TV Cream

Pot pourri

Riddle-me-Radio Times

The nation’s once-favourite listings magazine has become so disinterested of late in actually telling you what’s on (witness the issue a couple of weeks ago featuring Justin Webb analysing US health care reform) that it’s increasingly easy to forget it was once a publication that cared just as much for programmes as people, if not more so.

By way of a corrective, here are seven quotes from the magazine’s imperial era.

They have, however, become conveniently separated from any clue as to the identity of the speaker.

Reader, can you name the people who, strange as it may seem nowadays, are appearing in Radio Times not to talk about politics or their desperately poor upbringing or what kind of wild animals they have roaming round their estate, but your actual television and radio shows?

Five Simon Mayo Golden Hour points, plus three Larry David pity points, to whoever gets the full set.

1) “I thought we’d skimmed the cream but our third trawl has brought to the surface more prize goodies than we had in the first two series”
(March 1989)

2) “I’ve always had belief. Straight away I felt confident I knew what I was about and what I could do. But my confidence was a little bit knocked when suddenly people started saying: ‘D’you think you’d better get another partner?’ A bit patronising. ‘Have you found your partner yet?’ Like I’d lost my keys or something.”
(May 1988)

3) “We have the biggest and best team ever; and, for the first time, Radio 2 will share our communications facilities for a joint operation.”
(May 1986)

4) “The managers at these Mecca halls have worked very hard setting up the programmes. They’ve put all the efficient organisation behind them into raising the money.”
(October 1985)

5) “I left at 11 o’clock that night after the recording and there he was, sitting in his car, about to start up and go home. I sloped up and while I was chatting I put one of those road cones on his car. We said goodnight and he drove away; he didn’t notice a thing.”
(September 1983)

6) “The shame of it is that we haven’t time in a 40-minute programme to show the hysteria, the tension or the phone calls to say that supplies haven’t made it.”
(September 1989)

7) “He looked at me in the way a vegetarian surveys a slice of rare beef, and said mildly that it wouldn’t be quite the same. Being a weak woman, I suppose, I gave in. Although I did think that maybe I might wear a little label on it saying ‘I don’t approve of this either’.”
(June 1978)



  1. MartS

    February 3, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I’ll chip away at the first two if there are no objections…

    Quote 1 –
    Is it the much missed Les Dawson, on about the new series of Blankety Blank.?

    Quote 2 –
    Said by Les Dennis, after act partner Dustin Gee ‘went upstairs earlier than planned?

  2. gareth jones

    February 3, 2010 at 9:13 am

    quote 6 – sounds like Anneka Rice on her show that wasnt as good as treasure hunt but has a cracking theme tune, Challenge Anneka – my only doubt being that im sure it was longer than 40 min.

  3. Five-Centres

    February 3, 2010 at 9:36 am

    Not as good as it used to be – that’s because their mantra now is ‘People, not programmes’, which is an odd philosophy for a television magazine, but hey.

  4. Danforth

    February 3, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Maybe now is the time for TV Cream to expand into print, and put an intelligent, funny listings magazine up against the ailing RT. Since this is already wishlisting, I’ll go ahead and suggest it include a paid-for subscription service, where instead of buying the standard shop copy, you choose the channels you want to include from this website, and either print the results out or have it delivered 🙂

  5. fl3m

    February 3, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    Is no.1 Andrew O’Connor talking about the new series of On The Waterfront? (hence the trawl reference)

    No. 3 may be something to do with the World Cup in Mexico so I’ll go for Des.

  6. David Smith

    February 4, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I’ll have a punt at Clive James for No.1, talking about Saturday (or possibly Sunday?) Night Clive.

  7. TV Cream

    February 4, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Number 6 is indeed Anneka Rice, talking about “the Challenge programme”, and number 2 is Les Dennis discussing his latest solo effort for BBC1. Number 3 is to do with the World Cup, but it’s not Des. And number 1 isn’t Clive, Les or even Andrew O’Connor – but there is a link with Squire Dawson…

  8. gareth jones

    February 4, 2010 at 11:48 am

    oh my god,i got one right – does this win me a tv cream badge or pencil 🙂

  9. TV Cream

    February 4, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Oh, number one is BobKnocks, isn’t it? I’ve got some of the other RTs so I won’t answer those as it’d spoil it.

  10. televisualcabbage

    February 4, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Number 3? John Motson, possibly enough Des?

  11. johnnyboy

    February 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    Am not sure about the Dawson link, but i initially thought no.1 was Rowan Atkinson talking about Blackadder the Third.

  12. TV Cream

    February 5, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Number 1 is Bob Monkhouse talking about the third series of Bob Says Opportunity Knocks. You’re getting close with John Motson for number 3; think of a once-ubiquitous BBC football presentational presence. Number 4 is the woman who helped run Simon Bates’s gossip network at Radio 1. Number 5 involves a host of Blankety Blank and one of his contestants.

  13. televisualcabbage

    February 5, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Ok then, number three… Barry ‘interesting,,, very interesting!’ Davies and number five Lord Terry of Woganshire and Ms Chase of Luton Airport?

  14. gareth jones

    February 5, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    no 3 – jimmy hill and no 5 terry wogan and kenny everett

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