THE BRITISH Film Institute’s attempt to get a snapshot of What We Watch, and an absolutely stunning one at that. Genius premise: anyone and everyone gets invited to keep a diary of what TV they saw on Tuesday 1st November 1988, including telly professionals and bigwigs. Meanwhile cameras follow life at all the main networks, film shoots and studios around the UK. The result: an achingly of-the-moment account in words and pictures of the state of the crystal bucket. ANNE DIAMOND crossing a picket line. JEREMY PAXMAN on a bike. GORDON HONEYCOMBE slagging off NICHOLAS WITCHELL (“Twatchell!”). The wrong guest turning up on BREAKFAST TIME. “I do wish CAROL DOOLEY wouldn’t block the South-East corner of the UK with her body and dangling objects.” People on OPEN AIR complaining about the previous night’s PAUL DANIELS Halloween special. CHERYL BAKER eating “some pernicious-looking green balls”. “LUCKY LADDERS is a game show that is cheap television at its worst, but watchable.” FIONA ARMSTRONG singing the virtues of Border Television’s NEW COUNTRY. NIGEL HAWTHORNE moaning about being filmed rehearsing YES PRIME MINISTER. STEPHEN FRY throwing up. “I think we are talking about THE GENERATION GAME”. ESTHER RANTZEN brainstorming ideas for HEARTS OF GOLD. Meerkats. “WHAT’S YOUR STORY was good and I phoned up about 50 times but didn’t get through”. MIKE NEVILLE giggling. Cliff singing ‘Wired For Sound’ on WOGAN. “It is good to see that NOEL EDMONDS has bounced back.” MARTYN LEWIS singing JOHN BIRT’s praises. “I was a bit disappointed with the pullover of question master DAVID COLEMAN.” And GARY WILMOT celebrating his 8th wedding anniversary.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Very soon on BBC4 we’ll be hearing two of the best singles of 1979 courtesy of Sparks, and wonderfully Ron and Russell are still going strong to this day, forty years after their first hit. They’re another act who were far more popular here in the UK than in their home country, as we took the pair to our hearts and made them proper pop stars even though they were one of the oddest acts you’ll ever see. Given they’ve just released a new greatest hits album which we think is the first time all their best stuff across all their albums has been on one record (though it doesn’t have Now That I Own The BBC on it, alas), it’s the perfect occasion for Stuart Maconie to pay tribute with a host of celebrity fans.
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Points of View
- In 'Dimbleby’s exit poll: what’s behind the BBC’s election selection?', Applemask says: "To be fair, Pebble Mill literally had cancer."
- In 'Tiswas', Paul Hughes says: "Great article about a great show, but it’s a shame there’s no mention of Matthew Butler, the little lad who used to sing Bright Eyes dressed..."
- In 'Pages from Ceefax', Mick says: "BBC Micro graphics ordered to resemble mid-70s resolutions and typeset for in-computer compatibility using bolt-on tuner. Interesting case of..."
- In 'Paddington', Mick says: "When Mr. Curry barges into the family’s new ‘shedna’ to hog its maiden voyage, Paddington pours snow down the chimney in well-deserved..."
- In 'Five to Eleven', Mick says: "Well, come on, it made me think. Titles came on, I’d say ‘Right, nearly lunchtime’."