Scene: a Stanley Baxter ITV Christmas special in the mid 1980s. The expensive film parody is The Jewel in the Crown. Posh Old Empire Duffer (Stanley Baxter) confronts an Indian mystic (Stanley Baxter, plus dubbin). “I say, what’s your name?” “Please sir, my name is Page!” “Page? Odd name for a soothsayer, what?” “Oh, yes. I am Page the Oracle!” That’s how far the advertising slogan of ITV’s Ceefax-beating text service had penetrated popular consciousness. Paging the Oracle (the name supposedly stood for Optional Reception of Announcements by Coded Line Electronics, but if that’s not a classic case of retro-fitting words into a nice-sounding acronym we don’t know what is) brought you the wonders of magazine show Live at Five, teen section Buzz (featuring Debbie’s Diary!) and the semi-legendary endless text soap opera Park Avenue. Oh, and endless flashing double-height captions urging you to book a Thomas Cook holiday while places last. Until, that is, it was canned at the end of 1992 to make way for the imaginatively titled ITV Teletext.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Is there a more influential figure in radio comedy in the last quarter of a century than Chris Morris? Certainly at a time when comedians are talked up as being outrageous but end up simply running through increasingly tedious tropes, Morris’ shows certainly seemed to have a real sense of danger about them, not least when he was live on Radio 1 and creating genuinely shocking and unsettling pieces of broadcasting. You’ll hear some of it in this three hour miscellany which we’re sure will be absolutely fascinating. The one thing we don’t like so much about Morris is how he doesn’t talk about himself enough, because we would have loved commentaries on the Day Today DVD and there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have done them, he’s clearly a massively intelligent and engaging figure and they would have been fascinating. Inevitably he doesn’t contribute here, though many of his associates including Messers Banyham and Iannucci do.
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Points of View
- In 'Hope and Keen’s Crazy House/Bus', Kev says: "…and not forgetting the end title song “Crazy Bus you’ve found another clue We’ll be back again another..."
- In 'Creamvote #6 The most unforgettable sports theme!', Richard16378 says: "The Grandstand theme was also used an American programme about rollercoasters narrated by Vincent Price, which..."
- In 'Creamvote #6 The most unforgettable sports theme!', THX 1139 says: "Had to be World of Sport because that’s the only one I watched, though it was always worth tuning in to Ski..."
- In 'Carrie’s War', Will O'Cary says: "I think the account above (“UBIQUITOUS SCHOOL reading homework…”) was written on the school bus the morning after..."
- In 'Creamvote #5 The most unforgettable kids’ factual show theme!', Dan Pearce says: "As much as find it hard to vote for the traitors’ channel, it has to be Magpie. I have..."