The word unblowuppable is thrown around a lot these days
Hullo again, and subscribers may have noticed last week it took a whopping four words before Creamguide’s first cock-up of 2013. Well, things can only get better, and that’s certainly the case this week with the return of Past Times and a Thursday night staple. You can guess which one that is. If you want to write about anything, not just complaints your name isn’t in this, then do so at once, to email@example.com.
Saturday 12th January
12.30 Talking Pictures
Second part of this series, with John Mills. Sadly we didn’t watch the first part as last weekend we were of course watching the CITV anniversary celebrations, which were everything we could have hoped for, really, especially as they seemed to go out of their way to show old idents and select interesting episodes, even if it did remind us that we used to avoid like the plague anything with the names Lee Pressman and Grant Cathro attached, surely the Glen A Larsons of mid-eighties kids TV.
20.00 Dad’s Army
20.30 Fawlty Towers
For what it’s worth, Finders Keepers was the highest rated show on Saturday, and Dangermouse on Sunday was the most watched thing of the entire weekend, which is heartening to see. We see the success of the weekend has already spurred Challenge on to buy more episodes of Fun House, and specifically the first series where we get the show’s real star, Pat’s hair. You know it was only this weekend we actually realised “Let’s re-run the fun!” was there to disguise an edit point.
20.00 Bob’s Full House
This must be the only show on telly where you can get a bunny girl and an economics student (from Manchester Polytechnic, no less) side by side, and both prove equally adept at proceedings. Indeed as the extended slot suggested, last week’s was a right marathon – requiring three ad breaks! – as bottom left Marc managed to storm his way back from absolutely nothing halfway through the Mastercard to winning the whole thing. This week we also noticed that the theme tune is composed by the same person who composed the theme to Press Gang. John Mealing certainly knew how to pick ’em.
BBC Radio 2
13.00 Pick of the Pops
1963 and 1980 here. As Matthew Patton pointed out, “Re: Fraggle Rock, most of the British episodes of the show (ie featuring Fulton Mackay) are lost”, and hence we ended up with two Canadian editions of the show on CITV last weekend, presumably to the bemusement of most of the audience. If you’d like to know more about the ins and outs of Fraggle Rock licencing, why not email firstname.lastname@example.org? They won’t know either, but you can at least see if that address still works eighteen years on.
BBC Radio 4
20.00 Rural Rides
There’s no time to do it now but in the past, journalists would think nothing of simply nipping off somewhere and spend a few days simply pottering around and finding out what was going on. Indeed when Granada covered the whole of the North of England, their commitment to Yorkshire would generally be to send Parky off across the Pennines every few weeks and tell him to come back with half a dozen films about anything at all, while the likes of Fyfe Robertson would engage Tonight viewers were reports that were little more than thinking aloud. Here’s a look at how this approach spanned the generations.
Sunday 13th January
19.00 The Sky at Night
19.15 The Sky at Night
20.00 The Sky at Night
Time for a proper tribute to Patrick Moore in the shape of this evening, starting off with three examples from across the years of what must surely be the last example of the hobby programme on television. First it’s an episode from 1975 which doesn’t appear to be anything special but is presumably one of the earliest that still exists. The second is the 25th anniversary edition from 1982 which examines where they’d gone from day one and ponders what might happen 25 years hence, and finally an edition from 2009 which illustrates Patrick’s legacy as he’s joined by a team of regulars, all of whom were clearly inspired by watching the previous two shows.
20.30 Sir Patrick Moore – Astronomer, Broadcaster and Eccentric
21.00 Sir Patrick Moore Talks To Mark Lawson
Then it’s your chance to record the obituary that went out on the night he died, followed by an interview which, though it’s from 2007, is billed as new here, so maybe it was never broadcast. In any case, though Moore in later life seemed to be sadly a bit of a grumpy git, his whole life is absolutely fascinating, not least as he was wearing a monocle and a whole set of dentures by the age of eighteen. “Dooon’t use flash!”
BBC Radio 4
19.15 The Stanley Baxter Playhouse
We heard plenty last week about how Stan’s brand of comedy was now too expensive for telly but happily he’s still going strong on the wireless with the start of a new series of sitcoms. There seems to have been some kind of clerical error, mind, as this one features The Queen, but Stan’s not playing her, Phyllida Law is.
Monday 14th January
BBC Radio 4
11.00 Where Did All The Comrades Go?
Along with the smoking, natch, one of the most eye-opening things about watching old elections on BBC Parliament is the amount of Communists standing, especially in Scotland where they were such a political force they were on all the Swingometers and that, like a seventies UKIP (albeit with slightly different policies). They called it a day in 1991 when they decided the wind perhaps wasn’t blowing in that direction anymore, but this documentary will look at their legacy, including how Marxism continued to play a role in mainstream politics.
Tuesday 15th January
21.00 Yes Prime Minister
A new series! We hear much about how The Thick Of It is a Yes Minister for the 21st Century but Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn reckon the Yes Minister for the 21st Century could actually be Yes Minister again. So here’s the first of six new episodes which perhaps unsurprisingly aren’t, apparently, as exciting or outrageous as the originals, but if it’s witty and engaging we’re sure it’ll be a welcome enough addition to the schedules, helped by the presence of the excellent David Haig.
21.40 Yes Prime Minister Re-Elected
That said, Jonathan Lynn can bugger off really with his moaning that the Beeb requested a pilot and they said no “because there are 38 pilots on DVD”, because we’re sure they wouldn’t be the only broadcaster who might have suggested a series that hadn’t been on for 23 years and whose two leading men are both now dead could do with a quick run-through to see if it still works. Anyway, if it turns out this new series is rubbish, here are some old clips to soften the blow plus chat from famous fans.
Wednesday 16th January
21.00 Funny Business
This sounds absolutely fascinating, and we’d be recommending it even if it wasn’t produced by absolute top Creamer Richard Marson, of imperial phase Blue Peter and Tales of Television Centre fame. It’s a three part look at the serious side of laughter making, with this first episode looking at corporate comedy, from adverts to after-dinner speaking, and the creative and credibility challenges that brings about, with a stellar list of contributors including the likes of Cleese and Cryer.
BBC Radio 2
22.00 The People’s Songs
Ah, go on. The last year that nobody on Desert Island Discs chose a Beatles record was 1963 and that, along with Richard Dimbleby assigning a low turnout in Liverpool in the 1964 election to voters being “too busy thinking about The Beatles”, illustrates just how quickly they became part of the establishment. Certainly they were important enough for She Loves You to justify its place in Stu’s list.
Thursday 17th January
19.30 Top of the Pops
Hooray! Not sure why the resumption of this repeat run made the news this week when it was already billed – there’s no late night screening but it’s only half an hour anyway – but in any case however much soul-searching went on, we’re continuing the repeat run into a third year and that’s great news. Despite our misgivings about Lulu from Legs and Co’s hair. Indeed as the rather good clip show proved last week, it’s a fascinating year for music we’ve got ahead of us and though there’s clearly plenty of rubbish around, the arrival of new wave means that we’re more or less guaranteed something really great on every single show. That’s certainly the case here, with a slightly less manic Peter Powell in charge and, alongside a very memorable performance by someone unused to this kind of thing, we also have the first knockings of power pop, surely the shortest lived genre of the decade.
17.45 Blue Peter
Such was the torrent of Pops episodes before Christmas, then the long gap, there’s been loads we haven’t mentioned, right back to that Tony Blackburn episode with him rolling his eyes at Generation X, though Sir Billiam Idol remains Britain’s least threatening punk. You may be unsurprised to learn that The Banned, with their singing drummer, was a prog act trying it on. Elton John seemed a bit ill at ease but you may have noticed that, uniquely among the presenters, he didn’t have a microphone, which would have given him something to do with his hands, but we’re thrilled he liked Otway and Barratt. Once seen, never forgotten. Christmas Day was a bit dull, as Christmas Day tended to be, though the Star Wars-inspired end credits and the Kenny Rogers video with weird ambient noise raised an eyebrow.
BBC Radio 4
Brimful of Asha just about sneaks into the end of the Cream era – as far as we’re concerned anyway, because we were nuts about the big beat scene at the time. Sadly Cornershop never really made it big with their other stuff seemingly a bit too esoteric for popular consumption, despite follow-up Sleep on the Left Side not only serving as Mark and Lard’s backing music for six years but also being performed on Blue Peter. We’ve always had a soft spot for them as well, not least for releasing the only song to mention the TSB Rock School (“the soft rock shit”), and this documentary will profile Tjinder, Ben and the gang and examine just how much of an Asian invasion there was in the charts.
Friday 18th January
Anyone who watched a lot of BBC4 over Christmas gets a head start this week with Marilyn Monore one of the subjects, alongside Swallows and Amazons.
21.00 Glen Campbell – The Rhinestone Cowboy
22.00 An Evening with Glen Campbell
You sometimes forget how big country music was in the seventies and eighties, albeit still with the “and western” firmly attached, with not only Wogan tapping a sturdy brogue to the likes of Kenny Rogers every morning but also Sing Country being a regular BBC2 staple for many years, which gains extra Cream points by being recorded at a festival sponsored by Silk Cut. Here’s the story of one of the scene’s major players, than a jaunt to the Royal Festival Hall in 1978.