TV Cream

How We Used To List

How We Used To List: 9th – 15th NOVEMBER, 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.)

9th – 15th November 2002
The frontcap – Chris Diamond, Phil Norman

Saturday 9th November


08.05 Looney Tunes
Looks like they’re *all* Merrie Melodies these days, which is flagrant false advertising. We know that at the start the Merrie Melodies were used to basically plug songs from the Warner catalogue, but who decided what went where when they stopped doing that?

10.45 The Lord Mayor’s Show
It’s no good when The Saturday Show goes to BBC2, we want it to finish early and have to squash everything up. Anyway, Barry Davies hasn’t done any football this season on the BBC, which is a real shame, so this is a rare chance to hear him on the mike – the only problem is that Robert Elms co-presents. And, as we’ve probably said, about fifteen years ago we wrote to Points of View about this, cos they showed the same floats over and over again, which we didn’t like.

22.55 Parkinson
This seems to be getting later by the week, pretty soon it’ll be clashing with the Sunday Supplement on Radio 2. It’s in here this week cos Steve Coogan guests, and we hope he does his chat show staple of reminiscing about when he used to do adverts on local radio – ‘so hurry, hurry, hurry!’


14.30 A Passage to India
We recall how in the early ’90s – 1990 itself, we think – this was the big film at Easter weekend, raising a wave of apathy rarely encountered other than at election time. It’s certainly a *BIG* film, cos David Lean made it and he didn’t make little ‘uns, but by Jove, it drags like a knackered elephant’s foot. Most entertaining of course, is Alec Guinness in full Curry and Chips mode as Professor Godbole but there’s also Richard ‘H.A.P.P.Y.’ Wilson and Saeed ‘Tandoori Nights’ Jaffrey.

21.05 Fame, Set and Match
Hooray, this is what we’ve been waiting for, Saturday morning TV! So we’ve got the career of Noel (including Michael Lush, and we’ve got the BBC1 announcement – ‘The BBC is cancelling this, and all future episodes of the series’ – on tape, and it’s still shit-scary), Cheggers (who we’ve heard enough of, frankly), Tarrant (hopefully we’ll get Everybody’s Equal clips) and Timmy Mallett. But also, tenuously, Delia Smith, off of Swap Shop. Perhaps they’d be better off picking four people a week, cos they always seem to have trouble finding a fifth.

22.35 The Entertainers
Creamguide taped this, and hasn’t got round to watching it yet, which is unfortunate as we have three billings to write about it this week. This is the omnibus of last week’s shows, so Bernard’s underpants are in full effect again.

01.05 Kid Blue
Dennis Hopper plays a hippyish cowboy ex-train robber trying to go straight in this obscure western. Also with Warren Oates, Peter ‘Ritz’ Boyle, ancient cowboy legend Ben Johnson and annoying comedy sherriff off the Bond Films Clifton James.


21.20 Denis Norden’s Eighth Laughter File
Another one! They’re not stockpiling these, are they? We went six years between numbers one and two, and this is the third in a year. You want to be taking it easy these days, Denis.

01.35 Forever
Hip hop is the theme, topically, with Run DMC promised, though we dunno when this was made. Bet they won’t play Stutter Rap, though.


01.05 Barry White: Behind The Music
Looks like C4’s schedulers heard the same rumours as the rest of us.


01.35 Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice
That is to say, Robert Culp and Natalie Wood and Elliot Gould and Dyan Cannon, who get some sexual therapy, have a rather tame orgy, and go and see Tony Bennett.

03.20 Dangerous Afternoon
Noting ITV’s small hours use of Butcher’s and other sundry ’60s filler films, Channel Five decides to get in on the act and bring out the Bryanston – Bryanston FIlms, that is, who gave us Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Taste of Honey and, even more excitingly, Double Bunk, as well as handling UK rights for such titles as Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Dark Star and, er, Deep Throat II. This, however, we can’t find much of interest about, save for the presence of Ruth ‘Children of the Stones’ Dunning and Joanna ‘Moondial’ Dunham in the cast.

05.10 Sons and Daughters
They don’t have the announcer reading out viewers’ letters at the end anymore, do they? On Friday too.

Sunday 10th November


16.30 Points Of View
A ten-year-old from Wrexham complains they kept on showing the McDonalds float.


15.05 Ice Cold in Alex
Sylvia Sims used to say that she got paid �3,000 for starring in this film at the time but got �75,000 when it was made into a Carlsberg advert and more than the original fee whenever it was shown. So there you go. Gasping for a pint: John Mills, Anthony ‘condemned veal’ Quayle, David ‘Career?’ Lodge and Allan ‘Twitching’ Cuthbertson.


23.40 Vicious Circle
Oh, it’s a series, is it? Didn’t see it, don’t really want to see it. Reports are that we get the usual VLS stuff, including Benjamin Pell. For some reason.

Monday 11th November


14.35 Quincy
Every day at this time, and that’s true this week. And that’s not all, as you’ll see.

17.00 Blue Peter
With guest David Attenborough! Time was you used to get that sort of thing on Saturday mornings, but it’s as if BP is the last bastion of old school CBBC, alas.


13.40 Doctor in Distress
Not the best of the Sparrow-fests, but it’s got the best cast: James ‘bleeding time’ Robertson Justice, Dennis ‘brown ale’ Price, Leo ‘Running, Jumping and Standing Still’ McKern, Ronnie Barker, Amanda ‘5 past 8’ Barrie, John ‘Q’ Bluthal, Richard Briers, Peter ‘Wigan Mission’ Butterworth, Fenella ‘Screaming’ Fielding, Frank ‘turkeys’ Finlay, ‘Mr’ Derek Fowlds, Bill Kerr and Marianne Stone, natch.

21.00 Never Mind The Buzzcocks
Not sure what Nicholas Parsons has ever done music-wise, but he’s a guest tonight – maybe he’ll come on accompanied by Peter Fenn on the organ.

22.00 I’m Alan Partridge
And before you start, it was filmed in front of a live audience! No canned laughter at all. Anyway, the stuff in the trailer seems a bit contrived to us, but we’ve never seen a bad Alan moment and we have the upmost confidence that this’ll be brilliant.


11.00 Magnum PI
Any chance of extending the two minutes’ silence to sixty minutes? On every day at this time, of course.

14.30 Open House with Gloria Hunniford
Murray ‘I bet this car won’t crash now!’ Walker and Dale ‘Petwatch’ Winton take up Glo’s invitation for a cuppa and a natter.


Hello. We represent a growing online community known as RetroTeleFusion, and we’ve been invited to appear in Creamguide’s new Guest Contributor slot this week. We’ve accepted in the hope that we can improve the quality of research in Creamguide, and that they never again commit the fatal sin of incorrectly referring to Associated-Rediffusion when they mean Rediffusion London, and vice versa. Over the next few paragraphs, we’ll be taking a look at the latest matters in the art of television presentation – and it is an art, isn’t it?

First of all we’d like to take a look at the growing presence of DOGs on our television screens. The presence of DOGs is undoubtedly the most important thing in television today – above government interference, the licence fee, budget cuts and other such fripperies. DOGs – which of course refer to the channel logos in the corner of the screen, as everybody knows – must be stopped on all channels. There are many good reasons why this is the case. It’s possible they can get burnt into the screen, if you have a projection television, which nobody does, and if you watch one channel non-stop for several weeks on end. Also, the film-makers’ craft is trivialised – programmes screened on Discovery Home & Leisure +1 at 4am *must* be screened as the makers intended them to be. Admittedly in most cases they intended them to be shown with a DOG. Er.

If you would like to see all DOGs banished from our screen forever, the obvious way to stop them is to constantly send letters and make phone calls to administrative staff who have absolutely no responsibility over what goes out whatsoever. Don’t forget to phrase them in the most patronising manner possible, as of course we know much, much more about how to run a television station than they do. Our two-minute appearance on our mate’s show on a local RSL station proves that we have a presence in the media. You can download that from our website.

Next up (as they say in continuity announcements), it’s time for the section dedicated to spotting glaring and sloppy errors in the mass media.

* In the episode of Countdown transmitted on November 1st 2002, Richard Whiteley referred to Countdown being the first thing on Channel Four. BULL! It was a testcard. There is *no way* a television programme could have been transmitted without a full sequence of test transmissions first. This completely spoilt our enjoyment of the programme.

* In the episode of SMTV Live transmitted on November 2nd 2002, a reference was made to next week’s programme being shown on “ITV”. BULL! Is this referring to ITV1, ITV2 or the ITV News Channel? This information was not given, and could have confused many viewers.

* In the episode of Have I Got News For You transmitted on October 28th 1998, a “spoof” testcard was transmitted for five seconds. This is absolutely reckless broadcasting – the frequency gradings were completely inaccurate, and anyone who attempted to tune in their televisions using this pattern would have been disappointed by the low quality of the picture. A testcard must *only* be used for legitimate testing purposes, and nothing else.

RetroTeleFusion is constantly looking out for flagrant mistakes in British broadcasting. American broadcasting is covered admirably on this site, which we heartily recommend – Our particular favourite, which sums up so much that we’re trying to do is, of course, “On 26 July 2000, Conan O’Brien said that Dick Cheney was asked to produce a list of possible running mates for George W. Bush and came up with three: himself, Carrot Top, and Eddie Van Halen. Eddie Van Halen is not a possible candidate for vice president of the USA, as he was born in the Netherlands.”. We can’t believe something like that went out!

Well, that’s almost it for our look at this week’s television presentation – or, may we say, our transmissions are about to come to an end, ho ho! We hope you’ve enjoyed it and that it’s encouraged you to dissect what you see in as joyless and nit-picking a manner as possible. We’ve just discovered a stash of old videotapes with fantastic Creamy programmes on them, and when we return, we’ll spend many hours discussing how they were recorded, what transmitter they were broadcast from, and noting that the frontcap on one of them comes in two seconds too early, while completely ignoring everything about the programmes that people might enjoy.

Until then, this has been a RetroTeleFusion Colour Production for TV Cream Times, copyright MMII. Don’t forget to switch off your computer.

(Regular Creamguide readers will be pleased to know that we’ve forced the compilers of this feature to leave the Creamguide Railshow at a station that doesn’t exist, where they’ll have to sit in a deserted waiting room and be haunted by ghosts of irritating posh kids who appeared in supposedly “definitive” (i.e. crap) creaky old programmes like Freewheelers and The Changes.)

Tuesday 12th November


22.35 Jasper Carrott: Back To The Front
They’re not repeating this *again*, are they? More back-to-basics, dangerous standup from Jasp and his fifteen writers recycling material from 1976.


18.20 TOTP2
You see, it was a Bonfire Night special, with Sparks, Bang Bang by BA Robertson, and Rockit by Herbie Hancock. Do you see what they did there? Fun also to see Wright remind us to ‘follow the firework code’ at the end, perhaps unneccessary for a show where the average age of the audience is about 35, who have probably forgotten what the firework code is. Anyway, Tears For Fears, Go ‘Egg Roulette’ West and Neil are billed, and we hope the Neil clip is the one from the Christmas show where he began by singing My White Bicycle, the huge flop that was the follow-up to Hole In My Shoe, before saying “Oh, you want the other one?”

22.00 The Entertainers
Bascially it’s When Louis Met Tony, Leo And Bernard only without Louis, we think. And Frank Carson’s in it tonight as well.

23.20 Great Britons Collection
The strand has reached Elizabeth I – as championed by Michael Portillo, of all people – and so they’ve pulled an episode of Elizabeth R off the shelf. Although we’re not sure how it fits into fifty minutes when the original shows were all ninety minutes long.


21.50 The Frank Skinner Show
There’s a part of us that gets excited when Frank has guests like Elton John on, as he does tonight, but there’s also a part of us that fondly remembers when he had to make do with people like Mick McManus. Not that you could get away with that on peak-time ITV these days, mind.

00.10 The Tube – Twenty Years On
This is the programme we billed last week when it premiered on Tyne Tees, and it now appears to be networked. So there was no need to make complicated taping arrangements with friends in Sunderland, then.


06.00 Ivor The Engine

13.10 Dead Ringer
As mad as a fish and as overblown as only a film with two – count ’em! – Bette Davises could be. Karl ‘streets’ Malden tries to keep a straight face throughout – more than we can – and Peter Lawford and Gerge ‘Tenafly’ Macready fill in the space when Davis isn’t on screen.

Wednesday 13th November


17.00 Blue Peter
A special show from New York, with Liz becoming a personal shopper and Matt joining the NYPD! “If Sipowicz jumped in the fire, would you do that too?”


18.20 TOTP2
Oh, apologies for presuming last Wednesday’s show was a country special, as while we had a few tracks, there were some decent records on too – including Junior doing Mama Used To Say in front of some BA stewardesses (there for the performance of England We’ll Fly The Flag later in that episode, fact fans). Tonight, Opus, Wings, The Thompson Twins and Altered Images – “That’s very, very nice indeed!”

21.00 Ford… and Me
Last week’s fun instalment on The Sun inspired us to take a look through Peter Chippindale and Chris Horrie’s Stick It Up Your Punter book again, specificially to enjoy again the ‘mission statement’ for the Bizarre column when it launched in 1982 – “simply the first column ever published in a national newspaper that encompasses every aspect of being young in Britain today. Bizarre is about Pigbag and hang-gliding, Space Invaders and pacey paperbacks, The Rolling Stones and zoot suits.” Presumably Dominic Mohan has that above his desk to this day. Tonight, another outing for Alexei Sayle on the Cortina, no doubt, plus sundry other stuff.

23.25 Great Britons Collection
Tying in with Friday’s profile of Newton, here’s an episode of The Ascent Of Man about him. What is a ‘pacey paperback’, anyway?


00.30 Manhattan
A bittersweet comedy from Woody Allen. What will he think of next!


06.00 Ivor The Engine

Thursday 14th November


22.00 The Entertainers
No Look Around You this week, by the way, thanks to the BBC’s demented scheduling of the Blackburn vs Celtic match – swapping channels at 8.40! We’ve still got this though, and Bernie Clifton joins the gang tonight.


22.30 Harry Hill’s TV Burp
“ALL the quiz shows, ALL the quiz shows!” Interesting that Harry got a succession of lousy slots at C4, with the final edition of his eponymous series going out at 11.30pm, but now he’s on ITV! Course, it was mostly thanks to C4’s ineptitude that he never had the hit he deserved, because all his programmes are great, and if the pilot for this series last Christmas was anything to go by, this is as brilliant as ever. For a start, he presented it dressed as Spike off Hi-De-Hi! Basically this is Harry sitting behind a desk and doing jokes about telly, which is what we want.

Friday 15th November


17.00 Blue Peter
As we expect from BP, The Quest II is full of old presenters, last week featuring Sarah Greene in her first bit of proper work for years. We’re still waiting for Chris Wenner to appear, of course.

19.00 Children In Need
There’s nothing like Dimensions In Time (which is canon) or Children Of Courage And Achievement on this anymore, and Tel and Gaby don’t even get a sofa. Basically all we get now is pop stars singing a song, followed by a TV presenter singing a song, followed by someone from EastEnders singing a song, and so on and so on, for seven hours. And they don’t seem to be doing another never-ending Fifteen To One special like last year, which is a shame. On the plus side, though, they seem to have got rid of the regional opt-outs, which were always rotten. Anyway, ‘highlights’ this year come from Jeremy Vine in suspenders and, better still, at 21.00, a tribute to Elvis from Eamonn Holmes and, hooray, Matt Baker. And it means Jonathan Ross isn’t on tonight, so that’s one reason to give generously.

02.05 Up the Front
Daft attempt to move Up Pompeii into wartime though Howerd would do this on TV later in the temporarily unseen Then Churchill Said To Me, which a recent showing has proved to be complete rubbish after all. With Bill ‘Giddy Game Show’ Fraser, Lance ‘Calypso’ Percival, Madeline ‘Eureka’ Smith, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Dora ‘Honey’ Bryan, Stanley Holloway, William “kindly old gentleman on the train in The Railway Children” Mervyn, Derek Griffiths, Robert ‘Family’ Gillespie, Peter “a doooooooomsday shrooooooooud” Bull and Bob Hoskins.


13.15 MacArthur
We prefer Henry Morgan’s pre-colonel portrayal of General MacArthur in M*A*S*H to be honest, since he plays him as a complete loon – which he undoubtedly was – but as long as we’re here… Pretty standard stuff as far as this sort of thing goes, focusing much on the General’s time running Japan and stuffed with the kind of American actor you only get to see in this kind of film, like Dan O’Herlihy and Ward Costello.

22.00 Porridge
Looks like we rather underestimated the BBC last week, as the final episode is followed, inevitably, by the first episode – just seven days later.


14.30 Open House with Gloria Hunniford
With Richard and Judy again! Presumably Mark Thompson doesn’t care what they do anymore.

15.35 Quincy
Eh!? Yes, just ten minutes after he finishes on BBC1, Jack Klugman moves over to Five, but this time for a feature-length edition. Which presumably come seperate from the series, although quite why, God knows.


* Chris Diamond returns to his position as Creamguide Wheeltappers Correspondent to give us the following special report; “Let The Joyous News Be Spread! The Wheeltappers is back on Saturday at 22.30 on Granada Plus. They seem to be showing them all right from the first episode again which is great news, but since they will still undoubtedly be butchered from their original length, who knows what will be lost? So, let’s play Spot the Turn! Here’s the full card: Tessie O’Shea, Freddie Garrity, Barbara Law, Lambert and Ross, The Ukranian Cossack Brotherhood and La Vivas (knife throwers). See how many they leave in and mark your card accordingly.”

* Oh, and also “In an additonal piece of Wheeltappers trivia, whilst watching the always entertaining Diners on BBC Choice, I noticed that fragrant David Dickinson’s partner is none other than Lorne Lesley who appeared on the Wheeltappers with George Roper, Jim Bowen, The Chants, The Hermits and the great Joe ‘Piano’ Henderson on 16th August 1975 (at 9.45pm, ahem)”.

* Unfortunately, we neglected to point out that Sir John Gordillo appeared on The Comedy Store on Paramount last Wednesday, so we still don’t know what his stand-up routine is like. If anyone knows, please do let us know. No chance of seeing him again this week as the series is over, but there is a new programme in its place – The New Statesman, Monday to Thursday at 23.00. Life Of Brian’s on Friday at 22.00, and Seinfeld’s on every day which we mention because Michael Richards is on Graham Norton tomorrow (Friday), and it could be great.

* It’s another outing for Football Years on 1981/82 on Monday on Sky One (22.00), including Kenny Dalglish on Crackerjack, and then a sprint forwards to 1994/95 on Wednesday. Our particular favourite moment of that season was when the BBC were showing Bruges vs Chelsea with the first half on BBC2 and the second half on BBC1, but the way the timing worked out meant that Des, Gary and Alan had to keep on talking for an extra minute on BBC2 after the second half had started on BBC1, discussing a game that everybody had turned over to actually watch. Apart from us.

The new edition of The TV Cream Update should (and we repeat, should) be hitting your inboxes at the beginning of next week, and if you’re not already subscribed, do so at once by going to That’s also the place to go for Ask The Family, the TV Cream message board, where you can try and work out who TVC-Control is at any one time.
Actively seeking a long-term job in the media industry – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Simon Tyers

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