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
This is the first and potentially the most interesting of the anniversary programmes, and despite the name it’s not just pop featured but also jazz, folk, classical and the whole of the musical spectrum that’s been covered on the channel, with David Attenborough our VJ for the evening. Inevitably we’re most interested in the pop and they promise it won’t just be Whistle Test, Jools Holland and the last desperate year of Top of the Pops but music and chat from all kinds of shows. Let’s hope too for stuff from the shorter-lived series like Behind The Beat, Snub and The O Zone, a show we were always very fond of.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard Davies says: "I remember the programme made for their 18 birthday was really good. Lots of archive footage, at the time Newsround seemed to have a feature..."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richie Brown says: "There’s the thing – Morecambe and wise came second to…Ant and Dec. Oh dear, Channel 5 still the preserve of the brain dead and..."
- In 'TTV', Richard16378 says: "Other segment of this I remember was Top Of The Mops, a music show with an audience of mops pointing upwards."
- In 'Erasmus Microman', Applemask says: "Fuck you, this could only have been awesome, because Ken Campbell."
- In 'Yak, The', thedoctorrr says: "I used to love Yak as a kid- possibly one of the most melancholy shows ever produced for kiddies ( can still hum the somewhat sad theme tune even now)...."