Creamguide

PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Friday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4

The presentation of this show took a bit of a turn for the worse recently with the temporary departure of Kid Jensen – who might have been able to make something out of those ill-advised interviews before Christmas – and the continued presence of Simon Bates, but we think Richard Skinner has been a valuable addition to the roster, both having a bit of wit about himself while wearing his knowledge very lightly. Not sure about some of those jumpers, mind. Here he is again, and if you were fed up Fred Wedlock got relegated to the late shift, maybe Tony Capstick will make up for it.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 23.00, BBC4

The great excitement of this run continues to come from hearing songs for the first time in years or, indeed, ever, and we’d never heard that Kelly Marie track before that slab of Scottish Disco (TM) appeared here the other week – although in a funny sort of way we had heard it before, when it was called Feels Like I’m In Love. Such is the way these repeats work too we end up hearing it more times than the one that got to number one. In the late edition, Pete told us she’d also just been named Scotland’s Female Singer of the Year. No wonder Sheena Easton pissed off to America! Tonight we have surely the earliest slot ever for the extended edition, and quite right too because most of the brilliant songs from seven days ago get another outing.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC Radio 2Ed Stewart – A Tribute
Wednesday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

Sadly, Stewpot’s death has been rather overshadowed by the death of one of his Radio 2 colleagues, but it was still a hell of a shock when he died the other week, not least because he was on air as recently as Christmas Day. A generation certainly grew up with Ed, though, kicking off the weekend with him on Crackerjack, waking up with him the next morning on Junior Choice and reading his column in Look-In. His career had some ups and downs, not least when he was phoned up by the Mirror to ask how he felt about being sacked from Crackerjack and when he said that was the first he’d heard of it, the journalist passed the phone over to Robin Nash who’d just told him. But he was one of the biggest DJs in the golden days of the pirates, with Noel considering him a mentor, and he’s among those wishing him a fond byeeeeeee.

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BBC2Back In Time For The Weekend
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC2

It’s the sixties! Which means the telly arrives, so that’s the rest of this series sorted. As ever this show is quick to point out that things aren’t swinging quite as much as popular culture would have you believe, but Sandie Shaw turns up to do a bit of clothes swapping and Trevor Booking pops round for a game of Subbuteo.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Friday, 19.30, 00.30, BBC4

Yes, again, though while this one doesn’t match in quality last night’s episode, it’s certainly fascinating because there’s another strike on! That means again we wheel out the videos and repeats, though it’s been intriguing to see how the links have progressed, from Peter Powell out of vision in a toilet through to Simon Bates with the Rubik’s Cube and some fake applause. This time we make use of the magic of CSO to make it look a bit more like Tommy Vance is standing in a proper studio, though it’s still quite obvious, especially when we’ve seen more or less all the clips several times before. Still, a bit of a novelty, isn’t it?

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 23.30, BBC4

Delighted to see The Slade, as Tommy Vance called them, though the most interesting thing about his episode the other day were the videos, the promo for Woman by John Lennon rather remarkably including images of Mark Chapman and Lennon’s corpse, and we notice it was replaced by a rather nicer one when it got to number one. On the late show, meanwhile, the Madness video was remarkable because with all the news and sport footage it must have been a clearance nightmare. Couldn’t do it now! Still flying through this year, though to be honest the quicker we get to this episode the better because it’s an absolute cracker, we reckon one of the best of the entire year, with the debut of one of the biggest acts of the decade, the only appearance of the eighties by an incredibly famous band and the first appearance in this run of a legendary frontman since their death. And after mysteriously disappearing for six months, Mike Read is back, but you can’t have everything.

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PICK OF THE DAY

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BBC Radio 2BBC Radio New Comedy Award
Wednesday, 22.30, BBC Radio 2

We’ve said this before but we’ve been amazed by stand-up’s transition to arenas and primetime, whereas twenty years ago our video recorder was whirring away past midnight to capture the leading lights of the circuit. The BBC New Comedy Award was a very important prize in those days, because it was actually on television, although these days, when stand-ups are on telly all the time, it isn’t. Regardless, it’s celebrating its twentieth anniversary this year (apart from a break for a bit in the noughties), so this programme isn’t just announcing this year’s winner but also looking back at many of the famous names who made their first TV appearances thanks to it. Hope Jenny Ross is on it, who we used to like a lot and who has gone on to have an interesting career.

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BBC2Back In Time For The Weekend
Tuesday, 20.00, BBC2

Back In Time For Dinner was a big hit for BBC2 so inevitably we’re getting numerous variations on the theme, and even though the concept owes a lot to The 1900s House and the rest a decade or so ago, it’s always good fun, and you can even forget host Giles Coren seemingly being a bit of a bellend elsewhere. It’s six decades of leisure time condensed into six weeks, starting with the fifties, where mum barely gets to contribute because she’s so busy in the kitchen.

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BBC4The Great War
Monday, 23.00, BBC4

It turns out that two series of Sorry! was all we were going to get, and frankly that was probably more than enough for the vast majority of the audience. Still, been nice to see it again. Nice also to see this repeat run continuing, seemingly in a regular slot for a bit.

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GoldBob Monkhouse On The Spot
Sunday, 21.00, Gold

As if the jokes about the lottery and Tory sleaze aren’t carbon dating this to the mid-nineties, the audience do a bloody good job with their high hair, waistcoats and horrible patterned ties. The material’s still brilliant, though, and we love Bob’s little intro to reassure us that everything is above board.

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BBC Radio 4David Bowie – Verbatim
Saturday, 20.00, BBC Radio 4

Readers of the Radio Times may be intrigued to learn that this is a programme about Davis Bowie and not Jane Anderson, though it’s hard to tell from its preview. What it is, of course, is simply Dame David in conversation throughout his career, and as one of the wittiest and most intelligent pop stars of all time, this’ll be well worth hearing, not least as we’re promised some previously unheard interviews.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Friday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4

A much better second show of the year, and as ever one of the great things about this run is the chance to hear songs for the first time in years and years, or indeed ever, as was the case with Honey Bane, who presumably spent the next 35 years sticking pins in a voodoo doll of Toyah Willcox. Almost certainly the best thing Jimmy Pursey was ever involved with, in any case. It’s two other female singers that are the main attraction tonight, one of the biggest stars of the year making their debut and the other with some Bob Monkhouse-approved pop. Sadly we’ve also skipped a week again so lots of it will be familiar from last night, though for the first time this year it’s a show minus John Lennon – well, in person, anyway, but he’s still there in spirit.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 23.40, BBC4

Yes, still two a week, so we’re miles behind talking about the previous episodes, as this is the fifth of the year and we haven’t even discussed the first. Getting rid of the news and interviews has certainly livened things up, or it would have if the first show had any decent bands on it, the line-up harking back more to 1976 than the exciting year to come. Things have already got more exciting now with the Brit funk explosion, plus Kelly Marie with a single that barely scrapes into the chart but which we’ll hear almost as much as Feels Like I’m In Love.

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BBC4Stonehenge – A Timewatch Guide
Wednesday, 21.00, BBC4

Time for a new run of the programmes that are, basically, a history of history, delving into the Beeb archives to examine the topics that have kept historians and geologists fascinated for decades. An obvious first place to start, as even though it’s thousands of years old we’re consistently getting new theories as to why and how it exists.

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More 4Beatrix Potter with Patricia Routledge
Tuesday, 21.00, More4

“Peter Rabbit is a stupid book about a stupid rabbit who takes vegetables from other people’s gardens!” Ah, Peanuts. If Beatrix Potter had defied all medical science she’d be 150 this year, but now she’s no longer with us, it falls to Pat Routledge to go on a pilgrimage to all her old haunts to discover her inspirations.

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BBC2The Pallisers
Monday, 13.05, BBC2

Well, here we go again, and one day the Beeb will be able to get this series broadcast properly. As you’ll recall, the first transmission of this 26 part epic was in January 1974 where it unfortunately coincided with the three day week, so not only did it get next to no publicity in a truncated Radio Times, but it was also shuffled around the schedules during the era of early closedowns, and then just when the end was in sight there was a strike and they had to postpone the final half dozen episodes for six months. Two years ago we got it again in this slot but seemingly BBC2 had totally miscounted and had to fling some episodes out at 6am to get it finished. Fingers crossed we make it to the end here, as we get it again every day at this time, for this week at least.

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GoldBob Monkhouse On The Spot
Sunday, 21.00, Gold

This is a thoroughly enjoyable repeat run, not least for its brilliant collision between the old and new, so while it was almost certainly the last television series ever to give house room to Grace Kennedy, last week we also had Bob doing surely his first ever joke about the internet. And gags about tube strikes as well, taking on extra topicality this of all weeks.

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BBC Radio 4Utopias
Saturday, 20.00, BBC Radio 4

It’s been five hundred years since Thomas More published his book and the central concept continues to strike a chord with many people who look towards a perfect world where everyone lives in total peace and harmony. It’s perhaps a book more people have heard of than ever read, but Michael Symmons Roberts examines how it was written and then delves into the archives for utopian visions of the future from people including Tony Benn and Iain Banks.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Friday, 19.30, 01.20, BBC4

Not a clue how long these twice weekly repeats are going to last – accompanied by an omnibus late on Saturday night – but regardless we’re already in February and nearly at the end of Lennon’s iron grip on the top of the charts. One of his eventual replacements makes his debut in this one, while the rest of the line-up is hilariously eclectic, Dire Straits and Rainbow alongside Fred Wedlock.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 23.30, BBC4

We reckon the 1981 documentary and compilation were the best they’ve done so far, the former worth doing entirely for the fascinating sequence on the making of the titles, including the original footage which looked absolutely amazing! We don’t know why they bother repeatedly making new title sequences for the Christmas show when these still look fantastic, and they even appeared to be in HD. One other reason we’re delighted the repeats have carried on until 1981 is because earlier on in the run we saw Slade career down the dumper and we’re delighted we’re now able to see their triumphant return to the chart, alongside the great Susan Fassbender.

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