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
Next week we’ll be celebrating BBC2′s fiftieth anniversary with a whole host of programmes which all sounds pretty ace to us, and which we’ll come to in due course. This is a bit of a taster though, as it’s, er, the fortieth anniversary programme again. Well, not exactly, because it was three hours long last time and now it’s been edited down into two half hours, but it’ll make for a suitable aperitif, especially because they’ve probably got rid of the Dead Ringers sketches.
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Points of View
- 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)...."
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Richard16378 says: "They showed about a minute of clips from Watership Down for Bright Eyes."