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
29th June – 5th July 2002
Peering coyly to the right – Phil Norman
Saturday 29th June
22.10 Athletes Behaving Badly
Fairly quick repeat for this cobbled-together clip show of various sporting ‘gaffes’ (not our words), fronted by that titan of light entertainment, er, Ian Botham.
If Rise gets the push, they know where to look.
12.30 Little House On The Prairie
First of this week’s six episodes, none of which we know anything about.
18.55 The Return of the Pink Panther
“It is your minkey, therefore it is your minnaaay.” Four’s Panther season rumbles on predictably. We’re unlikely to get Inspector Clouseau shown, alas.
21.00 Sir Alf
This was originally scheduled as being under the ‘Football Stories’ banner, but now goes out on its own, fact fans. Not sure what we’re going to get in here that we doidn’t get in BBC2’s recent repeat of Three Lions, but always the chance we might get some interesting footage. Course, Alf Ramsey was also the original name for Alf Garnett in the pilot of Till Death…, but Johnny Speight changed it as a mark of respect for the real Alf’s achievements.
20.10 Fifty Things You Need To Know About Gazza
Number one is, of course, exactly why ITV thought it was a good idea to hire him, ho ho. We’re holding out for tracks here from Let’s Have A Party, the Gazza album which got to number 174 in the charts – not surprising when it included both a “rock’n’roll medley” and a version of All You Need Is Love where Paul was joined on vocals by *Danny Baker*.
23.05 All the Right Moves
More bloody American sport-based heroism, with blue collar football player Tom Cruise (yeah, right) torn between roots and a college scholarship. Dick ‘Mr Mackie off of Fame’ Miller is his teacher.
00.45 The Young Philadelphians
Paul ‘Inferno’ Newman defends Robert ‘Protectors’ Vaughn in this ambitious young lawyer drama. Adam ‘Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb’ West pops up too.
05.10 Sons and Daughters
You’d never guess we were nearing the middle of summer, would you?
Sunday 30th June
11.00 The World Cup Final
Always worth watching the build-up to and coverage of the big one just to see the pundits’ highs and lows of this, the seventeenth World Cup Finals, which last time included Tony Gubba’s head superimposed over a ball, which made it look even more bulbous than usual. And at the end, of course, the Big Long List Of Credits.
20.30 Only Fools and Horses
Back to the half-hour shows, thank God, and the first appearance of Uncle “Joooorin’ the war” Albert.
12.00 Murder She Write
Eh? Since when has this been a BBC programme? It’s not the same if it’s not on before Bullseye, but fortunately those up north don’t get it – for rugby league, of course.
10.00 A Spot of Bother
This is an odd one. In it’s original form, this was a half-hour documentary about England’s ineptitude at penalty shoot-outs and went out on a Monday night on ITV last August about a week after C4 had done an extremely similar programme. Now, though, it’s an hour long and billed as a review of the past decade of the England team. Just a few weeks after BBC2 have done an extremely similar programme. Oh, and it’s an Anglia production.
11.00 The World Cup Final
This’ll have a Big Long List Of Credits as well, but it does mean you have to sit through the Des, Andy and Ally Comedy Show for it. Creamguide would like to point out that this is ITV’s worst tournament for some time, they’ve been largely awful and we’re sick of stupid broadsheet critics (we’re looking at you, Ian Ridley and Martin Kelner) talking it up. How much drink did they ply them with at the press launch?
16.30 Carry On Laughing
Let’s hope the final goes to penalties. Actually, we really do, because otherwise the two Big Long Lists Of Credits might clash, and we want to get them both on tape.
After the end of the second series last week – which included the fantastic Lady One Question encounter with Bob Holness – here’s the, er, second series again. Mind you, there was a three-month gap in the middle.
14.30 The Towering Inferno
Andrew ‘It is actually a rude word in this country’ Collins (now graduated to one of those perched-on-a-trendy-chair’ byline pics, we note) ably covers this weekend afternoon chestnut in the RT, so we’ll just mention our favourite bit – Steve McQueen’s firefighting garb, with the word ‘chest’ written on his, er, chest.
Another chance to scour the screen for those background film buff in-jokes, including knowing cameos from Chuck Jones and Spielberg.
Monday 1st July
00.05 Jukebox Heroes
A new series of the programme that examines the career of previously neglected figures in the world of rock, while again making sure they remain neglected as the programme goes out after midnight. An interesting one to kick off with this time, though – Screaming Lord Sutch.
09.25 The Raccoons
Hey! Hey! Hey! Only for today, though.
11.30 Retreat, Hell!
It’s off to Korea with Russ ‘Dr Jacobi’ Tamblyn, for the mediocre war picture’s mediocre war picture. Still, nice to see an exclamatory title round these parts again.
17.00 Blue Peter
Followed of course by Newsround, which we mention because we were looking through Google Groups today and found TVC’s own Ian Tomkinson writing in defence of Noel’s House Party in 1995 on one newsgroup, and he was replied to by a pre-Newsround Lizo Mzimba. Interesting, huh? Anyway, today on BP it’s the triumphant return on BMX Beat, although this time perhaps not sponsored by Tizer.
00.00 The Joe Longthorne Story
Part two of the documentary which seems to be exclusive to Granada Group stations. We suspect all the stuff about him being on telly would have been in part one, too, with the rest devoted to him moaning about why he can’t get on it anymore. Meanwhile HTV Wales has a profile of Tessie O’Shea.
09.00 Little House On The Prairie
On every day at this time. But then you knew that.
10.00 I’m All Right, Jack
One more outing for the Boultings’ great workforce comedy, with Ian Carmichael going back to the floor, and Peter Sellers stopping the show in all senses as the pompous Fred Kite. No, we don’t know which version they’re currently showing – it is probably the ‘edited for racial stereotyping’ print, though. With Richard Attenborough, Terry-Thomas, Dennis Price, Margaret ‘Murder at Sea’ Rutherford and husband, Irene Handl, Liz Fraser, John Le Mesurier, Kenneth Griffith, Terry Scott, Cardew ‘The Cad’ Robinson, Robin Ray, Michael Bates, Esma Cannon, Ronnie Stevens, Malcolm Muggeridge as himself, and, together again, Sam Kydd and Marianne Stone.
11.00 Magnum PI
Crossroads is back, so this is now only the second worst thing on telly during the day. Every day at this time.
15.40 Hello Again
Eighties comedy of the lowest order, with Shelley Long choking to death before regenerating a year later in a mushy ‘second chance for happiness’ scenario. Don’t forget to register your disapproval of this waste of a perfectly good mid-afternoon slot here – http://www.channel5.co.uk/channel5/contact/contact_form.php
21.00 Caddyshack II
And this one too, while you’re there.
Time now for a new between-Monday-and-Tuesday feature which, like it’s predecessors in this slot, attempts to delve further into the telly we’ll be watching this week. We’ve decided to call it (just now, so it may change)…
Each week for the next X weeks, we’ll be taking a closer look at one of this week’s television programmes and comparing it to a Creamy equivalent. What we’re going to try and prove is that, oh, we dunno, old telly was rubbish or something.
ANT AND DEC’S SATURDAY NIGHT TAKEAWAY (Saturday, 19.15, ITV) vs NOEL EDMONDS’ LATE LATE BREAKFAST SHOW (1982-86)
HOW IT ALL BEGAN: Both span off a popular Saturday morning series. Spook!
SHAKY STARTS: Late Late had an awful start, with the first series picking up about four million viewers, not helped by dull interviews with ‘international recording artists’ and Leni Harper. While Takeaway got off to a better start, its predeccessor Slap Bang was bloody awful, because it was just SMTV in front of an audience and not as good, and got relegated to 5.35pm, which is the worst slot in the world.
BLONDE CO-PRESENTERS: Ding! Late Late had Mike Smith, of whom Noel once said ‘We just don’t know what he’s going to do next!’. Ant and Dec don’t have any co-presenters on their main show, but the ITV2 spin-off is fronted by the useless Donna Air. And the programme’s called ‘Ant and Dec’s Banged Up With Beadle’, even though we don’t think Ant and Dec are even in it.
HEART-STOPPING MOMENTS: Yes, Late Late had the one you’re thinking of, and also that stunt car racing that went wrong and almost killed John Peel. Still, John even now dines out on the anecdote about his wife telling their kids ‘Dad will be home soon’, and their kids saying ‘No he won’t, he’s dead’. We’re not sure why John even agreed to do that programme. Nothing like that on Takeaway, but we didn’t like it on the first show when they had that spoof newsflash. Call us wusses if you want.
CRAP CATCHPHRASES: Both come out well here. Takeaway has ‘Don’t just watch the ads – win them!’, while Late Late was billed each week in the Radio Times with ‘You’ve got to watch it live – you’ll love it!’
FEATURE BASED ENTIRELY AROUND PUN: Indeed, Late Late had Mister Puniverse (do you see?), whereas Slap Bang – oh, it counts – had ‘Cher and Cher Alike’. Which took practically the whole of part one to play despite it being one joke.
SPIN-OFF MERCHANDISE: This is where Late Late wins out. Noel and Smitty could often be found pictured in the RT wearing matching Noel Edmonds’ Late Late Breakfast Show jumpers. Ant and Dec, as yet, have not done anything like this.
Next week – one’s a light-hearted look at the world, and the other’s got its own racehorse. But which is which?
Tuesday 2nd July
11.30 Sealed Cargo
Nice to see BBC2 providing a handy mediocre war film mini-season this week – here’s Dana ‘I seen ‘im! I seen ‘im!’ Andrews in a Trojan horse-style WWII naval tale.
Cher and Stoltz jerk those latex-covered tears.
02.35 The Big Match Replayed
Hooray! After a month of terrible ITV football coverage, here’s a reminder that they used to be, er, less terrible. “The pictures are from HTV and the commentator is Roger Malone!”
06.00 Ivor The Engine
This isn’t as much fun as the World Cup over breakfast, is it?
10.00 Petticoat Pirates
Un-classic Charlie Drake vehicle in which he liberates a battleship from its mutinous female crew by, er, putting on a dress.
03.30 Dead of Night
Look, just because it’s called Dead of Night doesn’t mean you always have to schedule it… oh, never mind. Just tape it, if you haven’t already. It’s really, really good.
05.45 Ivor The Engine
Not really worth taping this, though.
And you’ll have seen this.
15.40 The Angry Silence
Another of those ‘coincidence’ scheduling quirks Channel Five seem to be pulling a fair bit of late – we had I’m All Right, Jack on Four yesterday and now here’s another ’60s trade union film with Richard Attenborough. This time it’s purely dramatic, and Dickie’s a bold strikebreaker set against the crypto-commie forces of industrial action in austere MacMillan-era Ipswich. Bernard ‘M’ Lee, Oliver Reed, Alan Whicker as himself and – can it be? – Marianne Stone, back to her ‘twice a week’ peak form again. More of this sort of thing please, Channel Five!
Wednesday 3rd July
12.30 Have I Got The Nineties For You
Blimey. So last week we wondered what episodes might be screened in this rerun, and on taping it on Monday we discovered it was, in fact, the first ever episode from 1990. Said show was truly bizarre, and also fairly rotten, with about a dozen rounds and three jokes, and the questions answered straight rather than simply being the cue for big long routines. Odd to see it because it looked very much like a pilot, and not the sort of thing you’d imagine would go on to last for well over a decade. The most ‘interesting’ thing on telly this week, we’re saying.
19.30 Bloomers Best Bits
You could do the lottery draw in thirty seconds! But because they don’t, BBC1’s schedule tonight is all over the shop, and this fills an awkward twenty minutes.
12.00 Wimbledon’s Greatest Hits
More lunchtime oddities, this time combining tennis action from a particular year with the beat of over a thousand pop classics. We hope we get Harry Carpenter in the bunker for this episode on 1977.
17.00 Blue Peter
A junior violinist and Henry VIII – textbook BP stuff, then, and why we like it.
20.00 The Man with the Golden Gun
Never that keen on this instalment, to be frank. Lee’s good, but Ekland, Herve Villechaize and Maud ‘How come I got this gig twice?’ Adams are all pretty annoying, Lulu’s theme song’s dreadful, and worst of all, Clifton James’s bloody comedy sheriff from Live and Let Die’s back! Why? Still, at least Desmond Llewelyn’s back as well, and there’s something to be said for the audacity of adding a swanee whistle sound effect to a centrepiece car stunt. ‘Yer not thinkin’…?’ ‘Ah suuure am, boy!’
09.55 Innocents in Paris
Various English eccentrics take to the French capital for an assortment of cross-channel comic vignettes. Should be a good’un, cast-wise at least – Alastair Sim, Claire Bloom, Margaret Rutherford (again, plus hubby), Jimmy Edwards, Frank Muir, Peter Jones, Richard Wattis and a brief glimpse of Kenneth Williams are among the ensemble.
02.30 Feminists and Floiur Bombs
What happened to the women who protested at Miss World in 1970, and thankfully put an end to Bob Hope’s comedy routine which was dying on its arse? This repeated documentary will tell us.
15.40 Still Crazy Like a Fox
Blimey, just when you though Five had shown all the cop show movie spinoffs there were to show, here comes Jack Warden again, reprising that programme we always turned over from when ITV used to show it, with Catherine ‘Dynasty’ Oxenberg and, perhaps interestingly but probably not, Graham ‘Pauntly’ Chapman as backup.
20.00 Peggy Sue Got Married
Hee hee! At the time of writing Creamguide’s discovered a fun new game – Michelle Collins is standing outside where we’re typing this (outside the Hoobs studio, bizarrely, so keep ’em peeled for a Hubba Hubba/Cindy Beale love story, students!), chatting away on a mobile phone, and every time someone walks past her down the corridor, she ostentatiously spins around to face the wall, in mock “pleeease don’t recognise me” coyness. So we’re having mucho fun strolling back and forth, as you may imagine. It’s a Cindy dynamo! Now, if we can just figure a way of tying magnets to her and wiring her up to a Scalextric… sorry, where were we?
Thursday 4th July
12.30 Have I Got The Nineties For You
Meanwhile on Tuesday we got the episode which ended with ‘I Made Thatcher Swallow, Boasts Lawson’, which was considered acceptable for screening on BBC1 at twenty past twelve in the afternoon, as well as a couple of ‘shit’s. And there was a Diana joke on Monday as well which they left in. Expect them to have wised up by now and start cutting this to buggery.
12.00 Wimbledon’s Greatest Hits
1985, surely the greatest year for Harry’s rain commentary because it pissed it down almost non-stop. Plenty of that, please, and a nascent Des Lynam too.
14.00 Yes Minister
Are we ever going to see Seinfeld get a slot like this? We’d welcome it!
23.20 The Dave Gorman Collection
You bastards! BBC2 and C4 repeat the two best comedy shows of last year at the same bloody time, thus meaning we have to stay up until at least ten to midnight, on a school night and everything, and have to decide which one to tape. Grr.
03.05 Cover Girl Killer
Harry H. Corbett does various ’50s dollybirds in in this Butchers sixty-minuter. Charles Lloyd Pack and Dermot Kelly turn up.
10.00 You Must be Joking!
Another plotless ensemble comedy, this time from Michael Winner and the company who brought you Half a Sixpence! A platoon of soldiers are given silly things to do by Wilfrid Hyde-White, with hilarity ensuing. Get ready for the list – Lionel Jeffries, Denholm Elliott, Bernard Cribbins, James Robertson Justice, Leslie Phillips, Terry-Thomas, Irene Handl, Richard Wattis, Norman Vaughan, Clive Dunn, Peter Bull, Lance Percival, Peter Barkworth, Arthur Lowe, Graham Stark, David Jacobs as himself, and – it’s like spring 2001 all over again! – the third outing for Marianne Stone this week.
23.05 Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights
You see? This was the best thing on telly last year, of that there is no doubt, and there’s a new series coming up soon, presumably around the same time as his national tour, which we’re going to. And it’s a double bill as well! Tape it.
05.55 The Clangers
Don’t bother taping this, you’ll have seen it.
Basically Tiswas Trailertime with Peter Tomlinson replaced by long moody talky bits.
Friday 5th July
12.30 Have I Got The Nineties For You
Actually, although this is billed as a ‘revised repeat’, the only ‘revising’ they appear to have done is putting the credits in a different typeface, overdubbing the unusual first series theme tune at the start, and sticking ‘copyright 2002’ at the end. But not editing out impenetrable jokes about the Alliance. Looks like all the first week’s episodes are from series one, though, which means that , it will probably have been dropped before we get to the really good stuff from around 1992/3.
12.00 Wimbledon’s Greatest Hits
1992 – a bloody awful year for music, as we know, but the tennis may have been alright.
09.55 The Baby and the Battleship
Sailor Richard Attenborough – again – and mate John Mills are forced into looking after, well, a baby on a battleship. Enjoying the hilarious results – Andr� Morell, Bryan Forbes, Michael Hordern, Lionel Jeffries, Kenneth Griffith, John Le Mesurier and Gordon Jackson.
02.35 Maximum Overdrive
Piss-poor Stephen King self-adaptation. What happened to Friday Night is Horror Night? Come on, all channels! You were doing so well just now!
00.40 The Sea Gull
Sidney Lumet’s respectful film version of the classic Chekov study of the fullness of life and the emptiness of failiure. Richard Griffiths, Bryan Brown and Dudley Moore play three shady characters with similar surnames who check into the same hotel, causing untold strife for hapless bellboy Bronson ‘Perfect Strangers’ Pinchot while Alison Steadman, Penelope Wilton and Patsy Kensit look on. Yes, that all seems in order…
05.10 Sons and Daughters
Dealt with as briefly as possible, because it’s time for…
Monday, 22.30, 01.30
Haunted House: The Curse Of Marco Polo – Two more showings for the documentary about Marcopolo House and all the rubbish companies who have at one time inhabited it, including BSB and ITV Digital. Both didn’t have the best programmes, but they did have better testcards than Sky.
Tuesday, 21.00, 01.30
Pioneers Of Television – Anna Ford looks at how the telly started, which we all know about anyway because we’ve read Tony Currie’s Concise History Of British Television. Please come back on Ask The Family, Tony. We miss you.
Trouble At The Top – Of course one of the many ridiculous things about Eldorado was that it was on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 19.00, and even if it had got twenty million viewers they’d have still all turned over to Corrie at half past anyway. Duuuh. Another screening for the ace documentary about the show.
Takeover TV – Actually, has anyone seen this?
Sunday, 22.00, 01.00
An Audience With Bob Monkhouse – “GMTV – Give Me The Valium!” We really like Bob, and we hope he gets well soon, although there were conflicting reports in the papers this week, with one implying that he was at death’s door and the other saying he was raring to get back to work. In any case, this is a great show and should be required viewing for every two-bit Morris-lite stand-up currently on the ‘circuit’.
Monday-Friday, 20.30, 23.30
In Sickness And In Health – Also this week G+ are showing Jack Dee’s Saturday Night, the worst thing he ever did, but thankfully at 1am. The first one’s got Pulp *and* Thelma Barlow and Peter Baldwin doing a duet! What lunacy was this?
Sunday, 00.15, Friday, 00.35
A Bit Of Fry and Laurie – The Friday screening now preceded by the truly abysmal Small Potatoes. “And if you don’t like the shape, you can scoop it out with your finger.”
Monty Python’s Flying Cirucs – Hooray! Paramount have very very slightly revamped their schedules! But kept on the one programme we know nothing about, repeats-wise. Have they ever actually shown series four? Or indeed, series three?
Saturday, 00.00, Sunday, 21.00
Pop Years – Our normal correspondent on this series is on holiday, and we’ve not seen it, so all we can say is that it’s 1994 on Saturday and 1984 on Sunday.
Listings refer to England except stated, and expect much of BBC1 and BBC2 to be all over the place if Timmy lives up to his seeding.
Any questions and comments about Creamguide should be directed to Ask The Family, the TV Cream message board, at http://tv.cream.org (click on Long Shots). That’s also the place where you can tell the compiler of The TV Cream Update that he’s got the Real Top 100 Singles all wrong, after the list is published, er, soon. Subscribe now while stocks last!
So much more than – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Daniel Thornton