TV Cream

A bit of business

State of decade

The TV Cream 1990s Time Capsule being unearthed, yesterdayWith the close of the year fast approaching, a tremulous anniversary looms.

That’s right, it’ll soon be precisely 10 years since the end of the 1990s: a vibrant, frisky, franchise-consolidating, Five’s Company of a decade, commemorated on the previous (and still, semantically, official) version of the TV Cream website in the shape of a Time Capsule.

This repository of billings was recently dug up from the place where it had been laid down on New Year’s Eve 1999 (just over there) pending relocation (to just over here) and absorption within the body of the new site.

All of which leaves an empty casket, a hole in the ground, three navvies leaning on their shovels looking shifty, Bernard Cribbins, some non-waterproof linings and a man from the council wanting to know when that mound of earth by the pelican crossing on the Arkwright road is going to disappear.

The solution, naturally, is a 2000s Time Capsule. Well, natural enough to the man from the council, who’s just mentioned that he’s actually a bit of a fan of TV Cream and loves the new look of the site, although his favourite features are “the early, funny ones” and as such he can’t wait to see what we’re going to be doing to Rules of Drama.

But is there merit in a 2000s Time Capsule? And if so…

Reader, you’re ahead of us as usual. Yup, we’ve fallen to wondering what might qualify for inclusion in said vessel – but more presciently we’ve positively plummeting to wondering what you might think should qualifying for inclusion in said vessel.

What would you class as shows worth burying deep underground for future generations of, erm, people to learn some visceral truths about the years 2000-2009?

Bob Martin? Operation Good Guys? The Premiership? The Murder Game? Election 64? Live With Chris Moyles?

The list, literally, it not endless. All suggestions, however, are welcome!



  1. Applemask

    November 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    UK Play. A weird cobbled-together sort of a channel, half music videos, half comedy shows made for a combined total of about £1.50 featuring the likes of Leigh Francis and Simon Munnery. Also included similarly cheap vehicles for Radio 1 DJs like Mark and Lard and Chris Moyles.

  2. Rob Williams

    November 14, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    How about Mel and Sue? At one point begging to the next thing, launched as Sky Magazine favourites and Channel 4 darlings.

    Then moved to ITV to do ‘Casting Couch’, its their Dick and Dom’s Ask The Family moment, unfortunately it went into where News at Ten was on hiatus and a whole nation was confused…

  3. Glenn A

    November 14, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    For dross television, how about Celebrity Love Island from the nightmarish Charles Allen era ITV1, quite possibly the baddest of generally bad celeb based reality shows. They even renamed it Love Island to try and get more viewers, but by then no was fooled by it and it was axed due to poor ratings. Basically this monstrosity was a free holiday for Z list celebs who moaned and bitched all the time and tried to pull each other. Will Abi get it on with Lee in the loveshack, who gives a toss?
    For an unlikely idea that worked, New Tricks, a bunch of elderly semi retired detectives who investigate old cases, some dating back to the fifties. Certainly a show with a roster of guest stars involving such Creamy people as Peter Vaughan, Honor Blackman and Victor Spinetti is worth a look, but this combined with off beat plots, likeable main characters and a dash of humour has made New Tricks a massive success. My favourite episode has to be the one where they investigate the murder of a local radio DJ in 1994 with a wisecracking Smashy type DJ as the prime suspect.

  4. Glenn A

    November 15, 2009 at 4:00 pm

    Reviving shows that weren’t much cop in the seventies, Crossroads the new version, an embarassingly camp OTT rehash of the notorious seventies soap that was so bad it was rested for several months, then revived to total indifference and quietly dumped again. Luckily ITV aren’t planning an Albion Market revival.
    Reviving shows that were good in the seventies but tailed off in the eighties, the BBC’s Doctor Who revival confounded the cynics who were expecting a cheaply made studio bound sci fi show with plenty of in jokes, but instead got a big budget very well made and very well acted 21st century take on a seventies favourite. The new Doctor Who has become a massive ratings success and David Tennant is now regarded as a legendary Doctor on a par with Tom Baker.

  5. Applemask

    November 16, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    The revived Crossroads was a pretty good and laudably self-aware daytime soap opera for the first two or three months. Then they ran out of what steam they had ever had.

  6. Angryhead

    November 17, 2009 at 2:21 am

    Historians will probably look back on the ‘noughties’ and conclude that yet more nails were hammered into ITV’s coffin.
    Increasingly centralised, cash-strapped and teetering on the brink of financial meltdown, it’s no surprise the programmes were the first to feel the effect. Production costs were slashed and long-running ratings-pullers such as ‘Heartbeat’ were cancelled. Having continually failed in their bid to spawn a successful home-grown sitcom to match any on the BBC or Channel 4 during the decade, executives decided not to waste any more cash on developing one and simply gave up trying (they probably used their financial woes as a convenient way of not bothering). Regional news providers were stripped of more independence and yet more programmes which were once produced by local broadcasters such as Anglia were outsourced to independent producers – if at all. Drama was replaced by cheap, money-making vehicles such as ‘X-Factor’, ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ e.t.c. whilst hard-hitting current affairs programmes once the staple of ITV such as ‘World in Action’ were tossed aside in favour of dumbed-down tabloid “exposes” warning the lowest common denominator to look out for dodgy plumbers and bogus gas fitters. Even quiz shows – notoriously cheap to make – were tinkered with. The exception to this rule was the simple but effective ‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?’. Unfortunately, the only other quiz shows available on the channel featured celebrities as contestants. I have a theory as to the reasons for this…. hiring ‘celebs’ to appear instead of members of the public meant the channel no longer had to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds on prizes. The advantage of having a celebrity winning a quiz show also meant any prize money won by the contestant instantly went to a charity, thus giving ITV a healthy tax break in the process.
    The ever healthy viewing figures of soaps such as ‘Coronation Street’ meant they increasingly became the channel’s lifeline. As a result, they were forced to increase their output in a desperate bid to attract more advertising revenue. The most notable example was the decision to extend ‘Emmerdale’ to a run of five episodes a week.
    The launch, failure and demise of the ‘ITV News’ channel only helped to add embarrassment to a list of ever growing troubles at the network (as if money problems wasn’t enough to be going along with).
    Desperate to reverse their plummeting fortunes, ITV hired the legendary Michael Grade to work his TV magic on the channel. But even his talents were not enough to stop the rot.
    ITV entered the ‘noughties’ with trepidation, and departed it in crisis and increasing turmoil.

  7. Glen A Larson

    November 17, 2009 at 8:25 am

    Any of you want to suggest some programmes that could go in the Time Capsule?

  8. I'm Doctor Sanchez

    November 17, 2009 at 12:12 pm

    I have a suggestion for the Time Capsule: Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. Absolutely hilarious send up of Cream-era TV sci-fi and horror that not enough people watched, but now it’s gaining a cult following, and rightly so. Incredibly ridiculous humour, but witty with it, and affectionately done too.

  9. TV Cream

    November 17, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    For some reason, Darkplace passed us by at TVC Towers, but it sounds like a good shout.

    Likewise that other Matt Berry-starring Channel 4 effort The IT Crowd, which scaled occasional heights of brilliance (the new emergency services phone number, The Works Outing, Chris Morris jumping out of a window in an effortlessly amusing manner) and also scraped some terrible lows (the ‘Peter File’ joke).

    Any more?

  10. Andy Elms

    November 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Of standout television, I’ve have to put in Banzai, “Raven”, the Fry-and-Bird riffing of Absolute Power, Look Around You (series 1), the Queen Mum’s 100th birthday parade and Coast.

    As a warning to history, the “ITV2 on ITV1” double bill of Elimidate and Wudja Cudja?

    And of course, don’t forget to put an eggy pop in there.

  11. Andy Elms

    November 17, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Apology, “eggy pump”. If you can’t remember SMTV, you weren’t there…

  12. I'm Doctor Sanchez

    November 17, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Look Around You definitely, although I’m of the unpopular opinion that series 2 was just as funny as series 1 (Medibot, Leonard Hatred, casserole, Sir Prince Charles, all comedy gold).

    But if we’re talking the cultiest of all British comedy shows of the 00s, then The RDA has to be mentioned. It was taken from us too soon, but those of us who saw it will never forget.

  13. TV Cream

    November 17, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    The RDA is a shoo-in – in fact, we had an entry for it on the old site! Other already bagged and tagged shows include TV Burp, Life On Mars, This Morning With Richard Not Judy, That Was The Week We Watched and, if two of the TVC Towers mob have their way, House…

  14. TV Cream

    November 17, 2009 at 5:31 pm

    And this desk in the corner of TVC Towers also rates series 2 of Look Around You just as highly as series 1. “Viewers may like to know that, since the making of that programme, Clive Pounds has come back to life.”

  15. Adrian Fry

    November 17, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    If tis is sociology rather than us just nominating our favourite shows from the deade – and it is, isn’t it? – then I nominate ITV Play. The story of how the light channel became the light fingered channel is tragic and garish like the decade itself. The story of TV in the noughties has been one of contempt by those who make television for those who watch it and ITV is the best way to remember it.

    If all that seems a little serious, I liked QI

  16. Ken Shinn

    November 17, 2009 at 7:17 pm

    I’d like to suggest the live-broadcast update of The Quatermass Experiment from 2005 (?). It had its ropy bits – those necessary-but-boring overlong inserts of cell replication and late-night city skylines to cover the actors and crew frantically dashing from A to B to C – but it was still an exhilarating conceit and a fond salute to one of the Beeb’s earliest great television series.

  17. Ken Shinn

    November 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Oh. And Dick And Dom In Da Bungalow, of course. Far better than the vastly over-rated SM:TV.

  18. TV Cream

    November 17, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    If we’re talking early digital efforts, Later With Bagpuss wins hands down!

  19. LeGrandPierre

    November 17, 2009 at 9:11 pm

    The RDA? Qu’est-ce que ci que ca?

  20. I'm Doctor Sanchez

    November 17, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    The RDA was kind of like the BBC Choice version of The One Show only a comedy and completely nuts because they knew they could get away with anything as so few people were watching. Their most widely seen contribution to pop culture was getting an Eastern European woman to waggle her ear on Eurovision Song Contest night, not that anybody outside of a few thousand viewers (if that) would have known why she did it.

    Anyway, two more suggestions from me: The Derren Brown specials, either Russian Roulette or Seance because (so it seemed) they started this decade’s popular obsession with complaining about the TV (and radio) that was once the preserve of Mary Whitehouse. Plus they were really thrilling to watch (unlike Mary Whitehouse).

    Also, because it’s one of the most fun programmes of the year and something very recent would be nice in the Time Capsule, James May’s Toy Stories. Top Gear isn’t my thing, but this has been just great.

  21. Glenn A

    November 18, 2009 at 12:04 am

    SM TV, the last great kids programme on ITV and the show that moved Ant and Dec nearer to the top. Also tied in with SM TV, CD UK, which also featured Ant and Dec and followed SMTV, was a real attempt to rival Top of the Pops as it featured live appearances- the ITV Chart Show was just videos- and decent hosts.
    Speaking of TOTP, its long slow death could be worth mentioning as yet more makeovers, new studio sets, presenters and a final move to BBC 2 on Sunday nights, a real graveyard slot, couldn’t save it. Ironically highlights of classic shows and classic and not so classic performances from the archives on TOTP 2 were pulling in more viewers, proving that seventies and eighties nostalgia is still big business.
    As for the decline of ITV, although Michael Grade can point to huge ratings for The X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent as he retires and ratings have recovered slighlty after huge falls in the middle part of the decade, let’s face it this has not been ITV’s decade. Overkill with the two big soaps, the death of the old regions, junking whole genres of programmes such as current affairs and kids shows and a dumbing down under Charles Allen has left the broadcaster largely dependent on soap addicts and young women who watch reality shows on ITV 2 when the big two talent shows are off air. Certainly few people are going to look back on WAGs Boutique, Love Island, Echo Beach, Soapstar Superstar, Katie and Peter and Paris Hilton’s Best Friend with any affection in years to come or even remember them.

  22. TV Cream

    November 18, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I think we’ve had sufficient coverage of the decline of ITV now…

  23. Ed E. Tor

    November 18, 2009 at 1:18 am

    What about the …. Britannia series programmes from BBC Four? Well thought out and also well researched.

  24. David Pascoe

    November 18, 2009 at 1:24 am

    If you’re including radio programmes then the first series of “That Mitchell and Webb Sound” should go in. A brilliant full calling card (leaving aside their UKPlay show) for a duo who would become practically inescapable as the decade progressed. David Mitchell becoming particularly ubiquitous (which has been no bad thing). As great as “Peep Show” is/was (delete as applicable), their sketch comedy always came over better on Radio 4.

    “Hello, good evening and welcome to another edition of Porn on 4”.

  25. Paul Gatenby

    November 18, 2009 at 10:45 am

    Maybe ‘Down the Line’ if we’re considering radio programmes. “Barbuda? That’s not a real place, it’s just Bermuda and Barbados put together. Next caller please ..”

  26. nortcliff

    November 18, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    Chewin’ The Fat and Still Game, the most consistently funny and TV Creamesque Sitcom of the decade.

  27. Angryhead

    November 18, 2009 at 9:15 pm

    Re TV Cream;
    I think you’re giving Glenn A a bit of a hard time. Although his post was about ITV, it was linked together with ‘noughties’ programmes from the channel.
    P.S. … Don’t laugh, but I’m a bit of a “Come Dine with Me” fan. This show would be great for a capsule because future generations would get to see how us ‘ordinary folk’ decorated our homes and what we considered to be ‘trendy’ food. For this very reason alone, it is surely the stuff future Cream is made of. The narrator of the show is pretty good too, very unique in his style.

  28. TV Cream

    November 18, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    The anti-ITV ranting (by more than one person) has nothing to do with the subject of the post!! All we want is a couple of names of shows…

  29. Angryhead

    November 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    Re; TV Cream….
    Your comment above (i.e. “by more than one person”) is childish. If the “more than one person” is ME, then please say so. Please don’t patronise me with weak, rude and childish comments, after all, we’re all grown-ups here. My God… I feel like I’ve been told off by a teacher at school !!! How f{30e2395aaf6397fd02d2c79d91a1fe7cbb73158454674890018aee9c53a0cb96}*”*ng dare you!!!!
    With regards to Glenn A, all he (or she) was doing was backing up his argument with examples. Nothing wrong in that. Members have gone to a lot of effort and time to share their thoughts on this site.
    I’ve been a longtime fan of TV Cream and have even gone as far as to dip my hands into my moth-beaten pockets to buy some of it’s spin-off books. However, the ‘control freakish’ and ungrateful manner in which the forums and comments sections are sometimes moderated is unnecessary.
    As such, I WON’T be back after the break…
    Good luck with future TV Cream endeavours (somehow, I think you’re going to need it).

  30. TV Cream

    November 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    A Radio Cream Time Capsule? Hmmm, that might work… have there been that many shows, apart from the two mentioned above and The Sofa Of Time, The Freakzone, Oneclick Retro and Nebulous, that would make the ‘cut’??

  31. Steven!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Just coming!

  32. Ian Tomkinson

    November 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    If you want James May immortalised then I’d prefer the Oz & James range of shows, they perfectly encapsulate a style of television that is very Creamy – sedate, pedestrian, some say slow… but a joyous journey full of fun facts and big laughs.

    Several eps of the RDA can be found on Youtube if you’ve never been exposed to it before.

    And which defunct channel would we put in the capsule? Has to be Granada Plus – never again will we see a Bootsie & Snudge/Army Game double-bill. And I’m still waiting for Corrie 1991 to be completed…

  33. Louis Barfe

    November 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    TMWRNJ was 1998-1999, shurely? Seconding Look Around You, and very much a series 2 fan – the BBC2 announcements and menus, Machadaynu, the world’s scariest picture (which I had put on a t-shirt for my wife who, quite rightly, regards it as the world’s funniest picture) etc. Was it really nearly 5 years ago? Christ.

    Does it have to be individual shows? I’d like to put most of BBC4 in. Once you strip out the endless same-night repeats, you could probably fit it on a 1TB hard drive. The channel’s ongoing commitment to Jonathan Meades does it great credit. Amen to the UKPlay nomination too. The anti-E4, showing that a cheap channel needn’t be pap. I didn’t have the requisite dish or box at the time, but I’ve got a fair bit of stuff on tape and disc and it’s all interesting at the very least, and mind-bending at best. Simon Munnery’s quasi-mediaeval game show Either/Or gets my vote.

    Help goes straight in. As does The Thick of It. Basically anything involving Chris Langham, including coverage of his trial, so that future generations can decide whether to judge the work or the man. Also, The Gist – a one-off piss-take of arts programming made for BBC4’s opening night, written by John Morton, which says more about arts programming in the early noughties than any real arts show.

    Top Gear – all memories of the string-backed World of Woollard banished, as the Goodies meet Wind in the Willows with a touch of Jackass, to glorious effect. In a few short years, I’ve gone from hating Jeremy Clarkson, through grudging respect to loving him dearly, mainly because of his rock-solid grip on his own mammoth absurdity. He gives it out, but he can also take it (Remember the custard pie? Where most slebs would have had a monumental SoH failure, he just responded “Good aim, but could have done with a bit more sugar”.), which can’t be said of too many stars. How strange that one of TV’s top LE shows should be a car programme.

    Still Game series 3 episode 4: “Have ye go’ any Midori?”

    Also, from October 2002, LWT’s last-ever startup, put together by pres fans on the inside at ITV as a labour of love. Perhaps while we’re in such a mood, the complete set of regional ITV at 50 documentaries wouldn’t go amiss.

    Radio: The National Theatre of Brent’s The Arts and How They Was Done, the various Dave Podmore series, and a random sample of those quirky/light-hearted 11.30am Radio 4 documentaries that tend to grab you in passing and not let you go until the noon pips.

    2/10 for the flounce, Angryhead, marking you down severely for suggesting that the site/forum will be screwed without you. It never is, no matter who says it or which forum it concerns. If you want to come back as Levelhead, feel free, but your name suggests you have issues that you need to work through in private.

  34. Tim Worthington

    November 19, 2009 at 2:03 pm

    TMWRNJ – aha, well, the capsule begins in 2000, but the site ends with those certain events of a weekend in late August 1997… so that handful of Wilderness Years should theoretically find their way in also!

  35. Gavin

    November 19, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Favourites of this decade:Family Guy, Brass Eye special, The IT Crowd, Life on Mars, Folk/Soul/Pop/Prog/Synth Britannia series on BBC 4, Kenneth Williams….Fantabulosa!, Mark Radcliffe as Shane McGowan on Stars in their Eyes, The Culture Show (Lauren Laverne & Mark Kermode make a great double act), Robot Wars, Mock the Week, Not Going Out & The last days of TOTP with the lovely Fearne Cotton at the helm.

  36. LeGrandPierre

    November 19, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    UK Play, yes; loved Bruiser, especially Robert Webb’s psychotic Oedipal character. Still Game is also a class apart, albeit the last series did take a bit of a zimmer frame over the shark.

  37. TV Cream

    November 20, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Apologies to Gavin, but there are already huge stickers on the Time Capsule saying ‘Brass Eye Special Must Be Kept Out’! Robot Wars is a brilliany suggestion though.

  38. Gavin

    November 20, 2009 at 6:12 pm

    OK How about Charlie Brooker’s Screenwipe and all those Election repeats that BBC Parliament do? The Election of 1959 was a classic.

  39. TV Cream

    November 20, 2009 at 7:13 pm

    Big favourites around TVC Towers both – though the 1979 one, with Auberon Waugh’s A Love For Your Dog Party banned from even being named, is surely the winner!

  40. Glenn A

    November 20, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    How about the 2001 election, what the BBC called the election that never was as Labour’s huge majority was almost undented and a record number of people decided to enjoy the sunshine rather than vote. This could be the day when it seemed politics was dead and had become a minority pursuit on a par with discussing a Yes guitar solo- not generally a way to start a conversation. How things had changed from the heated debates of the eighties about THAT woman to the now largely apathetic and who cares Blair’s OK but change the subject atmosphere we lived in at the start of this decade.

  41. Iain Griffiths

    November 21, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    BBC2/4 Documentary Alchemists of Sound on the Radiophonic Workshop.

    No Heroics – a brave attempt by ITV at a Superhero comedy from last year which wasn’t as bad as it sounds. Nice performances good writing and some nice set pieces.

    Oh and the only other thing I’ve watched in ITV player = Top Dog, the badly thought out Salesmen’s The Apprentice. Great viewing, pity the format was so poorly thought out that it ruined it.

  42. Iain Griffiths

    November 21, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Oh in a slight twist :
    Daphne an Celeste .

  43. Adrian Fry

    November 21, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Oh, people are just nominating shows they like. A time capsule should really seek to contain items typical of the times in question. So much as I loathe Strickly, X Factor et all, one or other of them has to go in while Jonathan Meades docos should not – much as I love them – because they are a sort of hangover from the 1990s style of telly. Not that I’m taking this all too seriously or anything.

  44. Iain Griffiths

    November 22, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Don’t think its just about what programmes we like, its more about the dimly remembered shows that make the decade.

  45. Glenn A

    November 23, 2009 at 8:47 pm

    Little remembered now and a costly attempt to take on Big Brother 2, Survivor, one of the first ITV reality shows from way back in 2001. OK it struggled in the ratings against the tidal wave that was Big Brother in those days but the few that saw it didn’t think it was that bad- as it pitted man against nature- and for all it vanished largely unwatched and no doubt into the skip at ITV, the rainforest type setting must have been the inspiration behind another idea- put a bunch of celebs into a jungle ( OK a fake one) for a couple of weeks and see how they react. Result, a hugely successful new reality show, I’m A Celebrity, that still does reasonable business 7 years later.

  46. I'm Doctor Sanchez

    November 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Survivor series one no, but series two definitely. The second try, the contractural obligation if you like, had the great combination of double act John and Johnny, two contestants that any reality show would have killed to have employed. Pity that they were squandered a bit on a flop, but some of us remember what great personalities they were in diminished circumstances.

  47. fl3m

    November 30, 2009 at 12:37 am

    My Parents Are Aliens
    Sky Sports News
    It’s Not The Answer
    Soapstars and that family who were briefly on Emmerdale.
    BBC Parliament. But only before it went full screen
    BBC1’s ‘dancing’ idents
    The demise of Saturday morning kids TV and the rise of Saturday morning cookery programmes
    Blue Peter seemingly getting it right at being trendy

  48. Welshcake

    November 30, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    I’m going to have to suggest The Wire, though I feel I’ll cop some flak. Suggested mainly because it’s such a great series with superbly fleshed out characters, but also because after watching the full 5 series run through on BBC2, whenever I see the BBC2 ident with the car side mirror I have to say “strong language and violence from the start now on BBC2…” even if “It Takes Two” is on next. Makes me chuckle anyway.

    Also prepared to second whoever sugested “Darkplace” – hilarious.

  49. diz

    November 30, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    “fl3m said,
    Sky Sports News”

    Only if it goes in with “Shooting Star” by Deepest Blue. For a time, the official theme music of Jim White or Simon Thomas from Blue Peter pretending mild transfer rumours were something substantial. Best watched in a deserted pub, natch

  50. Jon

    January 10, 2010 at 4:57 am

    A few debuts from 2000 when the launch of Big Brother turned Channel 4 into a “reality” haven of sorts…

    ‘Dotcomedy’ 2000

    Late night ‘after Big Brother’ webgazing show presented by Gail Porter and Chris ‘The Thick of It’ Addison. Basically a trawl through the internet looking at ‘funny’ websites with bizarre video clips (in the days before YouTube) and people with strange hobbies.

    RI:SE 2002 – 2003,

    Mediocre replacement to the legendary Big Breakfast, presented firstly by Mark Durden-Smith in a ‘sincere’ studio before a relaunch saw Iain Lee and Kate “first woman to win Big Brother” Lawler in a coffee lounge. Also featured comediennes Mel and Sue.

    The Priory 1999 – 2001, C4

    Live entertainment, chat and silly business replacement to TFI Friday. Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston reunited from kids telly. Went off air in 2001 due to poor ratings – people just wanted TFI Friday back affair.

    Frontal, C4 2000

    Only lasted one series. Can’t remember much about Frontal (in fact it was so bad, it seems to have disappeared from all consciousness) but it aired after Big Brother and I think it was filmed in a studio bar where drunken ‘zelebrities’ turned up, and tried to plug their latest DVD and nonsense to another ‘zelebrity’ presenting.

    I’m sure I will think of more later on.

  51. Mags

    January 10, 2010 at 11:14 am

    The rise and fall (and subsequent resurrection) of the Living History Series. Starting in 1999 with the 1900’s House and working it’s way through various well loved historical periods. It took real people and let them recreate history. It reached it’s zenith with BBC’s Surviving the Iron Age where they got a bunch of crusties to live like it was ‘when the world was simpler’. They all got sick on under-cooked chicken. I think I may be the only person who remembers this show, but I have the tie-in book so it did exist.

    The Living History series died around the mid of the decade only to make a come back at the end albeit without the element that killed it in the first place (namely Joe Public whinging). Victorian Farm and the Supersizers Go… have brought dressing up in funny clothes and doing things that aren’t done no more back to our screens.

    The Capsule needs then to have 1900’s House, Surviving the Iron Age and Supersizers Go… to reflect this genre.

  52. Donald McKinney

    January 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    Hello everyone, with all the ITV bashing going on, I have a suggestion. And if anyone can remember it, you’ll see why it needs to be added. I am on about Avenue of the Stars: 50 Years of ITV. Broadcast on September 18th 2005, it was car crash TV of the purest form. A load of brown-nosing, back-slapping going on to celebrate ITV’s 50th birthday, but the main problem of this ‘special’ is that it didn’t know what it wanted to be. A celebration of ITV’s milestone?? A celebration of London’s Walk of Fame that no-one ever talks about now?? Or just an excuse for alot of famous people to get together in one area. Besides, towards the end, they were celebrating BBC shows!! Oh, and this was the icing to the cake, Shirley Bassey’s “acceptence speech” –

    Are we in agreement??

  53. Glenn A

    January 10, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Little remembered now, how about Sex Tips for Girls, which kicked off a trend for sex tips shows in the early part of the decade. With its soft porn theme tune( plenty of oohs and aahs), some middle aged American woman running a sex school and tips about how to spice up your love life, it was required viewing after Big Brother in 2001. A clever piece of scheduling from Channel 4 as most of Big Brother’s under 30 audience would have watched it.

  54. sydneepie

    January 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    how about “The Naked Jungle” featruing Keith Chegwin
    i have to admit i did not see it at the time but i remember the press backlash it received. a well suited opener to the decade i think. An old star with a new feel, if you like!

  55. Jon

    January 12, 2010 at 2:35 am

    FBi (Fully Booked interactive), BBC1, 2000

    BBC1 Summer replacement show for Saturday morning’s Live and Kicking. Revamped version of previous ‘Fully Booked’, it helped launch the television career of one ‘noughty’ favourite, Vernon Kay. Pelted in the ratings thanks to Ant and Dec’s SM:TV Live.

    The Ricky Gervais Show, Channel 4, 2000

    Ricky Gervais’ playing the character of Ricky Gervais in his first main telly gig (although he hates being reminded of it) after leaving the 11 O’Clock Show and between writing The Office; had a go at hosting his own laidback-style chat show featuring whoever was available at the time including, Tony Hart, Penny Smith and John Simm starring in some spoof Krypton Factor style observation clips. Bullseye’s Tony Green was also a regular ‘sidekick’

    Chewin the Fat, BBC1, 2000

    Started as a radio series and began as a comedy sketch show for the Scottish TV region in 1999, launched on BBC1 on Friday nights in June 2000. Had a spin-off show, Still Game, which was mentioned by somebody earlier.

    Liquid News, BBC Choice/Three, 2000 – 2004

    Born as an Entertainment news show from News 24 back in 2000. Fronted by the then popular, now sadly departed Christopher Price. Relaunched shortly after Price’s death with main presenters, Claudia Winkleman and Colin Paterson and Paddy O’Connell. Was axed by BBC3 controller pretty much due to BBC changes and after numerous ‘before watershed’ f’ing and blinding outbursts and walkouts from the likes of Dead or Alive’s Pete Burns and a rocky S Club 7. Clipreel

    Comedy Map of Britain, 2007 – 2008 BBC Two

    Alan Whicker narrated a series touring a virtual map of the UK taking famous comedians back to their hometowns.

    I don’t know if reality shows are banned but the noughties has certainly been the era for plenty to mention..

    e.g. Five TV had…

    Back to Reality 2004: Former reality contestants of various shows put back to live together in a studio house.

    The Farm, 2005: 10 celebrities take on the role of working on a farm (yep, that was basically it..seem to remember Orville the Duck slept most days..the lazy..$!)

    Trust Me, I’m a Holiday Rep 2005-6: etc etc

    Lastly, ITV’s Reborn in the USA, 2002: Former 80s popstars attempt to relaunch their failing career in the USA. Aired Saturday evenings presented by Davina McCall.

  56. DW

    January 12, 2010 at 1:17 pm

    We Are History (2000 – 2001)
    Spoof history/time team documentary. Marcus Brigstocke does a mean Tony Robinson/David Starkey/Simon Schama as “David Oxley B.A. (Hons)” A DVD is much overdue. In terms of noughties spoofery, its up there with Look Around You and Darkplace.

  57. DW

    January 12, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    Harry and Cosh 1999 – 2003
    Off-the-wall teen comic/soap/genre defying light entertainment which spawned CBBC’s (briefly controversial albeit inferior) Cavegirl. Detractors would see it just as a bunch of kids constantly running around London suburbia. Fans fondly remember it as a uniquely British slice of sunshine with just enough pathos to sustain 4 “coming of age” series over 46, yes 46 episodes. More than a few of these seemed to be time-travel fantasy episodes, almost all involved Lucinda wailing Harry for one reason or another. One-man kids TV industry Daniel Peacock (surely responsible for the only good kids TV in the noughties?) churned out more low-budget output like Morris 2274 and Billie: Girl from the Future (surely good candidates for a time capsule). Though, H&C would surely have been the cult hit, had it ever been broadcast more widely than on “Channel 5” as it was then still known.

  58. Joe

    January 14, 2010 at 12:35 am

    The 24 Hour Quiz on ITV: presented by Barry off EastEnders. At one point featured “celebrities” Cheryl Baker, Jeremy Beadle and that bloke off Corrie who went out with Sarah Platt for a while and who Richard tried to frame for murdering Maxine.

    The Salon: Channel 4 reality show set in a beauty salon. Again featuring Cheryl Baker, this time getting colonic irrigation done in front of the nation at teatime.

    Celebrity Wrestling: ITV abomination featuring Z-listers in lycra including Jeff Brazier and Michelle Heaton. Weekly masked special guest wrestlers included Terri Dwyer and Fran Cosgrave.

    Footballers Wives: started out with Posh and Becks style couple Kyle and Chardonnay as the centrepiece but the show was soon taken over by drag queen-esque superbitch Tanya Turner whose various crimes against humanity include shagging her husband to death and branding another conquest by scraping her initial into his arse cheek with her talon like fingernails.

  59. Jon

    January 16, 2010 at 2:09 am

    – Shattered, 2004, C4

    Ten ‘well-educated’ participants took part in a monitored experiment (but it was just another reality show) to live for a week without sleep. What was particularly notable was how uglier people became without sleep under horridly bright studio lighting.

    – Hells Kitchen, 2004 – Present. ITV1

    In particular the 2005 series with non-zelebs and stressy Jean Christophe-Novelli failing to drop metal utensils into the back of a contestants head. (I think I definitely watched too much reality TV in the noughties, I’ve learnt something).

    – Quizmania / The Mint / PlayDate / The Call / Playalong etc etc 2005-7 ITV1 (ITV Play)

    Late night “give us ya money!” phone-in quizfest during the decaying years of Charles Allen’s reign at ITV. Aimed at students and those back from ‘da pub’, In particular, ‘The Mint mansion’ was so cheesy they even brought in celeb (Jim “can’t beat a bit of bully!” Bowen etc) guests in to try and spice it up a bit. ITV latterly decided to use the format during the day in it’s own channel and brand ‘ITV Play’ where people sobered up, read their huge phone bills and Ofcom pretty much sent it all to the sinbin.

    – Win, Lose, Or Draw Late, 2004, ITV1

    Basically the old Mills/Baker morning format but before midnight with host Liza “It’s on ya screens at home.. it’s gone again!” Tarbuck spitting out tons of innuendo and Sue Perkins trying to draw “something rude”.

    – Space Cadets, 2005, C4

    Without doubt the noughties was Endemol’s patch for reality TV, having created Big Brother but by 2005 they ran out of ideas. Presented by Johnny Vaughan, this was without doubt one of the biggest ‘fails’ of the decade (so of course, rightly deserves a place in the time capsule ;). So what happened? Basically, 12 contestants were led to believe they were getting the trip of their lifetime, to outer space, but by using a mix of camera trickery, actors and the help of an aircraft hangar, it was all done in a bizarre ‘Candid Camera’ style hoax.

    – Fit Farm, 2004, C4

    Produced by the same team as The Salon, yet another daytime ‘reality’ show this time featuring ten obese and skinny contestants trying to get fit at a health farm.

  60. Donald McKinney

    January 23, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Back to that Avenue of the Stars, look at what’s happened to it since.,_London

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