The Top Ten Pieces Of 2019.

Let’s start the year by taking a look at my ten most viewed blog pieces from last year, to see exactly what people were most interested in out of everything I’ve done. However, none of my top ten were actually published in 2019, as some older pieces remained popular. Here’s what they were… 2019


The mid-90s CITV horror game show that was hosted by Steve Johnson still has a big fanbase it seems, although people do often mix it up with the similar CBBC show Incredible Games, which was great too. vlcsnap-00046


My piece on this show actually wasn’t focused on what it was about, partly because it’s well-known and still going, and it’s about to reach the 21st anniversary. I concentrated more on the publicity surrounding the launch of Family Guy in the UK when it came to Sky One in 1999, and unsurprisingly it was sold as “if you thought The Simpsons were dysfunctional, just wait until you see this lot!”.fg0001


Again, this show is so popular I didn’t really need to do a piece explaining its premise, so instead I did two pieces revealing my ten favourite one-off characters, the first of which has done very well. vlcsnap-01669


Although I am not hugely interested in weather forecasts, the characters that were used to introduce them on ITV in the late-90s called The Weathergens was a remarkable piece of TV presentation. I decided to analyse each one, as I had a feeling that this piece would be consistently popular, which turned out to be correct. vlcsnap-00694


The zany CBBC sketch show from the mid-2000s. When I was putting the piece together, I realised that about a decade on some of the sketches and their catchphrases had acquired cult status, which must be why a lot of people were attracted to this one. vlcsnap-00672


This is actually my most-viewed piece of them all (and I have now done almost 900). I’m not sure why this 90s game show with Des O’Connor is so popular, but it’s pleasing to know that people have enjoyed it. vlcsnap-00050


My piece on the long-gone Channel 5 soap has done very well recently. Again it’s proof that you can never tell what’ll become a success. Maybe people really like my anecdote about someone who I went to school with being in the cast for a while. I wonder how many other people can boast about that. affairs0001


I am always hoping that people will take interest in my pieces, and they will attract a bigger audience by people spreading the word. I noticed that my piece about CBBC’s The Nelly Nut Show had been linked to in a Buzzfeed article about children’s TV which gave it a big boost. And anyway, it’s just a great show, plus someone who was in the cast replied as well, and I was really pleased about that. vlcsnap-00160


This is one of the few game shows that I have reviewed that is actually still running on TV. Every time there is a big win on the show, there is a surge in views for the piece from people who have done an online search to discover what the largest amount ever won is, and it’s flattering that most of them turn to me.


It’s £57,500.


When I decided to set up this blog five years ago, it was mostly to share my memories of game shows, children’s TV, and sitcoms. It never really occurred to me to do much about music. But since the Bananarama incident, I wanted to discover some more pioneering women who made music in the 80s. So I did a piece about the career of the remarkable Danielle Dax, and then I did another to coincide with her 60th birthday in 2018. Despite that, I did feel that it was too niche a subject to have that much mass appeal. But would you believe it, by some margin it became my most-viewed piece of 2019 (with almost 600 views), and it’s now my second most-viewed piece of them all, only behind Take Your Pick. One odd thing I have discovered about her since doing the piece is that her song “Flashback” was used as the theme to BBC2’s coverage of Crufts in 1996. I am really thrilled at the interest in this one, Danielle is a star and it’s good to know that lots of people around the world are still fond of her. That really is fantastic. Why don’t you let me know your favourites too? dd111

Happy New Year!

The Comedy Vault – Father Ted (part 2).


6. FATHER AUSTIN PURCELL (“Think Fast, Father Ted”) vlcsnap-00646

Father Purcell is of course the world’s most boring priest. He just likes to stand there and talk about very dull subjects in his annoying voice, whether anyone is listening or not. He has lots of opinions on things such as round envelopes, numbers and boilers. And if you hang around long enough, he might even tell you about the advice that his father gave him if he can remember it, and what his favourite humming noise is.

7. FATHER DAMIEN LENNON (“The Old Grey Whistle Theft”) vlcsnap-00647

My favourite one-off character in Father Ted, Father Damo as everyone calls him is the anti-Dougal. He is rather surly and likes to greet everyone by saying “howya?”. One of his favourite things is playing football with Dougal, who really looks up to him. He lives with Father Frost but they don’t get on, with him often saying “Frosty, he ain’t the boss of me!”. He also enjoys playing Street Fighter II with Dougal and often has discussions with him about what his favourite Britpop band is which was a very important debate in the country at the time. It is even implied at one point that Damo has given Dougal drugs. One day Damo steals a whistle and the whole of society on Craggy Island breaks down, with even a special pullout section on whistles in the newspaper, and the owner of the whistle losing the use of his legs because of the shock. Ted identifies Damo as a bad role model and thinks that he’ll end up corrupt, not that Dougal cares. What a guy.

8. FRED RICKWOOD (“A Song For Europe”) vlcsnap-00648

Fred is the host of the A Song For Europe competition. Off-stage he can come across as rather disheveled and rambling but he is transformed the moment he comes on stage, and the production team often praise his professionalism. He works alongside Charles and they decide the winner, going for the somewhat unfancied “My Lovely Horse”. He does insist though that it was simply the best song, which of course it was.

9. FATHER FITZGERALD (“A Christmassy Ted”) vlcsnap-00649

By all means Father Todd Unctious, but my favourite character in the Christmas special is Father Fitzgerald. His character is that he’s got a really dull voice, and that’s it really, but it’s great. People often can’t concentrate on what he is saying because his voice is so dull. A great comedy character creation, I would’ve liked to see more of him, but then it wouldn’t have worked as well.

10. PAT MUSTARD (“Speed 3”) vlcsnap-00650

Pat is a dirty old milkman who seems to have come right out of a “saucy” 1970s film. He has a big moustache, a hairy chest, wears a medallion and likes to give his female customers more than just their milk. He loses his job after losing his trousers one time too many and plots his revenge by planting a bomb on the milkfloat the Dougal takes over, hoping that the huge explosion will result in blowing his face into the side of a tree. However the plan backfires on him somewhat.

The Comedy Vault – Father Ted (part 1).

Father Ted (Channel 4, 1995-1998)

Father Ted is one of the best comedy shows of the 90s and I don’t really need to explain why really, I’m sure that you’ll all be familiar with the characters and the history of the show and why it’s such a classic. But as the 20th anniversary of the first episode approaches, I did want to put something together to show my appreciation so here is…


It was tough to put this list together because there are so many great characters in the show, but here are ten of my favourites.

1. FATHER PAUL STONE (“Entertaining Father Stone”) vlcsnap-00641

He’s fine. Father Stone is a rather dull chap, he just likes to sit there and suck all the energy out of the room. He also likes to appear out of nowhere to use the toilet. One day while playing crazy golf he was suddenly struck by lightning. As he sat there motionless in the hospital, his parents visited him and they were rather upset. He did recover though, and he was soon sat back on his hero Ted’s sofa.

2. HENRY SELLERS (“Competition Time”) vlcsnap-00642

37-year-old Henry is a wig-wearing game show host who used to be very popular on the BBC but they sacked him because he became an alcoholic. He is on Craggy Island to judge a competition and after having just a tiny sip of sherry at Mrs Doyle’s request he goes on the rampage to the extent that he has to be taken down with a tranquiliser dart. He was one of Dougal’s heroes but he was very disappointed to meet him.

3. FATHER BARTY DUNNE (“Competition Time”) vlcsnap-00643

Father Dunne is another judge for the competition and he likes to laugh, all the time, which makes him after awkward to sit next to on car journeys. I wonder if he is a distant relative of Dick and Dom? He finds everything amusing, especially the time Jack lost his slippers and he calls the toilet “the old heh-heh”. Marvellous.

4. FATHER LIAM FINNEGAN (“Think Fast, Father Ted”) vlcsnap-00644

Father Finnegan is of course best known as the dancing priest. He likes to dance from the moment he gets up from the moment he goes to bed, especially to annoying 60s music. It kept him fit but he just couldn’t stop himself and he eventually had a heart attack and died. He also had his car stolen which didn’t help either.

5. FATHER BILLY O’DWYER (“Think Fast, Father Ted”) vlcsnap-00645

Father O’Dwyer is known as “The Spinmaster” and really knows how to get a crowd going when he dons the old headphones at gigs. Unfortunately he doesn’t own any records. He also has a lot of gambling debts but he won’t let it ruin him like it did his father and grandfather, and he ends up stealing the raffle money, how dishonest. He also lets us know that the national anthem of Ireland is “Ghost Town” by The Specials.