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
20th – 26th April 2002
The John Gorman of TV Cream – Graham Kibble-White
Saturday 20th April
18.25 Only Fools and Horses
At least we’ve gone back to the half-hours. Of course the Grandad episodes are better than the Albert episodes, but here’s one of the only two (the other being the rubbish last one) that features neither, from 1985.
10.00 Saturday Kitchen
Hooray, we’ve actually watched this strand, purely to see the episodes of The Galloping Gourmet that they’re showing, and man! It’s quite unbelievable, and fantastic – we last saw these skiving school in the mid ’80s, and we’re not sure if they were ’70s originals or toned-down “comebacks”, but we don’t remember them being this crazed. The “comedy monologue” bit at the start consisted of Kerr telling the old “waiter, have you got frog’s legs?” joke several times in succession – so far, so “did that really pass for entertainment then?” But the recipe itself – something awful-looking involving chocolate and angel cake, which Kerr slagged off something rotten, then attacked with a knife by leaping across the kitchen set onto it, then pulverised into tiny pieces and drowned it in Grand Marnier – was amazing. The contempt in which Kerr seemed to hold the food he was making could, we suppose, be called into question as highly unprofessional and sneery, but set against the modern age of insincere “pukkas” it’s a refreshing change. And nobody, clearly, was trying to sell Graham Kerr’s “lifestyle” as a desirable celebrity package. If we didn’t know better, we’d – oh, go on then. The Best Thing On TV Right Now.
19.00 Reading The Decades
Janet Ellis was on this the other week, talking about The Naked Ape. BBC2’s getting quite bizarre on Saturdays now, isn’t it? Anyway, the seventies, which as the Radio Times helpfully tells us, was the decade of punks, strikes and the Jubilee – oh, cheers for that. The Joy Of Sex (not sure how much we’ll get of that at 7pm), The Female Eunuch and, er, Watership Down.
20.00 Like A Hurricane: The Alex Higgins Story
A topical repeat for the fairly depressing documentary about your man. Now where’s When Snooker Ruled The World got to, BBC?
21.00 Screen Tests Of The Stars
The first part of this was, as we suggested last week, fairly dreary, as they didn’t have very much material and the stuff that they did have was fairly dull – I mean, Joan Crawford? Probably not much this week either, although Matthew Kelly’s a guest, and we’re hoping for clips of Madabout.
22.00 After They Were Famous
The Lennie Bennett profile last week was, we feel, the best thing this series has ever done – it was all there, Jokers Wild, Lennie and Jerry, Punchlines, the lot. This week we’re particularly looking forward to Mike Winters, if only because we’ve never actually seen so much as a picture of Mike Winters, for some reason. Well, when was the last time they repeated any of their stuff?
06.00 The Clangers
Actually that reminds us that the other week we caught a snatch of a Les-fronted Blankety Blank on Challenge TV, where Bernie was front-middle, and he was wearing tinted glasses, which he ascribed on being ‘not very well’ and ‘not seeing very well’. Actually he looked really quite uncomfortable, so we had to turn it off. Could they not find another guest anywhere?
22.20 Top Ten TV Bastards
We sort of liked last week’s show, if only because you simply can’t go wrong with loads of clips of Larry Grayson doing the Gen Game, and most of the Cuddly Ken stuff was from Thames, so that was just smashing. Unfortunately the line-up for this looks pretty ropey, because although we’ve got Mr Bronson, we’ve also got a load of people which’ll make it look awful when this is repeated in two years time and everyone’s forgotten about them – some bloke off Footballers Wives, some bloke off Bad Girls (well, we know our contemporary TV drama, don’t we?) and, worst of all, the hugely overrated Ricky Gervais’ hugely overrated character from the hugely overrated Office.
05.10 Sons and Daughters
The same time two nights running! Whatever next?
Sunday 21st April
13.00 Allo Allo!
According to that Queen Mum obituary, she used to really like this series, so we might get rather more of it over the next few months.
14.10 A Sense Of Place
Well, this is, er, interesting – each region hires a helicopter and flies around for a bit, to produce an aerial tour of their stomping ground. Apart from Wales, who can’t be bothered.
16.35 Points Of View
A viewer complains that even though this programme must take about ten seconds to make, they can’t be bothered doing it all year round, and when it’s on it’s usually rubbish! And Tel keeps on taking holidays from it, when surely he could do that when the show isn’t on. And indeed he’s not on the wireless this week so we could have a guest presenter as recently as show two, which is just ridiculous. Never mind his radio show, this is the telly!
20.55 Blackadder Back and Forth
This is the new (although by now it’s been shown in the Millennium Dome for a year, Sky about a thousand times, and on a video now in the bargain bins) episode which was postponed from the other week. It’s written by Richard Curtis alone, and lest we forget he’s written the Oxo adverts, but then Elton Ben was in the Daily Mail yesterday talking about how modern pop music was rubbish compared to Queen, so maybe it’s for the best. Mind you, we didn’t read the article – obviously, it’s the Daily Mail.
12.00 Star Trek
You don’t get people referring to this as TREK, do you?
06.10 The Magic Roundabout
Either this or Bill Turnbull cocking it up on Breakfast – at least Jeremy Bowen accidentally swears sometimes.
Monday 22nd April
17.00 Blue Peter
Including the results of the Golden Jubille competition, billed here two weeks ago. Maybe it was postponed as a mark of respect, we suppose?
18.20 Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons
More convincing accents than Izzy’s mum in Hollyoaks.
22.00 Room 101
This series has been largely rubbish (apart from when Sir Michael Grade put children’s programme Doctor WHO in) and tonight the guest is Ricky Gervais, who’s an idiot. So don’t watch it.
20.30 The British Academy Television Awards
And Ricky Gervais is on this as well! These awards were recorded last night, so at least this year they’ll have a bit more time to edit it and Chris Tarrant won’t be rewound on air. And at least he can say more than three words without having to look at the autocue, unlike Angus Deayton. Anyway, those year-defining, of the moment nominees in full – Michael Gambon, Kathy Burke, John Bird and John Fortune, Jeremy Paxman, Michael Parkinson. What have the jury been doing for the last twelve months? These are exactly the same nominees as last year! Room 101’s also been nominated for Best Entertainment Programme – it’s not even the Best Entertainment Programme of tonight, let alone this year! Grr.
Incidentally they’ve rerecorded the opening songs for Cbeebies, but they’re not as good as before because both Chris Jarvis and Pui Fan Lee go ‘badom-badom-badom!’, which is all wrong. Only Chris may badom-badom!
13.25 Little House On The Prairie
They’ve stopped doing the Saturday episodes all together now.
11.00 TJ Hooker
Never has the channel seemed more pointless now Dappledown Farm’s gone.
21.00 An American Werewolf In London
We’ve got an Alas Smith And Jones video (look, it was three quid) which contains a parody of this film, where ‘werewolf’ is replaced with ‘armchair’. And we’ll never get that joke as long as we’ll live.
THE TRIAL OF TV CREAM HEROES WEEKLY
Last week brought the shocking news that TVCHW was being put on hiatus due to an ill-advised comment in the previous edition that plunged this section of Creamguide into official complaint proceedings. The comment was about what we now accept as an *acceptable* quality drawing of Fern Britton by “Ian The Artist”. The picture can be seen here: http://www.ianardo.com/hall3/britton.html (Come on! Of course it’s acceptable! It was completed under “tricky conditions” for God’s sake!).
Thanks to a fella going onto News at Ten and smashing up a TV set, plus a protest song (“14 days is too long to wait, bring back TVCHW before it’s too late!”) TV Cream Heroes Weekly is now back again, rejuvenated and still an essential part of Creamguide. That said, we’re a bit miffed that the Creamguide Ed (who made the decision to place this section on hiatus in the first place) has been overheard muttering that if he were ever to go on Room 101 he’d place TVCHW, along with discussions prefixed “The Most Annoying …” and potentially involved conversations that kick-off just as he’s about to watch Andrew Collins on Telly Addicts into that titular room. What a cheek! You think he would let it lie. That said, we used the office toilet after him a couple of months ago, and thought that he had a whiff of arrogance about him then. This seems to confirm it!
So, to this week’s hero.
#12 CHRISTOPHER TIMOTHY as seen on DOCTORS, weekdays 14.10, BBC1
Anyone who’s ever settled down with the family – plus a Tupperware box lined with kitchen paper and filled with chicken ‘n’ chips – to enjoy an episode of ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL (or – ha! ha! ha! – All Creatures Grunt and Smell as we call it!) will no doubt hold this week’s hero in great esteem. Christopher Timothy’s done the lot, from HERE WE GO ROUND THE MULBERRY BUSH (plot summary: “Filmed entirely on location in the new town of Stevenage, Hertfordshire”) via UP THE CHASTITY BELT (did he show his bare arse in this one? We’re sure he’s shown his bare arse in something) to Dictionary Corner on COUNTDOWN. This is a man for all seasons and a superlative addition to our TVCHW Olympic village of TV greats. Christopher, you will be sharing a room with fellow TV Vet Peter Davidson. If Rob Heyland buzzes you at any time during the night – don’t let him in!
Erm, is that it? The Ed promised us that when TVCHW returned it would continue to be the same length. But surely that was shorter? Anyway, that leaves us with just enough time to report back on our “I Can Draw Fern” competition which was inspired by last week’s events. Well,we’ve had fours of entries, but we still want more! So if you can draw Fern Britton mail us your effort at icandrawfern@…. We hope to get “Ian The Artist” in to judge which is the best, so don’t let us down!
Tuesday 23rd April
23.20 The Cassandra Crossing
Another Andrew Collins fave, we’re guessing. Shown in ‘tribute’ to Burt Lancaster, too.
So this programme still has the ability to surprise, as last week’s Dead Or Alive clip turned out to be That’s The Way I Like It, which we’d never seen before. Of course it was taken from the three-month period in 1984 when they’d moved from Studio 2 to Studio 3, which was smaller, and what’s great is that they just bunged the sets in any old way, so the neon Pops logo was just flung in the middle of one set. Interestingly (?) there must have been a studio re-allocation at TVC since then because as we all know from the RDA, Studio 2 is the smallest studio at TV Centre. Er, anyway, Sheena Easton and The Happy Mondays. And a different time, you note.
02.50 ITV Sport Classics
We’ve managed to see some bits of The World Cup Years, and the absolute best bit was from the 1974 programme where Brian Moore announces that over the last four years ITV have pioneered the FunSpot, created with a piece of music and their slow motion machine, and now German television have done one, and here it is. And it was the best thing we’d ever seen. Nothing like that on here, alas.
06.05 The Clangers
Oh, and 24 Hour Party People Update – it did show up at a cinema thirty miles away from our house, but only at 10.15pm on Friday and Saturday night. Yet Bend It Like Beckham’s everywhere a million times a day. Damn you, British film industry!
Shall we try and start making these billings actually about the programmes for a change?
22.00 Football’s Fight Club
Interesting-sounding documentary looking at the rise of hooliganism in the seventies and eighties. Would it be wrong of us to say we intend to watch this in the first place just in case they show clips from The Big Match or something?
11.00 TJ Hooker
We don’t intend to watch this at all.
Wednesday 24th April
17.00 Blue Peter
We caught this on Wednesday and we just loved the way that Gary Lineker’s Opinion on whether Michael Owen should have been England captain was an exclusive to this programme. First with the news, as always.
19.30 This Is Your Life
Linda Barker last time, so there’s got to be someone old and interesting coming up soon, surely.
We’re starting to wonder whether Wright’s links are live or there’s simply no quality control exercised at all over them, because last week he referred to a clip as coming from 1998 when it clearly said 1988 on the screen, and the week before back-referenced a clip as coming from 1982 even though in the intro he’d said it was from 1984. Grr. Modern Talking, The Stone Roses, Monsoon and The Steve Gibbons Band who our uncle used to know, fact fans.
Last in the series, and probably forever. Although of course the bigger tragedy is the loss of http://www.everyonehatesattachments.com
06.05 The Clangers
11.00 TJ Hooker
14.20 Open House with Gloria Hunniford
Paul Daniels and Debbie McGee are on, plugging their forthcoming tour, and asking you to come and see it, come on, no, come, come on.
15.50 Spenser: A Savage Place
As we said last week, we always hated Spenser: For Hire, anyway. Looks like Wednesday is the day to avoid this channel. Actually any day’s a day to avoid it.
Knew it wouldn’t be long before one channel dug it out in lieu of a “tribute”. We really like the theme tune, you know, not even Gareth Gates could spoil it.
Thursday 25th April
They don’t do daily cast lists for this programme anymore, so Tony Osoba could be on any day this week. But we reckon it’s today.
22.30 Baddiel and Skinner Unplanned
They’re breaking rules left, right and centre on this programme, as last week half the questions were about football, which as we all know is a banned topic. And they’re only allowed one question on each subject anyway. But it’s still refreshingly off-message about ITV programmes, so we don’t care.
We really do dislike this programme.
23.05 The Annual Barfta Awards
This looks to be another attempt to televise the Private Eye Bore Of The Year Awards, as it includes several categories – the example here is Worst Celebrity Chef – which just seem to be the excuse for some jokes. Oddly it’s presented by Jeffrey Tambor off Larry Sanders, and it might be quite good fun, although it’s from Victor Lewis-Smith’s production company so don’t expect any new material.
11.00 TJ Hooker
Are they really showing the whole series of this?
Friday 26th April
A recent hot topic on Ask The Family has been the whereabouts of former Spatz star Jennifer Calvert, although unlike a lot of the threads on that board hasn’t gone as far as asking whether she’s dead or not. Anyway, the answer’s here.
21.30 Blackadder II
We’ve billed this for the last three weeks now and it still hasn’t been on, thus making it perhaps the most postponed programme of all time. Perhaps they thought that it had to start after Blackadder Back and Forth had been on otherwise it would have confusing to switch between incarnations within a week. In any case, apparently it really is on tonight, no, honest.
23.20 Rocky III
Two years ago BBC1 started screening all the Rocky films at 9pm on Saturday night, but by the time they’d got to this chapter it had already been shifted to a slot like this. In Wales, by the way, while Blackadder is on at 21.30, Have I Got News For You, which is brand new (or as new as that programme gets) is shown here, and last week it was on at midnight! A rare piece of good sense down at Llandaff then.
06.10 The Magic Roundabout
Ri:se starts on Monday, and that name doesn’t sound any better, but to be honest we were sort of getting into The Real World.
We’re sure this won’t be going, though.
02.55 Pump Up The Volume
Commeded by the ITC this week, so expect more of this sort of thing in the future. Although they seem to have less power and authority than Heat magazine when it comes to influencing schedules.
11.00 TJ Hooker
Don’t even think of turning to this channel today – Arabella Weir is on Gloria.
05.10 Sons and Daughters
Probably safe to turn back on now.
Sunday, 22.00, 01.15
Bankrupt – “Come on, Ray, into action! Don’t just get depressed!” Creamguide saw this last week and it was quite a moving story, but Ray is a bit annoying actually, he’s the kind of bloke who made a big song and dance about how he’d spoiled his ballot paper in the election and so on. It does have some clips of him in the On Site years, though, including one of him in a caravan in Prestatyn.
Thursday, 23.00, 01.50
Jimmy Carr’s World Of Corporate Videos – Repeat of this quite fun programme which does actually feature a lot of great clips from genuine corporate videos, including William Woollard doing a corporate for Smiths Crisps. However Carr himself is completely charmless and has absolutely no screen presence, so maybe best to tape it and fast forward through his bits.
Friday, 22.00, 01.25
Top Ten Eighties Soul – Speaking of charmless presenters, Richard Blackwood fronts this edition, but it is fairly entertaining if only because you don’t get a lot of features about Lynx these days. A cracking feature on Imagination, too.
Saturday, Sunday, 23.30
Bullseye – Local radio is, of course, Radio Cream Times’ business, but Creamguide’s sister’s flatmate is currently doing work experience at Radio Lancashire where Jim Bowen is Mr Morning Man, and she has a range of amusing anecdotes, none of which we really want to repeat here. Oh, alright, Jim sometimes gets his staff to push his chair around while he’s standing on it when he’s bored. Happy?
Tuesday-Friday, 13.30, 19.00
Fresh Fields – Hooray! The most Thames of sitcoms makes its debut on G+, and it’s worth catching just for the theme tune. As someone or other notes on http://web.ukonline.co.uk/ott/features/tvthemes1.htm , “the old standard Start All Over Again (which mirrors the theme, obviously) was reworked to great effect. The music starts with a fanfare of trumpets, attention-grabbing and announcing that we’re in for a gay old time. Then the familiar tune kicks-in, accompanied by some terrifically competent – and loud – bass playing. The tune builds, upping the tempo, cranking up the anticipation. Then there’s the payoff (“and start all over again”) before a ditsy little two-tone refrain drops the pace like a stone and gently segues us into the programme. Class.”
Saturday, 12.30, Sunday, 21.30
The World Cup Years – So the channel did stagger on long enough to show this, although there was absolutely no presentation in it at all, not even Matthew Lorenzo’s Dallas Brunch. So we don’t care whether this channel closes down or not anymore.
Peter Kay Live At The Top Of The Tower
“What are you having? You – in a butty!” Series Two of Phoenix Nights is, we’re assured, imminent, and in the meantime here’s our favourite comedian at his brilliant best. We don’t care if we sound like a video sleeve, this is truly brilliant.
Sunday, 00.15, Friday, 01.15
A Bit Of Fry And Laurie – Oh, nice schduling. “I don’t know much about pornography. But i know what I like.”
The Frank Skinner Christmas Show – Weird scheduling on Tuesday when Paramount drop the whole of their normal peaktime schedule for two weak Carry Ons – obviously not including Cabby – and then have to fill the gap with this incredibly topical show from 1998. I dunno.
Monty Python Reunion Special – And we dunno what this is either. We know all about Seinfeld, mind, which is on every day at 19.30, but we’re not allowed to mention that.
All times correct at time of writing, but that doesn’t mean much, and refer to England except where stated. But then we say that every week, so you should know that.
DO YOUR WORK FOR YOU
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“The Victor Meldrews of TV Cream” – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Phil Norman, Simon Tyers