Remembering UK Play – Part 2.


Off we go again with the second part of my look back at UK Play…

Having A Pop. A comedy sketch show with Mark Radcliffe and Marc Riley vlcsnap-00006when they were also delivering quality items on Radio 1. It was made on a budget of about 10p but at least they tried.


Here Is This. Comedy sketches featuring the roller coaster adventures of such characters as Barry Gibson, Bobby Peru and a mild-mannered sales representative called Keith Lemon. I must admit I didn’t find it that funny at the time which is why I remain rather shocked at the continuing success of the Mr Lemon character.

Herring In Fiji. The comedian Richard Herring visits Fiji. That’s about it for that one really.

Honky Sausages. A sitcom about a dysfunctional family living in a council flat in Ladbroke Grove. I haven’t made this up.

Joe’s Pop Shop. A very odd sitcom featuring presenter Joe Mace running a record shop.

The Joy Of Decks. Songs and music videos get remixed together, giving viewers a great chance to get down and boogie.

Mental! Handily subtitled The Music Quiz in case you weren’t sure what the show was about, Iain Lee hosts the game show where people showed off mental_4their musical knowledge. Lee later said that it was the worst programme that he’d ever hosted. And this is from someone who hosted The 11 O’Clock Showmental_8The Mitchell And Webb Situation. The comedy sketch show that Mitchell and Webb did after Bruiser but before That Mitchell And Webb Look when vlcsnap-00008they were still fairly unknown. Cheap and cheerful stuff, also featuring Dame Olivia Colman among the cast. Incredibly, this has actually come out on DVD.


Next Stop Phil Kay. The crazy Scottish comedian goes on a tour bus around Scotland doing his thing, including mocking all the famous landmarks. phil0001

Nu Music. A showcase for up-and-coming bands to perform on TV. Most of them probably faded into obscurity. Hosted by the bloke off The Stone Roses. vlcsnap-00013The Phone Zone. A live spin off from The O Zone. It was a show where vlcsnap-00035viewers could phone in and make requests, and there were also competitions and video votes, it was UK Play’s equivalent of MTV’s Select. It was hosted by the likes of Jayne Middlemiss, Joe Mace and Vernon Kay. After The O Zone ended, the show was renamed TOTP@Play to try to attach itself to the Top Of The Pops name instead and promptly ended. phone0001Pick ‘N’ Mix. A show where a mixture of live performances from the BBC archive and new music videos were linked by Jamie Theakston walking around somewhere. vlcsnap-00024That’s it for now, the third and final part is later.

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