"Please bring back club blue peeter it woz great"

Saturday 13th September 2008

This new book “by” Biddy Baxter comprising pieces of correspondence from the history of Blue Peter is a charming concept, but somewhat different in reality. Because it doesn’t just contain letters to and from BP during Biddy’s reign. It runs right up to the present day and the show’s current unhappy Key Stage 2 variety show format.

As much it’s nice to eavesdrop on a few exchanges about “club blue peeter” and sartorial gaffes, on reflection it feels too soon to be reading this kind of thing. It’s nothing to do with Biddy. It’s like rifling through someone’s saved mails from the other week. A bit of distance – a bit of history – lends the older material far more sustained appeal and, yes, a dash of poignancy.

The book tries to please too many people and, perhaps, ends up satisfying none. The past and the present should’ve been kept separate.

This might have set a precedent, though, for opening up the inboxes of current BBC programmes. Why stop at Blue Peter? A collection of eccentric emails sent to The One Show, for instance, could make for a perfect stocking filler.


Christian soldiers onwards

Tuesday 9th September 2008

Excuse the Daily Express-style headline, but apparently Glynn Christian has just been given a lifetime achievement award for…well, being Glynn Christian.

The erstwhile Breakfast Time chef was honoured for his career at the Great Taste Awards 2008. The accompanying press release reveals he first opened a delicatessen in 1974 and “38 years later, that deli still exists [all the more remarkable for it being, at the time of writing, only 34 years later], in the same position, boasting the same name” – yes, a bit like all those branches of Tesco and Sainsbury’s that opened decades ago and which, for some reason, still boast those precise monikers today.

Anyhow, let’s not forget that “1974 was an age when fine food was prawn cocktail, overcooked sirloin, black forest gateaux and Mateus Rosé, all finished with a coffee with thick cream floating on top.”

Here’s Glynn, back on breakfast television earlier this year, squashed between Francis Wilson and Sue Cook.

Photo clippage #41

Monday 8th September 2008

It’s 1972. Any suggestions as to the record Roy has just broken here?

What’s that noise?

Saturday 6th September 2008

Hello, I’m John Dunn, and it gives me enormous pleasure to introduce the TV Cream Mystery Voice Challenge.

Those ferrets of frippery, the TV Cream backroom boys, have unearthed not one but a quartet of quotes for you to identify. I must say, I had a go myself earlier on and they’ve certainly come up with some crackers! So without more ado, pin back your ears and see if you can put a name (and if possible a programme) to the following:

Mystery Voice 1

Mystery Voice 2

Mystery Voice 3

Mystery Voice 4

Good luck!

Macca’s back pages: chapter 6

Tuesday 2nd September 2008

The final one from David Pascoe:

Exhibit F: Simple As That
AKA: Macca says Just Say No

Two quick ones to finish with (but if you’re very unlucky there may be a part 2).

This track was included on an anti-heroin album. It’s fairly bog-standard anti-drug material, but it includes perhaps the definitive line that sums up the spirit that runs through most of McCartney’s work. For those who have ears, let them hear.
“Would you rather be alive or dead?”

In the course of researching this article, I heard plenty of McCartney cover versions too. Here’s a quick example of Getting Paul McCartney Wrong. In the meantime, back to those Press to Play out-takes…

Full marks for including the original’s “Shooby-dooby-dowa”s, but where’s the autoharp at the end?