Posts Tagged With 'Stewpot'

Trumpton Riots

Posted in The Programmes by TV Cream | 3 Comments »

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…

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STEWART, Ed ‘Stewpot’

Posted in The Jocks by TV Cream | 1 Comment »

'Stewpot' helps the Radio Times celebrate ten years of Radio 1 while being attacked by Dumbo‘STEWPOT’ was briefly king of all media in the seventies – witness his assorted tenures as affable cabbage-baiting Crackerjack frontman, resident Look-In gagmeister, and star of ‘don’t let your two-year-old talk to strangers’ Public Information Film, along with daughter Francesca – and his crowning glory was his long innings as a Radio 1 big name, a stature somewhat at odds with his could-do-better catchphrase: “Morning!”. Later moved to Nellie-centric Junior Choice presentation duties, while still a regular face on the Roadshow, and now to be found chez Radio Two.

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Crackerjack

Posted in C is for... by TV Cream | 1 Comment »
Asp discloses the identity of his favourite Crackerjack co-presenter The team catch sight of Stu Francis warming up for the next series

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.

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Anything You Can Do

Posted in A is for... by TV Cream | No Comments »

A DEVOUTLY devolved kids’ talent contest, pitting region against region in a knockout contest compered initially by ED “STEWPOT” STEWART, and latterly by CHRIS KELLY, on a mission to discover which ITV region held the most variously talented 12-14-year-olds (latterly 10-16 years). The Junior Television Trophy and an all-expenses-paid weekend in Paris were the prizes on offer, a NEW FACES-esque celebrity panel judged the efforts, and the first edition kicked off with a bout between Grampian and Tyne-Tees. The odd thing was, anything was grist to their talent mill – “singing, dancing, playing an instrument, acting, painting, writing poetry…anything!” – giving the affair a strange apples and oranges vibe. Celeb judges included THE SCAFFOLD, THE PAPER DOLLS, MIKE YARWOOD, LEW CHRISTIE, AYSHEA and BRIAN BENNET, and HANK MARVIN.

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