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.)
TV CREAM TIMES
13th – 19th July 2002
This time they’ll get it right –
Phil Norman, Chris Diamond
Saturday 13th July
19.00 Sport Relief
Hmm. Here we go then with five (or indeed, five and a half as it now appears to have been extended to) hours of fun and games all in the name of charity. Obviously, some has the most tenous connection to sport – Gareth Gates singing live, perhaps in a Bradford City shirt. Anyway, might be worth looking out at 21.30 for the return of Superstars, fronted by John Inverdale, surely the role he was born to do, and, er, Lisa Rogers. At 22.30, the awful Patrick Kielty fronts the hundredth compilation of clips called Sportsmen Behaving Badly this year, and at 23.30 it’s Johnny Vegas’ Runaround. Which isn’t sport either, but should be fairly good, we reckon. And look, ITV’s bloody awful tonight, so what else are you going to do?
00.00 Carry On Camping (though could be 00.30)
It’s another red-letter week for compulsive ‘Onsters, as we’ll see (in fact, for Cream films all round, as the summer scheduling doldrums kick in). To start with – well, we hardly need to say anything about this one, really, do we? All that fishing line/green paint anecdotal business is part of the folk consciousness by now. We’ll just say that Peter Butterworth’s Mister Fiddler turn, and Terry Scott, Betty Marsden and Charles Hawtrey’s menage a tente, are far funnier than that sodding ‘timeless’ bra scene.
12.00 Blackbeard the Pirate
So last week the Observer promised two Morecambe and Wise films, and was wrong. This week, they said a boring pirate film and iffy period drama would be shown in this afternoon film slot, and guess what. You can’t rely on anyone anymore, can you?
13.35 Henry VIII and His Six Wives
Every schoolboy used to know this simple mnemonic to remember the order they came in – “Mrs Vennor off of ’70s sci-fi series Sky, Her with the braces off of The Night Porter, Her with the cakes off of The Stone Tape, the one who never did anything else, ever, Peter Sellers’s fourth wife, and Colin Firth’s mum off of Tumbledown.” After working through that lot, it’s small wonder Keith ‘Beaky’ Michell gave up playing rotund Tudor misogynists for a career singing whimsical ditties about quasi-military waterfowl. Donald Pleasence, Michael ‘House of Horrors’ Gough and the inevitable Brian Blessed beef up the heartily-laughing, mead-swilling, drumstick-slinging cast in this oft-screened film adaptation of a BBC series.
01.20 The Reptile
A bit of vintage Hammer, with Ray ‘voice of John Tracey’ Barrett investigating his brother’s mysterious death in a Cornish village populated by bizarre folk including the ever-present Michael Ripper, a sitar-strumming Jacqueline ‘Servalan’ Pearce, John ‘Doooomed’ Laurie and George ‘Inigo’ Woodbridge. Never mind the rotten, boggly-eyed titular monster, feel the claustrophobic weirdness.
15.00 The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes
Unbelievably, this is a ’90s remake, so there’s even less reason to watch this than the Kurt Russell original. Anyway, this neatly leads us neatly on to Creamguide Name and Shame Time – this week, Mark Ecclestone, for being ‘stumped’ by a Radio 1 DJ last Saturday morning who described the plot of Sammy’s Super T-Shirt – probably the most well-known Children’s Film Foundation production of all – and having to get phone-in assistance to identify it. Ecclestone, predictably, brushed off this embarrassing episode with something glib about it not being Lord of the Rings or The Great Escape, and therefore, presumably, not a film worth knowing about, the grandstanding ignoramus. Andrew Collins would’ve known!
12.00 Little House On The Prairie
The weekday repeats’ll probably be off after this week while June Sarpong takes over (and we’ve just got an e-mail telling us to book tickets to be in the audience for a new comedy quiz she’s doing with the charmless Jimmy Carr, which sounds the worst thing ever) but these double bills will continue around the cricket, no doubt.
20.10 Revenge of the Pink Panther
“Special delivery! A bermb! Were you expecting one?” Last time out of the traps for Sellers (and we hope Channel Four either finally dig out A Shot in the Dark or end this ‘season’ here), with a string of limp ‘funny costume’ set pieces, and Dyan Cannon, Graham ‘then we’ll stick a completely irrelevant bit with Peter Sellers in half way through, just to show I’m his mate’ Stark, Alfie ‘excused boots’ Bass, Sue ‘Vanessa’ Lloyd, Henry ‘Steam Video’ McGee and Andrew Sachs on the payroll.
02.50 A Day to Remember
Stanley Holloway leads a darts team on a trip to Boulogne. Basically another of those ‘Brits abroad’ ensemble comedies like San Ferry Ann, or Innocents in Paris from a fortnight ago. This one’s courtesy Ralph ‘Doctor’ Thomas, and showcases Donald ‘Mmmmwrrrrgh, Smallbridge!’ Sinden, James ‘Mr Tebbs, you know, the short-lived, toupeed Mr Grainger replacement off of Are You Being Served?’ Hayter, Harry ‘Dead Ernest’ Fowler, Peter ‘Book’ Jones, Bill ‘Compo’ Owen (with our own Marianne Stone on his arm, the cad!), Thora Hird, Shirley ‘Goldfinger’ Eaton and Deryck Guyler.
00.45 Trial by Combat
Hey-nonny vigilantes Donald Pleasence and co. dress up in armour and beat the crap out of crims. Peter Cushing, John Mills and Barbara Hershey investigate. Sniffily dismissed by the RT (film of the week – Prizzi’s bleeding Honor), but we like it when this sort of obscurity comes up for air, especially when you’ve got Brian Glover, John ‘Mallens’ Hallam, Bernard ‘Yosser’ Hill, Diane ‘Rag Trade’ Langton, Kevin ‘Tosh’ Lloyd and John ‘I say’ Savident to boot.
02.20 True Stories
Sub-Lynchian smalltown shenanigans in this bitty mockumentary directed by David Byrne. Heads music is, as you might expect, all over it. We quite like it, but then we’re probably the only people round here who still miss Flying Blind.
03.50 Best Revenge
Canadian hash-smuggling mish-mash with John ‘Lost Ark’ Rhys-Davis, Michael ‘Scanners’ Ironside and a heady Keith ‘Tarkus’ Emerson soundtrack.
05.10 Sons and Daughters
And there’s even some drama on Channel Five tonight! This doesn’t count, obviously.
Sunday 14th July
Blimey, they’re welcoming this back, aren’t they?
14.50 ‘Allo ‘Allo!
This afternoon’s line-up has been specially compiled to show those idiots who moan about there being sport on all channels what would otherwise be the case. Look, it’s the middle of the afternoon, who’s watching telly now anyway?
23.30 The Man Who Fell to Earth
The film that gives scheduling cliches a good name – your annual chance to try to remember a kind of September, and forget that ropey new album in the process. Bowie has trouble in lifts, Clark laments the state of the railways, Torn and Henry rake it in, Roeg dices the negative, everyone’s happy. Seriously, even if you normally hate self-consciously experimental films, give this one a go, it’s a great chunk of off-beam cinema, a bit like an adult Boy from Space, except a floating orange torso with the voice of Charles Collingwood doesn’t keep interrupting things at crucial moments in the plot, although we wouldn’t be surprised if Roeg had considered that as a narrative device at some point.
14.05 Man of La Mancha
Peter O’Toole reads too many romantic adventures, tilts at windmills and does some of the other things on the 1000-odd other pages of Don Quixote – supposedly the best novel ever written even though only about four people have ever finished it – in this very ’60s/’70s-ly directed musical version of same. Sophia ‘in your dreams, Sellers!’ Loren, Harry ‘Tom Carrington’ Andrews, Brian ‘will do booming period chuckles for cakes’ Blessed and Ian ‘couldn’t possibly’ Richardson pick up the chorus. An that billing, as we’re sure many of you (especially eagle-eyed reader Tim Lawton) are aware, last appeared round here on June 23rd last year. It’s always bloody on, this one, you know, though Yorkshire get The Planet’s Funniest Animals instead, for some reason.
20.00 After Dynasty
To think a few years back anything ITV put in this slot was guaranteed to get at least fifteen million viewers. Now we’re getting this After They Were Famous special about a series ITV never had anything to do with anyway, a few months after Top Ten TV did it to death. Mind you, as a Tyne Tees production, we’re sort of hoping for How Dare You’s ‘Die Nasty’ sketch.
22.50 When Jeremy Thorpe Met Norman Scott
Without the unfortunate business in 1979, the former leader of the Liberals would have been best known for sitting alongside Jim’ll Savile in a Party Political Broadcast, and appearing in a load of impentrable jokes (from a 2002 perspective) in the last ever Python. But he’s not. So now the man who he was aquitted of attempting to murder tells his story on telly for the first time.
00.50 The Dance Years
Dangerous Dave Pearce tops up his state pension by reliving the hits of 1989.
06.10 The Clangers
14.45 Legend of the Lost
John Wayne, Sophia ‘on two channels at once’ Loren and Rossano ‘Bobo’ Brazzi are a hapless triumverate searching for a lost city of gold in this unchampioned adventure effort with Kurt ‘Giants’ Kasznar and Marsha ‘Britannia Hospital’ Hunt, but crucially no catchy theme song complete with Philip Schofield hand-duplicated lyric sheet.
So this is the one with the Fantastic Freddie Man Flutter, which is great, partly because the incidental music is Sylvia by Focus. And that’s why this is the funniest programme of the year, we’re saying.
06.35 Dappledown Farm
Come on, Channel Five! Let’s get Brian back in peaktime.
17.15 The Island at the Top of the World
Donald Sinden searches for his son at the North Pole in an airship, and finds a load of hostile Vikings instead. Disney fantasy last seen last October.
Monday 15th July
It’s either this or BBC2’s exclusive live coverage of – wooh! – The Spending Review. Every day at this time, except Thursday, to be awkward.
14.55 Just Good Friends
And to save our fingers, this is every day at this time, except Thursday when it’s on at 14.10. Happy now?
17.00 Blue Peter
So it was a good job we caught last Monday’s Elvis Special, which was as ace as we’d expected, because it was also the show where they revealed where the expedition’s going to, which is Morocco, fact fans. While they’re off there, a few weeks of pre-recorded shows, including this week what used to go under the name of Blue Peter Flies The World, showing the best bits of last year’s trip to Vietnam. It should tell the audience more than the one fact we knew about ‘nam when we were young – that being, in World War II, the average age of the combat soldier was 26. In Vietnam, it was nineteen. I-I-I-I-I-I-In Vietnam…
00.05 Jukebox Heroes
Our knowledge of pop music consists of the eighties and nothing but, as it should. So once more we don’t know anything about the subject of this week’s profile, one Dickie Pride.
01.10 The Outfit
Small time crim Robert ‘THX’ Duvall rubs the Mob up the wrong way.
13.10 The Paradine Case
Charles Laughton and Gregory Peck don the wigs and take to a bloody massive Old Bailey set to prosecute suspected spouse poisoner Alida ‘Suspiria’ Valli in this mid-period courtroom drama directed by everyone’s favourite cello-lugging master of suspense.
20.00 University Challenge Reunited
This series returns to Creamguide this week because one of the teams comes from 1987 and thus we’re expecting some great clips in the ten-minute recap on what they did and what they’ve done since at the start of the programme. Hopefully it’ll give us another chance to see that awful mid-80s revamp when they actually did have one team on top of the other and that crappy wooden baton which they had to ‘pass’ to each other. Honestly, it was ludicrous.
22.00 Knowing Me Knowing You… with Alan Partridge
“Up yours! Kiss my arse!” is still a brilliant punchline, we reckon. And of course tonight it’s the episode with Minnie Driver in, fact fans.
23.20 Trouble At The Top
The other standout episode of last series gets another run-out, with the story of Eldorado, which will never stop being hilarious. Course we’ve now got less soap on peaktime BBC1 than we did ten years ago, so everyone can shut up. Even if we are blatantly ignoring Holby City to make this flimsy argument stand up.
12.00 Never Had It So Good
Whither Lost In Yonkers? It’s all gone nuts on ITV daytime this week, with a load of rubbishy filler stuff in the mornings – like what the BBC are doing, but with an even tinier budget – and ancient films in the afternoon, of which more below. This series was, of course, supposed to be the show that’d bring that missing teatime audience back to the third channel, only for it then to be yanked off halfway through. Here it is again, every day this week, and really it’s not much fun because Rowland Rivron’s on it all the time and he has apparently never seen any television programmes in his life. Still, Maconie may be on hand.
13.30 Carry On Cowboy
We told you it was ‘On central this week, as ITV put something worth watching on during weekday afternoons for the first time since the demise of Home Cookery Club. Although this western-set mid-period effort is a pretty tame affair, with only Charles Hawtrey as an indian chief pulling his weight (so to speak). Oh, and Peter Butterworth’s great, but then he always is. The rest are OK, but they seem to be having more fun playing at westerns than we are watching, to be frank. Still, there’s also Jon Pertwee, Angela ‘Digby’ Douglas accompanied by Eric Rogers on the piano, and Richard O’Brien. Richard O’Brien?
09.00 Little House On The Prairie
Last week of this being screened every day at this time – at least we hope so, because we always end up misspelling ‘Prairie’ when we write it out.
10.00 I Could Go On Singing
Except she couldn’t, sadly. Judy Garland does the Palladium for her celluloid swansong, with Dirk Bogarde and Jack ‘better boil up some coffee, Sam’ Klugman.
04.30 Jumping for Joy
Small hours C4 is the place to be these days, especially if you’re into ancient Rank comedies – which you are, clearly, or you wouldn’t be reading this. Frankie Howerd plays – oh yes! – Willie Joy, owner of a feckless greyhound which can’t race, but lands him in a whole heap of trouble! Marvellous. Stanley ‘On rather a lot this week’ Holloway, Alfie ‘Ditto’ Bass, Bill ‘Do I know you?’ Fraser, Richard ‘I’m no stranger to these billings meself’ Wattis, Joan ‘Amateurs! I’m always in’ Hickson, Lionel ‘Yes, but your rubbish film isn’t on BBC2 this Wednesday’ Jeffries, and Charles ‘Five billings this week? I rather think I win, dears. Pass the Gordon’s’ Hawtrey are the faces to stay awake for.
11.00 Magnum PI
This probably won’t be pulled off for the summer, worse luck. On every hideous day at this forbidding time.
The part of Creamguide that says ‘That was then… and this is also ‘then’, sort of’
CBBC (all the time, BBC1, BBC2 and CBBC)
vs BUT FIRST THIS (1987-1991)
Creamguide’s not of the age where we can wax lyrical about the entire children’s output only adding up to about an hour a week, but we can certainly recall the time when there was so little around that when there was test match cricket on BBC1 during the day, the lunchtime news had to be shortened because they had to fit in the See-Saw programme, and the party conference coverage had to stop for Play School, because they were the only offerings and *had* to be on, regardless of the fact it was the millionth repeat. These days, CBBC fills up most of the morning on BBC2, most of the afternoon on BBC1, and has its own channel all day. But where’s the fun in them always being on, eh?
That’s why we used to love But First This, because in it’s ‘golden age’ it used to be on until twelve o’clock every morning, which at the time was absolutely incredible. Indeed, for a while Creamguide refused to go out until it had finished, because it was also the only time when Children’s BBC had credits at the end, like a proper programme. This was much to the chagrin of our parents, and it’s true that the actual programmes they used to show on But First This were, well, bloody awful. There was a set pattern – a cartoon at 9.05 followed by a repeat of Hart Beat or Why Don’t You that you’d already seen and included loads of references to writing in which were by now well out of date. Then at 10.05 there’d be another cartoon, or even a repeat of Double Dare, normally a Christmas one shown in the middle of August. At 10.30 you’d have Play School/Bus/Days with Colin from Yell! doing the birthdays beforehand, and then it’d be the kids version of Five To Eleven, with the ridiculous remix of the normal twiddly theme tune, and cuddly toys all over the set.
But the best bit was the final hour after 11am because by the middle of August they’d always completely run out of material. Hence we’d normally get Superman with George Reeve, Wildlife on One (“it’s got animals in it, that’ll do”), Jane Asher’s Eats For Treats, any number of Hogan Family-style ‘dramadies’ and at one point, Take Nobody’s Word For It with Carol Vorderman. That’s adult education, for God’s sake! The all-time low was in 1990 when the last hour twice a week was devoted to Lindsay Wagner’s zoo-set ‘family drama’ Peaceable Kingdom. We didn’t even know what ‘Peaceable’ meant.
Respite came from The O Zone, ‘Europe’s first daily pop magazine’ according to Andy Crane when he launched it sitting in front of a drawing of a record in 1989. The following summer we had five-minute episodes at 11.55am on Mondays and Fridays, which were basically a pop video with a few graphics around it (eg, slide saying ‘The Top Ten’, followed by slide saying ’10’, and so on), and the first edition of which had to be abandoned when the graphics, generated live, started cycling around for an eternity. Well, we laughed at the time, and spent ages telling our dad about it when he came home from work.
So children’s programmes now may have a credibility and professionalism to them that wasn’t around in the past. But until Angellica introduces Richard Whitmore with the news at ten o’clock, or links into Eric Thompson’s 1976 series on model trains, Small World, then it won’t be the CBBC we used to love.
Tuesday 16th July
22.35 My Worst Week
A new series for Iain Lee! But with a bit of luck he’s only narrating and so we won’t have to put up with his irritating face. It promises to relive the times when celebrities were caught out and could at least include some interesting footage if the subject’s a Creamy one. However this week it’s George Michael in 1998.
23.15 The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox
Run-of-the-mill comedy western with Goldie Hawn and George Seagal as a pair of hustlers in the usual pantomime Old West settings. Compare and contrast with the earlier Blazing Saddles and, of course, Carry On Cowboy.
Good to see this show back if we get more stuff like Shiny Shiny by Haysi Fantayzee and Come Up And See Me by The Wedding Present, especially that brilliant bit where the audience started applauding during one of the latter’s many false endings and then tried to pretend they were clapping along. Oh, and the Top of the Pops Orchestra in vision performing El Bimbo by Bimbo Jet. Only Shalamar, The Eurythmics and The Sweet tonight, and if that’s Blockbuster again we’re getting a gun. *How* many times?
13.30 Carry On Screaming!
“Frying tonight!” Often cited as the best of the lot, but while it’s certainly up there, there’s the odd early entry we prefer (and we’re banking on more of these being shown next week, hint hint). Still, you can’t argue with a deranged Kenneth Williams, who seems to come perilously close to almost enjoying himself at times, thanks mainly to the presence of erstwhile revue chum, the excellent Fenella Fielding. Harry H Corbett and Jon Pertwee also put in top non-regular turns (all the better when you remember that this edition was followed by the disappointing Phil Silvers experiment), and Charles Hawtrey takes time between flasks of Bell’s for a visibly out-of-it cameo as Dan Dann the Gardening Man. Plus there’s Oddbod, Oddbod Jr., an exclamation mark in the title (always a good omen, as we know), and the production design’s spot on – they’re doing Hammer, for goodness’ sake! Who’s complaining? Hereabouts or thereabouts – Angela ‘Digby’ Douglas, Tom ‘Massive Mickey Magee’ Clegg, the two Franks, Thornton and Forsyth, and Marianne Stone, who we sincerely hope wasn’t left out of the groundbreaking range of tie-in action figures that were made available at selected theatres when this film was first released. Why didn’t they, er, carry on doing that with the rest of the films? We’d have loved to have owned a poseable Gladstone Screwer.
23.00 Capricorn One
Elliott Gould’s on the trail of a phoney NASA Mars mission in the straight-up-and-down conspiracy potboiler with Karen Black, Telly Savalas, James B ‘Doogie Howser’s dad’ Sikking and Alan ‘Man From Atlantis’ Fudge.
03.25 The Big Match Replayed
Great fun here last time, cos it was from March 1977 and the main match was Chelsea vs Blackpool in division two, and Stamford Bridge looked like a scrapyard. And some fans ran onto the pitch, and Mooro immediately ranted ‘What a silly fool! The sooner they get him off the pitch the better!’ Watch and learn, Brian Barwick.
09.55 Happy Days
Cutting the slack before the cricket.
Wednesday 17th July
17.00 Blue Peter
More ‘nam chronicles. Anyway, last week’s out-takes special didn’t disappoint, with some brilliant stuff we’d never seen before, including Chris Wenner showing exactly why he was soon out the door by completely messing up a description of CSO, Sarah Greene drying up and looking absolutely mortified, and a great moment from 1978 when the programme began with a car driving into the studio, only for it to break down while the opening credits (in lovely whimsical font) were still running. Plus a whole five minutes of Matt corpsing and Liz as a serving wench again! Get in! But we’ve since had nightmares about the scary, scary clip of Simon in drag and his skirt coming off while he straddled a chair. Brrr.
10.50 The Water Babies
Familiar film billings dept – Lionel Jeffries’ follow up to the Railway Children was a similarly sentimental slice of Victoriana, but this morbid, half-animated tale of a young orphan abused by James Mason and Bernard Cribbins who tries to drown himself in a lake populated by cartoon babies with the voices of Jon Pertwee, David Jason and Una Stubbs wasn’t, prehaps understandably, as popular. Also up are Billie ‘Beckett’ Whitelaw, Joan ‘Girls On Top’ Greenwood, David ‘Poppins’ Tomlinson and Lance ‘Calypso’ Percival. Last seen October 23rd last year.
Back to this timeslot for today, but don’t worry if you miss it because it’s only an Oasis special and we don’t like them. We just don’t like their songs, OK?
01.50 What Have The Eighties Ever Done For Us?
More of the OU’s increasingly erratically-scheduled Rock’n’Science Years.
13.30 Carry On Abroad
“Ah, Mr. Farkyharse!” Yep, it’s the unfairly maligned ‘satirical’ package holiday from hell routine, with wet cement, hot zoops, backless wardrobes, floods, ‘love potions’ and great performances from Peter Butterworth and Hattie Jacques as the staff (aided by Ray ‘Benn’ Brooks). Charles Hawtrey character name of the day: Eustace Tuttle. The last time all the major players were gathered together in one picture, this, and the sprightly non-regulars include June ‘I tried it once and didn’t like it’ Whitfield, Jimmy ‘Mad Death’ Logan, Carol ‘Kerril’ Hawkins and Patsy ‘wedge open a fire door’ Rowlands. And never fear, Jack Douglas is on hand with an unsteady pint at Sid’s pub for the finale.
Well, what do we like about this effort? Um. There are some nice Ken Adam sets, especially the ‘far too many monitors’ main space station control room, the cable car scene is all right in a third-round-on-Screen-Test way, the bit in the centrifuge is good ‘cos Rog’s eyebrows take a hell of a beating, the little tune they play to get in to the lab in Venice is the same as the tune at the end of Close Encounters, and Q’s closing ‘re-entry’ gag’s the best of the Bond Nookie Payoffs. On the bad side, the other heavy-handed comedy bits (eg. that bloody pigeon) are worse than usual, Lois Chiles is a dull sidekick, the otherwise good Michael Lonsdale seemingly can’t be arsed to settle on an accent (“Meester Bond, you appear with a tedious… iwweveitibility”), Jaws (with pigtailed comedy girlfriend) and Bassey (with her worst Bond theme, which is saying something) both return, and as we said before, where’s all the dense preamble from Fleming’s book, including the Bond v Drax bridge game, complete with diagrams of the hands? That’d work brilliantly on film! It’d be like International Bridge Club or something. Then they could have had Hilary ‘Genesis of the Daleks’ Minster in it, ‘cos he’s always playing bridge, he is. As it is, they have to make do with Alfie ‘fat use all these royalty cheques are to me now’ Bass. Also – wouldn’t Patrick Moore or Carl Sagan have noticed all those shuttles appearing in space at the one time (missed cameo opportunity there, Cubby)? And would *nobody* have commented on them all taking off? We know it’s just a film, but really! The bit where Jaws falls out of a plane onto a circus tent and survives, though, no problem with that.
23.30 Prizzi’s Honor
Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner are sent to wipe each other out but fall in love. Old fashioned but slight comedy from old fashioned and far-from-slight John Huston.
Andy Darling reads out his far-too-wordy script in an unattractively nasal voice, but then Creamguide’d probably sound awful read out loud, wouldn’t it? Mind you, we’re bad enough written down. Oh, and 1987.
10.00 The Hasty Heart
Another post-victory WWII film. Of note here as the sole joint outing for Ronald Reagan and Alfie ‘Mr Goldberg, you know, the even shorter-lived, ex-army Mr. Tebbs replacement off of Are You Being Served?’ Bass.
Thursday 18th July
23.20 The Dave Gorman Collection
More or less relentless golf on BBC2 today, so this is going in to pad the listings out a bit, if that’s OK with you. What with ITV showing Danielle Stell rather than an ‘On. And still the second funniest programme on at this time.
03.30 ITV Sport Classics
“58,000 at Old Trafford, just enough room for Granada’s cameras! Gerald Sinstadt’s the commentator, helped out on this occasion by Denis Law, and United are in the darker shirts.” We’d like to see Des do that.
23.35 Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights
The new series kicks off on August 8th, and we’re hoping for an expanded role for Paul LeRoy as he’s our very favourite Kay character. Just beating off Leonard di Tompkinson, the oldest paper boy in Britain – “I won a CB radio with muscular distrophy!”
03.30 The Harder They Fall
An accidental tribute to the late Rod Steiger, who plays a corrupt boxing promoter enlisting Humphrey Bogart to help his dodgy Argentinian prizefighter Mike ‘Monster Squad’ Lane get a championship leg-up.
21.00 The Enforcer
Another bloody Dirty Harry film, this time with a young Tyne ‘Lacey’ Daly. Well, why should we bother going into any detail about this one? It’s hardly a proper film, like The Stud or Alf’s Button Afloat, is it?
Friday 19th July
20.35 Only Fools and Horses
The One Foot repeats have finished with only the final episode to go, presumably with the excuse being that it’s hard to fit a 45-minute programme into the schedule. No problems with a 50-minuter though, as it’s the first part of Miami Twice again, which also means the dire feature-length second part’s on its way soon.
09.55 Bus Stop
Rodeo hick Don ‘Knots Landing’ Murray commits Greyhound-based kidnap on a southernised Marilyn Monroe. Not a classic, we reckon, a game stereotype-breaking attempt by Norma notwithstanding. Still, if these sorts of films continue to get regular airings, hopefully we’ll get The Girl Can’t Help It before too long.
02.35 The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Another screening for the admirably crazed, if rather hit-and-miss, Billy Wilder reworking of The Doyle’s pipe-hitting logician, with Robert Stephens, Christopher Lee, Irene Handl, Stanley Holloway and Frank Thornton amongst the migets, monsters and submarines. We hope the sooncome film version of Alan Moore’s excellent multi-referential Victorian romp The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is as mad as this, because it’s one comic adaptation we think could actually be really good.
15.40 The Sword and the Rose
More ‘Enery-the-Eighthery. This time James Robertson ‘bleeding time’ Justice dons the beard and padding for the tale of Mary, Queen of Scots, played by Glynis ‘Mrs Banks off of Mary Poppins’ Johns. Michael ‘House of Horrors’ Gough and Patrick ‘Wives’ Cargill are among those marking time until Radio 4 explodes.
01.00 The Ritz
An on-the-run mobster hides out in a gay bathouse, encounters various OTT comedy turns and mimes to the Andrews sisters in this Richard ‘Musketeers’ Lester adaptation of a Broadway play by Terrence ‘Full Monty’ McNally. With John ‘Cliffy’ Ratzenberger and, incongruously, Peter ‘strawberry moooooooousse!’ Butterworth. Have we mentioned we really like Peter Butterworth?
02.35 Under the Rainbow
Hey, it’s camp flop night on Channel Five! Again. Chevy Chase and Carrie Fisher star in this notoriously misbegotten period farce ostensibly based on the drunken hotel exploits of the Wizard of Oz munchkin cast. For all the recent hoo-hah about Five’s ‘highbrow renaissance’ (yes, that Tate thing was quite good, but be honest, they’re only really making programmes about old castles and galleries because they’re a cheap way to fill their production quota, aren’t they?) this sort of stuff is what The Five still does best – small hours screenings of heroically obscure and slightly grubby old films no-one else in their right mind would touch. That’s why the Grauniad made Dawn Airey the 33rd most powerful person in the British media, towering above such minnows as Jane Root (73), Alan Yentob (82), and the Creamguide editors (16,724 – just below the bloke who fetches Mark Curry his Volvic water and Snack-a-jacks on the all-new Catchphrase, but still comfortably ahead of the Ri:se production team).
We’re now dropping the billing for Sons and Daughters on C5 at 05.10 because it’s always a real anti-climax.
Wednesday, 21.00, 00.00
Blimey! – The series on the changes to the English language over the past few decades ends with a consideration as to whether the internet will see the end of the English language as we know it. Judging by that sentence, we’d say yes. Actually, those of us who sort through the TVC Towers mailbag are sure of it, as our favourite e-mail this week came from Wayne Green, repeated verbatim below –
Father Ted – Since when have E4 shown this? In any case, while we ponder why every Father Ted rerun seemingly has to include all three series, here’s series one again, though curiously starting from episode four.
Saturday, 00.00, Sunday, 20.00
Pop Years – Clearly, Saturday night’s 1996 repeat is of little interest to us, especially when confronted with the weight of Keith Flint jokes, although through a sense of completeness we can report features on the Macarena (yes, “two blokes in suits looking at a girl’s arse”), Mark Morrison (“I’ve never met him, but he appears to be a tosser” – Collins, A) and Babylon Zoo (“one of the great cons of our time” – Collins, A), plus Rachel Stevens accusing the Spice Girls of being unable to sing and a great clip from that year’s MTV Europe Music Awards where Jean-Paul Gaultier and Skin from Skunk Anansie declare Oasis winners of a gong but are left clueless as to why no-one’s collected it until Alan McGee appears unannounced. On Sunday, 1995, when people believed that Country House and Roll With It represented the pinnacle of British pop. Smokie and Chubby Brown’s Living Next Door To Alice (Who The X Is Alice?) – a cover version, note – may not feature.
We’ve pruned the Digi-Creamguide a bit because all the digital channels are full of programmes we’ve been billing every week for months on end, and we’re sick of the sight of them. Put some new (old) programmes on, everyone! So, G+ has The Kenny Everett Video Show at 22.30 on Sunday, Paramount has Fry and Laurie on Sunday at 00.25 and Friday at 00.05 and Python on Monday-Thursday at 23.30, and Artsworld has nothing anybody in the world wants to watch, and that’s why it’s rightfully closing down.
Creamguide’s listings refer to England except where stated and are all subject to change. You don’t get this from the Radio Times, do you?
I BLAME THE GOVERNMENT
In response to your hundreds of letters, you can now access the TV Cream Update’s Real 100 Greatest Singles Of All-Time from the front page of the site, at http://tv.cream.org You can also access Ask The Family, the TV Cream message board, by clicking Long Shots, and subscribe to the TV Cream Update so you don’t miss the next chart we do, whatever that may be. Who has more fun than we do in our nostalgia treehouse, eh?
Them upstairs – Chris Hughes, Ian Jones, Simon Tyers