And you just lap it up
Hullo again and welcome to this week’s edition of Creamguide, as usual under the auspices of www.tvcream.co.uk which again is serialising the Nationwide memories of Michael Barratt, and fascinating they are too. Our lawyers are watching.
We have our next Past Times later and on that subject, a man called Dave has written in regarding last week’s jaunt to 1969, saying, “Lads, fascinated by Radio 3 carrying sports. I was born in 1967 so can only recall these being on Radio 2, which meant loads of VHF for Radio 1 of course! What station carried Test cricket in those days?” Well, we think that was Radio 3 as well, but we think the reason it was on Radio 3 is because the Third Programme only opened up in the evening so it had a spare frequency in the day doing next to nothing, so it made sense to put it on there. In that week in 1969, though, Radio 4 has the “rugby football” commentary while Radio 3 has the football – and of course it sometimes does that now when Sports Extra is all filled up. Radio 4 also had Sports Session at 6.30 on a Saturday which is famous for the moment when Christopher Martin-Jenkins misread the clock, said “that’s the end of Sports Session” ten minutes early and then, after a long pause and some shuffling of papers, came back on and said, “I’m afraid that wasn’t the end of Sports Session”. Anyway, we assume it all moved over to Radio 2, apart from the cricket, when they revamped the stations in 1970 and finally got rid of the Third, but if anyone knows better, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Saturday 22nd September
19.30 Doctor Who
Been a great series so far, we reckon, full of short but perfectly-formed one-offs that make for cracking Saturday night entertainment. We’re particularly looking forward to this one too because we like Who best of all when it’s domestic, with pedal bins coming to life and that, and this week is resolutely earthbound.
17.10 One Man And His Dog
A change to the schedules here as last Sunday’s live affair ended up not going out because the golf overran quite spectacularly. Monitoring the schedules during the evening, it looked like there were plans to show it a bit later, presumably pre-recorded before it got too dark, but the golf ran so late they never had chance. Here it is now, and while we lose the frisson of excitement of it being live, we doubt anyone’s tuning into One Man And His Dog for edge-of-the-seat excitement. Wonder if anyone’s leaked the results?
19.40 Dad’s Army
It’s a bit of a shame we don’t have any more sixties issues of the Radio Times given last week’s seemed to generate quite a healthy postbag. Tim Worthington, whose new book we’ll doubtless be plugging in due course if he wants to send us some blurb about it, says, “As you suggested, that edition of Colour Me Pop featuring The Toast is long gone, but there is actually an off-air photo in existence and bizarrely, it turns out that frontman Henry Marsh later wrote some of the music for Cream-inspiring mid-eighties Children’s BBC oddity The Album!” Indeed, and better still he was in Sailor, among the stars of Pops 76.
21.55 The Thick Of It
“Human inter-railers? That’s inter-railers!” We’d happily watch a whole half hour of crap brainstorming on this show, though we hear from Armando’s recent lecture that might be based on an actual brainstorming session he witnessed at Talkback where they were desperately trying to find variations on the House Doctor format and someone suggested Body Doctor before they realised that’s what a doctor is. Anyway, wherever it came from, this was great, and we like how everyone and everything looked so drab and depressed, right up to Ollie looking about fifty.
07.15 The Big Match Revisited
Great fun, this one, as we’ve seen by now that 1979 was one of the coldest winters of all time and this was the week it was at its height as the whole of the ITV network could only come up with one English match between them, Leicester vs Newcastle, and it’s not particularly interesting either, though at least we get extended Hugh Johns. Then enjoy half an hour of desperate filling, including a snatch of Morton vs Partick Thistle (“Morton in the hoops, like QPR!”, says Mooro, trying to make it sound relevant) and then a good ten minutes of the final of Euro 76 for the hell of it, between two countries that no longer exist, in a country that no longer exists.
BBC Radio 2
13.00 Pick of the Pops
1973 and 1980, the latter coinciding with surely the most bizarre Top of the Pops ever due to, as Bates suggests, “our small problems at the BBC”, ie a strike, though Tone’s able to just play records and not have to pad our proceedings with a long interview with Olivia Newton-John. Meanwhile, in response to last week’s poser, David Pascoe says, “I can tell Arthur Saldanha that the Hellfire sketch comes from the 1985 series of the Two Ronnies, though I don’t know which episode. It’s from the time when they used to do a musical number in the middle of the show and usually at standard sketch length, while they finished the shows with their film parodies. If Arthur’s trying to learn the words to the sketch, I remember one bit went ‘And what about meanness?/Have you seen the collection plate today?/Two washers, a fly button, an Irish penny and a half sucked mint with a hole/Last week when a woman was asked to contribute to a home for old inebriates/She gave her husband/Well bless my soul’.” And the mention of the Rons is a suitable time to mention our sadness at the passing of Michael Hurll, not only the Ronnies’ long time boss but also the best producer of Top of the Pops ever.
BBC Radio 4
20.00 The Debate Of Our Times
This programme asks whether political debate on telly has descended into relentless rabble-rousing and evading questions these days, or if it was ever thus, doing so by browsing through the archives at dozens of episodes of Any Questions over the years, with the help of Tony Benn, who should know given he’s been on it regularly since the year dot.
Sunday 23rd September
16.00 Points of View
A suitably dynamic opening last week as a man was allowed to discuss, at great length, his view that these days TV presenters are purposefully miked up so you can’t hear them properly to make things sound more exciting than they actually are. After devoting several minutes to him saying the same thing over and over again, do you think they bothered asking anyone at the BBC if he was right or what they might do to change it? Did they balls. Also going unchallenged was the bloke who complained Dinosaurs on a Spaceship was a rip-off of Jurassic Park. Where’s the SPACESHIP in Jurassic Park, you DICK! Sorry, it does wind us up, this show.
21.00 The Big Fat Quiz Of The Nineties
Not that anyone did last week, but please don’t bother with Comedy World Cup, another dull Channel Four panel game that actually turns out to be a remake of That’s Showbusiness only not as good, and is so derivative and unoriginal Jason Manford – of course he was on it – got to do exactly the same jokes he’d done on Rob Brydon’s show a week ago. This is a bit more interesting, though only just.
21.00 Let’s Have A Party! The Piano Genius of Mrs Mills
Mrs Mills was such an unglamorous pop star she didn’t even get introduced by her full name, which was far too elaborate for her unassuming air. Despite her performance style being absolutely terrifying, and everything she played sounding more or less exactly the same, she was quite the record-selling phenomenon in the sixties, and here are the likes of Rick Wakeman, Chas Hodges and Bobby Eighteen Year Old Office Boy Crush to pay tribute.
Monday 24th September
14.10 Only Fools and Horses
One of the reasons why this show used to be such a valuable repeat a decade or so ago is that the various durations of the episodes made it suitable to fit more or less every available slot. Not so useful when you’re trying to run them in the same slot every day, though, so it’s double bills today and tomorrow, the last half hour on its own on Wednesday with a ham-fisted filler to plug the gap before CBBC and then onto the fifty minuters on Thursday. And if you get confused by any of that, don’t worry, they’ll all be on again in three months.
21.00 World of Sport – The 90s
“The Princess of York”, Ned? A bit more interesting stuff last week including a host of demented variations on stock car racing, involving caravans and double decker buses, amusing all held in Ipswich, plus darts from the most eighties venue imaginable, the Fulcrum Centre, Slough. We’re still not convinced of the Rock’N'Roll Years-esque approach, though, and from now on ITV Sport gets all boringly professional and this’ll be mostly football, boxing and Formula One.
BBC Radio 2
22.00 Beach Boys at 50
The Beach Boys are back, or at least Brian, Mike and Al are, and earlier this evening you can hear them in concert recorded just the other week, but if you think they’ve lost it, don’t worry because here’s the first of a two-part documentary about their imperial phase, presented by Harry Shearer for some reason.
Tuesday 25th September
20.30 British Passions on Film
Well, pardon us all over the place because this isn’t, in fact, one of the familiar BBC4 On Film shows with the narration-free presentation and the plinky plonky theme tune, but instead a proper documentary with a voice-over, a theory, clips of things other than documentaries and some talking heads, one of whom on the first show completely undermined all their arguments by referring to “Saturday Swap Shop”. That needed a retake, surely. Last one anyway, looking at transport.
21.00 Love and Marriage – A 20th Century Marriage
This actually started last week but we’re only billing it now because it’s arriving into the Cream era and a look at how and where we wed in the sixties and seventies. Only one way to do it in those days, of course, and among the people we’ll be meeting tonight are a couple whose trip down the aisle was recorded for Man Alive in 1965.
BBC Radio 2
22.00 Shout to The Top
Brace yourselves everyone, Radio 2 is doing a drama! And potentially it could become a fully-fledged series if it works out, though don’t expect the return of Waggoner’s Walk. It’s about an aspiring pop group, in fact, with Shane Richie as their manager and a host of original songs, and we mention it not just for the novelty factor but because it’s written by two pop stars-turned-scribes in The Farm’s Roy Boulter and Louise Sleeper off of Sleeper.
Wednesday 26th September
21.00 Room at the Top
This new dramatisation of the novel wouldn’t normally catch our attention but it’s worth noting because we were supposed to see it eighteen months ago but, just hours before it was supposed to go out, there was a dispute as to whether the Beeb actually owned the rights to the book, so it had to go back on the shelf. Several long and boring meetings later, it turns out they do, so here it is at last, and in the meantime star Jenna-Louise Coleman has become a bit more famous so this’ll probably be of interest to a few more people than it would have been had it gone out when it was supposed to.
Thursday 27th September
20.30 The Corrie Years
Kids on Corrie haven’t always been the most vibrant of characters, most notoriously Tracy Barlow forever clomping upstairs to listen to tapes, though Steve McDonald arrived just after growing out of short trousers and is now the best character in it. We don’t suppose this will mention the time during the actor’s strike in 1961 when they weren’t able to hire any members of Equity for six months so started to use children to appear as postmen and policemen, because they weren’t covered, but soon stopped when they decided that, whatever point it was proving, it looked bloody stupid.
19.30, 02.15 Top of the Pops
Last time round we didn’t just get the unofficial seventh member of Legs and Co with the umpteenth return of Floyd, but also the eighth with Kid strutting his stuff to I Feel Love. Or signing for the deaf, hard to tell. Noel would never do anything so vulgar though he does get to introduce Eddie and The Hot Rods again, playing one of the best rhtyhm’n'rock records around. Which isn’t much of a complement, as we can’t think of any others.
17.45 Blue Peter
There was a round on Blue Peter on Pointless the other day and when one of the contestants said he’d never watched it we were desperate for him to lose, which he promptly did. Hooray. Freda the Frog, for heaven’s sake. Here last week Helen went behind the scenes of Dragon’s Den, convenient as it’s filmed down the corridor, though we’re not sure about that as it’s a post-watershed show, with no pre-watershed repeats.
Friday 28th September
A pleasing bit of One BBC, albeit probably unconscious, tonight, as somebody here is answering questions on The Lovable One of The Wackers. Bear that in mind. If you remember which one that is in our unintelligible Wackers naming system based on a joke from several years ago, natch.
20.30 Sounds of the Seventies
When 6 Music take a break from playing Superfreak by Rick James – why do they play that song so much, it gets at least one airing a week – they do play a lot of reggae, and much of it we’d grown up with, not because we grew up in Kingston or anything but because our parents had The Wonderful World of Reggae on the Music for Pleasure label, which promised twelve great tracks for only 14/6. And they were great tracks too, making it surely the best 72 1/2p our parents ever spent. That’s about a day’s licence fee, we think, so this reggae-tinged episode offers the same value.
21.00 George Harrison – Living In The Material World
00.30 Sings The Beatles
Just to make it clear, then, Paul is The Bonny One, Ringo is The Shaggy One, George is The Lovable One and John is The Aggressive Lovable One. That’s how the Sunday Mirror remembered them in 1965, and that’s how we remember them. You’ve got to have a system. You’ve probably seen these, but here they are again.
17.00 12 Again
We must apologise that this started a new series two weeks ago and we completely failed to notice. It’s the show where celebrities talked about what they liked to watch and listen to when they were kids, and it’s great to hear CBBC have to explain it all, and do try and catch the episode of Friday 21st as John Humphrys is on it, we think the oldest participant they’ve ever had and someone who should be on kids’ telly more. Susanna Reid’s on this one.
That’s it for this week but we’ll be back in seven days with the latest news and views. If you want to subscribe, click here