IT MAY SOUND STUPID, but it’s true – when we were young we thought Flo was the most glamorous person we’d ever seen. Growing up in the suburbs, we tended not to see many people who looked like she did, especially at a time when most chilldren’s TV presenters seemed to take fashion tips from our school teachers. Flo brought her own special brand of “black joy” to PLAY SCHOOL in the early 1980s, and proved to be a dab hand at dealing with Humpty and Jemima, and singing songs about wibbly wobbly worms. As we’re seeing, for a time every Play School presenter had to then front their own series, and in Flo’s case this was kids sketch show FAST FORWARD (“And now… Jo-kahs!”), alongside Andrew “Five Alive” Secombe, Joanna “gorgeous brunette” Munro, the great Nick “George Costanza” Wilton and later, Robert “Satellite Show” Harley. A recent viewing of an episode of this series proves that it wasn’t actually that bad, although it did have about a thousand writers and the end credits went on for hours. Later too Flo presented LAY ON FIVE, which we can’t remember much about other than the fact Stanley Unwin always seemed to be on it, and that theme tune. Adult TV followed – well, a couple of months on DAYTIME LIVE, at least – before defecting from the Beeb, opening up the TREEHOUSE on Channel Four and penning the ‘Go With Flo!’ column in the TV Times for a while. She’s now chairperson of the BAFTA jury, bizarrely, so she’s responsible for giving THE OFFICE a million undeserved awards each year. Grr. Most memorably, of course, she used to get her son Aston on whatever show she was doing, and we kind of feel we’ve grown up with him. Oh, and she wrote a book, “Floella’s Fabulous Bright Ideas”, which we’ve got a copy of (“For Aston”).
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
For the first time in a while, two consecutive episodes, so it’s a completely different line-up to the last time and some belated debuts for Ian Dury and Sham 69 who we’d have otherwise seen two weeks ago, in a classic Pops juxtaposition with another Cilla flop and the first appearance of a record that, even skipping all the Savile and Travis episodes, you’re going to hear a hell of lot over the next few months.
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Points of View
- In 'Sixty Minutes', Applemask says: "Complete failure on the graphic designers’ part to make the letter S look like the number 60."
- In 'Xerxes', Applemask says: "Xerxes himself is now the founding leader of the pro-prohibition Liquor Party, who came thirteenth in the last Swedish General Election. Good fact."
- In 'Jonny Briggs', Applemask says: "Could never understand a word these Northern people were saying. Nothing to do with Mike Baldwin either."
- In 'Jimmy Will Fix It', Applemask says: "Jim’ll Fuck It"
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Gerry Dorrian says: "He was a classic on TotP with the girls, wasn’t he?"