SUBLIME filling of the popular-cultural no-man’s-land between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day with a set of short but charming mini-documentaries on a handful of erstwhile childrens’ TV favourites too old to still be ‘on’ but too recent to be properly nostalgised over yet: Tiswas, Play School, Vision On, the Smallfilms ouvre, Crackerjack, an odds-and-ends collection taking in Bill & Ben/Trumptonshire/Fingerbobs/Captain Pugwash/Mr Benn, and most infamously of all, a startling look back at the rivalry between Blue Peter and Magpie, peppered with guarded inter-presenter verbal barbs and hinting at all manner of shadowy The Fourth K-esque management power struggles behind the scenes. No wonder Noakes and Shep were so keen to ‘Go’! Packed to the ‘white void’ studio rafters with original contributors and bizarre anecdotes about stolen Teds, incinerated Mintons, foul-mouthed Clangers, New York taxi drivers shouting ‘COMPOST CORNER!’, ‘baby bump’-concealing scenery, Hamble-torture, Gilliam/Yellow Sumbarine-emulation, Leo Sayer fuming at theft of trademark ‘perm’, hypothermia-afflicted future Doctor Whos, backstage Play School joint-toking, and sticking two fingers up at Noel Edmonds, and with nary a second-rate standup doing that counting an imaginary ‘witty’ list off on their fingers thing in sight, this was – in a very real sense – what they want. Not to mention inspiring someone, somewhere to upload a handful of Fred Harris JPEGs…Read More
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Perhaps vying with The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse as the programme Creamguide’s billed more than any other, we have no hesitation in billing it yet again as it embarks on another repeat run, especially given it’s the first for a couple of years. In fact we’d argue it’s probably BBC4’s signature show, brilliantly summing up all that’s great about the channel and its wry take on social history, and you can do far worse than enjoy it again over the next three nights.
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Points of View
- In 'Professor Lobster', Anthony stott says: "Shippo was that Alderman William Derbyshire school you attended?"
- In 'Small World of Samuel Tweet, The', andrew's-classmate says: "He kept making a comic slurping sound when he talked."
- In 'What’s My Line?', THX 1139 says: "There’s an episode from 1974 on iPlayer featuring Mike Yarwood as the special guest, he signs in as Harold Wilson and oh how the..."
- In 'Ask the Family', THX 1139 says: "There’s an episode from 1982 on BBC iPlayer at the moment, and if anyone these days can answer more than five questions from it right, if that,..."
- In 'Grange Hill', Graham Pearson says: "I recall watching the episode in which Gripper was finally expelled for a grim catalogue of bullying, harassment and demanding money with menaces...."