CANINE AND company for the wind-hewn, welly-bound well-to-do. While bunking off from Television Centre one day, BBC producer Philip Gilbert decided to spend a day attending a pissing-it-down agricultural show in Northumberland. Inspired, it seems, by the sight of an authentic sheepdog trial, he became gripped with the desire to put the whole thing on telly, despite the rituals of the handlers and their faithful Border Collies boasting less dynamism than a still-life painting. So ONE MAN AND HIS DOG was born, with presenting duties handled by bluff, hang-the-bastards countryman PHIL DRABBLE and learned boffin ERIC HALSALL. Buried in the traditionally healthy slot of early Sunday evenings the show flourished and ran for ages. The team mutated through a line-up that included RAY OLLERENSHAW, 12-year Chairman of the International Sheep Dog Society, and GUS DEMODY. Drabble relinquished his role after a marathon 18 years, giving way to latterday anti-licence fee campaigner ROBIN PAGE. It was MARK THOMPSON, in one of his last acts as BBC2 Controller, who called time on the whole ridiculous roustabout, prompting the inevitable hysterical outrage and the ever-reliable wheeze of questions being asked in parliament. For a time it was rumoured Sky One was ostensibly considering launching its own version, titled, inevitably, “Sky One Man and His Dog”. Dermody fumed: “I have had complaints from farmers who have said they could not watch it on a Saturday afternoon because they are working,” perhaps somewhat overlooking the ubiquity of the everyday video recorder. Nonetheless, one-off specials still turn up unexpectedly, like a pile of horse shit in a spotless field.
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Jess Cully writes, “Nicki French was certainly our singer the last time the Contest was held in Sweden, but the host city then was Stockholm. The Contest is huge in Sweden and none of its major cities would be allowed to hog the Contest by hosting it twice in a row, hence the choice of Malmo this year. If Sweden wins it again in the near future, expect us to be either back in Stockholm or in Gothenburg.” Indeed, but even though we’ve not enjoyed it quite so much since the Beeb stopped making the scoreboard and got its logo on it every few minutes, we’re still there ready to enjoy the spectacle, and it seems like Graham Norton, for our money probably the best light entertainment presenter on TV at the moment, has been doing this forever.
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Points of View
- In 'Knowing Me, Knowing You… With Alan Partridge', Applemask says: "It’s happening. Deal with it."
- In 'The Collins Cream-ish Dictionary', Paul Bovey says: "Apparently, the “Hah, huh…hoouurgh” in ‘Mama’ was ‘influenced’ by Melle Mel’s cackle in the..."
- In 'Ripcord', Lina B. Umpierre says: "I’m so glad TGG’s bringing the two seasons of “Ripcord” on DVD sets for sale that I’ll jump for joy! Geronimo!"
- In 'Organist Entertains, The', Applemask says: "I didn’t know Nigel Ogden was Metalunan. His show’s still piss-irritating though."
- In 'YOUNG, Jimmy', Applemask says: "It wasn’t enforced at all. He said he was retiring, then changed his mind, but they’d already hired his replacement."