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
Here’s a Christmas staple that’s lasted longer than Creamguide, and like us is clearly struggling to find ways to present the same material as every year in a slightly different guise. These days because it’s the only one they do – although given how frequently they repeat them, we don’t know why they don’t do some more – it’s also a repository for any other bits and bobs that may have turned up over the last twelve months, with “rare footage of Kate Bush” promised, though don’t get too excited.
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Points of View
- In 'The six best Christmas TV Times covers', borgduck says: "Are you sure these aren’t the six worst TV Times covers?"
- In 'The six worst Christmas Radio Times covers', Richard16378 says: "While I have a higher opinion of Some Mothers Do Ave Em than TVC I admit that picture of Frank Spencer isn’t..."
- In 'The six worst Christmas Radio Times covers', borgduck says: "Strap yourselves. There’s a Some Mothers repeat in less than half an hour!"
- In 'The six worst TV Times Christmas covers', borgduck says: "AVERT YOUR EYES! WHAT A NIGHTMARE!"
- In 'It’s the double-sized Christmas Creamguide number 2014!', Des E says: "Nice spoof of the 1991 Christmas Radio Times cover."