Hey! Over here! Yes, if you’re reading this on e-mail, apologies for the slightly wayward formatting last week which may have meant a large amount of horizontal scrolling. Many apologies for that, but hopefully it’ll all appear as normal this week, and if you deleted last week’s because you couldn’t see anything and want to read it, you can of course do so at www.tvcreamtest.co.uk, as you’ll know if that’s what you’re doing now. We probably should write separate introductions for the two versions, shouldn’t we?
Anyway, this week there’s the usual blend of listings, with their exciting new look, and the last in the series of what we think has been Creamguide’s most popular ever middle bit. So invariably it’s also the shortest lived.
20.45 Dad’s Army
But as ever we start in the postbag, and a missive from Darren Rigby-O’Neill, who says, “You state that the BBC would never change the MOTD theme, but what about that disastrous reworking in the early nineties? It can only sort of be described from memory as whistling over a baggy rhythm track. It only lasted a couple of weeks before it got changed back but because the titles were slightly longer than the original, the opening bars of the new version were welded onto the old version to make it all fit. Anyway it was cack.” You’re right, both times, and you can hear that awful bodge here, although not the terrible remix, or indeed the late seventies one where it sounded a bit like Grange Hill. “Also, talking of the Snooker theme, when Belle & Sebastian played Preston Guild Hall in 2000 (or 2001?) they did a quick rendition of the theme in honour of their surroundings as it used to be the venue for the Masters, or some bloody tournament. Interestingly Brian Appleton (Graham Fellows) supported them, and the crowd didn’t really get him and mostly retreated to the bar. Their loss.”
19.10 Harry Hill’s TV Burp
Hooray! For a while there we didn’t think we’d be getting this because he’d be on Sky One, surrounded by endless plugs to buy a HD box to see a man sat at a desk in glorious high definition, but Harry made the right choice – well, he could have gone to the Beeb, but that wasn’t an option – and he’s back with more of the most inventive and consistently amusing show on the box. We certainly can’t think of a British comedy show that has come up with the goods more frequently in television history, in fact. Although it could do with cutting out the smut a bit.
09.00 Election 70
“This situation is, of course, a developing situation!” It’s always great news when BBC Parliament wheels out an election, and this is one of the very best, with its enormous studio, Cliff Michelmore holding it all together with his trademark whimsical approach and the wonders of the election night disco. Among the many, many highlights are Alan Watson’s factbites (“Now he’s the tallest man in the Cabinet!”), the “CITY”, “FOREIGN” and “INDUSTRIAL” desks, the latter man by a chap with a broad Northern accent, a jaunt to Oxford to hear the views of typical student G Brandreth, the fact every time they cut between anything the picture goes mental for two seconds (so watch out for BBC Parliament’s strobing warning caption), the swingometer having to be extended live on air and Cliff keeping track on the price of strawberries, all in fourteen of the most compelling hours of television you’ll ever see.
BBC Radio 2
13.00 Pick of the Pops
A chance to relive the opening weeks of Radio 1 with 1967 – a significant year in other ways, as you’ll see next week – followed by a less welcome chance to relive the opening weeks of that appalling Top of the Pops revamp with 1991.
BBC Radio 4
20.00 The Death Of The Battleaxe
We mentioned Violent Carson, as she was once memorably and appropriately christened by The Guardian, the other week in the Corrie drama, and here’s Ena Sharples again in a look at the domineering woman in fiction, which used to be de rigueur in almost every sitcom on television but has now been replaced, presumably, with the kind of horrible bitching backstabbing women who appear on The Apprentice.
16.15 Points of View
Back! Back! Back! And next week’s Creamguide will invariably return to its winning format of a load of quotes from TV Burp and endless abuse of the correspondents here. And they deserve it, thanks to this programme’s continued dedication to letting the public get away with saying of manner of rubbish, no matter how ill-informed and ridiculous it happens to be.
00.15 Drama Trails
Incidentally, we’ve not yet heard anything about tribute programmes for Norman Wisdom, though we can be pretty sure that Creamguide favourite A Stitch In Time will get an outing at some point in the next few weeks. It’s very sad news, of course, made even sadder by yet more dickhead “journalists” immediately cutting and pasting a load of crap from Wikipedia and thus announcing a man in the signalling corps in Cheltenham in 1941, some distance away from Tin Pan Alley, wrote the lyrics to The White Cliffs Of Dover. How many more times does this have to happen! It is absolutely outrageous. God help us when Bob Holness dies.
20.00 All Our Working Lives Revisited
21.30 Boys From The Blackstuff
Not sure this week’s subject needs a particularly lengthy update as it’s about shipbuilding, which doesn’t seem to have been an industry that has really flourished in the past 25 years, but we’re sure it’ll be beautifully made and very interesting in its own way.
16.30 Blue Peter
Another week on BBC2 because of the Commonwealth Games, and we very much enjoyed Monday’s show because we always enjoy Blue Peter when it’s a bit shambolic, not in a Chris Wenner sense, but with general corpsing and giggling, which was very much the case with Helen and Joel battling through mild hysteria in most of the links. Possibly the cold – given they’re still in the garden, now donning hats and cardigans – had got to them, but it was all very endearing.
21.00 A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss
22.00 Bride of Frankenstein
23.10 Transylvania Babylon
“It was so nice of Mister Burns to invite us to his country home in… Pennsylvania!” BBC4 once more continues its role as your non-stop Mark Gatiss channel as the man himself turns up yet again, this time starting a series on another one of his pet subjects, horror films, starting off with the likes of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. After that it’s probably the acme of the genre, then after that, a repeat, not sure when from, of a programme looking at the likes of Blackula and Boobarella.
Now it’s time for the last in the series of Why Don’t YouTube? We’ve been thrilled by all your lovely letters about it, and we’re sure we’ll bring it back soon, but we’re ending it for now partly because we thought it would be much quicker to put together than our other bits-in-the-middle as we just needed to whack together a few clips, only to realise it does of course take much longer as we actually have to find the stuff rather than just rattle something out off the top of our heads, and partly because cwilliams1976’s current stuff is so ridiculous it’s more or less put us off YouTube for good.
But don’t worry, because we have a new feature planned for next week which we’re sure you’re going to enjoy, and there might well be some audio visual bits of business in there as well. In the meantime, though, we’re bowing out for now in the same manner of Would I Lie To You and so forth, with a clip show made up of previously unseen stuff that didn’t sit nicely anywhere else.
“YOU’RE ALL INVITED NEXT WEEK!”
And first this week it’s a big thank you to Matt Poole, who responded to our clips of World of Sport last week by pointing us in the direction of the above, which he added a year ago and we didn’t spot. Cross-referencing the results mentioned with Soccerbase, we can confirm this is the last five minutes of Saturday 22nd March 1980, with Dickie running through the results and telling the lucky people in the HTV region they’ll be served up Bristol Rovers vs Wrexham tomorrow afternoon. And we note that, since he wrote in, Matt’s uploaded more WoS from three months later with the end of The ITV Seven and an ad break, including the Feathered Cribbins and a rather saucy spot for Lee Cooper. And just to catalogue all appearances, we think, of Dickie Davies on YouTube, here he is introducing coverage of the 1981 League Cup Final Replay, with what we think may be the first ever appearance of Saint and Greavsie.
“THE BREAKFAST SHOW IS BACK SOONER THAN NOEL IMAGINES!”
It’s an absolute pain trying to look for clips of The Late Late Breakfast Show on YouTube as they’re either endless clips of ABBA or stuff about Michael Lush, though fortunately the car crash doesn’t appear to be there anymore. What is there, though, is this interesting sequence, with the grand tradition of the end-of-series prank, which is particularly ace as it involves a fake continuity announcement. And isn’t it nice to talk about Late Late and not just go on about the fact someone died on it? As Alan Partridge said, the Titanic enjoyed many happy hours of uneventful sailing.
“THIS IS VERY SIMILAR TO WHAT I USE AT HOME!”
Rob Brydon’s all over the telly at the minute, and rightly so as he’s an extremely likeable performer and we think Would I Lie To You has reached new heights under his stewardship. Indeed, when we were watching his chat show with our mother the other week she was moved to comment on how talented he was. But as we know Rob is virtually a one man episode of Before They Were Famous as he spent years schlepping around local radio and ad voiceovers. Here he is in 1989, alongside Ross Davidson, trying and failing to demonstrate a hover mower.
“FEATURED DISCS BY CREDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL!”
Here is an outtake from the rehearsals of the 1969 Christmas Top of the Pops with Pete Murray and Jim’ll dancing around. And that’s it.
“TERRY LLOYD IS THE SLIMMER VERSION OF KEVIN LLOYD!”
espite being presented by Anne Diamond, we used to enjoy daytime telly talking shop TV Weekly quite a lot, it was a real treat when had the day off school and we recall darting home when we were sent home because of snow to try and make it back in time. Although all we can remember now is when Bridget Rowe unveiled the cover of the first post-deregulation TV Times. Anyway, here’s a bit of fun, albeit rather poignant now, from that series, and if you want more daytime telly-related business, what about Cuddly Ken on Open Air?
“WHAT IS THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN IN THE WORLD CALLED MOUNT EVEREST?”
Well, everyone remembers Gilbert on Get Fresh, and rightly so, but what people tend to forget is that he followed with his own spin-off series which went out on Children’s ITV at five o’clock in the afternoon despite being quite the most bizarre and unsettling kids show ever invented. Here is Gilbert’s Fridge, for it was that, first with Eli Woods and then, here, Gilbert turning antique dealer to Dieter Meier of Yello. In fact, you can see the whole of that episode, and much of the rest of the series. We’re guessing this is more than the rest of the ITV hierarchy watched, as it is demented.
“THEY’VE BEEN HIRED BY A FOOD COMPANY TO TEST A NEW WIND-FREE BEAN!”
Had we thought on we could have done something about grown-up entertainers doing kids telly, but never mind. Here, anyway, is The Ratties, written by Laura Milligan and narrated by her dad Spike, which invariably makes it one of the silliest cartoons ever made, as well as having a fabulous theme tune. Watch out too for a Harry Secombe joke. One for the teenagers, there. And for more Irish entertainers lending their voices to animation, what about Stoppit and Tidyup?
“YOU’RE TOO LATE, DEAR!”
That recent Radio Four Reunion programme on Play School got various people mentioning how old and frail Brian Cant sounded, but he is old and frail, we’re afraid, he’s 77 years old. Here he is in his prime, though, in a clip from a routine clearly devised just to annoy Tony Robinson, Toni Arthur and Julie Stevens, although it is fantastic, and all the better for Tony just about managing to keep it together at two minutes despite making a (barely noticeable) cock-up and almost corpsing. About five seconds from the end as well. Anyway, this is taken off those Pip Schofield-fronted Great Kids TV videos they released in the early nineties, which are well worth buying in charity shops if you find them because there’s all manner of bizarre clippage on them.
“IT WAS ON SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MILL, IN FEBRUARY 1978!”
Which person do you think appears on YouTube the most? Flipper Forrester might be quite high up the list, as many people on the internet have some sort of fascination for her, but we reckon it’s probably Kate Bush, whose fans recorded absolutely everything she did while she was in her pomp. Here she is with Desmond Morris on Friday Night Saturday Morning, and we’ve also got her talking to Delia Smith, appearing on Looking Good Feeling Fit with Stilgoe (from Pineapple Dance Studios, kids), on Razzmatazz, with Cuddly Ken and with Russell Harty.
“THE DRAWINGS WERE BY VALERIE PYE!”
So that’s it for Why Don’t YouTube, and there’s only one way to go out – with the greatest ending to anything ever.
16.30 Blue Peter
The appeal seems to be going in leaps and bounds, with the totaliser – which we’re pleased they now unveil when they launch the appeal, because they know how much we like to see it – already up to the three thousand mark, which as we’ve mentioned before is highly impressive given only two hundred thousand people even watch the show most days, and probably even fewer when it’s shoved over to BBC2. And most of those are probably adults who can’t bear to stop watching it.
The schooldays special was a bit of a damp squib, simply sticking on any old song that might reference school in the lyrics, leading to a weird mix that can’t have pleased many. And there weren’t even that many Pops performances in it. There are plenty in this, because it’s a repeat of the Wham! special (note that exclamation mark) from the other month, which is amiable viewing because along with the familiar, you also get the lesser-spotted performances for Club Tropicana and Everything She Wants.
20.30 A Year To Remember
There’s bound to be some amusing clippage here, as the series from the fifties interviews the likes of Joyce Grenfell and Edith Evans to examine how liberated women have become in the previous fifty years. Now they can sometimes even show a bare ankle in public.
22.45 Film 2010
When the delightful Claudia Winkleman was announced as the new host of this programme, loads of people moaned that she was unsuitable for the role as she didn’t have the qualifications, though we’ve often wondered why you need qualifications to be a film critic when papers let any old idiot become their TV critics and don’t even expect them to know anything about or even like the medium, exhibit A being Kevin O’Sullivan, the illiterate arsehole in the Sunday Mirror. We think Winkers will do a perfectly good job thanks to her enthusiasm for the arts and engaging manner, and we’d say that even if we didn’t have a bit of a thing about her and her kooky ways, honest.
22.45 Sports Mash
Well, after we mentioned this old-sports-clips-overdubbed series last week and that we hadn’t yet seen it, Rob Williams, not that one, wrote in to say, “I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you get to see the first episode, just watch the bowls sketch where Alistair McGowan and Dave Lamb are supposed to be commentating on the action. Owing to Mr McGowan’s style of commentary, it seems that Mr Lamb is away with the giggles for real. Also, you may also like to note ‘Big’ Dave Prowse tossing a caber in the rain and he’s also so classy to have his own Transit van with the moniker ‘Dave Prowse Limited’ on the side.” Funnily enough, Rob, we have now seen that episode, and we suppose it’s amiable enough, but sadly we can’t see what Alistair McGowan can bring to a clip of Lord Bath reading out the pools panel results that’s funnier and more entertaining than, well, just watching Lord Bath reading out the pools panel results. With “LORD BATH” on the desk in front of him. And “POOLS PANEL RESULTS” on the wall behind him.
21.30 Reggie Perrin
Arguments raged over this series when it first surfaced last year, with many people wondering what the actual point of it was. That’s still going to be the case second time round, and we’re sure that even more ire will be raised from the fact they seem to be missing out Grot to head straight to Perrins, but we stuck with it last time and if you can forget about the fact it’s called Reggie Perrin for a bit, you’re left with a big broad mainstream sitcom with an excellent comedy actor in Martin Clunes delivering lines from an excellent comedy writer in Simon Nye. Let’s hope Fay Ripley actually gets something to do this time around.
BBC Radio 4
18.30 Richard Herring’s Objective
We’re always very pleased when either half of Lee or Herring turns up on telly or radio as we always still think of them as a secret known only to us listening intently to Radio 1 on Monday nights in 1995, doing jokes about Wham bars (no exclamation mark there) and Hollyoaks, despite the fact they’re proper comedians. Certainly Richard seemed to get lots of laughs of Have I Got News For You earlier this year, where he was wearing his toothbrush moustache, which is something he seems to have been doing for ages now. The idea was, of course, to reclaim it for Chaplin, rather than Hitler, and it’s how he starts this series taking a second look at received opinions. Doesn’t need to keep the moustache for a radio show, mind.
Ross Noble was amusing when he was last on this show the other week, but we’ve been warned that you shouldn’t go and see him live because the front row is always filled with his groupies who leave him presents and notes on stage during the interval so he spends most of the second half having to talk about them, which is fun for them and utterly boring for everyone else. Fortunately that’s not the case here.
Last Friday, meanwhile, not only could you see new stand up comedian Daniel Sloss on two channels at once, as he appeared on both The Rob Brydon Show and 8 Out Of 10 Cats simultaneously, you could also hear him do the same joke about looking like Macaulay Culkin on both. He’s only nineteen, but he should probably come up with some more material before he goes for the big telly push, we think. Tonight someone’s answering questions about a comedian with a bit more material, albeit much if it baffling, Andy Kaufman.
21.00 Singer Songwriters at the BBC
Looks like this entire series is going to stick with the early seventies, which we suppose is fair enough, although surely Randy Newman’s finest hour came on Monday 13th February 1989. And despite all that publicity, especially given he had to do it twice because they were massively underrunning, it still didn’t even get in the Top 75.
That’s it for this week, and we hope we managed to get it all in a straight line this time. If you’re reading this on TV Cream and want to subscribe, go here!