TV Cream

How We Used To List

How We Used To List: 10-16th AUGUST 2002

What we were watching this week 20 years ago, as recorded in the back-issues of TV Cream’s weekly ‘e-mag’, Creamguide…

(We still send out Creamguides every week via email. If you’d like to receive it – it’s free, there are no ads, we don’t sell on your address, you can unsubscribe whenever; we’re basically soppy like that – then fill in your details below.)

10th -16th August 2002
Which is which? –
Chris Diamond, Phil Norman
He ain’t no farty – Graham Kibble-White

Saturday 10th August


00.20 Carrie
Little known vehicle for Betty ‘Frantic’ Buckley.


18.40 Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em
Mostly non-stop sport on the Beeb today, but of course there’s always time for this.

20.00 Fame, Fashion and Photography: The Real Blow Up
Two hours on a Saturday night are filled up with people like David Bailey, Twiggy (in what must be her first TV appearance since the This Morning farrago), Mary Quant and Vidal ‘Saturday Night Affairs’ Sassoon discussing Swinging London and the role photographers played in it, all of which ties in with…

01.10 Blow Up
Swinging, bored, misogynist David Baileyesque photgrapher David Hemmings snaps a swinging, distraught Vanessa Redgrave and ‘friend’ in swinging London park, gets suspicious, enlarges prints in between swinging with Jane Birkin and one of the Heaven 17 fans off of the Clockwork Orange William Tell bedroom scene, discovers a possible murder, sends swinging agent Peter ‘whisky tumbler clink-clink’ Bowles to investigate, sees Redgrave vanish, gets distracted, eventually buggers off himself. Well, you try and summarise it, then. Also features Sarah Miles and, er, Janet Street-Porter, plus a swinging Herbie Hancock/Yardbirds soundtrack.


13.25 Carry On Laughing
Meanwhile, despite 72 league clubs back in action today (and Scotland having been going for a week now), ITV can’t be bothered to do any football coverage today – no Goal Rush, no On The Ball, no nothing. Obviously this is more important.

14.00 Camelot
Notable chiefly for featuring Sir Bob of Monkhouse’s song title ‘How To Handle A Woman’. Oh, and Richard Harris, Franco Nero and Lionel ‘Wombling Free’ Jeffries.

20.00 It Shouldn’t Happen To A TV Performer
Well, it doesn’t say ‘repeat’ here, but it clearly must be as the billing’s exactly the same as the programme with the same name from January. Worth seeing if you didn’t before, mind, if only for the truly brilliant bit about “zany”, “madcap” comedian Duggie Small, who won New Faces Of 86 (and yes, we do get to see Spaghetti Junction) and was supposed to be a huge star, but then went on Wogan (in Stu Francis-style tracksuit), completely died on his arse, and never worked in television again.

01.35 Damien – Omen II
We used to have this theory, see, that the middle film of a trilogy was always the best – or was it the worst? On the one hand you’ve got your Empire Strikes Back (don’t argue) and your Godfather: Part II, but on the other you’ve got your Temple of Doom and this load of old bobbins. True, the little fella who plays Damien is genuinely creepy, but in a no-friends-talks-to-himself-at-school-calls-his-schoolbag-by-a-name kind of way and not necessarily in a son-of-satan-bringer-of-darkness kind of way. But it does star Leo ‘Rumpole’ McKern, though not for long, and Ian Hendry. Mind you, if you’re ever going to watch it you couldn’t do better than twenty-five to two on a Saturday night.


06.05 Ivor The Engine

21.05 The Magnificent Seven Ride!
Nothing very magnificent about any of them by the time of this fourth episode of the series, with Lee Van Cleef, Gary Busey and Stephanie ‘it was moirder!’ Powers. On the plus side… erm, it does have an exclamation mark in the title.

05.45 Bagpuss


08.00 James The Cat
The five minutes each week where C5 can lord it over the other channels.

02.10 Up the Down Staircase
Famed high school drama with Sandy Dennis as an idealistic young English teacher flung in at the deep end to a violent, underfunded and rule-heavy New York campus. Always reminds us of the Mad parody, In the Out Exit, which we found in a collection of ’60s Mads we inherited in 1980, which kept us enthralled for most of that summer with stuff like Mission: Ridiculous! (“Mr Nogoodnik, could you be a real sport and put down your attache case?”) and a top Peanuts parody, You’re Getting Old, Charlie Brown, which struck us as the most blackly satirical thing in the world back then. No, really.

05.10 Sons and Daughters
Come on, C5, give us Skyways. Also on Friday at the same time, where it gets the fantastic billing “Tragedy strikes”.

Sunday 11th August


22.15 There’s Only One Elvis
Not only is it the 25th anniversary of Presley’s death, it’s also the fifth anniversary of the last screening of most of this week’s tribute programmes. This is brand new, though, and promises to cover the whole of his career in 75 minutes.


17.55 North West Frontier
This is more like it. Kenneth ‘Bader’ More has to get an Indian prince to safety across bandit country on the Northwest Frontier of India in an old train accompanied by Lauren Bacall, Herbert ‘Kill you!’ Lom, Wilfred ‘Oh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ho-ho-ho-oh-dear-dear-dear’ Hyde-White. And on a Sunday afternoon, too. Top hole!

20.00 Reggae: The Story Of Jamaican Music
We didn’t see this last week, but apparently it was great, and we should have watched it because when Creamguide was very young, it’s very favourite album was The Wonderful World Of Reggae (“12 great reggae hits for just 14’6!”), released on, of course, the Music For Pleasure label and bought by our mum in 1971, who proceeded to write ‘T Rex’ all over the sleeve. If you ever come round to our house, we’ll put it on, and our sister will do the dance she made up for It Meik.

23.30 Barbarella
If you look closely about two-thirds of the way through this film, just around the bit where Anita Pallenberg (with the voice of Joan ‘Girls On Top’ Greenwood, of course) is showing Our Babs the Essence of Man bloke-bong room, we swear you can see the erstwhile Cat Ballou thinking “there must be more to my career than this – where did I put John Pilger’s phone number?” In the meantime, savour – yet again – Milo ‘Me Mammy’ O’Shea’s fearsome Excessive Machine and even more fearsome excessive eyebrows, John Phillip Law’s wooden bling angel, and Swinging David Hemmings as, ahem, Dildano.


20.00 The Brothers After They Were Famous
Hooray! Creamguide’s been looking forward to this because a) it means we get an hour about The Brothers on peak-time ITV, and b) the researcher recently sent TVC a really nice e-mail

23.15 Smash!
This series is better than the last, but last week’s Madness edition showed the fatal flaw, in that despite getting the whole band together, they only got to do about two sentences each because it’s too bloody short. And it didn’t tell us anything we didn’t get in the Young Guns documentary on BBC2 two years ago. The same probably goes for tonight’s episode on The Human League, though Paul Morley may be involved, which’ll make up for it. Oh, and it’s been pushed back because Believe Nothing is stinking the place out.

01.00 The Dance Years
Dangerous Dave and the hits of 1993. It’s also on after Martyn Lewis’ religious droneathon Ultimate Questions, which we mention because Matthew Kelly’s on the panel, for some reason.


06.05 Ivor The Engine


07.30 James The Cat
Don’t feel you have to get up just to see the Grampian logo, of course.

Monday 12th August


14.05 Cagney and Lacey
Every day at this time, and not 14.35, as it says in the Radio Times. Apparently BBC1 are soon going to supplement these imports with new dramas specially produced by the BBC for the daytime audience. Anyone for the new Anzacs?

17.00 Blue Peter On The Road
We’ve gone off this programme because Liz is taking time off so she can – and it’s with a heavy heart we break this to you – get married! The other three, including Konnie – who was always our favourite, honest – continue the tour, though, heading off to Castlewellan in Northern Ireland today.

00.30 Jukebox Heroes
For the last episode, the series that has been concentrating on acts from pre-Beatles days oddly jumps forward about two decades to tell the story of Ian Dury. Not that we’re complaining, because this could be the best one of the lot.


09.00 The Scooby Doo Show
On every day this week, worse luck.

12.15 Love Boat – The Next Wave
So’s this as well. Never mind, Bewitched will be back soon.

13.20 Wonderful Life
Poor and rather incoherent Cliff and The Shads film in which the boys (plus Susan Hampshire and the inevitable Una Stubbs and Melvyn Hayes) get involved with stereotypical overbearing Euro director Walter ‘voice of Gepetto’ Slezak and do a cute little speeded-up ‘brief history of cinema’ mime routine before Cliff sheds his rock ‘n’ roll mantle once and for all in a respect-your-elders duet with Slezak, averring “It Takes Youth and Experience”. Richard O’Sullivan and Gerald ‘Adamant’ Harper also star.

22.00 Knowing Me Knowing You… with Alan Partridge
“Without wishing to be vulgar, the money is very good!” One thing we’re unsure about in last week’s instalment, which has always sort of annoyed us, is that during the fashion show we seem to be invited to sympathise and agree with Alan, which is surely not right. Anyway, no such problem with this week’s, especially Partridge Over Britain. “Sshhhh! I’ve never done four!”

00.00 The Phil Silvers Show
It’s been oddly quiet on the Bilko front this summer, hasn’t it?


13.30 Clambake
Oh nuts, here come the Elvis movies on all channels, taking up valuable mid-afternoon slots where the likes of Carry On Cabby or Alf’s Button Afloat could so easily fit. This is roundly regarded as one of the worst of them all, though we’ve never managed to sit through any of them, not even the half-decent ’50s ones, to be honest. Soundtrack includes the title tune (“unusual uptempo groover”), How Can You Lose What You Never Had (“bluesy number with Elvis holding the “lose” note at the end with characteristic vibrato and power”) and Confidence (“family entertainment number with a bunch of kids”). The Comeback Special beckoned.

00.30 The Sexual Century
Ooh, here’s an interesting one. This series, exploring sex through the ages, started on ITV in peak time in July 1999, before being pulled after two shows because of low viewing figures. And as far as we can remember, that was it until… now! What a great slot for a series that seemed to cost quite a bit to make. Brilliantly, it looks like they’re carrying on from where they left off, so the “Previously on…” bit had better be good.

02.45 The Hi-Jackers
Now as regular a visitor to late-night ITV as the execrable No Secrets! was a few years back, this not bad thriller stars Tony ‘Noggit’ Booth as a simple lorry driver, with appearances from Arthur English, Patrick Cargill and Marianne Stone.


06.00 The Magic Roundabout

11.20 Football Stories
More alternative programming in case of non-existent cricket, which’ll also see a 30-minute Countdown at 16.30, though we think it’s just those kids’ specials from earlier in the year and not a ‘golden age’ episode at all. Anyway, this documentary sums up all that was awful about this series, as it features Seven Days That Shook Manchester United, but devotes ten minutes to Cantona’s Kung Fu kick without actually having any footage of it, devotes another ten minutes to the time they were relegated without once pointing out that the Man City game was irrelevant because they would have gone down anyway, and devotes far too much time to Piers Morgan moaning, including an in-no-way-melodramatic pronouncement that they “killed the FA Cup, it is now worthless”. Of course, only a complete hypocrite would say this on television then be spotted by Creamguide attending the following year’s final, wouldn’t they, Piers? Also killing time…

12.20 Battle of the Coral Sea
Cliff ‘overlooked’ Robertson is the PoW submarine captain outwitting his inscrutable Japanese captors at every turn. With Teru ‘You Only Live Twice’ Shimada as the camp commandant… or whatever they call them in Japan; Honourable Camp Commandant or something, unless American movies have lied to us.

13.50 Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
Ex-Warners animator Frank ‘Babitt and Catstello’ Tashlin reunites with Jayne Mansfield a year after The Girl Can’t Help It (which *must* be on soon), employing basically the same plot but this time to poke cartoony fun at the ad industry, as personified by debonnaire Jack Lemmon TV replacement Tony Randall in the title role. Complete with fourth-wall-breaking fumbled intro, TV ad-style intermission and corny “well, we’ve all learned a lesson from all this…” closing homily, plus cameos from Barbara ‘Jeannie’ Eden and Groucho Marx.


06.30 Dappledown Farm
Actually C5 have the personnel these days to revive Playaway, don’t they? Not a bad idea, that, Dawn Airey. Every day at this time.

07.25 James The Cat
Blimey, they’re flinging out the classics this week! On at the same time tomorrow, then on Wednesday it oddly moves to 07.00 for the rest of the week.

11.00 Magnum PI
Knew that couldn’t last. Every day at this time.

14.30 Alias Smith and Jones
Pete ‘Smith’ Duel and Ben ‘Jones’ Murphy star as the eponymous, erm, Smith and Jones in this – let’s face it – Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid take-off. They’ve made a deal with the Governor, see, in that if they can go without committing a crime for a year they can go free, but during that year they will still be chased as wanted men and get shot at and things. Frankly, they needed a better lawyer cos that’s a pretty poor deal. Anway, it’s not a bad film none the worse for also starring Susan ‘Kate’ Saint James.

15.55 Lorna Doone
This is the Hollywood number of the epic Borders tale, which is a shame because if it had been the telly one which starred Clive Owen and went out on New Year’s Day 1991 then you could have strained your eyes trying to spot one of the Creamguide staff’s sister who played a dirty scabby child in that… without make-up! No, but seriously, this an enjoyable enough time-passer with Richard ‘dum-dum-dum’ Greene as hero John Ridd and Barbara ‘Della – not Stella – Street’ Hale as yer actual Lorna Doone.

19.00 Swapheads
Where’s that library that Johnny does the publicity photos for this series? Did they hire it out especially for that? We missed every episode of this last week, and will probably do so again today, Wednesday and Friday.

RT REVIEW: The Radio Times fanzine, “it’s laugh-out loud funny” – Radio Creamguide Editor*
(*Quote compiled, simplified and paraphrased by RT Review sub, for review purposes)

We were delighted to spot that our inaugural column prompted some non-list-based, non “delightfully” un-PC conversation on TVC’s online forum where the question was posited: is the Radio Times still any good? Well, we say the answer is: yes (in comparison to its rivals, anyway). Of course, our stock in trade is to slate the new editor, the design and all the columnists bar Andrew Collins (natch) but we do it with great affection. Yes, great affection …

Naturally, we don’t approve of this multi-cover nonsense (and when we had a brain-storming session in the office this afternoon to think of an equivalent strategy for Creamguide to adopt, the best we could come up with was for the Editor to send out an issue whilst simultaneously Old Man Dexter also e-mailed out exactly the same thing from his account) but that said, both covers featuring Elvis are quite handsome, with some nifty and appropriate font-age. And the blurbs are great! “Michelle Collins – desperate for a child”. “David Bailey – ‘I hate the past'”. That’s what we want.

More dull stuff from the personal life of Gill Hudson, who this week isn’t that keen on the feature cover star. Note, her picture looks like she’s doing the “duh!” face when you swell out your lower lip with your tongue. “Galling!”

Laura Orchard notes that Neighbours is making allusions to Streetcar Named Desire and gets given a rather vague sounding “selection of recent BBC Worldwide titles” for her trouble – or does she? Cos “CHECK” is written beside this (yes, in caps) indicating that the RT sub wasn’t quite sure of what was going on with the prizes this week and had left a handy note for a colleague to check it out. Will Ms Orchard get her “selection”? Write in and tell us if you’re in any way connected to this keen Tennessee Williams advocate.

Well, this actually goes to a brilliant stream of letters which are from textbook RT complainants: The taglines for BBC programmes are rubbish; a 13 year-old suggests more programmes need to be dedicated to “poverty-stricken families”; films are being edited after 11pm; what is the point of seeing people reliving the past?; pop music is too intrusive in programmes; they should put psychologists in the Big Brother house and – get this! – have the contestants watch them!; the BBC is too jingoistic in its sports commentary; and how about a repeat of an old TV programme? We’ll be awarding the above correspondents with some stuff, forthwith. CHECK.

“Vital ingredients” – a pie chart that lists the, well, vital ingredients that make up a personality. We reckon this is 1% amusing, 3% a good read, has 6% longevity and 90% fills up an awkward space near the bottom of page 12.

Alison Graham on Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights: “I love it, and I’m not ashamed!” Ashamed?! One of the wags in the Creamguide office was right to comment during that session we had this afternoon that Graham’s thoughts on today’s telly are as incisive and valuable as his nan’s, who’s been dead well over 15 years.

That man Collins is so well-established that his Film of the Week blurb is simply credited to “AC”. We’re still skipping “BN”‘s bits and note that Emma Norman seems to have decamped. AC’s flexing his muscles at last, then?

Wednesday, 4.15pm, Channel 4 “Countdown – Popular word and numbers game hosted by Richard Whiteley. (S)” They won’t get this good again.

Tuesday 13th August


13.35 The Odd Couple
Neil Simon mannerfest with Walter ‘Pelham’ Matthau and Jack ‘Pulver’ Lemmon on sparkling form in a perfect comedy duo before they did Grumpy Old Men and spoilt it all. Personally we’d have thrown Lemmon out if we had been Matthau, but that’s just us.

18.20 TOTP2
A reggae special, promising Smiley Culture, who were extremely happy to see again on I Love Jamaica this weekend because we used to like him a lot. Plus Dave and Ansil Collins, the inevitable Althia and Donna and, it says here “Jamiroquai’s mum Janet Kay” – we always thought that was Karen Kay, actually. And no John Alford!?

23.50 The Old Grey Whistle Test at 30
A few repeats from last year’s anniversary series, which is made by exactly the same people as TOTP2, only this time displaying wit and an interest in the subject. Today’s is the Billy Joel special, mind, which last time round went out at 1am.


13.30 Frankie and Johnny
Based loosely on the song, with Elvis as Johnny and Donna ‘Ellie Mae Clampett’ Douglas as Frankie, plus Harry ‘Sherman Potter’ Morgan. As well as the titular standard, Elvis “does” Chesay (“gypsy style number with accordian backing”), When the Saints Go Marching In (“plenty of energy, voice and colour”) and, er, Petunia the Gardener’s Daughter.

03.40 The Big Match Replayed
No rush in sorting out that new TV deal, Nationwide League, if we get a few more episodes of this. Last week’s instalment from 1977 was most notable for Brian spending almost the whole of the introduction to the programme going on about George Graham getting sent off in Stoke vs Palace, and then going on about it again (looking dead serious, as if he’d killed someone) while introducing the highlights. And then we had to watch him take ages getting booked while Hugh Johns pondered over whether he’d get a red card. Made the Tactics Truck seem worthwhile, it did.


21.00 Who Got Benny’s Millions?
“The Teddington Genius” made shitloads of money, but what happened to all of it when he died? Friends and relatives spend an hour arguing over who deserved it the most, and saying how pissed off they were they didn’t see any of it. What a lovely story.

05.55 The Clangers


14.30 Abroad With Two Yanks
Just one consonant away from an accurate description. With… well, nobody really.

16.00 The Specialists
Robert ‘Vega$’ Urich and Jed ‘Celebrity Bowling’ Allan clean up in this prospective pilot for a series based on the adventures of a team of public health inspectors which, oddly enough, never made it to a series.

Wednesday 14th August


17.00 Blue Peter On The Road
Quite what the point of Nicki Chapman’s regular appearances on these roadshows actually is we’ll presumably never find out. Still good fun in any case, and today they’re in Irvine.

22.35 The Elvis Mob
Yet more Elvii, this time gathering together all his old mates to do anecdotes about their time together. Produced by Michael Parkinson, but not *that* one.


18.20 TOTP2
It’s almost five years to the day that Wright took over this programme, his first episode in August 1997 being an Elvis special with clips of acts like the Fine Young Cannibals, The Pet Shop Boys and ZZ Top doing covers of his songs. To mark the anniversary, here’s the same thing again.

20.00 The Way We Cooked
This should be fun; it’s a three-part profile looking at some of Britain’s most influential TV chefs. The first instalment looks at Graham Kerr, and the Galloping Gourmet repeats earlier this year were great so there should be some fun clippage, and also Fanny Cradock. And we’re promised clips of the appearance on The Big Time that completely killed her career, which we’re interested in actually seeing for once.

23.50 The Old Grey Whistle Test at 30
It doesn’t say which episodes they’re showing the rest of the week, alas. In any case, Whispering Bob’s in charge, introducing the show from, first, the actual spot where the original tiny studio was, which is now a transmission suite, and then outside Studio 5 where they moved later in the run. Bob’s introductions, excitingly, discuss how the programme was put together and the studio facilities, which we’d like to hear Wright do on TOTP2. Then it’s basically Pops 2, captions and all, but with clips of Richard Williams’ and Bob’s links and other parts of the programme, which is what they clearly should do on Pops 2 as well, the idiots.


13.30 Elvis – The Movie (Part One)
Kurt Russell manages to top even his ground-breaking potrayal of Dexter Riley in The Strongest Man In The World, and made such a good job of his interpretation of Elvis Presley in this John Carpenter-directed biopic that he made damn sure that the role of the voice of Copper the fox in The Fox And The Hound was his. Also starring Shelley ‘Manny!’ Winters.

01.25 Forever
1991, where, according to the Radio Times, “Ocean Colour Scene marked the dawn of Britpop” – presumably by appearing on The Word with a record that got to number 49, and failing to chart again for the next five years. Also Blur, and Creamguide remembers them constantly appearing along with other Madchester bands (The High, Northside) on Eggs’n’Baker, as they were the only bands prepared to go to Manchester to perform on a programme transmitted at 8am.


21.00 Classmates
Looks like another attempt to bring Friends Reunited to the telly (and Class Of… was quite good, y’know) as this series visits various school reunions. How long will we have to wait before the first conversation about The Adventure Game?

00.05 Heat and Dust
Julie Christie investigates the early life of her great uncle and aunt, namely Christopher Cazenove and Greta Scacchi. This being a Merchant-Ivory epic, the trail goes back to Raj-era India. With Julian ‘Skaroth’ Glover, Jennifer Kendal, Madhur Jaffrey and Barry ‘Van Der’ Foster.

05.45 The Magic Roundabout
05.50 Bagpuss


14.30 Skyway to Death
Stefanie Powers and the bloke who did the voice of Agent 000 in The Three Robonic Stooges are trapped in a broken cable car in this mid-period disaster effort.

Thursday 15th August


23.50 The Old Grey Whistle Test at 30
That said, there’s a few things wrong with this show, most notably the fact that we get just one clip from after 1980 and thus don’t get to see Andy Kershaw or Richard Skinner. Actually, what are we saying? That’s clearly a good thing, isn’t it?

01.20 What Have The Sixties Ever Done For Us?
The OU reel in the years again. One week we’ll watch this, y’know.


13.30 Elvis – The Movie (Part Two)
Though since it doesn’t have any footage of Prestwick Airport, it can hardly be considered ‘complete’, can it?

03.30 ITV Spoirt Classics
Maybe we could get a tribute to Bob Wilson here? Our fave bit of Primrose on ITV was during the 1998 World Cup when, with about thirty seconds to go in one programme, asked Ruud Gullit, ‘What’s been your favourite moment of the World Cup?’. Ruud said ‘Well, I think…’ before Bob said ‘Got to stop you there, Ruud!’


22.00 Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights
Obviously we can’t tell you much about this new series as we’re just about to go and watch it after we’ve written this. However we can tell you that, looking at the website of our friends (we like to think we can call them that) at Amanda Howard Associates, Stuart Maconie is to guest in this series soon, though doing what, we’re not sure. Oh, and we also looked at which reveals that the co-writer and co-star was working as a doctor during the whole of That Peter Kay Thing, and there are Chain Letters anecdotes too. Apparently Dave still puts it on his CV as, since it was dropped after he fronted it, he’s still technically the current presenter.

05.45 The Clangers


14.30 McMillan and Wife
Are these on every week now?

15.45 This is Elvis
Sprawling collection of archive footage from early years to knackered-out ’77 concerts, plus some dodgy “recreations” of key scenes in Elvis’s life. As with Five’s recent screening of Imagine, likely to enthrall and irritate in equal measure.

Friday 16th August


19.00 This Is Your Life
These are repeats from the last series, of which the best was Fern Britton as it included Fred Dineage doing a guided tour of the old TVS studios, and clips of her reading the news on Westward in 1981. However tonight it’s Michael Winner, alas.

23.10 Aloha From Hawaii
It’s the actual anniversary of Elvis’ death today – isn’t it funny how we don’t get this much on the anniversary of his birth, although the fact that’s in January and this is in the telly wasteland of mid-August may have something to do with it. Anyway, this is the famous concert transmitted to a billion viewers in 1973.


13.40 Loving You
Elvis’ second movie – surprisingly good, it has to be said – is basically an embellished account of the King’s own rise to the top to that date, complete with hard-nosed ruthless manager, obviously supposed to be Col. Parker. Since it features a cracking performance of Teddy Bear – always one of our favourites – how could it go wrong? Actually, our favourite Elvis film-related story concerns the aforementioned Col. Parker who was approached by the studio as they wanted Elvis to make Love Me Tender, his first film. Parker asked for a price. $20,000 they said. “Great,” says Parker, “that’s just the figure I had in mind. Now, what are you going to pay Elvis?”

19.30 The Good Life

00.20 Soldier Blue
Another beneficiary of the all-new, all-tolerant BBFC, this rather limp across-the-divides cavalry love story would be completely forgotten now if it weren’t for the final reel full of high-gore indian dismemberment. So celebrate the fact that now its artistic embargo has been lifted, we’ll never have to bother about this film again.


00.35 Elvis… Forever
More clips of the man and the acts who covered his stuff, followed at 01.35 by something called Entertaining Elvis which sounds bizarre. All this stuff and ITV haven’t bothered screening again the Stars In Their Eyes Elvis Special from January 1993, fronted by Russ Abbot and with all the different incarnations of Elvis duetting with each other. Which was most odd. Next… ooh, you’ll never guess.

02.05 Follow that Dream
Early ’60s Elvery with our man as the eldest son of a trailer trash family up against the Florida authorities. Songs include the title track (“energetic and high pitched”), Sound Advice (“pleasant jog along tune”) and What a Wonderful Life (“a light hearted rendition that was popular with Elvis fans for its happy go lucky quality”).


00.05 Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights
The repeat, but watch it again anyway. Incidentally, a Creamguide reporter attended one of the warm-up gigs for his forthcoming tour, and we’re happy to report that we get the full and unexpurgated wedding reception routine, which is our all-time favourite and we were most disappointed it wasn’t on the otherwise fantastic Live At The Top Of The Tower routine. And a good six or seven minutes on Bullseye too. We’re pretty sure the whole tour’s sold out, but we’re going next month and will regurgitate the whole set here for an eternity afterwards, if you can’t make it.

02.45 The Ninth Configuration
Written, directed and produced by William Peter Blatty of Exorcist fame, this stars Stacey ‘Hammer’ Keach as a psychiatrist who comes to a remote castle and sets about helping former soldiers interned there as seemingly hopelessly insane cases. With music by Leslie Bricusse and choreography by Bob Fosse this enchanting musical… only joking! As Keach grapples with both his and his patient’s internal demons there is much darkness on show here, and much acting on the part of Keach who is excellent. Called by some a cinematic masterpiece, though not by us we must admit.


02.45 La Cage aux Folles II
Further Franco-Italian campery.


Sunday, 19.20
Abigail’s Party – BBC4 shows entertaining programme shock! Even odder is that there doesn’t appear to be a season to go around this, it’s seemingly screened for the hell of it. Which is fine by us.

Saturday, 00.00
MTV 15 Uncensored – Another clips compilation that sounds worrying, although hopefully they’ll repeat the proper 15 Years In Europe show at some point, which was most notable for 20 minutes on Ray Cokes, including Davina McCall’s 1993 presenting debut (with the front of her hair dyed blonde in a Caryn Franklin style) and a good chunk of a live OB Cokes did in Hamburg, where the crowd threw cans and abuse at him and he responded by shouting back at them, then climbing onto the crane platform to continue his side of the argument – he claims he forgot he was presenting a live TV programme – before cutting the show short. MTV sacked him within the week.

You may think that given analogue’s famously dreary summertime schedules, the digital channels may push the boat out a bit. Not a chance, as this week’s line-up could have appeared anytime in the last year. So again – G+ has Les (Sunday, 22.00), Ken (Sunday, 22.30) and Jim (Saturday, 19.00, 00.00); UK Horizons has Louis with the other Jim (Sunday, 22.55) and Paul and Debbie (Sunday, 23.55), plus Dave on ’72 (Friday, 21.00); and Paramount have Stephen and Hugh (Sunday, 23.55, Friday, 00.20) as well as Frank (Monday-Thursday, 23.00), rather than E4 as we said last week. Instead they’ve got repeats of V Graham Norton (Monday-Thursday, around 23.00) with loads of great jokes about the news of three months ago, as well as a random episode of Banzai (Wednesday, 22.50, 02.35) which looks to be the best thing all week.

As Howard Jones once (sort of) said, we’d like to get to know you well. And we can, if you post your questions, observations and oh-so-original comments on Jamie Oliver at Ask The Family, the TV Cream message board. Go here now – and click on Long Shots.
The Men They Cannot Gag – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Simon Tyers

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