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!

CBBC Memories – The Nelly Nut Show.

The Nelly Nut Show (CBBC, 2003-2005)

Here is my first review of an obscure children’s TV show that I remember watching and want to share my memories of that isn’t a Saturday Morning show.

In The Simpsons episode “The Itchy & Scratchy & Poochie Show”, Homer becomes the voice of a cartoon character. “Will this episode be going to air live?” Homer asks his co-star. “No, very few cartoons go to air live, it’s a tremendous strain on the animator’s wrist” is the reply. And yet, The Nelly Nut Show was to some extent a live cartoon, which was one of the things that I found fascinating about it.

The Nelly Nut Show (sometimes called Nelly Nut Live) ran every weekday on the CBBC Channel for a couple of years. Seemingly using the same technology as Tricky which I wrote about yesterday, some people provided the voices and the characters responded by animating which I thought was rather clever. vlcsnap-00142

As well as Nelly there were also a bizarre bunch of characters on the show, including Nelly’s best friend Miss Nelly who was a teddy bear who said “all the best!” all the time in an exaggerated Welsh accent which was odd. The other characters were really strange though, including Ray, Annoying Amy, Hyper, Rosemary, and Buck-Buck. nelly3

One of the features on the show was “Natter With The Nutters” where a caller would be turned one of an odd variety of characters and then Nelly would have a stilted conversation with them along the lines of “did you have a good day at school?” “Yes”. vlcsnap-00143

As this was a live show viewers were encouraged to phone and play interactive games using their touch tone phones to win prizes. You could also send in text messages and emails which could be read out. (No Twitter or Facebook then remember, however did we get through the days?) There would also be some jokes and sketches, and Nelly and Miss Bunny would talk to some of the other characters. Some of the games were rather odd too. vlcsnap-00150

There was Bum Steer where a cow flew through the air and could zap things when viewers pressed the buttons on their phone. There was also the odd Pet Drop and racing game Squeals On Wheels. Remember to keep pressing your buttons! vlcsnap-00146

It wasn’t until the final episode that the full list of credits were shown. Among the names as one of the writers and voice actors was Greg Davies. I am very sure that it is indeed the comedian and comic actor Greg Davies best known for appearing in comedy shows including The Inbetweeners and Man Down. Well we’ve all got to start somewhere I suppose haven’t we. I imagine that Nelly Nut is not on his CV any more. vlcsnap-00151

I always found this show rather amusing and strange to watch, which is why I liked it probably, a good attempt at something different and I can’t believe it ended a decade ago.