“TO BE HONEST,” they would proclaim, “the fuss that is sometimes made when we’re playing the theatres scares us. It’s like The Beatles.” The Bootleg Beatles, that is. Walking (just) embodiment of what went wrong with comedy in the 80s, now born-again Christians but still happy to lap it up at the Blackpool Winter Gardens. Enjoyed astonishing exposure off the back of amusingly failed appearances on BRUCE FORSYTH’S BIG NIGHT doing sub-sub-sub Morecambe and Wise variety with a curly-haired noisy little sod with braces (“Rock on, Tommy!”) and tall dull stooge. Own show weirdly mutated into a sitcom for a bit, then ended up – oh god – Cannon And Ball’s Casino with a young Steve Coogan cashing his chips. Not the nadir, though; that was spin-off film The Boys In Blue, done ten years after ITV spin-off films had a) stopped being funny and b) just stopped. An appearance in 2000 on J** D*******’s Generation Game was arduous: Cannon sings song “for all the ladies and gentlemen here tonight”, Ball accompanies on toy trumpet, Cannon gets gradually more agitated with Ball’s erratic behaviour, audience sympathises with Ball… They hadn’t learned.
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Thanks heavens for Frank filling up some otherwise barren days in the early part of this week. This sounds the most interesting of the various programmes marking his centenary as it looks at Frank when he was down the dumper in the early fifties, when he was having a tough time financially, romantically and professionally. As we’ll hear tomorrow, it all worked out OK in the end but in the meantime here’s the story of how he trudged around Britain performing in front of not especially enthralled audiences, interspersed with a couple of appearances on the Beeb.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Darthflanflinger says: "I used to stumble in late to Simon Frith’s seminars at the University of Strathclyde, reeking of chicken pakora that I used to buy at..."
- In 'Insight', Scott McPhee says: "Another segment on Insight was ‘Joe’s Gang’. The only thing I remember from this, was how Joe and his friends helped out an elderly..."
- In 'Only Fools and Horses', Richard Davies says: "It drifted a little into drama with the 50 minute episodes & annual extended specials, but the quality of the series was there right..."
- In 'Only Fools and Horses', Barbersmith says: "If this had finished after series four it would stand up there with the greatest sitcoms ever. Sadly, it didn’t. Mawkish, over-long,..."
- In 'One Man and his Dog', Barbersmith says: "Absolutely spot on Jim."