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.)
TV CREAM TIMES
12th – 18th January 2002
Back! Back! Back! – Phil Norman
Saturday 12th January
22.00 Judi Dench – A Bafta Tribute
“Are you ever going to speak to me?” This is basically a posher version of This Is Your Life, so Stephen Fry hosts and loads of famous people show up to say how great she is, including Billy Connolly and, better still, Geoffrey Palmer.
23.05 Top Gun
Which crap ’80s ad springs to mind first – bloke toasting flame-grilled whopper in the exhaust of a fighter plane or Peugeot hatchback driving past a burning field? Oh, and apparently that Godawful ’80s Abbey Life ad (see Themes section on TV Cream) was sung by Slim Dusty, “Australia’s King of Country Music” and performer of such tunes as I’m Going Back Again to Yarrawonga, Where the Dog Sits on the Tucker Box, Where’s That Old Cobber of Mine? and I’m Gonna Hump My Bluey.
09.00 From the Earth to the Moon
More Jules Verne early spaceflight, with breathtakingly tiny models. Less entertaining than First Men in the Moon from a couple of weeks back.
The line-up sounded great, but in fact it was all a bit disappointing up on screen last week, with some fairly musty old clips. Still, we’ve got the Art Of Noise, Haysi Fantasyzee, The Reynolds Girls and Brother Beyond, brilliantly introduced by Wright as “Here’s a band who were a boy band in 1988”. He gets a writing credit for gems like that.
21.00-02.00 I Love Teen Idols
It’s the return of the cobbled-together I Love Theme Nights again, after the shock of a new programme over Christmas. This time, though, we’ve got some new material, kicking off with a profile of East 17, which might be a bit of fun, and then…
21.10 Bay City Rollers: Remember?
Rerun of the fun documentary from 1999 which interviews the whole band, plus Tam Cowan. There’s also some fine clips, including their US TV series The Bay City Rollers Show Starring The Bay City Rollers, and unless it’s been edited out, a rare chance to hear their first single Keep On Dancing, which was simply Jonathan King singing through a multitrack. And yes, the Radio 1 Mallory Park Fun Day footage does get an airing, with commentary from John Peel, so all together now – “While all this was going on, Tony Blackburn was travelling across the river, in a speedboat piloted by a womble! And I thought, if I live to be 200 I’ll never see anything as bizarre as this again…”
21.50 Take That
“Robbie Williams ruins it, and leaves, and ruins it!” Er, a profile of Take That, and more than that, we don’t know. Then…
22.00 David Cassidy: Teenage Dream
Cassidy, Cassidy, Cassidy, all we ever hear! We didn’t see this documentary first time round, but it’s made by the same people as the Rollers one, so it should be good, if you haven’t heard enough about him on I Love, Top Ten…
22.40 Saturday Night Fever
Another chance to try not imagining Tim Brooke-Taylor carrying a tin of paint like a handbag.
00.35 And The Beat Goes On
The night appears to have become just a generic I Love Pop Music now, and it’s rounded off with the premiere of a biopic of Sonny and Cher, which we’ve never seen. Though the chance of a mock-up of the Sonny And Cher Comedy Hour might get us to tune in.
21.30 It Shouldn’t Happen To A TV Performer
Last week’s Weather Forecaster show was slightly better than we expected – alright, we got the usual foreign clips, smug narration, lots of stuff shown several times and five sodding minutes of L!ve TV, but we also got some vintage Breakfast Time and TVam, plus the But First This-produced video for John Kettley Is A Weatherman, which we remembered vividly. We’re scraping the barrel this week, though, with just a generic out-takes collection, by the looks of things – the trailer features Brian Conley’s mike collapsing on Live From The Palladium, which should give you an idea of the sort of stuff featured. Although of course that clip does feature Brian’s old catchphrase, which he used to use all the time – “Shut up!”
This should have gone in last week’s Creamguide.
21.00 The 100 Greatest Sporting Moments
“Can he make it three? He has, he has!” This show is split into two parts, as most of these are, but oddly the second part’s not till next week, which surely won’t help this part grab much of an audience. Vinnie Jones presents as well, alas, but the clips should be good – although they’ll probably be using ITV clips all the way through, so not as good as they could have been.
23.00 Dog Day Afternoon
Pacino cocks up at the bank… again. Good film and all, but come on Channel 5, there are acres of good-yet-dead-cheap films no-one else seems to be arsed showing.
04.20 Sons and Daughters
That Twin Peaks rerun went well, didn’t it?
Sunday 13th January
Incidentally Futurama returns to Channel Four today, just four months after the last episode, and now at the exciting new timeslot of one o’clock in the afternoon. Channel Four really are committed to quality imports, aren’t they?
16.25 This Is Your Life
Hmm, this is a repeat, but we don’t know if it’s from last Friday, or another one. And quite frankly we can’t really be bothered finding out, so, er, sorry.
17.55 Stig Of The Dump
Creamguide always avoided reading this book at school, but now it’s been turned into the Sunday Teatime Drama Just Like The BBC Used To Do, it turns out we didn’t need to bother anyway. And Geoffrey Palmer and Phyllida Law head the cast, which is fine by us.
06.10 The Trap Door
Come on C4, dig out The Ratties while you’re at it.
13.35 The Scarlet Blade
Bracing Hammer civil war swashbuckler with Lionel Jeffries, Oliver Reed and Harry “In my considered opinion, they are” Towb.
15.05 Carry On Constable
A lesser ‘On, we feel, unless the prospect of Leslie Phillips’ bare arse excites you. The supporting cast are OK though, including Hattie Jacques, Shirley ‘Goldfinger’ Eaton, Joan ‘Marple’ Hickson, Irene ‘Fruitbat’ Handl, Robin ‘Film Buff of the Year’ Ray and Esma ‘Flo off Carry On Cabby’ Cannon. It’s about time they had Cabby on again, we think.
20.00 Miss World 1970: Feminists And Flour Bombs
Now here’s a thing. We’ve all seen the clips of Bob Hope (star of the fantastic Deathbed Chortles With Bob Hope comic strip in the latest Viz) being interrupted by protestors while hosting Miss World, but have you ever wondered what happened to the women who did the protesting, and how feminism has progressed since then in relation to their own lives? Well, Channel Four
are going to tell you anyway. Incidentally, we think they might have done Bob a favour, as in the footage he appears to be completely dying on his arse anyway. Probably the acoustics’ fault.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
One man who’d never upset anyone.
Monday 14th January
Creamguide watched the first episode of this last week and, not having seen it before, really rather enjoyed it. Mind you, the dramatic tension was somewhat spoilt by the key shot of the protagonist making her chilling discovery being accompanied by a Cheggers Plays Pop-style “Boo-boo-b-b-boo-boo!” sound effect, which just made it look stupid. But that’s 1979 for you.
17.00 Blue Peter
The Winter Olympics’ll be coming up soon then, as today we’ve got Blue Peter On Ice! Later on in the week we hope to see The Six O’Clock News On Ice.
23.05 Johnny Vaughan Tonight
Congratulations to Ceefax for including in their review of this programme the line “Not as good as The RDA”. In fact a lot of that show’s writers seem to be involved here, only it’s plainly not as good. It’s not as big a flop as you may be led to believe, though, and occasionally there’s a bit of a spark, but we’d like to know if the Simon Bates credited as “Music Associate” is actually *that* one.
21.00 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Cathy Dennis is on the panel tonight, as is Boothby Graffoe who we seem to recall had a C4 series script edited by Richard Herring “in the pipeline” about three years ago, and nothing seemed to appear. He’s one of those comedians who seems constantly on the verge of a breakthrough, but just falls at the final hurdle, although an ex-flatmate of Creamguide used to listen to him on Radio Lincolnshire in 1988, when he was, apparently, “quite good”.
04.00 ITV Sport Classics
Which probably won’t include the live Worthington Cup match shown last Wednesday. In the Creamguide Office we had a sweepstake on what the theme tune for that was going to be, as Beautiful Day is The Premiership music and cannot be used for anything else. Imagine our surprise when it turned out to be the 50/1 outsider which was, er, nothing.
06.05 The Magic Roundabout
Never mind this – look…
09.00 Something So Right
Eh? Turns out our mild excitement at some new episodes of Bewitched was very short-lived, as it’s now been dropped after a run of, what, two years or so? We can’t remember a time it didn’t get a piss-poor billing in Creamguide, at any rate. We don’t even know what this series is.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
Not sure why Sky are crowing about replacing the ITN Channel as C5’s morning news supplier, as their slot is half an hour shorter than ITN used to have, so they can squeeze this in. Not that we’re moaning, of course.
Tuesday 15th January
Actually we missed Tuesday’s episode, then decided that it’d probably get confusing if we started watching it again, so if it’s gone awful since show one, we’re sorry. Hey, we’re busy people.
After we got Prisoner And Escort last week, the series proper begins in earnest – it’s now actually set in Slade Prison, for a start.
00.15 Kylie Minogue – In Profile
Well, we knew ITV were now going to show the regional news within News At (Several Minutes Past) Ten, but we didn’t realise they’d then use that opportunity to piss off home straight after and bung films on three nights a week. Dunno who made this, what’s on it and who’s interviewed, but, hey, it’s Kylie, what more do you want? Let’s hope Sir Peter Waterman appears, obviously.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
03.45 Hart To Hart I: Hart To Hart Returns
So how is it part one, then? And how many films and TV shows do you know that stick “I” in their names anyway, presumptiously expecting many sequals? Still, that’s what we got here, as this is the first of many rotten TV movies from 1993.
Wednesday 16th January
Oh yeah, and we were going to moan about how the Beeb have stuck the BBC logo at the start of the episode as well, but that’s terribly anoraky, isn’t it? Bit of a waste of time them doing it, anyway.
19.30 Best Inventions
A new show presented by Katy Hill, her first piece of proper work for ages. To think that eighteen months ago she was Miss BBC. Anyway, it’s included here because we saw the pilot a few months back, and it’s recorded on the old GamesMaster oil rig! Same dials on the back of the set and everything. Fancy that, eh? You can turn it off after you’ve seen that.
Back to Wednesday, just to annoy us. We don’t like the way the Radio Times has started printing the entire line-up, and in the right order as well, as it spoils the fun, so we’re just going to highlight Paul Young (hopefully Love Of The Common People), Chesney Hawkes (hopefully not his latest one) and Transvision Vamp (hopefully a very short clip).
19.30 The Good Life
BBC Wales get Bill Oddie Goes Wild now, but unfortunately later tonight 2W, desperately trying to find something to show, are screening Jack Of Hearts, the BBC1 drama series from 1999 that starred Keith Allen, Britain’s most unwatchable actor, and picked up a whopping 1.9 million viewers for the final episode, a record low audience. BBC Wales aren’t very good at networked programmes, are they?
22.00 Dad’s Army
And Attachments is back “next month”, by the way. Well, when they’ve got repeats of this, The Good Life and Porridge to squeeze in, something has to give way.
03.10 Man from Tangier
Another of those interchangeable ’50s UK thrillers. All you need to know – Martin “counterpoint the surrealism of the underlying metaphor” Benson, Leonard “a multitude of magnanimous mountebanks…” “OooOOOoooh!” Sachs, Robert “Bad fish!” Shaw and, for the first time this year, Marianne Stone.
Blimey, the neverending lunchtime rerun has found its way back to the pilot episode. At last something to fill the void left by Bewitched!
03.50 The 20th Century Garden
This look at “the rise of the TV gardener” was last shown in this almost exact same slot back in the early hours of January 1st, so either they’ve got a lot of time to kill or it’s another edition. Incidentally, we always liked the way The Sun’s headline for its gardening page always used to be “With Telly’s Peter Seabrook” – not even “TV’s”, but “Telly’s”. You can’t get more undignified than that.
05.55 The Magic Roundabout
Now it’s just “With Peter Seabrook”, alas.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
10.05 A Fine Madness
Sean Connery plays a Dylan Thomas-esque ‘difficult’ poet going for a lobotomy after one beaten woman too many. It’s a comedy. Jackie ‘Uncle Fester’ Coogan and Sorrell ‘Boss Hogg’ Booke take part.
20.00 Where Eagles Dare
Time to spot the hidden on-set gin bottles as Richard Burton teams up with Clint to take on the Nazis, among them Ingrid ‘Hammer’ Pitt and Anton ‘Fields’ Rodgers.
Thursday 17th January
If you’re going to watch any episode of this series, make it this one, as we’ve got guest appearances from Christopher Biggins, Gary Holton and Lynda Bellingham, and the plot revolves around a slightly pre-fame Toyah Willcox and her band, who also perform one of their songs. Meanwhile on ITV, Where The Heart Is.
20.00 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Of course, our perverse in-house theory that the middle films in trilogies like these are all really great comes hopelessly unstuck with this annoying effort. An admittedly rather good mine rollercoaster sequence fails to offset the naff in-jokes (Club Obi-Wan, ho ho!) and Short Bleeding Round.
23.35 The Carpetbaggers
Harrold Robbins’ overlong and slightly naff tycoon epic that’s not a patch on Creamguide’s favourite overlong-and-slightly-naff-tycoon-epic Giant, but worth it all the same for George ‘A-Team’ Peppard, Martin ‘Anderson Tapes’ Balsam and Leif ‘High Chapparal’ Erickson.
At least Days Like These has finished. Did we get any of those unseen episodes, then?
13.25 The Third Man
Er, a really really good film.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
Friday 18th January
Kevin Whately guests, with the none-more-seventies character name of Bobby Treen. Catch it before the Beeb get bored and stick Diagnosis Murder on instead.
19.00 This Is Your Life
Mike Catt, Snoop Dogg, John Foxx or, er, Animall?
08.15 Bill And Ben
There is one more Not Another,… to go, by the way, cos we found the press release today on Ananova, and it’s about the Eurovision Song Contest so that won’t be on until May, then. Also we found out that it was filmed in TV Centre in London, with a BBC Manchester production team, yet it’s copyright BBC Scotland, oddly. Oh, and this is on at 13.00 as well, but you knew that.
20.30 Inspector Morse
Actually we should have mentioned this last week, as we’re on series one of this now, from 1987. Incidentally, that year Morse was also shown on Christmas Day, which strikes us as most odd cos it’s hardly the most festive of shows, is it?
13.40 The Siege of the Saxons
The marvellously-filmed yet very silly Excalibur was on last week, and the Arthurian theme continues with this rather less lavish ’60s effort featuring John “Dooooomed” Laurie, Charles ‘Trigger’s dad’ Lloyd Pack and, best of all, a young Robert “look, you’re supposed to overtake her and wave, not half-kill her!” Gillespie.
00.25 Lust for a Vampire
Second and worst of Hammer’s ‘lesbian vamps’ series with Ralph ‘Dear John’ Bates, Sue ‘Confessions/Keep It Up/Swedish Butler’ Longhurst and Valentine ‘Gargravarr’ Dyall thinking of the money.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
04.00 Sons And Daughters
And *do not* watch the film of Car 54 Where Are You at 00.30. It was made in 1991.
The very definition of “dreary” this week.
Sunday, 21.00, 00.00, Tuesday, 22.30, Wednesday, 21.30
Shooting Stars – It’s odd, isn’t it, how BBC Choice started off as a mostly repeat channel before graduating to debuting programmes that later get an outing on terrestrial, and is all the better for it, while E4 seem to be going in completely the opposite direction? Anyway, this is a brand new series, to be shown on BBC2 later in the year. For what it’s worth, we thought the first series was great, the second suffered from being fourteen episodes long and just turned into Blind Date, and the third – just seven shows long – seemed to be a return to form, and hopefully this run, after being suitably refreshed, will be good. With Johnny Vegas and Will Self as regulars, it should be. And Jordan guests tonight.
Face To Face – Back! Back! Back! And we’re still not watching.
Arena – Yet another outing for the Ford Cortina edition, which is all to the good, then at 00.35 is the show about all the people who’ve sung My Way. Though ironically not including the Sparks song and former Simon Mayo Record Of The Week, When Do I Get To Sing “My Way”. Did they just make two episodes of this series, then?
Top Ten Heatbreakers – Isaac Hayes, one of only two people to present more than one episode of this series (the other was Phill Jupitus, fact fans), hosts what’s basically Another Top Ten Love Songs, right down to Stuart Maconie and his flickering fireplace. So worth a watch, then.
Saturday, 23.00, Friday, 22.30, 01.30
The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club – Saturday’s is a special devoted to “new vaudeville”, which is presumably now “old vaudeville” again, while on Friday it’s Bernard, Colin and the usual mix of songs, stars and stout.
Tuesday, 22.30, 01.30
Spitting Image – This is wrong, wrong, wrong – where’s the fun in staying up late on a Tuesday?
Thursday, 22.30, 01.30
Bullseye – Back! Back! Back! Albeit in an odd timeslot. Incidentally, Creamguide found the end of an episode of this show from 1986 on an old tape the other week, and we got Jim’s ever-popular Talking Non-Stop For Ages At The End spot, which was absolutely textbook. First of all he bigged up the prize – “You’re gonna go mad when you see this! A Vauxhall Nova! Beautiful economical little car! Beautiful example of one of Bully’s star prizes!” – before attempting to crowbar in a half-arsed catchphrase – “We did the rooting, you did the shooting!” – and then just talking rubbish to kill time – “What a night you’ve had on Bullseye! Watch us next time on Bullseye! Could you do it, at home, with the pressure on? These lads did! See you soon! You can’t beat a bit of bully! Byeee!” All this while man-handling the winners to their marks and trying desperately to find the right camera. The man’s a genius.
The World Cup Years – Well, who knew that every match in the 1966 World Cup was commentated on by Peter Brackley? For Christ’s sake.
The Frank Skinner Show – Last week turned out to be a false dawn, as Monday’s show features Terry Wogan, which must make it the 1996 Xmas show but shoehorned in a normal half-hour slot so we’ll either lose Tony Blair or James Harries, but then from Tuesday they’re all just billed as “comedy and chat”, which is no bloody use.
Tuesday, 21.40, 02.15
Linda Green – Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you The Death Of UK Gold. When this channel began, most of the programmes on it used to be about twenty years old, now this isn’t even twenty days old. If anyone actually knows what the actual point of this channel actually is now, please let us know.
When Tennis Ruled The World – Like When Liverpool Ruled The World last week, but with racquets. Incidentally coming soon to BBC1 is When Snooker Ruled The World, which we’re actually really looking forward to.
All times correct at time of writing and refer to England except where stated. All programmes subject to cancellation, shifting, editing, and general fannying about.
ANSWERS TO READER’S QUESTIONS
No, we don’t know when Ask The Family’s coming back. In other news, the TV Cream Update is back after it’s Christmas break, refreshed and looking like a different person. You can subscribe to this fortnightly flibbertigibbet of news, reviews, charts and, er, other stuff on the front page of http://tv.cream.org
Fresh! For 2002! – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Phil Norman, Simon Tyers