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
“Once upon a time, the end!” Really enjoyed this last week, the best episode for ages and Capaldi was great in it. We should have fewer episodes set in space and more set in chic modernist brasseries, because they certainly have more relevance to our lives. Jon P’twee used to say there was nothing scarier than a yeti on the toilet in Tooting Bec, perhaps we can update that to a Cyberman in Café Rouge, or a Sontaran in Starbucks. Apparently this one’s not quite so good.
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Points of View
- In '37) “You should stay at home!” ', Morgan says: "Given that the whole of Southern England was, like TV Centre, in darkness, it’s hard to imagine who was able to..."
- In 'Origami', David Bally says: "Actually the presenter of origami was british magician and author Robert Harbin. Richard Hittleman (correct spelling) was the American presenter of Yoga..."
- In 'Soldiers Talking, Cleanly', Wul says: "I saw this. I was a squadie at the time. It was spot on about the military politics of the period, and quite funny; especially the last couple..."
- In 'Opportunity Knocks', Philip mcGovern says: "Peter, I have no real idea how these things work but I stumbled across “st Kevin’s Choir” and came across your notes...."
- In 'Home taping ', Richard M White says: "Thankfully I have managed to acquire 100s of original recordings of the old chart shows but am always looking for more. I’m also writing a..."