TV Cream

How We Used To List

How We Used To List: 21st-27th SEPTEMBER 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.)

21st – 27th September 2002
Giving order – Chris Diamond, Phil Norman
Big sandwiches – Graham Kibble-White

Saturday 21st September


09.00 The Saturday Show
This is perhaps the first Saturday morning show for a couple of years on the BBC which hasn’t become a great big huge national laughing stock, even though it’s still fairly mediocre. So, what have they done? They’ve fired the presenters and are starting again. Still, The Lovely Fearne Cotton’s better than Dani, this new bloke nobody’s heard off will be better than Joe Mace, and there’s this new Top of the Pops on Saturday that might be, er, interesting.

17.35 Only Fools and Horses
Two consecutive episodes shown in the right order! Whatever next?

21.05 Total Medics
This is the follow-up to last year’s Total Soap, which on the plus side had a script by Danny Baker, but on the minus side had it delivered by Nadia Sawalha. Not sure yet who’s fronting (and writing) this A-Z of clips from… well, you can guess from the name.

22.25 Parkinson
For Christ’s sake, Parky! Change the damn record! How many more times are people going to report bloody interviews with him when he says all other chat shows are crap because the presenters aren’t journalists, and think that this is a new opinion? This week’s (,7493,794246,00.html) is about the third time he’s said that this year. You may recall the last series of this show featured a scripted “interview” with Ali G, and Victoria Beckham. And the most famous moment of his career involved a puppeteer. Peter Kay appears tonight, it says here, but in protest at Parky being a sour-faced bastard, we’ll turn the sound down during his questions and only listen to the answers.

23.25 Dragnet
Putting this on at nearly midnight is a bit stiff really considering it’s more your eight o’clock midweek fare and it’s difficult to see what kind of audience this kind of thing could possibly pull in this slot. So it’s obviously nothing more than a filler then but has a few nice moments for all that, mostly associated with Dabney ‘9 to 5’ Coleman and Christopher ‘edelweiss’ Plummer. Dan Akroyd exhibits how much weight he’d put on since The Blues Brothers and Tom Hanks continues his sticky Turner and Hooch patch with this rather improbable remake of the ‘classic’ US cop show continuing Hollywood’s penchant for unlikely cinematic versions of shows that really didn’t suit them – we’re looking at you, Wild Wild West. We’re still waiting for the comedy film version of Cannon, you know.


15.10 Perry Mason
Fortunately the athletics have curtailed this half-arsed “strand” for this week.

21.05 Reputations
Arthur Lowe Night on BBC2, then, kicking off with this documentary about the great man. Of course, he kept on plugging away in rotten provinical theatre for ages, purely because his wife insisted on being in everything he was in. And this’ll explain it all.

21.55 Don’t Panic! The Dad’s Army Story
Then it’s the umpteenth showing of the fun Victoria Wood-fronted documentary…

22.45 Dad’s Army
…followed by a medicore post-James Beck episode.

23.15 If…
It’s allegory ahoy! in this famous tale of revolution and revolt in a public school. Malcolm McDowell and his pals go daft because they are poorly treated by the teachers. But when your Headmaster is Peter ‘cut off in my prime’ Jeffrey, what do you expect? The catchphrase for this was “Which side would you be on?” Not BBC2 just now, anway…

01.05 Phantom of the Paradise
Give us this camped-up Faust over Rocky Horror any day. Paul ‘Evergreen’ Williams performs copyright theft on William ‘Eaten Alive’ Finlay, who tries to blow him up, gets disfigured, then lures Williams into a devilish contract to pen a glammed-up musical for love interest Jessica ‘Suspiria’ Harper. Then a deranged Gerrit Graham turns up, and things go a bit bizarre. Fantastic foil and plastic sets from Jack ‘man pulling levers in Eraserhead’ Fisk (abetted by Sissy ‘Carrie’ Spacek), and for once Brian De Palma’s ‘trademark’ split screen obsession is bang on the money and actually aids the storytelling, especially in the brilliant bomb countdown double tracking shot.


17.55 Bruce Forsyth’s Play Your Cards Right
We’ve now been able to see a complete episode of this show, and it certainly isn’t As Good As It Used To Be. Basically, they just cut the end off the final, so instead of going for the car, they just get the money they’ve won, which just means it sort of peters out. And he doesn’t bang the console when given them their starting total. It’s all gone wrong on this show.

01.35 Forever
Perhaps the most meaningless theme yet, ‘rock’, which frankly could include anything. And we’re only promised Alice Cooper and Marilyn Manson so far.


02.10 The Plague of the Zombies
We had The Reptile a few weeks back, and here’s the similarly Cornwalian Hammer flick that was shot at the same time, with the same people, and it’s probably even better. Andr� ‘Quatermass’ Morell and daughter Diane ‘Death at Bargain prices’ Clare are called out to investigate disease, resurrections and general madgickal goings-on in a remote tin mining village. Jacqueline Pearce and Michael Ripper are among the cast of reliables.


08.00 James The Cat
Still the best thing on Five all week.

00.55 The Greatest Thing that Almost Happened
Some sort of rubbish sporting drama double bill appears to be on the cards here. James Earl Jones’s basketball playing son contracts leukaemia in this by-the-numbers weepie with Debbie ‘right here’ where you start paying’ Allen and Sorrell ‘Boss Hogg’ Brooke. Not a patch on James Caan TV movie schmaltzeteria Brian’s Song. Or even Brain’s Song. And where’s Meadowlark Lemon?

02.35 Ice Pawn
Figure-skating drama with Dan ‘insert joke here’ Haggerty. It’s like an episode of Grandstand from 1978 with little holes round the edges!

05.10 Sons and Daughters
And also on Friday, yes.

Sunday 22nd September


16.50 Points of View
This is now a fully-fledged Pebble Mill production (although technically none of them are “Pebble Mill” productions anymore) with a Brum address and Brum phone number, and Tel has a new, rather ugly library set. And last week it was in a bizarre huge widescreen ratio, for some reason or other.

23.30 Brannigan
John Wayne was on the inexorable countdown to his last film by the time he was making this tale of a yankee cop in London. Not as good as McQ is the verdict but McQ didn’t also feature John ‘Slarti’ Vernon, Brian ‘stick to the road’ Glover, Don ‘Bullman’ Henderson or Tony ‘Scouse git’ Booth, did it?


18.30 Who’d Want To Be A… Royal?
This sounds like the first in a series to us, although what else could follow those three dots is beyond us. Of course last month’s Cue The Queen wasn’t allowed to screen any of It’s A Royal Knockout, although we’re not sure why because that’s been a clip show staple for ages; unless Edward has brought back the rights or something. And we dunno what might be in this. We don’t know much about anything, do we?


14.25 Pork Chop Hill
Can I believe my mince eyes? A war film? Still, at least this is about the Korean War for a change and stars Gregory ‘Mengele’ Peck in the battle for the eponymous hill which, we’re guessing here, isn’t it’s proper name. With Rip ‘Artie’ Torn and George ‘Banacek’ Peppard it’s a cut above (geddit?).


18.25 Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol
This ‘film’ raises a few pertinent questions: how did Bobcat Goldthwaite manage to forge a career out of talking in a funny voice? How has Sharon Stone managed to erase this from memory but not King Solomon’s Mines? Since Commandant Lassard was the only remotely funny character why didn’t they feature him more? At what point did someone say, “We’ll get it right next time!” And finally just, well, why?

Monday 23rd September


14.35 Murder She Wrote
Come on, students – demand better lazy afternoon fillers. Every day at this time.

17.00 Blue Peter
We’d like to complain about CBBC moving the next-morning repeat from 7.45am to 7.20am because we’re now always in the shower when it’s on, and that’s no good. Don’t you want the dads watching? Anyway, Gareth Gates sings, while Will Young only makes “an appearance”. Bias!

22.35 NOT One On One
No, because it’s been replaced by a Panorama Special, though we’re not sure how important it is when it’s been scheduled over a week beforehand. Anyway, Alan “Whicker’s World with Alan Whicker” Whicker will have to wait a week.

00.50 Ace High
We’re being a tad lenient on westerns this week, partly because otherwise we’d have next to nothing to say, but also because there are actually some decent, interesting ones on for a change. In this parodic spaghetti encounter, a Jewish Eli Wallach joins name-Anglicizing Italian duo Bud Spencer and Terence Hill, plus a backflipping Brock ‘Soylent Green’ Peters, for some textbook wronged-man revenge.


14.00 Invaders from Mars
This is more like it, and on BBC2 as God intended. By rights of course this should be on at six o’clock and be part of a series of sci-fi films the rest of which should include The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Day The Earth Caught Fire and Forbidden Planet and building up a sizable audience before blowing it by showing 2001 thereby confusing a whole new generation of viewers leaving them wondering what the hell is going on and why is Rigsby in it? Or was that just us?

21.00 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
This is still a good series, and the arrival of Bill Bailey as new captain should freshen it up a little. There’s normally a Creamy clip or two here, but even if there isn’t we can at least enjoy the guest appearances by Clare Grogan and The Man Who’s Got The Best Music, Mark Gooodiiiieeeerrr-iiieee-eeer.

23.20 I’m Alan Partridge
Everyone on the internet has probably heard Creamguide’s anecdote about being in the audience for this episode, so we won’t bother going on about it again. But we did actually *see* Chris Morris!


09.00 Happy Days
You’re not saying we’re going two weeks without Bewitched? Every day at this time.

22.50 That Peter Kay Thing
Yes! A hugely welcome repeat run for the absolutely fantastic series that we reckon is better than Phoenix Nights, honest. But it all kicks off with the sort-of pilot for that show – Brian, Jerry, Paddy, Max, Archie and Les all intact. “He had one in front of him, and the other round his bloody neck!”


06.30 Dappledown Farm
11.00 Magnum PI
It’s not even got the interest of the DOG anymore. Every day at this time.

* (Cumulative figure, based on Creamguide readership multiplied by the number of RT Review editions)

Except for viewers in Scotland… a picture of the biggest push since Holby City, The Fimbles. Alongside this, a badge boasting “15 BILLION COPIES NOW SOLD!” Yes, that boast would have secured our purchase if we had been considering getting TV Times instead this week.

Now hold on here. In Gill Hudson’s letter she states “listening to our readers is one of the reasons why Radio Times is about to smash through the 15 billion sales barrier.” “About to”? According to the front cover it has already! Or did the totaliser leap up to the next section in the short space of time between Gill filing her copy and the front cover artist completing the addition of the last drop-shadow to every element? And another thing, we’ve specifically commented on this before, but there it is again – “Wow!”. That’s just not right! And stop pulling that face!!

Here at Creamguide we were saddened to read of the death of Peter Barnard. Nonetheless, we were also pleased to see Nicholas Brett back in RT, even if it was only to write an obituary. Surely we could still have enjoyed a picture of him either with his big hair or big glasses? If not both?

We’ve not so much to say about Andrew this week – bar suggesting that like Danny Kelly he could maybe pose for a different picture each week, including one where he’s doing that Fonz thumbs-aloft pose – but we do want to point out that the Film Planner pages look like something from a listings magazine circa 1991.

Alison Graham is on holiday. We assume anyway. Has she written anything on her TV page this week? Not that that’s a bad thing, you understand. Oh but hold on, here she is on page 108 previewing The League of Gentlemen. “Is it really a very black drama peppered with moments of madness?” is not quite the mumsy words of caution coupled with an “I love it!” endorsement that we’d anticipated.

Best billing has been waylaid again this week, but thankfully we’ve been able to bring you this; page 40 – “Sperm Aside”.

Tuesday 24th September


13.05 Taxi
Amazingly, this programme has lasted into a second week on BBC2. Albeit at a different time, of course.

16.00 Have I Got The Nineties For You
Yes! This series, of course, started on BBC1 at twelve o’clock in June, before being taken off after four shows, presumably when they noticed the episodes were full of “shit”s and “bastard”s. And hundreds of impenetrable jokes about Style Trial and Angus doing adverts for The Woolwich. But now it’s back, and they’ll be on about 1991 now, when it was fast becoming the best thing on telly.

18.20 TOTP2
Best bit on this programme last week was the most fantastic Pan’s People performance ever, dancing to Jeepster by T Rex in 1971. At this point Flick was still performing, and clearly the stress of doing two jobs was taking its toll, as the entire routine consisted of them stepping forwards, turning to one side and thrusting their pelvises, then stepping back, turning to one side and thrusting their pelvises, then stepping forwards, turning to one side and thrusting their pelvises, and so on non-stop for three minutes. Brilliant, it was. Split Enz and Randy Crawford tonight, incidentally.


21.50 The Frank Skinner Show
A few Creamy moments so far this series, and the appearance of Zammo last week was a cracking joke, but it’s been a bit disappointing so far – we’ve lost the stand-up routine and the interview with Rhona Cameron was all about I’m A Celebrity, which we didn’t watch, and never touched on all the good stuff she’s done, like her shameless-Seinfeld-ripoff-but-that’s-sort-of-why-we-liked-it sitcom. Still, when Frank’s on form, there are few better shows, so we’re sticking with it.


21.00 The Showbiz Set
This new documentary series takes the beginning of ITV in 1955 as its starting point and attempts to make parallels between the rise of the light channel and the development of the television personality. It sounds fun, and that’s before we mention that on anecdote duty are Bob Monkhouse and Brucie, who we’d happily listen to talking about anything.

Wednesday 25th September


17.00 Blue Peter
More from Liz in Morocco and Ellen McArthur in the studio – which sounds a bit dull to us, to be honest.

19.00 This Is Your Life
“Has he done a cover of How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead by Crass?” Yes, it’s the Paul Young story, which we’re not that keen on because, of course, his lovely blonde former backing singer doesn’t appear. Still, we’d like to take this opportunity to mention how much we think the new Streets single sounds like Toast by Streetband, as if there was a mix-up at the pressing plant. A cross between that and Ullo John Got A New Motor, sort of.

22.35 There’s Only One George Best
Don’t be surprised if some of the contributors refer to Best in the past tense in this documentary. This could be good fun, although we saw ‘Can I say shit?’ last week on One On One, and aren’t really sure we want to see it again.

00.05 Marlowe
James ‘tone’ Garner plays the lead, with Gayle ‘Chronicles’ Hunnicutt as a blackmailed actress, in this shabby looking, well-acted Chandler update with Bruce Lee, Jackie ‘Fester’ Coogan and William ‘Dr Mark Craig’ Daniels, plus a theme from good old Norman ‘Happy Days’ Gimbel.


13.05 Taxi
Some things never change – this is the last episode of the week.

16.00 Have I Got The Nineties For You
These have a 2002 copyright date, of course, although the only alterations they’ve made from the original screenings are changing the font of the credits and overdubbing the terrible first series theme with the current tune. That’s it, when you’d think the first thing to be excised would be the Diana jokes.

18.20 TOTP2
A rotten-sounding line-up tonight, with only Alexander O’Neal and Siouxsie and the Banshees standing out. But who knows what else will be between Wright’s wretched narration? The producer, probably.

20.00 Funny Women
We’ve lost count how many times these programmes have been on, but we caught the end of last week’s and they couldn’t even be bothered pointing out that Nigel Hawthorne had died since recording his bits. June Whitfield tonight.


15.50 Hart To Hart: Secrets Of The Hart
Would you mind if we stopped billing these?

Thursday 26th September


16.30 Call The Shots
Blimey, they’re overworking Fearne Cotton these days, aren’t they? Not content with presenting three-hour shows on Saturday *and* Sunday mornings, she’s also joining two of her Saturday predecessors, Sarah Cawood and Steve Wilson, to front this show ‘revealing the secrets of film and TV’. It won’t be as good as Take Two, though, will it? It won’t have a theme by Shakatak, for a start.

23.45 Tough Guys
This Lancaster/Douglas vehicle is most notable in our minds for being the film that was underway on ITV when the news cut across it in 1991 to inform the populace that Desert Storm had begun. Considering the way things are going at the minute can this be concidence? Hmmm?


13.30 Johnny Guitar
Yay! Quite possibly the definitive Western For People Who Don’t Really Like Westerns. Sterling ‘essences’ Hayden moseys into town to defend pugnacious saloon owner Joan Crawford’s mates in this off-kilter, lushly-shot and deservedly feted western from Nicholas ‘Rebel’ Ray. So great the likes of Ernest Borgnine, John Carradine, Dennis ‘rubber ducky’ Hopper, Denver ‘Jesse’ Pyle and Sheb ‘Purple People Eater’ Wooley are footnotes in the cast.

01.20 What Have The Nineties Ever Done For Us?
This, TOTP2 and That Peter Kay Thing are the only survivors from the first ever Creamguide nearly three years ago, we reckon. What a history we’ve got.


22.00 The Real Linda Lovelace
Mark ‘Four Marks’ Kermode narrates this profile of the legendary porn star. Of course, we’ll be looking out for clips of Sin On Saturday.


15.40 Winchester ’73
This, on the other hand, is a Western For People Who Really Like Westerns since it’s one of the best, starring James ‘Wylie Burp’ Stewart, Shelley ‘Manny!’ Winters, Will ‘Granpa’ Geer and even embryonic Tony Curtis and Rock Hudson in their earliest appearances as the protagonists play poker for the gun of the title.

Friday 27th September


16.15 The Basil Brush Show
It’s the wrong Basil and we’re not having it! And bizarrely in this show he’s got flatmates, which is surely all wrong.


13.00 Bachelor Mother
Long suffering shop assistant Ginger ‘I used to spit’ Rogers is mistaken for a single mother by Donald Duck-returning store boss David ‘clang!’ Niven, with gently amusing results.

16.00 Have I Got The Nineties For You
Before the questions were all either basically ‘make funny remarks about this news story’ or that tedious Mastermind parody, and when Paul Merton actually made the effort.

19.30 The Good Life

23.35 Jools Holland’s Piano
There are other musicians in Britain, y’know, BBC2. This is the first of a two-part history of the instrument, it says here, although it actually appears to be another programme where Jools plays the piano for his famous mates. Again.


22.40 Streakers – They’re At It Again
What the…? This was on three weeks ago! And it wasn’t much cop then, either.


15.40 Kojak: Fatal Flaw
More colon-ised TV specials, this time with Angie ‘Sgt Suzanne ‘Pepper’ Anderson’ Dickinson and Telly’s daughter in tow, plus Nate off of plugged-to-death-by-Guardian-hacks import of the month Six Feet Under.

02.45 The System
As per usual, ‘Five’ have missed a trick by not using this swinging sixties Michael Winner effort’s US title, The Girl-Getters. Olly Reed heads a bunch of native south coast mod lads (among them David ‘Blowup’ Hemmings, John ‘Father’ Alderton, Derek ‘Brother’ Nimmo and Mark ‘Leonard off of The Stud’ Burns) going after the seasonal tourist totty, while Nicholas Roeg mans the camera and The Searchers croon the title song, which is apparently written by Mike ‘Randall’ Pratt. That can’t be right!


* It’s the return of some old friends in the digital listings this week; such as Ray Gosling (Monday, 19.00, BBC4), Cuddly Ken (Saturday, 22.30, 04.30, Granada Plus) and The Black Adder, with UK Gold screening the whole of series one back-to-back (Saturday, 21.00, then the first two again at 03.20). There’s some who have never been away, though – Jim and Tony (Sunday, 22.30, Granada Plus), Stephen and Hugh (Sunday, 00.45, Friday, 00.10, Paramount) and, blimey, Anyone For Pennis on Paramount of Sunday at 22.05. All of his other programmes were called Very Important Pennis, but this can’t have been the same programme four weeks running, surely?

* UK Horizons, alongside the usual stuff (Louis, I Love) also begin rerunning The Best Of British, the vaguely interesting BBC1 series of profiles. Elton Ben’s on Sunday at the surprisingly early time of 20.00, which has the bonus of clips from Alfresco, and then on Friday at 22.00, Lenny Henry proves his career’s been one great big underachievement, to be honest.

Creamguide is becoming very concerned at the standard of grammar on Ask The Family, the TV Cream Message Board. It’s not a ‘tv show’, it’s a ‘TV show’. If you’re prepared for the pedantic occupants of TVC Towers to tut at your spelling, head off to and click on Long Shots. And the 22 of you who haven’t subbed to to the TV Cream Update, do that there as well.
help me please!!!!! – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Simon Tyers

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David Smith

    September 21, 2022 at 4:47 pm

    Was The Showbiz Set the programme where Denis Norden dropped an F-bomb in an interview?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top