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 'Stewpot'
‘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.Read More
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.Read More