STARTED off as an excuse for the old I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again team to keep on getting their I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again money while tied up with TV projects, courtesy of an improvised panel game made up of smut, innuendo and silliness. Original rotating line-up was therefore Graeme Garden, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Bill Oddie, Jo Kendall and John Cleese (with fellow ex-ISIRTA-er David Hatch as producer) being given silly things to do by former Joe Meek-produced Trad Jazz Boom hitmaker and irreverent host of BBC jazz shows Humphrey Lyttleton. Oddie, Kendall and Cleese dropped out after a series or two, making way for external witmongers Barry Cryer and Willie Rushton to make up the long-running classic four-man line-up. Key running themes developed during these early days, most of them still in use to today, include ritual humilation of town and townspeople playing host to that evening’s recording, baiting of resident pianist Colin Sell, ridiculing of comedy panel game contemporaries (“I heard a joke the other day, apparently Quote… Unquote has a Listen Again feature… good one, Nigel!”), ever more ambitious double entendres about scorekeeper The Lovely Samantha, and of course the games – some self-explanatory, others not explanatory in any way at all: Late Arrivals, The Uxbridge English Dictionary, Just A Minim, The Bad Tempered Clavier, Pick Up Song, Cow Lake Bomb, Swanee Kazoo, Letter Writing, Name That Barcode, Quote… Misquote, One Song To The Tune Of Another, Sound Charades (invariably introduced with an anecdote about ‘The Undisputed Grand Master Of The Game’ Lionel Blair), Film Club, Book Club, and of course Mornington Crescent, famed for its innumerable, impenetrable and fiercely guarded rules. Survived Rushton’s death in 1997 by bringing in clued-up guest contestants like Jack Dee, Linda Smith, Rob Brydon, Stephen Fry, Andy Hamilton, Sandi Toksvig, Jeremy Hardy, Tony Hawks, Harry Hill, Phill Jupitus and Ross Noble, bringing their own running jokes with them, and similarly countered Lyttleton’s recent passing with installation of HIGNFY-esque ‘guest hosts’, and long may it continue.Read More
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
The Mercury Prize has flitted between the Beeb and C4 in recent years, but it’s back on the Beeb now and this year’s result will be revealed live tonight. What we especially like about the prize is obviously that it’s still named after the defunct company that originally sponsored it, and we even wonder how many younger viewers even realise that it even was a sponsor and not just a fancy name, a bit like the Britannia Stadium and the Liberty Stadium. Anyway, after it’s announced we’ll be able to enjoy some previous winners, and decide whether it’s a great honour or a poisoned chalice.
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Points of View
- In 'Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings', THX 1139 says: "When I was very little I was enchanted by this programme’s catchy theme tune, and would consider it a “life..."
- In 'Indoor League', THX 1139 says: "In most episodes you’d be lucky to see who won the matches, so easily distracted was the director. Judging by the amount of beer flowing, maybe..."
- In 'Horses Galore', Trev says: "Yep. Definitely Susan King (ah…tight jodhpurs,and sweaters!) The show had something to with horses, apparently. “Drake is a well developed..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Des E says: "And let’s not forget one2one, which was set up by Mercury in 1993 and whose ads used that glorious telephoney-rubber bandy tune by the Penguin..."
- In 'Indoors Outdoors', George Lennan says: "It was 50s telly cook Zena Skinner in the kitchen not Barret. She was an old bird then, but still alive as of November 2015! In the Garden was..."