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.
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
A full house for your PoV bingo card last week with this series’ first suggestion of launching a BBC sport channel, yet again failing to explain why they wouldn’t then launch a BBC soap channel, comedy channel and everything else, and then just have a blank screen on BBC1 for most of the day. Now we’ve covered the bases, not sure where this run has left to go.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Gerry Dorrian says: "I don’t object to what the BBC wants to do, I merely object to being forced to pay through the nose to fund it with next to no say on its..."
- In 'Knowing Me, Knowing You… With Alan Partridge', Applemask says: "It’s happening. Deal with it."
- In 'The Collins Cream-ish Dictionary', Paul Bovey says: "Apparently, the “Hah, huh…hoouurgh” in ‘Mama’ was ‘influenced’ by Melle Mel’s cackle in the..."
- In 'Ripcord', Lina B. Umpierre says: "I’m so glad TGG’s bringing the two seasons of “Ripcord” on DVD sets for sale that I’ll jump for joy! Geronimo!"
- In 'Organist Entertains, The', Applemask says: "I didn’t know Nigel Ogden was Metalunan. His show’s still piss-irritating though."