TV Cream

CREAMGUIDE: 2nd-8th April 2011

Is it… Lard’s Animal Sanctuary?

Thanks for joining us for another edition of Creamguide, the listings magazine that seems to be one of the few bits of the media not going nuts about the Top of the Pops repeats on BBC4. Yeah, we’re looking forward to them, but really, wait until you see them. Still, if anyone can think of another BBC4 programme that’s had this much publicity, we’d like to know about it. It’s even in their new season press pack! So everyone watch it, and apparently it’ll run and run, and we’ll get to the eighties at some point. Please send in your news and views to creamguide@tvcreamtest.co.uk.

SATURDAY 2ndAPRIL

BBC2

18.20 Dad’s Army
18.50 Welsh Greats – Harry Secombe
19.20 The Last Goon Show Of All

The now traditional Saturday night archive spot takes on a Go On theme this week, and it says in the EPG it’s in hour of Spike winning the Lifetime Achievement award at the Comedy Awards. A bit belated, he won it seventeen years ago. Anyway, the latter show is by far the most interesting as we don’t think it’s been repeated on television for at least as long as we’ve been doing it, and probably much longer than that, one of the centrepieces of Christmas telly in 1972, although of course it’s not a TV show as such but simply the cameras looking in on a radio show, but there is something interesting to look at, Princess Anne in the audience.

ITV

18.40 The Best of Harry Hill’s TV Burp
But you may be pondering why we’ve gone this far without talking about widescreen and Comedy Central’s inability to broadcast in it. But fear not, this ever popular item is still going strong, even though we were too nervous to annoy Comedy Central’s press officer who probably wouldn’t even know what we were talking about. However Jonathan Haw has come up with the goods, asking, “Further to your in-depth discussions on Comedy Central’s widescreen policy, I couldn’t help but notice recently that Sky Living is showing America’s Next Top Model in 4:3 with black stripes down each side. Surely a flashy, modern programme like that is made in 16:9? Not that I was watching it, you understand – the wife had it on and I just happened to be in the room.” Incidentally, 30 Rock’s other viewer may wish to know that, if they’re reading Creamguide the minute it’s published, they should turn on the telly as Comedy Central have shoved it forward to ten o’clock without putting it in the listings. This channel has no manners. Good job there’s a million repeats.

BBC Radio 2

13.00 Pick of the Pops
1965 and 1979. Jonathan also says, “On a related note, has anyone else noticed that narrow black borders appear intermittently at the sides of the screen at certain points during the Six O’Clock News on BBC1? Usually around the time of the weather forecast. The picture doesn’t change size or anything – they just appear and disappear. Anyone know what all that’s about?” Yes! We do know that, Jonathan, as we too receive the Peter Levy flavour of Look North from Hull, as you do in Lincoln, and you’ll notice it always appears before the Hull lot opt-out, whether for Look North, hence its appearance during the weather, or the headlines at the start of the bulletins, hence why you’ll also see it happening during the credits of every programme before the Ten O’Clock News. We’ve not seen this happen in any other region so we assume it’s because Hull isn’t a proper opt-out per se but is leeching off BBC Leeds, so it’s a bit clunky when they flick the switch. We think. But yes, we know what you mean. Now, Jonathan, what’s your view on the delightful Caroline Davis getting married and becoming Caroline Bilton? Such a shame.

BBC Radio 4

20.00 The Referendum Question
Creamguide readers in Wales will have enjoyed a referendum a few weeks ago, or those who bothered to vote in any case, and indeed on various other occasions, but we haven’t had a nationwide referendum since 1975, which they replayed on BBC Parliament thirty years to the day and it was a lot of fun, like a mini-Election, with David Dimbleby eager to tell us that Suffolk had announced their result in a branch of Tesco in Ipswich. But now we’re finally getting another one, and we’ve already got our poll card, with the brilliant disclaimer that we might also get the chance to vote in the local elections that day, depending if there any vacancies, so we’ll find out when we get to the polling station. Here’s the hows and whys.

BBC Radio 4 Extra

09.00 Let’s Get Quizzical
This rebranding of Radio 7 is supposed to give it a bit more prominence, and it’s certainly done that as it now catapults above 6 Music in Creamguide due to its numerical supremacy. To be honest, it’s hardly any different apart from the fact they’ve finally given up hope of getting kids interested and have dropped all the children’s programmes, much to Susan Stranks’ disgust and every child’s total apathy. It certainly gets off to a good start anyway, with this three hour history of the panel game.

BBC 6 Music

10.00 Adam and Joe
And all is right with the world as this show returns, not because it gets The Collins off or anything but because it’s a highly entertaining affair and you can hear some of the best bits on the front page of TV Creamas we speak. We’re not sure how long they’re back for because they’re so busy, so make the most of it.

SUNDAY 3rdAPRIL

BBC1

16.30 Points of View
A less welcome return, you’d have to say, but rather people slagging off programmes here than five seconds after they’ve started on DigitalSpy. No wonder you find the rules of Secret Fortune so complicated if you’re constantly posting on the internet while it’s happening! Concentrate! It’s really simple!

BBC4

21.00 Re-Trial on TV – The Rise and Fall of Rough Justice
An occasional but always welcome presence on telly for over two decades, Rough Justice was a hugely groundbreaking show when it began, and is surely one of the few programmes that can actually claim to have made a difference to the world, not least in the story of Rafael Rowe, who was released from prison as a result of this series’ investigations and is now a distinguished TV journalist himself. He’s in here, as is original presenter David Jessel, who we remember defecting to Channel Four during the run to present an identical series called Trial and Error, and as well as looking at what it achieved, there’s also going to be a review of the history of campaigning journalism on the telly.

MONDAY 4th APRIL

BBC1

16.30 Blue Peter
We said that putting the clock on Big Ben forward was something Blue Peter could only have done last week, but watching it we think it was actually a repeat from the other year, as we seem to remember seeing it before, and Helen had a slightly different haircut. Still good, though. Also fun was the bit of business with the 360 degree camera on Tuesday, allowing an access-all-areas view of the show although we did notice that when they presented the champion skipper with her certificate to celebrate her new world record, it had Monday’s date on it. Deception!

BBC Radio 2

22.00 Malcolm McLaren’s Duck Rock – In His Own Words
David Crawford in the Radio Times seems to be under the impression that Malcolm is still alive, but in fact it’s the first anniversary of his death this week, and to mark that here’s the story of probably his most famous album, ie the one that’s got Double Dutch on it. We said when he died that Malcolm is probably the London equivalent of Tony Wilson, in that they were always on the look-out for something new and could be both the most irritating and most charming man you’d ever heard. Plenty of anecdotes from the great man here, although from previous interviews and not, like, now.

BBC Radio 4

09.45 Ken Campbell – The Great Caper
It seems to be Great British Eccentric day on BBC Radio, as here’s someone else who defined the phrase “chequered career” with his lunatic stage performances and memorable TV appearances. There’s a new biography collating some of the sillier moments from his life, and there’s extracts from it every day this week.

BBC 6 Music

13.00 Radcliffe and Maconie
And here are Scrawn and Stu in their new home, apparently with a more adventurous playlist and certainly with more time to trade their own particular brand of wit and whimsy. And we like hearing Mark in the afternoon as, great though the Graveyard Shift was, it reminds us of listening to him and Lard on Friday afternoons going to our parents’ for the weekend and enjoying the likes of The Spice Is Right and “Is it… Lard’s Animal Sanctuary?”. Oh, and Scrawn’s solo Radio 2 show starts tomorrow.

Radio One-Derland

Bruno Brookes

 

LOTS OF SCARS IN THE STY: Son of a car wash entrepreneur, Trevor Neil Brookes took on the nickname Bruno early in his childhood and while still at school took his disco turntables around his home town of Stoke, entertaining punters way older than he was. At the turn of the eighties he made his broadcasting debut on Radio Stoke, where he hosted a Sunday afternoon kids show, and a few years later did two shows on Radio 1 – billed simply as “Bruno” – in a spot where they were trying out a couple of tyros from the provinces, but nothing else came from this and he traipsed back to Stoke, pissed off. But then in 1984, they called again and offered him a full time job.

I LOVE TUESDAYS, DON’T YOU: In fact Bruno made an almost instant splash at Radio 1 as after a few stints filling in for holidaying jocks, he was shoved straight onto drivetime in September 1984, which seems a remarkably exposed spot. Nevertheless he proved successful there – although the show’s start time moved from 4.30 to 5pm to 5.45 during his spell on the show – and by mid-1986 was also combining that with hosting the Sunday Top 40. However he then seemed to fall out of favour as in 1989 he was moved to weekend breakfast, in a programme originally billed as The Bruno Brookes Breakfast Show With Liz Kershaw, but swiftly renamed as Bruno and Liz when the banter with his co-host turned out more popular than expected. He stopped doing the Top 40 in 1990 as well – although he stood in on the breakfast show a few times – but came back to it in 1992, coinciding with his relocation to the unhallowed 4am slot, which was clearly a massive demotion but he stuck with it for three years before buggering off.

I LOVE THE BEATLES, DON’T YOU: Bruno Brookes is possibly the only man to have said the phrase “quality pop” with a straight face, and certainly he was always quick to champion to merits of the likes of Level 42 and other rather soulless music to tap a car key to. Seemingly rather more interested in the technical quality of music rather than what it was saying, he also had a deal with Sanyo to endorse their products and presented regular Bank Holiday shows where all the records were on CD and from the likes of Dire Straits, in which he would he be dubbed, making reference to his famously short stature, as the Compact Disc Jockey.

WHY AREN’T THERE ANY LITTLE GIRLS CALLED WENDY ANYMORE?: At teatime Bruno counted down the single and album charts for the second time, but the first time most kids had heard them, which had a bit of a cachet. His big gimmick was Twisted Lyrics, a rather tedious selection of “hilariously” misheard songwords. When he moved to weekend breakfast there were a host of dull quizzes with Bruno exhibiting his ignorance of culture and mispronouncing loads of names, plus Just Split, an alternative version of Our Tune where they played a record for a couple who had, well, just split.

EUROCRATS, BEAUROCRATS AND OTHER BONKERS-CRATS: n the grand Smashie and Nicey tradition, Bruno expressed his fondness for the Conservative party in interviews, and played Oh Happy Day the morning after the 1992 election. In fact Bruno was considered quite the businessman, always after a quick buck, with a famous attempt to sue Bob Harris to get his record collection as he couldn’t pay back a loan, while a colleague once reported bringing a bottle to a party at his house and when he went to help himself later, found a price label on it. And there was our favourite ever letter in Viz – “After appearing on a crap TV show with Bruno Brookes, I offered him a fag and he took the whole packet”.

WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME YOUR KNICKERS?: With his highlighted hair and prevalence for ripped jeans and leather jackets, Bruno certainly thought of himself as a sex symbol, and when he got on the cover of the Radio Times in 1987, he hated the picture so much he refused to have the magazine in the house. Famously he was dating Anthea Turner during his stint on Radio 1 but the relationship ended rather badly with Anthea claiming Bruno’s massive ego got in the way.

STANDING IN FOR PIP SCHOFIELD IN JOSEPH’S COAT: Bruno’s first regular telly work came on kids TV, hosting quiz shows Beat The Teacher on the Beeb and I Can Do That on ITV, as well as hosting the UK Disco Dancing Championships on UP2U. Probably his most consistent telly gig was the ten million episodes of dating game Love At First Sight he did for the early days of Sky One. Later he talked about his favourite pastime of fishing when he anchored Sky’s angling show Tight Lines. And he was on Brass Eye, of course. Bruno also troubled the lower reaches of the chart with Liz Kershaw in a succession of awful charity records for Children in Need, although Pat and Mick got way higher in the charts with their songs and they were only on in London.

A BIG HELLO TO ALL YOU TRUCKERS OUT THERE: Bruno managed to cling on through the first Bannister purge but clearly his days were numbered, even though he was still only in his mid-thirties at the time, such was the side effect of his swift promotion a decade previously. In fact Trevor Dann expressed his incredulity that such a cliched jock was still there, but eventually in April 1995 they decided not to renew his contract, with the News of the World pushing cheques through his letterbox to get him to spill the beans. Like every other former Radio 1 jock he immediately went on to do a syndicated show on commercial radio, before branching out into other business ventures, including managing Chris Moyles, running a DJ school with his former Radio 1 colleague Neale James and setting up a successful chain of in-store radio stations, although his most notable appearance in recent years has been turning up on City Hospital having had a heart attack.

TOPULARS OF THE POPULARS: runo swiftly got on the Pops rota introducing his first show within weeks of arriving. He was first unveiled the week before he made his proper debut, which is here.They’d learn how to spell his name in time. See, they’d learn it by now. Oddly, though, his appearances were sporadic for the next few years, appearing just twice in 1986 and not at all in 1987, presumably as he was busy doing his show at the time, but from the start of 1988 he was a regular, hosting the Christmas show in 1988 and 1989. We’ll probably feature this clip again. He was still there when the DJs returned in 1994 and came back on the rota, with his final appearance just a fortnight before his departure from Radio 1.

Paul Burnett

 

LOTS OF SCARS IN THE STY: A former pirate, Paul Burnett first came to public attention during a spell on Radio Luxembourg in the early seventies, where he presented the charts and became most famous for unearthing a huge number of recordings of Lord Haw-Haw’s Nazi propaganda broadcasts from World War II. Then in 1974 he was lured over to the BBC, apparently fulfilling his ambition to spin the discs on Radio 1.

I LOVE TUESDAYS, DON’T YOU: Paul’s first slot on Radio 1 was Sunday mornings, back in the days when there was absolutely nothing on television so Radio 1 would enjoy one of its biggest audiences of the week. Then in 1976 he shifted to weekday lunchtimes, spending five years as perhaps the least famous and lowest profile of all the daytime DJs. In 1981 a schedule shuffle saw him moved to later in the afternoons, but the need to find a space for the thrusting new talent of Steve Wright meant his show was truncated to a mere ninety minutes, before he took the hint and moved to Saturday mornings in 1982, then left the station twelve months later.

I LOVE THE BEATLES, DON’T YOU: We’re not sure about Burnett’s musical tastes but he does of course share the joint credit for the Radio 1 DJ with the biggest hit single as he joined Dave Lee Travis to formed Laurie Lingo and The Dipsticks, dressing up as a chicken to perform Convoy GB on Top of the Pops. His regular slot Jukebox Junction suggested a taste for country music but he seemed happy enough playing most things.

WHY AREN’T THERE ANY LITTLE GIRLS CALLED WENDY ANYMORE?: Burnett’s Sunday show went under the name of All There Is To Hear and promised to feature sixty records in its three hours, as he basically worked his way through the entire playlist and revealed Radio 1’s most played records of the week. When he moved to lunchtime his show had the honour of unveiling the new chart for the first time on Tuesday lunchtime, making him required listening. He also presented the aforementioned Jukebox Junction, where he’d play a country record for all you truckers out there, as well as finding the Pub Of The Day and, in his most celebrated slot, play an archive comedy clip in Fun At One, the most popular of which were released on an album. When his show moved later, it was fiendishly renamed Fun At Three.

EUROCRATS, BEAUROCRATS AND OTHER BONKERS-CRATS: Always seemingly a more self-effacing figure than some of the giants of Radio 1, Burnett seemed happy enough to keep his head down and play records rather than spout off about something. In addition, he confirmed himself as being a top bloke when he joined John Peel and Kid Jensen to form an inebriated gang at the Christmas party with the intention of beating up Simon Bates, although they failed to find him, and Peel later said it was probably for the best, as Bates was way bigger than them.

WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME YOUR KNICKERS?: The Radio Times once followed Burnett on the Roadshow and commented on his rather modest demeanour, referring to him as “a shy Geordie whose life’s aim was to be a DJ”, which is a little odd considering he’s from Manchester. Nevertheless with his ordinary looks he was never going to be much of a star, he was happy to dress up as a chicken and look stupid and he seemed to do the Roadshow under a sense of duty rather than a desperation to wow the public, especially as he always had his wife in tow. Although his unease could be to do with the fact he once swallowed a wasp on stage.

STANDING IN FOR PIP SCHOFIELD IN JOSEPH’S COAT: Not many extra-curricular gigs for Paul, although he certainly made one notable appearance, as he joined Sacha Distel to host Miss World in 1978, back when it was one of the most watched programmes on the planet, with millions and millions of people watching. All of whom wondered who the hell he was, probably.

A BIG HELLO TO ALL YOU TRUCKERS OUT THERE: Not many people seemed to notice when Paul left Radio 1, and he very much seemed to fade from view, spending the next few years filling in in odd slots on Radio 2. By the mid-eighties he was at Pennine Radio in Bradford, back when every local radio station had a former national DJ on their breakfast show, but he returned to the capital to be one of the first presenters on Capital Gold. Since then he’s appeared on virtually every single radio station that plays old records at one point or another.

TOPULARS OF THE POPULARS: Paul’s first appearance on Pops in May 1974 was in very unusual circumstances as an industrial dispute meant he couldn’t appear in vision and just linked repeats and videos via voice-over. Fortunately he got to present a proper show later in the year, but he never established himself as a regular, hosting a handful of shows for the next few years presumably when everyone else was busy (you won’t see him on BBC4 for a while), then after 1978 just making occasional appearances on all-the-DJs-together shows for anniversaries and Christmas, which does at least give us the opportunity to point out part one of Christmas 81, which he’s in, has now got sound again. Oh, and he performed on it as well, which Tony Blackburn never did. So in lieu of any of his proper episodes, here he is counting down the chart instead, and we’ve also got his Miss World gig, where he was able to inform the whole world Radio 1 was changing frequency. Vital news around the globe, natch.

TUESDAY 5th APRIL

BBC1

16.30 Blue Peter
Sad to see the end of The Big Performance, the Gareth Malone-fronted series which has preceded Monday’s Blue Peter for the last three months, which is supposed to be a show where he gets a group of kids to rehearse for some big show but we always catch the last five minutes and it seems more like a documentary about buses, with the kids forever being filmed on a coach on the way to somewhere or other. That’s really not the most interesting part of the project, we feel.

BBC2

21.00 Filthy Cities
We mention this new Dan Snow-fronted series about how horrible it was to live hundreds of years ago purely because there’s a scratch and sniff card in the Radio Times for you to use while watching it, although we’ve sneakily had a sniff already – because we’re not going to watch this, probably – and it basically smells like a scratch and sniff card, that distinctive odour that we’ve never smelt anywhere else. We like the idea, though, because one of our earliest telly memories is watching The Real World eagerly clutching our TV Times cards. That’s how to get circulation up.

WEDNESDAY 6th APRIL

BBC Radio 2

22.00 Keep Calm and Carry On – The Vera Lynn Story
Vera is probably just as much a part of the seventies and eighties as she is the forties, as she had her own show on the Beeb until around 1976, and then she’d always be wheeled out on the various military anniversaries to croon some of the songs that won us the war. And of course she had a top ten album just the other year, although it doesn’t look like Max Bygraves’ Singalongawaryears is going to trouble the chart compilers again any time soon.

THURSDAY 7thAPRIL

BBC4

19.30 Top of the Pops
Well, as much as we’re disappointed with the episodes they’ve chosen, we certainly can’t argue with the brilliant slot BBC4 have picked for the regular repeats. And as we said up there, everyone’s talking about, with huge double page spreads in the papers and Loose Women jabbering on, as well as that promise they’ll run for at least a year. Although you may recall that complete rerun of Doctor Who on BBC2 at the turn of the millennium, abandoned after two stories. There are complaints in some circles that these episodes have all been on UK Gold and German telly before, but lest we forget the UK Gold repeats were in the days before multichannel telly was as common as it is now (and we assumed they’d run them forever, so didn’t rush to get it) and nobody can be bothered moving their dish to get German telly so these’ll be fresh to most people. And this one wasn’t even on UK Gold as it’s presented by Noel, who refused to let them show his episodes because he was too embarrassed.

BBC Radio 2

22.00 Sounds of the 20th Century
Fans of the Creamguide Middle Bit will know how much we enjoy an epic project, and here’s a great example as over the next twelve months, Radio 2 are going to devote an hour to what was happening in every single one of the last fifty years of the last millennium, starting here with 1951 and moving forward a year at a time. It’s actually produced by Trevor Dann and, like his previous shows on the moon landings and so forth, the idea is to be something of an audio Rock’n’Roll Years, eschewing a presenter in a favour of a continuous montage of audio clips and music from the year in question. Albeit we’re pre-rock’n’roll here.

FRIDAY 8thAPRIL

BBC2

20.00 Mastermind
Last of the semi-finals here, which is a bit disappointing as it means the final’s next week whereas, if they’d waited a week, they could have had it on Good Friday and made it seem a bit special. Never mind, here’s someone answering questions of Clive James, probably much to the great man’s horror.

BBC4

21.00 Neil Diamond – Solitary Man
22.00 Neil Diamond – Electric Prom
23.00 Sings Neil Diamond

Not one of BBC4’s most distinguised musical theme nights, not least because every show’s been on before, but also because we’ve never really liked Neil because he always looks pissed off when he sings.

BBC Radio 1

19.00 Pete Tong Night
Everyone used to know that John Peel was the only Radio 1 DJ who’d been there from day one, and when he went Annie Nightingale moved up to becoming the veteran – but who’ll take her mantle when she leaves the airwaves? Well, in fact Radio 1’s second longest serving jock is, perhaps surprisingly, Pete Tong, who’s celebrating twenty years on the nation’s favourite. In fact he’s been on longer than that, given he used to make regular appearances on Peter Powell’s show in the early eighties to talk about the latest disco crazes. He started his own show in 1991, though, and tonight we get twelve hours of programming presented by and about him, including a countdown of his favourite ever records and the Chemical Brothers presenting for a bit. And there should be plenty of Creamy interest in there, and if you can’t believe how long ago it all was, next week, Dave Pearce joins Radio 2!

No, he really does, honest. We’ll tell you more about that next week, and if that’s not a good reason to subscribe here we don’t know what is.

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