TV Cream

CREAMGUIDE: 25th-31st December 2010

Oh no! Not another Creamguide!

Here’s the second half of our guide to everything Cream-related on telly this Christmas. For the first half, click here.

CHRISTMAS DAY

BBC1

14.00 Top of the Pops
We don’t know why Rufus Hound hasn’t been invited back to present this, what with him being famous now, and we’ve always liked him. Instead it’s the usual gruesome twosome of Cotton and Yates to front our now regular annual engagement, with just the one part this year but that’s no great loss given the second part was the same songs in a different order and with Fearne in a different frock. Now they don’t have the time to do gimmicks or try and get us to watch every week, this is about as good as Christmas Pops can get, and we just hope that we’ve heard most of the songs included.

15.00 The Queen
We always forget this is on the radio as well, and indeed used to be much, much earlier on there, up until about a decade ago it would be broadcast about nine in the morning, and on Radio 1 as well. Presumably they thought only Simon Bates had the essential gravitas to introduce it.

17.10 The One Ronnie
We don’t know what happened to that sitcom set in an old people’s home, written by Rob Brydon and David Walliams and starring Ronnie C, that was mooted ages ago and seemed to forever be in production, but here’s a new comedy show from the great man. It’s perhaps the nearest thing we’ve got to a modern day Christmas Night with the Stars, as Ron is joined by the whole of the BBC comedy family, like James Corden, Miranda Hart and Catherine Tate, to partake in a series of sketches, and even if most of them are seemingly ironic rehashes of Two Ronnies material, it sounds like the perfect accompaniment to Mince Pie Time to us.

18.00 Doctor Who
Sadly we don’t have any exciting behind the scenes gossip this year, but what we can do is very much look forward to this edition, because we think Matt is great, we think he’s way better than Tennant, and the last series was the best since it came back. And that’s official.

19.00 Strictly Come Dancing
This is a cracking Christmas Day schedule, we reckon, although there’s a change to the familiar Christmas Strictly, which is usually just previous competitors dancing again in an hour of pointless but inherently entertaining fare. This time we’ve got new celebs who were apparently too busy to commit to the series, although quite what John Barrowman’s got on that’s so time-consuming, we don’t know, Yes, he’s on it, alongside a particularly intriguing contestant in Vince Cable, and while it all sounds a bit of a mess, Brucie’ll be there to smooth it all over and be the only entertainer with the manners to thank us for letting him to our home on this special day.

BBC2

20.00 Dad’s Army
There’s been a Dad’s Army repeat at eight o’clock on Christmas Day on BBC2 for several years now, making it almost as familiar as the Queen’s Speech. But we think this is a different episode from last year.

20.35 Blackadder’s Christmas Carol
It always used to surprise us how infrequently they repeated this show, as while you could always guarantee regular outings for Bob and the poppy field, after its first showing in 1988 it didn’t turn up on telly for years. In recent times it’s popped up more often than not, although it’s not the best Blackadder by any means, not least for the bit set in the future where the effects now look so primitive and laughable it completely detracts from the script.

CHANNEL 4

13.00 Scrooged
Let’s face it, Bill Murray’s projected Midas Touch lasted for about three post-Ghostbusters minutes, and right up until Groundhog Day (we’re not counting Little Shop Of Horrors here, because nobody we know actually went to see it in the cinema) his credits seemed to be taken up almost entirely by films that were enthusiastically plugged on Saturday Morning TV and promptly disappeared without trace. Which unfortunately meant that this actually quite good Marley-meets-Media-Satire exercise in Dickens-updating also fell through the cracks, which is a shame as it’s always worth a look, though those in search of more up-to-date festive-skewed pisstaking of The Networks might like to consult 30 Rock, which has approximately eighteen Christmas episodes per year.

CHANNEL 5

21.00 Greatest Christmas Adverts
As you may have gathered from today’s meagre handful of film listings, there’s absolutely nothing that could constitute a Big Christmas Film in the traditional sense as we know it, the nearest thing to it being Five’s premiere of Will Ferrell comedy Stranger Than Fiction (and that’s pushing it). The other channels seemingly can’t even be arsed trying, with BBC2 the worst offender by far in allowing Parky a full hour and fifteen minutes to moan about the bloody Great American Songbook in the inexcusable Swingin’ Christmas. Ah well, console yourself with this rarely-seen example of George Sanders’ days as the halo-discarder, which reminds us in a roundabout way of one of the most thrilling film reads of the year – the BFI’s 75 Most Wanted Missing British Films, a veritable smorgasbord of delicious-sounding obscurities ranging from the barely-movie-length big-screen outings for The Toff (which is how we were reminded via The Saint… you do the ‘math’), through Swinging Sixties withdrawnness Sleep Is Lovely, to big-budget post-“here-under-protest-is-beefburgers” Orson Welles satirical folly Where Is Parsifal?. See ‘em for yourself here and if you have any in the attic, please do give that there BFI a call.

ITV3

16.20 On The Buses
18.10 Mutiny On The Buses
20.00 Holiday On The Buses

It’s happened. Finally. After years of joking about why you only ever get two of the Grimley-friendly triumvirate lumped together with the third placed a couple of days beforehand or later, here they are at last in one unholy trinity. It’s kinder we don’t say anything about the films themselves, mind. “I SEENED IT” – Honey Monster, Puffs.

BBC Radio 2

13.00 Deana on Dino
It’s quite an entertaining Christmas Day on Radio 2, once Junior Choice is out of the way. We know Dean Martin died on Christmas Day because we linked to the news bulletin saying so in The Time Tunnel the other week, so it’s a suitable time for his daughter to pay tribute, helped by the fact he recorded loads of Christmas standards as well.

17.00 Kenny Everett’s Christmas Selection Box
It would have been Cuddly Ken’s birthday today so here’s a special programme which is attempting to create a brand new bit of Kenny on the wireless. Specifically, lots of archive clippage will be welded around a number of records, some of which were released after his death but which the producers reckon he might have liked and which fit into the general mood. It may sound a bit pointless but the likes of Gambo are involved who love Kenny dearly so it’s all done in, yes, the best possible taste.

19.00 The London Palladium Story
There’s plenty more about the theatre to come over Christmas, as the telly’s not got involved yet, but if there’s someone qualified to talk about the golden age of variety, it’s got to be Michael Grade. Here he is in the first of two parts, the second this time tomorrow.

20.00 Eric and Ernie – Bring Me Christmas!
There isn’t actually a Morecambe and Wise show billed over the Christmas period, but the drama about their early life is scheduled for the New Year weekend so we’re assuming we’ll something to accompany that. In the meantime, Liza Tarbuck Takes A Christmas Look At Morecambe And Wise and reviews their festive shows, rightly ignoring everything they did after 1977.

BOXING DAY

BBC1

21.00 Upstairs Downstairs
It’s 35 years to the day that Russell Harty said goodbye to the original series with a demented LWT special we’ve seen where he speaks to the cast both in and out of character, often within the same question, and then ended it by watching himself on television and announcing London Weekend would be showing 26 repeats in the New Year. But now it’s back, back, back, with Jean Marsh still involved, alongside the obligatory star-encrusted, in this new thirties-set adaptation, continuing tomorrow and Tuesday.

BBC2

17.25 The Red Baron
Always preferred Baby Let’s Wait, to be honest.

21.15 When Harvey Met Bob
When a drama involves an actor having to play the role of Simon Bates, you know it’s going to be good. It’s the story of Live Aid, natch, and in particular the relationship between Bob Geldof, whose style of promotion was simply to announce bands were appearing before they’d booked them in the hope that they’d look like uncharitable wankers if they turned it down, and the hapless Harvey Goldsmith who had to make it all happen.

22.45 Live Aid – Rockin’ All Over The World
And if you want to check how accurate it all was, here’s another outing for this fascinating documentary from the other year which tells the whole story. No Steve Blacknell, alas.

00.15 The Goodies
Everyone’s seen this one, it’s Kitten Kong, and for a while it was the only episode that did the rounds as the Beeb repeated it as part of their fiftieth anniversary celebrations in 1986, where we recall seeing it. Every time it’s been shown since original transmission it’s actually been the slightly revised version made for the Golden Rose of Montreux, because the original episode has been wiped, we think, but it’s perhaps no great loss as Mike Aspel isn’t in that version. That’s the best bit!

ITV

12.15 The Railway Children
Sadly we’re a couple of hands short on the TV Cream (Films) tiller this year, as more pressing engagements have led to Chris Diamond (who won’t let us get away with the On The Buses-scoffing above, and that’s for sure) having to reluctantly bow out, with The Other Two completing the Filmguide in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute, with the invaluable assistance of ‘Ralph’ The Wonder Llama. See if you can spot the join. Meanwhile, Chris’ enigmatic Yuletide missive to you all reads simply “any waking moments I have will be filled with Fred Gee”.

20.30 The Best of Harry Hill’s TV Burp
What with his rubbish album and a really patchy series, 2010’s not been a great year for Harry, emphasised by the fact he hasn’t even done a new show for Christmas. That said, we’d rather he had a long break than churn out another show, so he can seriously think about introducing something funnier than Wagbo.

CHANNEL 4

17.10 Crocodile Dundee
Oh pipe down, ‘Greedy’ so-called Smith.

CHANNEL 5

18.40 Top of the Pops
Here it is, the show we’ve been pondering over the past few weeks, Christmas Day 1985, apparently in full, which would seemingly involve showing several minutes of Jonathan King. But that’s what we’re getting, apparently, so it’ll make for fascinating viewing, and if it’s not quite imperial phase Pops – you could say Christmas 1984 was the end of that, from January we had a ropey format with loads of videos – we do at least have John Peel among the presenters, alongside Dixie Peach of all people, who nobody remembers, plus the likes of Colonel Abrams and Baltimora who don’t often trouble TOTP2. And as we know, not the Christmas number one.

19.55 Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em
21.00 Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads?

Nice to see the return of the evening of archive comedy on Five, which was a bit of a tradition earlier this decade, this time spread over two nights, although they’re not showing anything particularly interesting with these two enjoying regular rotation in recent years. They’re both from 1974, the former the centrepiece of an Eric’n’Ern-less Christmas Day and the latter the last ever, of course.

ITV2

21.00 Gremlins
For a certain generation, this was the ultimate Film You Weren’t Allowed To See, with a ludicrous 15 certificate rendering the film itself inaccessible while all manner of comic strip adaptations and talking books, none of which skimped on the detail, found their way into several million Christmas stockings. Then they ended up sharing a house at University with a girl who got so off her face on alcopops and ‘certain substances’ during pre-Christmas post-exam celebrations that she spent two days solid singing the film’s theme music and giggling and as a consequence it became impossible to watch with a straight face ever again.

E4

01.15 Alien
“It’s Sooty!”

SyFy

15.40 Krull
With the glaring exception of Robin Of Sherwood (which isn’t a film of course), British film-makers never could quite get that early eighties Sword & Sorcery thing right, but it did make for some eminently watchable disasters-that-you-can’t-help-but-like such as this. Gazelle eats scissors wraps paper, says Big Country’s Student (sic) Adamson, HI-YEEEEEEE.

TCM

12.55 The Children’s Hour
“Shall I tinkle on the piarno? Dobb-iiiiiiiiiiiiin [tink-tink-tink-tink-tink-tink]”.

MONDAY  27th DECEMBER

BBC1

20.30 Celebrity Mastermind
We love Celebrity Mastermind, it’s brilliant fun, thanks to the bizarre combinations of guests, the fact we get to see a different side to them, their banter with John and, best of all, the fact it goes on until well into January so we can pretend it’s still Christmas for a few more days. There are ten more episodes during the festive season, and today offers the wonderful combination of Mark Lawrenson, Hilary Kay and Richard Herring.

BBC2

22.00 Charlie Brooker’s 2010 Wipe
Been a good year for Charlie, what with his wedding of course – and obviously it helps Creamguide continue with its quest to become a second rate Charlie right down to the fact we prefer Liz to Konnie – and now the Wipe franchise’s promotion to BBC2 for this new episode. This is actually a combination of both Screenwipe – of which there hasn’t been a series since 2008, surprisingly – and Newswipe, wallowing in a luxurious hour long slot. And there’ll be more of Charlton in the New Year with the Alternative Election Night spinning off into a series of live comedy debate and his new, long-awaited BBC2 show based around silly archive clippage. Well, they said it was going to be on this year, in any case.

23.30 The Goodies
So who is the best Goodie, then? Richard Herring probably got it right when he said that Bill is always the best Goodie when you’re young, but when you grow up you much prefer Graeme, which we reckon is spot on. Nobody seems to like Tim, alas, but that’s the trouble with being the posh one.

CHANNEL 4

12.15 Benji The Hunted
Initially misread as ‘Benji The Haunted’, which would certainly put a more interesting slant on the adventures of everyone’s third least favourite screen dog. On a slightly less Benji-baiting note, TV Cream (Films) was recently thrilled to receive a DVD of the complete bizarre early eighties outing Benji, Zax & The Alien Prince, though the thrill soon abated when it became apparent that it was every bit as overlong as childhood memory suggested. Hey ho. Nostalgia – it’s exactly what it used to be!

19.10 Porridge
OK, well we’re really struggling today filmswise, but twas ever thus for The Day After Boxing Day, and at least they don’t take up four hours with bloody Crown Green Bowling any more. Just scoff a couple of leftover Golf Ball flavour Clubs and sit tight until Tuesday.

BBC4

21.00 Only Connect
A suitably festive slot for the grand final, like Strictly in a way. Only not.

Gold

21.45 Rowan Atkinson Live
If you miss the familiar repeats on the Beeb over Christmas then they’ll probably turn up on here as well, as this channel shows the usual suspects over the holidays, but we’ll alight on this because we don’t think it’s had an outing for a long time. We think it’s the HBO special he did in the early nineties, where he performed some of his most famous routines for the last time, which we recall turning up on Saturday night BBC1 and of course with Angus Deayton in his pre-fame role as Rowan’s straightman.

BBC Radio 6 Music

19.00 The Real Seventies
Like last Christmas, 6 Music are concentrating on a decade a day in all their daytime shows, starting this morning and ending up with a two hour special hosted by Bob Harris tonight, Stuart Maconie tomorrow and Shaun Keaveney on Wednesday. We assume the revelry starts on the breakfast show, hosted this week by Andrew Collins, but we’re not to going to listen to him in protest at his article in this month’s Word magazine where he defends Sky because they show House, Lost and 24. Andrew, you silly sod! Sky had nothing to do with their success, they completely missed them originally, watched them become popular on a free channel then nicked them! From a BBC man as well.

TUESDAY  28th DECEMBER

BBC1

13.40 Doctor Who
Last time they repeated an old episode of Who on its own on primetime BBC1, it was The Next Doctor on a Saturday night last August, and it got bugger all viewers, so they won’t be doing that again. They will, however, dare to show the last few Christmas specials during the day, starting here not, strangely, with The Christmas Invasion, but The Runaway Bride.

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
We are surprised that they can manage to find forty celebrities for this series, what with them all having to schlep up to Manchester, and find time to revise, as well as the obvious downfall of being made to look stupid. Giles Coren’s probably not that bothered about the latter, and we know he’s answering questions on Asterix.

BBC2

13.05 The Fall Of The Roman Empire
And as Loren and Plummer get all breathily costume-drama-ed up while the entire world has a historically-disregarding chortle at the idea of fear and terror being inspired by someone named ‘Commodus’, it’s time to catch up with exciting concerning a couple of longtime Creamguide (Films) obsessions. No, not Isobel Campbell (has a new album out, incidentally), ‘Dinners’ McCartney (has an old album out, complete with Parky-free bonus tracks), Oliver Reed (on the cover of the Christmas Radio Times) or even The BBC Pinocchio (saw a photo of him this year if that counts), but a couple of films that have put in a long overdue appearance on DVD. Not only is Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush available in a lavish set that combines both the familiar last-thing-at-night-on-BBC1 cut with the rarer version with extra Geeson nudity (thus rendering Steve Berry’s treasured E240 sadly obsolete), and epic-length flawedly-brilliant Brit-comedy multihander The Wrong Box available somewhere other than a Bank Holiday afternoon on Five, the even more amazing development is that the proper UK – that’s UK, complete with the likes of Bill Owen on vocal duties – dub of oddball quasi-psychedelic medieval animated hoedown Smurfs And The Magic Flute has finally resurfaced. So if you’ve been waiting over a quarter of a century to hear The Ballad Of The Gentle Lady again, having been continually frustrated by that rubbish US substitute about “let’s set sail on a fairytale” along the way, you’re in luck! Just try to ignore Those Blue Gits.

20.00 Funny Turns – Penelope Keith
20.30 The Good Life
21.00 All About The Good Life

It’s Giles Coren night on all channels! It’s a Good Life theme night, based around a new episode of Coren and Perkins’ roustabout, which we’re not that interested in. At least it gives us the opportunity for a new documentary about the show, which includes clips from that bizarre episode where The Queen was in the audience, and before that it’s an old profile and The Ooh Aah Bird getting its regular outing.

23.00 2010 Unwrapped with Miranda Hart
This was a very curious programme last year as it’s the exact same format as Armando Iannucci’s Time Trumpet but Armando wasn’t acknowledged at all, and while there were some amusing moments, including Miranda’s links and a series of amusing sketches with Adam Buxton, the main tape-fiddling bits seemed to be so weak so as to parody the whole pointlessness of tape-fiddling in the place. We mean, just removing the word “not” from a clip of Gordon Brown saying “We are not completely doomed” is rubbish, anyone can do that. Seemingly BBC2 have agreed and are flinging this year’s out in a really hopeless slot, but there might be some funny bits in it.

00.00 The Goodies
Another famous one here, but sadly for the wrong reasons, as it’s Saturday Night Grease which got Mary Whitehouse hot under the collar for a scene involving Tim in his underpants, but which was made in 1980 by which point it was spectacularly out of date and made the trio look a bit past it, which may have contributed to their departure from the Beeb after this run. Something of a curio, though.

ITV

14.40 ET The Extra-Terrestrial
Back in the lawless frontier days of ‘Pre-Cert’ video, some enterprising individual took it upon themselves to put out a ropey old sci-fi film under the name ETN – The Extra-Terrestrial Nasty, complete with a copyright-infringing cover that must have fooled a few hapless rental shop punters. Which brings us round to another DVD highlight of the year – Nucleus Films’ Video Nasties – The Definitive Guide. A must for anyone with hazy recollections of playground tall tales of the supposed contents of lurid-sounding (and indeed luridly packaged) tapes purportedly rented by the ubiquitous ‘older cousin’, this box set contains original trailers and artwork for all seventy two titles deemed liable to deprave and corrupt by Leon Brittan and company, various genre experts chortling at bad effects and sharing bizarre ‘Nasty’ trivia about such unlikely subjects as the Mastermind theme, a truly gobsmacking list of ‘Naughties’ – ranging from Scanners to Friday The 13th Part II – which were not considered actionable but which the rozzers were still instructed to remove from rental shops, an hour’s worth of cheapo electronically soundtracked pre-cert video company idents (arguably more terrifying than anything in any of the actual films), and best of all, a feature length documentary that mixes a serious, sober and relatively unbiased look at the really quite startling events of the early eighties with hokum reminiscences about fiddling with the tracking, Graham Bright MP telling a news crew about research proving that ‘Video Nasties’ affected dogs, and priceless footage of IN ‘ERE JOHN-style video shop owners, haplessly denouncing the ‘Nasties’ phenomenon whilst standing in front of shop shelves groaning under the weight of DPP-listed titles. Top stuff all round!

20.00 Smile – That Was Candid Camera
Not sure why we’re getting a special programme to mark the fiftieth anniversary of this series when they haven’t made any episodes for the past 35, but this might be an interesting affair. The original sixties series was fronted by Lord Bob, smoking a pipe, and introduced all the stunts that were then ripped off by every other hidden camera show ever made. Then it came back in the seventies with producer Peter Dulay also presenting, and when Game For A Laugh was in production in the early eighties, Dulay went to a party Beadle was also attending, stood very close to Beadle and then shouted to nobody “I hear someone’s making a hidden camera show and if they don’t get my permission I’ll sue”, although Dulay then went on to do the stunts for The Late Late Breakfast Show anyway. We assume this series won’t include the weird syndicated American series which used to turn up on Sunday afternoon ITV in the early nineties, though Allen Funt will presumably get a mention.

CHANNEL 4

14.05 Crocodile Dundee II
Anyway, yes, back to talking about the actual films that are actually on TV (unless we’ve missed a showing of Don’t Go In The Woods… Alone! somewhere), which is unfortunate as there isn’t really that much to say about this one. Reasonably good comedy sequel runaround nonsense which thankfully doesn’t inherit its predecessor’s use of one of the worst theme songs of the entire Cream Era, and… that’s about it basically. At this rate, we’ll be back to the wilfully arcane Morph jokes in no time.

BBC4

20.00 The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures
After shuffling around the EPG for the last few years, the Royal Institution are finally back ensconced within the bosom of the Beeb, albeit now on BBC4 rather than their familiar home of daytime BBC2. At least they’re in primetime, and it’s more appropriate anyway because despite the intentions no child has ever watched them. They’re here at the time today, tomorrow and Thursday.

22.00 Maid in Britain
The final episode of Upstairs Downstairs will just have come to an end when this begins, and it’s a nice bit of scheduling as it looks at the continued fascination with butlers and domestic staff on telly, even though nobody has them in real life now. That means the likes of The Forsyte Saga and, yes, You Rang M’Lord.

E4

01.30 Alien3
It has to be said that there’s a depressing lack of William Hartnell in this year’s Christmas schedules. We’ve scoured them and scoured them and scoured them and there’s still no sign of the first TV ‘Doctor Who’ (Doctor Who) anywhere, so if by chance you spot him somewhere – perhaps in some ancient black and white alleged ‘comedy’ called Boats Away! or something tucked away at a million o’clock in the morning on TCM or one of those – please email Creamguide with the subject line ‘Serial T/A Was Wiped In Late 1974’ stating time, date and channel, and you may be the lucky winner of a mention in the first Creamguide of 2011! The editor’s decision is final.

Film4

12.40 Monte Carlo Or Bust!
Laugh-lacking sequel to Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, with the air-racing antics transplanted to cross-country rally driving with Tony Curtis taking on a carful of sixties Euro-model types, and approximately seventeen million British comedians playing characters seemingly based on Baron Bartram out of that Mr Benn episode with the hot air balloons. Like if Ruby-Spears had ripped off Wacky Races, only worse. One for Cook/Moore and ISIHAC completists only, of which there are admittedly about seventeen million, including Creamguide (Films). Bah.

15.05 Time Bandits
David Rappaport, The Man Who Was R2D2, That Bloke That Was Always In TV Comedy Sketches About ‘Punks’, and The Other Ones rampage through time in search of ill-gotten gains in Terry Gilliam’s faberiffic Palin-co-scripted Handmade Film To Beat (Nearly) All Handmade Films. Certainly a better use of George Harrison’s spare change than When We Was Fab. ‘Best Gilliam Ever’ declared Creamguide (Films) back in 2006, and who are we to argue with that?

Living

16.00 Mannequin
It’s hard to believe now but Andrew McCarthy and Kim Cattrall were both floundering badly when they made this not-exactly-flounder-counteracting rejected Twilight Zone storyline with a post-Desperately-Seeking-Susan twist of a ‘hit’ comedy that millions went to see but nobody can remember actually liking, though they may just have been frustrated that Jefferson Starship didn’t make clumsily-directed cameos in it after all.

Sky Movies Classics

07.15 Thunderbirds Are Go!
International Rescue come to the aid of stricken space freighter Zero-X (which, until recently, was described by Wikipedia as “a fictional spacecraft[CITATION NEEDED]”) in Gerry And Sylvia’s ill-advised feature-length outing for a show that was already noticeably padding it a bit at the fifty minute mark, though well worth it for the mental sequence in which Alan Tracy dreams a performance by puppet versions of Cliff & The Shadows, and more obliquely the accompanying EP of The Cliff-less Shadows rampaging through a handful of Barry Gray compositions. Though who exactly thought that live-action marching band bit at the end would do anything bar add a badly-dating note to the enduringly-appealing exploits of Virgil and co is another matter.

10.50 To Catch A Thief
Sadly the Hitchcock original, and not the nineties TV Movie remake starring Peter ‘TAUB’ Jacobson.

12.40 Rebel Without A Cause
Time was when James Dean was belatedly the hippest name on the block to drop, making an unwelcome intrusion into the height of the Cream Era when a million trendy types at school with their pastel shade jackets, Athena posters and Fido Dido badges would tut and sneer at your uncouth and unfashionable love of The Housemartins and Phil Cool. To them we equally belatedly say ‘phooey’, and point them towards this Chart Show-sourced eloquent statement on his unwarranted ubiquity.

WEDNESDAY  29th DECEMBER

BBC1

13.35 Doctor Who
We’re not sure where Voyage of the Damned figures in the lists of most Whovians’ favourite episodes, but it was certainly the zenith of the show’s popular success with its biggest audience since City of Death got seventeen million during the ITV strike. We’re not sure if it stands the test of time with its ridiculous ending, the stunt casting and the knowledge that Clive Swift was a bastard to Doctor Who Magazine, mind. In fact we understand Swift was being lined up for a regular role but they decided not to bother as he was such a git on set in this one.

16.05 Mary Poppins
Back on a ‘Pre-Cert’ tip, you may be amused to know that this and other Disney faves were once pointedly promoted as ‘Video Nicies’, although even that isn’t a patch on the Beeb’s own ‘Video Tasties’ gambit, viewable in all its ludicrous Baker-aaahed glory here. Of course, if you’d like to know more about TV Cream’s own personal brushes with the ‘Nasties’, then TV Cream’s Anatomy Of Cinema is still still available from all good booksellers, as are TV Cream Toys, The A-Z Of Saturday Night Telly, The A-Z Of Cool Computer Games, Sapphire & Steel The DVD Booklet, Morning Glory, The Ultimate Book Of British Comics, The Look-In Compendiums and the ultimate postmodern meta-ironic Christmas Gift of all time, Closet Reading. Now please don’t post any more Facebook status updates claiming to have no ideas of what to buy for people.

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
We’re not sure what other show can bring us a guest combination of Helen Chamberlain, Frank Gardner, Pam Rhodes and Levi Roots, but we’re so glad Mastermind can, and we wish we’d been in that green room.

21.00 Rock and Chips
That name is still crap. This is the Only Fools prequel, First of the Summer Horses if you will, which appeared to have been commissioned purely because John Sullivan had run out of ideas, but it did pretty well in the ratings so here’s a second instalment. It’s more along the lines of Roger Roger or Sullivan’s other dramedy projects that all-out laughs, but it makes for amiable enough viewing we suppose.

BBC2

20.00 Les Mis at 25 – Matt Lucas Dreams The Dream
Creamguide once went on a school trip to see Les Mis and was bored to death, because it seemed to go on forever, and can only remember the juvenile giggling of its classmates when they sung that song with the word “bastard” in it. Matt Lucas is a bit more enthusiastic, in fact he loves it, so in this documentary not only is he going to tell the story of the show, but also be in it. Our Les Mis fact is that the role of “blind beggar” was created by Caroline Quentin when she was in the original cast, and when she went to see it again a decade later, she knew the current incumbent in the role had realised what she did about thirty seconds after coming up with it, that you can’t do anything interesting on stage because you’re blind.

21.00 Rolf Harris Paints His Dream
Two shows the word “dream” in the title back to back? Sloppy scheduling there, BBC2! But this sounds like great fun, a proper extended profile of Rolf, taking him absolutely seriously and following him as he embarks on a new art project painting the likes of Lily Cole and Dervla Kirwan. And, of course, there’s plenty of opportunities for him to chat about his life while he’s doing it.

23.15 The Goodies
Not quite sure what this episode is, but for all people complain about The Goodies being arsed around with now, they never seemed that popular around the Beeb when they were in their pomp, with the show being shuffled around from pillar to post, seven o’clock one series, ten o’clock the next, the ultimate We Don’t Know What This Is Or What To Do With It scheduling, while they also suffered ridiculous censorship problems, with the Beeb refusing to show a very silly parody of the Royal Family which had nothing to do with real life because Princess Anne was due to give birth that week.

ITV

00.40 Sweeney!
Sadly not showing in a triple bill with feature-length festive Terry’n’Arfur outing Minder The Orient Express and A Very Professionals Christmas, which sadly doesn’t exist but you can bet there’d be a suitably brilliantly corny closing gag about Bodie still wearing a Santa jacket after a showdown in a department store grotto while Doyle and Cowley chortle about how he should ‘lay off the mince pies’. “Oh my gawd, Interplod!”

CHANNEL 4

13.35 Zulu
“There’s millions of them out there!”. Odd-man out in the now sadly discontinued Christmas tradition of the Michael Caine Mini-Season, lacking entirely in big overcoats, showboating car chases and mod-funk soundtracks. Though it’d be good if they dubbed one onto it.

21.00 The House That Made Me
Last in this series, but given how poorly most of Channel Four’s stuff has done this autumn, expect to see it back soon enough if it gets more than about three viewers. Sanjeev Bhaskar’s the final subject as he returns to his childhood home filled with seemingly some of the most tasteless taxidermy you’ll ever see.

ITV3

21.00 Private Benjamin
Mercifully the film, and not the spinoff TV sitcom, which replaced Goldie Hawn with Lorna Patterson and anything that was actually any good about the original with mind numbing for-the-love-of-god-please-let-something-be-on-BBC2-instead tedium, complete with ‘meaningful’ episodes about ‘mixed ability’ youngsters, described by Wikipedia as ‘short-lived’ though everyone around TVC Towers seems to remember it going on forever, and even longer in all the ‘other’ ITV regions you got printed at the foot of the page.

Sky Movies Classics

15.20 Fahrenheit 451
17.20 Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea

It’s futuristic Cold War-allegorising a-go-go today, with the saga of Barney McGrew’s adventures in book-burning (sans, sadly, that robot dog thing from the original book), followed by the straight-faced film that gave rise to the TV series full of legendary nonsense involving a ‘Flying Sub’ and storylines about ‘Aqua-Bomb’ Octopi-Men and what have you. And if that’s not enough, The Time Machine’s on Film4 at 14.55!

Sky Movies Modern Greats

06.35 The Andromeda Strain
Underrated silly-‘futuristic’-costumed near-future geoterrorism allegory that still packs more of a punch than any over-trailered E4 shocker. Incidentally, why was it that sixties sci-fi writers were so obsessed with ‘Andromeda’?! Answers on a Pathfinders In Space postcard to the usual address.

Watch

13.00 The Karate Kid
16.00 The Karate Kid Part II

Far from welcome double bill of ‘heart-warming’ martial-artistically-inaccurate hokum, notable only for the first being far more widely seen in the form of ‘wax on/wax off’ Pat Morita impressions than in its actual celluloid film, and the second featuring Peter Cetera’s TOTP-ruining Compressed WAV File-voiced overwrought theme ballad, complete with uber-eighties video motif of the singer turning around to watch clips from the film during the instrumental break.

BBC Radio 2

22.00 Sally Boazman – In Search of a British Route 66
It’s a vehicle, ho ho, for Sally Traffic, who we hear a lot but get perennially frustrated by her complete inability to ever get a joke. In this programme she’s asking if the UK has a road that’s as iconic and inspirational as the titular freeway, talking to Chris Rea about the M25 and Billy Bragg about the A13, among others. She probably won’t mention Creamguide’s favourite road, the M67, which we enjoy as there’s loads of things to look at so it feels like you’re getting somewhere, it’s always dead quiet and, best of all, it’s never been finished, so it starts and ends in the most abrupt and bizarre fashion possible.

THURSDAY  30th DECEMBER

BBC1

14.10 Doctor Who
So here is The Next Doctor, safely out of primetime, although first time round it did alright, only a few hundred thousand viewers down on Voyage of the Damned despite being an hour earlier and David Morrissey, you’d think, being slightly less of a draw for the casual viewer than Kylie. At the time the best bit was the appearance of all the other Doctors, natch, although that’s a bit less exciting now they seem to do that every episode.

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
We actually know the specialist subjects for this round, and although we’ve been trying to stop spoilers recently, we don’t think the celebrity version counts. So that’s James Redmond on the England team, Hattie Hayridge on the Cold War, Ortis, you know, off the last dreadful series of Live and Kicking, on Spider-Man and, best of all David Threlfall on The Bonzo Dog Doodah Band. That’s what we want!

21.00 Toast
We’re going to call this Fever Pitch But With Food, as it’s an adaptation of Nigel Slater’s autobiography, where obviously food is a metaphor for life in general and it’s all about the conversations you have about it and the situations in which eat it, all that. Apparently it’s all very well done and very nostalgic, so it should be worth a look.

BBC2

22.00 Shooting Stars
Sadly there’s no spoof documentary from Reeves and Mortimer this Christmas where the likes of Tom Fun and Kinky John pass comment on another celebrity, which is a shame, but we’ve got a new episode of this to make up for it. The last series was good fun, despite Ulrika’s presence becoming more of a mystery than ever, and this should be amusing too as we’ve got our favourite type of contestant, someone extremely famous and glamorous, in Thandie Netwon, as well as Ronnie Wood.

00.00 The Goodies
No news on what this episode this is, but it’s the last of the repeats, and now we’ll all sit tight and wait for another repeat run. Ahem.

CHANNEL 5

19.55 Some Mothers Do ‘Ave ‘Em
21.00 Butterflies
21.45 Terry and June

Another stack of repeats on Five, kicking off with the 1975 special featuring David Jacobs, which always strikes us as more like two completely unrelated episodes welded together than a proper special. Then it’s the show that probably just pips The Liver Birds as the Carla Lane sitcom it’s OK to like, although they never did enough business with the cars reversing for our liking. Finally it’s Christmas 1982, which they showed on BBC2 last year, but you’re probably forgotten the plot, as you probably did while you were watching it, such is its slightness.

ITV4

19.50 Sweeney 2
OK, so there’s An Officer And A Car Salesman, but A Very Professionals Sequel would just involve reusing the same joke again. Not that that’s ever stopped us before, mind. Now who ordered a hundredweight of But The Flintstones Don’t Have A Cat? Yeah, we know we billed this earlier.

Sky Movies Classics

06.40 Who’s Afraid Of Virgina Woolf?
09.00 Paint Your Wagon
11.40 Stagecoach
13.35 Bullitt
15.30 Breakfast At Tiffany’s
17.30 Ben Hur
23.00 The Out-of-Towners
00.50 Wild In The Country

Well, here’s a worthy mega-bill lineup if you don’t feel up to braving the so-called January Sales (and will that Remastered BEATLES box set be drastically price-slashed anywhere? Will it Quavers!). In order then – punningly-entitled satire on social ‘mores’; Tree-talking-to Walter The Softy take on the Western; Tree-talking-to-free Baby Face Finlayson take on the Western; Steve McQueen finds a copy of This Is… Cult Fiction Royale in a lockup; Audrey Hepburn dons a Hong Kong Phooey mask and shouts ‘THE BEACHCOMBERRRRRRRRRS!’; Den Olaf Prott Utställning (Inlemmande Moose Omväxling Timme); Jack Hargreaves chats to a stick-whittler while everyone looks at their watches waiting for The Lost Islands; Elvis beats ‘Dinners’ to the Paperback Writer-punch. Or you could make a start on that inevitable season one of some American show given to you by your brother-in-law. Charlie Brooker recommends it. Probably.

BBC Radio 2

12.00 Johnnie Walker with The Kinks
We’re not too happy with the Radio 2 scheduling this Christmas because we don’t like it when they put documentaries on during the day, because we don’t want to listen to just talking, whoever it is, when we’re after a bit of background noise for a drive to relatives. It is superior talking today, mind, and we know Alan Yentob interviewed Ray last week, but Johnnie’s managed to bag Dave as well.

BBC Radio 4

12.04 UK Confidential
Always one of the best things about this week, the release of the cabinet papers from thirty years ago, which get a thorough going over here. As ever, completely terrifying information about how close we were to nuclear war in 1980 will rub shoulders with glorious triviality.

NEW YEAR'S EVE

BBC1

13.10 Doctor Who
And so we return to last Christmas and Dave’s farewell tour, with the first part of his finale here and the second part, presumably, tomorrow, exactly 365 days since its first transmission. This one was a bit too complex for Christmas Day, we thought, so try and leave off the Newberry Fruits for an hour and concentrate now. Allons-y! No, we never worked out what that meant, either.

15.30 The Sound Of Music
Meanwhile, the notes for this were completely blank, so let’s just put The Elf by Al Stewart and hope nobody notices. Don’t worry, we’ll run out of rare mid-sixties vinyl eventually.

19.00 Celebrity Mastermind
We may be coming to the end of the holidays but not as far as John’s concerned as there are five more to come next week. Rounding off the first set is the meeting of minds twixt Adam Boulton and Kirsten O’Brien, and we hope Kirsten wins because she’s ace.

20.40 Jonathan Creek
It’s one of the rules of telly that nobody bothers with anything decent on New Year’s Eve, but rather than a crap drama that’s been on the shelf for ages and they’re flinging out now in the hope nobody will notice, BBC1 have gone for the slightly less embarrassing option of this repeat from Easter. Sadly, it’s by some distance the worst they’ve done, with a plot that lurches all over the place and sometimes doesn’t even make sense, as if they had to edit half an hour or so out at the last minute, while Adam Klaus’ comedy sub-plot is, alas, just shit. And that’s a real shame, but on the plus side, there is a brilliant moment where, clearly after umpteen attempts to get a cat to jump onto a table, they resort to just chucking it.

23.50 New Year Live
Last year OJ Borg had to stand around until midnight on Christmas Day in a studio on an industrial estate in Milton Keynes to read out the Euro Millions results, and this year he’s doing the same on New Year’s Eve. Whatever he’s paid, it’s not enough. After that, it’s this, which is usually just some dull vox pops in the rain but is a bit more exciting than the crappy pre-recorded Jonathan Ross things we used to have. And it’ll say copyright MMXI at the end, which’ll be a treat.

REGIONALIA!
Hooray, BBC Scotland are opting out for the most of the night again, and having their own news bulletin to boot! OK, so it starts with some stuff rescheduled from the other night, but then it’s a tribute to Gerard Kelly at 22.15, then Only An Excuse, natch, at 23.15 and Jackie Bird shouting at 23.45, before they show Graham Norton welcoming the Sassenachs into 2011 two hours too late.

BBC2

21.00 100 Years of the London Palladium
We’ve heard about it a lot on the radio in recent weeks, but now we’ll be able to see the theatre in all its splendour in this documentary. The story is the same, of course, and yes, Brucie is on it, once more reminiscing about his favourite year, yester.

01.15 TOTP2
If you count Jools Holland as the centrepiece of your New Year’s Eve party, this is the bit where everyone starts buggering off home and the DJ gets increasingly self-indulgent. This is the eighties special from earlier this year, which is all a bit predictable and Mark Radcliffe, though obviously not being Steve Wright and therefore a wholly welcome presence, talks a little bit too much, albeit saying some amusing things. On the plus side, they leave the original graphics in! Yes, that’s what we’re reduced to commending this show for.

More4

20.00 The Italian Job
Well come on. Christmas was never going to pass without this being on somewhere and us getting all overexcited and reminiscing about those “Michael Caine Appears In Pulp On Tuesday” late-night mini-seasons of yore, so tick that off on your Creamguide (Films) scorecard now!

Sky Movies Classics

13.10 Georgy Girl
Swinging London-set taboo-breaking knocked-up-dolly-bird hoo-hah which caused something of an uproar in its day. And yet it all seems so innocent next to Performance, despite that being made about three minutes later. Even better, it’s that rarest of beasts, a Sixties Film With A Corking Title Song that actually stays watchable after the music’s finished.

21.00 Sabrina
Is that the sound of Cream Era readers recalling with fondness the video for Boys (Summertime Love)? Or simply that of their dads recalling with fondness an earlier busty model type of the same name who got The Goons a bit hot under the collar?

Sky Movies Modern Greats

14.20 Brewster’s Millions
You can tell we’re in the throes of home-strait-in-sight-related lack of inspiration when it’s come to blathering about once making up some zany satire about a TV spinoff of this entitled Seeger’s Millions, in which over-bearded rock star Bob Seeger is the unwelcome recipient of endless royalty payments for We Got Tonite, which got cancelled to make way for Zucchero Next Door, in which – you guessed it – time-honoured guest-appearer on other people’s records Zucchero lived next door to someone with hilarious consequences. Kind of like Perfect Strangers, only with more ‘Quallidy’ rock. Don’t worry, it’s nearly hometime.

TCM

17.10 Sherlock Holmes And The Scarlet Claw
One of those Basil Rathbone efforts, all of which are seemingly on every day somewhere over Christmas, and only mentioned here so we can a) mention in passing how good that BBC Sherlock with Benedict Cumberbatch and Satchmo Freeman (and his reaction face) was, and b) crowbar in our inevitable wistful reminiscing about Young Sherlock, ITV’s ill-starred attempt at fashioning a Sunday Afternoon smash around The Great Cheese Detective in his schooldays, sadly overshadowed by Spielberg’s less entertaining riffing on the same theme. Come on Network, if you can release all twenty seven series of The Boring Planey Bastards, you can release this. And that? That’s the sound of the Creamguide (Films) Fireplace sizzling down for another year. Here’s to The Magic Garden Of Stanley Sweetheart on DVD in 2011!

BBC Radio 2

19.00 Tony Blackburn
22.00 Dave Pearce’s Dance Anthems

We’re still tickled whenever we see the latter show in the Radio 2 schedules, even though he’s been doing it for a couple of Christmasses now, and much of the genre is now clearly well within the Light’s remit. Before that it’s Tone, his former Radio London colleague of course, becoming firmly established in his new home, playing Motown and Stax and being fantastically enthusiastic about it all, as is his wont.

So that’s finally, finally it for 2010, but that’s not it for Creamguide just yet this year as we’ll be back on Thursday 30th December with your next edition, with programmes for the week beginning New Year’s Day, including three more days off, which is great news. We hope you enjoyed this marathon session and as usual we’d like to offer our deep thanks to everyone who’s read and contributed to Creamguide this year, remind you that the festive fun will continue on TV Cream right through the fortnight, and wish you a very Merry Christmas. If you want to get this kind of thing e-mailed to you every week, click here

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