Saturday, 24 August 2013

Are We Heading for Another Mega Heatwave This Year?

1976-uk drought crisis and heatwave.-august report.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Star-Swamped ITV Schools Gameshow...

ITV Schools - The English Programme - A Question Of Talk (1987) 1/3

The golden age of Schools TV may've been the late-70s and early-80s, but taken from some serious proof here, Schools TV in the late-80s could still being in the big boys, an almost star-studded episode by Schools TV standards, with "The English Programme" in a one-off gameshow about "A Question of Talk" presented by gameshow presenter Robert Robinson (of "Ask The Family" and "Call My Bluff" fame), along with team captains Bill Oddie, who used to be quite synonymous for appearing on kids TV in the 70s and 80s, and BBC Radio 1 DJ and "Top of the Pops" presenter Janice Long.

"I'll See Thee" - Beer Swigging Yorkshire Pub Sports on Weekend Telly, Real Men's Sports Y'know!

Indoor League 1

When you go to the pub today, your gaming facilities are normally either a UK version of "Pool", a Dartboard or a fruit machine, or all both. Go back 15 to 30 years ago, maybe the odd arcade, "Space Invaders" or "Pacman" being the favourite to rest in the local boozer counter. However this "sports" show the "Indoor League" which ran circa 1973 to 1978, opens up a feast of now old-fashioned and bygone pub games of a bygone age. Ever heard of Bar Billiards? Skittles? Shove ha'penny? Well find out about them in this 4 part regional Yorkshire Television produced episode, presented by Yorkshire Cricket great Fred Trueman, regarded as one of best fast bowlers in the history of the sport. What's great about the show, is it's non-pc as you like. Shown on daytime TV on a Tuesday, you had old Fred on the lash with his pint of beer and sometimes smoking a pipe on-camera as he presents the show, this was as small-time in sports you could get. This was a ratings success in Yorkshire.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The First Ever British Soap, Before Even Coronation Street...

The Grove Family - Episode One - Part One

The first ever episode of the first soap, or television serial, to reach Britain's screens. This the "The Grove Family", a rather orfinary soap of middle class family who live in Hendon, London. The episode is entitled "Cure and Prevention", and this is only 1 of 3 episodes that still exist in the archives, all the rest have been scrubbed.

A Look Into Indian Subcontinent Culture...

Bharatanatyam by Alarmel Valli Spirit Of Asia

"Spirit of Asia" was a documentary series narrated and presented by David Attenborough. Long known for his wildlife programmes, started exploring human culture from the early 1971 documentary film "A Blank n the Map". This long-ish clip shows aspects of India's long-established dance and thatre culture. The very elaborate theatrical dance is Kathkali, which is a dance-drama which plays out stories of the Hindu Gods Rama and Krishna.

The solo female dancer is Alarmel Valli, who specialises in the dance form of Bharatanatyam, and is India's interpretation of ballet.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

If You Thought the Best Bit About Teletext Were the Pictures, Then You'll Love This!

Hands Up! Episode 1

Animated Teletext! This is a brilliantly obscure upload -probably one of the best finds on this blog so far- I have found of many episodes, from a Channel 4 educational show called "Hands Up!", which gives a really good diagnosis of the basic sign language for the deaf. It's blocky graphics galore! Al 10 episodes of the series is on Youtube.

The show was produced by Intelfax, I've never seen anything like it. The usual animation you would get on a normal teletext, would be flashing still images, as well as pressing the "reveal" button on you're remote control, to unveil an appearing and disappearing graphic. Brilliant!

When Simon Cowell Was a Mere Pawn on a Satellite TV Gameshow!

Simon Cowell - TV Debut

Simon Cowell, now a mult-millionaire, and now one of the most recogniseable faces on the box, makes his first TV appearance in these humble beginnings. As a contestant of the Sky TV version of "Sale of the Century", no longer presented by Nicholas Parsons, but Peter Marshall. Cowell's still got that smug grin and showing cut-throat determination to answer the questions, to win the star prize of the Fiat Uno and a few utensils! However, none of the harsh, biting comments Cowell lashes out on the shows that made him famous like "The X-Factor", "American Idol", "Britain's Got Talent" and not forgetting "Pop Idol". The clip here is an edited highlight reel of Cowell's exploits on the show. Cowell is announced as a record producer in the show.

Simon Cowell was on a bit of a downer in this period. After serving with his father in the indie pop label Fanfare, it came under the branch of the famous Stock, Aitken and Waterman (SAW), which was a leading team of songwriters that cruised to great success in the 80s with a string of No.1 hits with a large variety of artists under their own brand of synth-pop. Cowell lost control of Fanfare financially, and BMG bought it over. Cowell was now back living with his parents and living with debt. However that was short lived. The true intention of being on the show was the car and not the money.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Fancy Dr.Fancy Murdering Ernest Spratt? Oooh, Fancy That!

armchair theatre 1960 fancy.wmv

A short and rare clip of  "Armchair Theatre" which ran on the ITV network from 1956-1968. The ABC logo you see at the beginning, were the original producers Associated British Corporation, later to be Thames Television, after it's mergeance with Rediffusion Television in 1968. Each episode was a different play running for an hour. It wasn't all about court drama, taking from this clip!

This clip is from what is regarded as the programme at it's best from 1958-1962, under the tutelage of Canadian producer Sydney Newman, where it breached upon touchy issues, sensitive at the time.

It's Louis Armstrong Meets the Sugar Puff Monster; It's Tom Waits!

Tom Waits - Tom Traubert's Blues - 1977

A young looking Tom Waits here, with that even more unbelieveable deep, gruff and powerful singing voice. This a pretty long song, it's "Tom Traubert's Blues" from Waits' 1976 album "Small Change", and is the opening song on the collection. Tom Waits vocal delivery is indeed inspired by Jazz great Louis Armstrong, I didn't realise that before I did the title, honest!

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Quite a Creepy Sketch...

Les Dennis Laughter Show - Thunderbirds

It's the legendary "The Les Dennis Laughter Show"! At the height of his career when impressionist sketch comedy was booming, Dennis was also presenting the popular gameshow "Family Fortunes", soon becoming the longest-running presenter on the show after such illiuminaries of the comedy game such as Bob Monkhouse and Max Bygraves. Les had been a budding stand-up in the 70s and 80s, and was always seen tied-to-the-hip with Russ Abbot series of comedy sketch shows such as "Russ Abbot's Madhouse" and later "The Russ Abbot Show", so this was the apprentice, as you might say, coming into his own. However, it just wasn't as funny, but "The Laughter Show" in it's first form, began in 1984, and ran until 1991. It was a good run to say the least, and it's fair to say that alot of this type of impressionist comedy was starting to fizzle out after 1991, with the likes of "Little and Large", Bobby Davro and "Cannon and Ball" steering away from the limelight.

In this edited clip, it's been 20 years since the life-size puppet children's Sci-fi "Thunderbirds" came on our screens, so how would they look and act like now? Featuring all the favourite characters of the show like Lady Penelope, Parker (in his boxers), Jeff Tracy and Brains. It's still a great upload here. I'm still waiting for his mavis impression to appear, in the full gear!