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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Trailblazers of Disco
Friday, 21.00, Sky Arts
With that rather odd Dave Clark Five epic getting another outing on BBC4, we instead alight on Sky Arts who launch this new series, and despite this channel’s usual mid-Atlantic focus it appears to be both new and British, not least as it’s presented by Sir Nodward Holder. Doesn’t seem to be a great deal to it, mind, simply highlighting people and places that played a major role in the history of various genres, which may not offer much you didn’t already know if you’re a fan but could serve as a useful greatest hits package and make for amiable viewing. Probably worth a look in any case.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Palitoy says: "I’m loving the recent trend for high-concept/obscure subject matter for Radio 4 plays. All very ‘Cream’ flavoured. Johnny..."
- In 'As seen on TV: Victoria Wood', George White says: "They were part of the sort of “folkie”tradition alongside Billy Connolly, Max Boyce, John Cooper Clarke, etc, people..."
- In 'As seen on TV: Victoria Wood', Glenn Aylett says: "Victoria Wood had none of the sneering and contempt the alternative comedians had for the mass audience and this is how she became..."
- In 'As seen on TV: Victoria Wood', Richard16378 says: "Dinnerladies was a real favourite of mine, & a few years ago me & my girlfriend watched it all again over a weekend. She..."
- In 'Finders Keepers', George White says: "Also not to be confused with various same-titled films and webseries and other TV series…"