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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Yes, again, though while this one doesn’t match in quality last night’s episode, it’s certainly fascinating because there’s another strike on! That means again we wheel out the videos and repeats, though it’s been intriguing to see how the links have progressed, from Peter Powell out of vision in a toilet through to Simon Bates with the Rubik’s Cube and some fake applause. This time we make use of the magic of CSO to make it look a bit more like Tommy Vance is standing in a proper studio, though it’s still quite obvious, especially when we’ve seen more or less all the clips several times before. Still, a bit of a novelty, isn’t it?
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Points of View
- In 'Potty Time, Michael Bentine’s', Scott McPhee says: "The obligatory Christmas episode. Jingle Bells parody; “Oh what fun it is to ride in a super sonic sleigh.”"
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Yes, that’s right, he is. Australia is a small world."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "It sounds like it’s worth writing a feature on the rise of stand-up comedy over the last 20 or so years."
- In 'Play School', David Smith says: "Don Spencer is also, in one of my favourite pieces of telly trivia, Russell Crowe’s father-in-law."
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Don Spencer is “Australia’s No 1 Children’s Entertainer” A. Because he took permanent residence in Australia. B. He’s..."