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 – Stupid.

Stupid (CBBC, 2004-2007)

Stupid was, as you might have guessed from the title, a rather silly comedy sketch show. It was first shown on the CBBC Channel before it was repeated on BBC1. The show starred comedian and non-smoker Marcus Brigstocke as King Stupid (oh really?), and in a moment when I wasn’t looking it seems that he turned into Phil Cornwell for the later editions. vlcsnap-00672

The idea of Stupid was that while in his castle the King likes to keep an eye on people around the country in whatever situation they are in case they suddenly do something stupid, and when they do we are shown what happens in the form of a sketch. The King also had a purple servant called Goober who was rather useless and they were always arguing about everything, the King often concluding that Goober is a “bog house rat”. vlcsnap-00669

There were some various characters who appeared in Stupid. Among my favourites were Makeover Mandy, and Jeff the chef who would make rather odd meals, but there were lots of others, with various scout leaders, dinner ladies, ice cream salesmen and the like all suddenly turning stupid. Perhaps the most famous sketch features a boy whose finger seems to be possessed, and he would suddenly shout “devil finger!” before losing control and making a scene. This sketch also oddly became an internet phenomenon about 12 years after it first aired, I suppose it revived interest in the show. vlcsnap-00674

Among the cast in Stupid was Miranda Hart, who seems to have appeared in a lot more TV comedy shows than I first realised. At the end of every edition, the King would make some comments on the credits as they went by, and I couldn’t help but notice (partly because for a change you could see them) that among the writers were none other than Trevor and Simon. It was good to see that they were still contributing funny stuff to children’s TV long after they left Live & Kickingvlcsnap-00668

Stupid was one of the last CBBC shows that I remember watching regularly, and two series were made, and although there isn’t much online about the show it seems that a lot of people remember it fondly. A few years after Stupid ended it seems that Brigstocke appeared in another silly CBBC comedy sketch show called Sorry, I’ve Got No Head but I don’t remember watching that one.