped by the presence of Australia for one year only, while as ever everyone’s already written off our entry but apparently there are loads of ballads this year so it may catch the ear of the continent.

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BBC4Eurovision at 60
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

We have no truck with those people who complain the Beeb, and the British audience, don’t do Eurovision “properly”, because we’ll do it how we want, thank you very much, and the ratings suggest most people are absolutely fine with our approach. However, we do get a bit fed up with retrospectives that simply recycle the same half dozen clips, so we welcome this heavyweight ninety minute epic which looks set to be the most in-depth treatment since the documentary shown as part of TV Hell back in 1992. With Wogan and Norton involved it won’t be entirely serious, and rightly so, but it’s a more thoughtful look than we usually get, with some less familiar clips to boot.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4

We’re into the final month of this era of Pops before the long strike and then the arrival of Michael Hurll to launch the eighties as we came to know and love it with its neon and streamers. Still some interesting stuff before then, though, this week in the shape of a new presenter, and a good one as well, as offering up some TV on the radio, er, on the TV is the great Tommy Vance, with Whitesnake and Motorhead giving him a suitable welcome. We assume the primetime edit was done before the sad news about Errol Brown, mind, given Hot Chocolate seem to be stuck on the late one.

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ITVCome On Down! The Game Show Story
Wednesday, 22.40, ITV

We recorded Channel Four’s election night and skimmed through it over the weekend, and while we weren’t particularly crazy about it we did like that Richard Osman stayed on right through to six o’clock, and at about 4am when someone suggested Ed Miliband would be gone by lunchtime, Richard laughed, to gasps from the audience. It was just the way they said it, apparently. Paxman seemed to enjoy himself, and the reason we mention it here is because he’s in this too, as this episode looks at self-consciously clever clogs quizzes.

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BBC3The Eurovision Song Contest Semi-Finals
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC3

Much as we enjoy the contest itself, we’ve never really felt the need to think about it any time other than the three hours on Saturday night, and that appears to be true of most people, hence the anniversary concert stinking the place out the other week. Nevertheless if you want a preview of what it’ll all look like and most of the songs, now they don’t do those preview programmes on Sundays afternoons anymore, here we are, and on Thursday as well, with Scott Mills joined by Mel Geidroyc on commentary duties.

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BBC Radio 2Ken Bruce
Monday, 09.30, BBC Radio 2

Of course, Ken’s worth listening to every day, but this week especially so as he starts the build-up to Eurovision, broadcasting live from Vienna on Friday and on Thursday opening up the pop-up Eurovision station for a second year. Before that he’s got Brotherhood of Man picking the Tracks Of Their Years and today he starts a countdown of the nation’s favourite Eurovision winner. But as no self-consciously clever French songs are included, we don’t care who wins. Pretty obviously who will anyway.

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ITVPerspectives
Sunday, 22.15, ITV

Much like Cliff’s son Guy Michelmore combined newsreading with composing theme tunes – and we note he now concentrates on the latter and is a soundtrack composer of some repute – so too does Nicky Campbell combine his usual rabble-rousing on telly and radio with some songwriting on the side, having released a couple of LPs. The fact one of them’s called Moonlight’s Back In Style illustrates that, despite droning on about Deacon Blue and Simple Minds when he was a DJ, his real love is the Great American Songbook, so off he goes to Broadway to tell the story behind some of the pop standards, and perform some of them too.

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BBC1Pointless Celebrities
Saturday, 18.10, BBC1

Stinker of a final board for the contestants on the civilian edition the other day, with golf, Japanese animation and classical music served up. We wish someone would go for the Roaring Twenties, it’s been there as long as Spanish Pop. This week all the celebrities are stars of British films, with means Leslie Ash, Sally Thomsett, Clare Grogan and the irksome Keith Allen.

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BBC4Je t’aime – The Story of French Music with Petula Clark
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

As a terrible wannabe hipster, it fell to us to complain that Sebastien Tellier wasn’t invited to the Eurovision Greatest Hits thing the other week, and while French pop has become pretty cool in the past decade or so, for many years before that it was notoriously hopeless. Or at least, it was if they were trying to imitate the kind of thing that was going on in Britain and America, but when they did their own thing, with the likes of Serge Gainsbourg and Edith Piaf, the results were very interesting, as Pet will explain.

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CBBCBlue Peter
Thursday, 17.00, CBBC

After last Thursday saw us bill more programmes in one day than probably ever before in Creamguide’s history, things are substantially quieter today, which is probably quite welcome. It’s quality we’re after, though, not quantity, and today we’re excited to see Lindsey continue her refereeing adventure.

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ITVCome on Down! The Game Show Story
Wednesday, 22.40, ITV

In lieu of that missing episode of Pop Gold, a rather less esoteric clip show gets another outing, but as you’ll know if you saw it last summer it’s far better than a flimsy ITV clip show has any right to be, the production team going that extra mile in locating clippage from some lesser-spotted shows like Talkabout, The Midas Touch and even Cannon and Ball’s Casino, while this first one also digs out some footage from One Out Of Eight, the original Dutch Generation Game.

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ITV4The Football Mavericks
Tuesday, 22.00, ITV4

Creamguide’s always interested in old football but we have a particular ghoulish fascination for the mid-eighties when the game was in a total state, attended by hardly anyone and barely seen on TV, and people began to wonder if the sport might actually cease to exist as a national talking point, something that seems incredible to think of these days. A few players managed to shine amid the despair, though, as we’ll see in this instalment.

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BBC Radio 2Prog Rock with Charles Hazlewood
Monday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

A new hour-long series and, yes, that should give Charles time to play about half a track. Prog definitely isn’t Creamguide’s favourite genre though it’s worth pointing out that despite punk apparently having to happen, loads of prog acts did absolutely fine during punk’s heyday, the likes of ELP and Genesis getting their biggest hits in that period. This is the first of four programmes and as a scholar of classical music Hazlewood will be drawing parallels with the genre, this week alongside Bill Bruford.

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