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
The presentation of this show took a bit of a turn for the worse recently with the temporary departure of Kid Jensen – who might have been able to make something out of those ill-advised interviews before Christmas – and the continued presence of Simon Bates, but we think Richard Skinner has been a valuable addition to the roster, both having a bit of wit about himself while wearing his knowledge very lightly. Not sure about some of those jumpers, mind. Here he is again, and if you were fed up Fred Wedlock got relegated to the late shift, maybe Tony Capstick will make up for it.
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Points of View
- In 'Lace', George White says: "Basically Bunty comic’s the Four Marys with added sex with its story of “teenage” pregnancy (average age of student – 31)."
- In 'Potty Time, Michael Bentine’s', Scott McPhee says: "The obligatory Christmas episode. Jingle Bells parody; “Oh what fun it is to ride in a super sonic sleigh.”"
- In 'Play School', George White says: "Yes, that’s right, he is. Australia is a small world."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "It sounds like it’s worth writing a feature on the rise of stand-up comedy over the last 20 or so years."
- In 'Play School', David Smith says: "Don Spencer is also, in one of my favourite pieces of telly trivia, Russell Crowe’s father-in-law."