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
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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Points of View
- In 'Ripcord', Lina B. Umpierre says: "As the late Larry Pennell (* Uniontown, Pennsylvania, United States of America/February 21, 1928 – + ?/August 28, 2013) as the colorful and..."
- In 'Ripcord', Lina B. Umpierre says: "Mental note: If you really want to parachute and/or skydive, just remember always the audacious and brave “Ripcord” men, Ted McKeever..."
- In 'Ripcord', Lina B. Umpierre says: "This is the most danger-packed adventure show on television of the early 1960s ever made. Every jump and aerial maneuver are real, photographed..."
- In 'Perils of Penelope Pitstop, The', THX 1139 says: "How come the Anthill Mob all sat in the front seat of their car, piled up on top of one another? Chugaboom had plenty of room for..."
- In 'TV Cream’s perfect Eurovision line-up', George White says: "Twink, Maxi’s partner is an annoying Irish comedienne/singer/presenter, who has become known for being drunk..."