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.
TVC on Twitter
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
No Mastermind this week, and not much else very interesting to be honest, hence the umpteenth appearance in Creamguide this year for this as part of an evening of familiar repeats. As we know, ABBA at the BBC isn’t really anything of the sort, just a load of ABBA videos and more of less the entirety of Disco In The Snow. Still, the music’s nice.
Subscribe to Creamguide
Points of View
- In 'Magnum PI', Ol says: "“What was their relationship?” masters was bumming magnum, obviously."
- In 'The Children’s Film Foundation', David says: "http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/GEHEIMSACHE-FuNF-FIVE-CL UES-TO-FORTUNE-GB-1957-CHILDRENS-FILM-FOUNDATIO..."
- In 'RADCLIFFE, Mark', Eight Ace says: "I stopped listening to R1 the minute the Mark and Lard shows finished."
- In 'Dukes of Hazzard, The', Austin Maxi says: "Closing titles usually played over a scene of Rosco’s police cruiser chasing the General Lee Dodge Charger round and round some..."
- In 'Life Without George', Austin Maxi says: "‘Everywhere you look it’s two by two, everyone’s got someone, save for you!’ as the theme song told us...."