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
Friday, 23.00, BBC Radio 4 Extra
The fact this programme is being repeated was a news story on Media Guardian the other day, seemingly based on someone reading the Radio Times and spotting it, though they did a better job than we did because it actually started last week and we didn’t notice. It’s the first repeat this side of the millennium and, you’ll note, rather earlier than the original broadcast, though we hear it’s only a five part series because there are contractual complications over whether show six, the one that famously got faded out after fifteen minutes, is actually a proper episode or not. Still, at least you can upgrade your mp3s of the other ones.
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Points of View
- In 'Man About the House', IanW1968 says: "I just watched all of the 4th, 5th and 6th series on youtube, it’s still brilliant. Robin’s buying a piano off Roper. Robin:..."
- In '4) “Your tone is antagonistic and you’re making me very angry!”', Alan B says: "Surely nobody has ever looked at rolling news with anything other than contempt..."
- In '24) “What kind of a thing is happening here?”', neu75 says: "The very best bit is the England bench’s reaction to the equaliser against Poland. Priceless…"
- In '7) “The skeleton of… a chicken!”', neu75 says: "Amuses me when the journos wax lyrical about American TV drama these days being so dark. To quote the 6th Doctor..."
- In 'Vertical Hold, Fiddling With The', David Nelson says: "Sadly Johnnyboy , I’m still watching in Black and white"