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Posts Tagged With '1965'
IN AN AGE where even crisps are no longer safe from having their ingredients meddled with in order to become 70% more healthy or something, it’s assuredly worth reflecting upon an era when affable bouncing bon viveur GRAHAM KERR would frolic onto our screens every afternoon, running through the ITV daytime line-up like a skewer and, along with CROWN COURT and AFTERNOON PLUS, make up a kind of tasty entertainment kebab. Very much a cross between George Hamilton and Robert Carrier, Kerr would gambol onto his Schreiber red kitchen set (somewhere in Australia, judging by that kind of early smudgy colour picture quality) and get down to work. Work being creating the most cholesterol-packed, artery-congesting meal humanly possible. This being the seventies, the average Kerr menu resembled what was on offer down at your local Berni Inn; a time when Coq Au Vin and Chicken Maryland were the height of Cinzano’n'Milk Tray Man-style glamour. But with lots of cream. Lots and lots of cream. However, central to the compelling nature of GG was Kerr’s splendidly flirty repartee with his (mainly female) audience: “why not make this for your husband, girls, and have a special night, eh?”. Crowning glory came when Kerr would invite one lucky blushing audience member to share his latest culinary concoction at an on-stage, candle-lit table. Whether or not this rendezvous would continue post-show is unclear.Read More
FINEST FRENCH export since Pasteurisation. Roll call: lank-haired sausage dog, Dougal, with penchant for sugar lumps; his mate Florence; perma-nodding snail mate Brian; deranged, be-hatted, flower-chewing, 360-degree-headed cow thing Ermintrude; lazy bastard hippy rabbit Dylan; hurdy-gurdy mastermind and keeper of the titular ’bout Mr. Rusty; terrifying train The Train; demented cyclist Mr McHenry; and of course, spring-loaded Cuban revolutionary and bedtime mentioner Zebedee. All lived on a bit of white paper with primary coloured flowers (monochrome in the 60s episode) and the occasional cuboid lying about. Crowning glory was ERIC THOMPSON’s narration, which he made up on the spot in a BBC cupboard to accompany the entirely mute French visuals. Whole country, apparently, would stop to watch at teatime, including Mr Wilson.Read More
Much-loved, much-misquoted and, perhaps most importantly, much-wiped PETER COOK and DUDLEY MOORE comic cornerstone now so entrenched in the constantly repeated, never-bloody-changing ‘Story of British Comedy’ you might be forgiven for thinking the posh colonial dandy and the diminutive Dagenham sandwich enjoyer are overdue a dose of revisionism up their collective flue. And a lot of the stuff in the ‘what’s left of’ canon bears this out. ‘Quickfire’ NOBA was not. Many of the sketches, as was the style at the time, go on for bloody ages. Parodies of Greta Garbo and overwrought Shakespearean acting take up a third of the programme, producing a couple of cracking lines but surrounding them with reams of woolly faffing about. Cook’s children’s poetry and Moore’s ivory tinklings are all very well, but often as not belong in some other programme entirely. And even stuff that raises more grins per square inch, such as Le Tour Gastronomique de la Route Circulaire du Nord, are hardly the sort of groundbreaking stuff they’re often cracked up to be (that one in particular being Muir and Norden’s Balham – Gateway to the South sketch reheated over a rissole-encrusted gas ring).
But just when your enthusiasm is flagging, out come the macs, caps and pints of foaming nut-grey ale, and the balance of comedy gold is redressed. Yes, they’re all pretty much the same routine, yes they’ve been over-exposed by the clip show junta, yes David Bowie’s always doing the voice in interviews, but despite all this, the flatly whined dissection of back-of-bus nookie, nymphomaniac Hollywood starlets and – oh, yes – ‘ducks in the morning, ducks in the evening, ducks in the summertime’ somehow refuse to fall into the same pit of worn-out over-familiarity as your Hitler walks, Nazi-related name withholdings and near misses with wine bar furniture. To get deep into a top flight Pete ‘n’ Dud sketch (and you’ve got plenty of time – they go on for longer than anything) is to experience both brilliantly inventive, joyfully combative crosstalk comedy, and also some glimmer of that long-gone feeling of a truly nationally-shared telly experience, as if the rest of the country’s in the room, with maybe Princess Margaret chuckling away behind the pouffe. This is where the pair really excel – never mind the elaborate stunts with aircraft carriers, pare everything down to hats, coats, drinks and sod all else (even the pub set only half-exists) and let them get on with it, and you’ve repaid the price of admission ten times over.
Away from the well-trodden path, you’ve got the genuinely unpredictable father-son dialogues which combine great lines (‘Your mum worshipped the ground I walked on!’ ‘She worshipped the ground but she didn’t care for you, father.’) with weird twists (are those women hiding in cardboard boxes, or are they actually cardboard boxes themselves?) Then there’s the greatest mistimed musical parody ever in LS Bumblebee, a psychedelic song parody that was spot on sonically, but arrived at least a year too soon, with the result that the audience sits, for once, in mystified silence throughout, only chuckling politely when Dud obligingly points at his bum for a cheap laugh. And, forever turning up like a magnetically erased ghost at the feast of reminiscence, there’s Poets Cornered, the end-of-show I’m Sorry, Whose Clue is it Anyway? progenitor wherein Cook, Moore and guest star try and keep an improvised poem going under pain of being dunked in a pre-Crackerjack tank of gunge. Everyone who recalls this remembers it being screamingly funny, and inevitably not a second of it exists. Much like those after-dinner speeches of Cook’s that had everyone in fits but about which no-one recalls a single gag (‘something about a bee, I think…’) too much of this sort of talk can lead to suspicious looks from those who weren’t privy to the originals – a bit like that Leonardo cartoon, in fact. (‘I couldn’t see the bloody joke.’) But if you can put all that annoying Cookie Club in-crowdery to one side where it belongs, there remain enough specimens in the fossil record to give graduate comedy a good name. Probably Doreen, knowing those two.Read More
TOP BOARDROOM soapfest with sub-DALLAS “black gold” backstory. GEOFFREY “MINISTER OF DEFENCE” KEEN was Brian Stead, number one at Mogul International, with PHILIP “PALLISERS” LATHAM (Willy Izard) attending the books and RAY “OZ” BARRETT (Peter Thornton) and ROBERT “SIEGFRIED” HARDY (Alec Stewart) bestriding the globe as rival titular meddling bastards. Familiar mix of studio-bound office scotch-and-telex chicanery and glossy film location bust-ups. Memorable pacy titles promised fast cars and jets that never appeared again. Focus shifted over time from boring internal politics to shameless foreign junkets, including much-vaunted West Indies expedition, plus stop-offs in Rhodesia, Vietnam and, famously, Alaska – in reality oft-mocked DR WHO Chief Gravel Pit at Gerrards Cross. Hardy pissed off after four years, and various minor replacements (e.g. DAVID BARON as Mike Szabo) ushered in late-era decline, but primetime schedule mainstay throughout.Read More
THE JEWEL in the popular Anderson crown, though we’d plump for CAPTAIN SCARLET and the psychotic SECRET SERVICE every time. But then we would say that. We don’t need to go throught the roll-call of characters, do we? Suffice to say that 2 was the best ‘Bird, and the little yellow Thunderbird 4 was the dullest (as driven by Gordon Tracy). The best episode, by general consensus, was the original “Fireflash” supersonic jet one where the undercarriage got stuck, and those specially-designed trucks had to be driven under the wheels. Oh, and the “Vault of Death” one, which was really just the old “don’t touch the floor or the alarm’ll go off” routine, but very well done (with loads of those giveaway “real hand” close-ups). “Thunderbird 6″ was the feature-film-based Barnstormer biplane.Read More
POOTER-ISH POTTERY riddleathon chaired in glory days by MAX ROBERTSON, with ARTHUR NEGUS permanently installed to one side on ribald-dispensing duties. Max would proffer vaguely familiar-looking antique loom at teams of experts and clueless public, demanding both date and asking price. Points awarded for closest bid. Faithful yet pompous 90s revival helmed first by P45-wielding PARKY, then snippy pre-”You are…” ANNE ROBINSON. Imprisoned mechanical bird tweeted over opening and closing credits, pleading swift release.Read More
TOP HOLE Bond spoofery by Mel Brooks and Buck Henry, starring DON ADAMS as Maxell Smart (“Missed me by that much!”) crapola spy working for CONTROL with the help of BARBARA FELDON (Agent 99) and a comedy dog. Adams later lent pipes to grating Gallic-manufactured guffoonery which passed for INSPECTOR GADGET.Read More
REVERSE BEVERLEY HILLBILLIES business with EDDIE ALBERT at the high-flying big shot who suddenly decided to move out to a farm, EVA “SISTER OF ZSA ZSA” GABOR in tow. UNITED KINGDOM was the nation asleep.Read More
MICHAEL ASPEL announces the end of the world while a boy’s face catches fire and a bloke’s cabbages get squashed. Famously buried until 1985 by a scared Beeb in the same place they now keep all those episode of Have I Got News For You with Paul Merton referring to Princess Diana as “an overblown tart”. PETER WATKINS wrote and directed, inspired by the UK’s then-hapless and half-arsed “official” plans on what to do when the balloon went up, i.e. send a man round on a motorbike to tell everyone to keep their head down. Resulting unrelentingly grim and grisly carnage still shocks today, and not just by having Asp on voiceover.Read More
RAMSHACKLE READING-IS-FUN RELIC wherein a Famous Person would sit on a chair with a pretend book and ponderously recount the contents of your local mobile library. Everyone who was anyone had a go, and everyone saw it. LEE MONTAGUE raised the curtain courtesy of a handful of fairytales in ’65, and ALAN BENNETT took the final bow with The House At Pooh Corner 31 years later. Along the way king of ubiquity was BERNARD CRIBBINS who turned in 17 tales, closely followed by KENNETH WILLIAMS on 12. Numerous Dr Whos looked in, namely PATRICK TROUGHTON, JON P’TWEE, TOM BAKER, PETER DAVIDSON and SYLVESTER MCCOY, as did future nobles of the realm JUDI DENCH and MAGGIE SMITH plus “resting” actors JEREMY IRONS (various Paul Gallico yarns, 1982), PATRICK STEWART (Annerton Pit, 1977), IAN MCKELLEN (The Moon in the Cloud, 1978) and HELENA BONHAM CARTER (The Way To Sattin Shore, 1991). Elsewhere Scots artist JOHN GRANT upended the format by drawing his stories of caveboy Littlenose live in the studio, ditto QUENTIN BLAKE and The Adventures of Lester. INSTANT SUNSHINE went out on the road to Search For The Source Of The M1, while GEORGE MELLY a-bipped and a-bopped his way through Tales From Beatrix Potter. The less said about those viewers-competition-winning-stories the better, likewise PRINCE CHARLES mithering on about the Old Man Of Lochnagar. Brought back in all but name by CBeebies, then with name on BBC1 in 2006.Read More
A FURTHER HANDFUL of hokum from the great IRWIN ALLEN, here set in the year – ho ho – 1997, where, thanks to a dangerously over-populated planet, the Space Family Robinson (do you see?) trundle off on a five-year gadabout to find more lebensreum. Only the ship was fucked and they became LOST…IN…SPACE… On board: GUY WILLIAMS (Professor John R.), JUNE LOCKHART (his missus Maureen), kids Judy, Will and Penny, a robot called The Robot with vacuum cleaner arms, plus the requisite Irwin pantomime villain, “devious” Dr. Zachary Smith (JONATHAN HARRIS). Escapades became more bonkers as the years went on, with giant frogs, cardboard craters and talking trees contriving to prevent the Robinsons forever from turning the map the right way up and going home.Read More
ARCH CAMPERY of a non-Connery kind (well, at least until Diamonds Are Forever) wherein ROBERT “NAPOLEON SOLO” VAUGHAN and DAVID “ILYA KURYAKIN” MACALLUM go out the back of Del Floria’s tailors into the steel-lined corridors and tape spools world of the United Network Command for Law Enforcement for much battling of THRUSH (which stood for bugger all) armed only with a special gun, an ace theme by JERRY GOLDSMITH and the hopes of the free world. Episodes later stitched together to form iffy big screen affairs before begatting inferior GIRL FROM UNCLE.Read More
UNREMITTINGLY GRIM this-is-real-life-so-you-better-get-used-to-it strand launched as “flagship” current affairs output of still-teething BBC2. Stamping ground for many a Beeb ego, with early years dominated by terrifying DESMOND WILCOX/ESTHER RANTZEN two-headed hydra. In-house gag dubbed the show “Desmond’s weepies” due to regularity of episodes featuring grubby-faced women (usually prostitutes) blubbing uncontrollaby while the camera zoomed up their nose. TREVOR PHILPOTT and JOHN PITMAN regular contributors. Earnest adherence to “ordinary people” agenda offset by seminal jazzy waltz theme by Sir TONY HATCH – replete with finger-clicks from, who else, finger-in-every-pie Wilcox.Read More
OUTDOORSY CANUCK intrepidities as GRAYDON GOULD and a mollycoddling bunch of lads (plus token girl) with no school to go to indulge in canoe-mania on a river in a forest. Mystery-solving criminal-catching antics jostled with much earnest repairing of badger warrens.Read More
YET ANOTHER pre-decimal diversion and faithful big screen supporting flick. Dopey young couple choose “dream home”, then sit back while various calamities beset the construction courtesy of RONNIE BARKER, RICHARD BRIERS, JANET BROWN, PETER BUTTERWORTH and BERNARD CRIBBINS as the sculptor carving the dedication block with much failed attempts due to prying eyes.Read More
HOMER SIMPSON-IDOLISING Hunathon involving dopey Nazi kommandants getting their arse kicked by wise-cracking wacky Yanks for 168,000 episodes. BOB CRANE led charge of the shite brigage.Read More
PETER LORENZO of the “Sun”analyses the latest football news and sums up the day’s outstanding games.
JOHN RICKMAN gives informed selections of the day’s televised races.
IAN WOOLDRIDGE of the “Daily Mail” reports from South Africa on the M.M.C. tour.
FREDDIE TRUEMAN voices a down-to-earth opinion on controversial issues in sport.
JIMMY HILL takes a fresh look at soccer’s problems.
POOLS SERVICE: an exclusive feature on the Treble Chance and the immediate news of the day’s probable dividends.
RESULTS ROUND-UP: the full classified scores, Rugby League and late racing results, League tables and sports headlines
Then in ’66, one “Richard Davies” took over – better known as moustachioed silver-streak DICKIE DAVIES, and billed as such from about ’72 onwards. FRED DINENAGE was a co-anchor for a while. In its late ’70s pomp, the running order went:
12.35 On the Ball
13.00 International Sports Special: some crap novelty thing from the US, such as cliff diving or truck racing; once they actually had the World Bus-Jump Classic: someone jumping a bus over 100 motorbikes. Didn’t work.
13.20 (after the news) The ITV Six (later Seven) – a seven horse-race accumulator beloved of Ladbrokes-frequenting uncles in front rooms up and down the land.
15.10 Another ISS
15.50 Half-time round-up
16.00 Wrestling – proper old-school Daddy/Haystacks/Mad Mick McManus/Cyanide Sid Cooper wrestling, mind.
16.50 Results service (always got the football results in late).
Some of our favourite WOS commentators – Brian “Retired” Moore and Gerald “crackly voice” Sinstadt (football), Kent Walton (wrestling, of course) and Reg Gutteridge (boxing).
You might also want to see... ANDREWS, Eamonn.
MOUTHY MIDGET, son of Dr. Benton Quest, has various hung-go adventures along with Indian mate Hadji, pilot/bodyguard person Race Bannon and dog Bandit, battling the terrible Dr Zin. “Real” science mixed in with wackadaisical wanderings.Read More
ANOTHER PROTO-SOAP venture from a still CORONATION STREET-reeling Beeb. Twice-weekly dispatches from pastoral homestead of the Coopers, former urban dwellers now seeking improved air, better neighbours and “anything for the quiet life, y’know” in Suffolk. En route to elsewhere were ALAN “ALAN HOWARD” BROWNING, JENNY “DRUNK IN TIME” AGUTTER, ROBERT “M” BROWN, WENDY “IDA DOWNS” RICHARD, DEBORAH “WHO” WATLING and JUDY “STAR MAIDENS” GEESON.Read More