DECADE-ENHANCING COFFEE table staple by SUE TOWNSEND adapted reasonably, if rather needlessly, for the screen and starring GIAN SAMMARCO as the spotty, ‘thing’-obsessed adolescent nerd misunderstood by his parents, adored by his grandma and, of course, profoundly in love with Pandora, as Ian Dury’s rousing theme recited. Barely a script change, with much of it in monologue with Adrian in his bedroom, staring into the mirror while reading extracts from the diary. Beetroot-loving octogenarian bigot Bert Baxter provided a final role for BILL “ARMY GAME” FRASER, while the rest of the cast were spot on: JULIE WALTERS and STEPHEN MOORE as the hard-drinking, forever-rowing parents and BERYL REID as the thin-lipped, potty grandma. LINDSEY STAGG played Pandora, who wasn’t anywhere near as ravishable as we’d expected. Sequel THE GROWING PAINS… was also done, to lesser effect, mainly as Walters had been replaced by LULU, who just wasn’t as convincing as a woefully bad matriarch. Childbirth, running away from home, “touch her bust”, Falklands campaign maps, “we shall, we shall wear red socks”. Not at all bad. Sammarco played the character again, in all but name, in a bad run of high street bank adverts, winking at the cashier and everything. Has since vacated “public eye” radar screen.
TV CREAM SAYS: RUBBISH LATTERDAY BBC SEQUEL FOUND ADRIAN AS INCAPABLE CHEF
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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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