“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
Wow! We have absolutely no idea why BBC4 are showing this but we’re absolutely thrilled they are. Val’s Christmas Eve show actually started fairly late in his telly career, in 1983, but it then became a tradition for the next six years, continuing after his regular weekly show had ended, like the annual for a comic that had folded. Of course, the whole format was just a straight rip-off of what Perry Como was doing on American telly but Val did it so well and with so much charm it suited him down to the ground. This is the 1986 edition, possibly picked as among the delights are a singing Jan Leeming, but whichever one they chose we’d have looked forward to it, because we think Val is great. Stay tuned after for Michael Grade’s history of Saturday night telly too.
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Points of View
- In '1990', Applemask says: "The Only Fools and Horses episode is also notable for being “Rodney Come Home”, one of the most relentlessly bleak programmes ever to be broadcast..."
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- In 'The six worst TV Times Christmas covers', TV Cream says: "Des, you’re right! Fixed the date."
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