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
This time last year we were paying tribute to Mel Smith and sadly this Christmas we’re remembering another comic icon whose shattering death at far too young an age was one of the saddest stories of the year. It’s not too much of an exaggeration to say that Rik was possibly the most influential comedy star of the past thirty years, absolutely at the vanguard of the alternative comedy movement and a massive inspiration to virtually all those that followed. Among those paying tribute are Alexei Sayle and Michael Palin but not Ade who doesn’t want to. And to make it an extra special tribute, the Young Ones repeat after is the full 35 minutes and not one of those dodgy half hour edits we’ve seen in recent years.
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Points of View
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- In 'Treasure Houses', Narrowboat says: "It wasn’t just Stately Homes! There was also a programme on the Canals…. “You may wonder what I am doing here, without a Museum..."