Tuesday 30th October 2007
You might have already spotted this, but on Sunday 18th November BBC Parliament is doing another of its as-it-happened themed anniversary evenings, this time remembering the devaluation of the pound on the same day (at 9.30pm precisely!) 40 years ago.
Feature-length archivery is promised from the likes of Twenty-Four Hours, The Money Programme with William Davis and Alan Watson, an Our Money special – whatever that was – with Robin Day, and highlights from Budget 68, with future DG Ian Trethowan “and team” examining Roy Jenkins’ attempt to save the British economy by taking £923 million out of it.
Best of all, though, is the fact the whole evening is being introduced and linked by the Beeb’s star face of current affairs and every single massive television event of the mid-late 1960s…Cliff Michelmore! Back on the box! It must be his first foray onto the small screen for nearly two decades.
Has there ever been a more becalming TV face than Cliff? If anyone can reassure the nation that everything’s going to be all right, let alone stop housewives, navvies and costermongers from fretting about “prices”, it was – and still is – surely he.
Sunday 28th October 2007
By way of a farewell to this never-before-attempted and rarely-read-since feature, Chris Hughes has unearthed Paul holding forth on Aspel And Company in 1984 about metric conversion (“I’m not going decimal, me uncle Joe and me”), impersonating Michael Jackson, promoting a Buddy Holly painting competition, bantering with Tracey Ullman (“She plays this bird who cries all the time”) and joining in with a mass serenade at the end. “I never knew you could sing, Michael!” “Neither did I!”
…and part three:
Friday 26th October 2007
To continue the theme, back when Channel 4 turned 10 in 1992, Broadcast magazine drew up a list of what it believed to be the station’s 50 most significant programmes to date.
They were the ones that supposedly “defined” the channel and most typified its achievements during that first decade.
Given C4 was supposedly at its most groundbreaking during its, ahem, formative years, it’s doubtful even a half of this list would – or should – make it into a similar inventory to mark C4’s 25th birthday. But anyway, here’s the 50, together with a few pithy observations from Broadcast. Any takers for The Big Company? Or What If It’s Raining? Or Centrepoint?
As It Happens
Ask Dr Ruth
The Bandung File
Behaving Badly (“Dame Judi Dench plays a devoted wife ditched over the turbot for a bit of young stuff”)
The Big Company
Black On Black
Brookside (“Had to resort to sensationalism of late to cling on to its dwindling audience”)
The Camomile Lawn
Don’t Miss Wax
Drop The Dead Donkey
The Far Pavilions
The Last Resort
Mapp And Lucia
The Media Show
The Nation’s Health
Out On Tuesday
The Price (“Peter Barkworth played the businessman whose greed cost his wife a finger, if not an arm and a leg”)
Saturday Night Live
A TV Dante (“TV designed to be watched over and over again. If only you could be bothered”)
A Very British Coup
Watching The Detectives
Watch The Woman (“Cosmo for couch potatoes with Tina Baker”)
What If It’s Raining?
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
The Wine Programme
Zastrozzi, A Romance (“Shelley’s unreadable novel transmogrified into unwatchable TV”)
Wednesday 24th October 2007
The Today programme is 50 years old on Sunday, and to celebrate their website has rightly gone to town. Of particular note amongst the variety of clippage is the time Jack de Manio was late for an interview because he got locked in the toilet, and John Humphrys skewering a hapless Norman Lamont the day after Black Wednesday.
Best of all, however, is something half-heartedly referred to on the site only as ‘The Today Song’ but which, on listening, appears to be a musical skit written and performed by none other…than Richard Stilgoe!
Meanwhile here’s Jack de Manio and John Timpson back when the Today studio was seemingly furnished with curtains, baize tables and sofas.
Saturday 20th October 2007
“And for the most of the country, it all starts on the 2nd of November: all right?”
1) The launch of the Channel 4 Daily, 1989. Michael Nicholson, Carol Barnes, Garry Rice, Debbie Greenwood, Dermot Murnaghan, Susannah Simons and Richard Whiteley get used to not having enough chairs, saucers and audience to go round.
2) The boss, 1994. Mike celebrates the opening of C4’s new Horseferry Road office with a leftover Channel 4 Daily teacup.
3) Dark times, 1996. Rick Adams arrives to “save” The Big Breakfast.
4) Blustery times, 2001. Finnegan and Madeley indulge in an old-fashioned over-sized ident-wielding photo opportunity.
5) Jeremy Isaacs looking pissed off, 1982-87.
6) An ideas session for Channel 4 News, 1990.
7) The Queen passes death sentence on Jimmy Corkhill (sadly later commuted), 1995.
8) The boss, 1992. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
Friday 19th October 2007
Here’s the great man securing royal patronage for the drawing of big heads on little bodies.