TV Cream

CREAMGUIDE: 31st JULY-6th AUGUST, 2010

Creamguide

Items of Interest

Hullo, and as you can see Creamguide looks a little different this week, but we hope you like it. If “different” means “unreadable” to you, do let us know at creamguide@tvcreamtest.co.uk. The reason for our revamp is because from this week, it’s now going to be possible for you to read Creamguide on www.tvcreamtest.co.uk – and it doesn’t involve us doing endless coding so it should happen every week. If you click on ‘Creamguide’ under the logo you’ll see it, and the plan is to get it up there before Saturday each week so the listings all make sense – so if for whatever reason you don’t get the email one week, as we think may have been the case for some of you last week, it should be there for you.

The one thing you won’t get on the site, alas, is the personalisation, and we know how popular that is. It’ll still be here, though, so don’t stop subscribing. Someone who’s particularly pleased is Miche Doherty who regarding last week’s issue says, “I’ll say one thing for your creepy Reader’s Digest style personalisation bot – it spells my name right.” Sorry Miche. We were concentrating so hard on getting your first name right.

While you’re marvelling at Creamguide on www.tvcreamtest.co.uk, don’t forget also to take a look at TV Cream’s Puzzle Trail, our fabulous competition that’s been running for the last few weeks. It’s not too late to join in and there are actual real prizes to be won, although that’s purely peripheral to the fun of taking part.

And now, the listings.

SATURDAY 31st JULY

ITV

21.00 30 Years of An Audience With
Last week, with another billing for this show that needed filling in mind, we asked you for your memories of summer holiday telly over the years, and John Moore didn’t disappoint, saying, “My biggest memory of seventies TV in the summer hols, in between constant pleas from my mum to go in the garden and get some air seems to be one of watching the Banana Splits whilst desperately holding in a serious need for a wee, getting to that fatal moment when you realise you can’t hold on till the end of the programme, jumping up from the beige leather settee and accidently standing in my sister’s bowl of Weetabix which she’s left on the floor – while possibly going for a wee herself? Who knows? I don’t know if you had a leather settee or not but in the summer they’d get a bit damp because you be sitting in shorts and you’d sweat from the heat. Then when you got up you got this really painful feeling as you’d leave a layer of skin from the back of your legs on the settee and you’d definitely get a red rash on the back of your legs. The obvious memories are watching Robinson Crusoe, Double Deckers, Spider-Man, Why Don’t You (‘oh no! It’s those bloody kids from Belfast again. What’s on the other side?). I also remember that suddenly out of the blue a short documentary would turn up about natives in some far off rainforest walking about with their boobies and nobs out. Sorry about the rambling email, I bet you get a lot of these. I’m nipping out to buy a King Kong ice cream (you get a free cardboard King Kong mask if the bloke behind the counter’s got any left) and a copy of TV Comic.”

BBC Parliament

20.00 Peers Versus People – The 1910 Election
BBC Parliament has screened the coverage of all the elections that exist in the archives – apart from 2001, but that’s boring – so the logical next step is to start mounting coverage of those elections that don’t exist. Hence we’ve got a bit of a News 39 vibe here as the poll for a hundred years ago is covered as if it had been on telly, alongside some explanation putting it all in context.

BBC Radio 2

13.00 Pick of the Pops
With the football season back next week this is probably the last time we’ll listen to it for a while, with a dull 1975 and a skill 1981 – including the number one we mentioned that chart-rigging theory about the other week. Meanwhile, more holiday memories come from Colin Daffern, who says, “Like everyone else of my age, I imagine, I can recall endless re-runs of both Heidi and Silas, along with the insufferable Why Don’t You and The Pink Panther Show. However, something that I used to find really unsettling was BBC1’s tendency, on a midsummer weekday morning to stick a PIF on between the end of Breakfast Time and the start of whatever kids’ shows they were putting out. I always found PIFs very disturbing as a nipper, and two I remember being wheeled out in this slot were Claude The Caravan, featuring Peter Hawkins doing his not-quite-Joe-from-Joe-and-Petunia voice, and that Alan Bennett one about airbeds, which I actually fast-forwarded through on video as it looked particularly strange. Are we supposed to assume that the father drowns at the end? And what was Alan Bennett doing lending his voice to a rather esoteric PIF anyway? On another summer-related theme, I remember being on holiday in Newquay during the last week of August 1985, and my excitement at being able to watch TSW was second only to the fact that ITV launched We Love TV on the Friday of that week.”

SUNDAY 1st AUGUST

BBC1

20.30 Sherlock
Brilliant! We really enjoyed this last week, it was highly entertaining and looked absolutely beautiful, and it pulled in enormous ratings to boot. Better yet, we’ve just been handed a piece of paper which says that this week’s episode features Dorgan off of The Adventure Game. Can this show get any better?

ITV

22.15 Drama Trails
23.15 Comedy Classics

Back to back screenings for two shows that really, really, really want to be Comedy Connections but don’t have the snazzy graphics that were 50% of that show’s appeal. The former’s making its debut on ITV1 having previously enjoyed umpteen runs on ITV3 and is a six-degrees-of-Harry-Gration thing which makes links between a load of middling ITV dramas, while the latter has already been on this channel twice and simply talks about an old sitcom and that’s it, but at least has the bonus of showing a compete episode of the show in the question. This does mean that On The Buses, which is the subject tonight, has now probably become ITV’s most regularly screened sitcom in the past two years. And if you thought two hours of clips shows was rather lazy Sunday night programming from ITV, wait til you see next Sunday.

MONDAY 2nd AUGUST

BBC2

13.05 The World At War
With Working Lunch out of the way it’s every day at this time. More summer holiday memories now from John Anderson – “I remember Blue Peter Goes Silver in summer 1983. Great at the time to see black and white Val, John and Pete. Also Vision On repeats with Sylveste(r) McCoy” – and from Michael Galvin, who we’ll hear more form later, who’s responding to our query about why Scottish (and Northern Irish) schools broke up so early. He says, “I can’t speak for the Scotch getting out of school so early but over here, the last day of the school term for most of my childhood was my birthday, 29th June. And with Irish telly being so dismal, we were relying on the grainy pictures coming from BBC Wales and HTV to keep us entertained. Little did we know that for the next month, children’s TV would consist of 30 minutes of The Flintstones and maybe a CFF movie in the afternoon before the English schools closed and we got some proper morning telly. Lucky then that our days were spent in endless sunshine doing wheelies on our bikes and playing football (and tennis for two weeks in late June).” Mike Williams seems to have the definitive answer, to wit, “I went to school in Scotland, and the answer is simple – the factories used to take their holidays in July – traditionally Glasgow took the first two weeks in July, and Edinburgh the second fortnight. We also used to have the August Bank Holiday at the start of August, rather than the end. So, schools closed to allow the families to go on holidays together.” That’s as maybe, but why do they still do it now? They could still have the Bank Holiday at the beginning of August if they wanted. Do let us know any other suggestions.

19.30 Mastermind Champion of Champions
There isn’t enough of Mastermind on television, with just the ten million episodes of the civilian series and the umpteen celebrity specials each year, so there’s certainly space for another spin-off. Sadly, thanks to the mess Des Lynam made of it we’re not getting another run of Sport Mastermind, which is a shame as we like a sports quiz, but instead this battle of the brains, running every day at this time and featuring contestants from both eras of the show. No Housego, but Chris Hughes is taking part, unsurprisingly with steam trains as his specialist subject.

Why Don't YouTube?

Well, we are indebted this week to James Masterton, Robert Jones and Ian Rhodes, all of whom wrote in this week to confirm exactly why Peter Powell ran in from the audience on Blankety Blank and fell arse over tit on the stairs. The reason being, it was an episode broadcast as part of Children In Need – when they used to show other programmes during it – and it allowed Les to do a bit of pre-recorded business with Tel before it, requesting a guest to fill a missing space, so Powell, who was in the CiN studio, was duly “dispatched” to take part. And Les wrote his name on the front of the desk in felt tip.

James says, “The only reason I remember the whole thing – watching at home with my mother and expressing disappointment that they didn’t do the obvious and send Wogan to guest star on a Dawson-fronted ‘Blank”, while Robert asks the fairly obvious question of why, given the ‘Blank was clearly pre-recorded, they just didn’t do a retake. Presumably it was too hilarious not to show.

Meanwhile, Michael Galvin rather nicely refers to this bit of Creamguide as the “centre spread” in his e-mail. Here it is in full – “I’m enjoying the new centre spread, but find it very distracting with YouTube’s related videos list. I spent three hours watching adverts from the seventies thanks to last week’s list. I was 7 when the decade ended, so these ads weren’t really a blast from the past for me and I don’t even remember Mackintosh’s Prize bars. My work is suffering and I’d like to know how many more weeks of this I must endure?”

Well, Michael, to up your productivity, this week’s list consists of only five clips. And that’s the only reason why. It’s definitely not because we’re leaving it too late. Oh no. Also, it is a rather small pool to pick from, as we’re alighting on those programmes that attempted to, groan, make learning fun. Don’t worry, some of it was good.

1

“IT MAY NOT BE VERY VALUABLE, BUT IT’LL BE PRECIOUS TO US!” This is a lovely clip, one of only a few of Johnny Ball on YouTube, and sadly one of them is the notorious Johnny Ball Games. But this one is great, the final few minutes of another typically thoughtful instalment of Think Again, the kind of show you didn’t appreciate fully at the time but would now love to see again. Lest we forget, it was also voted the top old show among Blue Peter’s panel of kids a few years. Helps that he wasn’t sitting down, of course. We like the cocktail bar-style music behind Johnny as he does his summing up, which just makes it even more appealing, while the closing credits are certainly implanted in the brains of a generation. And if you want to hear the whole theme, Francis Monkman’s second best composition after The Kick Off Match, that’s here too.

2

“TO ENTER THIS COMPETION, YOU MUST BE A MEMBER OF AYCE!” Here’s another of Johnny’s Play School mates getting to grips with technology, the great Fred Harris, everyone’s furry-faced telly chum, as Adam Buxton once memorably described him. Although he’s clean-shaven in this particular clip, joining Mac for another mind-blowing edition of Micro Live to explain the concept of a mouse. We really do wonder what Mac would have made of our mother using a computer to watch Emmerdale. Here’s more of Fred, a year later and with Lesley this time, once more blinding us with science, including the great man himself in the comments boxes. The best thing Creamguide has ever done in the name of TVC was meet Fred a few years back and have a lovely chat, we called him Fred and everything, although seeing him drink beer was a bit of a culture shock. And, of course, if you’re going to mention Fred, you must by law feature this.

3

“IN ASSOCIATION WITH LE COMMUNAUTE DES TELEVISIONS FRANCOPHONE!” No promotion needed for this one – it’s a complete episode of Vision On from 1975, with the rest of it here and here. The gallery’s at the end of part two if you just want to see that. This is near the end of the show’s run, but of course Tony Hart continued a long and successful career with Take Hart and, with another of the all time great themes, Hartbeat, here seen alongside The Red Hand Gang in a typically shoddy holiday morning line-up.

4

“SETS USING THE AM BAND ARE STILL ILLEGAL!” We must be honest and say that this wasn’t our first choice of clip from John Craven’s Newsround, great though it is with its CB radio story. We were intending to feature this one, a full episode from 2nd November 1982, but both this week, and the week we did the news clips when we were going to feature it, we’ve failed to get it to work. Do let us know if you manage to watch it. Some other Newsround clippage that does work can be found here, with Pip introduction, and from the We’re Not Sure If We Should Be Watching This file, this momentous episode.

5

“WHAT YA GONNA MAKE, WHAT YA GONNA MAKE!” So far it’s just been the Beeb, but of course ITV did their fare share of infotainment too, and this gives us another chance to quash that old working class theory, as we’re sure you won’t be able to find a kids presenter posher than Trudi Dance of Freetime. This is a great clip, well worth watching for Mick inventing the exciting new verb “freeviewing”. There’s another clip here, which is one of those camera-pointing-at-the-screen clips we don’t much like as it feels like we’re intruding in someone’s house, but we would like you to watch it to see if you can understand what the hell Trudi Dance says at the start. “Lisa the Dalmatian”? We have absolutely no idea. The band, natch, are The B Sharps. They don’t do Baby On Board, though. And stay tuned at the end for a Razzmatazz trailer which goes on ever so slightly too long and a TV Times advert. That’s a sentence nobody’s written before.

TUESDAY 3rd AUGUST

BBC2

21.30 Shooting Stars
“If you want a vending hot chocolate and a shit, they’re in the same area!” The Q&B sketch last week was ace, albeit not quite up there with Geordie Jumpers, and also pleasing to see the welcome return of Mulligan and O’Hare. Walking typo Cheryl Fergison’s on the panel tonight and watch out for the bit where she manages to land on Vic as apparently she broke his foot. “This is the best time to buy a bucket!”

BBC Radio 4

11.00 In Living Memory
There’s another papal visit coming up soon, but we don’t suppose the coverage will be quite as immense as last time when BBC1 and ITV both devoted hours to it, taking up the whole of the daytime schedules on a Bank Holiday Monday and simulcasting loads of it on both channels. Despite that, though, we read recently that quite a lot of it’s been wiped, for some reason, so it’s a good job this programme reminiscing about the visit is on the radio.

WEDNESDAY 4th AUGUST

E4

00.05 You Have Been Watching
Last week we said we didn’t know when the postponed final episode of this series would be transmitted and within seconds of Creamguide being published, Stuart Ian Burns forwarded us a tweet from Charlie himself confirming that it’s finally going out in this highly prized slot, stuck at the end of a repeat run. We think, anyway. If it does, it’ll be well worth a watch, as one of the panellists is the great Armando Iannucci and, hence the reason it was dropped during the Cumbrian shootings, it’s all about crime.

THURSDAY 5th AUGUST

BBC Radio 4

11.30 We Were Here – How To Create Your Own Time Capsule
The great thing about the Blue Peter time capsule is that the only reason they buried it in the first place was because an item fell through and they had a five minute hole in the next day’s programme, while they’ve since buried another, to be excavated we think in 2050, into which Konnie put a Chemical Brothers CD. This documentary examines what the choice of objects tells us about what various generations thought was worth talking about, with a sixties capsule being excavated in front of our very ears.

FRIDAY 6th AUGUST

BBC2

21.00 The Great British Home Movie Roadshow
Invariably, though, what you think is worth keeping tends to be fairly pointless in the long run, much like how any sort through old videos you compiled ends up bringing up umpteen tapes filled with awful panned-and-scanned edits of familiar films you can now buy on DVD for two quid, with all the ad breaks paused out, while all the fascinating stuff that would never come out on DVD in a million years has long been taped over. The most evocative stuff from the past is always that of Britain just going about its daily business, hence this intriguing series in which Kirsty Wark is just going to work her way through a huge wad of tapes, both from ages ago and the very heart of the Cream era.

CHANNEL 4

22.00 Pete Versus Life
You may wonder why we’re billing yet another sitcom about a pathetic bloke who can’t get a girlfriend and probably gets mistaken for a paedophile at least once an episode with hilarious consequences, given that seems to be the premise of every sitcom these days. The reason is the gimmick here is that our hapless protagonist’s life is treated like a sporting event and continually analysed by two commentators, and one of those is the great Ian Kirkby, star of Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow of course, and it looks like he’s in it loads. Even if the script’s rubbish we’re sure his performance will be great, and good to see him finally get the star vehicle he deserves rather than bit parts in Casualty. But we won’t bill this again.

BBC4

22.30 Once Upon A Time In New York – The Birth of Hip-Hop, Disco and Punk
23.30 New York Rock at the BBC
00.30 Blondie – One Way Or Another

Not one of BBC4’s more imaginative theme nights, you’d have to say, as Scissor Sisters’ performance at Glastonbury is the cue for them to bung out anything that’s American and a bit kooky, including the middle show which has recently bemused the viewers of Yesterday with The New York Dolls and Television.

That’s it for this week, and thanks for reading whether you’ve done that on the website or via the e-mail. We’ll leave you with the sentence that will vary on each platform which will invite you to either read more of this stuff or, more importantly, a lot less. So, if you are reading this on the website, and want to subscribe to receive the mailout every week, go here.

That's about all from CREAMGUIDE. See you next week!
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. TV Cream

    July 30, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Look everyone! Another edition of Creamguide is now on the site!

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