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
13th – 19th April 2002
For a copy of the adjudication, write to –
Phil Norman, Graham Kibble-White
Saturday 13th April
Actually without the ‘Auntie’s’ that all seems a bit bare now, doesn’t it? However it’s great news because it’s pushed the Generation Game further forward – and it’s Davidson’s last show! Apart from the endless compilations we’re going to get.
10.00 Saturday Kitchen
We still haven’t seen this, but they are apparently still showing The Galloping Gourmet, so it’ll join What Have The Sixties/Seventies/Eighties/Nineties Ever Done For Us as one of those programmes we bill every week then never watch.
12.50 The Phil Silvers Show
Which got an unscheduled airing at midnight the other day, so bad luck if you’re trying to tape them all. They could put Seinfeld repeats here, couldn’t they?
14.45 Sunset Boulevard
Get ready for Swanson’s now almost precisely annual close-up.
Bob and Terry had a lot more affection for this turgid circus saga with a somersaulting Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis than we do. Mind you, our annuals tend more towards Krazy and Nutty than Picturegoer. Sid James’ snake charmer’s worth a look, though.
18.40 Reading The Decades
We didn’t watch this last week either. But the sixties is the subject and Clive James is among the talking heads, although it won’t beat his last TV appearance – on Granada’s truly brilliant Anthony H Wilson documentary, being wry on So It Goes in a black T-shirt.
Heller’s great unfilmable filmed, sort of. If the thieving Croydon git who nicked Creamguide’s tape of this film *and* copy of the book in Portsmouth eight years ago is reading, could you send us them back, please? Or at least provide a comparative capsule review for the next time this is billed.
01.30 Faces in the Dark
Visually-impaired paranoia with Nanette Newman. That’s about as bad a half-sentence as we’ve ever written, which is saying something.
21.00 Screen Tests Of The Stars
Whoop-de-do, it’s another Before They Were Famous rip-off! Thankfully Steve Penk’s not involved, which is a bit odd actually because he doesn’t appear to have a proper job anymore and thus presumably has more time to do them. Instead, Paul O’Grady – since we did he start becoming a draw out of character? You don’t get Steve Coogan doing this sort of thing, do you? – presents, there are some dull guests, and all the clips are going to be American anyway, for the simple reason that they’ve got shitloads more of this stuff. And do we really need to see Will and Gareth ‘before they were famous’?
22.00 After They Were Famous
This is the Lennie Bennett episode, hopefully with clips of Lucky Ladders. Incidentally, we presume the Sally James edition went out last week, but we only caught the last few minutes and they were doing a piece about Zena Skinner, who we’re sure has been on this before.
13.20 Little House On The Prairie
Second part of the story that started, er…
21.00 Heroes of Comedy
Back! Back! Back! With the story of Dick Emery, which reminds us that when they showed that complete episode of this series on BBC2 two years ago, they kept in the closing bit when Dick came on out of character, did a one-line gag, laughed at it himself, then said goodnight. Hardly worth getting out of make-up for that, surely?
22.00 Top Ten TV
Back! Back! Back! We weren’t crazy about the last series, because it dealt exclusively with characters, which doesn’t really work because you can only say ‘Alan Partridge does this, Alan Partridge does that’ which we can tell from just watching the programmes, and it doesn’t offer the same amount of scope for the brilliant archive footage which was our favourite thing about Top Ten. And being number one doesn’t really mean anything, and there were far too many EastEnders characters, which is just boring. They really should have done Top Ten Game Shows or Top Ten Newsreaders or something. Also it had a really annoying theme tune, and Steve Berry wasn’t on it enough. Anyway, this looks like much the same, as it’s Camp Icons and the line-up seems to sum up everything good – Larry Grayson, Cuddly Ken – and awful – Brian off Big Brother, Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen – about this show.
Last time Channel Four showed this, we didn’t get to plug it, as it was unceremoniously shoved out to fill a late-night gap in the schedules after some football was cancelled. Now, we can understand that sort of kickabout treatment happening with a Shannon Whirry epic (“She loves! She lusts! She whirrs!”), or one of Filmfour’s own rotten productions (“it’s Plunkett and Maclane night!”), but Bedazzled? Anyway, it’s taken recent events to bring it out again, so watch it, do. Julie Andrews!
02.35 I Love You, Alice B Toklas!
This is more like it, Channel Five! A rare outing for this Peter Sellers Jewish lawyer dropout comedy, which counted as satirical once upon a time but just counts as impishly cute now. Sellers falls for a hippychick, drops the briefcase and becomes so hip it hurts, with the inevitable, over-celebrated “parents get high by accident” scene. A country mile from being a classic, but still, a better bet than Mondo Teeth. Watch for Sidney ‘Cagney and Lacey’ Clute and a decidedly un-groovy Harper’s Bizarre soundtrack.
04.20 Sons and Daughters
Next week we launch our new competition – Yes, You Can Talk About How C5’s Getting Better All You Like, But Name One Show Apart From CSI That’s Actually Worth Watching And Justifies This Pointless Channel’s Pointless Existence. And They Still Haven’t Shown Alf’s Button Afloat.
Sunday 14th April
08.30 The London Marathon
It’s never been as good since Bob Wilson left, because nobody could interview someone who couldn’t speak English quite like Primrose could. However, Simon Thomas takes up that role this year, though it’s a shame Matt isn’t actually running it because all sorts of hilarity could have been generated. Note also that Ian Thompson commentates, seemingly because he’s Mr Tanni Grey, and that they’re prepared to drop both Breakfast With Frost *and* On The Record for it. Which they should do every week, to be honest.
We reckon these days they edit out John Candy’s twelve inch penis gags for the afternoon showings. They didn’t ten years ago, funnily enough.
12.00 Star Trek
Those up north get both this and Rugby League this week. Not that it’ll stop either set of fans moaning non-stop. Only joking.
00.50 The Falcon and the Snowman
Ho-hum ’80s espionage leavened by ticking off David ‘Blott’ Suchet, Lori ‘Fame’ Singer and Michael ‘V’ Ironside on your Smiths jotters. Plus, on vibes, you get Bowie, the Doobies, and the two Bands, Average White and J Geils.
06.10 The Clangers
Of course GMTV’s Frost-wannabe show starts at this time now, and if you can explain what the point of that is, please let us know.
15.25 Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150AD
Yay! Ask and ye shall receive. The better of the two Cushing films, we say, with grim London-based apocalyptic violence, Ray Brooks and, of course, your very own Bernard Cribbins as the bumbling plod’s bumbling plod.
Monday 15th April
17.00 Blue Peter
Matt Baker was born to entertain, and that’s why today’s show, where he gets a part in the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang musical, is required viewing.
00.40 Best Defense
Never mind Sissons’ spinning bow tie, the Beeb’s singularly failed to follow correct protocol for our Dud. First a lacklustre clip compilation full of oleaginous Parky tributes that was shunted about the schedules, now a gratuitous showing of probably his worst ever film. Cheers, Lorraine! Rick Dees is among the cast of idiots here, but you won’t be watching.
13.10 The Phil Silvers Show
Never mind this, the best news is that Cbeebies starts at 08.15 again, so at last we’ll be able to see what the rhyme for ‘It’s Friday, it’s Friday’ is.
18.20 Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
With a better theme tune than Hollyoaks.
21.00 Shooting Stars
This is the last in the series, but there has been another episode recorded, when Ulrika wasn’t there and Sara Cox filled in, alongside guests Neil Hamilton and Liz Smith. But they don’t seem to be showing that one, for some reason. Anyway, Geoff ‘GOEFF’ Capes guests, so that’s OK.
22.00 Room 101
Last week’s edition with Jessica Stevenson was the show at its most pointless, with Stevenson admitting she made up her choices in about two seconds, and neither her nor Merton being able to think of anything to say about them. Should be better this week, as Michael Grade’s on, who we really like, and he’s putting ancient children’s programme Terry Nation’s Doctor Who in, so we like him even more. And not just The JNT Era, either!
02.55 The Entertainers
Looks like these programmes are only getting shown with sign language these days, perhaps presuming something about the target audience. And it’s Patricia Hodge, if you’re a hearing-impaired insomniac.
Here it comes…. Perhaps they should rename this Be:witched. Ah, never mind.
12.00 The Belle of New York
Astaire dances on horseback. Incidentally, we’re still no nearer to identifying the musical that “tap dancing with Lincoln in the Oval Office” scene comes from. We’re pretty sure it’s not Yankee Doodle Dandy, though. Anyone? There’s a trout in it for the correct respondee.
13.20 Little House On The Prairie
Why not put the two-part episodes here where there’s space to show both parts and the single episodes on Saturday when substantially more people will be watching us? Do you want us to do all this for you, C4?
11.00 TJ Hooker
Oh no! They’ve dropped Dappledown Farm! Is it because Brian doesn’t ‘resemble a digital clock’?
TV Cream Heroes Weekly will not be appearing this week. In it’s place…
TVCHW PUBLIC APOLOGY
It’s a lorry full of sorry!
Last week TVCHW included a link to an illustration of This Morning’s Fern Britton. In doing so, we prefaced said link with a one-line comment. TVC Towers then received the following e-mail:
Subject: Re: TV Cream Times 6th-12th April 2002
> POOR QUALITY COLOURED-PENCIL DRAWING OF FERN HERE:
I am intrigued by your above description of my fine-art portrait of Fern Britton. This leads me to consider three possible conclusions: 1) That you are an exceptionally talented portrait artist who has done (or can do) a better rendering. If so, then please show some evidence of this. 2) You may be an art connoisseur who has seen better portraits of Fern, in which case, again, please supply some evidence. 3) I had better keep the third option to myself for now, since I prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt. Rest assured that I am willing (at a price) to give lessons on doing fine art portraits under tricky conditions (e.g. from freeze-framed video footage).
Having been an artist for virtually all of my 36 years (currently a professional portrait artist), this is the first negative assessment. So tell me what it is that you can see in my drawings that thousands of others (including art teachers and rival artists) have apparently missed? Thankfully, Fern fans (as I am myself) seem to like the portrait. But thanks anyway for the link. Everyone else can make up their own mind.
TV Cream and Creamguide would now like to distance themselves from the above comment made in conjunction with the link to Fern’s picture. We understand that the sub from TVCHW would also like to associate himself with that move. Creamguide would additionally like to thank Ian The Artist for contacting us about this manner. We can assure him that whilst we do not believe one has to master a specific skill before they can justifiably comment on it (otherwise we’d be challenging Ian to write a weekly nostalgia-based listings guide), we will nevertheless shortly be forwarding him a better rendering of Fern drawn by our own TVCHW sub in compliance with point 1 of his email.
We wish to offer our apologies to Ian if he has been offended by our rather glib assessment of his work… although it’s given us a great idea for a competition! Therefore, we’re asking our readers to send us their drawings of Fern Britton. All entries will be displayed on TV Cream, and we’d like to take this opportunity to invite Ian to judge which one is the best! Please
send your pictures to icandrawfern@….
TV CREAM HEROES WEEKLY WILL RETURN NEXT WEEK.
Tuesday 16th April
23.20 Rocky II
So we finally got round to seeing 24 Hour Party People, and guess what? It’s ace! And everyone we’ve spoken to about it agrees, although funnily enough all the print reviews we’ve seen are largely damning (apart from Philip French, who didn’t seem entirely au fait, shall we say, with the events and people depicted, bless him). Of course, your cultural reference points are there in abundance – plenty of reconstructed Granada Reports and So It Goes (did he really end that show with “So It Goes… there it went”?) but sadly no Remote Control, Other Side of Midnight, or that edition of Singled Out he presented from the Hac, gleefully informing us of the tempo of each song via his newly-acquired bpm-ometer, which we were really banking on seeing. Still, the Mark E Smith cameo and endless baiting of A Certain Ratio made up for that. Go see!
Actually while our film editor may have seen it, the Creamguide editor hasn’t, as no cinema within a fifty-mile radius of our house is showing the film – and we live in Granadaland! Aren’t we the target market? Grr. Anyway, this show was its usual irksome self last week, especially on Monday when we had *two* new Sheryl Crow tracks *and* the new Michael Bolton single, where the captions included hundreds of references to mullets, which we feel is ridiculously old hat, and if they’re not that bothered about him, why bother showing it? However we did get The Special AKA doing Free Nelson Mandela on the huge set, which was truly brilliant. Tonight, M, Dead or Alive and The Psychedelic Furs – no need to tell you which clips those’ll be.
06.10 The Trap Door
Oh, and Rise – sorry, Ri:se – is scheduled to start at 6.55, it says here, so presumably we’ll be losing all this stuff. Which is good.
This’ll still be here, though.
21.00 Football Stories
The last series of this strand was almost entirely awful, with piss-poor research, hopeless interviews and lazy generalisation, and it reached an all-time low when it spent ten minutes talking about Cantona’s kung fu kick without actually having any footage of it. However last week’s was an improvement in that a) it had some people on who knew what they were talking about and b) it had some pictures of the stuff they were talking about. And tonight’s is produced by Len Brown, responsible for most of the decent football documentaries of the last few years – and it’s the story of the friendship between Bobby Moore and Jimmy Greaves. Any chance of Saturday Show (the original and best, of course) clips, do you think?
11.00 TJ Hooker
And David Cassidy’s on Gloria, but then, isn’t he always?
Wednesday 17th April
17.00 Blue Peter
Wednesday’s now pop day on BP, since the Friday show’s off the air (entirely incorrectly, of course) for the next few months, and Jessica Garlick features today singing her Eurovision song. Which is obviously better than last year’s, but then even Jonathan Maitland’s was.
“Viewers, get a dishwasher, it will *transform* your life!” We generally don’t like the specials on this series because we normally hate the featured artists, but not this week as it’s the Pet Shop Boys. To celebrate we’ll be re-reading ‘Pet Shop Boys, Annually’, the best book about pop music ever written, if only for that fantastic feature where they print all their reviews and then bitch about them, ie The Yorkshire Weekly: “Come on lads, lyrics such as ‘We’re S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G, we’re shopping’ are hardly inspired now, are they?” Chris: “The thing is, you read that lyric and it’s fantastic.”
20.00 The Good Life
Hot Press: “Flaunts the old male preoccupations with west end girls, french girls, showgirls, ad nauseum.” Neil: “That’s gloriously off-the-case.”
Roctel 88: “This is even worse than their last single, whatever it was called.” Neil: “I love this. This is a good putdown.”
01.50 What Have The Nineties Ever Done For Us?
Birmingham Sun: “And I thought a second Go West album would be pointless.” Neil: “I don’t understand this.”
03.10 Mark of the Phoenix
Top secret cigarette case smuggling intrigue with Roger ‘Master’ Delgado.
06.00 The Clangers
11.00 TJ Hooker
15.50 Spenser: The Judas Goat
More ’90s cop show revivalism. We always hated Spenser: For Hire, anyway. Come on Channel Five! Fork out for a few series of Derrick!
Thursday 18th April
ITV are showing Heartbeat from the start at this time, as this month is its tenth anniversary – though they might not mention that the first series was on Fridays at nine o’clock, which is all wrong. Anyway, Tony Robinson and Jack Smethurst are here, so you know where to look.
Not again! It’s safe to assume that any film billed in this timeslot on BBC1 will never actually get shown, merely postponed for a fortnight every fortnight until the TV rights run out, after which Channel Five will snap it up for 20p and show it in prime time on a Saturday night.
22.30 Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned
We still haven’t worked out quite why people hate this, or indeed why people keep on trying to claim it’s scripted. And the point of that would be…?
06.10 The Trap Door
Is it us or has The Hoobs got shorter?
The TV equivalent of the Wagon Wheel, then.
11.00 TJ Hooker
But what’s happened to the episode they dropped on Tuesday? Dropping it would put everything skee-wiff!
Friday 19th April
21.30 Blackadder II
Also back tonight is Alistair McGowan, who we like, although he could do with changing the theme tune, as the current one just says ‘This is comedy!’ in an alarmingly unsubtle way. And they seem to have stuck with that high-concept Imagine If Dot Cotton Was Albert Steptoe sketch, which we’re not sure anybody actually understands. In any case, let’s hope Ruud Gullit does something soon, because that’s our favourite of all his impressions, and it’s just gathering dust.
Suddenly it’s Friday that’s taken over the mantle of Least Creamy Day Of The Week.
02.05 Pump Up The Volume
A repeat run of the series on the history of house music. Of course, we’ve been buying all of the recent hip-hop compilation albums, in the hope that one of them features Just Buggin’ by Whistle. And Wordy Rappinghood by the Tom Tom Club. Now the Golden Hour’s finished, where do we get to hear stuff like that anymore? You’re missing a trick, Radio Six!
11.00 TJ Hooker
21.00 The Witches of Eastwick
Tempted by the West End version? Save yourself forty quid and watch the always-on-telly yet still-great Nicholson/Sarandon/Sarkisian/Pfeiffer version instead.
01.05 The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
Early ’60s relationship study with Robert ‘Music Man’ Preston wherein Angela Lansbury plays one Mavis Pruitt (presumably not as an overweight fairy with a Kenneth Williams voice).
02.50 Outlaw Blues
Late ’70s much of a muchness wherein ex-con Peter Fonda shacks up with Susan ‘Kate and Allie’ Saint James to rescue his flat renditions of country standards from the hands of copyright thief James Callahan (presumably supplementing those controversial IMF loans).
05.10 Sons and Daughters
Exactly why this can’t stay at the same time every week, we’re not sure.
Except for ITV Digital viewers, who will get a green screen instead.
Monday, 21.00, 00.30
Bankrupt – Yes! Recent star of TV Cream Heroes Weekly Radio Edition Ray Gosling starts his comeback right now! Since the heady days of On Site, the best programme Granada have ever made (that doesn’t feature Anthony H Wilson), Ray’s never been able to quite live up to it, and now he’s in some financial difficulties. In this documentary, he’s going to talk about it, and presumably he’s tugged someone’s heart strings because for the rest of the week there’s…
Monday, 22.00, Tuesday, Wednesday, 19.00, 00.30, Thursday, Friday, 19.00
Ray Gosling Reports – A new series where Ray reports on, ooh, all sorts of things in his own inimitable fashion. Each show is of a different duration, from ten minutes to half an hour, and are on a range of topics, neatly fitting in with Ray’s low-key, shambling style. Hopefully at the end of each he’ll go ‘oh dear’ and just shuffle off, as that’s how we know and love him. Of note is Tuesday’s 19.00 episode where he meets Lady Sarah Moon, less than 24 hours after Rosie Boycott meets her on BBC2. Ah well, eh?
Banzai Night – Shame we’ll never get Guess What Speed The Queen Mother’s Funeral Cortege Is Going At, but these six back-to-back episodes should feature some great stuff, including the best soundtrack on television.
Friday, 22.00, 01.25
Top Ten Heartbreakers – Actually we don’t know why C4 haven’t taken up our idea to do year-based shows on every one of the last thirty years or so – we’d watch them in any case. Actually they could do a show about every day of the last thirty years or so and we’d watch them, but then that’s us.
Saturday, Sunday, 23.30
Bullseye – ‘Look at your monitors!’
Tuesday, 20.00, Thursday, 19.00
The World Cup Years – It could be that this channel closes down on Monday, ironically 24 hours before it would have shown what’s bound to be it’s best ever programme. We’ve reached 1994, without doubt ITV’s most nototious tournament. For a start, all the coverage was centered in a studio in Dallas, in which the only indicator that they were actually in Dallas was that there was a sign on the wall saying ‘Dallas’. The presenters were Matthew Lorenzo and Tony Francis – they were so bad they had to hire Bob Wilson – and the pundits included Don Howe, who at one point went and met a man called Doctor Rap, and then performed his own World Cup Rap in the studio. We hope they show that, but actually they probably won’t show anything in the end. For more on this story – http://www.btinternet.com/~upforgrabsnow/hell.html
Sunday, 00.10, Friday, 23.45
A Bit Of Fry and Laurie – How many episodes of Harry Enfield’s Brand Spanking New Show are there? “And then my bereavement counsellor died. I didn’t know who to turn to.”
Wednesday, Thursday, 23.30
Young Guns Go For It – Any chance of a new series of this? Fair enough, we’ll just make do with these repeats, of Culture Club on Wednesday, then on Thursday it’s The Human League and, at 00.00, the very best one – Bananarama!
All times correct at time of writing and refer to England except where stated. And basically, if you can have Holby City on the night of the Queen Mother’s funeral, anything goes.
AND IT WAS THE DIRTIEST PROGRAMME I HAD EVER SEEN
If you’ve got a complaint about our flippant tone, then by all means let us have it. Post them at the Creamguide Office section on the TV Cream Message Board, Ask The Family, and we’ll, er, read them. Simply click on Long Shots at http://tv.cream.org That’s also the place you can subscribe to the TV Cream Update, which is now hitting your inboxes every other Monday. So you’ll have to do some work on a Friday for a change.
They’d also like to be associated with that apology – Hughes, Jones, Kibble-White (J), Tyers