AH, THE gentle swish of a watercolour paintbrush, the chiming tinkle of an endlessly hummable signature tune…the smell of an ace, if preposterous, classic. LOVEJOY was the business, despite its titular hero being a blackguard, a cheat, a rogue and a sporter of the Phil Collins Jacket And Jeans. IAN MCSHANE was your avuncular antiques dealer, running juvenile amok in East Anglia with PHYLLIS LOGAN (posh love interest Lady Jane), DUDLEY SUTTON (dandied loon Tinker) and CHRIS JURY (hapless klutz on motorbike Eric). Each week the gang fell foul of ludicrous plot devices, ancient earthenware, foreign crime syndicates, a man from the council, MALCOLM TIERNEY (Charlie Gimbert) and inclement weather. First series ended with our man being sent to prison, only to emerge five years later with a bouffon and a propensity for wearing Motorhead T-shirts, driving a car called Miriam and helping out old ladies in peril from marginally less ethical dealers. Show then gained a huge following and, weirdly, a huge currency amongst the luvvie community, with the likes of JOHN GIELGUD and JOANNA LUMLEY showing up for a bit. Inevitably ran out of steam towards the end, with McShane apparently calling the shots and the likes of Logan and Dury pissing off as a result. Still, at its peak it was nonsensical wonderment, especially the bits where Lovejoy talked straight to camera a la Francis Urquhart and Garry Shandling.Read More
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Fifty years since the Radio Times were on the phone saying this new science show needed a name and it needed it now, a look back at the legacy of the most popular of popular science shows. Undoubtedly its high water mark was in the seventies which it wasn’t just an important series – as the Radio Times pointed out in 1976, “many firms delegate executives to watch each programme and then prepare a synopsis for senior management” – but also hugely popular thanks to its familiar placing before Top of the Pops. James Burke rummages through the archives and talks to some of his former colleagues like Judith Hann and Howard Stableford, and looks at not just what it got right, but also what it thought today’s world would be like.
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Points of View
- In 'Naked Video', David Smith says: "The end credits for the latter series replaced the roaring Thatcher with John Major as a buck toothed mouse, I recall…"
- In 'Horses Galore', Alan says: "Someone on another site also says that the presenter was Susan George but it was definitely Susan King. I can however see a resemblance between them. A..."
- In 'Your Local Station – Across The Nation!', AlexTheEngineer-Ipswich says: "Surprised to see no mention of Laser 558, Radio Caroline (which took over 558 for a bit after the MV..."
- In 'Friends in Space', Danny says: "OMG! I’ve been looking for this for years. Watching it as a kid it stayed with me and I never forgot it!"
- In 'New Faces', harvey wood says: "I was on new faces in 1975 does anyone have any copies or information please thanks"