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
Our leaf through the Christmas 1979 Radio Times for this week’s Creamguide reminds us this programme was repeated on BBC1 in omnibus form over the afternoons of 30th December and 1st January that Christmas, and thanks to that we can confirm that the Daily Express said, “It rates with the finest BBC productions”, while The Observer, and presumably one C James, said, “It’s like watching the source material for countless derivative spy stories. You just know this one is the original.” Better watch it, then, though alas this time it’s not followed by EBC1.
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Points of View
- In '41) “Comes with a free Catherine wheel!”', Richard16378 says: "These were great, & it helped that nostalga for the 1970s was big at the time it was made, so a..."
- In '54) “The drawings were by Valerie Pye!” ', Richard16378 says: "I admit to studying end credits, not just for who appearred in front of the camera. Puzzling over what jobs..."
- In 'Bottom Line, The', Richard16378 says: "I remember Danny Baker tried to have it put in Room 101 & ended up having to take a box set of it home with him!"
- In 'Duncan Dares', Richard16378 says: "I remember he also tried being a truck racer & a tight rope walker. There was a spin-off book with write up of some episodes, complete with a..."
- In 'Duncan Dares', Chris says: "Copy of Duncan dares as a firefighter"