TV Cream

CREAMGUIDE: 9th-15th April 2011

Live from Noel Edmonds’ Gas Disco

It’s the second best thing about Thursdays, apart from the Pops repeats of course, another edition of Creamguide. We think we might have the last word on the great Comedy Central debate to kick us off, which is not based on anything we’ve done, but an e-mail someone on DigitalSpy received, which says, “A key project this year is to ensure that the SD is a looking as good as her HD sister channel so over the coming months we will be begin work on a project to broadcast in 16:9 to all our SD viewers. These projects take a little time but is a priority for the Operations team.” We like the reference to the channel as “her”, like a ship, and why it will take a little time to do it when every other channel is already doing it, we don’t know. And to be honest, if it’s not done by the time this series of 30 Rock finishes, we don’t care. But that appears to be it.

Anyway, listings, and don’t forget you can communicate with us via creamguide@tvcreamtest.co.uk, if you so wish.

SATURDAY 9th APRIL

BBC2

17.15 The Big Flutter – The Grand National On Film
North West Creamers can get a sneak preview of this show a day earlier as they’re getting it on BBC1 at half past seven. Here it is for everyone else, apparently promising rarely shown footage, and we do hope there’s a bit of the 1952 race where the owner of Aintree was in dispute with the Beeb and wouldn’t allow them on the course, and got her kids to commentate on it instead, with hilarious consequences.

18.00 Dad’s Army
Our mention of the Hull variant of Look North last week has inspired Rob Williams to get in touch, to say, “I must admit my secret to you! I too watch Look North from Hull and I’m in Portsmouth. The best bit each night on the programme apart from Caroline Davis has to be the banter between presenter Peter Levy and weatherman Paul Hudson who try to get one up on each other each night! Usually ending with the phrase “You’ll be hearing from my lawyer!” in a jokey way of course. But now they have started on Twitter as well – @peter_levy for Peter and @Hudsonweather for Paul, plus you might like to know that the legend that is Harry Gration is on Twitter too, @harrylooknorth.” Indeed, the banter is great, and especially impressive given it’s all done down the line with Peter in Hull and Paul in Leeds, hence why he also does the weather in the middle of the show as he’s on Leeds Look North at five to seven. Look North Hull is a great show, exactly what regional telly should be about, and because it covers a piddly region (in population terms, anyway, in terms of area it’s massive), it seems local in a way the big regions simply can’t match. But what about your own programmes nationwide? Do let us know what you do and don’t like about your local news and we’ll work out where in the UK we’ll go on holiday to next at the end of it.

ITV

16.30 The Nation’s Favourite ABBA Song
First shown in 2005, this has been dusted off again because ITV are showing the premiere of Mamma Mia tonight, and we’re so glad about that because it’s such a stupid format and we never had chance at the time to properly slag it off. In essence it’s the top 25 ABBA singles, but not via sales or anything, but on the say-so of, cough, “a computer program”, which has analysed each one and compared it to every other song from 2005, to predict which would be the most successful in the modern era, ending up with a so-called chart of 2005 which features hardly any ABBA songs and at number one puts one of that year’s Elvis re-releases which were famously the lowest-selling number ones in the history of the chart. It is ridiculous, frankly, but if you can get over that, there’s some nice clippage, even if of course they miss out all the best ABBA songs, ie the depressing ones.

BBC Radio 2

13.00 Pick of the Pops
1962 and 1981, and if the last few weeks are anything to go by, lots of plugs for Pops on BBC4, where last week Tony got a bit excited and suggested BBC4 will be repeating every single episode from 1976 onwards. If that’s not right, Tony, we’ll have a right moan at you in 2041. Speaking of Pops, here’s Adrian Fry. “The Pops repeats ought to go on BBC3 not BBC4. Da yoof who allegedly watch BBC3 are far more in need of musical education/something to laugh at than the tweed jacketed intellectuals who watch BBC4. Leave me – because that’s who I usually mean by ‘them’ – to introspective noodlings from folky singer songwriters and geekily defenaive theses on the incomprehensible later albums of Scott Walker. Those who want to see Z-Shed era Noel Edmonds introducing Pilot’s January should have to go elsewhere. And BBC3 is as elsewhere as you can get…”

SUNDAY 10thAPRIL

BBC1

16.30 Points of View
Gasp! We never thought we’d see the day but this programme has finally got a new title sequence, so that shot of Fearne Cotton presenting The Saturday Show has finally been banished to the archives. In fact we really like the new titles because they’re based around shots of letters and e-mails with “brilliant!” and “awful!” on them, which reminds us of that similar title sequence in the Anne Golden Age. The rest of the programme is as awful as ever, including someone complaining about BBC1 not treating drama with respect now they’ve axed… Outcasts. We know in the past any new sci-fi programme would get encouraged no matter how bad it was, getting kudos just for being there, but we’ve got Doctor Who now, so we can let that one go.

BBC4

20.00 The Space Shuttle – A Horizon Guide
The Space Shuttle really was big news at the time, one of its landings saw CBTV interrupted for a newsflash, and we’ve said it before but in 1984 Saturday SuperStore was extended for more footage, the same programme that also included live Winter Olympic skiing. But they never showed Challenger live, no matter what you might think you remember. Anyway, the programme is now over so here’s a look back at the triumphs and disasters of the last three decades.

MONDAY 11th APRIL

BBC1

16.30 Blue Peter
Dear God, last Monday’s Blue Peter must go down as the most tragic in this programme’s long and distinguished history, with a cataclysm of bad news. First up Andy looked in via satellite from an assignment in Jamaica to say that we may have heard he was leaving, which was news to us, but that was indeed the case and he’s buggering off at the end of the series. Then they broke it to us that Lucy the dog had died, leading to a lengthy obituary – for which Konnie turned up to contribute, which was nice – and even the show finishing in silence with “LUCY 1998-2011” on the screen. It all made for harrowing viewing and you’d think Andy might have held back on his announcement on a week or two to avoid sending any kids over the edge. Still, at least it was more conformation of the show’s total respect for its audience. And we always thought Lucy was a stupid name for a dog anyway.

BBC4

21.00 The Great Estate – The Rise and Fall of the Council House
This sounds a fascinating look at a valuable piece of British social history, presented by Michael Collins who himself grew up in one. In fact in the mid-seventies, a third of the population lived in council houses, and certainly at one point they were so ubiquitous that Creamguide remembers pretending they lived in a council house while playing house with their sister. We can’t remember why we did that, we didn’t live in one in real life, but we do recall writing about our exploits in our diary and being very insistent it was a council house, presumably there was a sort of grimy authenticity about it we craved in our semi-detached suburban household. We’re not entirely sure what else this “game” involved that demanded a council house setting, we don’t recall getting up every so often to put a pretend 50p in a pretend meter, but presumably we’d got bored of running our own TV station and we looking for new avenues for our imagination.

BBC Radio 2

22.00 The Look of Music, The Sound of Fashion
Looks like the Radio Times has finally heard that news that Malcolm McLaren is sadly no longer with us, as here’s the second part of Radio 2’s tribute. It all seems to be a fairly informal affair, as when he was in Broadcasting House in 2007 to do a show for 6 Music, they decided to take the opportunity to have a chat with him about his life, and we don’t think it’s ever been broadcast before.

Radio One-Derland

Nicky Campbell

 

LOTS OF SCARS IN THE STY: Nicholas Andrew Argyle Campbell, as he always irritatingly referred to himself, was born in Edinburgh and, after graduating from university, joined NorthSound in Aberdeen as jingle writer and, then, fully-fledged DJ. He then moved to London on Capital, which he didn’t much like, for a year or so, before legendary Radio 1 overlord Doreen Davis, in one of her last jobs, brought him over to the Beeb, telling him “I like your voice and I like what you say with it”. Apparently the Beeb were terribly impressed with the fact he had a degree, which was considered the height of sophistication for a DJ.

I LOVE TUESDAYS, DON’T YOU: Campbell joined Radio 1 in the autumn of 1987 in the then-familiar DJ tryout spot of Saturday nights, with a show promising “today’s music tonight”, before he moved to the weekend early shows at the start of 1988. His first big show, though, was the self-consciously “grown up” late night show which he hosted for five years, before leaving Radio 1, ostensibly to care for his ill wife, although apparently it was also because he was offered weekend breakfast in Bannister’s revamp, didn’t want it, and told him to fuck off. Three months later, though, apparently by popular demand (according to Campbell), he was back, on weekday drivetimes, before swapping slots with Mark Goodier and moving to early afternoons, where he stayed for his last three years on the station.

I LOVE THE BEATLES, DON’T YOU: When Campbell started his late night show he was eager to point out that this was not going to offer the familiar daytime pop but a more intelligent playlist, which basically meant the likes of Bowie and Richard Thompson, as well as the odd bit of so-called quality pop, a la Deacon Blue. Of course he happily played the latest top forty hits when he was on during the day but always seemed at his happiest playing the dull likes of U2 and Simple Minds. And of course later on he actually wrote and produced an entire album of swing songs.

WHY AREN’T THERE ANY LITTLE GIRLS CALLED WENDY ANYMORE?: Into The Night, as it was known, was big on long interviews, including the Prime Minister on one occasion, and indeed Campbell was anchor for the one and only time Radio 1 broadcast an election special in 1992, presenting results and analysis for five hours. On drivetimes there was also a news-based approach but this didn’t really work out, once notoriously devoting forty minutes to an interview with a former member of the IRA, at drivetime on Radio 1. On the afternoons there was the ever-popular smartarse Teasingly Topical Triple Tracker, the bog standard Number Nine Game, where you just had to name nine things, and the Afternoon Lovefeast, which was basically Our Tune. And a few comic skits including crap ILR DJ Tony Gold. We must also point out Campbell once wrote into TV Cream to point out he’d been responsible for Radio 1’s April Fool where they announced Simon Bates had been made European Minister for Pop.

EUROCRATS, BEAUROCRATS AND OTHER BONKERS-CRATS: Campbell was very much Radio 1’s self-proclaimed intellectual and so was happy to debate current affairs on his show and carry out searching interviews, as well as parodying the current state of light entertainment. Campbell was particularly piqued when Johnny Beerling demanded that DJs include only one thought during a link otherwise it would be too complicated for listeners. He also fell out with Mark Goodier and had to stop doing handovers with him after Goodybags complained about a link where Campbell suggested he spent his entire show on the phone running his business empire. In return, Campbell was slagged off on air by Simon Bates and Steve Wright, and had a set-to with Chris Moyles just after he started.

WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME YOUR KNICKERS?: When he was at Capital, Campbell said he was once asked to spend more time on his show talking about his sexy the ladies of London were. He didn’t do that, but was certainly under no illusions that he’d been hired by Radio 1 because he was quite pretty and boyish and seemed like a nice boy mums would like their daughters to take home, and he had an interesting accent too. However he did say he got a memo early on saying he was unsuitable for breakfast as listeners wouldn’t understand him, and DLT and Mike Read apparently shouted “Och aye the noo!” every time he walked past. Later his relationship with Chris Evans’ newsreader Tina Ritchie became common knowledge on air, but that’s OK as they’ve been happily married for many years now.

STANDING IN FOR PIP SCHOFIELD IN JOSEPH’S COAT: Well, everyone remembers Campbell’s most famous extra-curricular gig, and indeed his image as Radio 1’s clever clogs seemed at odd with his eight year stint as the host of Wheel of Fortune, to the extent Radio 1 research showed that a large percentage of listeners said they didn’t like him even though they never heard his show, based on his cheesy TV persona. For his part, Campbell was more eager to talk up his “current affairs series” which was in fact regional shoutathon Central Weekend, which he also hosted for years. In addition there was a few months spent hosting regional Pops spin-off The Scottish Chart for BBC Scotland at the turn of the nineties.

A BIG HELLO TO ALL YOU TRUCKERS OUT THERE: Campbell claimed his first return to Radio 1 came about because too many people were asking where he’d gone as his approach was exactly what the new look station should be about. So he says. In any case in his later years he’d always seemed more interested in news and current affairs than pop music, a la Simon Bates, so come 1997 he decided to concentrate on that full time and join Radio Five Live. He’s still there and is now probably their biggest name.

TOPULARS OF THE POPULARS: Campbell got on the Pops rota early on in his Radio 1 career, starting in February 1988. You’ve seen that before but it is a good clip, where like every DJ on their first appearance he wears a suit, but he seemed to take to it quite easily, wait til you see Mark Goodier’s debut. Indeed a year later he was considered senior enough to man the Comic Relief special. Even though most viewers seemed to think he was a bit of a smartarse (we remember TV Quick really slagging him off), he was a regular host until the DJs left in 1991, and came back to do a handful of other shows in the mid-nineties too, before finally calling it a day in 1997.

Dave Cash

 

LOTS OF SCARS IN THE STY: Despite what his voice may suggest, Dave Cash – whose real name is actually the equally exciting Dave Wish – was born in the Home Counties, but spent much of his formative years, including a spell in the Navy, in Canada, hence he acquired a rather exotic accent and certainly made him something of a novelty for British listeners. Dave’s entry into broadcasting came via the usual paths of Luxembourg and the pirates, including a particularly memorable spell alongside Kenny Everett on Radio London, before becoming respectable and joining the Beeb, starting at Radio 1 on day one.

I LOVE TUESDAYS, DON’T YOU: Dave was on Radio 1 in the days when there weren’t quite so many DJ shows as we know them and the jocks would work more as a presenter, linking live music or being one of several hosts of sequence programmes like Midday Spin or Late Night Extra. Dave did do a few shows on his own, however, and there’s a brilliant clip of Dave bellowing “IT’S THE DAVE CASH SHOW!” into the mike, which makes it sound really exciting. One of his other regular gigs was a Sunday teatime show that mixed music with celebrity chat.

I LOVE THE BEATLES, DON’T YOU: Dave seemed one of the more musically-aware DJs on the station, and was certainly responsible for one of the greatest moments in music radio, even if we think it might have happened on the Light Programme rather than Radio 1. Anyway, during his spell as host of lunchtime show Monday Monday, which was basically a dull orchestra churning out inoffensive covers in front of a bored audience of pensioners who’d applied for tickets for an unspecified BBC programme, when he was told that the fewer musicians on the show, the better, so he told the producer he knew of a trio, which was obviously great for the budget and they were duly booked. Hence the OAPs put down their knitting to enjoy a performance from The Jimi Hendrix Experience.

WHY AREN’T THERE ANY LITTLE GIRLS CALLED WENDY ANYMORE?: Much of Dave’s most famous work came as straight man to Cuddly Ken, although we think the pair were kept apart during their days on Radio 1. Other than that, Dave’s greatest contribution to the annals of radio history was inventing the phrase “groovy baby”. It says here. He also featured regular contributions from comic character Microbe, who actually released a single called, yes, “Groovy Baby”, which got to the dizzy heights of number 29.

EUROCRATS, BEAUROCRATS AND OTHER BONKERS-CRATS: Obviously with Cuddly Ken often around to be outrageous, Dave didn’t have to try and cause a stink himself, so he simply kept his head down and got on with the job. In the demented 1969 Radio 1 Annual he has a double page spread for him to wax lyrical about his passion for cars and motoring, which is a bit dull.

WHY DON’T YOU SEND ME YOUR KNICKERS?: Well, Dave’s accent made him seem a bit exotic, but we don’t think many people thought he was that sexy, certainly when the likes of Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds were around.

STANDING IN FOR PIP SCHOFIELD IN JOSEPH’S COAT: Well, we’re only quoting from Wikipedia here, but “in 1970, Dave wrote and performed The Radio Programme, a twenty-six part sitcom/music show produced at HTV and sold to the ITV network, NBC, and stations across Europe”. Surely the most rocking show in HTV’s history, we’re sorry to say we’ve never heard of it. He’s in Quadrophenia too, it says here.

A BIG HELLO TO ALL YOU TRUCKERS OUT THERE: We’re not quite sure when Dave left Radio 1, we think it was 1970 when he helped launch the exciting-sounding Radio Monte Carlo, but he was back in Blighty in 1973 as one of the first DJs on the new Capital Radio, where the old Kenny and Cash double act was revived. Dave stayed on Capital off and on for nearly twenty years, in between stints on a number of other stations including Invicta in Kent. After he wrote a best-selling book, he gave up daily radio but over the last decade or so has appeared on virtually every BBC local radio station in Britain.

TOPULARS OF THE POPULARS: Dave only presented Pops, we think, on two occasions, during the first year of Radio 1 when every DJ on the station took a turn. His second appearance was particularly notable, though, as it was the only weekly episode of the sixties to be kept in the archive, so his appearance introducing “The Stattus Quo” is fairly familiar. You not stopping, Dave? Here he is at the end doing a bit of a gag – you could just pull it down yourself, Jim – and that weird closing music they used to use in the sixties.

TUESDAY 12th APRIL

BBC1

16.30 Blue Peter
Of course what all this tragic news means is that Helen must never leave us, ever, or we’ll go to pieces. Blue Peter is very good at cheering itself up though and last week also brought us one of our favourite things on this programme, the presenters wearing suits and frocks, as they accompanied the Jubilee competition winners to Buck House and presented them to The Queen. Perhaps oddly, whereas in the Biddy era this item would have been the centrepiece of the show and a shoo-in for a big write-up in that year’s book, here is seemed to be almost an afterthought, shoved in the middle of the show and not even announced at the start. Still good though, as was the announcement that they couldn’t show us the plate with the winning Jubilee logo on it as Barney had smashed it.

BBC Radio 4

13.30 Into The Music Library
Everyone knows that the reason Grange Hill and Give Us A Clue had the same theme tune was because both independently alighted on the same library track, and here’s a tribute to world of the kind of music that was simply written on spec in the hope someone might like it, which also serves as something of a tribute to a prolific library music composer, Johnny Pearson, long-serving conductor of the Top of the Pops Orchestra, who sadly died the other week.

WEDNESDAY 13th APRIL

BBC4

21.00 If Walls Could Talk – The History of the Home
That’s all of it, ever, or at least for the past eight hundred years anyway. Agreeably posh historian Lucy Worsley is our guide here, working through the average British home room-by-room, starting off in the living room, or the lounge, or the drawing room, or the colouring-in room, or as we called it, the front room. We may not have lived in a council house, but we certainly didn’t have any airs and graces, and we were always baffled when we went to our aunties’ house (on the middle class side of the family) as she had two living rooms, one of which was seemingly only kept for best and which we never went in.

THURSDAY 14thAPRIL

BBC4

19.30 Top of the Pops
We’re always going to be a week behind on this run, for the entire thirty years it’s running (Tony promised), as when it’s on we’ll be putting the finishing touches to these words. We’re sure you’ll cope. We actually thought the first repeat episode had been cut a bit, given the rather abrupt nature of some of the fades, but in fact it was always half an hour and that was just authentic mid-seventies clunky editing. In any case, the point of these repeats is not to see the video for Fernando again, but to enjoy the likes of Tarney and Spencer, with a song that can’t have been heard since the day that show was transmitted (it failed to make it into the top fifty). Spencer was clearly very much the passenger in that outfit, we feel, not just in his contribution to the record – just the drums, as Tony said – but also in the charisma stakes, with his self-conscious strumming. And of course Alan Tarney himself went on to produce all of Cliff’s best stuff, so it worked out OK for him. This week’s episode emphasises some of the problems with repeating them all in a row, as we get Sailor and Fox again, but they’re always good to hear.

BBC Radio 2

23.00 Dave Pearce
We told you, Dangerous Dave Pearce comes to Radio 2. It’s not his first appearance, of course, as he’s brought Dance Anthems to the network for the past few Christmasses, but here he is in a regular weekly slot presenting the history of dance music from disco onwards, which he’s well qualified to do as he’s absolutely ancient. And no genre, we feel, can beat disco for sheer entertainment, especially as everything was based around disco in the late seventies, as you can see. In fact you’ve probably seen that before, but it is fantastic. If just for Noel’s nod towards Sonia at eleven seconds.

FRIDAY 15thAPRIL

BBC2

19.30 Mastermind
And so it’s the final, sadly not featuring pink-haired quiz queen Rachael Neiman who was knocked out in the semis last week, but she’s the winner as far as we’re concerned for taking part in the funniest round in the history of this programme, as she answered questions on John Shuttleworth. Hearing John ask “What did John accidentally throw out of the window of a Giggleswick guest house?” and “Who stole a handful of screws from Woolworth for a dare but took them back the next day?” had us crying with laughter. Nothing quite so fantastic here, though there is David Byrne and Frankie Howerd, and presumably those nice films about them revising. Oh, and it was a teasmaid and Wendy Craig.

CHANNEL 4

22.00 David Walliams’ Awfully Good Ads
Everyone seems to be talking about how Channel Four have announced they’re banning list shows, which they’ve said before anyway (“Only if they are really special”) and it’s a stupid thing to say because it depends what it’s a list of, isn’t it? Some are worth doing, some aren’t. We’d rather they promised to stop poaching people off other channels to do the exact same show (Mary Portas, Ruth Watson) and commissioning bloody awful sitcoms like Campus than take such a pointlessly draconian step. Not that they’ll stick to it anyway. Here’s the second of these TV hell-esque shows and once more we’ll say that TV Cream made a few contributions but in the last one they only used one clip we sent them in the entire two hours, so if it’s no good, don’t blame us. And if it is, it’s all down to us.

BBC4

21.00 Robert Plant By Myself
22.00 Robert Plant – Electric Prom
23.00 Robert Plant on Later

We hear Newsnight had to start later than planned this week because a band on Later with Jools Holland wouldn’t stop playing, which is nice to hear, a welcome bit of anarchy on that otherwise rather dull show. It plays a starring role in this evening, although everything else is just the same as the Plant night on BBC2 before Christmas.

That’s it for this week, but next week we begin the first of three Bank Holiday Creamguides with your listings for Good Friday. They probably won’t be that interesting but, you know, you can always go out. If you’re only interested in us at holiday periods, subscribe here

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Des Elmes

    April 8, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    Andy’s decision to leave BP coincides with the BBC planning to move the show from Television Centre to Manchester.

    So, of course, the D***y M**l take the opportunity to lay into the Beeb for the trillionth time, claiming that the two developments are linked…

    But worse than that – they also decide to say that Helen might be leaving too…

    Twats.

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