TV Cream is 10

Thursday 30th August 2007

Auspicious birthdays don’t tend to come around very often; once a year is pretty much the average. Turning 10, however, is a rare occasion indeed, and tomorrow – 31st August – is the day when TV Cream will have notched up a whole decade of existence. In one form or other.

To mark the anniversary, and in lieu of much else happening (or rather, in lieu of anything else happening), here’s a rare glimpse behind the giant oak-panelled doors of TV Cream Towers at how “Britain’s number one TV nostalgia site of 2001” goes about its business…

1) Local navvies and ex-Bevin Boys unload the daily delivery of correspondence from Michael Parkinson’s lawyers.

2) The pressure’s on as the kitchen staff hurry to meet the deadline for the monthly inter-floor Nationwide cake-passing competition.

3) A TVC Towers security official ensures a local resident follows the correct procedure for the posting of a petition to bring back Whizzer and Chips.

4) Elevenses, courtesy of Doreen from the canteen. Orange and yellow cheese not pictured.

5) This week’s work experience student has trouble sorting through the TVC card indexes of Alison Graham gaffes.

6) The staff enjoy the glitz and glamour of another promotional sponsorship opportunity.

7) A spot of asbestos-stripping forces the TV Cream guv’nor to vacate his penthouse suite for a day or two.

8) Another edition of Creamguide prepares to roll off the production line and into immediate obscurity.


Photo clippage #24

Tuesday 28th August 2007

Few people embody more of the essence of TV Cream than Rolf Harris, and few things embody more of the jet-setting glitter-bound celebrity lifestyle of what could loosely be called the “TV Cream era” than a publicity photo of somebody getting on a BOAC aeroplane.

Wherever he’d go, through rain and snow, Rolf never let you down and the world always had a happy ending. Here’s our man off to charm yet more of the known planet with some podiatry-related palaver:

"We’re having a slight problem with the machine…"

Sunday 26th August 2007

It really is a long time now since what were, arguably, the National Lottery’s glory years on TV.

Here’s the draw in its imperial, mid-90s incarnation. Everything is present: bombastic fanfares, guests the likes of Pavarotti and Elton John, a simulcast “live on BBC1 – and Radio 1!”, and a massive studio audience, whipped into a fiduciary frenzy by Sir Bob Monkhouse. “I know I’m a sinner – but make me a winner!”

This clip is even better, though, for being the time that the chosen machine, Guinevere, broke down, reducing Alan Deddicoat and Bob to a bit of improvised banter, Bob to wield a ludicrously outdated stick microphone, and Drawmaster John Willan to mumble a stilted lengthy apology.

Did the results turn up during Casualty?

Your friend in the north

Friday 24th August 2007

This month’s edition of the TV Cream Update, due to be sent out from the site this weekend, boasts as its main feature a tribute to Tony Wilson. By way of an overture, here’s a last look at the man, best browsed while listening to ‘Requiem Again’ off Vini Reilly’s eponymous 1989 album (FACT 244).

1) Tony notices the ceiling and starts to wonder what potent piece of office furniture might be hung there:

2) News breaks that Phil Redmond is once again trying to take over the North West and fill its television screens with 18 hours of community broadcasting a day:

3) Steve reminds Tony of the time he went on record as saying “the thing about Steven Morrissey is I could never work out whether being a cunt was intentional”:


Campanology corner

Wednesday 22nd August 2007

As mentioned the last Digi-Cream Times (the last proper one), Big Ben has been silenced for some repairs meaning Radio 4 has temporarily lost, in the words of ITV1, “the bongs”. As also mentioned in the last Digi-Cream Times (the last proper one), this is the kind of thing that has previously prompted listeners of both Today and PM on Radio 4 to compose emails suggesting pithy alternatives to fill the silent seconds up to the hour.

Well, the redoubtable Eddie Mair has gone one better and is positively encouraging people to rise to the challenge by way of a Sounds of Summer appeal. Expect wags to have already responded by insisting a) the “bongs” weren’t sounds as such, but tones; b) summer has already been and gone (it was on Tuesday a few weeks back); and c) the extra airtime could be better utilised for a few more seconds of Dan Corbett doing the weather.

Meanwhile, as also mentioned in the last Digi-Cream Times (at this rate the last proper one ever), some possible replacements are:
a) The Trumpton town clock.
b) The opening bars of the theme tune to Yes, Minister.
c) That doorbell sound effect from the start of Paul McCartney’s ‘Let ‘Em In’.
d) A few bars of ‘Portsmouth’ by Mike Oldfield.
e) That bit at the end of ‘Mr Blue Sky’ when the timpani come thundering in and you get one last fleeting glimpse of vocoder.
f) The typewriter bell from the signature tune to Press Gang.

Clive Exton RIP

Tuesday 21st August 2007

A real loss. And only a few weeks after being mooted as a writer for the next series of Dr Who.

(Mooted by Creamguide, admittedly, but what can you do?)

Don’t fancy yours much

Saturday 18th August 2007

Here’s a particulary notorious breed, known for its distinctive bellowing, dopey expression, ponderous countenance and advanced stupidity. Standing next to it is a plastic cow.

She was at it again this week. How many times has this story done the rounds? On each occasion it’s explained away as “tiredness” or “fatigue” or “an illness”. You’d think she might have realised by now that if you’re hosting an early morning breakfast show on the radio, it might be wise to go to bed early the previous evening, and that if you’re ill, don’t go in to work at all.