TV Cream

How We Used To List

How We Used To List: 5th – 11th JANUARY 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.)

5th – 11th January 2002
Well, much like Blue Peter always seemed to reach the target for their appeal on the first programme after Christmas, so Creamguide’s reached that all-important 1000 subscriber total, so we’d like to thank each and every one of you for being a part of this. Special thanks go to Tim Brooking who, judging by our maths, was that one thousandth subscriber on December 29th. He wins, er, our respect.

It’s also a big hello to everyone joining us from The Daily Telegraph, who gave TV Cream a nice write-up last weekend, and presumably helped us hit that total by the end of 2001. We could sort of tell that we’d been mentioned in the Telegraph as all the letters TV Cream has received in the last week begin ‘Sir’.

Saturday 5th January


09.00 Pole To Pole
Final part of Mike’s trip around the world which really heralds the end of all the Christmas programmes for another year. Boo!

11.35 The Phil Silvers Show
And as you can see, it’s back to the workaday stuff.

17.20 TOTP2
Repeat of last Wednesday’s “Now and Then” special, which is rather poorly named as there isn’t any “then” in it. Instead it’s acts from the seventies performing their hits in the Top Of The Pops (and Later, when they run out of clips) studios over the last few years, including The Bee Gees, Roxy Music and the Quo. But of course the best one’s Michael McDonald, because Jeremy Vine’s in the audience, sitting almost directly behind Mike and looking a bit embarrassed about being constantly in shot.

19.55 Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?
The darts are on BBC2 this week, although John Inverdale’s not doing them this year, worse luck. Mind you, we do get to see Mark Pougatch in vision. Between the transmissions from Frimley Green, some not bad archive stuff.

14.10 The Big Country
The best theme tune ever written, with a film to accompany it.

21.35 It Shouldn’t Happen To A TV Weather Forecaster
“Sorry about the F in fog!” These shows normally aren’t very good, and this one doesn’t sound great given that they’re publicising it with the This Morning streaker again, like we haven’t seen that a thousand times. Still, with an hour to fill, let’s hope they drag some interesting stuff out of the archives, cos a history of the weather forecast would be a pretty interesting programme, we reckon.

22.35 An Audience with Des O’Connor
Des’ autobiography is a lot of fun, if only for the captions accompanying the eight pages of photos from …Tonight, which are brilliantly old showbiz, and include such gems as “Barry Manilow is always welcome on the show”, “Simply delightful – Celine Dion” and umpteen variations on the “And I get paid for this?” gag when he’s pictured with a good-looking woman. The man’s a genuine legend, and this is much more fun than The Premiership.


01.35 Five Easy Pieces
Starring Jack Nicholson, of course, but we’re more interested in Toni Basil.


17.00 The Three Lives Of Thomasina
Always wheeled out for ‘Disney at Easter’ seasons, with Susan “TVam newspaper review” Hampshire, Wilfrid “Daaaarty old man” Brambell, Karen “Michele” Dotrice and Jean “Tenko” Anderson.

04.25 Sons and Daughters
Well, turns out we were right in the last Creamguide, as this now appears to be a regular fixture on Saturday and Sunday mornings in the old Prisoner slot. But we’re not desperate enough to check if they’re carrying on from where they left off in 1998.

Sunday 6th January


12.05 Quincy
Parliament had a week off, so instead of one man in a grey suit talking to a man in a grey suit on On The Record, here’s a man in a brown suit talking to a man in a brown suit.

15.00 Open All Hours
Pushing the EastEnders omnibus back a further half-hour, when it was already delayed by the football, is the umpteenth repeat of this. We’re not sure why, but it’s announced as the “first ever” episode, although we’re not sure if that’s the first episode proper, or the pilot as shown as part of Seven Of One and featuring Keith Chegwin asking for a frozen Zoom. That was a useful billing, wasn’t it?


11.15 Stingray
Another change of day, just to prove they’re seemingly never going to make a success of this rerun. Hopefully they won’t try out Joe 90 again.


13.10 The Phoenix Factor
Gyles Brandreth seems to have an unusual relationship with ITV, as he’s done three documentaries for them now, and they’ve all gone out in exactly the same slot on the first Sunday in January. This year’s sees him finding out if there’s “life after political death”, fairly pointlessly as he just returned to Dictionary Corner after the 1997 election as if he’d never been away (although admittedly he had to put up with Richard making jokes about recounts).

14.25/15.45 Columbo
Looks like most regions will be getting the same episode this afternoon, though rather oddly at wildly different times. And it’s a New Columbo anyway.


15.05 Carry On Sergeant
The first ever instalment, of course, which means that a) it’s all in black and white, b) it’s all about doing national service, and c) the cast is headed by William Hartnell and Bob ‘Wallied’ Monkhouse, supported by Gerald ‘Bunter’ Campion, Terry ‘Ooh ‘eck!’ Scott, Jack ‘Love Thy’ Smethurst and Henry ‘Cribbings-Livings And Co’ Livings.


06.35 Dappledown Farm
Note that the strand this show’s in is referred to as “Milkshake” except on Saturday when it becomes “Milkshake FM”. Even though the programmes are almost exactly the same.

17.00 Back To The Future Part III
We said in last week’s Creamguide that we didn’t like this one, and we stand by that, despite – or probably because of – the appearance by ZZ Top.

20.00 The Hit Factory: The Pete Waterman Story
Another outing for the Mark Goodier-produced documentary about the Hitman, and Creamguide’s particularly excited about Pop Idol’s success because it means that Sir Peter can get on telly more, and we really like him. Of course when he split from Stock and Aitken they went off to work with The Mike Flowers Pops, when Flowers spectacularly forgot what the point of his act was and made records with generic SAW backing tracks.

Monday 7th January


14.10 Shoestring
Yes! BBC1 at last return to rooting through the archives to fill the daylight hours, and kick off a daily repeat run of this, which we’re very excited about cos it can’t have received a terrestrial screening for well over a decade.

17.00 Blue Peter
BP was on top form over the festive period; we had the Christmas show, which as we predicted ran exactly to form, right down to the silver badge at the end, and then the clip shows, one of which came from Matt’s house, which gave us the opportunity to see how he lives his life, and featured both his Ali G impression and the One Way Or Another sequence. Expect more greatness from Matt and the other three this year.

22.35 Ruby Wax’s Commercial Breakdown
Grr! The concept of showing us funny adverts was flagging a decade ago, but here’s yet another series of it. And they’ve stopped doing it from a set with massive versions of consumer products, which was the only good bit about it.

23.05 Johnny Vaughan Tonight
Then we’ve got Vaughan’s new show, which is shown here on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, plus earlier (9pm) and later (1am) in the evening on BBC Choice. Whether it’s any good or not is another question, although Paul Ross is editing, and we automatically don’t like it because it means that The RDA is never coming back. Tch.


21.00 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Still consistently amusing, and normally starring a Creamy guest or two – Boy George, Mari Wilson and Tommy Vance tonight. Of course, Creamguide is never knowingly self-indulgent, so won’t mention that the new series of Big Train is on after it, despite the last series being one of our favourite programmes ever. Oh no.


03.10 The Entertainers
This series cropped up in the overnight schedules last year, and we were never quite sure what it was, although someone in the Creamguide office did actually tape one and found that it was presented by Angela Rippon and the theme tune was by Jonathan Cohen. We’re guessing it was probably a regional programme, on Meridian or something. Anyway, here it is again, only this time with sign language! Oh, and Honor Blackman’s the subject.


09.00 Bewitched
Back to the usual routine here. Of course just before Christmas we found out that they were showing the very first series, in colourised form, and that’ll probably be continuing here. Which is a bit interesting.

19.55 Elvis Lives
Four five-minute shows, running in this slot until Thursday, which attempts to uncover some of the myths behind Elvis’ death. Included here because it’s presented by “musicologist” Brian Appleton, a name you may well have heard before.

22.00 The Double Life Of Jonathan King
Absorbing-sounding documentary from the usually great Jon Ronson. Earlier in the day, by the way, C4 are screening The Trials Of Oscar Wilde, which King would have you believe is very similar to this programme.


06.35 Dappledown Farm
Preceded by “The News”. Er?

Tuesday 8th January


14.10 Shoestring
Meanwhile on ITV, repeats of Where The Heart Is. They just don’t give a toss anymore, do they?


18.00 TOTP2
A new day for the series – it’s The Simpsons tomorrow, seemingly in an attempt by the Beeb to combat Smallville on C4, although apparently BBC2 are going to show it every day soon, so what that means for this show, we dunno. In any case, try and remember to catch it, as there’s BA Robertson, Brother Beyond, Our Kid and Haysi Fantayzee on the menu, the sort of line-up we don’t get often enough.

22.00 Porridge
Now this really is the “first ever” episode, back when it was called Prisoner And Escort and shown as part of Ronnie Barker’s Seven Of One anthology series. Presumably they’ve changed the title sequence.


06.00 The Magic Roundabout
Actually speaking of TOTP2, which we were, we note that the programme seems to have acquired another Wright Talky Bit (TM) just before the credits, and we don’t like that one bit. And last week he started talking before the titles had even properly started.

09.00 Bewitched
Mind you, the “party” special just before Christmas was quite good fun, despite our moans, as it featured Coast To Coast doing Do The Hucklebuck. Also, the clip of Black Lace reminded us of Alan Barton’s one-man crusade to bring back the jowl in pop, which never really caught on, for some reason.

19.55 Elvis Lives
His first TV gig since “Europigeon”.

22.15 When We Were Kings
The excellent documentary about the Ali vs Foreman fight in 1974, though we can’t confirm whether Johnny Wakelin is on the soundtrack.


06.35 Dappledown Farm

20.00 Sean Connery Close-Up
A new documentary about the man, which gives us the opportunity to moan about the dreadful Jonathan Ross-fronted New Year’s Eve show on BBC1, which featured Offical BBC Standby Guests Neil Morrissey and Ulrika Jonsson, plus Vinnie Jones plugging his film, all sitting around doing Sean Connery impressions at one minute to midnight. We’ve never been so bored in our life.

Wednesday 9th January


14.10 Shoestring
Of course a few years later there was actually a Radio West set up for real in Bristol, and we sort of hope that they tried to find someone with the surname ‘Shoestring’ to present, just for the comedy potential.


19.30 The Good Life
The endless repeat run enters, we reckon, it’s fourth year as a BBC2 schedule filler.

22.00 Dad’s Army
We were a bit pissed off the Beeb got Terry Wogan in to narrate the documentary accompanying the lost episodes of this series last week, because he made the whole business of looking for old TV programmes sound a bit stupid. And it’s not, OK?


06.00 The Magic Roundabout

09.00 Bewitched

19.55 Elvis Lives
While Elvis’ death was announced, Brian Appleton himself was preparing to enter the charts with a record about a moron called Gordon.


06.35 Dappledown Farm

15.40 The Return Of Sam McCloud
The film of the mid-afternoon filler gets used as a mid-afternoon filler, with a second C5 appearance of the week for Patrick ‘the new Marianne Stone’ McGoohan, plus David McCallum, Roger ‘Singles’ Rees and Simon ‘Crazy Comparisons’ Williams.

Thursday 10th January


14.10 Shoestring
Actually that Radio West mentioned above was soon taken over by GWR – it’s first ever acquition – so in a way Eddie Shoestring’s responsible for the interchangeable Classic Gold format as heard on a dozen previously varied radio stations near you.

20.00 Raiders Of The Lost Ark
Wow! A twenty year old film on peaktime BBC1, and indeed it’ll be followed by the other two in the slot over the next fortnight. Tonight there’s also increasingly rare peaktime appearances for Alfred ‘Brezhnev’ Molina, Pat ‘Bomber’ Roach and Michael ‘Dial-a-Nazi’ Sheard.


01.00 Days Like These
Even with two episodes shown together this rerun is lasting forever.

03.10 Shadow Of Fear
Fresh from fleeing Blue Peter, Anita West appeared in this sixty minute Brit flick. Not quite Swish Of The Curtain or Lizzy Dripping, is it?


09.00 Bewitched

19.55 Elvis Lives
Final part of “Brian”‘s short series, and hopefully his friend John will return to our screens soon as well. Enough clues?

21.00 Flora’s Story
The Sara Keays Affair kept British satire alive for a few months in 1983, and this documentary about the resulting offspring may include some clips of Carrott’s Lib et al to illustrate. We hope, anyway.


06.35 Dappledown Farm

Friday 11th January


14.10 Shoestring
Note that appearing in this series at some point during the week are Roger Sloman and, better still, Mr MacKenzie off Grange Hill. Maybe it’ll be today.

19.00 This Is Your Life
Bill Oddie, Steve Strange or Stuart Freake?

21.30 Not Another … News Bulletin
We were right about those dots last week, this does appear to be a franchise, and one which we have high hopes for given the personnel involved behind the scenes, and the fact that Angus Deayton’s hosting. We don’t think Danny Baker scripts these, though. In any case, we’re hoping that this clip show won’t include the usual imported filler rubbish, but instead concentrate on lightbulbs exploding over Jan Leeming and the like.


08.15 Bill and Ben
Returning to both it’s regular slot, and the baffling rerun at 13.00.


06.00 The Magic Roundabout

09.00 Bewitched


06.35 Dappledown Farm
We sort of run out of things to say by Friday.

14.20 She Cried Murder
It still seems to be Christmas on Five, as the only original programming between 9am and 6.30pm is two news bulletins. Replacing Gloria is this fairly standard romp with Telly Savalas.

12.45 The Late Show
Lily Tomlin took time out from constantly appearing on Denis Norden’s Laughter File to make this film.

04.00 Sons and Daughters
You’re not going to watch this, are you?

Studying the small print with a fine-tooth comb. Whatever that is.

Monday, 23.00, Friday, 22.30
When Louis Met The Hamiltons – If you’ve not seen it yet, you probably don’t want to see it. Not that it’ll stop Choice from pumping it out.

Monday, 21.00, 23.40
Blimey – A new series, and what a great name too. It examines the history of the English language, in the company of Will Self, so it should be worth a look. As is

Sunday, 22.00, 00.35
Banzai – Looks like the series has ended, so here’s another repeat to keep you going until Channel Four repeat them, then E4 repeat the repeats.

Friday, 22.00
Top Ten Teen Idols – E4 are now on to the episodes that were shown opposite I Love The Eighties, so you may have missed them. This one isn’t that great, partly because it features Cassidy and Osmond who have been on every other nostalgia show and we don’t want to hear about them again, but we do have a profile of Chesney Hawkes, and it’s presented by Cat Deeley dressed as a schoolma’am. Well, I liked that bit.

Saturday, 23.00, Friday, 22.30, 01.30
The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club – Saturday’s is a special starring Bob Williamson, which has been on G+ before, and we still have no idea who he is. A normal edition on Friday, and well worth checking out, if only to watch in bemusement.

Tuesday, 22.00
Spitting Image – Well this is all wrong, isn’t it? This programme belongs on a Sunday, and nowhere else.

Saturday, 23.15
Peter Kay Live At The Top Of The Tower – It says a lot about Channel Five that their screening of this stand-up video last week was heralded as the best thing they’ve ever shown. Here it is again, and it is brilliant, and also longer than the C5 edit, although they might just have stuck more adverts in. We’d recommend you buy the video though, because not only does it not have any adverts in, the more they sell the more likely they are to make another. Incidentally the back of the video box writes ‘crap’ as ‘c**p’, which seems curiously prudish.

Monday-Friday, 23.00
The Frank Skinner Show – The Python repeats are over, which is a good thing as it means it’s the end of the dreadful billings here where we didn’t have a clue which episodes they were showing. We know which episodes these are, they’re from the very first series, when it had an ‘On This Day In History’ vibe, and was fairly patchy, but we do have John Humphrys on Tuesday with a great clip of Kenneth Kendall reading the news in the year dot.

Friday, 21.00
When Liverpool Ruled The World – Basically I Love Liverpool FC, and good fun as well, with pundits including Johnny Ball and John Peel. It’s been noted that it begins with “On Saturday Liverpool won the FA Cup, and tomorrow they contest the UEFA Cup Final”, but they probably had an edit on standby which said “On Saturday Liverpool didn’t win the FA Cup”, so they could use that. It’d be accurate, anyway.
All times correct at time of writing and refer to England except where stated. All programmes subject to cancellation, shifting, editing, and so on.
No, Telegraph readers, it doesn’t get much funnier than this, I’m afraid. What is really funny is The TV Cream Update, a fortnightly fandango of news, reviews, charts and other stuff which you can subscribe to literally inches away from where you subscribed to this at Oh, and we still don’t know when Ask The Family is coming back, by the way.
We’d like to thank each and every one of you – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Ian Tomkinson, Simon Tyers. Phil Norman is ‘away’.



  1. THX 1139

    January 5, 2022 at 9:26 am

    The This Morning streaker clip isn’t shown anymore because of reasons, so swings and roundabouts.

    Funny to see the surprise at a 20 year old Raiders in the primetime schedules, when it was in the primetime schedules over 40 years since its release just the other week. With the horrible bits edited out, of course.

    Any progress on identifying Bob Williamson?

  2. Richardpd

    January 5, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    The James Bond films often were trimmed for violent bits when shown in early slots.

    Channel 5 bought out quite a few oldies in their early years, & the other main channels (apart from maybe ITV) were still not finding problems with showing oldies. I think the BBC sorted out some issues with royalties around this time so they could repeat a few more older shows cheaply.

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