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
The Mercury Prize has flitted between the Beeb and C4 in recent years, but it’s back on the Beeb now and this year’s result will be revealed live tonight. What we especially like about the prize is obviously that it’s still named after the defunct company that originally sponsored it, and we even wonder how many younger viewers even realise that it even was a sponsor and not just a fancy name, a bit like the Britannia Stadium and the Liberty Stadium. Anyway, after it’s announced we’ll be able to enjoy some previous winners, and decide whether it’s a great honour or a poisoned chalice.
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Points of View
- In 'Creamguide(Films) Commentaries: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom', Cinecamera33 says: "All the Indy movies follow George Lucas mentor Joseph Campbell’s somewhat Freudian..."
- In 'Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings', THX 1139 says: "When I was very little I was enchanted by this programme’s catchy theme tune, and would consider it a “life..."
- In 'Indoor League', THX 1139 says: "In most episodes you’d be lucky to see who won the matches, so easily distracted was the director. Judging by the amount of beer flowing, maybe..."
- In 'Horses Galore', Trev says: "Yep. Definitely Susan King (ah…tight jodhpurs,and sweaters!) The show had something to with horses, apparently. “Drake is a well developed..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Des E says: "And let’s not forget one2one, which was set up by Mercury in 1993 and whose ads used that glorious telephoney-rubber bandy tune by the Penguin..."