LONG-RUNNING PROMOTIONAL campaign for the Guinness family and, for most of its existence, the only place you’d see 80-year-olds on children’s telly. ROY “OOPS! ANOTHER SOFT CENTRE!” CASTLE was your tapping, trumpetty host, with NORRIS (and, originally, IRA murder victim twin brother ROSS) McWHIRTER as the Book-compiling know-it-all foil. Never-changing menu: sketches, reports, McWhirter-retention testing ‘Norris on the Spot’ round (which always went: ROY: “Have you got a question for Norris?” KID: “What’s the biggest fish?” NOZZA: “Well, I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that there’s a leopard in Africa that can run faster than a motorcycle”) and closing performance of Castle’s ‘Dedication’, replete with parping jazz tapestries of sound. Everything linked by twangy-ruler sound and pop art animated stings. Numerous obsessions included Precious MacKenzie (miniscule car-lifter), that Rhodesian bus that bent in the middle, and endless domino toppling attempts in a Japanese warehouse (Cue Roy: “The next morning the team returned to a horrific sight. All the stacking they had done the day before had collapsed due to a small earthquake in the area. Japan is noted for its frequent earth tremors…”) with waterfalls, rockets, Mona Lisa reproductions etc. Roy essayed numerous record breaking attempts of his own, including wing-walking across the English Channel (eh?), throwing himself off the top of Blackpool Tower and hoofing around Television Centre (see THE ALL-STAR RECORD BREAKERS). Show went downhill the minute assistants and sidekicks started showing up, including FIONA KENNEDY, MARK CURRY, CHERYL BAKER, KRIS AKABUSI and worse of all RON REAGAN JUNIOR, the Gipper’s very own son. Death knell sounded in 1998 when another moaning athlete took over and immediately insisted it be rebranded – for shame! – Linford’s Record Breakers.
Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Thursday, 17.30, CBBC
News this week that Blue Peter are launching a new badge to encourage participation in sport was accompanied in the press release by the more interesting news to us that this programme’s now got a new editor, one Ewan Vinnicombe. We’ll put aside our disappointment at not being headhunted to take the job ourselves and wish him all the best, although research suggests he doesn’t appear to be on Twitter, thus seemingly preventing us from being able to bend his ear and directly influence Blue Peter policy. Meanwhile, last week’s episode came in its entirety from the garden, showing off that it’s quite a versatile space and, despite the fact there’s a tram stop right next to it and a tram appeared to arrive during the programme, is actually quite quiet. The tranquillity of Salford, there.
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Points of View
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