TV Cream

CREAMGUIDE: 24th-30th JULY, 2010

Creamguide

Hullo and welcome to yet another edition of Creamguide, right in the middle of summer…

When we started doing this we always thought this would be our busiest time of the year, but clearly not, and as you’ll see later this week, we’re so pleased we merged the radio into this one as otherwise there’d be thin gruel indeed.

In fact when we were growing up this week was always one we looked forward to getting the Radio Times for to see what shoddy old kids shows they’d dusted off to fill the summer mornings on BBC1, including the likes of Wildlife on One which they flung on because kids like animals. If you have any memories of summer telly you’d like to share with us, why not do so at creamguide@tvcreamtest.co.uk?

We’d also like to hear from you if you can explain why Scottish schools break up so early, we hear it’s because October half term used to be a fortnight but that still doesn’t explain why they go back any minute now. We know it gets dark in the winter, but surely it’s not so dismal all activities are confined to three weeks in August? Do let us know.

SATURDAY 24th JULY

BBC2

17.30 Dad’s Army
Having mentioned going back to school too early, we’re now going to talk about the autumn anyway, because BBC2 announced its new season recently and it all sounds jolly good, including a Rob Brydon vehicle that sounds a bit like Saturday Night Live, a “Curb Your Enthusiasm-style comedy” starring Brydon and Steve Coogan, and yet another Charlie Brooker series, this one comparing real life with how it’s portrayed on TV. Speaking of Charlie, you’ll note that, despite a brief hoo-ha on Twitter the other day, the final episode of You Have Been Watching has yet to be transmitted to our knowledge, but we’re still keeping them peeled.

ITV

21.00 30 Years Of An Audience With
Didn’t watch this last week, probably won’t watch it any week, especially not when awful old Lulu’s on it, though we do have Doddy. He did two Audiences, of course, the second one shown between the two halves of the first Pop Idol final, but you only need to see one because the second was, sadly, exactly the same. Although that’s to be expected given that, unlike every other comedian in the world, rather than choosing which of his routines to do in any particular gig, Doddy just does all the jokes he’s ever written every single time.

BBC4

22.25 Hughie Green – Most Sincerely
For our money, the most unpleasant person in the whole saga of Hughie Green is his dickhead of a mate who decided that the ideal time to announce Hughie was Paula Yates’ father was right in the middle of his funeral, seemingly thinking he was in an episode of EastEnders. Hughie himself was something of a rough diamond, mind, as we’ll see again in this repeated drama.

BBC Radio 3

19.30 BBC Proms
Brace yourselves everyone, we’re billing a Radio 3 programme, for we think the first time since Matt Baker stopped doing that kids show on it. Inevitably it’s the Doctor Who Prom, the most interesting concert since they stopped doing the Blue Peter one, and in the interval we’re promised a look back at all of Who’s musical exploits so expect much Radiophonica.

BBC Radio 4

20.00 Sellers In The Attic
It’s thirty years to the day that Peter Sellers died, although for many years Creamguide most remembered him for that endless corpsing in a lift on Alright on the Night. Happily, there’s loads more of Peter in the archives, not least because he kept a huge amount of material himself so there’s plenty to enjoy in this programme.

SUNDAY 25th JULY

BBC1

21.00 Sherlock
We enjoyed very much after the recent Rupert Everett Holmes adaptation that someone wrote into Points of View and complained it was “disgraceful”, as “it made Holmes look like a drug addict”. Since the last Jonathan Creek was a bit rotten we’ve been looking for a similarly whimsical and appealing detective series, and this sounds like it could do just the trick, set in the present day of course and with Moffatt and Gatiss on writing duties, and in honour of it we’re going to snuggle up with a nice cryptic crossword.

MONDAY 26th JULY

BBC2

13.00 The World At War
We forgot to bill this last week, alas, and that’s remiss of us because with scheduling like this you need all the help you can get to find it. In any case it was the same as this week, every day at this time except Wednesday, and that’s with the European Athletics Championships on to boot.

BBC Radio 2

22.00 Being Here – The Peter Sellers Story
Another documentary about Peter, possibly with much the same material, and with the first of two appearances in just over 24 hours on Radio 2 for Denis Norden. On the day Peter died, Thames seemed to be in all sorts of trouble, with this rather shambolic junction leading into their tribute, but Peter Marshall remains unflappable throughout, even though his chair’s clearly not at the right height.

Why Don't YouTube?

Stop the presses! We start with some thrilling news, as finally, after our fruitless search earlier this year, there’s some clips of The Mersey Pirate on YouTube, seemingly from the video collection of Bernard “The Bolton Bullfrog” Wrigley. They’re not very good, and one has Billy Butler in, but nice to see it at last.

This week, Miche Docherty has written in regarding the Merry Christmas from BBC1 clip we featured last week, to say, “Nice to see that clip of Christmas (or, in the case of MASH, holidays) greetings on BBC1. But why did they miss the chance to have the cast of Tenko waving and grinning too?” True enough, and it was on two days before Christmas too so it would have been relevant. Perhaps they could have had Blake’s Seven, which famously finished in a bloodbath in Christmas 1981 as well. Nice to see a rare outing for John Simpson the newsreader, anyway.

Last week’s news-related gubbins has also promoted Stuart Clary to say, “The great Southern TV news clip reminds me of this from a few years later with Sarah Kennedy. I just love the way the programme is opened with Sarah bragging about her Greek holiday.” Well, at least she’s not moaning about how ill she is, we suppose. Stuart also says, “My favourite news related YouTube clip however is this American promotion from 1982. It’s a far cry from Richard Baker.” Indeed, but it is indeed fabulous, especially the way that the family watching it at the end don’t even seem that interested.

This week, after avoiding another episode of 101 Ways To String Out A Five Minute Concept To An Hour – if you’ve not seen it, imagine if, before the Big Balls on Total Wipeout, the contestants spoke in great depth about what they thought of them, while Richard Hammond explained how incredible they were for a good five minutes, then left the contestants standing there for ages, and then didn’t let them go on them anyway – we thought we’d remember the days when quizzes were proudly studio-based and cheap and cheerful fun.

1

“SO FAST AND RAPIDO!”
Where are the quizzes? Right here! Specifically, in Madrid, as here’s a fantastic clip uncovered by Chris Hughes of Ted Rogers and Fiona Curzon making a trip to the Spanish version of 3-2-1. God alone knows what the Spanish viewers thought of this, but even though he can’t speak the language Ted tried his best to ingratiate himself by doing his favoured shaking-hands-with-random-members-of-the-audience shtick. But where’s Dusty? Surely he would have dazzled the Spanish audience had he been there, dressed as a matador, of course. If you want to see more of Ted, there are actually quite a few complete episodes of the quiz/game/fortune-and-fame online, including this one, but sadly it’s after the exploding chevron era. Of course, the clues are still impenetrable no matter what language they’re in.

2

“THEY’RE GOING TO FILL THE FRAMES TO WIN THE PRIZES!”
That’s a crap catchphrase, Jim, it doesn’t even rhyme. If you were disappointed by the lack of chevrons in that last clip, here’s some more hot chevron action heralding Tarby’s Frame Game, a not particularly well-remembered and short-lived quizzer from 1987, but we’re alighting on it because, as you can see in the other clips here and here, it’s a perfectly acceptable and entertaining format that you can watch over your tea, and we don’t have enough shows like this these days. Commission a hundred episodes of this, ITV, stick it at half past five on a Saturday, and that’s your schedules sorted. It should have been bloody “silver bullet”, you idiots!

3

“STANDS ON MARK!”
Here’s another example. Odd One Out is probably the least memorable of Paul Daniels’ game show trilogy, but it’s got the best titles and theme tune of them all. It’s a fantastic theme, actually, one of Ronnie Hazlehurst’s best, and Paul’s faces in the titles are brilliant (“Haven’t got it… nearly got it… got it!”). Again it ran for four years and while it didn’t pull up any trees, rather this brainteasing play-along-at-home fare than watching someone explain what it’s like to fall in water from a great height over and over again. Other bits of this episode can be found here, here and, promising “music”, “pictures” and “words”, here, and despite Paul’s rather brittle banter, it’s hard not to get suckered into this simple format, effectively executed. The question is, though, are the letters on the floor spelling “OOO” or “ODD”? It works both ways.

4

“OUR PRODUCER, GC WILLIAMS!”
One quiz ITV still have, but in vastly inferior form, is Family Fortunes, and the current version is all wrong with episodes shown at nine o’clock, rubbish celebrities and, worse still, contestants passing. Here’s its imperial phase, starting off with Lord Bob right at the beginning, when it was still an ATV production, as well as a later episode, also with BOB <====== and a very odd monologue. When MAX <====== took over, it was of course rotten, but on only his second ever episode, he was at the helm for that family with the famous Irishman and, yes, turkey, and the other three parts are around along the side. Finally, heralded by some TVS continuity, here’s the arrival of Les, where people like to see him, alongside the shortlived colour Mister Babbage and the worst logo in the world. There are no other presenters of Family Fortunes.

5

“THIS HAPPY SEASON OF BOB AND THE BIG BOX GAME!”
Well, if we’re talking quizzes we’ll have to have a look at some vintage Bob, starting with this ace clip of Celebrity Squares in 1976, including Bob’s rather awkward slide in and the opportunity to write in at the end, although we’re not sure why you would, except to ask Bob where he gets his safari suits. Of course, he bought the rights for the Squares himself and got ATV to commit to making it when he came back to The Golden Shot, and though you may have seen it on Challenge, this episode from 1970 is still delightful, with Bob’s newsflash at the start the best thing ever on light entertainment until Brucie announced the Beeb had bought that England match on Strictly last year. Our fave Bob quiz, though, is Bob’s Full House, and friend of TVC Brig Bother had a full episode up for a while but he had to take it down, alas, so we’ve only got these opening titles. Worth it for the salute, though.

6

“I BOUGHT BRITISH!”
If we’re celebrating Bob, we’ve got to mention Brucie too, and here’s a complete episode of Play Your Cards Right from 1980 to be getting on with, including a great bit of business with the audience at the start. This is only the first series to feature couples, which was Brucie’s idea, as the first had to use single players for contractual reasons. From a bit later, here’s the start of an episode from 1986 where Bruce F’syth (thanks, Julian off Ulster TV) is joined by all the assistants including the guy who just poured champagne and generally had a great time, surely the best job in the world. One of Brucie’s other jobs at LWT is one of his lesser remembered, being the initial host of You Bet, but footage does exist – no rap, alas, but a trailer, and we forgot the panellists all had their own little desks and illuminated answers in that calligraphy font. Also watch out right at the start for a cracking Look-In cover, and at the end, the notorious Trick Or Treat.

7

“BUT ALSO TO THE SCHOOLS THEY REPRESENT!”
One of the best bits in One Day In The Life Of Television is the review of Blockbusters, where the writer slags off all the contestants for being obnoxious and wanting to go into advertising, and also points out the trick questions whereby “What K is a picture card in a deck of cards?” would always be “knave” because smart arses would buzz in too quick and say “king”. A real institution in its day, of course, which was every day for a decade, and here’s how it all began back in 1983. The titles are a bit unfamiliar, with no sprawling metropolis, but we like how Bob has his glasses prominently on his desk, for continuity reasons.

8

“LET THE NOTES ROLL IN THE MELODY ROULETTE!”
One of the great underrated quizzes in telly history is, of course, Name That Tune, or at least under the auspices of the great Tom O’Connor. Here’s the trailer for the first ever episode, where it looks amazing, even if the announcer just reads out the names of the rounds despite them not making any sense on their own (“There’s a chance to Bid A Note!”). And here, accompanied by the little feature Challenge preceded their repeat of it when they used to show something interesting and not just In It To Win It from six months ago, is the start of an actual episode, with over two minutes of solid applause. Alan Braden’s other contribution to the world of the quiz was, natch, the demented theme tune to Give Us a Clue. Parky, you’re on, you bastard, stop chatting. Also great – the likes of John Inman and Windsor Davies in casual clothing.

9

“WOAH WOAH WOAH HERE’S BEADLE!”
Ah, the 9.25 quiz slot, always a welcome sight for the nation’s “freelancers”, and one that started back in 1987 with Beadle himself launching Chain Letters. If you’d to re-enact your glory student days there’s certainly plenty to be getting on with, including both Chris Serle (with exciting behind the scenes gubbins) and Richard Madeley (with rotation for rotation’s sake) variants of Runway, All Clued Up with the nicest man in showbiz Diddy David Hamilton, the majestic Turnabout and even the opportunity to pull up a chair for a Four Square. But where’s the Bake era Win Lose or Draw, the internet?

10

“THE VICAR’S DOWNSTAIRS!”
Something else disappointingly not online is Peter Powell falling arse over tit on Blankety Blank, which used to be on telly all the time, even though we can’t recall why he had to run on like that anyway. Anyone? Still, there’s plenty more of Britain’s stupidest ever quiz online, including a full episode from the inspired BBC1 repeat run of Wogan-fronted episodes in 1997, which made for ace viewing. However we’ve got to admit that we prefer the Dawson episodes, not so much for the panellists, the quality of whom plummeted, but for Les himself, who was fantastic, right from his very first episode. And best of all, one week it massively underran so he got to do our favourite of all his routines. And to our viewer in Cheltenham, goodnight and god bless.

TUESDAY 27th JULY

BBC2

21.30 Shooting Stars
“I’ve got some burnt burgers and then just some muck there!” This is the one we’ve been waiting for, featuring the best line-up of any panel game in the history of television – Brendan Cole, Chris Kamara, Tulisa from N-Dubz and John Simpson. And everyone’s going to have a great time and that’s why we’re so pleased to see it back.

Yesterday

16.00 The Onedin Line
The other week Yesterday went back to being full time on Freeview, after it was rightly considered a more viable proposition than Virgin 1+1, which means that if you can’t make this screening you can also catch the repeat at 7pm. We’re not sure why they’ve started this repeat run on a Tuesday but with nearly a hundred episodes they’ll get their money’s worth out of it, every day at this time. Yesterday are also showing Pop Goes The Sixties again a couple of times this week, although we’ve billed that enough. Though we wonder why they don’t bother buying any more old Pops, at least they’re all in English.

BBC Radio 2

22.00 All Round Bob Monkhouse
Hooray, you can never have enough programmes about Lord Bob so we’re really looking forward to this. As we know, as well as being one of the greatest comedians this country has ever produced, Bob was also a top, top Creamer, and not only were we lucky enough to attend the BAFTA event last year and got to see the hundreds and hundreds of hours of television that he managed to save for the nation via his exhaustive recording schedule, but he was also a bona fide Friend Of TV Cream after he generously gave up some of his time to help an inmate of TVC Towers put together this thing. In addition, there’s also his amazing mastery of the medium – like when he requested not to know anything about the contestants on Bob’s Full House until they came on stage so he could make up relevant jokes on the spot – so an hour is not really enough to do justice to the man. But it’ll do for now.

WEDNESDAY 28th JULY

BBC Radio 2

22.00 Dave Allen – Goodnight And May Your God Go With You
There was a danger a few years ago that Dave was only going to be remembered for making one of the few comedy shows discussed in the House of Commons, when in 1990 he shocked the nation by saying the word “fuck” once and once only in the entire series. In addition, he was once banned for life from Australian telly for doing jokes about masturbation, although it was soon rescinded. Something to remember the next time Patrick Kielty looks so bloody pleased with himself after doing yet another joke with a pointless swear word in it. But of course Dave was far more intelligent, original and likeable than today’s hopeless bunch, and this documentary will explain just how innovative he was.

THURSDAY 29th JULY

BBC4

21.20 Last of the Blonde Bombshells
22.40 Alan Plater – Hearing The Music

Sad to hear of Alan’s death a few weeks ago, although at least he got to see Hull play in the top flight. The latter is a documentary where he explains how important music was to his writing, never better illustrated than with the former, the drama from 2000 starring more or less every single acclaimed actor in Britain.

BBC Radio 4

11.30 Magic People and Places
Since Bob Monkhouse and Jeremy Beadle died, everyone’s had the chance to realise how generous, talented and hard-working they were, and what valuable contributions they made to television, despite not always enjoying quite so much respect when they were alive. So let’s try and show a bit of respect for Paul Daniels while he’s still with us, because despite his somewhat diffident personality on telly, you’ve got to admit that the man (who’s one of those rumoured to be appearing on the next series of Strictly, alongside Uncle Matt Baker which would be fabulous if true) has an exceptional talent, not least because the Magic Show ran for fifteen years so he had to continually find new tricks and new ways of doing them, and the programme was the kind of high quality light entertainment of the type they just don’t make anymore. He’s in this documentary, too, explaining why magic still draws a crowd.

FRIDAY 30th JULY

BBC2

12.30 Working Lunch
It’s not billed as such in the Radio Times, but after sixteen years this is the last ever episode, and that’s a shame because in its original form, under the auspices of Adrian Chiles and Adam Shaw, it was a breath of fresh air in the tedious world of financial journalism, providing plenty of information but with a healthy dose of irreverence. Sadly last year they made a right mess of a revamp and the ratings plummeted, so it’s been axed. We don’t suppose Adrian’ll turn up, but the goldfish might return.

BBC4

21.30 Pet Shop Boys at Glastonbury
22.30 Synth Britannia
00.00 Synth at the BBC

Neil and Chris remain one of TVC’s favourite ever bands, not just for their fabulous pop tunes over the last two and a half decades but also their consistently entertaining interviews, which were always the best thing in Smash Hits, and their high quality merchandise, like the brilliant Annually. Famously for a long time they refused ever to perform live, and we recall they only eventually went on tour because they said they’d do it when Bananarama, another notoriously reluctant live act, did, and the ‘rams went and did it. Since then, their live show has been another triumph, and here they are wowing the crowds at this year’s Glasto, followed by the documentary which they’re also in and the slightly disappointing clip show.

That’s it for now, but join us next week for the real dregs that are August telly. And if you’re reading this on TV Cream and fancy subscribing, everything you need to know is here.

That's about all from CREAMGUIDE. See you next week!
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. TV Cream

    July 24, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    This is TV Cream itself logging in to say that, hopefully, from now on every subsequent edition of Creamguide will be archived on the site.

  2. paulus (Bangkok)

    July 24, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    good on you guys.
    Just a ” big thanks” for keeping the nostalgia alive….

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