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
Posts Tagged With 'Peter Glaze'
SALUTARY LESSON IN how to piss away the goodwill of an entire nation of kids. First came sedate desks ‘n’ buzzers 60s incarnation with a few muted sketches and the Crackerjack Pencils as prizes (you couldn’t just write in and ask for one, y’know, you had to EARN it!). The sainted EAMONN ANDREWS, PIP HINTON and LESLIE CROWTHER kept things ticking over with the right modicum of underwhelmed enthusiasm. Then came, however, invasion of music hall slapstick courtesy of troupe comprising PETER GLAZE, DON MACLEAN, JAN HUNT, LEIGH MILES, GILLIAN COMBER, BERNIE CLIFTON and hosts MICHAEL ASPEL and/or ED ‘STEWPOT’ STEWART. Stretched credibility – and viewers’ ear drums – to limit whenever gang decided, “spontaneously”, to break out of some sketch or other to reprise contemporary popular song of dizzying unsuitedness, such as Bowie’s ‘Golden Years’ or ‘Something for the Girl with Everything’, originally by Sparks, now by MacLean as he assaulted Glaze with an old boot. Programme as a whole still tolerable, though, until the 80s hoved into view and format was tweaked again to bring us – oh dear God – camp commandant STU FRANCIS. Cue gunge, shouting, irritating meaningless catchphrases (“Ooh, I could crush a grape/rip a tissue/pummel a peach”), The Fucking Krankies, The Great Soprendo (admittedly the one decent bit in it: “See this glass of milk? You see it? Right, you see it? Now it has gone, yes!”), Chas’n’Dave theme (“Lumberjack? No! Steeplejack? No! Uncle Jack? No!”) and dolly bird “assistants” who fed shit jokes to Stu for shit one-liners no kid could possibly understand/find funny (gags about Charles Aznavour for fuck’s sake). They even dropped Double Or Drop. Whole wretched noisy mess mercifully axed by Michael Grade.Read More
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Top of the Pops
Friday, 19.30, 00.00, BBC4
Back to the double headers, we’re pleased to see. We all know Pops now is better than at any point during this repeat run, although one downside has been in the hosts where they’re failed to fill the hole left by our favourite host Kid Jensen. But now they’ve done that in the shape of, er, David Jensen. Back from a year on CNN, Kid is back on Radio 1 and back on the Pops, and he takes to the current format, and the vibrant pop scene, like a duck to water, so it’s a treat to see him again. Sadly someone else from earlier in this repeat run is also back, which means the extended version probably won’t have all the acts in either. But rather that than not at all.
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