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Christmas Creamguide 2019: Week Two

Hullo there!

Welcome back to the second part of your Christmas Creamguide with the last knockings of this bloody awful decade and then, when that’s finally out of the way, the start of a new decade that’ll probably be much worse. Good job there’s some telly and radio to distract us then, isn’t it?

SATURDAY 28th DECEMBER

BBC1

17.30 Celebrity Mastermind
Much of the second week involves this, inevitably, but it’s always great fun. Nice to see Paul Chuckle striking out on his own, and he’s here tonight answering questions on football, and not just his beloved Rotherham United. There’s also Geoff Norcott on Star Wars and Levi Roots on reggae.

BBC2

14.55 The Ipcress File
Michael Caine’s inaugural outing as Cordon Bleu-aspirant anti-Bond secret agent with steady Friend With Benefit Harry Palmer, in a supersonic Swinging Sixties Cold War escapade involving a ‘Brain Drain’ (that’s what they call it) of unwillingly defecting scientists which somehow involves him being snorted at in the supermarket for buying Ice Magic or something by a proto-Leave ‘handler’, clapped in a bleepy flashing-red-light-in-cage-festooned brainwashing machine akin to Joe 90’s BIG RAT redesigned by a torturer with a budget of fifty seven pence, and finally locked in attick while the bloke who went JAD-A-LA-KLANGGGGGG all over Doctor Who And The Invasion adds some prototype Other Ask The Family Theme Eastern Bloc instrumentation all over the soundtrack. Time was when this would have heralded the arrival of the time-honoured late-night week-before-Christmas Palmer/Croker/Carter/King Michael Caine ‘Mini-Season’, except this is after Christmas and does it say ‘Michael Caine appears in Pulp on Tuesday’ at the foot of the listing? No it does not. Great Aunt Nellie will turn in her grave and, likely as not, jump right out of it and kick your teeth in.

19.50 Dad’s Army
This is in Creamguide pretty much every Saturday, of course, and if you only look in during the festive season when we’re on the site as well, don’t forget we do this kind of thing for fifty other weeks of the year, albeit without the film reviews which are the best bit. If you are with us every week, you’ll know this billing is about anything but Dad’s Army, a tradition we intend to continue here. As you can see.

21.20 Mystify: Michael Hutchence
23.00 INXS: Live Baby Live
On Pops on BBC4 we’re just entering the period where INXS were becoming one of the biggest bands in the world, and Michael Hutchence was regularly named the sexiest man on the planet. This new documentary was released in cinemas a few months ago and it’s received much acclaim for its very sensitive look at its subject, as well as hitting the headlines for its suggestion that his reckless behaviour in his later years was due to a brain injury he suffered in 1992. Then it’s the band live at Wembley in 1991, very much in their imperial phase and a textbook example of sophisticated in-stereo-on-Radio-1FM stadium rock.

ITV

20.30 Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol 2
It’s been a rum old year for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with Captain Marvel provoking a flurry of outrage from men who had got throbbing-headedly furious about the fact that Carol Danvers was now one of them women they have now, Avengers: Endgame breaking all known box office records while bored dates asked annoying questions and made childish anal sex jokes whilst struggling to follow a film that they’d been warned they would struggle to follow and befuddled patrons wondered aloud when the talking racoon was going to meet Steed and Emma, and Spider-Man: Far From Home precipitated an almighty contractual row over whether the correct response to its success was to run off with the rights and make the next film completely wrongly, and all the while Ian Scorsese, Ian Loach and Jennifer Aniston got a bit hot under the collar about the fact that people were choosing to go and see films that they actually wanted to go and see instead of eighty seven hour epics about two men mumbling, wrist-slash inviting bleak reflections of their real-life troubles, or something about a caterer who can’t find a steady boyfriend but does find a fake tiara that’s actually wanted by a mob boss or whatever it is now. The main complaint of course was that the MCU films were a non-cinematic ‘theme park’ devoid of humour, emotion and grand storytelling tradition, which suggests very, very strongly that they neither knew about, cared about or had watched even three seconds of this rip-roaring edge-of-the-seat space comedy escapade in which Star-Lord, Gamora, Nebula, Rocket, Groot, Drax and Mantis accidentally steal some batteries they are supposed to be protecting and end up on the run from a bunch of entitled gamers, mutinous space pirates and assorted sociopathic parents, to a backdrop of disco hits and David Hasselhoff references. From the argument about Cheers to the bounty hunting sisters and their ‘daddy issues’ to the jaw-dropping Come A Little Bit Closer scene, there are as many emotional wallops as there are unfeasibly fantastic gags in a movie that will hit you in the heart and fair near make you laugh your head off. The best film ever made? Well, who knows, but if you’re still snorting about ‘Marvel Movies’, then tell the guys I said hello TASERFACE!!!!!

BBC4

00.25 TOTP2
No new TOTP2 this year for, we think, the second year running, but they are repeating several of them across BBC2 and BBC4 and they’re all pretty much the same. This one is the most interesting, mind, as it comes from 2008 which, you may recall, was the year they announced they weren’t going to do a Christmas Pops but instead do a week of TOTP2 and play the Christmas number one on it instead. In the end Pops itself got a reprieve, but they still did the week of TOTP2, and this is one of them which, as it was part of a series in its own right, includes a load of non-festive stuff as well, reminding us what a useful grab-bag TOTP2 could be when it got it right.

BBC Radio 2

13.00 Pick of the Pops
After the pretty much Christmas-free charts last week, this week Gambo’s opted for two charts with loads of Christmas records in them at the exact time we’re sick of then, specifically 1975 and 1984, though we doubt he’ll play the Judge Dread and Gary Glitter songs in the two years. Fingers crossed for Renta Santa by Chris Hill, mind.

SUNDAY 29th DECEMBER

BBC2

23.40 Alpha Papa
This is sports desk, he’s Alan Partridge. Jenkins The Killer Whale goes on the rampage as Barton’s Matches prepare to make their ‘Urine Man’ Lionel Cosgrave redundant and the results of Chapman Baxter’s ‘Free Or Fried?’ phone vote roll in, but seriously, this is the best Alan Partridge-related thing that anyone has done in a very, very long time, not least because of the presence of several stray former members of The Mock Turtles in the cast, and that photo of Alan with the dog. Sadly no Comedy Clown Patrick Marber though.

ITV

18.00 Quizmaster
Here’s a concept that seems to come around every so often, an attempt at a grand quiz-off between various champions from numerous shows, with numerous Millionaire, University Challenge and Mastermind winners alongside, we’re pleased to report, Shaun Williamson being honoured for his myriad successes on Pointless. We suppose it sounds like a big Eggheads, and indeed Jeremy Vine is presenting, presumably up for a new gig as it looks like that’s about to be axed.

CHANNEL 4

12.30 Hulk
Not exactly tremendous Ang Lee-helmed interpretation of the adventures of Dr. Bruce Banner and his massive green alter-ego, which went down so poorly with audiences that it more or less led directly to the establishment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, although those Jonathan Ross-endorsed spin-off ‘Hulk Hands’ toys were quite good. Ropey video game-esque effect sequences will have most viewers inserting less coins from pretty early on, but it did give us a priceless Stewart Lee routine and in any case, the less said about the MCU’s own inaugural The Incredible Hulk the better.

BBC Radio 2

19.00 First Cast
We said it last week, but as this issue gets a bigger audience we’ll say it again, the trailer for the Cats film got a rather cool reception on social media recently as everyone seeming to find it a bit creepy and unsettling, but it is a film about talking, singing and dancing cats. In the theatre you can get away a bit more with the power of suggestion, and back in September the original London cast were reunited on The Reunion on Radio 4. Seemingly that was so enjoyable they’re back together again for this programme, but Breakfast’s Ben Thompson, who’s apparently a massive musicals anorak, will also speak to the rest of the creative team too.

MONDAY 30th DECEMBER

BBC1

16.45 Top of the Pops
There was a bit of a kerfuffle when BBC1 tweeted the schedules for the big days over Christmas and Pops appeared on New Year’s Day in the prime slot of twenty to one in the morning, but don’t worry, because that was the repeat and this is the first showing. We do like the idea of having the second show back, just like in the seventies and early eighties, although these days it’s less an opportunity to feature more of the year’s hits – often in those days a more interesting selection than the big guns on Christmas Day – but just to get two shows for the price of one with everyone from the first one doing another song, or indeed sometimes the same song.

23.35 Iron Man 3
If you were one of those people who went to see Avengers: Endgame who knew slightly more than a date who had never seen a single Marvel movie but did know some dirty jokes about Brie Larson, but still hadn’t seen the whole lot of them (let alone the Netflix stuff), then as well as wondering who half the people who showed up for the fight at the end were and what Ant-Man had been doing inside the Space Vets opening titles for five years, you may have been puzzled by the presence of that previously unglimpsed ‘Stewart Lee Kid’ at the funeral scene. It’s actually a rapidly aged version of Harley, Tony Stark’s backyard techno whiz sidekick-in-need in this third instalment of Black Sabbath riffing as they take on lesser-known terrorism-toting comics big bad The Ten Rings and engineer a nailbiting mid-air rescue that you certainly didn’t get in The Irishman. A bit of a mixed reception all told but that bloke who came out of the cinema after Iron Man 2 complaining that ‘the science’ was ‘all wrong’ won’t be watching, so you probably should.

BBC2

19.30 Mastermind
Time for the now-traditional Christmas Creamguide joke, so brace yourselves. The level of celebrities on this programme is pathetic, you can’t even recog… oh, it’s a normal one. The cavalcade of showbiz is briefly interrupted so we can help get the proper tournament done and dusted in good time, in what would seem to be the new regular slot from the New Year, though it’s pleasingly populist for festive viewing with rounds on Douglas Adams and the Carry Ons.

22.45 The Best of 2010-2015 Wipe with Charlie Brooker
Charlie hasn’t done one of his Wipes of the year for a while, perhaps inevitably with his mammoth Netflix series taking up most of his time, but we do recall the first time he didn’t do one in 2017 various people said ‘Well, it’s been such a shit year it wouldn’t be appropriate’, perhaps failing to realise that comedy still continued during World War II and 99% of the papers and our social media feeds are still full of pointless trivia. Anyway, although he still doesn’t have time to do one, this is the nearest we’ll seemingly get to a proper review of the decade on the telly this Christmas, albeit only the relatively good half.

CHANNEL 4

23.55 East Is East
What once seemed like a gently nostalgic comedy poking fun at a time when ignorance and bigotry were seen as not only acceptable but even somehow aspirational and men with voices like a Gumby rammed in an air-raid siren placed in front of a British Rail tannoy went about shouting to nobody but themselves (so nobody then) about how ‘Enoch’ was ‘right’ suddenly feels a lot less warm, cuddly and cosy now, but let’s just concentrate on the positive messages from this rip-roaring comedy with plenty to say to us even now. Ruth Jones steals the show as brassy neighbour Peggy, the kids – especially Chris Bisson and Archie Panjabi – are all fantastic, and the period detail is spot on, right down to the Clangers episode where they find the opening narration cold and frightening, and the inspired use of several-years-old pop discs that they would have been realistically more likely to own than current chart hits. We can’t really vouch for what’s showing in the cinema scene, mind, but it’s bloody funny anyway.

BBC Radio 4

09.45 Book of the Week: Unreliable Memoirs
More from Meester Clibe Javes here, and in the guise we probably love his best at, as the droll essayist’s droll essayist. Back in 2001 he read it, in abridged form, as part of the now long-gone readings strand on Radio 2, and here it is again, happily ensuring it’ll be downloadable on BBC Sounds.

NEW YEAR’S EVE

BBC1

11.20 The Railway Children
One thing we never quite got around to finishing was The TV Cream Video Library, the contents of which are lost to digital oblivion but the header image for which would have featured a shelf containing, amongst others, The Black Hole, Alf’s Button Afloat, Electric Blue 007, Richard Stilgoe’s Anagram Challenge (don’t look for that, we just made it up) and, of course, blockbusting award-winning British sci-fi thriller Pitch Black. As you might have gathered from that, heartwarming family films were always a bit of an odd fit for the Cream Empire, but we always used to get complaints when we didn’t bill them so here you go. Pant-waving ruralist-pluralist relocation non-The Finishing Line light drama as a family of Cribbins-assisted youngsters get caught up in escapades that make Crazy Like A Fox look uneventful but act as if it’s all just jolly hockeysticks fun and their paramount concern is not missing elevenses, but it at least inspired the one and a half hit wonder early nineties band of the same name, and anyway, it was less boring than bastard God’s Wonderful Railway.

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
When this show was in Salford it made great use of CBBC presenters given they were right next door, so it’s perhaps unsurprising there’s a heavy Northern Irish presence now they’re in Belfast. Hence today we’ve got Derry Girls’ Caspar Llewellyn and Songs of Praise’s Claire McCollum, and the latter is doing eighties TV which would seem to be meat and drink to us.

21.05 Dame Edna Rules The Waves
It’s yet another Dame Edna comeback, some 35 years or so after she first started doing these chat show parodies and with Barry Humphries now 85. They were hugely popular and influential in the eighties, the first time anyone had ever sent up the chat show to such an extent, although now there’s been a billion other similar shows in its wake we’re not sure it’ll prove quite as spectacular. Still, if you want to see how Joe Sugg handles the Dame Edna experience, go nuts.

23.55 New Year’s Eve Fireworks
Giving the concert around midnight now seems to be one of the biggest telly gigs for any artist, and this year it’s Craig David who may initially seem an odd choice, but of course he had his first hit twenty years ago so he’s got a back catalogue probably as big as anyone who’s been in this slot, and half of it’s going to be a DJ set as well so he won’t be short of material. And in between it is what’s now pretty much always the most watched thing on telly every year, whatever year it is.

REGIONALIA!
22.00 Selling Scotland (Scotland)
As ever, Scotland are doing their own thing most of the evening, where for us Sassenachs the most exciting aspect is that they get their own news bulletin. Actually it’s seemingly big news this year as there’s a ‘new look’ Hogmanay show which, much like a ‘new look’ to Top of the Pops normally spells disaster and a swift return to the old format, but with the likeable Susan Calman as host it shouldn’t be so bad, should it? If that’s all a bit too much change for you there’s the billionth year of Only An Excuse, a title precisely 1% of the audience will get, and before that it’s Jack Docherty with a compilation of memorable adverts, some of which made it outside Scotland and some were truly local legends.

BBC2

11.30 The Big Country
Demon rhymes like a script from Fright Night! Gregory Peck takes a ride out west, apparently on a BMX in search of some Birdseye Steakhouse Grills, to meet his lady love’s kinfolk at their massive ranch where everyone asks ‘where you from, stranger?’. Wonder if he took her to see Avengers: Endgame on the way? With no talking dog and horse or self-firing guns to help him, he’s got his work cut out for him as he has to ride Thunderblot off of Neighbours and plot the course of a small river or something, accompanied by one of the greatest themes in movie history. And sadly not Look Away.

Sky Arts

18.10 Dinner for One
Last year we finally had the chance to see the most famous festive fixture you’ve never seen and, er, now you get to see it again. Every schoolboy knows that across Europe on New Year’s Eve everyone sits spellbound in front of a Freddie Frinton sketch from the early sixties, much to our bemusement, with the punchline ‘Same procedure as every year’ apparently being a perennial catchphrase in Germany. It’s something of a novelty here, as it’s certainly not much of a comedy.

BBC Radio 2

19.00 Tony Blackburn’s New Year’s Eve 60s
20.30 Ana Matronic’s New Year’s Eve 70s
22.00 Gary Davies’ New Year’s Eve 80s
23.30 Scott Mills’ New Year’s Eve 90s
01.00 Dave Pearce’s Dance Anthems
Like last year we just fall one short of this being a clean sweep of Radio 1 DJs, thanks to Mark Goodier going off to commercial radio and hence Matronic being pushed back two decades. Of course, Mills is still a Radio 1 DJ, over twenty years after he joined – mind you, he was about twelve when he did – and indeed he’s on air earlier this afternoon and presumably playing many of the same records. The decade-by-decade business is followed by Dangerous Dave rolling some phat ones into a new decade. And we’re pleased that Ken Bruce is on air this morning as we refuse to see out the old year until he’s played Ding Dong Ding Dong by George Harrison.

NEW YEAR’S DAY

BBC1

11.00 Pete’s Dragon
In no way inspired by Hanna Barbera’s Godzilla adaptation – they cunningly wrote out Brock so nobody would suspect a thing, and also made it a year earlier just to be on the safe side – this is a prime example of one of those Disney efforts that was held up as the height of ‘YER LIKE THIS’ along with The Rescuers and The Fox And The Hound until they started actually making stratospherically popular movies again a couple of years later, and also occasionally let Fantasia and Nazi Supermen Are Our Superiors and all of them out of cryogenic suspension, upon which they became the sort of Bastard Mouse equivalent of Pop Is Dead by Radiohead. But at least they kept all of the prints and negatives of these unloved projector-fillers, unlike when they bought the TVS archive and promptly wiped a big magnet all over CATS Eyes, Letty and The Boy Who Won The Pools. Go jump in a bin, ‘Walt’.

18.55 Doctor Who
We’ve never really understood why Whovians are so concerned about the gap between series being so long, because most other dramas take ages between series and surely it just creates more anticipation, and kids can just watch the existing episodes over and over again. In any case, 365 days after their last appearance, the gang are back, this year’s special also serving as the launch of the new series which will nestle into the Sunday slot again from next week. Seemingly Chibnall has learned from RTD with some big names to draw the crowds, in the shape of Stephen Fry and Lenny Henry. And Moffatt and Gatiss’ Dracula is on at nine as well.

CHANNEL 4

15.40 Back To The Future Part II
It used to be the case that everyone in the world recognised that while Back To The Future was one of the most brilliantly fun movies of the entire eighties, if not ever, Part II was a bit like when Bros did those two singles with the same tune as each other only slightly different and vaguely akin to if Kevin Arnold went back and watched an episode of The Wonder Years happening through a window only less interesting and entertaining than that would actually be, and the third one was simply beyond explanation and indeed requirement. The dawn of the Box Set age, however, changed all that (‘The full trilogy is now yours to own!’ – ‘But I only liked th-‘ – ‘YOURS TO OWN!’), and in true Indiana Jones And The Oh My Good God Knock It On The Head fashion, you never now get one – or indeed One – without the others. Don’t worry, Breakdance II: Electric Boogaloo is on the other side. Probably.

Sky Arts

21.00 Comedy Legends
For a while it seemed like Billy Connolly was on his way out as he was apparently in very poor health, but seemingly that was just Parky talking bollocks as he’s still a regular face on our screens with wit and marbles well intact. Seems appropriate that one of Scotland’s favourite sons is the star of the first-footing edition of this seemingly never-ending series.

BBC Radio 2

12.00 Wham! The Music That Made Us
Fair play to Andrew Ridgeley, seemingly set for life with his royalties he’s spent the last thirty years or so doing pretty much what he wanted, surfing, driving cars and living the good life in Cornwall. Nice work if you can get it, but he’s come back into the spotlight a bit this year, what with his autobiography which seems to have been pretty well received and hugely respectful to his mate George, and now this second stint as Radio 2 DJ. After his eighties brantub the other month, here’s a more personal selection, some rather obvious influences like Elton John to some artists who you’d perhaps struggle to hear reflected in Wham records, like The Specials and Joy Division.

THURSDAY 2nd JANUARY

BBC1

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
Always one of the oddest days of the year, this, as technically everyone’s supposed to be back in work and there are a couple of fixtures back in the schedules, but the news isn’t on at ten and there’s this instead of The One Show. Wayne Sleep’s on this one, answering questions on Lilian Baylis.

23.00 Imagine – Lenny Henry: Young, Gifted and Black
A few years back we were a bit worried about Lenny Lenny Len whose career seemed to be drifting somewhat, doing the occasional rather dull and identikit comedy show. But he seems to be in a pretty good place now, what with his acclaimed career as a serious actor and activist, and his autobiography seems to have been pretty well received as well. And here’s the televised version of that, and despite all the good work he’s done in recent years we hope there’s loads of the ‘was and Three Of A Kind, where he was absolutely brilliant, as well as his first solo series where he was breaking new ground by showcasing black culture on primetime BBC1, which is still pretty rare these days, let alone 35 years ago.

BBC2

22.00 I Love 1996
A lot of people have fond memories of spending the last few hours of the eighties watching, er, Eighties, the three hour BBC2 compilation of the previous decade of music. We don’t seem to have progressed much since, mind, as you can spend one of the first hours of the twenties – and doesn’t that sound strange – watching more clips from the nineties. Looks like we’re getting all the episodes of this series we didn’t over the summer over the next few weeks, although this one is presumably the most predictable what with the Spice Girls, Euro 96 and sundry other stuff that’s been anthologised to death ever since.

CHANNEL 4

12.10 Romancing The Stone
We’re starting to run out of Movie Steam now that everybody’s back off to work, and unfortunately what looked from a distance like it was Leonard Rossiter in The Wrong Box tuned out to be a still from the new BBC adaptation of Dracula, so we’re sticking with this likeable mid-eighties Tales Of The Gold Monkey-riffing post-Indiana Jones jungle heist movie, which has the added bonus of not featuring Billy Ocean telling us all to go and get stuffed; though that one’s on in more or less the same timeslot tomorrow if you’re interested. There’s always very little left to say in the post-New Year’s Day wasteland of the Filmgu, so it’s probably worth throwing in a few recommendations of lesser-seen cinematic highlights from this year; Knives Out, Ready Or Not, Le Mans ’66 (which is even better if you steal some Green & Black’s chocolate during it it’s a long story), and did we mention Avengers: Endgame? Didn’t seem to get much attention, that one.

CBBC

17.30 Blue Peter
Been a good year for this show, we think, most obviously for Lindsey who was honoured with the BAFTA for Best Presenter the other week, richly deserved, and she won Pointless the other week to boot. Richie seems to be likeable enough and you can see how he’s got on so far in the Review of the Year, presumably with some Radzi if you’re still pining for him.

BBC Radio 2

19.00 Rick Astley Rocks
Here’s a lovely treat for the pensioners, that nice Dick Spatsley on the Light Programme. Actually like Andrew Ridgeley yesterday, Rick seems to have followed a similar career path in terms of saving the cash he made from his imperial phase and using it to enjoy a happy life out of the public eye with family and friends, before coming back when he was good and ready. And we’ve always found him a thoroughly likeable bloke with a quick wit so we’re delighted for him. In this programme he’ll be picking his personal choice of music which perhaps surprisingly is dominated by rock and metal from the likes of Primal Scream, The Clash and AC/DC.

FRIDAY 3rd JANUARY

BBC1

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
Of all the pundits on telly on election night, it seems that Alan Johnson generated the most headlines and we’re presuming we’ll see a lot more of him over the next few months as the future of the Labour Party is debated. He warms up for some future interrogations by being quizzed on The Beatles here, while Katy Brand, whose political views we’re unaware of, is doing Dirty Dancing.

BBC2

13.50 South Pacific
Is this still going on? Is this the latest a Christmas Creamguide has ever got to? Not even the Time Lords went this far. Still, if you’re still with us at the end of We Will Fall by The Stooges, you could do a lot worse than tune in to this lavishly realised song and dance extravaganza featuring a bunch of television newsreaders belting out the entirety of Ralf And Florian while Ian Twentieth Century Fox applied the wrong colour filters and made bits of it look like the Time For A Story bits in Pipkins. It’s also bloody long so you can legitimately set up your Matchbox Race’n’Chase in front of it too. The Neapolitans have probably all gone by now, though.

22.35 In Search of Dracula with Mark Gatiss
As we mentioned earlier, Gatiss and Moffatt’s new adaptation of Dracula started back on New Year’s Day and is running over three nights, and after tonight’s final instalment you can switch over and watch Mark romp through some other incarnations of the count. Inevitably there’s plenty of Hammer Horror, and a look at the fondly-remembered 1977 Beeb version, but he goes way back in his examination of the cult of the count, including a nose through Bram Stoker’s personal archive.

ITV

22.45 Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows
If truth be told, we’re not that fussed on this one way or the other – it’s OK as far as it goes – but as the Creamguide (Films) Fireplace fizzles out halfway through one of those corrugated cardboard bits from inside a box of Matchmakers, it’s as good an excuse as any to shoehorn in our annual demand for Granada’s early eighties serial Young Sherlock to be released on DVD. Amazingly, it still hasn’t. It’s almost like nobody else is interested!

BBC4

19.00 A Hard Day’s Night
John, George, Ringo and ‘Dinners’ abscond from a TV Studio-bound train for a bit of a break from the ‘surging’ girls, leaving suits and†chaperones beside themselves with anxiety over whether The Fabs will show up in time to not actually perform You Can’t Do That after all.†Quite simply the best pop film ever made, with the possible exception of Head, which was kind of the end result of somebody ripping off A†Hard Day’s Night anyway. Plus, due to its seasonal ubiquity, it’s about a billion times more festive than So This Is Crismus by Beetles. Which is more or less the exact same billing as we’ve used in the past, but hey, until you give us Carnival Of Light, no more work from us, Yoko.

20.30 Top of the Pops: The Story of 1989
21.30 Top of the Pops: Big Hits 1989
And here’s the traditional Last Thing In The Christmas Creamguide, heralding the repeat run continuing into another year. We know some people have found 1988 a bit of a slog, but we reckon 1989 is probably a bit of a step up musically, the first stirrings of Madchester the big story but also a load of cracking dance tracks we’re really looking forward to hearing again. And on the show itself it’s that rare thing, a new look which actually does seem to be a bit of a step forward, a returning Paul Ciani producing a faster-moving show with more records in the half hour, and while that means some savage editing and some stuff getting extremely short shrift, at least there’s the opportunity for a wider variety of music to be featured and nothing outstaying its welcome. And yeah, it’s full of kids presenters, but after eight years of Simon Bates cocking it up, is that really any worse? So some intriguing stuff to come, and the doc and clip show to introduce it all is always great fun.

And that’s that!
Thanks as ever to everyone who’s read and contributed to Creamguide over the last twelve months, and we hope you continue to join us during 2020 when, bloody hell, we celebrate twenty years of this thing. The first one will be hitting your inbox in the first few days of January but until then, a Merry Christmas to all of you at home!

By the way…

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