The ratio of editorial to advertising is vair good
Hullo and welcome to this week’s Creamguide, which still hasn’t recovered from George Michael recreating Adam Ant at Live Aid on the Olympics. You should have done Club Tropicana, you silly sod. This week we start, inevitably, with a message from Gareth Lynn, who says, “Huge thanks to everyone who identified The Nightmare Man! I’m already knee-deep in it on YouTube, in all its glorious blood-o-vision, with the DVD on the way. My life begins today!” If you have any letters, send them in to email@example.com, and don’t forget to check out the new look www.tvcream.co.uk which this week includes our views on the exciting news currently engulfing The Dandy.
Saturday 18th August
19.30 Dad’s Army
The letterbox is off its hinges thanks to your comments this week regarding holiday journeys. Barry Delve says, “1977 – Dad’s Renault 10 (TMU 938F) expired the day before we were to go on our annual jaunt from Stoke Poges, Bucks to the NALGO holiday camp at Croyde Bay, Devon. He managed to borrow a SAAB – the first time any of us had had a car with a radio. My biggest memory of the trip down was Dad pulling over and stopping the car every time Donna Summer’s I Feel Love came on, because as soon it started playing he thought there was some sort of mechanical failure happening. It was a long journey, enlivened by sausage and tomato flavoured crisps and pork pies, eaten in a layby in Watchet. Once we were there we wouldn’t see mum and dad except for meals as me and my brother had to do all the children’s clubs and they went out pubbing and rambling all day. A couple of years later I met a girl who, like me at the time, was into Mike Oldfield (I was wearing a badge I got at his concert, and she noticed and started talking to me – I was quite young but had ‘esoteric’ musical tastes for my age) and we had an idyllic two weeks, idyllic by a fourteen year old’s standards, spent listening to Ommadawn and Exposed loudly and being surly when asked to turn it down. Her name was Anne and she was from Bolton. I promised to write, but never did as I couldn’t remember her surname.” Barry also signs off by saying “Sorry to bother you”, but we wonder if Anne, given her shared tastes with Barry, might be reading this and we could get some kind of reunion going.
Next in the postbag is Anne from Bolt… no. It’s Jonathan Haw. “Further to your request for memories of car journeys as a child, my main memory is me and my sister painstakingly counting the narrow stripes on the back seat in order to ascertain the exact halfway point and so establish which part of the seat was mine and which part was hers. Once this line was drawn, any transgression was met with a slap. Excitingly, at one stage we got a car with a pull-down arm rest in the back. Sadly, this didn’t have stripes on it and wasn’t really wide enough for us both to use at once, so we had to institute an alternate journeys policy. The only time all this was suspended was when my Dad got a hatchback and, for a time, allowed us to stretch out in the back with the seats folded down. Probably illegal even then, and certainly lethal.”
01.25 Vic Reeves Big Night Out
Channel Four’s comedy season continues with a welcome screening for a series that is terribly badly served on DVD, thanks to a ludicrous decision to not just cut out the ad breaks, but also all references to the ad breaks so sketches that straddle them are rendered completely unintelligible. We buy DVDs to get more, not less, and we all know it was on a commercial channel. We think is from series two.
02.20 Chelmsford 123
Wow! As for what’s missing from this season, it’s a surprise we don’t have Nightingales given how fondly it’s remembered, and we’d have liked an episode of Who Dares Wins simply because we’ve never seen it. But the oldest show in the season is this, which is worth a look because, while popular enough at the time, it never really loomed large in the public’s consciousness, and it’s also a rare chance to remember that Rory McGrath was at one point tolerable. We reckon they might only be showing it to embarrass Jimmy Mulville now he’s a massively powerful TV executive, mind.
08.20 The Big Match Revisited
We forgot to mention that last week’s episode featured the fantastic Personality of the Month competition where you were invited to select the person who’d contributed the most to the general gaiety of the game in December 1978, choosing between Billy Hamilton who’d been quite good coming on as a sub, Ray Clemence for apologising for a cock-up, some Brazilian player for doing a silly dance around a corner flag, or Barry Hughes, the Welsh manager of AZ Alkmaar who blew a party blower at a rival manager who didn’t even notice, Barry completely overselling the gag, such as it were, along the way. We’ll hear more from Barry thanks to everyone writing in to The Big Match, London Weekend Television, London SE99, with a picture of the building on screen so you knew where your letters were going.
BBC Radio 2
13.00 Pick of the Pops
1968 and a trip down memory lane to that glorious summer of 2011 with 1976. But now, Tim Bowling. “My annual holiday was always the same – ten days spent in Dorset at the same Trusthouse Forte Hotel. The journey down there was nothing short of epic – my Dad’s Ford Cortina Ghia 2.3 litre estate car, beige of course, was loaded up early doors, and we headed off for what should have been a relatively easy journey but seem to take, quite literally, all day to get there. Admittedly there were very few motorways in those days but even so. We would stop after about 25 minutes at the Little Chef near Guildford’s Hogs Back. The place had a comments book and my sister and I would always write a few lines. It was obviously used very infrequently as we always managed to find out comments still in the same book from previous years. The journey invariably involved our parents trying to keep us quiet with various comics – depending on the year these varied from Whizzer & Chips to Roy of the Rovers to Battle. Once at the THF hotel we would disappear all day to go crabbing, eat ice cream, buy Fighting Fantasy books like the Warlock of Firetop Mountain from the beach shop, and general ‘come back when it’s time to eat’ shenanigans. I remember buying a sheath knife from the beach shop when I was about ten – the lady behind the counter asking if my parents knew I was buying it, then gladly handing it over when I simply replied ‘yes?’. Great days.”
Sunday 19th August
23.15 Harry Hill
“Hey Harry, this show stinks!” We’re absolutely thrilled to see this turn up – it’s Haz’s eponymously titled C4 series, of course – because it was a brilliant show and we assume it’s only boring rights issues that have kept it off DVD as we’d buy it straight away. It was actually very poorly treated by C4, being shunted to increasingly awful timeslots and we think the final series being shown ages after it was filmed as everyone who signed him had left and the new lot didn’t like him, but we had a great time with it and, though we don’t know what episode this is, they’re all ace. “And the winner of best belt is… Burtons belt!”
01.45 The 11 O’Clock Show
Christ alive! It’s amazing to remember quite how hated this show was when it was running, and with good reason too because it was just an absolute shambles, to the extent they had to say “and that’s the end of the news in brief” after the monologue because the jokes were so bad they couldn’t find one to end with spontaneous applause. Apart from the hosts most of the people involved all went on to be terribly famous, though we’re not sure they’ll appreciate their juvenile fare being exhibited again here.
Monday 20th August
23.40 Steve Coogan Live’n'Lewd
“He makes me laugh – sometimes A LOT!” We’re not sure this has ever been on the telly before but we’ve certainly seen it because, despite its atrocious name, it was much-circulated VHS in the nineties, to the extent we had two copies, winning the second in a competition in Comedy Review magazine. Great fun it is too, imperial phase Cooganage with the Calfs, Duncan Thickett and the rest.
One of the biggest discussion topics in the early months of TVC’s sister site Offthetelly in its early months, a few months later everyone seemed to have forgotten about it and the best bit of comedy that came out of it was probably the Adam and Joe parody. Surely the acme of It Was Better On The Radio, but here’s another chance to upgrade your tenth generation VHS copies.
Well, this is a big surprise because we don’t think it’s ever been shown on television! We know what it is, though, it’s a pilot for a pop show presented by Reeves and Mortimer, recorded in early 1993 and featuring performances and interviews with Cud, Kym Mazelle and Nick Heyward. Referred to by one book as “the great lost Vic and Bob show”, apparently it’s very funny and Channel Four wanted to commission it to run all year round, according to Bob anyway, but the pair signed to the Beeb a few weeks later and that was the end of that. Better have a look at it, we suppose.
21.30 Adam Buxton’s Bug
Time for Past Times in a minute, but regarding last week’s trip to 1989, Tim Worthington says, “The mention of late eighties BBC1 daytime blandfest The Garden Party has reminded me of how one of the first ever outings for Black Box’s smash-in-waiting Ride On Time was a mimed performance on the show, leading to the taken-by-surprise record company having to use the staggeringly uneventful and drably-backgrounded footage as the official video for several weeks until a proper one could be filmed. Acieeeeeeed! Meanwhile, which similarly late eighties BBC1 daytime blandfest was it that used Mezzoforte’s semi-hit jazz-funk workout The Garden Party as its theme music? Confusingly, it definitely wasn’t The Garden Party…” No, it was Friday People and the opening titles used to be on YouTube, but they’ve been taken down. However, the video to Garden Party is online, and it’s a bloody great song.
Tuesday 21st August
Sky Arts 1
21.00 Discovering Herge
Channel Four’s comedy season is taking a bit of breather in terms of archivery – although there’s a new sketch show tonight with contributions by Brooker, and among the other new stuff we’re most looking forward to the Arthur Mathews-penned sitcom with Matt Berry doing what he does best, massively overact – so instead we go here and this new documentary about HEEEEERGEEEEE and his AAAAAADVEEEENTUUUUURES OOOOOOOOF TIIIIIIINTIIIIIIN, which doesn’t gloss over some of the less palatable aspects of his work by explaining the context in which he wrote them.
Wednesday 22nd August
19.30 The Corrie Years
Given there’s fifty years to go at, you’d think they might have made more than three half-hour episodes of this series, but seemingly not as we’re getting repeats of them, presumably until Corrie moves back here full time, although we can’t understand why they haven’t moved it back already rather than sticking with the unpopular Thursday slot for any longer than necessary. Still, that’s ITV for you.
19.30, 02.15 Top of the Pops
There are only three episodes of Pops this side of Christmas that are longer than half an hour, one of which is this, so well done to BBC4 for that cracking slot for the extended version. An intriguing episode, all told, thanks to a slight revamp which sees the end of Whole Lotta Love – although it comes back a few times over the next few years – and a new look to the charts. Everything else remains as bog-standard as before in terms of presentation, though with The Crunch and I Feel Love riding high in the charts we’re a million miles ahead of what we’ve had for the rest of the year in terms of the music.
21.00 Jet! When Britain Ruled The Skies
We always get that little frisson of excitement when people refer to “jetting off”, much like when people refer to “motorcars”, even though that’s no selling point whatsoever these days. There’s a certain sense of glamour about those pioneering days with the likes of the Vulcan and the Meteor, as we’ll see here, though Norman Tebbit will stop us getting too carried away.
Thursday 23rd August
23.45 The Talent Show Story
ITV are repeating this series again from the start on Sunday teatimes from this week, before this repeat run has even ended, so they’re getting their money’s worth at least. Back on the road now, though, with, “I thought I’d add my holiday journey memories too – up until I reached double figures and a cramped caravan without a TV or bathroom seemed somehow less exciting, the family including grandparents packed into a slightly rusting Triumph Toledo and made the epic journey to Porthcawl which took all of an hour but seemed like weeks. Our later hols did vary slightly though were always around the Pembrokeshire area. Imagine my excitement when in one of the holiday cottages (we’d gone slightly upmarket) near Saundersfoot complete with the Coque D’or amusements (snigger), I could pick up Television Simply Wonderful as well as the standard issue HTV Wales and watch such delights as that very strange logo with ‘ooh ooh TSW’ jingle and regionalia such as the ‘wacky’ weatherman reporting on the long boats race. On returning from the annual pilgrimage – well we often passed through St David’s – we would go to stay with my aunt in Birmingham for a few days, which was very exciting because of all the big shops, including an actual comic shop – not a newsagents, mind you!. On the way, we’d always stop off at Strensham services. I thought was great fun because they had one of those huge concrete and glass bridges over the motorway to the restaurant where you could look down at the traffic. I’d have a glass of Kenning Cola and play on the DLT’s Give Us A Break quiz machine.” We’re assuming the comic shop you’re referring to is Nostalgia and Comics on Smallbrook Queensway, as when we were wee we used to find the idea of that shop very exciting via their adverts in Marvel Comics, though never visited it until many years later and found out it was the wrong kind of nostalgia, really. And the wrong kind of comics.
21.00 Whatever Happened To Harry Hill?
We’re not sure what all those new fans Haz picked up from TV Burp and You’ve Been Framed are going to make of his first post-ITV show. That’s because he’s going to meet all his old mates like Burt Kwouk, Stouffer, Mai Sung and Big Brother Alan to see how they’ve got on since the series ended and get the gang back together for one final badger parade. The last few series of TV Burp were a bit dull but the return to his roots may well recharge Harry’s batteries and so we’re really looking forward to this. “Oh Mister Harry, I do love Moby!”
22.00 Vic and Bob’s Lucky Sexy Winners
Seemingly the only actual effect of the BBC’s Delivering Quality First drive was the axing of Shooting Stars, given the proposals suggested there’d be fewer panel games and chat shows on BBC2, although we don’t know how they can say that and then recommission The Rob Brydon Show because, likeable though Rob and his show is, there’s absolutely nothing distinctive about it at all. Anyway, not be to disheartened, Vic and Bob are back to do, well, exactly the same thing by the sounds of it under a different name. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
23.45 The Services
Oh, it’s all gone wrong for Kay now, of course, we all know why, but we must never forget that his first TV series was one of the funniest things ever broadcast by Channel Four. Remember him this way. “He’s southbound!”
01.15 The Jack Dee Show
Until we got Lead Balloon, it made for utterly tragic viewing in the nineties and early noughties watching Dee appear in a succession of ropey vehicles like Jack Dee’s Saturday Night (a terrible, terrible idea), the Happy Hour and It’s Only TV But I Like It, when on his first appearances on TV he was such a breath of fresh air, brilliantly delivering his intelligent and amusing stand-up. This is his Christmas show at The Bohemia Club (“where The Saint would take his best girl on a date”) from 1992, where he’s joined by a baby Lee Evans and an old fave of ours, The Amazing Johnathan.
17.45 Blue Peter
Just to point out that last week Nel off Newsround appeared on this show and we reckon that if Helen were ever to leave, which she won’t, she might make a suitable replacement because she seems to have a brain on her, with her BBC3 documentaries, and is rather likeable. Not that Helen’s leaving, obviously. We must make that clear. This show’s gone big on the Great Summer of Sport but they’re not neglecting their more bookish viewers as this week they’re coming live from the Edinburgh Festival, which should be a lot of fun.
BBC Radio 4
11.30 Rock’n'Roll in Four Movements
Jon Lord sadly died the other week and in one of his last interviews he discussed his memorable Concerto for Rock Group and Orchestra, which we’ll hear here as part of a look at uneasy collaborations over the years between classic pop and the pop classics.
Friday 24th August
We liked Steven Moffatt this week explaining why Sherlock could never make an appearance in Doctor Who, because in the Whoniverse Sherlock Holmes is a fictional character. He’s also one of the subjects tonight along with Radiohead and, hooray, The Goodies. It’s not even Junior Mastermind!
21.00 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown
The Channel Four Mash-Up earlier this year wasn’t much of a concept – as virtually every show could just as easily have been called “celebrity special” – but the best bit by miles was Carr, Lock and Richardson playing Countdown, mostly because they all got dead into it and played it properly, especially Jon Richardson who got a nine letter word (“Ooh, seven, a new record for you, Sean!” “Fuck off!”). Seemingly because they enjoyed it so much they’re doing it again, although it might by less fun this time now the novelty’s worn off and for some reason it’s an hour long.
22.00 How Clubbing Changed The World
One of the most idiotic things that absolute turd Aidan Burley said about the opening ceremony was that rap music shouldn’t have been included because it’s a fad, even though, at the age of 33, Rapper’s Delight was selling millions of copies when he was all of six months old. Even the more guitar-crazy individual will surely admit that dance music is now very much this establishment and this documentary traces its history. Then after that at midnight it’s a six hour live special featuring live sets from the likes of Grandmaster Flash and Soul II Soul, without any ad breaks, and regardless of your views on the merits of the music, that kind of commitment demands respect.
21.15 The Joy of Country
22.20 Country at the BBC
23.50 Dolly Parton – Platinum Blonde
And if that’s all a bit too thump-thump-thump for you, this might be more to your liking, even on the millionth repeat. And DO NOT switch over to BBC3 for the latest pointless endeavour by the atrocious Alison Jackson and props to the Radio Times for slagging it off and pointing out it’s a complete waste of time.
BBC Radio 2
22.00 Elton at the Beeb
Not just BBC4 who can do this kind of thing as Radio 2 kick off an Elton weekend with a rummage through the archives for odds and sods he’s knocked off for Auntie over the years.
That’s it for this week, but join us next week for the final part of Channel Four’s comedy season and even more very intriguing repeats, plus some other stuff as well no doubt. We don’t need the Olympics! If you want more, click here