Creamguide

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BBC2The Secret History of Our Streets
Friday, 21.00, BBC2

Bit poor of BBC4 to let the side down as we were in with a chance of all four BBC channels featuring Glasgow at the same time. That’s because in addition to the Games on BBC1 and BBC3, here we’re taking a trip to Duke Street, Britain’s longest street and therefore fertile ground for plenty of stories about social history, not least how half of it was nearly knocked down a few decades ago.

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CBBCBlue Peter
Thursday, 17.30, CBBC

This week Creamguide took a trip to the new children’s TV exhibition at The Lowry in Salford and, given it’s free, we think it’s well worth a visit if you’re passing. What we liked especially is that there are big pictures and biogs of people like Biddy, Edward “Cravat” Barnes, Joy Whitby, Chris Bellinger et al on display and we’re delighted the off-screen personnel get just as much credit as the characters and shows they created. And don’t forget, just two minutes or so away, you can tie it in with a visit to the Blue Peter garden at MediaCityUK, which isn’t behind a fence or barrier so it truly is a garden for everyone and we were thrilled to be there. And in a week we’ve visited Blue Peter, the show itself visits one of our old stamping grounds with a show from the beach at Colwyn Bay.

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Channel 4This Old Thing – The Vintage Clothes Show
Wednesday, 20.00, Channel 4

We billed the first episode of this series and, given we’ve got nothing else to talk about today, we’ll rejoin Dawn and the gang for the last. We’ve watched them all in between, because it reminds us a bit of She’s Gotta Have It which we used to love, and they’ve been good fun, though we could do without the identical “what is vintage?” sequence that takes up the first five minutes or so of every episode, and we haven’t much cared for some of the people who’ve been made over. Still, a harmless hour of distraction is had by all.

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ITV56 Up
Tuesday, 21.00, ITV

Last part of this, second time round, and then we’ll have to wait and see if we join the new generation of kids at the age of 21 as we’re supposed to be later this year. If not we’ll certainly be back with this lot in 2019, and we very much look forward to that. Unless ITV, who still haven’t got round to showing a new drama since May and are absolutely going through the motions at the moment, completely collapse by then.

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BBC4Killer Storms and Cruel Winters – The History of Extreme Weather
Monday, 21.00, BBC4

Looks like we’re on for another hot summer, and while most of Britain has 1976 as the standard by which all summers are judged, Creamguide always remembers 1995, which was only a slight Easterly breeze away from breaking all kinds of records, and the heat sent us all so mad we all went nuts for a load of undistinguished Britpop. This documentary goers further back than that, though, to explain how wild weather has affected the country over the centuries.

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BBC Radio 4Betjeman’s Banana Blush
Sunday, 16.30, BBC Radio 4

He’s taking a break at the moment but Jarvis Cocker’s 6 Music shows have made for fascinating listening as he’s dug out all manner of obscurities. One of the records he’s played that generated the biggest response is the title of this programme, an LP from 1974 where the poet laureate read his verse over specially composed music by Jim Parker. The results are very intriguing and here Jarvis is going to find out how and why it all happened.

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BBC Radio 2Pick of the Pops
Saturday, 13.00, BBC Radio 2

1979 here, but of course on BBC4 we’re a few weeks ahead so some of the tracks Tony plays will have been and gone from our perspective, though there’s a chance to hear the likes of Born To Be Alive, Babylon’s Burning and Morning Dance which got pretty short shrift due to the various dropped shows. Then it’s the music that accompanied the last Scottish Commonwealth Games (plus Creamguide’s holiday to West Wales, fact fans) this week in 1986.

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BBC4Northern Soul – Living For The Weekend
Friday, 21.30, BBC4

Ian Levine’s back on the telly! But don’t worry, he’s not getting angry about missing episodes but talking about his other specialist subject. Northern Soul has to be one of the most exciting of all genres and the culture behind it is absolutely fascinating, with fans dancing for hours on end and many of the stars behind its biggest records being rescued from total obscurity.

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BBC4Top of the Pops
Thursday, 19.30, 01.30, BBC4

Well, here’s something we didn’t expect to be billing so soon because, as we mentioned last time, thanks to a couple of unbroadcastable episodes and a strike we’re now over a month ahead with this episode from 30th August. There are Proms scheduled for the next few Thursdays so surely this is the cue to give it a bit of a rest. Still, we’re actually pretty pleased to see this one turn up because it’s a good one, although it appears the studio debut of a very famous star is relegated to the late show. Of course, by this point ITV had long packed up so the show was enjoying its highest ever ratings, Secret Affair playing to an audience of around fifteen million people.

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BBC1Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony
Wednesday, 20.00, BBC1

And away we go, now without some tower blocks being blown up but we’re sure it’s going to be an entertaining affair. Brilliantly the Beeb have decided that they had so much fun in the Olympics they fancy doing it all again so as of tomorrow morning it’s on BBC1 non-stop from morning to midnight, with ‘stEnders and Holby punted over to BBC2 again, and BBC3 on air all day, just as it was two years ago. OK, so maybe it’s not quite as prestigious as that event, but any opportunity for a huge TV spectacle we’re going to jump at.

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ITV56 Up
Tuesday, 21.00, ITV

Used to be that BBC1 was always endless repeats in the summer while ITV would have a decent supply of new shows, but it’s quite the reverse these days and at 9pm on the light channel this week it’s repeats five nights out of seven, and we still haven’t had any new drama outside the soaps since long before the World Cup began. We wouldn’t mind so much if all the repeats were as good as this.

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BBC Radio 2Lulu’s Musical Map of Glasgow
Monday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

Not the last you’ll hear about this city this week, and indeed Ken Bruce is doing his show from his hometown later this week, 28 years after he covered the last Commonwealth Games in Scotland for Radio 2. We’ve never much cared for Lulu, to be honest, not least thanks to her dreadful presentation of the notorious Red Alert where she came across as pretty frosty, but she might be more endearing here as she nips back to her old stomping ground and recalling the first records she made at the age of eight.

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GoldMonty Python Live – One Down, Five To Go
Sunday, 19.30, Gold

We suppose if you’ve shelled out for tickets to this show, especially the final night which is apparently the last time they’ll ever perform, you might get a bit fed up it’s being shown live on television, but at least we all get the chance to see what should be, unless they change their mind when someone waves a load more money under their noses, a properly significant moment in comedy history. Recent Python reunions have left us a bit cold but, from what we’ve heard, this show has been pretty good, and although the vast majority is routines we all know backwards, they do them really well and apparently they’re having a whale of a time while they’re about it. There’s also some live backstage stuff from seven and of course it’ll massively overrun.

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BBC Radio 2Pick of the Pops
Saturday, 13.00, BBC Radio 2

Apparently Tony’s only featured 1957 three times on this programme and two of those have been the same week. 1961 is the first hour this week which normally we’d bristle at but because the weather’s so nice we intend to recreate the moment we had a few summers back when we ended up listening to Tony introducing pop standards while eating a fish and chip dinner and it felt like we were in a seaside boarding house. After that it’s 1980, a bit of a blind spot for us musically as it coincides with the Pops strike.

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BBC4The Joy of the Guitar Riff
Friday, 21.00, BBC4

“Great guitar coming up! Guitar break of a lifetime! Mister Jeff Beck! I’m in heaven!” The history of the riff does seem to be a rather esoteric subject for an hour of television so it’s perhaps not surprising that it’s not really about that but about guitars in rock in general, apparently, though that’s worth doing and with Brian May, Nile Rodgers, Johnny Marr and Tony Iommi contributing, they’re not messing around. Then it’s a compilation, though you will have to sit through the rest of the songs as well.

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BBC1Boycotts and Broken Dreams – The Story of the 1986 Commonwealth Games
Thursday, 22.35, BBC1 Scotland

This time next week we’ll be well into the Commonwealth Games which we’re sure will be a top class and well-organised event. That’s rather different to the last time the Games were held in Scotland, that time in Edinburgh, 28 years ago, which turned out to be something of a disaster. First of all the organisers ran out of money and in their desperation for funds allowed the event to be hijacked by Robert Maxwell who got all the publicity despite contributing next to nothing. Then more than half the countries boycotted it so its quality as a sporting spectacle was rather compromised and sometimes medals seemed to be given out for just turning up. To add insult to injury, it then pissed it down non-stop. On the plus side, though, it did give us another delightful bit of Stewart Morris talkback. It’s a fascinating story, as this programme will demonstrate.

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Sky Arts 1Hollywood Singing and Dancing
Wednesday, 21.00, Sky Arts 1

This appears to have been on for a couple of weeks, but we’re only alighting on it now in lieu of anything more interesting. We’re not actually sure what it entails and it would appear to be mostly clips of old films, but we’ve reached the seventies and that means the chance to see all those clips of Grease BBC4 didn’t have the cash to show on the Pops repeats last year. Not that you won’t have seen them elsewhere, natch.

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ITV56 Up
Tuesday, 21.00, ITV

This year we should be getting 21 Up 2000, the third instalment of the reboot of this series which started at the turn of the century, though we’ve certainly not heard anything about it and the last one, seven years ago, was quietly flung out on a Sunday teatime. We do recall all the kids were really well-adjusted and happy at fourteen, though, which while pleasing doesn’t perhaps make for the most scintillating television. The original’s still going strong, of course, although obviously this isn’t a new instalment but the last encounter from two years ago, and if they’ve got an awkward gap to fill we can think of many worse things to see again.

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BBC Radio 2Harold Bradley – The World’s Biggest Unknown Guitarist
Monday, 22.00, BBC Radio 2

Last week’s Motown documentary illustrated just what a production line sessioneering was in those days, the Funk Brothers having a full-time job performing on several records a week, though even their workrate pales into insignificance alongside Harold Bradley who it’s reckoned has played on thirteen thousand records, and inevitably worked with more or less the entire contents of The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles. Now he’s 88 and finally gets his name in lights as he reflects on his career.

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BBC4A Century in Film – From Scotland With Love
Sunday, 21.00, BBC4

A momentous year for Scotland, with a big sporting event next week and then the big vote in September. Preceding that is this film by Virginia Heath which aims to sum up how life in the nation has changed over the past hundred years via a wealth of fascinating and previously unseen archive footage, eschewing commentary in favour of a specially composed soundtrack by King Creosote, and apparently it’s a fantastic piece of work.

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