If your dog is in the room, we do not consider this a suitable listings guide for him or her
Hullo and welcome to another edition of The Cream Guide. Lots to get through this week, starting with a hearty congratulations to Kev Binson, who we’re delighted to announce is Creamguide’s thousandth subscriber! Congratulations Kev, and we hope you enjoy it. Kev’s “prize” is to get his name in this bit – well, we know everyone does in that personalised first sentence, but Kev’s name is in all of them.
In other news, Chris Lepkowski wrote in the other week and asked if we were on Twitter. Well, TV Cream has been on it for a while, of course, at @tvcream, but we’ve now started putting Creamguide Picks of the Day on there as well. Yes, that’s another format in which we’ll be recycling the same half a dozen gags, but we hope you might find it useful at some point, and it’s another forum, alongside email@example.com in which you can pull us up on our cock-ups.
Speaking of which, Tim Worthington dredges up that notorious Jon P’twee slip-up again by saying, “Actually, the P’twee/Who/1985 thing did work in a way, for that was the year that TV’s erstwhile Noodle Doodle Man put forward his unsolicited solution to the ‘Cancellation Crisis’ – namely that he should come back and be Doctor Who again. Though how that would have fitted in with his constant carping about the show not being as good now as when he worked on it I don’t know.”
Saturday 1st October
19.05 Doctor Who
Strictly and Who is a brilliant combination but sadly it’s something we normally only have once a year. But here’s Christmas Day three months early, and we do hope Brucie comes up with a suitable gag for proceedings. Last week’s was a lot of fun, we thought, surely the nearest thing Who gets to sitcom but jolly funny and endearing with it, while this is the last one, of course, and we quite like how the whole series, which we reckon has been pretty ace, all told, is going to be rounded up in a single episode, because these climaxes can sometimes be a bit overcooked. And best credit ever – “Bill Turnbull – Himself”.
18.30 Dad’s Army
Now serving as a tribute to David Croft, who sadly died this week, and in a way it’s appropriate it’s marked with a normal workaday episode of this series rather than one of the famous ones because if there’s one great skill Croft had it was his remarkable consistency, penning and producing dozens of high quality episodes of his shows a year – and he was combining writing, directing and producing years before it became the done thing as well.
19.00 Frost on Nixon
One of the most interesting things about The Nixon Interviews was that in effect Frost had to set up his own network in the USA as none of the major networks were interested so he approached all the affiliates individually to pick them up. There’s more about how they all came to be in the Frost/Bakewell interview here, in a programme that also includes the Watergate interview in its entirety, Then after QI it’s the film of the play of the show, which is very good and not just because it’s a Hollywood film that includes a scene set in the LWT canteen, although on the negative side it does actually make you quite like John Birt.
BBC Radio 2
13.00 Pick of the Pops
Dave Lloyd says, “Can’t believe you don’t mention the Vintage Top 40 on BBC local radio on Sundays. Set in it’s original time slot, original Jam jingles and featuring two charts over the two hours it is a highlight of the week. Pity I can’t get it on Radio Merseyside, but in this era getting Radio Devon who carry it is no problem.” We’re afraid we can’t tell you what the “surprise” was here last week as we, er, didn’t listen to it, but Tony’s still here and it’s still playing two old charts so it can’t have been that sensational. Happy memories for Tony this week anyway with a flashback to Radio 1 opening week in 1967, then 1982 when Radio 1 marked how much they’d progressed in those fifteen years by hosting a birthday concert with performances from The Swinging Blue Jeans and The Merseybeats.
BBC Radio 4
20.00 The Oldest Music Hall
A tribute to the Leeds City Varieties, notable as one of the greatest examples of the music halls of the Edwardian era, and now open again after refurbishment, but most famous as home of The Good Old Days for its entire three decade lifespan. Paul Merton’s having a nose and speaking to the likes of Doddy and Roy Hudd, something of an expert on the halls, although he always said that people used to ask him a lot about his memories of Dan Leno and he had to remind them he died in 1902.
Sunday 2nd October
17.00 Points of View
Half an hour?!?! But don’t worry, we don’t think it’s a permanent thing for this new series, but because this is a special occasion as it’s fifty years old this month. It hasn’t been broadcasting for the entire half century, mind, it was off for most of the seventies for a start, but we suppose it’s nice that such a slight and whimsical series is still going today, no matter how bloody annoying it can get, and how it’s not a patch on the Anne Golden Age with her firm but fair approach to Them Upstairs, when viewers’ stupid comments were rightly mocked. We might get some decent clippage, anyway.
17.30 Songs of Praise
A very fertile month for new series, October 1961, as here’s the second fiftieth anniversary show, although of course this has been celebrating for the last few weeks. This one’s the least interesting of the birthday shows as, well, they’re just going to sing some hymns, but that is the remit, we suppose, and we’re pleased to know they’re doing it even though we’re not going to watch it.
23.10 Curb Your Enthusiasm
“Everyone hates balls! Who wants to see balls?” We were a bit distracted last week, as we always are when British actors turn up in American series and we spend the entire show wondering where we might have seen them before, and it turns out that Jan Anderson, for it was she, was in Casualty for five years, so that was a hell of a career move for her. That distraction livened up what seemed a pretty contrived episode, but it was still amusing enough to put off all thoughts of Monday morning for another half hour.
Monday 3rd October
16.30 Blue Peter
You’d have to say that the opening to the new series, with Helen arriving in a helicopter and Barney by jetski, was terrifically exciting, and MediaCity looks like it could be a useful facility for them in terms of what they can get up to outside. Inside the set looked rather nice – we like those big posters of Helen, Barney and Other Barney – though what was most intriguing was that on Tuesday they didn’t play music during the studio bits, which hasn’t normally happened in recent years, and it all seemed very quiet and empty, which was quite nice in its own way. The non-appearance of the book this year has made more of an impact than we thought it would, mostly from people who probably didn’t even know they were still doing a book, though apparently they’re hoping to do one next year, and it’s going to be two hosts for the foreseeable future, not least as those titles would probably be a bugger to change. On the plus side, it means Helen can’t leave for ages.
Stuart Maconie said that Cool Britannia officially started at six o’clock on Monday 14th August 1995 when Blur vs Oasis turned up on the news and ended at ten o’clock on Wednesday 26th June 1996 when Gareth Southgate missed his penalty. Certainly an era involving Kulashaker being popular seems long ago enough to justify co-opting it into the Cream era, so away we go…
TFI FRIDAY (1996-2000)
BEADLE’S ABOUT (1986-96)
Everyone’s talking about…
A bad year for British comedy this year with the deaths of Leslie Crowther, Beryl Reid, Michael Bentine and Willie Rushton, as well as an American comedy giant in George “Gonzo fiddles while George” Burns. Jon P’twee passed away just days before the revival began, while we also lost Gene Kelly, Juliet Prowse, Bob Paisley, Tiny Tim, Tupac and the jazz legend Elephants Gerald.
Show of the year
Let’s go there now!
If it’s 1996, we have to bring you the best thing on telly that year, the lottery machine breaking down, Lord Bob’s finest hour. We’ve also got a look ahead to Easter Saturday, and the beginning and the end of Match of the Day on the last day of that season. Here’s some TFI as well, an early Damon Albarn interview and, when the show appeared to be the national talking point, Jarvis Cocker the following week.
Tuesday 4th October
16.30 Blue Peter
Yes, this was the last thing we billed before The Time Tunnel. It was a quiet Monday. Anyway, onto the appeal and some may be disappointed in that they’re simply piggy-backing on another appeal, as the money raised is going to Children in Need, with the cash presumably enveloped in the huge CiN total on the night, which makes it seem less special. In any case they do want us to raise it in a particular way, in this case having bake sales, which we suppose is a decent enough twist on the old bring and buy template, although as ever we’re a bit annoyed when they do appeals like this because it means adults can’t join in. Well, you could go to a sale, we suppose, if you know any kids, but what are us childless ABC1 professionals supposed to do, eh? That section of the audience is in grave danger of being disenfranchised.
21.00 Cruise of the Gods
22.30 Mark Lawson Talks To Rob Brydon
Currently presenting another excellent series of Would I Lie To You, the funniest show on telly (“that’s the most canine-looking cat I’ve ever seen!”), Rob’s always been a thoroughly likeable performer and we’re sure he’ll be great value in this chat, hopefully with some reminisces about his golden years presenting Invasion on BBC Wales. Before that is a rare repeat outing for the one-off comedy film he did with Steve Coogan back in 2003 where he plays a washed-up old TV star attending a convention, which we recall being amiable enough if far too long, but is now perhaps most notable for the huge number of supporting cast members who are now massive stars, including David Walliams, James Corden and Russell Brand. Though we think he was edited out of the finished thing.
BBC Radio 2
22.00 Barbara Windsor’s Funny Gals
Another series of this but as the name would suggest attention now turns to the other side of the Atlantic. It’s Lucille Ball first up, and we’re sad to say our only real knowledge of her work comes from watching the last two minutes of I Love Lucy before The Big Breakfast in 1993, but clearly she was a massive inspiration for generations, as the likes of Ruby Wax will explain.
BBC Radio 5 Live
21.00 5 Live Sport
It’s always worth checking out the 5 Live schedules in the week leading up to internationals when there’s no football as they find numerous ways to kill three and a half hours of sport programming a night, and today they’re taking the opportunity to celebrate the career of John Motson, who made his first appearance on Match of the Day forty years ago this week commentating on an appalling goalless draw between Liverpool and Chelsea. “It looks like a one man show here! Except there are two people involved, and a third in the sense of the goalkeeper!”
Wednesday 5th October
22.00 Rab C Nesbitt
Remarkable to think that Rab C Nesbitt has been on our screens now for a quarter of a century, starting off on Naked Video back in 1986 and then in his own series from the start of the nineties. He used to be massive in his day, too, one of BBC2′s biggest shows, though since his return the other year he’s not quite made it back to those levels. He’s still about, though, and here’s another series.
BBC Radio 2
22.00 Whistle Test 40
Not a very happy time for Bob, this week, it’s 1977-78 when everyone was moaning about his lack of interest in punk and the show started seeming a bit out of date, though a couple of new acts made their debut, not least XTC, and Andy Partridge will be popping in, which is always worth a listen. That year also brought us surely the show’s greatest ever performance, from the great Otway and Barrett and John’s going to be performing some new stuff tonight. And everything in the studio has been nailed down, no doubt.
Thursday 6th October
20.00 The Sixties – The Years That Shaped A Generation
First week of the month means there’s no Pops, though it’s perhaps a shame we didn’t take the break last week which would have avoided us getting three virtually identical shows back to back, rather than when we’re getting a bit of a run going. In any case, Yesterday’s Sixties season is still going, and we enjoyed watching Sounds of the Sixties again last week, and even if they edited out the fantastic Love Loves To Love Love, we were at least reminded what a cracking tune Surround Yourself With Sorrow was. This is the second part of a new documentary, the first part we, er, forgot to bill, but no doubt it’ll be repeated a thousand times.
Friday 7th October
23.10 My Funniest Year
We like how every year chosen so far in this run has been one with a huge unpleasant news story to serve as the elephant in the room, so after 1997 and 2005, of course it’s time for 2001, as selected by Chris Addison. But rather than talk about September 11th, Chris is mostly going to spend time talking about Hear’Say, we think.
21.00 Singer Songwriters at the BBC
23.00 Harry Nilsson – The Missing Beatle
The latter is new, while the former has at least run for so many episodes we’re now getting Ronnie Lane on The Basil Brush Show, but we’re not going to talk about this, but instead bring you a letter from Chris Cox. “I (and other people I found in Google) noticed that in the 1971 Doctor Who serial Colony In Space the phrase ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ gets is in there, due to a technician called Jim, and gets a little giggle – an in-joke for viewers, haha. But Jim’ll Fix It didn’t start until 1975. I thought that perhaps that ‘Jim’ll fix it’ used to be a phrase meaning ‘Who cares? Someone’ll do it!’ with Jim, being a common name, used as a sort of humorous placeholder and that, since the TV prog, the remembrance of this being a phrase in its own right has vanished entirely, as all references are assumed to be about the show. However, I started a thread on Gallifrey Base and – after exploring and exhausting various thoughts, including a great big Jim Callaghan red herring – someone said that ‘Jim’ll Fix It was a ring-in to Savile feature of his radio show before becoming a television programme.’ Mystery solved I suppose. This would be a better story if some mystery was still there, but there we are. I just thought you might find it very mildly amusing, like a surprisingly tolerable joke in After Henry or something ” Thanks Chris. It was certainly more fun than talking about John Denver.
BBC Radio 2
19.00 Desmond Carrington
Been a big week for anniversaries this week, but we’ve left the best until last, as it’s thirty years since Des first joined Radio 2 to bring us his All-Time Greats. Of course he’s still most associated with his Sunday lunchtime All-Time Greats spot, which has filled for 23 years until being punted to the rough and tumble of weeknights, but now we think he’s in a perfect position to allow us to wind down from the stresses and strains of the working week, and let’s hope he continues for many years to come.
As indeed will Creamguide of course, now delighting over a thousand subscribers each week, and maybe a dozen or so more on the website. Of course if you want to join the club, just click here