Another update…

Here is a list of the classic TV shows that I still plan to review on this blog. Hopefully I will get round to doing all these one day…

Aaahh!! Real Monsters!
Absolutely Fabulous
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Alan Partridge’s Mid Morning Matters
ALF
Alvin And The Chipmunks
American Dad
Andy Capp
Angela Anaconda
Around The World With Willy Fog
Ask No Questions
The Baldy Man
Beavis And Butt-Head
Bertha
Biker Mice From Mars
A Bit Of A Do
Black Books
Blackadder
Blandings
Blue Peter
The Bob Monkhouse Show
Body Heat
Box Clever
Boyz Unlimited
Brian Conley This Way Up
Bucky O’Hare
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
Bug Alert
Button Moon
Carrott’s Commercial Breakdown
Catterick
Charlie Chalk
Charmed
Chip ‘N’ Dale
Chockablock
The Cleveland Show
Colin’s Sandwich
Count Duckula
Cradle To Grave
The Creatives
The Crystal Cube
Defectors
Defenders Of The Earth
Dennis The Menace
Desmond’s
The Detectives
Dexter’s Laboratory
Didn’t They Do Well
Do It
Doc Martin
Dogtanian And The Three Muskehounds
Duck Tales
Dumb And Dumber
Earthworm Jim
Ed Stone Is Dead
Extras
The Family Ness
Famous People, Famous Places
Fanorama
Fast Forward
Fawlty Towers
Fireman Sam
Fist Of Fun
The Flintstones
FLIP
The Frank Skinner Show
French And Saunders
Fudge
Gas
Gavin And Stacey
Get Fit With Brittas
Gibberish
Gimme Gimme Gimme
Girls On Top
Gordon T Gopher
Grange Hill
Green Claws
The Grimleys
Hale And Pace
Harry And Paul
Harry Enfield And Chums
Harry Enfield’s Television Programme
Harry Hill’s Fruit Fancies
He-Man
Henry’s Cat
Hex
Hitman
Holding The Baby
House Of Fools
Housemates
The Hurricanes
I Am Weasel
In Bed With Medinner
The Inbetweeners
Inspector Gadget
Interceptor
It’s Anybody’s Guess
James Bond Jr.
Jeeves And Wooster
The Jetsons
Jimbo And The Jet Set
Johnny Ball Reveals All
Johnny Bravo
Just For The Record
The Kenny Everett Video Show
King Of The Hill
Kingdom
The League Of Gentlemen
Let Them Eat Cake
Little Britain
The Magic Comedy Strip
Maid Marian And Her Merry Men
The Mask
Melvin And Maureen’s Music-A-Grams
Model Millie
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
Mr Majeika
Naked Video
New Girl
Nighty Night
Noel’s Comedy Luxury
Not The Nine O’Clock News
Now You See It
The Office
Open All Hours
Out Of This World
Outside Edge
Ovide
Palace Hill
Paris
Password
Paul Merton The Series
Penny Crayon
People Do The Funniest Things
Pigeon Street
The Piglet Files
Pingu
The Pink Panther Show
Pirates
Playdays
Pob’s Programme
Pop Quiz
Popular
Popworld
Postman Pat
The Powerpuff Girls
Press Gang
Puddle Lane
Pushing Up Daisies
QI
A Question Of TV
Quiz Bowl
The Raggy Dolls
Red And Blue
Red Dwarf
Rentaghost
The Riddlers
Rock And Chips
Roger And The Rottentrolls
Roland Rat
The Ronn Lucas Show
Rosie And Jim
Samson Superslug
Saturday Night Takeaway
Scooby-Doo
Sesame Street
The Shane Richie Experience
Simon And The Witch
Sir Bernard’s Stately Homes
Sitting Pretty
Smart
The Smurfs
Sonic The Hedgehog
South Park
Spitting Image
The Spooks Of Bottle Bay
Still Game
Stop That Laughing At The Back
The Sunday Show
Super Mario Brothers
Supergran
Superted
The Sylvester And Tweety Mysteries
Tale Spin
Tales From The Poop Deck
Tarrant On TV
T-Bag
They Came From Somewhere Else
This Morning With Richard Not Judy
Thomas The Tank Engine
Three’s A Crowd
Thundercats
Toast Of London
Tots TV
Transformers
The Trap Door
Treasure Hunt
Tricky Business
Two Point Four Children
The Two Ronnies
Upstart Crow
The Vicar Of Dibley
Victor And Hugo
Wacaday
Wake Up In The Wild Room
Whoops Apocalypse
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The World Of Lee Evans
The Worst Week Of My Life
Worzel Gummidge
WYSIWYG
Xena: Warrior Princess
XYZ
You And Me
You Gotta Be Jokin’
Your Number Please
Zig And Zag’s Dirty Deeds

And along with all that, I am always on the lookout for things on YouTube, and I also plan to review more things including adverts, pop music, computer games and so on. So if anything on the list looks like something you might be interested in, why not spread the word because it’ll be great to get as many people as possible have a look at these pieces.

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CITV Memories – An Afternoon With CITV.

An Afternoon With CITV (CITV, 1993)

After having a look back at various continuity clips recently, I remembered that a long time ago I left a tape running to record a whole afternoon of CITV, so here’s a look at some of the adverts that featured along with the shows. I’m fairly sure that it was recorded on 18 February 1993 in the Carlton region. Will there be lots of adverts for toys and things like that, let’s find out. vlcsnap-00931

We begin with the break just before CITV when Blockbusters has ended at around 3:45pm. There’s an advert for Daz featuring Danny Baker who has decided to ask Diane from Coventry if she would take their challenge. And no, she wouldn’t swap her Daz for anything else. Also featuring is Pampers with rather alarming references to clammy bottoms, and the soundtrack to ITV drama series Head Over Heelsvlcsnap-00910

CITV then starts, and we’re in the very early days of the host being Steven Ryde out-of-vision (although the symbol that was introduced in 1991 was retained) who would be behind the microphone for the next five years, before going off to work behind the scenes in children’s TV. There was a different look used for every day of the week and as it’s a Thursday there are some wooden things everywhere. Today includes Where’s Wally?, Tiny Toon Adventures, and Mike & Angelovlcsnap-00915

But now it’s time for Starfax, today featuring Angelo from Mike & Angelo, and we learn lots of things including he is approximately 3,000 nanoscroobles old, and his best friend is Concita Wobblybots. Adverts include Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes have an offer to get a free BT phonecard worth £2. Then there is some fancy yoghurt which is peach and maracuya flavour (I still don’t know what a maracuya is) and the Burger King Kids Club. vlcsnap-00917

There is a trail for cartoon Tale Spin that is coming tomorrow, and Steven almost does a spoonerism (“obnexious nophew”) going into a series 5 episode of Mike & Angelo, accompanied by a lively animation (I did enjoy how they fiddled around with the CITV symbol at this time), people can’t wait to watch. Guest stars this week include John “Ashley, I say, Ashley!” Savident and Joe “Spatz” Greco. A Carlton programme for ITV. vlcsnap-00920

Next is the first in a new series of Tiny Toon Adventures. There are adverts for Kellogg’s Rice Krispies with a free gift of a Red Nose Bike Reflector, plus strange ones for Sun Valley and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs. CITV isn’t only on weekdays though, we get a trail for what’s on offer on Saturdays and Sundays with What’s Up Doc? and The Disney Club at 9:25am. Cartoon Time with Bugs Bunny is next. vlcsnap-00924

Most notable in this break is a revised advert for Robinsons, removing the song which featured the memorable lyric “the bison sucks on his orange“. Then there is a trail for Just Us, the drama series featuring the Clarksons and the Holdsworths, coming on Friday. Tomorrow’s treats include Thomas The Tank Engine, Zzzap!, Tale Spin and Just Us. That’s all for now! vlcsnap-00929

The YouTube Files – 30 Years Of Grandstand.

Grandstand (BBC1, 1988)

A while back I reviewed some sport programmes including Grandstand. Wanting to have another look back at these type of shows, I recently found on YouTube some highlights from the 30th anniversary edition of Grandstand that was shown on BBC1 on 8 October 1988 (the BBC Genome’s entry for this edition is simply “see panel”, and then the panel isn’t there which is rather frustrating).

The time is 12:15pm and Des Lynam (before he cleared off to ITV) is once again about to introduce a busy afternoon of sport action, today is the 1,777th edition. They even made a sign specially and everything! We begin with the BBC Sport symbol that had only just been introduced and would be used until 1992. We then have the original opening sequence from 1958 (“today’s sport as it happens”). vlcsnap-00905

There is then a montage of all the memorable sporting moments that had been shown hundreds of times even then (the 1966 World Cup Final and so on), and all these were probably shown again on the final edition in 2007. Des tells us that Grandstand is the longest-running TV sports programme in the world, and he is very grateful about that. And the idea behind Grandstand hasn’t changed in these 30 years. vlcsnap-00910

This afternoon’s sport (before Sky bought it all off them) includes golf, racing and motor sport. Des then interviews Harry Carpenter who worked on the first edition, and today is at the golf (although I believe that it’s a myth that he was once introduced as “your carpenter is Harry Commentator”). John Motson reviews the week’s European football, and Steve Rider has a motor sport update. vlcsnap-00900

There is also some top racing from Ascot, and as it was on day one, the commentator is Peter O’Sullevan. Now his was a great voice that I remember from coverage on Saturday afternoons for many years, and he is also interviewed by Des about his memories. Shortly after retiring in 1997, O’Sullevan was knighted for his outstanding service to talking very quickly. vlcsnap-00904

Then we have the football results with the vidiprinter. Des remembers the old days when the teleprinter used to rattle them out, but modern technology has now taken over. Pools coupon at the ready. One of the results in Division Two is Blackburn 5 Crystal Palace 4, that sounds like a right old whizz-bang of a humdinger. And then, wait, is Des packing up and going? vlcsnap-00661

No, he’s going over to the other side of the studio to introduce us to some more of the highly professional team, including another who has contributed since day one. It’s Len Martin who is sat in the corner and has all the football results, and still remembers when Tottenham put ten past Everton, you got value for money in those days. Len left Grandstand in 1995. vlcsnap-00907

Des finishes off this special edition by telling us what used to follow Grandstand in its earliest days. Now… who was that man? It was The Lone Ranger, and that show’s theme brings this show to an end instead of the more familiar regular theme. What an entertaining trip back in time. Don’t forget that there are golf highlights on BBC2 at 12:35am.

2018 In Review.

It’s time to take a look back at the year. It’s rather odd to think that 2018 has now happened and been consigned to history, as I still think that it’s about 25 years into the future. Four years on from starting this blog I am satisfied with what I have achieved. I feel that I have settled in and I have now done almost 700 pieces, including about 150 this year, here’s a look at some of my highlights of the year. 2018

There was plenty of excitement in pop music as the story I told about Bananarama on here that I think will always be my favourite blog piece took some further twists this year. Firstly, I found a picture on Instagram of Siobhan in a pub that I know that surprised me (and she was alongside Brix Smith who definitely had an interesting music career in the 80s too). I still honestly can’t believe that I have walked the same path in life (I don’t mean our careers of course, I mean literally the same Bethnal Green streets) as someone who fascinated me (along with many other people) with their chart-topping single back in 1992. brix1

Not long after, a picture appeared of Siobhan alongside Marcella from Shakespear’s Sister, by all accounts the first time they had seen one another for 25 years which was really something unexpected. That all of this has actually happened still makes me happy. It’s good to know that she’s still out there but I haven’t looked at Siobhan’s Instagram page for a while now because as you see I usually get more than I bargained for… ss1

I also did a three-part series looking back at Bananarama’s hit singles, and I reviewed Keren and Sara’s appearance on BBC1’s Pointless Celebrities. Well five years on they appeared on the show again, and managed to maintain their unbeaten record as they reached the final and this time they won the money! They made great records in the 80s, they’ve been to Bethnal Green, they win TV game shows… what’s not to admire? And it seems that there’s a new tour and album on the way too, I don’t think Siobhan is involved in these though, but who knows maybe I’ll see her in the pub one day. banana0005

I was also surprised by just how many 80s pop stars had their 60th birthdays this year. Siobhan was one of them in September, and 13 days later another one was Danielle Dax. To celebrate this I decided to do another piece about her career because I thought that her work was fascinating and there should be more about her online, and this received a positive response. After completing it I found another article about her in Number One magazine in 1984, with a full-page colour picture and everything. I also found an interview from the same time where she said that one of her icons was Cruella de Vil and I honestly don’t know if she was being serious or not. dax1

Oh, and remember when I found a picture of Danielle from a year or two ago at a gig in Dalston where I said she had bright blue hair which I thought was odd, but I teased people by using a picture of Stormer from great 80s cartoon Jem instead? Well recently when searching online I found a picture captioned “Danielle Dax, 2018”, which is the best post-1991 picture that I have seen of her. So if you really do want to know what she looks like nowadays… dax2

I also looked back at the hits of 80s music stars Haysi Fantaysee and Hazel O’Connor. Not long after I received a tweet from the woman herself who also retweeted the link to the piece, making it become my most-viewed blog piece that I did this year, I was thrilled and it made all the work I put into it worthwhile. I didn’t tag her in the link so there’s the positive side of vanity searching I suppose, what an endorsement. Well it’s more than Kate Garner did. Hazel

I also came across two shows this year that I previously had no knowledge of that I really enjoyed. The first of these was ITV’s drama and music series Jangles which starred Hazel O’Connor (I also noticed recently that one episode features another early-80s singer who was Honey Bane of “Turn Me On Turn Me Off” fame). I must admit that I really became fond of the bizarre character Herald (“obliging those who wish to blow their minds…“) and he is now one of my unsung TV heroes. vlcsnap-00567

The other one was BBC2’s The Wolvis Family, an early-90s sitcom about a rather bizarre family that was described by the Radio Times Guide To TV Comedy as “a forgotten gem”, and that’s a statement I can’t argue with, it definitely deserves a DVD release. And the character of Mr Wolvis became another one of my favourites. Other long-forgotten comedy shows I enjoyed reviewing this year included BBC2’s It’s A Mad World World World World, ITV’s Not With A Bang and Channel 5’s Hospital! vlcsnap-00436

As for game shows, I decided to review Quizmania as Greg Scott and Chuck Thomas who were among the hosts are both following me on Twitter and I hoped that it might catch their attention. I was very flattered that they both approved of the piece, with Greg saying that he was pleased by how many people still remember the show so long after it ended and Chuck giving it a like. vlcsnap-00073

I also reviewed the revivals of The Crystal Maze and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire (who knows, maybe they’ll revive Blockbusters one day…), along with some American versions of classic game shows including Cross Wits and Play Your Cards Right. Also this year we had to say goodbye to some familiar faces, including game show hosts Jim Bowen and Dale Winton, and children’s TV stars Barry Chuckle and Geoffrey Hayes. Thanks for lots of great memories. vlcsnap-00722

I also looked back at a few other interesting shows including ITV’s Wake Up London, BBC Choice’s Hotlinks, the news coverage of the death of Diana, I admitted that I did admired the ITV Weathergens, and it was also enjoyable reviewing lots of old adverts. CBBC and CITV shows that I reviewed included Radio Roo and Mega ManiaThere are plenty more reviews of classic TV memories planned to come in 2019. vlcsnap-00694

My blog has had over 41,000 views this year. All that it remains for me to say is thanks for reading wherever you may be, and special thanks to everyone who liked and commented, it is much appreciated to know that you enjoy what I do!

The YouTube Files – New Year With Carlton.

New Year With Carlton (ITV, 1998)

Moving on from Christmas, here’s a look at some adverts and continuity that were shown on the last day of the year. Although the video doesn’t go right up to midnight, there is still plenty here that’s worth reviewing. It was shown in the Carlton region on 31 December 1998 (almost 20 years ago now) and it was uploaded to YouTube by “randomVHStat”. As always, here are some of the highlights. vlcsnap-00887

We begin with adverts during Emmerdale (sponsored by Toyota). And I am not even kidding, the first advert in the break is for the DFS sale. Well they didn’t hang about did they? There are lots of adverts for sales beginning on New Year’s Day in these breaks, maybe even more than for ones that began on Boxing Day. There is also the Millennium Experience. This reminds me of when people were going to go on about “the millennium” for the next 12 months, what a time that was. vlcsnap-00890

Courts then tell us that they’re going to be open on New Year’s Day, that’s great. Something else that is advertised a lot at this time of year is partworks. The first issue is always at a reduced price, does anyone continue to buy them after that? Why not collect them all. There are also adverts telling you where you should go for your holiday in ’99, along with the annoying Sainsbury’s advert with John Cleese. vlcsnap-00892

After Emmerdale ends, The Bill is coming next. But before that, there’s a cryptic McDonald’s advert (all will be revealed on Saturday 2 January), and yet more sale adverts with massive savings. There is also a trail for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire with Chris Tarrant which is about to return for another series where people can play for “the biggest cash prize in TV history”. So call now, because the contestant who gets the chance to play tomorrow night might be about to party like it’s 1999. vlcsnap-00893

There’s then a Carlton ident (the Christmas look has left the screen by now, these idents were used until September 1999 when the star symbol was introduced) into The Bill (also sponsored by Toyota). There are yet more sales, that “daddy or chips?” advert, Cable & Wireless, and Daz with Michael Barrymore, who is very pleased that there’s 50% Extra Free (“now that’s a bargain worth catching”). vlcsnap-00894

After The Bill ends, there’s a trail. There’s also an advert for Strongbow with Johnny Vaughan, and then an ident going into The Ruth Rendell Mysteries (sponsored by… you guessed it… Toyota). Another thing about these adverts is just how many of them contain what Teletext page you should look at for more information instead of a website. Chris Evans then turns up and tells us who he wants to have a One2One with (groovy, man!), and that’s the end of the video. vlcsnap-00895

The Comedy Vault – Educating Marmalade/Danger – Marmalade At Work.

Educating Marmalade (CITV, 1982-1983)

Here’s the story of how I came across this one. Not long after I started doing this blog, someone contacted me and asked if I was planning to review Educating Marmalade. I said that I wasn’t because I had never seen it, “before my time” and all that. They seemed to be rather surprised by this, as if they thought that I knew about every 80s and 90s TV show, which is something I should be flattered by I suppose.

The only clip that I was familiar with was where Charlotte Coleman (who would have been 50 this year) hosted a month of Children’s ITV in character (just about) in April 1983, and caused something of a stir in the comments section because she called someone a “schmuck”. After I discovered that both series had been released on DVD, I thought that I might as well give it a try.

The character of Marmalade Atkins was created by Andrew Davies, who first appeared in a series of books before coming to CITV in 1981 in a one-off 25-minute show called Marmalade Atkins In Space as part of the Theatre Box series. I hoped that the episode would feature some random red-haired women and now rather bad-looking special effects, and I wasn’t disappointed. I thought to myself, this has the potential to be rather interesting. vlcsnap-00874

The first series of Educating Marmalade launched on CITV in 1982, and the theme music was provided by Bad Manners. Marmalade Atkins can be described as the worst girl in the world, and every edition began with a “bad girl warning”. She has been expelled from every school that she has ever been to. Every week social worker Mrs Allgood sends Marmalade to a new school, much to the despair of her long-suffering parents (Mr Atkins was played by Rory Bremner’s mate John Bird). vlcsnap-00883

In the first episode Marmalade attended Cringe Hill (a parody of CBBC’s Grange Hill), and among the unruly pupils was future Lananeeneenoonoo member Kathy Burke. Also appearing in a few episodes as a schoolgirl before they were famous was Julia Sawalha. Most episodes ended with an exasperated teacher saying “Marmalade Atkins… you are expelled!”. vlcsnap-00871

Marmalade also had some personality quirks, such as having a blonde streak in her hair about 15 years before that woman from Friends, reading comics including 2000AD and The Beano rather than get on with any work, she had a talking puppet dog in her bedroom, and she was also rather fond of addressing everyone as “cock” (is this why it received a 12 certificate despite being shown on CITV I wonder?). The show was popular enough for there to be a second series with a slightly different format… vlcsnap-00869

Danger – Marmalade At Work (CITV, 1984)

For this series, Marmalade had now left school and had a new social worker who was Wendy Wooley after Mrs Allgood had finally had enough. Marmalade remained a total menace and every week she would have a different job such as a chef, spy, air stewardess and so on. There was also an episode where she joined the army which featured a guest appearance from Windsor Davies practically playing the same character as he did in sitcom It Ain’t Half Hot Mumvlcsnap-00877

One of my favourite episodes in this series was a parody of Fame, set at the New York School For Show-Offs And Big Heads, which featured some song and dance routines, and among the cast was Danny John-Jules (about five years before Red Dwarf), and future Blue Peter presenter Michael Sundin. For this series Marmalade also sang the closing theme (“jobs, I’ve had a few, and most of them, were pretty grotty-ah!“). vlcsnap-00878

21 episodes were made altogether (and were a Thames production for ITV) and they have all been released on DVD by Network, the only extras included though are photo galleries. Along with the books, there were also some annuals released in the 80s that celebrated “television’s horrible heroine”. This series definitely had a lot of amusing and anarchic moments, it was good seeing lots of guest stars joining in, and I enjoyed it a lot.

The YouTube Files – Christmas With Carlton.

Christmas With Carlton (ITV, 1997)

Well would you believe it, we have a very late entry for this series, as another video that fits all the criteria was uploaded only a day or two ago. So let’s go to the Carlton region (no, come back, it’s worth reading) on 25 December 1997 (a Thursday), courtesy of “Coldclough” on YouTube. There’s plenty of adverts and continuity worth reviewing here, and as ever here are the highlights. vlcsnap-00864

The first breaks are during the evening premiere of Home Alone 2, and once again, there are plenty of sale adverts. Among them are Allders, Harveys, and DFS (just before their advert appeared in every break on Christmas Day). The highlight of them all has to be the one for Courts with Bruce Forsyth, informing us of their great savings, so be there on Boxing Day, it’ll be a cracker. vlcsnap-00853

Among the few non-sale adverts are SpiceWorld: The Movie. I saw this once, and I still don’t think I’ve ever recovered. There is also an advert for M & M’s that is still being shown on TV this year, and it’s now so old it’s been cropped and looks all blurry and horrible, and also plenty of fancy adverts for Daewoo. The film (which was sponsored by a bag of Doritos) then comes to an end. vlcsnap-00857

There is then a promotion for a competition. If you want more information you can look on Teletext, and it ends with the ITV symbol rather awkwardly turned into a Christmas tree. It also features a website address, which looks a little odd alongside a symbol that was introduced in 1989, which makes you realise how long it was used for (it was finally retired from the screen a year later in 1998). vlcsnap-00860

Then there’s a trail for entertainment coming to Carlton in 1998, including The Brit Awards, and, er, Babewatch. The time is almost 9:45pm and Starting Blocks is next. Then there’s a trail for what is coming later tonight, followed by a nice Christmas Carlton ident (these were also used in 1996 and 1998), which featured things such as the “O” turning into a bauble or a snowman. vlcsnap-00862

Starting Blocks (sponsored by Panasonic) was a one-off show looking back at sportspeople before they were famous that was hosted by Chris Tarrant. There are then even more sale adverts, including one for Uno with the guy off Auf Wiedersehen, Pet (I thought he would’ve preferred to be on Tyne Tees!). Then there’s a trail for McCallum, and next is The Bare Necessitiesvlcsnap-00866

There is also a promotion for Christmas Line (still featuring the reindeer character as late as this), supported by Carlton, LWT (Carlton had better relations with LWT than Thames did), and Capital Gold (instead of Capital FM), which is voiced by Chris Tarrant (is this the best work that he could get in the year before Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?). Then there’s a trail for a terrible-looking drama on New Year’s Eve, before another Carlton ident going into comedy-drama (and what appears to be a knock-off of The Full Monty) The Bear Necessities, at which point the video ends. vlcsnap-00867

I’ll be back with a review of the year soon. Until then… Happy Christmas!