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
2nd – 8th February 2002
Saturday 2nd February
Not the first show you’d expect to pay tribute to Stanley Unwin, but there’s a cracking clip of him with The Small Faces today. Indeed, we really quite enjoyed this week’s episode, containing as it does Mike Smith’s faves It Bites, Roachford, Darts and – bloody hell – Keith Michell doing Captain Beaky. There’s also Soho, and, fact fans, the performance comes from the edition that went out on a Saturday night because the Gulf War had broken out on the Thursday – and it replaced ‘Allo ‘Allo, if you’re taking notes.
18.05 Steptoe and Son
The Other Half’s on BBC1, so if you’re not watching Pop Idol, stay with this.
20.00 Omnibus: Robert Altman In England
‘Hilarity, thy name is Robert Altman!’ Here’s a profile of the director, responsible of course for MASH, which follows on Tuesday, and also – it has to be said – Alan Davies’ dreadful ‘docu-sitcom’ One For The Road.
21.30 It Shouldn’t Happen To A Soap Star
The last programme in this series was the news reporter edition, which wasn’t great, but we did get to see Bridget Kendall in a light entertainment setting. This week’s doesn’t sound very good, on the face of it, but there’s anecdotes from Ian Smith, which is always fun, and maybe some of the clips will be good.
04.15 Sons and Daughters
So this week C5 announced that their schedules weren’t ‘buckets of smut’ – and they’re right, they are in fact ‘buckets of shit’.
Sunday 3rd February
20.10 Sir Nigel Hawthrone Remembered
‘Repeat’, it says here, though we’re not sure how that could be the case. You’ll probably know what’s going to be in here, but that doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. Probably won’t include ‘Would you like to read this, madam?’
Creamguide was in Borders earlier today, and next to Oliver Postgate’s autobiography (that’s why this is relevant) was the new Countdown book, Spreading The Word, which looks fantastic, as it includes lots and lots of detail about how the game works and all about Calendar Countdown, as well as a complete guide to everyone who’s been in Dictionary Corner (“Penny Smith prefers Friday recordings”). But best of all, there are profiles of the entire production team, including wardrobe and make-up, which is what we want. All TV books should be like this.
14.35 The Lost World
Gaaagh! Just as Carry On Cabby looks set to appear, the run of films stops, to make way for the original story of the dinosaurs. No, not Jurassic Park II.
20.00 Andy Warhol: The Complete Picture
We’ve reached the 1960s now, and Andy starts managing The Velvet Underground, as well as uttering a famous phrase about stardom for a quarter of a hour; so technically he’s reponsible for the dire “new bands” show that used to be on Channel Four on Friday nights in 1987 between the two halves of The Chart Show. Boo!
06.35 Dappledown Farm
A mix-up at Amanda Howard Associates sees Brian Cant performing at the ICA while David Quantick tells whimsical stories assisted by crap props. Hang on…
Monday 4th February
17.00 Blue Peter
One thing we don’t understand about the Blue Peter book is that John Noakes’ departure appears not to be mentioned at all. He’s there in book fifteen, but has been completely written out of the show in book sixteen, without even a “John left us to go and do…” on the Hello There page. Yet two books later they mention Chris Wenner leaving, which seems rather less neccessary.
23.05 Johnny Vaughan Tonight
Might be worth catching this again if you switched off after the iffy first show, as it’s certainly improved and become reliably amusing viewing. There’s also occasional appearances from their religious affairs correspondent, Syd Little, who last week was asked which of the candidates for Archbishop of Canterbury he liked the best. And he’d met them all, as well.
21.00 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Slight dodgy line-up this week, excepting Pete Burns who we recall being one of the only guests to come out of the terrible Chris Tarrant-fronted Pop Quiz (“ner-ner-ner-ner-ner-ner! POP QUIZ!!!”) revival in 1994 with any credit at all.
01.25 The Greatest: Clint Eastwood
A programme that intends to study which is the most convincing action hero, Clint Eastwood or John Wayne, with a title that seems to suggest what the result may be.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
That reminds us of the C4 series The Greatest back in 1996, which attempted to discover who the greatest sportsman of the twentieth century was, and came up with Daley Thompson as the winner – who by happy coincidence was a consultant on the series and write the spin-off book. That’s amazing!
IT’S… TV CREAM HEROES WEEKLY
Your guide to TV Cream heroes on the telly this week.
#2 Roger Walker, as seen in ELDORADO, Saturday-Friday at 11.00 and 05.25, UK Gold
In 1992 Terry Wogan sauntered along Los Barcos, intent on showing there was to be no malice from the old codger that his thrice-nightly chatshow was being axed to make way for the Beeb’s new soap about men in open-necked shirts – Eldorado. Few people now remember that special one-off “Teldorado” but the Creamguide office collectively recalls the first appearance by the erstwhile (note: we don’t know what that word means, but it seem to be used in context with fat fellas) Bunny Charleson. Blundering along red-faced, Bunny had little time for Tel’s suggestion of a game of Subbuteo by the pool. No – he had a young lady to make preparations for! And off he bundled leaving Terry to face-off against Marcus Tandy over the little square of green cloth.(Terry won, 13-0 – despite claims he was playing “poorly”).
Although Bunny ultimately didn’t complete the full 156 episodes of Eldorado, he is of note to us. Roger Walker, who portrayed him, has a CV as eclectic as Keith Barron’s (and by that we don’t mean it’s written in lots of different fonts or anything – although we understand he favours Comic Sans to “make the formal informal”, whilst Keith sticks to Times New Roman for his drama entries, and Verdana for the comedy). In 1977 Roger was the man who came between Rod Burton, Jane Tucker and Matthew Corbett on Rainbow, when the threesome metamorphosed into Rod Jane & Roger (Freddy Marks usurped him in 1980 to complete the power-trio we remember today). After that he appeared in Rainy Day Women (as “Home Guard”, 1984), Casualty (“Car Dealer”, 1987), Bloodsport (“Fighter”, 1988) and of course Bodger & Badger (“Hector Troff”, 1989). Landing the role of Bunny meant that for a time he was more than just that annoying fella whose face you recognised but couldn’t place. As it is, his indoctrination into the TVC Hall of Heroes still caused some of the staff in the basement here at TVC Towers to openly wonder who he was – “surely that’s Colin Devis off of Star Cops”? Place the face: http://website.lineone.net/~rod.jane.freddy/band.htm
PLUS! John Leeson interview found!:
Tuesday 5th February
03.10 ITV Sport Classics
This week Creamguide heartily recommends
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/carousel/maggies03.html, a fantastic website detailing every single time Notts County have ever appeared on television. Worth noting is the fact that the BBC showed Spurs vs Notts County live in 1991 as all of their live games that season had ended 0-0, and they were desperate for goals, so they picked that fixture expecting a rout (it ended 2-1). There’s also the time they played Oldham on Granada in 1990, and Creamguide remembers Oldham being on Granada virtually every week in 1990, so much so even Creamguide’s mum commented on it. There probably won’t be much sight of Notts County (or, indeed, Oldham) here, though.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
Tuesdays aren’t very good for Cream-related programmes, are they?
Wednesday 6th February
17.00 Blue Peter
Of course Chris Wenner’s departure came as part of a turbulent time for BP. Pete left in March 1978, then John and Lesley did it on their own for a few months before Simon Groom joined in May. Then Noakes pissed off in June, with Wenner starting in September, and then Lesley left in April 1979 passing the baton over to Tina Heath. Then both Wenner and Heath left at the same time, while Dame Sarah Greene joined just at the end of the 1979/80 series, so in September 1980 the presenters were just Groom and Greene, and the latter had done about three shows. Then Peter Duncan showed up a week later, during a scene-shifters’ strike which saw them having to present the show sitting on the floor.
00.15 The Horror Of … Dating
Filling up a gap before BBC1 seemingly repeats the entire week’s schedule with signing is this unseen (ie, left on a shelf) edition of the series in which David Schneider, who surely can’t be that desperate for the work, mugs his way through unfunny links into overexposed comedy clips. Midnight’s too good for it!
This’ll probably be the last for a few weeks as the Winter Olympics will be going out at about this time shortly. ELO (let’s hope for Hold On Tight, eh?), The Stray Cats and Holly Johnson are the artists we’re interested in, as well as The Temptations, and we’re willing to bet any money that it’s Can’t Get Next To You as that’s the only clip they’ve got.
19.30 Yes Minister
Actually mention of ELO reminds us that Bev Bevan was “music consultant” on Carrott Confidential, which was surely just a question of selecting which Status Quo record would accompany the montage of rotten jokes filmed in TV Centre corridors in any given week. No need for a “music consultant” here, they just nick it all off To The Manor Born.
22.00 Dad’s Army
More innovatory programming from Two.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
Thursday 7th February
20.30 This Is Your Life
Well, as Creamguide went to ‘press’, the Bill Oddie edition went out (ie Thursday 31st). And conveniently they’ve stopped doing the Sunday repeat, so you’ve probably missed it. Might be Tim or Graeme or someone tonight, though.
19.30 Midlands Report (er, Midlands only)
The regional documentary strand asks Edwina Currie, miners’ leader Roy Lynk and, yes, David Icke if they still think they were right to make their famous stands. Might be a Sport On Friday clip if nothing else. “No David, they’re laughing *at* you!”
02.50 What Have The Seventies Ever Done For Us?
Back! Back! Back! The Rock’n’Science Years from the Open University.
06.00 The Trap Door
Creamguide’s spinning off in some interesting tangents this week, but that mention of the OU reminds us that it was reported this week that Tetley was dropping the slogan “Tetley Makes Teabags Make Tea”, which was news to us as we hadn’t heard it used for years – in fact, since we watched a OU documentary in 1994 about how the adverts were made, produced in 1984. And even then the slogan hadn’t appeared for about a decade.
At last you can stop avoiding your E4-owning friends, as the last series comes to analogue. And this week sees The Normski Incident, so book your place around the watercooler for Friday morning now.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
Friday 8th February
17.00 Blue Peter
Of course we used to enjoy it on Blue Peter when the new presenter would appear a few weeks before the person they were replacing had left – so they could “bed in” – so for a bit you had four presenters all squashed up on the sofa and with tiny type in the credits. Golden memories, eh?
17.25 Newsround Extra
A programme few people will have expected to still be running thirty years on looks at the future of television – which is *in no way* just going to be an extended plug for the new CBBC digital channels which launch three days later, oh no.
23.35 Breaking The Ice – The Winter Olympics
“Where were the Germans? But frankly, who cares?” This is much too late for a preview programme, but “past triumphs” are apparently going to be featured. During the last Winter Olympics, of course, curling turned up every night at around midnight, and Creamguide and it’s flatmates watched it every single night – until it got too mainstream. Then…
02.00 Olympic Grandstand
“Here they are in their scarves and mittens, the talented athletes of Great Britain!” Two hours of Barry Davies on the mike is always worth tuning in for, especially when he’s commentating on an opening ceremony. Will he do what he did in Sydney and talk about phoning up a country to ask who their athletes were? Also expect Hazel Irvine to dust off her “The weekends are made for staying up late” line, as used every time she presents something after midnight.
08.15 Bill and Ben
But, because of the tennis, *not* repeated at 13.00. So make sure you’re up sharpish.
21.00 Timewatch – Jubilee Day
First time Timewatch has ever appeared in Creamguide, as it makes a welcome transformation into “I Love…”. This excellent-sounding programme is going to consider every aspect of the Silver Jubille in 1977, from the street parties (which Creamguide couldn’t attend, as they had measles) to the Sex Pistols. There are also clips from the Nationwide Jubilee Fair, which is the best name and concept for a TV programme in history, and we want the Newsnight Jubilee Fair this year, please.
00.55 The Kentucky Fried Movie
Despite packing the shelves at video shops for the best part of two decades, this is the first time it’s ever appeared on telly – a load of sketches as favoured by BBC VT engineers the world over.
06.30 Dappledown Farm
04.00 Sons and Daughters
We don’t think the continuity announcers read hundreds of letters out from viewers over the credits anymore.
Might be more here than in the rubbish analogue schedules…
Sunday, 21.00, 23.45, Tuesday, 22.30, Wednesday, 21.30
Shooting Stars – This is being shown on BBC2 within the next fortnight, so if you haven’t seen it yet, you may as well hang around. Sir David Dickinson and Debbie McGee guest, though.
Saturday, 23.00, Sunday, 00.15, Friday, 21.00
Boy George: Gimme A Freak – As predicted last week, umpteen repeats of Friday’s documentary. No wonder they turned down BBC3, eh?
Sunday, 10,00, 13.00, 16.00, 00.30, Monday, 10.00, 13.00, 16.00
Face To Face – Next week there’ll be CBBC, or the oddly-named Cbeebies, in this spot, but before that, interviews with Barnardo Bertolucci and Lord Reith. How appropriate, eh, licence payers?
Fever Pitch – Films on E4 are all wrong, obviously, but we like this because in one scene Colin Firth is listening to the 9.55pm Radio 2 Sports Desk. But All Around The World by Lisa Stansfield in *May* 1989? Tch.
Top Ten Electropop – Or “Eighties Pop Pioneers” as it’s also called, for some reason or other. This is the best episode of the last series, partly because all the bands in the top ten are fantastic, but also because it’s the sort of genre that can spawn hundreds of Creamy clips – such as Erasure on Hold Tight!
Saturday, 23.00, Friday, 22.30, 01.30
The Wheeltappers’ And Shunters’ Social Club – Last week we had Frank Carson on absolutely blistering form, The Blessed Ray Ellington not singing The Tennesee Waltz and The Grumbleweeds performing a textbook ’70s turn with impressions of Frank Spencer, Steptoe and Son, Elvis, Tommy Cooper, Hughie Green and The Cast of Kung Fu and all introduced in a “It might sound something like this…” sort of way, which is how impressionists should work. They didn’t do Noel Edmonds, though, despite being the most qualified to do that.
Sunday, 17.30, Thursday, 22.30, 01.30
Bullseye – Yes! Back on Sundays at last! Thanks to TV Cream reader Sam Learner for suggesting that his favourite bit of the show is the distinct different versions of the music to accompany Bully’s Star Prize. “It could,” he says, “either be played very jauntily with lots of penny-whistles and one-man-band sounding accompaniments, OR it could be played using only the minor musical notes”. Now why not tell us what’s *your* favourite “bit of Bully”?
Saturday, 18.30, Wednesday, 20.00
The World Cup Years – This series started badly, but has improved in leaps and bounds, with the 1974 edition (repeated on Saturday) including Brian Moore’s World Cup Phone-In and Derek Dougan in a tanktop. Then on Wednesday it’s 1978, which is memorable for us thanks to the brilliant editions of the TV Times that were published during it. The magazine was virtually ‘presented’ by Dave Lanning and Lesley Salisbury, who at the start of the magazine did a dialogue about the week’s pleasures on ITV, then on the programme pages they’d pop up and Dave would highlight the day’s football action while Lesley would pick something for the ladies. You probably won’t see that here, though.
The Frank Skinner Show – Eric Clapton on Tuesday, and Martin Kemp plus we think Anthea Turner with *that* UP2U clip on Thursday, Then presumably back to the start, unless they start screening the ITV episodes.
All times correct at time of writing and refer to England except where stated. All programmes subject to cancellation, shifting, editing, and, if they’re on ITV, mysterious delays.
BIT OF BULLY “UNBEATABLE” SAY LAB
So what are your favourite Bullseye moments? Perhaps you like Jim’s rotating question card wheel, or the fact that they play the introduction to Lucky Star by Madonna in the time it takes the board to revolve. Let us know, and *you* could be a part of the nation’s fastest-growing (we assume), most pedantic and in-jokey listings guide. Let us have it via the the usual TVC addresses. And also subscribe to the TV Cream Update, cos it’s brilliant, and much funnier than this – http://tv.cream.org
What a night they’ve had – Chris Diamond, Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Graham Kibble-White, Simon Tyers