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
Turns out the Cilla drama, which continues tonight at nine, has been a smash hit, because it works as a nice bit of sixties nostalgia and of course the actual Cilla isn’t in at any point which perhaps makes it a bit more palatable. She’s definitely in this, though, the Paul O’Grady-fronted show from last year which was important enough to move News at Ten.
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Points of View
- In '37) “You should stay at home!” ', Morgan says: "Given that the whole of Southern England was, like TV Centre, in darkness, it’s hard to imagine who was able to..."
- In 'Origami', David Bally says: "Actually the presenter of origami was british magician and author Robert Harbin. Richard Hittleman (correct spelling) was the American presenter of Yoga..."
- In 'Soldiers Talking, Cleanly', Wul says: "I saw this. I was a squadie at the time. It was spot on about the military politics of the period, and quite funny; especially the last couple..."
- In 'Opportunity Knocks', Philip mcGovern says: "Peter, I have no real idea how these things work but I stumbled across “st Kevin’s Choir” and came across your notes...."
- In 'Home taping ', Richard M White says: "Thankfully I have managed to acquire 100s of original recordings of the old chart shows but am always looking for more. I’m also writing a..."