TV Cream

CREAMGUIDE: 2nd-8th October 2010

Creamguide

New thrills!

Hullo and welcome to Creamguide. If you’re reading this on the site, you’ll already know, but if you’re reading this via e-mail, you might be unaware that www.tvcreamtest.co.uk has had an exciting new look! The big news is that we’ve got rid of the yellow colour scheme completely, after thirteen years, but in more general terms it’s easier for us to update it and easier to actually find your way around the site. So better for you, better for all of us, as Des Lynam once memorably pointed out. So use it, enjoy it and please tell us what you think of it.

And along with TV Cream, so too Creamguide has a new look, and as ever we hope we’ve not bollocksed it up, so let us know if there are problems (unless they’re really obvious, as we’ll probably notice them ourselves). These new surroundings, however, don’t mean any editorial changes to good old Creamguide, which will continue in its traditional self-indulgent, pedantic and impenetrable style for many years to come. As you’ll see.

SATURDAY 2nd OCTOBER

BBC2

18.00 Dad’s Army
First, we are indebted to Nigel Fishwick for more information on these Radio Times Christmas cards he mentioned last week. He says, “I’m guessing that we’ll not see any stars of Christmas past on the proposed Radio Times Christmas cards due to pesky rights issues or somesuch, and that the cards will feature the illustrated covers rather than Christmas in Albert Square – although who the hell would want to send one featuring such a scene anyway? They did have an illustration of some cards when I filled in the survey. Alas, I can only remember three of them, which were 1977, 2007 and another one from much earlier with a red cover and Santa, which I’m guessing was from the fifties or sixties, but it doesn’t feature on in the limited selection shown on the RT website, so I can’t be more specific than that.”

ITV

16.20 The Unforgettable Mollie Sugden
More from Nigel in a moment, but first here’s Stu Neville answering his question from last week. He says, “Mr Fishwick is not alone, I remember Beachcombers as well. It was Sunday morning fayre in the HTV West region, sandwiched between a dull religious hour and the baffling-but-equally-dull West Country Farming, which had a fixation with worming and an appetising Sunday lunchtime ad break consisting mainly of products to aid worming – the very name Ivomec to this day puts me off whatever I’m about to eat. Anyway, Beachcombers: Vancouver Island, a Greek bloke called Nick, his two chums, a boat called Persephone and a strong emphasis on pulling logs into the water. I seem to remember there were about seven hundred episodes, but only two odd ones stick in my mind, spotting a Sasquatch in one episode and another called HexMan, where some sort of be-capped seagoing warlock pointed a harpoon at people and muttered and bad things then happened to them. His motives were left unexplained. The other 698 episodes must have just been more hot pulling-logs-into-the-water action, but from different angles and subtly different dialogue. HTV West used to specialise in this sort of offbeat stuff, often at unlikely times of the day, and also leapt on the Gus Honeybun bandwagon, with a limited owl-puppet called Oscar. In Oscar’s Office, said owl remained relatively still whilst cards were read out by the linkperson de jour, who either looked either vaguely sweatily out of their comfort zone (the late Alan Taylor) or embraced it with gusto (the equally late Annie St John.) I have a lingering suspicion Oscar was actually a hitman employed by the powers that be to save on redundancy packages.”

BBC Radio 2

13.00 Pick of the Pops
Only a handful of Dale-fronted episodes to go before Tony Blackburn takes over the golden mike, so make the most of his views of the hits of 1972 and 1989. We know this seems to have turned into Nigel Fishwick Guide, but it’s the man again, to say, “Thought I’d also mention the fact that this week, when I came across an old Creamup posting about Radio 2’s Greatest Hits, I decided to make a Spotify playlist of the same twenty tracks. Unfortunately, two of Creamup’s suggestions, Daytrip to Bangor by Fiddler’s Dram and Born With a Smile on my Face by Stephanie De Sykes. are unavailable on Spotify. So the question is, what to replace them with?”

BBC Radio 4

20.00 A Working Class Tory Is Something To Be
We’ve never much cared for David Davis for many reasons, not least because he watched The Day Today for BBC4’s I’ve Never Seen Star Wars last year and gave it six out of ten, the bastard. Nevertheless, here he is fronting this look at the epitome of the working class Conservative, and in particular their portrayal on telly, most famously by Warren Mitchell.

SUNDAY  3rd OCTOBER

BBC1

14.00 Commonwealth Games
Well, we’ve all heard about the problems in actually getting these games on, let alone the umpteen athletes who have pulled out, while we know the Beeb spent ages haggling over the price – not that anybody else wanted them – and only confirmed the coverage a few months back. With all that in mind, it’s perhaps surprising that they’re getting so much coverage, certainly compared to other Commonwealth Games that haven’t been in the UK, taking up almost the entirety of daytime BBC1, and the opening ceremony here filling three and a half hours. Huw Edwards is on the mike, as he was for the Olympics, but while we’d always prefer Barry Davies, we suppose the fact they’re even happening is news in itself.

ITV

23.15 Drama Trails
Tim Bowling also wrote in this week to confirm, “Yes, like Nigel Fishwick, I also have a vague memory of the Beachcombers – like him also I only seem to remember the huge amount of logs in the opening credits. Anyone remember the short film Blockaboots – a sort of schools public information film about the dangers of wearing ill-fitting shoes?” We’re pretty sure they do, Tim, certainly in the early days of TV Cream, Blockaboots used to generate 50% of our postbag, alongside Paulus The Woodgnome and that programme with Would You Like To Swing On A Star as its theme tune (Out Of This World, fact fans), to the extent someone once pondered whether it was in the episode of Good Health that was repeated the following week to fit in with staggered half terms around the country, given everyone in the world seems to have seen it.

BBC4

20.00 All Our Working Lives
21.30 Boys From The Blackstuff

We think the updated bit on the former is more or less a complete documentary in itself, certainly this week because the chemical industry has surely gone in leaps and bounds in the last three decades, with a special look at one of the all-time Creamy companies, ICI.

Q Radio

18.00 Q The 80s
Back in Creamguide after Matthew Rudd kindly told us what it’s going to feature – “Last week’s show had Introspective as the Featured Album – ample opportunity to plug current TV Cream projects here and Bros as the Guilty Pleasure. This weekend, we’ll feature a British album which spawned two American number ones, and detail a Guilty Pleasure that had a young boy in pyjamas as the star of the video.” And if you’ve got a TV or radio show you’d like us to promote, do let us know

MONDAY  4th OCTOBER

BBC2

16.30 Blue Peter
And the Commonwealth Games also means a channel change for Blue Peter this week, although these days we’re always a little bit surprised that they go to the effort of shifting it instead of yanking it off completely. No BBC2 Broom Cupboard anymore, alas, but there is a pleasingly truncated CBBC slot on Wednesday to make way for David Cameron’s speech at the Tory conference, and we like huge traffic jams of live events.

BBC4

20.30 Only Connect
This week we’ve been listening a bit to Richard Madeley standing in for Chris Evans on Radio 2, and while we’re loathe simply to slag off Richard Madeley for being Richard Madeley, as he’s clearly a likeable and enthusiastic broadcaster who sometimes gets a bit carried away, we do think that next week he might want to ease off asking people to send in anecdotes as we’re getting very close to A-ha-alan’s Funny Stories territory, surely the last thing Madeley would want to remind us of. He wonders who got the power pack!

Why Don't YouTube?

Before the new stuff, the views of Mike Williams. “Ah, gentlemen, this week your trip round the regions has brought back some happy memories. Take old Tiger Tim for example – a stalwart of Radio Clyde, which even those of us living in the Lothians listened to over Radio Forth, and his Tiger Stripe pants. Even though by the time of this show I’d moved on to other shores, it still is as painful to watch as it was then.

“As for Glen Michael – if it wasn’t for him, I would never have seen many of the classics of American TV cartoons of the sixties and seventies, such as BatFink or Space Ghost – sorry, SPAAAACEEEEE GHOOOSSTTTTTT!!! Growing up in West Lothian, he was the bright spot of a dull Sunday afternoon, right after ScotsSport and before The Bishop brought us Stars On Sunday. He also did a lot of work with local schools – one of our deep dark family secrets been my younger sister appearing at a Christmas show he did at Linlithgow Primary.

“Then you complete my day by mentioing Mike Neville and the move to the Pink Palace. I actually lived in Fenham in the Eighties, and I remember passing the building site at the former Fenham Barracks on my way to and from the University every day, watching the building going up during 1987. The link you posted didn’t work for some reason, but I found one here, which reminded me a) how wet Newcastle got in January, and b) just how much of a god he really was at the time. With Mike on the BBC, and Alan Robson doing his shows on Metro, it seemed as if the Geordies ruled the airwaves at the time.”

Meanwhile, David Smith adds, “Although I grew up in STV land it was a real revelation to me that Glen Michael was actually a Sassenach. And upon further Wikipedia-ing I found out that he was actually christened with the rather splendid moniker of Cecil Buckland! If only he’d kept that – can you imagine, Cecil Buckland’s Cartoon Cavalcade?! That’s almost Monty Python’s Flying Circus.”

Next we’re going to a sporting fixture, played at Wembley it was quite a mixture, oh what a game, everybody came, everybody you could name! Wise words from Frank Bough there, on whatever show that was, and indeed this week it’s a sporting spectacular in our jaunt through YouTube. No football, though, we go on about that too much. So join us, as we celebrate the art of the ruff! Ruff! Ting! Famous TV sportsmen.

1

“NOW WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU DOING THERE AT THIS HOUR ON A SUNDAY MORNING!”/br/>This is brilliant! Sadly this year’s Commonwealth Games are going to be a complete disaster, which is a shame, so let’s instead hark back to a time when they seemed relevant, Brisbane 1982, which was a fantastic event not just because Rolf appeared in the Opening Ceremony, but because we got telly at breakfast time, three months before it happened for good. Anchoring proceedings was Des Lynam, and this is surely the start of his imperial phase with his relaxed presentation being absolutely perfect for the time of day, and what with it being breakfast time we’ve not only got a clock on the wall but also the news, which was very exciting in those days. There’s also some Pages from Ceefax, if you’re into that.

2

“THE OLYMPIC FLAME IS ABOUT TO BE EXTINGUISHED!”
We’ve said this before in Creamguide but everyone should have the opportunity to stay up all night every night for a fortnight to watch every minute of a major sporting event from start to finish. Of course, it’s something you can only do if you have no other commitments, and for Creamguide, that moment occurred during the 1998 Winter Olympics, for which they were in front of their telly at 2am night after night, captivated by the curling but just enjoying the excitement of watching live telly into the small hours, safe in the knowledge they could sleep through til lunchtime. Here’s how it was heralded, with a, cough, interesting title sequence and then a set which we assure you looked fabulous in 1998, although it seems a bit gimmicky now. No Hammy McMillan, alas, but Ray and Jane are coming to the end of their marathon stint.

3

“IF, UNLIKE US, YOU’RE NOT GOING TO BED!”
The Winter Olympics have always been of minority interest in this country, of course, unlike the summer games, which in 1984 even had the honour of their own variation of the otherwise sacred BBC1 globe. Which they weren’t actually allowed to do with the Olympic logo, and got in trouble for it, but it is an interesting variation. Here’s the title sequences for every year from 1964 to 1988, notable for 1976’s theme, chosen in a Nationwide competition, and the fact 1980 didn’t have a theme because the boycott led to incredibly half-arsed coverage.

4

“IF I WASN’T SITTING HERE, I’D BE SITTING THERE WITH YOU!”
We’ll stick with Grandstand for a bit, actually. We wouldn’t normally link to this kind of thing because it’s from the kind of poster who goes under a pseudonym, disables comments and generally acts in a suspicious manner, but it’s a nice opening sequence anyway. In fact here’s another opening sequence, which also includes a bit of the old 12.12 weather forecast that used to be a fixture of the schedules for goodness knows how long. And before that, of course, would be the Saturday morning kids shows, and here’s that 12.12 junction in full in 1988, promoting a revised Sunday morning schedule that kids would doubtless be thrilled by, and also in 1993. We have no idea what that Trevor and Simon sketch would have been, but they make a brilliant entrance. Ah, Rebekah Elmaloglou. A bonus fact is that Davro appearance was to promote Rock With Laughter, which was supposed to start that week but was postponed a million times. A bit of added value, there.

5

“BACKED UP BY OUR HIGHLY PROFESSIONAL TEAM!”
Of course, the episode of Grandstand everyone remembers is this, from 1st April 1989. It’s brilliant, of course, thanks to Des’ immaculate comic timing – oh, where did it all go wrong, Des? – but this was actually take two because apparently in the first take they made too much of a racket.

6

“IT’S GOOD TO KNOW WE HAVE SO MANY FRIENDS OUT THERE!”
Why would you send World of Sport a Christmas card? Anyway, Grandstand’s great rival always had more light entertainment leanings so it was no surprise when they managed to get a real life comedy legend to co-host on Christmas Eve 1977. Despite the legend – mentioned by some people in the comments – this was planned in advance, as it was billed in the TV Times, with a drawing of Dickie and Eric, as opposed to Eric simply meeting Dickie in the pub and tagging along, but regardless it’s an ace bit of telly, even if we don’t get the best bit where Eric reads Dickie’s autocue.

7

“AND HAVE A VERY HAPPY WEEKEND!”
We remember TVC’s friends at BrokenTV not so long ago announcing the news that ITV were to release a DVD of the last ten minutes of an episode of World of Sport from 1981 – or at least, they presumed so given they got that very thing taken off YouTube for “commercial reasons”. Nevertheless somehow this opening and closing sequence from an episode around the same time has managed to stay on the site for nearly two years now, and that’s all to the good.

8

“THE WORLD’S GREATEST INTERNATIONAL!”
Ooh look, we mentioned this last week. It’s ITV’s coverage of the Rugby World Cup on Thursday 22nd June 1995, which happened to be running when John Major announced his resignation, as the following news bulletin illustrates. And of course, because it’s the ITV News, the comments are all about the ITV Weather, and what Powergen ident it was. For heaven’s sake. The presenter you don’t recognise is Alistair Hignell, and note the break bumpers, surely the only interesting break bumpers ever as Heineken counted down their top one hundred players. That’s how to do them. Here’s a highlights show from that tournament, presented here by Mark Austin, who appeared alongside Mary Nightingale, a pairing they’d recreate a decade later on the ITV News. But never mind that, what about the ITV Weather? We need to compile a complete list of Powergen idents!

9

“TREVOR BERBICK AND MIKE TYSON ARE ABOUT TO BATTLE IT OUT!”
This is just us talking about theme tunes now, alas, and this one’s nicked of TV Ark too, but we’d just like to put on record how fantastic The Big Fight Live theme tune is and why it’s a travesty ITV don’t use it now. Listen to it, it’s the most exciting sports theme ever! Note also how the great Charles Foster of Granada is suitably dressed for the occasion, because he always had that touch of class.

10

“ANYONE SITTING HERE DRESSED LIKE THIS AT TWENTY PAST MIDNIGHT!”
The Beeb always go on about how they’ll never change the Match of the Day theme but sadly they don’t have the same respect for some of their other, equally venerable theme tunes. What are they doing with this theme at the moment, with their baffling a-snooker-ball-or-maybe-the-cue-is-like-a-horse titles being accompanied by a pale shadow of this majestic theme? Watch out for a Special Transmitter Announcement at the start. We often hear the person who lives upstairs from Creamguide playing the guitar, but he’s clearly not a proper guitarist as he’s not played this once. Mind you, he doesn’t seem to play anything, just some aimless strummings. Intriguingly they didn’t always use this theme, the same year they also used this Vangelis track, which seemingly David Vine liked, but nobody else did. In fact we don’t much care for YouTube comments, but well done to kiley456 who correctly asserts “this theme is bollocks compared to the normal one”. And so say all of us.

TUESDAY  5thOCTOBER

BBC2

16.30 Blue Peter
As we predicted last week, when Blue Peter asks the nation to do something, the nation does it, so if you want to send off for the template to make Christmas cards for the appeal, you can’t, as all one hundred thousand have already been sent out, and if you didn’t get one, all they could suggest was that you asked around to see if your mates had any going spare. It’s not quite the Cambodia appeal totaliser reaching the top the day after it started, as the cards need to be sent in and people need to buy them, but it certainly emphasises the potential of Blue Peter’s child army.

BBC4

21.00 When Britain Went Wild
This documentary looks back to the sixties to the time when people saw nothing wrong with chopping down acre after acre of rainforest, before the likes of the Torrey Canyon and the work of people like Gerald Durrell convinced us that it might be worth us looking at trying to protect animals and recycle a bit more.

WEDNESDAY  6th OCTOBER

ITV4

22.45 Sports Mash
Watch out everyone, we’re billing an ITV comedy show, and one we’ve not seen to boot. Basically it’s a load of old sports clips, mostly bizarre pseudo-sports from the World of Sport archive, but overdubbed with new voice-overs from Alistair McGowan, a la Sports Review of the Year 1995 or something. Of course, we’d have been much happier with them just showing the clips as they were, which would doubtless be entertaining enough, but given they seemingly can’t be bothered recommissioning The Big Match Revisited, a series that must have cost 20p to make, we have to take our archive kicks on this channel where we can find them these days, we suppose.

THURSDAY  7th OCTOBER

BBC Radio 4

11.30 The Lennon Visitors
The very best thing on telly this week was the welcome return of Kevin Eldon’s fantastic George Martin impression, on the we thought rather amusing Harry and Paul. It was certainly worth watching for that if nothing else. Here’s some more of the Fabs, with Alexei Sayle talking to some of the people who visited John’s house when he lived there, and some of the people who visit it now. “We’ve already bought three houses, and now we’ve got to buy another so Ringo doesn’t feel left out!”

FRIDAY  8th OCTOBER

BBC1

20.30 QI
We always like looking at the QI Wikipedia pages for the, yes, quite interesting facts about the various episodes, such as the fact that in one show last series Rich Hall sat in a different seat to his normal one for the first time ever, or the same three panellists appear in different episodes a few series apart. We wonder if they’ll make a note of the fact that all of tonight’s guests – Brand, Dee and Carr – share the same first initial. Be better in two years time when they get to Series J, mind.

BBC2

20.00 Mastermind
You’d think that someone would have answered questions on The Beatles in recent times, but seemingly not as the shaggy one, the bonny one, the lovable one and the aggressive lovable one are under the spotlight tonight. As well as our wackers, someone’s doing the Carry On films, which Shelley off Corrie did on the celebrity version not long ago. Pick more interesting subjects, civilians!

BBC4

21.15 Singer Songwriters at the BBC
Don McLean’s on this tonight, and our pop fact is that Cryin was for a long time the lowest-selling number one for years, because it was there when Top of the Pops on strike so nobody heard it. Fortunately the Pops made it up to Don when he re-released American Pie, as it was around the time they had that awful revamp with everyone singing live, and his authenticity and dullness made him the ideal artists to appear. Also here, recent TVC front page star, Ralph McTell. Let’s all hope they choose the right son. What is this!?

23.15 In Concert – Squeeze
00.00 In Concert – Carole King
00.30 In Concert – Elton John

Dunno when the latter’s from, the middle one’s from 1971 and the first, and the best, is a Sight And Sound In Concert presentation from 1982 from the Beeb’s rock venue of choice, The Regal Theatre, Hitchin. We think it’s shut now, alas.

That’s it for this week, we hope you enjoyed our new look. If you’re not already subscribed to Creamguide, click here>

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