TV Cream

TV: F is for...

Film Buff of the Year

ROTTEN CELLULOID anal marathon, summed up in Kenny Everett/Mel Smith spoof. After showing cowboys/Indians battle from some western or other, Ken would ask how many Indians there were in the clip. Mel answers correctly (in the hundreds); part 2 was to name them. Which he did. “All correct, but no points. Because no-one likes a smart arse” quoth Ken. Aye to that.



  1. THX Kling Klang

    April 1, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    The best reason to tune in to this was the clips they dug out of films you’d never be allowed to stay up and watch. I remember getting terrified at the clip of the transformation scene from An American Werewolf in London – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Then there was the topless whipping scene from The Wicked Lady (Michael Winner version of course) which was, er, surprising.

  2. Glenn Aylett

    January 10, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Like an adult Screen Test, but without someone making a film with string to win a Super 8 camera, and hosted by Robin Ray, not to be confused with Robin Day. Quite good and the sort of intelligent panel game BBC Two was noted for at the time, with My Music being a Pop Quiz for more serious musicians.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      January 10, 2021 at 10:43 pm

      The apotheosis of the high-brow BBC2 quiz was Bamber Gascoigne’s Connoisseur, in which experts answered questions on objet d’art. They would I think only be asked an initial question, and then had to suggest information on the item for further points, which allowed for interesting digressions. It wasn’t the sort of thing you could play at home – but it was very civilized and educational. Seems like a very long time ago now, in this era of the Masked Singer and Naked Attraction.

      • THX 1139

        January 10, 2021 at 11:48 pm

        At least we still have Only Connect, man, the satisfaction when you get one of those questions right is one of the best quiz feelings around. Although it gets concerning when nobody on the teams recognises Peter Sellers or Max Bygraves.

  3. Droogie

    January 10, 2021 at 11:06 pm

    One of the most high-brow panel shows I recall was an 80’s Ch4 one called Gallery . George Melly presented and would have 2 teams of arty folk trying to guess important paintings from a close-up detail of the piece. Once they guessed correctly, they’d follow with a 5 minute critique of the artwork. I was doing A Level Art at the time, so watched this religiously. I do however recall making my parents sit throw an episode once and them taking an immediate dislike to team captain, painter Maggi Hambling.

    • Sidney Balmoral James

      January 11, 2021 at 6:10 pm

      Gallery was also good – devised by Daniel Farson and a bit less academic. Maggi Hambling was a great choice for one of the team captains, but I can see how she might divide opinions (and still doing it all these years later). I remember one episode in which she appeared wearing a mustache, although it was not made clear what point she was making. One guest was Vincent Price, who was a famed art collector (I believe he once competed against Edward G. Robinson in a quiz on art in the US). I once saw George Melly, towards the end of his life, on a train, wearing an eye patch, a fedora, and a double-breasted suit in a floral pattern which Max Miller would have thought loud. He was a big man: he arose slowly from his seat further down the carriage, like an armchair which has decided to move to a different position in the living room. I can thoroughly recommend his autobiographies, collected as Owning Up – they are very well written and entertaining.

      • Droogie

        January 12, 2021 at 1:22 am

        Sidney Balmoral James – I ADORE George Melly. His autobiographies are fabulous, especially his naughty stories of touring the UK in a trad jazz band pre Beatles. ( Makes most rock & roll memoirs look like Enid Blyton in comparison). I’ll also always love him for writing the hilarious screenplay to fab cult movie Smashing Time. They don’t make big-hatted loud suit-wearing Jazz surrealists like George anymore.

  4. Glenn Aylett

    January 11, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    Well sadly today’s idea of a panel game would be The Masked Singer, but go back to the eighties and panel games were everywhere. You could have everything from Pop Quiz to Connosieur and it seemed viewers enjoyed them as ratings were good and the panel was mostly entertaining and knowledgeable.

  5. Richardpd

    January 11, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Richard Osman’s House Of Games has been a regular show for me & my wife to watch recently, with fairly challenging questions & guests who have a fair chance of answering them.

    The Hit List requires a fair depth to musical knowledge, such as bands certain musicians have been in over the years.

    Have I Got News For You seemed to start the trend for comedy panel shows, They Think It’s All Over & Never Mind The Buzzcocks being a good examples of following a similar formula.

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