The Review Of The Year.

We’ve just about come to the end of my third year of doing this blog, and I have brought you over 130 new pieces in 2017 sharing more memories of various things, what a year it’s been, here are some of my highlights. First of all, I remember saying around the end of April that I had plenty more to tell you about, and then I didn’t do a piece for the whole of May. Sorry about that! But whenever I do get a good idea that I want to share I always enjoy bringing them to you on here. year

I reviewed some more game shows. These included me trying to defend Channel 4’s Cheap Cheap Cheap which was so obviously was going to be a big ratings flop from the moment it was announced but I tried to convince people that it wasn’t that bad really. I also had a look at some American versions of British game shows. There aren’t that many more game shows left to review now. 

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Barry pretends that he knows what’s happening in Cheap Cheap Cheap

Also this year we lost some great TV figures who had contributed a lot to game shows over the years. This included Bruce Forsyth who I paid a special tribute to when I looked back at his remarkable career, William G Stewart who hosted Channel 4’s Fifteen-To-One for almost 16 years, a show that I have written about a lot on here, and Keith Chegwin, who featured in my review of BBC1’s Happy Families, when he was the special celebrity guest who cranked up those grannies. 

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The much-missed Cheggers gets ready to do some granny cranking

I also looked back at some more comedy and children’s TV shows. Along with game shows, these are my three favourite TV genres, and there are plenty more sitcoms and cartoons still to review. I have also enjoyed writing about forgotten TV shows that I have found on YouTube including Atlantis High and The Preventers, plus the final episodes of various soaps. My most viewed piece that I wrote this year was on BBC1’s game show Winning Lines, with CBBC’s sketch show Stupid in second place. I was enjoying talking about TV on here, but then this blog went off in a different direction when something rather remarkable happened… 

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Atlantis High was great, honest

I know have gone about it a lot but when I discovered that pop group Bananarama decided to reform after they became friends again during a party in Bethnal Green which is where I live in London I was very surprised. When I discovered that the reason that Keren and Sara were here was because they at Siobhan’s house in Bethnal Green, I was shocked. Sara also mentioned this in an interview with Classic Pop magazine! I had recently been thinking about whatever happened to Siobhan when I remembered that it was the 25th anniversary of her massive chart-topping single “Stay”, and to discover that we lived so close to one another completely stunned me. 

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Sorry, what?!

This made me realise how much of an impact pop music has had on my life and I decided that I wanted to write about it more on here, something that I never thought I would have the confidence or ability to do just a few years earlier before I started all this. I realised that I was rather fond of women pop stars in the 80s and 90s who didn’t play the game so to speak, ones who wrote all of their songs, had a very distinctive image, weren’t manufactured and liked to be in control of their career, which seemingly led to constant bickering with their record labels.

I wrote about solo singers that I remember from the early-90s such as Betty Boo and Cathy Dennis, and I also wanted to find out more about Danielle Dax, and when I finally tracked down some information about her, I just thought she was terrific, to the extent that I bought the DVD of her concert. Although I said there seems to be little about what happened to Danielle post-1991 online, I did later discover that she performed a very low-key gig (also her first in over a decade) earlier this year at a club in Dalston, which again is very near where I live. Wow. I also got a good reply to the piece thanking me for telling her story. It’s not too late to make her a star, is it? 

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walking sick sick they walking the town

I also realised that I seem to have a fondness for female duos who probably couldn’t stand one another, leading them to go their separate ways in rather bitter circumstances. Along with Shakespear’s Sister (I even went so far as to review the time that they were imitated on Stars In Their Eyes!), I also looked back at Alisha’s Attic, Strawberry Switchblade, and Shampoo. It was great finding clips of their TV appearances on YouTube, magazine covers, and listening to their hits, they were all very charismatic and entertaining. I was surprised to discover Alisha’s Attic’s first attempt at pop stardom in the 1980s with a song that was described as “a wretched hi-NRG abomination” by Record Mirror. Well, we’ve all got to start somewhere. I also looked back at the group Fuzzbox. I was rather surprised when I tracked down their Twitter account because it seems that I have more followers. I’m more famous than Fuzzbox? How can that be possible?! 

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They had a Fuzzbox and they liked to use it

Next year I plan to look back at lots more pop stars including Bananarama, but as they had about 30 hit singles it will take a while to put together, and I was really pleased when I got a reply from someone on one of the Shakespear’s Sister pieces saying that they went to one of the Bananarama reunion concerts and they also met the ladies after and they were great, it really is brilliant to know how well received the tour was by fans. I also bought the special editions of their first six albums featuring two CDs of songs and a DVD of music videos and TV appearances. 

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Yes they did, didn’t they!

Finally, I’d like to thank you for your continued support. My blog has had over 30,000 views in 2017 which is a new record for most views in a year, and your interest is the reason why I didn’t stop doing this after three days. It’s been a great experience and I hope you’ll look forward to what’s still to come. Whatever you’re doing, I hope you have an enjoyable 2018.

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