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
26th October – 1st November 2002
Who’s missing? – Chris Diamond, Phil Norman
Saturday 26th October
08.05 Looney Tunes
Also on BBC2 every morning during the week in between half-term programmes, even though surely no schools are on half-term holidays this week? C4 are showing schools programmes, for a start.
Looks like ‘Watching the Detectives’ has been replaced by the Saturday matinee again, rightly so, but this still fills an awkwarrd gap.
15.35 The Four Musketeers
It’s the Dick Lester version – again – still starring Michael ‘Omega Code’ York, Frank ‘witchfinder’ Finlay, Oliver ‘backs to the wall’ Reed and Richard ‘Mines’ Chamberlain and possibly postponed from it’s last scheduled showing on BBC2 on 1st September. OR it might just be on again, as we didn’t bother to look last time it was on because frankly, it doesn’t hold many surprises for us anymore. Nice to see Roy Kinnear, though.
Now it’s all gone wrong for Play Your Cards Right, looks like we’ll have to stick with this.
21.00 Fame, Set and Match
That name’s not getting any better, is it? Some interesting clips on last week’s show – notably Jeremy’s Today’s The Day, which was even better than the stuff he used to do in Creamguide – and unlike the Radio Times, we quite like the way it’s presented. Tory MPs is the subject this week, of which we’ll be looking out for former Calendar presenter Jonathan Aitken, Breakfast Time panto star Jeffrey Archer, Mad Lizzie assistant David ‘Feeling fine in ’89!’ Mellor and Alan Clark.
00.00 Classic Albums
Good to see ITV really committed to the arts in peaktime. It’s Never Mind The Bollocks, though, not something you may have expected to see on ITV in the past. Should be some fine clips here, though unsure of the talking heads – probably Glen Matlock because he does all these clip shows, and maybe one-dimensional comedy character John Lydon too.
‘US Noise’ is the interesting topic this week, with Nirvana promised, and Creamguide would like to make a request for the video for Velouria by The Pixies, which was made in an afternoon purposely for the Top Forty Breakers slot on Top of the Pops, and as such features the group climbing over rocks for about fifteen seconds. Then they made a full-length version by slowing down that footage to last three and a half minutes, thus making it the dullest video ever made.
04.50 (GMT) Impact
Framed journalist clears his name in clodhopping Butcher’s b-flick shocker! Starring Mike ‘Randall’ Pratt and the first in an ever-growing line of “disgraced” Blue Peter presenters, Anita West.
21.00 100 Years… 100 Thrills
Subject of a full-length AC piece in this week’s RT, and so already we like it. Unlike the previous programme based on an American Film Institute survey – the 100 greatest comedy films, shown last year – this seems to be entirely bought in from the US, as Harrison Ford presents and the pundits are exclusively American. And they’re all going to talk about the greatest thrillers of all time.
01.05 Bunny Girls
Er, the story of the Bunny Girl, which reminds us that if you’re registered with the PA Photos website, search for ‘Dickie Davies’ and you get a fantastic picture of him, Jimmy Hill and some others winning Tie Men Of The Year 1975, at the Playboy Club. We’re going to get that blown-up, poster-size.
03.15 (GMT) The Anniversary
Eyepatch and cigarette holder-toting widowed matriarch Bette Davis dominates her three meek sons as one of them prepares to marry Sheila Hancock in this bizarre black comedy. Anyone know if Sheila Hancock’s eyepatch in the St Trinians films was a self-indulgent homage to this classic? We bet it was.
04.50 King Rat
Even Bryan Forbes couldn’t find a way to fit Nanette Newman into this WWII tale of George Segal lording it over the other PoWs (including Tom Courtenay, James Fox, Denholm Elliott, Leonard Rossiter and Geoffrey Bayldon) in a Japanese concentration camp.
05.10 (GMT) Sons and Daughters
Of course, the clocks going back makes the scheduling of this show even more confusing. On Friday, as well.
Sunday 27th October
13.00 ‘Allo ‘Allo!
So last week we asked how it works when, as both this Sunday and last Sunday, BBC1 Scotland show the news an hour later than the rest of the network, and our hero Tony Currie got straight back to us and told them that they get a news bulletin made especially for them. Wow! But do they get to change the running order? Not only that, they don’t get this either!
16.30 Points Of View
A viewer congratulates the production team for their inspired choice of stand-in presenter last week – Phil Schofield! Which made it seem just like Take Two again, albeit without Shakatak doing the theme tune. And while he was doing the links, he was making a cup of tea or doing the washing up, which was brilliant. Unfortunately boring old Tel’s back this week.
17.15 Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em
With its completely unreadable credits, which those who moan about End Credit Promotions and the like may want to bear in mind.
22.00 Another Audience with Ken Dodd
Doddy’s back entertaining an audience with his own classic comedy – “classic” in the sense that it’s more or less identical to the routine he did in the first programme, right down to the clothes.
14.35 The Reivers
Steve ‘Inferno’ McQueen is the reiver of the title – that’s a cheat, a liar, brawler and womaniser it says here – who takes it upon himself to teach little Mitch Vogel the ways of the world under the watchful gaze of Will ‘Granpa’ Geer and Diane Ladd. Also starring Ellen Geer – Will’s daughter, fact fans – and narrated by the blessed Burgess Meredith.
Monday 28th October
At last Murder She Wrote has ended, but the bad news is we’re still not getting those missing episodes of Shoestring, even despite the Radio Creamguide Ed writing to the Radio Times in protest. Instead we’ve got this, every day at this time.
17.00 Blue Peter
Mind you, this is nearly on as much, so it sort of evens out over time. And it’s Mystery Week, which means that today there’s a trip to Loch Ness. Will Nicholas Witchell make an appearance, perhaps?
23.45 Liza Minnelli – A Profile
“How about it, Marcus?” We’ve never given up hope that Brucie will at one point do the one-off special with Liza Minnelli that he pitched live to Marcus Plantin during the British Comedy Awards in 1996, and if J Nigel Pickard’s got any sense, he’ll make that his first commission. While we wait, here’s Max Flint interviewing her.
Every day at this time, instead of Words and Pictures.
14.50 Yes Minister
They don’t just throw this schedule together, y’know! Oh, hang on… apparently they do.
21.00 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
As predicted, Mark Steel was diabolical on this show last week, with even Ian McLagan being more consistently funny. Another of Creamguide’s least favourite stand-ups (mind you, that description could apply to most people on the circuit these days), Jackie Clune, who we dislike cos she slagged off Wannabe on The 100 Greatest Number One Singles, appears tonight, as does Gary Moore and Tony Blackburn.
14.00 Never Had It So Good
If anything this show’s getting worse, with a contestant getting a point for reciting a bit of the parrot sketch last week – greeted by Matthew with “You should get out more” – and they’ve started including Boddingtons adverts as ‘nostalgia’. Still, the guest list this week includes Stuart Hall (Tuesday), Rick Wakeman (Wednesday), Elizabeth Estensen (Thursday) and – hooray! – Carol Barnes (Friday).
13.35 Went the Day Well?
Hoorah! A fantastic (ie well written, brilliantly made, and surprisingly level-headed) piece of wartime propaganda (which we always thought was courtesy The Archers, but it’s actually an Alberto ‘Dead of Night’ Cavalcanti by way of Graeme Greene) with undercover Nazis invading the quiet village of Bramley End, and the locals (including, among many others, Thora Hird, Patricia Hayes and Arthur Ridley) slowly wising up and fighting back. Honest, it’s great, far better than it has any right to be, and any film that starts with one of the characters doing an introductory monologue to camera is always worth watching.
21.00 The Real Tom Jones
“Why do I say ‘bloody’ all the time? Because I’m bloody Welsh!” This should be a bit of fun, if only because that hip-shaking in This Is Tom Jones is the best dancing in the world.
22.35 That Peter Kay Thing
“Posh new bogs!” Last of the lot, and it’s the Marc Park story, of which the best bit is, of course, the way he changes football shirts throughout. And we love the way the Radio Times doesn’t even mention it’s a comedy.
11.00 Magnum PI
Every day at this time, unless Matthew Wright mysteriously disappears from his slot.
21.00 Every Which Way But Loose
Clint Eastwood may be the name above the title, but it’s Ruth Gordon as Ma and the legendary Black Widows that are the stars here as Sondra Locke, as Lurleen Lumpkin prototype and token love interest Lynn Halsey-Taylor, and the rest are all a bit incidental. It doesn’t add up to a whole mess o’ catfish plot-wise but you’ll be saying “Left turn, Clyde” for days.
ROUND THE REGIONS
This Monday sees the launch of the new presentation format for ITV1 (as we’ ve never heard anyone call it) that sees the regional names mostly disappear from our screens apart from before regional programmes. It basically means that (apart from Scottish, Grampian and Ulster) ITV will look the same no matter where you are. If that means we get rid of Granada’s diabolical continuity announcers, then we don’t mind, to be honest. But it’s certainly the end of an era. Creamguide has fond memories of studying carefully the grid of listings in Look In (with all the logos!) and its mysterious inclusions like Gus Honeybun and Puffin’s Pla(i)ce, and always wanted to go on holiday to Cumbria so we could see Border Television. If you asked kids today to rattle off a list of all the regions, they probably wouldn’t be able to do it, but back then we could, and explain what we thought of them, too. So let’s take this opportunity to remember the golden age of ITV franchises.
THE LOGO: The knight on a turntable, of course, which can still be seen on a hoarding at Norwich City’s ground to this day. Later replaced by a fluttering flag with a stylised ‘A’ on it. THEY MADE: Gambit, Sale of the Century and Tales Of The Unexpected. But normally you only saw Survival and it’s dull kid’s spin-off, Animals in Action.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Anglia always seemed to stick to the main network schedule, although their regional news show was called About Anglia, which is pleasingly whimsical.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Despite the glamour of Gambit and Miss Anglia 1980 With Vince Hill But Actually Presented By Fred Dinenage, Anglia always seemed a bit dull and posh to us. Never saw it on holiday, either.
THE LOGO: The chopsticks! In fact, it was a map of the region – and it’s border, hence the name – forming an extremely stylised ‘B’. Now its logo is just the word ‘BORDER’, which is rubbish.
THEY MADE: A surprising amount of stuff for Children’s ITV, like The Joke Machine, BMX Beat, Crush a Grape (which wasn’t credited as a Border Television Production but, excitingly, a Border Television Outside Broadcast) and the studio-based Sunday editions of Get Fresh. In fact, Get Fresh visited the Border region rather more than you’d expect.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Nicked all their programmes off Granada, really, including Granada Soccer Night, which must have been confusing. Also had to shoehorn Scotsport and Take The High Road in somewhere.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: The holy grail of ITV regions, in that nobody you knew had ever seen it. Creamguide finally got to watch a bit of it in 2000, and was still a bit excited then even though it’s basically Granada with the name changed.
THE LOGO: A big circle with light poking out from behind it, replaced by the Central cake.
THEY MADE: Loads of brilliant trashy stuff like The Price Is Right and Bullseye, but also innovative drama (Morse) and comedy (Spitting Image) too. Not particularly rare, though, so of little interest to us aged ten.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Used to shunt Wheel of Fortune to Sunday afternoons to show piss-poor Asian soap Family Pride at 8.30pm. Also annoyed us when we lived in the region by replacing In Bed With MeDinner by Central Weekend, the gits.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Creamguide used to be able to pick this up at home, but we were such a snob we used to think it was a bit brash and common, to be honest. We used to like Police Five on Thursday teatimes, though, and of course we all wanted to join the Central Junior Television Workshop.
THE LOGO: ‘CTV’ in stripy letters, boringly.
THEY MADE: Stuff from Jersey Zoo with Gerald Durrell in it, like The Dodo Club. When that wasn’t on, just the odd episode of Highway.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Famously had to keep going single-handedly while the rest of ITV was on strike in 1979. Puffin’s Pla(i)ce is still going, despite Oscar The Puffin once being taken out and shot by a pissed-off announcer. Shows the odd programme in French. In fact, it simply gets the feed from TVS or Meridian and overrides that for announcements and local shows.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Never saw it, probably never going to see it. So, er, dunno.
THE LOGO: The St Andrew’s cross, rendered in whatever visual effect their software could do. Loved the 1989 corporate look so much, they kept it for nine years.
THEY MADE: Legendary sex education show Living and Growing was the most famous, but normally, as with most of the other small companies, episodes of Get Fresh, Highway and Morning Worship.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: The usual Scottish stuff. They’re not taking the new generic look as it has “it’s own identity”, despite it being almost identical to Scottish Television.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Another of those rare ones you were always excited to spot. Never got to see it on holiday.
THE LOGO: A bloke in a wheelchair holding an umbrella, in complete silence, because they were too important to indulge in such fripperies as jingles. That was until 1989, when they got a horrible plinky six-note tune played on a xylophone or something.
THEY MADE: Loads of stuff.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: This was, and still is, Creamguide’s region, and we remember getting hugely pissed off when the new series of ALF, which Look-In had gone nuts over, wasn’t taken by Granada, who showed bloody Punky Brewster instead. Also persisted with the Corrie omnibus for years, which only consisted of the Wednesday and Friday episodes – if you’d missed Monday ‘s, tough.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Despite the best efforts of Uncle Colin Weston and Sir Charles Foster, Granada always seemed a bit dull. But then it suddenly went all horribly eighties and ‘street’, as emphasised by its move to the new Albert Dock redevelopment, with its poncey boutiques and trendy restaurants. The horrible ‘lively’ graphics and nasty theme tune of Watching sum up that period for us. We were a great kid, as you can imagine.
THE LOGO: Fantastic stylised ‘HTV’ meant to look like a TV aerial, with ‘Wales’ in the corner. Lovely jingle too.
THEY MADE: Not a lot for the network, to be honest. Loads for S4C, mind. Now make “Holy Quiz”.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Used to have to show Welsh programmes in peaktime so used to bung World In Action et al out at midnight. After they moved to S4C, the odd rugby match and current affairs show used to show up. Also delayed a live Arsenal European match from 5.30pm to 10.30pm in 1994 because the regional news had been relaunched the previous night and they refused to move it.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Creamguide used to be able to pick this up, too, and actually it was technically “our” region. But as far as we were concerned, it was the station for South Wales, and up in the North we felt a bit ignored. Watch it occasionally, but it still goes on about rugby too much.
THE LOGO: As above, but with ‘West’ in the corner.
THEY MADE: Robin of Sherwood, Rolf’s Cartoon Club, and the usual Get Fresh/Highway contributions.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: None that we can remember from Look-In.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Creamguide really went off this region after watching a really boring episode of Get Fresh from Yeovil. Rolf’s Cartoon Club helped it back into our good books. Also ran the familiarly-titled HTV West Junior Television Workshop.
THE LOGO: One you could draw by holding three pens together.
THEY MADE: Big massive LE bollocks, basically.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Wake Up London on Sunday mornings, which was basically The Vicious Boys messing around on the pavement outside the studios. Everyone always used to go on about Sunday Sunday, which we never got to see, ditto The Six O’Clock Show.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Obviously, we really wanted to live in this region and watch the handover from Thames at 5.15pm. Used to be hugely glamorous to the provincial viewer, and still is, sort of.
THE LOGO: Used to be ‘STV’ in lower case. Then a horrible CGI thistle. Now a load of blue squares with smudges in them.
THEY MADE: The Campbells! And sundry other boring stuff.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Obviously, when Creamguide went on holiday to Ayr, we made sure we were in front of the telly to see Glen Michael’s Cavalcade. To be honest, we found it a bit scary, though the only bit we can remember was the end of the episode when Glen said goodbye, then picked up a telephone and pretended to talk into it, presumably to show what a go-ahead, busy man he was. Now there’s Scotsport Rugby Roundup, which shows a rugby match, live and in full. How is that a ’roundup’?
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Actually Glen put us off the channel after we saw him, really.
THE LOGO: Legendary.
THEY MADE: Virtually everything.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: The Thames Help Roadshow was often mentioned in comedy shows, but as with Sunday Sunday, we didn’t know what that was. Also moved The Roxy to 12.30am near the end.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: We were still interested in that Friday teatime handover, but LWT was more exciting.
THE LOGO: Baffling – was it palm trees? A flamingo?
THEY MADE: The Cut Price Comedy Show and That’s My Dog got them off to a sprightly start, but then they made a big drama with Patrick McGoohan they couldn’t get networked and lost loads of money. After that, only the odd episode of Get Fresh and Highway came out of Derry’s Cross.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Creamguide’s favourite bit of Look-In was, of course, the news that TSW showed Home and Away at the fantastic time of 3.27pm. They also used to opt out of the last link of Children’s ITV for, of course, Gus Honeybun’s Magic Birthdays, which they nicked off Westward. Even Westcountry stuck with a birthday slot until very recently. At the very start of their tenure, they overdid the regional stuff a bit, even screening a local show on Christmas Night in 1982.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Got to watch the channel on holiday once, but thought Gus Honeybun was a bit disappointing. Still, a channel that shows programmes at 3.27pm will always get our approval.
THE LOGO: A sort of stylised flower, later replaced by just the word ‘TVS’ in a shiny typeface.
THEY MADE: Quite a bit of stuff, most notably Number 73, Catchphrase and Summertime Special. Maidstone was also the home of Bobby Davro for many years.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Famously dropped the last series of Tiswas to show Number 73. Also started by showing the regional news in two halves around the News at 5.45.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: TVS always wanted to be LWT, and nearly did it, but this was their downfall as they spent money like there was no tomorrow – and, as it turned out, there wasn’t. More exciting than Southern, obviously.
THE LOGO: Interlinking Ts and Vs, which was brilliant. Then in the 90s, just huge Ts and Vs on their own, which was crap.
THEY MADE: Loads of pop shows, including Razzmatazz and The Roxy, plus also Supergran.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: One of the last regions to take Tiswas, persisting with crap like Lyn’s Look-Out for ages.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: For us, Tyne Tees was represented by the frankly hideous Razzmatazz presenter Alastair Pirrie, so we never really warmed to it
THE LOGO: Fantastic oscilloscope business that originally linked up the major towns in the region, but in its later incarnation just looked like a bust telly.
THEY MADE: Forgotten daytime quiz Password with Gordon Burns, but mostly relied on the Highway rota.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Friday nights were, and still are, bonkers, dropping all the network output for big massive chat show Kelly, which is similar to another big massive chat show on RTE called Kenny – sort of like if the BBC hired a bloke called Michael Saspel and gave him a show called Saspel and Company.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: Another rarely-sighted logo gave it a sheen of excitement.
THE LOGO: Frankly terrifying big yellow chevron on stark black background, famously as seen in the 3-2-1 titles.
THEY MADE: The same mix as Central – big massive LE and decent serious stuff too. Also have employed Richard Whiteley since 1968, so they must be doing something right.
REGIONAL VARIATIONS: Famously Bruce Gyngell, when he was in charge, ran merry hell over the schedules, dropping Hollywood Lovers and God’s Gift because they were considered too vulgar for their puritanical viewers.
LOOK-IN READER’S PERSPECTIVE: A good, solid performer marred by the scary, scary logo. And we used to find the sepia Emmerdale Farm titles a bit unsettling as well.
Tuesday 29th October
23.05 Carry On Girls
It’s the one with the beauty show as Sid James cajoles the Frinton-on-Sea council into staging their own event to boost tourism in the teeh of opposition from June Whitfield and her comedy feminist cohorts. No Kenneth Williams here but leering admirably are Peter Butterworth, Jack Douglas, Robin Askwith and Kenneth Connor. Disapproving looks provided courtesy of Joan Sims and Patsy Rowlands with Jimmy Logan doing his frankly disturbing camp schtick again and Barbara Windsor as Miss Easy Rider. Most notable of course is Bernard ‘I could eat a sandwich’ Bresslaw in drag. Last week a cyclops, this week a woman: nobody credited him with this diversity when he was alive, you know.
00.35 Fame, Set and Match
A signed repeat of last week’s breakfast TV instalment, which as we said up there, was a bit of fun – most notably a great clip from TVam where Denis Healey walked out mid-interview, and Michael Heseltine followed in support.
Last wek’s shows saw the return of two of Wright’s most irritating traits – his wanky pronunciation of “Doo-ran Doo-ran”, and his inability to read something right in front of him, when introducing the new Richard Ashcroft single, ‘Check Out The Meaning’. Plenty more scope for cock-ups tonight, in between Joe Jackson and Gwen Guthrie.
21.50 The Frank Skinner Show
We don’t want people crying on this programme!
06.00 The Magic Roundabout
13.45 Death Drums Along the River
Was this Edgar ‘Mysteries’ Wallace adaptation the same one Richard O’Sullivan and Paula Wilcox tried to pretend they had seen in that episode of Man About the House? Anyway, Jeremy ‘Served?’ Lloyd’s in it.
Wednesday 30th October
17.00 Blue Peter
Grr, a report on the new H*rry P*tt*r film. Incidentally, we were pissed off last week because Matt’s special report was really interesting, but the CBBC presenters just completely ignored it at the end. When in the golden days of Pip, he’d sit there looking serious and say how much he enjoyed it. No manners, these days.
Followed by the midweek Thunderball, which strikes us as the most pointless thing in the world.
20.30 Fawlty Towers
Dated Seventies sitcom that isn’t as good as The Office.
UB40, Marilyn and The Beastie Boys – this is what we want!
21.00 M&S… and Me
“Ooh, Marks and Spencers! What would we do without Marks and Spencers!” This is the first in a new series that examines our relationship with some of Britain’s best-known brand names, and we hope it includes some cracking archive footage. And there’s The Sun, EMI and Habitat to come.
03.40 ITV Sport Classics
‘Really driving those trucks!’
06.00 Ivor The Engine
Rita Hayworth dances for Charles Laughton, while poor old Alan ‘Shogun’ Badel loses his head. Stewart Granger and Tristram ‘Rocket Men’ Coffin also make appearances.
15.30 Open House with Gloria Hunniford
“Jimmy MacFee!” Max Bygraves is this afternoon’s guest, afer accepting a ‘BIIIIIG money!’ offer. Ahem.
15.40 Ellery Queen: Don’t Look Behind You
Lesser ratpacker Peter Lawford plays the lesser detective in this production line TV mystery with Harry ‘M*A*S*H’ Morgan and Stefanie Powers.
Thursday 31st October
21.50 Look Around You
“Whiskey is a pleasant-tasting, thirst-quenching drink that can be enjoyed by all!” This is getting better by the week (albeit that’s after two episodes) and we have no hesistation on calling this Creamguide’s favourite comedy show of the year so far.
06.00 The Magic Roundabout
23.40 Comedy Lab
Of course, the first ever Comedy Lab back in 1998 was The Services starring Peter Kay, and it’s never really lived up that fantastic opener – indeed, most of them have been fairly awful. This might be alright, though, as it’s Shoreditch Twat, which we’ve heard pretty good things about. Well, we’ve heard things about it, anyway.
Friday 1st November
17.00 Blue Peter
Hopefully the new run of The Quest will be just as bonkers as the last one, and so we’ll be rushing home to catch up with what’s happening. And Matt offers “a very big ‘how are ya doing’!” to the Sugababes.
23.20 Death Wish
This might have been a huge hit, made Charles Bronson a household name and Michael Winner a shedload of cash, but make no mistake, it’s a load of old pony. Somewhere in amongst the moral tone and street violence you may spend some time trying to spot an embryonic Jeff Goldblum and junior Christopher ‘the dial goes up to 11’ Guest, though.
14.45 Yes Minister
Ah, you see, it goes on the days that Westminster isn’t on! Incidentally, great that Estelle Morris timed her resignation on Wednesday at the exact moment that the ITV News Channel went off air for three hours for Newcastle vs Juventus.
22.00 Dad’s Army
Outdated seventies sitcom that isn’t as good as The Office.
06.00 The Magic Roundabout
Oh dear, we really must stop farming out billings to Heat magazine, mustn’t we?
13.05 From Here to Eternity
Burt ‘ulcer’ Lancaster and Deborah ‘Helensburgh’ Kerr canoodle on the beach and Frank ‘Cannonbal Run II’ Sinatra spends his time trying to outact Montgomery Clift in Pearl Harbour. Meanwhile, further down the trough you’ll find Ernest Borgnine and Jack Warden but never an explanation as to why Deborah Kerr always has her name pronounced ‘Carr’. We’ve always wondered why that was.
21.30 The Osbournes
“Alright Ozzy! War pigs!” We wonder if MTV were ever inspired by the Slade In Residence sketch on The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer. Obviously, we’ve not seen this – well, what do you expect – but those that have reckon that there’s some good material in here messed up by MTV’s wanky presentation of it. And really, we knew what Ozzy’s life was like years ago, so it’s not that eye-opening, surely? And also it’s responsible for Papa Don’t Preach by Kelly Osbourne, a record 99% of the world’s teenagers could have made. Oh, ignore us.
15.35 The Priest Killer
First we had the murder of Father John Thomas (sorry, still can’t resist it), now this feature-length Ironside pastoricide special – is Richard Dawkins sponsoring Channel 5 or something?
00.45 Halloween III: Season of the Witch
We had high hopes for this year’s imported non-holiday, what with all the ace Hammer and co. stuff being broadcast of late. More fool us, as this is as good as it gets, with a ludicrous plot about Silver Shamrock masks and a hypnotising TV broadcast executed in as slack a manner as possible. For the last 15-odd minutes the soundtrack consists of an irritating “sinister” nursery rhyme chant being played over and over again, which is, erm, memorable.
No idea what this early ’80s slice of East Village punkish bohemia from ‘Desperately Seeking’ Susan Seidelman is like, we’re afraid, but Richard ‘Television’ Hell’s in a leading role, so it could go either way.
* The excitement of a John Birt double bill on Monday on BBC4, starting off at 21.00 with Understanding John Birt, a programme looking at his career. Slag him off all you like, but at least he was responsible for the disappearance from the Beeb of loads of piss-poor LE of the Hit The Road/Little and Large/Your Best Shot style, so that’s something to thank him for. Then at 21.50 it’s John Birt’s Big Break – no, not Nice Time, but an extract from Mick Jagger’s World In Action.
* Also on BBC4, Reggae: The Story Of Jamaican Music is repeated on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 19.00, Witness To History on Wednesday at 21.00 looks at the battle between Denis Healey and Tony Benn for the deputy leadership of the Labour Party, and on Wednesday at 20.30 there’s a profile of Simon Armitage. If The Tindersticks don’t appear, we’ll be very upset.
* The new series of Shooting Stars has begun on BBC Choice, Sundays at 22.00 and Mondays at 22.30, and this week Clement Freud guests. The pleasant, open-faced thespian Peter Davidson does anecdotes about children’s programme Doctor WHO on The Ralf Little Show on Friday at 21.00, and so if you miss it, don’t worry as it’ll turn up on a Doctor WHO DVD before very long.
* Granada Plus have relegated Kenny Everett to 04.30 on Sunday mornings! To make way for The Best of Canned Carrott, followed by, er, The Best Of Canned Carrott! What’s going on here? In other news, Sky One’s Football Years on 1988/89 was quite good fun, and can be seen again on Monday at 22.00, but 1997/98 won’t be quite so interesting, and that’s on Wednesday at 22.00. The Biography Channel combats the threat of UK History with a two-hour profile of Sesame Street on Tuesday (21.00) and UK Gold celebrates it’s tenth anniversary on Friday with, er, exactly the same overexposed shite they show every other night of the year.
GOT SOMETHING TO SAY…?
Then do it, man, on Ask The Family, TV Cream’s recently refurbished fora for all your Cream-related TV enquiries. If you want to identify a TV show (apart from that one about the aspidistra), suggest a new TVC entry, or simply take issue with something you’ve read in Creamguide, that’s the place to go – check the link on the front page of http://tv.cream.org, where you can also subscribe to the imminent new edition of The TV Cream Update. And, of course, it’s all completely free because TV Cream is a not-for-profit enterprise, and always will be!
Generating 60% of the nation’s nostalgia – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Simon Tyers, Sir Tony of Currie and the late, great Graham Kibble-White