Thursday, 31 December 2009

A Hip, Hip and a Ho, Ho and gather your Top Hat at The Leeds City Varieties Theatre!

Hinge & Bracket On The Good Old Days

The Good Old Days, could also be a subtitle for this yearning-for-nostalgia blog. Makes us feel old, but we are rewarded as you see some programmes you haven't seen in a long time, and it triggers off a strong positive memory, you may have from back then and when!

"The Good Old Days" was a traditional variety show, with a cutesy Victorian theme. It ran for a very long time. The show, produced by the BBC, ran from 1953-1983. The audience would be dressed in Victorian clothing, and the sketches and songs would be based on the same time period. The show ended about the time traditional Variety began to die out, as alternative comedy came into the mainstream, and talent shows like "New Faces" and "Opportunity Knocks" finished some years ago.

"Hinge & Brackett" were 2 classical female impressionists that usually jousted with musical comedy as seen in this clip, played by Englishman Patrick Fyffe and Glaswegian George Logan, with the stage names Dr Evadne Hinge and Dame Hilda Bracket. They did make convincing women actually, as well as their voices. In this age of innocence, some thought they were real women. Genteel humourous songs were their forte. Each episode of the show composed of a varied cast, along with host Leonard Sachs, who you see at the beginning of this clip.

Jimmy Hill Tells Us to "Think Bike"

Jimmy Hill Says Think Bike

Now, I'm not going make any Jimmy "Chin, Chin, look at that Chinny McChin" Hill chin jokes, honestly, but the quoted nonsense, which you seen a few words ago, could make for a pretty catchy novelty pop song. Now this is a PIF,(Public Information Film, that is)that warns car motorists to check, check and check again, the opposing traffic, and to have pity on the poor motorcyclist. This can also be address similarly to cyclists too. However, motorcyclists can come out of nowhere like a flash. This a real hard-hitting PIF, with much credit going to the stuntman motorcyclist, who damn near looks like he may've broken his neck, as the momentum of the motorbike hurtles him forward and upside down onto his head and over the engine of the motor. Jimmy Hills mulls over the crash seen on his little TV, delivering his analysis in his accustomed Football-punditry manner, also over-seeing a replay of the crash.

The "Think Bike" campaign were a series of TV adverts shown in the mid-late 70's, which were a tremendous success, with the lasting message of "Think Once, Think Twice, Think Bike".

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Look and Read: School TV's Answer to "The Chronicles of Narnia"

Through the Dragon's Eye: Episode 1, part 1

One of Look and Read's most well-known and fantastical of the programme's 10 part extravagant plays was "Through the Dragon's Eye". And here is the full play. However, all "Wordy" sections of the show do not feature here. Those would feature a human presenter and "Wordy", a levitating live-action, alphabet letter decorated orange man with arms, voiced by Charles Collingwood. They would practise the use of sentances, as well as classic "Remember where this letter goes here insertion" songs like the unfairly joked about "Magic E" song, or how about "Build Your Brick Upon A Wall" by a Geordie builder!

This was the most blockbuster School's TV ever got close too. First aired on 19th September 1989, "Through the Dragon's Eye" was perhaps inspired by the BBC's live action dramatised version of "The Chronicles of Narnia", the year earlier. This show has that very rich nostalgic factor, especially if you grew up in the 80's.

3 children by the name of Jenny, Amanda and Scott are transported to the land of Pelamar, encouraged sort of, by a man in a dragon costume named Gorwen. This turns into a classic good vs. evil battle and the quest the pieces of the "Veetacore" which are stolen by the baddie of the name Charn, who looks kind of creepy, a mask covers the face, making it look like a massive conk or beak. What is also vivid about the show, is the 3 Veetacore Keepers, Doris (purple), Boris (orange) and Morris (green). The actors are painted the bracketed colour all over their skin, along with some very fetching and matching clothes. Boris is the star here, being of most help, accompanying the children and Gorwen.

The show can be a little disturbing at times, as well as hallucinagenetic for drunken adults. Morris gets zapped into a green puddle, but everything is OK in the end of course.

There are still songs featured during the play, which are all sang by the legendary Derek Griffiths and Julie Stevens. Obscure thought here, but I used to think the actor who plays Boris, Timothy Lyn, was the same guy that played "Watt" from an obscure CBBC show "Watt on Earth", as it sounded and looked like him, but I was wrong.

Murray Mints Ads from the 1950's - Tell Me When You Haven't Got the Jingle Out of Your Head

Murray Mints (1950's)

"Hey! Can you please dislodge this vaccuum from my downstairs department, if you could do so kindly, sir?"

"Sorry! You'll just have to wait! I'm finishing my Murray Mint! The too good to hurry Mint!"

After watching all 2mins 59 secs, I dare you to not have that jingle and slogan in you're head! 4 pretty amusing and comically well-spoken gentlemen, kitsch European accents, and ruffians, an old-fashioned set of ads, back when the dawn of Television advertising arose. Featuring the French Legion, a woman on a camel, a Spanish matador and bull combo, a dancing Navy crew, a little school ruffian, a posh schoolkid and a teacher!

Murray Mints are a much-loved British creamy hard-boiled sweetie, you may've recieved from you're Grandparents, perhaps, as it was a perennial favourite back in the post-rationed 50's. Now probably known as nostalgic treat, for theatre and cinema occasions.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Emmerdale - THAT Plane Crash Disaster Episode - 4 Main Characters Die


Sound and video quality isn't very good, as it's just recorded off the TV screen. It's something anyway, and it's one of the soap's most seminal and defining moments, since it began as "Emmerdale Farm", back in 1972. Before this event, Emmerdale was known to be a more genteel soap to the more gritty Eastenders, Brookside and Coronation Street. Due to falling unimpressive viewer ratings, and having made a previous effort to make it appear more up-to-date with the times (dropping "Farm" from the title), this was a shocking change in direction. The episode pulled in an astonishing 18 million viewers.

As for the variant of the disaster, it trailed along sensitive ground, bearing a resemblance to the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. The Emmerdale characters that died were: Leonard Kempinski (played by Bernard Archard), Elizabeth Pollard (played by Kate Dove), Mark Hughes (played by Craig McKay) and Archie Brooks (played by Tony Pitts). This is how Chris Tate, son of Frank Tate, ends up in the wheelchair. Also, the stables were burned amongst a huge fireball, as result of the crash and the Woolpack's windows were blown in.

Cheestasm at 1980's music TV Show "The Roxy"

Dollar - Oh L'Amour

Ok, we see dancing here, so bad it's good, but the song is pretty good, which was the music male-female duo's last ever hit, in 1988. David Van Day and Thereza Bazaar infact. They have the music group Erasure, to thank for the song, as it's a cover of their 1986 version. In the background, we see what looks like a dummy getting electrocuted by lightning strikes, well, there are some people who would gladly volunteer to be, in the face of "Dollar". However, seriously, one of my guilty pleasures.

"The Roxy" was a very short-lived ITV music show with live acts, running from 1987-1988. I'm taking a good guess this is from 1988, as although the song was published in 1987, it didn't reach the Singles Chart high of No.7 until early '88. The show, presented by former "Top of the Pops" host David Jenson and Irish actor/artist(?) Kevin Sharkey (no relation to Feargal Sharkey). It was an ill-fated attempt to rival the BBC's TOTP. The lack of regular schedule broadcasting times, and the location being in the far-flung north in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, many mainstream acts snubbed the show.

The show was axed after an industrial dispute which gave them no license to broadcast live performances. A hopeful successor to Channel 4's "The Tube", it wasn't.

Also, slightly off-topic, but back in the late-80's from what I can gather, there were a whole host of nightclubs, named "The Roxy". Seemed to be loads of these. The name was not taken from the show itself, but the well-known, popular "The Roxy" nightclub based in New York City.

Monday, 28 December 2009

Club X on Channel 4 - Drag Queen Discusses Victorian Items, Dogs and Bobbing Head to Keyboard Maestro

Regina Fong on Club X Part 1

The title strikes you as weird? Yes, and telling from the number of views of this clip, the largely forgotten 90-minute, late-night "Club X" an infamous arts/music live TV for the "yoof" of the late-80's. Regina Fong is the Drag Queen in question, in this section of the show, in which she is allied with a chubby ally named Fou Fou L. Hunter I believe, who we see at the end of this part. It all feels rather random.

The show was a pre-cursor to Channel 4's, modern, tacky but edgy "The Word" in 1990, and a successor to show's like "Network 7", in which the absolutely "charming" Janet Street-Porter, came to the public eye. Martina Attille, Murray Boland & Joel Colman presented the show, along with TV critic Victor Lewis-Smith as the light relief.

"Club X" was trashed, because of the direction and amateurish feel of the show. The magazine-format focused on certain low-brow art projects like body painting. It was accused of dumbing down the Arts, and it only lasted for 5 months in 1989.

With hindsight, with practically little Arts or Culture shows on mainstream TV, you can say at least they made an effort, however bad it was. Give me this over T4 anyday! However, seriously, on mainstream TV there's only really the BBC's "The Culture Show" for the youth, and ITV's soon-to-be-ending "South Bank Show". That isn't alot, but there is "Sky Arts", and BBC Four, I guess.

Regina Fong, real name Reg Bundy, was a theatrical actor and dancer, well known for his drag routine, beginning the character in 1985, and was a regular host for the London Lesbian and Gay Pride Festival. Reg died of cancer in 2003.

Update: New Genres Added and Genre Colour Code

I've managed to discover how to customize the embedded youtube video colours, that were very limited beforehand. Each genre's video and text will now be different colours or variants of a colour. Why? It makes the blog look more appealing and attractive. The black background makes all the colours readable, really, and it doesn't hurt you're eyes like some other sites...cough...Angelfire...cough.

Ultimately, there's quite a few genres missing from the earlier Sweepstake series. 1 or 2 are probably of smaller importance, but on youtube, there can be alot of this type.

The new genres, with their blog colour code, are:

Arts & Culture - dark violet
News - dark blue
Continuity and Idents - aqua (green/blue)
Politics - blue
Chat Shows - light yellow

They will be alongside the other genres with the colours:

Adverts - light green (changed from green)
Children's - pink
Comedy - yellow
Documentary - gold (changed from white)
Drama - brown (changed from sky blue)
Gameshows - purple
Light Entertainment - green
Music - light blue
Public Information Films - light red (changed from grey)
Saturday Mornings - red
Schools TV - dark green (changed from grey)
Soaps - sky blue
Sport - orange (changed from red)

All posts now will be one clip-per-post. No Sweepstake for the new genres. This is to make thearchive more easier to search and confuse less.

Going Live! Goes on Air for the First Time...

First Going Live!

The starting theme and introduction of the show that gave us presenters Phillip Schofield, Sarah Greene, comedians Trev and Simon, cookery specialist Emma Forbes, and of course, Gordon the Gopher. The show lasted from 1987-1993.

Sarah Greene and Schofield come out excitedly to introduce themselves - Greene wearing very 80's earrings and one of those puff-pom-pom skirts, or whatever you call them - You knows what's odd? That first series set. Is it just me, or does it look like some theatrical Chinese dojo? I liked this set, but they improved it in the next series with a larger studio, which looked like the set was invaded by stationary Triangular rulers and circle things. In the 80's it was like, yeah, look at our snazzy shapes on the stage and neon lighting, yeah.

"Going Live!" were an evolution of the BBC's earlier kid's/family Saturday morning shows, such as "Multi-Coloured Swap Shop" and "Saturday Superstore" in which Sarah Greene previously appeared with radio One DJ Mike Read. "Going Live" was similar to Superstore, such as "Hot Seat" interviews with the famous, but got rid of the swapping element in any way. "Going Live!" had the format down to a tee, with a bit of everything for all ages, and importantly, good chemistry between the presenters themselves and the audience. Or maybe I'm just biased, as that's the show I grew up with! Not the last of "Going Live!" you will see here!

Sunday, 27 December 2009

The Best "Casualty" Theme Song and the Best Opening Sequence? You Decide...

Casualty Titles

A little bit of a trivial matter for a serious (in the 2000's? Mmmmm) drama, but this has been something I've kept coming back to address that the second theme song these days, is nothing, nothing, compared to the first theme, and I'll tell you why.

Although both themes are basically the same tune, it just isn't the same! The first theme does have an authentic medical-sounding repertoire of instruments, while the second theme uses classical violins with no beeps or frills. The first one actually sound like it could be Hospital instruments making some of the music in the background, which is what they do try to make you believe in some of the intro visuals, such as a ventilator and such. Although the 2nd theme sounds more morbid, the first one is what keeps me coming back to these videos. Some of the intro's are great, even our 2000's cousins, however, I'm being honest here, but simply the best opening sequence, is the one that starts at 1 min 57 secs, in this video clip. Reflects the gritty feel of the show it was that time, which won't be coming back. Boo-hoo.

I believe the titles i liked best, were from 1997-2000.

Christmas Saturday offering from BBC + Ol' Brucie

BBC Weather & Start of Generation Game

"Life is the name of the game,
And I wanna play the game with you,
Life can be terribly tame,
If you don’t play the game with two,
And I wanna play the game with you"

The classic theme from the classic show of "The Generation Game", and I believe the 90's version of the theme to be the best. I can't find it anywhere, but on this clip, which has been re-uploaded several (sigh - at youtube).

This was simply for me, the perfect Saturday prime-time early evening show. It was a behemoth of Saturday night viewing in the 70's and in it's resurrection in the 1990's. The games, the cameos, the making cakes/craftwork, the theatrical display usually at the end. Watching ordinary people being fast-tracked to follow dance acts, and crafts that needed the most nimblest of fingers, were laughed at, but in a good sense, as it wasn't too cruel.

I really like the set in this version of the show, doesn't look tacky at all, with the closing and opening doors. All these shapes moulded onto the doors and at the side, we don't know what the hell they're supposed to represent, but at least it's nice to look at. Bruce's cathphrase "Nice to see you, to see you, NICE!" was changed in this clip for a Christmas version. Brucie starts off the show with his usual puns/jokes a you do, and then introduces the glamourous assitant at the time, Rosemary Ford, which led to Brucie's "What's on the Board, Miss Ford!". Introduced next are 2 couple, sometimes man and wife, but we like to see the old ones getting into to sticky situations, so alot of parent and son/daughter couples.

Sadly, this is not a full episode.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

A Look Back on "Gladiators" on That Show with those neon-y, multi-coloured, swirly thingy studio Cardboard Background Sets

I Love 1992 - Gladiators

This is what i would say a "light" but nostalgic documentary. Just random D-list celebs accounting for the popular fads, culture and TV programmes of each long-gone year in the "I Love" series, that featured on the BBC in the early 2000's, with a "docu" on every year from 1970-1999. Some of those celebs have either vanished off the face of the Earth, have raised their profile considerably like Michael McIntyre, or, still participating in these type of shows, talking about Grace Jones slapping Russell Harty about for the umpteenth time. I liked it though, because at the time, if you didn't have the internet, which a strong majority didn't, then your sources for TV nostalgia were pretty slim, and even online, there were barely any video to watch. Video media was a struggle to upload and download in those days of pay-per-minute internet connections. So it was a welcome ratings triumph, repeated endlessly at Christmas and New Year's, and triggered off, all those orgies of nostalgic chart shows.

Here we look at the Saturday primetime ratings giant in 1992, "Gladiators". Featuring the chance to see the likes of pantomine villain "Wolf", presenters Ulrika Jonsson and John "AWOOGA" Fashanu, referee John "Gladiators/Contenders Ready" Anderson and the boys' poster girl "Jet". Producer Nigel Lythgoe, known as "Nasty Nigel from Popstars" appears, and also executive producer John Kaye Cooper. The drugs controversy that hit the show after the 3rd series in 1994 is also discussed about. An educated looking "Shadow" speaks in an archive clip.

Ooh-Ar Jethro! Anneka Rice in Devon!

Treasure Hunt - Devon (1986, series 4) part 1

A full episode of Channel 4's "Treasure Hunt" pummeling through a course in Devon, from 1986. From my diet of gameshows, this show comes as much relief, from the heavily formulaic indoor-studio-what's you're-name-and-where-are-from-round-one-ask-question-answer-question routine. 2 contestants help solve clues in the indoor studio along with presenter Kenneth Kendall keeping the show stringed together, using a large array of books, while the extra component, namely skyrunner Anneka Rice's posterior, runs to these locations under a time limit, hopefully the right locations, as ordered by the contestants.

There would be five clues, to various locations around the local area, which would finally lead to the treasure. Anneka Rice would sometimes travel not only by foot, but by sea and air, however, all of these items were given permission to be used, and nothing was simply "gatecrashed" apart from normal members of the public, looking bemused, being asked for directions, or looking at that..

In this episode Rice is seen travelling in Helicopter, then landing it(by pilot Keith i might add) on a mid-sea submarine. All very exciting stuff, and you get some really nice scenery shots too. The show ran from 1982-1989, and the concept was taken from the original French version,"La Chasse au Trésor", created by Jacques Antoine. Do-gooder Anneka Rice hasn't changed much since then, and has been off the box for quite a while now, after her appearance in "Hell's Kitchen" in 2007, and presenting "Sunday Feast" in 2006.

Crossroads Gets the Mike Yarwood Treatment...

David Hunter Sacked

Crossroads sketch from the BBC's "Mike Yarwood In Persons", which was Yarwood's third star vehicled-show, running from 1976-1981. I'm giving myself a pat on the back, as I could not find what year, or decade this was from, however, as the character Mavis Hooper appears in the sketch, it was 1981 she first appeared in the soap, and it was also the year this show ended, so a no-brainer then.

The best part is David Hunter mauling of the Crossroads favourite simpleton, Benny. Also labelled under Coronation Street, as Bet Lynch appears too.

"Dishy David Hunter" was had been the owner of the motel since 1970. Although easy-going, he massacred a Malaysian village in battle as a young soldier. Benny Hawkins, was a farm boy who was always seen wearing a woolly hat, and although well-built and an honest, hardworking men, he was uneasy around the opposite sex. Also featuring in the sketch were Mavis and Sid Hooper impressions, followed by Corrie's Bet Lynch.

Boxing, Literally...on Boxing Day

Classic Tyson.Bruno vs Tyson part 1 of 2

Or really just an excuse to extend my wafer-thin, stick-thin sports clips on this blog so far. Still a beloved favourite of the British public, a 28 year-old Frank Bruno faces one of Boxing's most feared slugger, American "Iron" Mike Tyson. By this point, Tyson was at his peak of prowess, being an undisputed champion and undefeated, a tremendous feat for a 22 year-old. Tyson beforehand, became the only man to ever knock out other Boxing legend Larry Holmes, and finished off Michael Spinks in his last ever Boxing match.

Frank Bruno's jovial personality hit the right notes with the British public, although at the time, having never won a professional Boxing Championship belt. By the time of this match, Bruno had suffered a couple of losses, not to mention a 21 match undefeated winning streak in the early 80's.

This is the full match in 2 parts with American commentary. Our poor Bruno, although with a great early flare in the 1st Round, Tyson is just too powerful and aggressive. Bruno lacked endurance, due to his bodymass, which caught up with him here.

Bruno and Tyson met again in 1995, although a much more dissappointing affair for Bruno, this time having carried the WBC title.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Christmas Day Snuggle-in with Ernie & Eric

Morecambe & Wise - Christmas Special 1971

Merry Christmas everyone! Half the country (25 million)tuned into "Morcambe & Wise" Christmas show specials, and this features the main guest as actress Glenda Jackson. Now at the time, it was a rarity to see serious stars flaffing about, all in the name of comedy. Before this, if you may've heard on various nostalgic talking head show, Glenda was seen as a bit of a square and people found her to be rather above herself. In this, she wins over the viewers with her slapstick performance, all seeming out-of-character. This was an age, where it was shocking or surprising to see stars in unknown territory, nobody would imagine a newsreader would get her legs out and break out into a song and dance (ala Angela Rippon, also appeared on another M&W Christmas Special). Frank Bough and Michael Parkinson, breaking into song? Well, you got it here in this clip!

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Around ze World in ze 80 Days, with an oh-so gentleman-like Lion!

Around The World With Willy Fog Ep 2 Part 1

Several episodes have been uploaded for this legendary cartoon. Episode 1 is missing sadly, but episodes 2-8 of 26 episodes are there. It was produced in 1983, but it wasn't until the late-80's, it reached the peak of it's popularity in the UK. It follows the classic Willy Fogg tale, but with a twist, set in a world where animals play the human parts, from the elegant Lion as "Willy Fogg", to a feline playing "Rigodon" and "Princess Romy" and a wolf/coyote, playing "Transfer" the main villain trying to thawrt Fogg's quest.

The cartoon is created by the Spanish animation company BRB International, who were also behind "Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds" and "The World of David the Gnome". The show was co-produced and actually animated by Japanese studio Nippon Animation. The first dub of the cartoon was in Spanish, the English dub came later and may be one of the reasons for the delayed interest in the cartoon in UK, championed by CBBC broom cupboard presenters like Andy Crane.

It's a somewhat intelligent and wholesome cartoon, and what was clever, was the cliffhangers and pomped-up previews of the next episodes, carried by an urgent sounding out-of-vision narrator. The wealth of places they go to, as it is a trip around around the world, from London to Paris, to Bombay to Calcutta, it was a great show. And that theme song, damn catchy. The title character sings solo first as he swings about the street like Fred Astaire, and the rest of the gang, bad and good, join in. A more softer song is played in the ending credits, with some great random, imaginative animations surrounding the credits, like one of the goons falling through a sand hourglass. However, just as memorable with its little whistling tune in the background.

About the Blog Labels

Please use the labels to help find your desired show, as well as more additions i will add along very soon. Due to what i expect, will be a fairly large collection of videos, i will categorize the posts also into decades (1960s) and specific years when possible. This will of course be of more help to you, if you still want to generally browse, but a more refined search. This will be better especially, as I've only started and material is thin on the ground here.

Click on the labels at the side of the page, or click on the labels/links that are availiable at the bottom of each post, such as the genre (already included) and shows/clips from the same time period.

If you have any better ideas for categorisation, then send me a comment here.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

When does 2000's TV Nostalgia Kick in? Yay or Nay?

As we come to an end of the decade known as the 2000s, or known as the "Noughties", when will be time we will get nostalgic about the 2000's and it's TV of the day "nostalgic"?

The way it used to be, is that it was usually 20 years later nostalgia kicks in, in the 70's there were alot of nostalgia for the 50's, when you had the likes of "Happy Days" 50's setting, starting in 1974 to 1984. Not sure about the 80's really, but there were still strong nostalgia for the 50's when you had the music cartoon character "Jive Bunny" reaching No.1 in 1989, with a remixed 50's music medley. In the 90's as i recall, nobody cared about the 80's and that it was rather a decade to forget, for it's taste. It was like the 90's were in a hangover about all those gaudish fashion crazes and the yuppie culture that reached it's demise as a economic recession was afoot. In the 90's the nostalgia was all about the 70's.

However, as the 2000's turned around, only 11/12 years later, 80's nostalgia became blitzed on our screens, as the children from the 80's became adults. The 80's kids were targeted heavily than none other before, with the commercial toylines from popular American cartoons, the explosion in home computer consoles and well, everything started becoming commercialised, making other decades before look rather solitary and empty.

My impression is nostalgia is arriving quicker, but it varies for different people. It's really based on when you look back on something, and you feel since then, times have changed. The world is probably going at faster pace in technology and other advances. The 2000's has for me, been alot more interesting and varied, technological-wise than TV-wise.

I think nostalgia in general arrives, for a certain time, is when people can look back on it and are able to sum it up crystal clear. When you're experiencing it at the time, it can all feel just a blur, as time ticks on consistently and gradually.

However, 2000's TV already has a strong identity, but that is mainly thanks to reality tv shows, which started in Britain officially, in 1999, but didn't take off until the following year, with Channel 4's "Big Brother". Music-wise, it's been harder to define, but that could be in fact, that we still don't have the hindsight to look at it and sum it up, apart from saying "there's more processed pop" and "when hip-hop and rap went mainstream", or you may hear "nowadays people are into all kinds of music", but people have trouble in how to break up the decade, and where certain fads/music types like in popular mainstream culture. However, there is an argument to say, compared to the 80's and 90's, everything is much more commercialised, we're surrounded by big companies, it all feels rather too same-y?

That could be true, but give it 10 years. TV-wise, people are probably starting or, will get nostalgic about "Big Brother"(if you were a fan of course) as it will be ending in 2010, as ratings and interest has declined drastically. Reality TV isn't dead yet, but it could be the 2000's were it's peak, as it is always the original runs that prove to be the most popular.

Right now in this blog, i will be only including 2000's shows or clips that are nostalgic about previous TV decades.

This leads to my question, as the whole decade of the 2000's is about to become archive only, should that mean i should add the 2000's to this blog? Would it be ridiculous to include late-2000's material as nostalgic especially, when it will be only at the most, a few years ago? It's add the whole decade or not, not in parts, for me. The only argument i can add, that the 2000's would be viable is simply because Youtube will have a much greater wealth of 2000's show material than any other decade, so will that mean more quality? But that goes back to, it's from Youtube, yes, but is it nostalgic? Yay or Nay, you decide, in the upcoming months and year!

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Youtube Public Information Films Sweepstake

The last in the series of the Sweepstake posts, designed to give you a taste of the vast choice of clips/shows that will feature here on this blog:

Public Information Films or "PIFs", are either adverts, 5-30 minute short films, advising you the citizen how to either evade danger, not to take what is unhealthy for you, or just generally advising you on new features, like the motorway, back in the day.

Fireworks: Don't Be A Dummy 1988 Public Info Film

80's scare-mongering at it's scariest and finest! Short but downright goosebumps ridden advert-sized PIF. The eerie, hard hitting sounds pound right through you, as the images of children's faces, and then speeds up and and climaxes with a firework exploding, then to portrayed as exploding in the face of a child. What's happening is an indoor experiment of how a loaded firework can do when aimed at child's eye, represented by a grey mould of child's face. Then it gets even more creepy as non-appearing kids shouts "don't be a dummy, don't throw fireworks!" Other firework PIF's followed in the 80's and 90's but nothing as wonderfully deranged and as directful since. I haven't seen firwork PIF's around much these days. Maybe I'm not up at the right times to see. However, after this, firework PIF creators should've just packed up and left, because nothing will surpass this as getting the message across, and a re-introduction of ad would be welcome, come any November.

Public Information Film Charley Says.....Strangers

The "Charley Says" animated series is one of the most well-known of UK PIFs. It ran, especially the "Strangers" episode for literally years. Produced in 1973, it ran through the 80s and possibly the early 90s too, if my memory serves me right. The boy was voiced by an authentic 7 year old boy, who was the son of the producer's (Richard Taylor) next door neighbour. Charley is the name of the cat who in most episodes bar 1, to advise the boy away from danger. The boy seemed to be able to understand what Charley was saying, which were weird, mangled meiows, voiced by Radio personality and future television entertainer Kenny Everett.

Peter Kay on Public Information Films

A flashback with many clips from at the time, future insanely popular stand-up comedian, Peter Kay. Kay has engineered alot of his gentle comedy around nostalgia and that include TV nostalgia quite a bit. Before he made the big time, you could see him many times on certain nostalgic shows like the "I Love" BBC series. Was there to make his face more known on TV, or for his passion for nostalgia? I would say a bit of both, but turning more to passion for nostalgia, he engineered a career from it, for the holy mother. Mentioned are "Splink", the road safety PIF by Jon Pertwee, and David Prowse as the Green Cross Code Man.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Youtube Adverts Sweepstake

The countless, countless edition of the Sweepstake edition. However, the second last edition/genre!


The title may look very ordinary, but this is the beginning of an impressive collection of British Ads from the 80s, in mostly 9 min+ clips, in chronological order, starting from 1987. Some of the greats are in there, and some of memorable but forgotten ones are there! As you wield over the collection, watch as the Christmas ads turn up, and then it gets more summer-y as you go along. Some feature many of the toy ads at the time, so there is a wide spectrum of ads there. There's also regional ads, mostly from i think East Anglia and the East. I've watched all 110 videos, and there are few other single large ad collection like this on youtube.

The ad i remember the most from this collection, is the quite clever Tunes advert (the sweets for blocked noses), where the man on the stereo, pictured, is talking with that numb voice you have when having a cold, and a tune is inserted like a tape, and suddenly everything's better, and the man has got his normal speaking voice once again!

Lego commercial - Kipper

You may know, this ad has been brought back from the dead, and is back on our screens. This ad from the early 80's is great. You're not sure if it's Tommy Cooper, or a Tommy Cooper sound-a-like, as Tommy didn't see through the whole decade having been deceased at the beginning of the decade. However, it is him. And it's a great little run-around of dialogue and imaginative creations from the Lego team, hosted by stock animation.

Ford Orion car advert 1980s

This is in reference to the advert collection mentioned in the first clip. This is one of the best ads I've seen from that collection. Like what it describes in the ad, it's unassuming, almost delicate and subtle. This is coming from someone who isn't one of those petrolheads or car-lovers. In the 80's car ads were more geared to men, but this Ford Orion advert has a really good balance, which for me, runs rings around the 2000's car ads overly aloof, artsy and sometimes arrogant commercials. This tows the line very nicely indeed, and not only is the whole proposal of the car being under-rated, so is this bloody advert!

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Youtube Drama Sweepstake

Sweepstake series continues! Awooga!

K9 plays chess - Dr Who - BBC sci-fi

A fine Tom Baker-fied Doctor Who clip from the episode 'The Sunmakers'. His second assistant Leela, looking every inch the Chess grandmaster in her skimpy leather garb. Somehow, i just can't look beyond those legs. Anyway, K9 is the true chessbrains here aiding Leela, and in the process they come across the planet of Pluto. Hang on, it's set in the future, yet it should know Pluto was de-moted from being a planet!

In the 'The Sunmakers', Doctor Who and Leela travel to the now habitable planet of Pluto, and are confronted by The Gatherer of Megropolis One, Hade(Richard Leech)and his cruel tax system which taxes to excess. Hade belongs to the company that created artifical suns, that helped create life on Pluto.

Boys from the Blackstuff - Yosser's Desperate

This clip follows the classic scene where a broken Yosser, with his kids in tow, going to confession. This mixes extreme sadness with some comedy, as the priest asks Yosser to call him Dan for short, instead of "Father". Yosser mutters "I'm desperate, Dan", but it can also be interpreted, for if you know the main comic character of the UK comic "The Dandy", as I'm Desperate Dan, the cow-pie eating, gun-slinging, cowboy strongman.

If you grew up or lived in the early 80's, who doesn't know Yosser's classic line "Gizza Job"? "Boys From the Blackstuff" was not only one of the best quality drama's of the 1980's, but it was also effective, as the real background behind the struggle of everyday Britons plight against a large economic recession, and sounded the death knell, truly, for Britain as one of world's biggest manufacturing forces. Set in one of the hardest hit areas in the UK, Liverpool, each of the five episodes focused on a different character, who were all made unemployed in this economic climate. It's powerful and gripping stuff, and the most memorable of the 5, transmitted in 1982, was Yosser Hughes plight.

"Boys From the Blackstuff" was actually the sequel to "The Black Stuff", which was made in 1978, but never got transmitted until 1980. Written by Alan Bleasdale, also from Liverpool, the drama was an award-winner, and still regarded as one of the best British drama serials.

Classic Minder - Minder on the Orient Express Part 1

Minder was a long running drama/action serial on ITV, lasted an incredible 15 years (1979-1994). The series follow main character wheelin' dealin' con-man Arthur Daley(George Cole), who employs a bodyguard, a former professional boxer and some-time criminal Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman). Despite the dodgy character backgrounds, they're loveable rogues as displayed by fine acting to the viewers, and display geniune honesty and friendship.

This is a 2-part feature, focusing on clips for an episode from the sixth series. A throughly entertaining one, especially the knock-about in the second part. Also feature an inebriated Arthur Daley. Also, great funny line from Terry "Do you fancy me or something"?

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Youtube Sports Sweepstake

The umpteenth edition of the Sweepstake series, this time for sport.

Gary Newbon & Jimmy Greaves Football argument Central TV 1983

Let's start off with a lesser-known gem. An argument ensues over whether injustice is being served in Football, when it comes to there being no TV evidence or replay, that a referee and double check with, in certain events in a football match, because even with the ref and linesman monitoring, they still can't see everything, as the view may be obscured by a crowded penalty box.

Gary Newbon in this argument, supports a call for TV evidence, while Greaves is against, as the coverage could be prone to edit and interference. Greaves also attacks Newbon's personal favourite team Birmingham City, in a heated moment. The youtube user claims their friendship was ended after this. Can anybody clarify this? Comment if you know, folks!

Torvill & Dean - 1984 Olympics - Bolero - HQ

Historic moment for Britain at the 1984 Winter Olympics. Probably our most celebrated Gold Medal at the Winter Games. Now 25 years ago, Jean Torvill and Christopher Dean achieved an all-perfect score in Sarajevo. 12 sets of 6.0 for Maurice Ravel's "Bolero"! Never been achieved before or since. The couple won a bronze at the 1994 Lillehammer Winter Olympics, and can now be seen on celebrity talent show "Dancing On Ice" on ITV, on round about February every year, and they are the mentors.

Did Torvill and Dean ever get it together. Rumours were rife, at the time afterwards, and the answer was simply no., although many wanted to believe it. The 2 managed on a business only basis, but it is a true friendship. Dean married French Canadian World Ice Dance Champion Isabelle Duchesnay in 1991, but divorced in 1993. He then went on to marry second wife, US skater Jill Trenary, in 1994. Torvill has been happily married to Phil Christensen, since 1990.

BBC Grandstand April 1990

This clip is a brilliant flashback to an age before the Premiership, the ridiculously high wages and the multi-million foreign chairmen that make teams into overnight sensations. The now elusive Bob Wilson presents the league standings at the end of Saturday matchday. Spot the teams that are now Premiership regulars like Bolton Wanderers, in the lower divisions, and the others in their former glories like Norwich City, Sheffield Wednesday and Wimbledon.

Not to mention the great instrumental track from Bruce Hornsby and the Range's "That's Just the Way It is".

Youtube Schools TV Sweepstake

Continuing the Sweepstake series. Not really a "Best of..." but a generalised sweep-a-round of the variety of genres that will be posted in this blog!

For the sad people like myself, i've included "Schools TV" as a genre. It's a range of educational programmes, shown by the big 2 forces of UK TV, the BBC and ITV(later Channel 4) aimed for childen and older children, along with accompanying information packs to help school teachers make the most out of the programming for his/her class in after-math projects or tasks.

The genre reached it's peak in the late 70's - early 80's. It remained strong throughout the 80's, but began to demise in the 90's, due to possibly improved computer learning (CD-ROM) and then...the internet. In 2009, the genre has now been shunned, and hardly any new programming has been made in recent years. Just evolution or lazy-bum-budget-shrinking-ratings-obsessed terrestrial TV? You decide.

ITV Schools - Scientific Eye

"Scientific Eye" was a textbook no-frills ITV Schools and later Channel 4 schools programme, it has been popular in schools mainly for it's large array of archive or experiment footage. The starting year of the programme is a little unclear to find, but it ran in the mid-80s, right up to the early 2000's.

This clip features car crash footage, demolition works and all that other good stuff along with the usual scientific jargon. From what I recall, for most of it's tenure, it had out-of-vision announcers. In the mid-90s, it was similar, but there was a silent comedy character featured doing chores in the house as such. However, by the early 2000s or late-90's, they had in-vision presenters, and that for me RUINED the show. I enjoyed the no-frills commentating and being able to concentrate on the topic matter solely. Your getting more out of it really, at a quicker pace, but now that every bloody body wants to be a face on TV, it lost it's edge. By the time of 2002/2003, "Scientific Eye" along with many others were dumped forever as Channel 4 got rid of schools programme completely, and replaced with loosely based reality-tv, teen diary whiners or episodes of "Friends". Reason being because, Schools TV never did know how to compete with ratings, they never wanted to be cool, and that's what I liked about them, they dared to bore, so much that they were actually good.

BBC Schools - Music Time

From probably 1984, presented here by Helen Spiers Johnathon Cohen. This was a regular feature of BBC Schools in the late 70's and for all of the 80's. A great variety of instruments were shown in the show, and the presenters would be musically trained too.

I think it was later presented by former 60's music band member of "Manfred Mann" Paul Jones, who was a natural on the show.

Everybody's favourite part of the "Music Time", were the "Listen" section, which encouraged you answer the question by listening to the music, encouraged by the symbol of a random Gnome cartoon character holding onto his ear, in the pose of a Hulk Hogan celebration. In this clip the gnome indeed turns up, and you have to watch as well as listen, whether the musical band is in time with Johnathon Cohen conducting, with his hands.

Good Health - White Ivory (ATV Schools film: 1974) Part 1

"Good Health" was another long running ITV schools programmes, that ran into the 80s/90s including after the transfer of schools from ITV "We've got TV-AM to contend with now!" Schools to Channel 4 Schools. There's a couple of othe clips from this show on youtube, I'll try and fish out more for the Schools section. Hopefully they are still on there!

So this is a gem from the archives, as it's a full episode from 1974, a time when video recorder were practically non-existant. So a true gem. Watching this show, will immedietely make you want to brush your teeth, as the so-called doctor on the show what can happen to your teeth f you don't brush! There's also a quite cute sectio where the kids present plague invading your teeth and the dangers of not brushing your teeth through theatrical art. It also highlights, what you may still get at the Dentist, is this red liquid that stains your teeth red, and the plaque shows out like a sore thumb, once again another jibe to brush your teeth at least twice a day. It may be 35 years old, the message still works.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Youtube Saturday Mornings Sweepstake

Continuation of the Sweepstake series, where i will breathe the first signs of life into this blog, touching every genre of British TV from the 50's-90's.

Saturday mornings refer to the live breakfast, kid-orientated TV that evolved around the presenters and cast that didn't just link up cartoon, but provide us their own entertainment, plus interviews with big names, when Saturdays mornings were a must-see event and people would kill to be on the show. It appealed to adults too, but as ratings and interest dropped, the shows became much more kids-orientated and childish. Either that, or we live in a more fragmented society/viewership these days.

Karen Carpenter on `Swap Shop`

A gem, but not-so-gem. That's because it's a rare interview with the late Karen Carpenter, but only 38 seconds long this clip. This was 2 years before her death, the cause of which, she suffered anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder of believing that you look fat, causing extreme thiness. this resulted in a heart attack at the age of 32. Of course, the highly influential singer of the musical duo of "The Carpenters", and with such hits like "Close To You". "Multi-Coloured Swap Shop" was the first foray of live kids show on Saturday mornings, in which each episode 3 hours in length. Saturday mornings were very boring before 1976. Or should i be saying 1974?

Aha, because if you lived in the Midlands region in 1974, you would be able to enjoy ATV's(ITV regional channel) "Tiswas"!

TODD CARTY INTERVIEW on "Saturday Superstore" MARCH 1983 part 1

At this point, future Eastenders regular Todd Carty. was best known for playing the likeable rogue Tucker, originating from the beginning of kids drama "Grange Hill". His fan base and success of the character, led him to Tucker's own spin-off show "Tucker's Luck" in 1983. The first of three series, was actually suprisingly good, mainly focusing on Tucker and friends exploits after school, and dealing with the harsh reality of making ends meet, and being on the dole. Quite good social commentary on the early 80's. A period of economic gloom.

In the clip, you have to feel sorry for co-actors Paul McCarthy (played Tommy Watson) and George Armstrong (played Alan Humphries). Although viewers are also aware of their characters from the Grange Hill days, all the incoming kids phonecalls are question for Tucker throughout.

8.15 from Manchester - "Tough at the Top" Gameshow section

More obscure fare here, from the short-lived Saturday Morning show, shown in the summer breaks of 1990 and 1991 when sat. morn. goliath "Going Live!" was off-air. Presented by smoothy Glaswegian Ross King and mousey-looking Charlotte Hindle, who was a Saturday morning favourite, fresh from presenting ITV's "Ghost Train" and previously "Get Fresh". In this clip, we have Ross King presenting this gameshow section "Tough at the Top" where 2 teams of 2 kids, 1 answers questions, while the other tries to climb the steps to the top, depending on how many steps they can climb according to the randomisation of some Blankety-Blank-looking number meter.

I remember liking this gameshow section, but that's only after seeing this clip, after forgetting about it for countless years, resting dormant in my mind. Some horribly dated musical soundbites, and just what is the themed setting. It looks sort of Aztec-jungle-country ranch thing going on.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Youtube Documentary Sweepstake

The seventh edition and genre of my Sweepstake series.

Glasgow Transport 1980 - Part 1

This is a very interesting documentary produced by the old Strathclyde council(West of Scotland really) showing the modernisation of the underground system, which became known as "The Clockwork Orange", because of their gaudy orange colour. The Glasgow underground was one of the oldest underground systems in the world, and the Victorian-style trains and old format of lifting them off the tracks to be stationed, all came to an end in 1977. The programme, shows the sheer extent of the work involved in the city centre, demolishing old Victorian tenement slums and just giants areas of cement were carved up to extend and re-modernise the track system. Although, the finished product is nothing compared to the complexity of say, the London underground. This is still a fascinating documentary.

Jonathan Meades on J'accuse Vegetarians 1 of 3

"J'accuse" was a series of programmes made for Channel 4, in 1995, that featured on different subjects each episodes, chaired by different intellectual presenters. Johnathan Meades, although very intelligent, gives a biased right-wing account on how Vegetarians came into being. Also includes talking head bearing pro and con views, and some obscure celebrities from the time. It's rather in-depth and long-drawn for one issue, something you wouldn't see getting made today, in this suppoesedly shorter-attention spanning era, or would only be made on the backburner, for BBC4.

World In Action - Acid House Report PT.1

"World in Action" was an iconic investigative current affairs ITV programme that ran from 1963-1998. The format was taken to various countries, following it's success in the 1960s and 70s. Hard as it may seem but at it's peak it was watched by 23 million viewers. So this programme deals with the acid house culture that goes mainstream in the summer of 1988. Various teens (underage?) are interviewed, and only increased parents fears of what was going on.

Now, the coolest club venues are not seen as your typical Roxy nightclub, but in empty warehouses and open fields. Oh, and they're illegal as well. This followed with media hysteria over the drugs associated with the culture. This ran for years and years, but it was true to an extent, but the music itself wasn't the pre-dominating factor, it was based on the other people attending these parties. For the youth of the late-80s, with only yuppies having mobile phones at that time, and no internet, it was an achievement within iself to amass these unofficial conurbations, which is something the youth of today don't have. The complexity to organise in mass movements, and well, they wouldn't be seen dead in a muddy field nowadays.

Youtube Light Entertainment Sweepstake

Sixth edition of the Sweepstake series.

Note: Telethon events like "Children In Need" and "Comic Relief" are also included in this section, for future reference.

Susan Boyle's 1995 audition for My Kind of People - and kiss with Michael Barrymore

This clip came to light after Susan Boyle's phonomenal rise to fame, as an auditionee for ITV's "Britain's Got Talent". Hang on a minute, what's "Britain's Got Talent". We don't do 2000s TV unless it's from a nostalgic viewpoint! Anyway, Boyle's been at it for years with the tonsil-tickling, but what interests me most is Barrymore's vacuous actions here. I mean, i like the guy, but rather went too far here, looking up Subo's skirt, and a good eyeful...lucky git.

The show, "My Kind of People" ran from 1998 to 2002. It feels a lot longer than that. This was a sort of a love/hate show, on whether you liked Barrymore or not. Yes, it was about fresh-faced members of the public too for the ones on that love/hate boundary, but with the countless times, the camera going back to Barrymore, and his constant stealing of the limelight, must've turned viewers off even more. The show was a good laugh, but was an almost pioneer to shows like "Pop Idol", "X-Factor" and so forth, giving us a look at the bad and good auditionees.

The Jackson 5 on the 1972 Royal Variety Performance

Pretty much self-explanatory here. The Jackson 5 sing a great medley of "I Want You Back", "ABC", "Rockin' Robin" and then a brief acapella of "Thank You" to the audience, and then "The Love You Save". Classic really.

Other stars that featured in this Royal Variety Performance of the same year:


Noel's House Party: Phillip Schofield v Gordon The Gopher

This show will be featured aplenty in the Light Entertainment section. Featuring here is one of my favourite shows within another favourite show of mine's. "Noel's House Party" presenter Noel Edmonds introduces the famed duo off Saturday morning's kids 3 hour-ish marathon of a magazine-type show "Going Live!", presenter Phillip Schofield and his ever-haunting(where's Gordon, Phillip?) puppet sidekick Gordon the Gopher. "Noel's House Party" was a Saturday evening high-rating juggernaut (especially in the early 90's, as shown in the clip) that aimed to out-step or embarrass ordinary people and the celebrities of the time. Some pretty original concepts, but not this one.

Absolutely obsessed with gunge, usually to be shown on kid's Saturday morning "Tiswas" or "Crackerjack", this was gunging gone mainstream, and somewhat neatly packed away at the top of the most wonderfully decorated glass cases. "Noel's House Party" had this format marketed to a tee, giving the celebrity maximum "but all in the name of harmless fun" humiliation possible. And if that's not all, Noel takes it to a phone vote against you and another celebrity, and you'll also get to know the public kind of..hate you, if you're polling the lowest vote.

Well, what's the point of the phone vote really, when in the end, Schofield and Gopher get gunged. Genuine sorrow is felt from Noel towards a custard-creamed Gordon, which is really just a hand in a fur glove. These magazines for those type of things, you know. I'm afraid to say Gordon the Gopher probably died that night, i hate to tell you that, it was covered up from all the newspapers at the time. There's no way that would come out in the wash. So Gordon was replaced with a Gordon look-a-like.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Youtube Music Sweepstake

The Tube - Depeche Mode - 'See You' 1982

This was Depeche Mode's first single release after the departure of Vince Clarke in November 1981. Clarke was a highly significant member of the group, having wrote their last 3 hit songs including "Just Can't Get Enough". The departure was to problems over the direction of the band. Well, with this single they did better than ever, and probably their most critically revered era was still to come...

Jimi Hendrix - Top of the Pops 1967 - Purple Haze

Short clip of Hendrix from TOTP, but still classic. Watch out for the smoozy American narrator as he libs sexually suggestive remarks about his action on the guitar.

Old Grey Whistle Test - the Pogues - Streams of Whiskey

Ah, the Old Grey Whistle Test, and this song is a right "knee-slapper". From 1986, near the end of show's shelf life, starring one of the most famous Irish tradional music bands, "The Pogues". The band formed in 1982 under the leadership of singer Shane MacGowan. MacGowan brought great vocal punk energy and vigour to the act. The song is from their 1984 album "Red Roses for Me". The Pogues peaked in 1989, not only for the 1989 album "Peace and Love", but his solo duet (make sense?) with the late Kirsty MacColl for the very timeless and popular "Fairytale of New York". MacGowan split from the group in 1991, then the group broke up in 1996, then they reunited in 2001, but with little success so far.

Youtube Children's Sweepstake

The Fourth post in a series of "sweepstakes" to give a mini-taste of each genre of UK nostalgia TV!

Grange Hill (1989) Series 12 - Episode 1 part 1 of 3

As of now, all episodes of Grange Hill series 5-12 (1982-1989) are uploaded onto Youtube, along with a part of the 1993 series. This is great news, because only Grange Hill series 1-4 were released on DVD. There seems to be no intention of any following Grange Hill DVD releases. Now you can get to see the Gripper/Zammo/Roland era, including all the series that wig-wearing Mr. "the teacher we loved to hate" Bronson appeared in, including his farewell. Get to see other classic character like Gonch, Ziggy, Tucker (his last year), Trevor, Calley, Holloway & many more! There's the classic racism storyline involving hardman bully Gripper in 1983, and Zammo's demise into hard drugs in 1986. This season i have highlighted, is one of my favourites, a great cast and variety of characters despite no Zammo or Roland by this point, and a great ending which was really an end of an era. Most of main cast didn't appear again.

Bitsa 1992 Part 1

"Bitsa" was the BBC's secondary arts & craft programme at this time. Second only to the late-Tony Hart's "Hartbeat". Watching this again, it's actually better than what I remember! This was a great alternative to the more stuffy "Hartbeat", this was chaotic, fast-moving and the 2 presenters fit in really well with the programme. It lasted from 1991-1996, presented by Simon Pascoe and Caitlin Easterby. Heaven knows where they are now. I can imagine them bustling amongst the rubble looking for "pipe cleaners" or whatever you call those copper-cloted wiry things in some charitable community centre event. They also look like they've came from some Rock/indie band. Don't get many children presenters like this!

It was crazy, making stuff from bits and bobs of rubbish! In one part of the show, in this Willy Wonka factory setting studio, they would be given orders by schoolchildren on rubbish items to choose, and the 2 would have to think quick on their feet, to think up of something to make.

There was a freakish aspect to the show, a artificial being who lives in a box called "Hands", which was a puppeteered, artifical top half of a man, dressed ina suit. His hands were painted/spray-painted blue. You'd get close-ups of what he's creating, making some pretty surreal laughing noises in the process. Anyway, a great name for the show, as explained in the theme song. There's some freaky items being shown at the start of this specific episode.

NOTE: Simon Pascoe and Caitlin Easterby are actually a married couple now.

T Bag - Wonders in Letterland

This is the first ever episode of T-Bag in 1985, however, the first part is missing.

On the other side, CITV, was a fantasy/comedy serial called T-Bag, which was one of their flagship shows from the mid-80's to early 90's. T-Bag was something like a tea-obsessed witch, usually up to no good with her sidekick T-Shirt(John Hasler), a boy/teenage usually wearing a whipped round baseball cap. Each series was a different story, but each one was like a mission for various small girls to save the day or for T-Bag to find these hidden items to achieve great power to conquer the world. The girl would also search for the items, to be able to defeat T-Bag

The first T-Bag (Tallulah Bag) was played by Elizabeth Estensen, who left the show in 1990. This is the one that is most remembered. You can now see Elizabeth in "Emmerdale" as Diane Sugden. She was replaced by blondie Georgina Hale (Tabatha Bag), who also appeared in "Emmerdale", but no longer. For most of the time, the T-bag role was played for laugh, but she was a baddie, but a likeable one.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Youtube Gameshows Sweepstake

GOING FOR GOLD! Ahem, Episode

You can't help but sing along to that theme, can't you? "Going for Gold" has been recently resurrected by Channel 5 in 2009. The theme song has stayed intact but no Henry Kelly, and no international contestants! Instead presented by John "News At Ten" Suchet and some female dollybird named Alex Kramer, a former presenter of the embarrassing ITV Play era. They have an extra add-on programme, looking for viewers money in someway or other. Anyway, the original "Going for Gold" is still the best, ran from the 80s to early 90s (1987-1992). Those classic buzzer sounds, the ticking of the time whittling down, Kelly was the perfect host.

"Win, Lose or Draw" episode starring an Unknown Johnny Vegas

Luckily or not, some poor sap managed to record the episode that featured a young Johnny Vegas, or shall we say Michael Pennington, and some of the Vegas charm is there, and tells us he's looking into doing stand-up. Presented by the now-invisible Bob Mills, with "he's a right old laugh" Kris Akabusi, Bucks Fizz tease Cheryl Baker, the spunky Yvette Fielding and It Ain't Half Hot Mum's Windsor Davies representing the celebrity boy and girl teams.

ITV's "Golden Shot" 1970 Intro

ITV's "Golden Shot" was a terribly simple but legendary gameshow lasting from 1967-1975, most of it's tenure having been presented by Bob Monkhouse, as in this clip from 1970. The aim of the game was to aim a crossbow at an exploding target located in the middle of an apple, with various backdrops. The first round would consist of the contestant ordering the blindfolded TV cameraman via phone box in the studio, to fire at the right spot on the wall. After that, it was up to the contestant to control the crossbow through 7 rounds, then in later years, 4 rounds.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Youtube Soaps Sweepstake

1st Episode ever of Coronation Street, 1960

Absolute brilliance uploaded here. Whoever uploaded this should get a gold star. Stars a very young Ken Barlow, along with such greats like Elsie Lappin,
Florrie Lindley & Elsie Tanner.

Brookside Half Episode from 1991

A wedding takes place between Sammy & Owen. rom November 1991. Also features Brookside favourites Sinbad, Mike & Frank Rogers. Episode begins with a bizarre coversation about having a preference for "little fat frogs". Marvellous!

Peggy & Pat, FIGHT!

Classic moment from 1996. A serious conflict between pocket rocket Peggy Mitchell ("Carry On" films star Barbara Windsor) and undefeated heavyweight Pat Butcher(Pam St. Clement), but by god is it unintentially hilarious! Glasses are thrown and slaps are exchanged in a stilted, almost sportmanship manner. Non-sensical running to the doorbell ends the scene!

Friday, 11 December 2009

Youtube Comedy Sweepstake

This is the first of a series of "sweepstake" posts, to primarily "wet your whistle" for what is in store, each focusing on a different genre:

Whose Line Is It Anyway? Season 1 Episode 1

Due to it being part of "4 on Demand" the video is unembeddable(that a word?)

I've just recently discovered the huge wealth of selection, concerning the brand new ability to watch full shows (without being split into 10 min sections) thanks to Channel 4 working in accordance with Youtube. I'm impressed, as the full 1st season of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?", the classic comedy improvisation show, on a shoe-string budget. In this first episode from 1988, Clive Anderson is understandably nervous, and in the 4 leather chairs are Archie Hahn, Josie Lawrence, Paul Merton & John Sessions. It's a pretty good episode, but my main attention goes to Archie Hahn and Paul Merton. Although looking a lot more inexperience being on TV, you still see that bullish persona from Paul Merton his quips are what he's best it, but looks awkward when it comes to physical comedy, well, in this episode at least. And Archie Hahn, whatever happened to him? When i see him i think "Spinal Tap", "Police Academy 5" and Tv series "Eerie Indiana", but that's from all years and years ago. Also, in his very short Wikipedia description, some of his last WLIIA episode were infamous for him bringing false teeth and castanets to the show. Anyone know why it was so infamous?

Alf Garnett on the British Empire

Tory supporting Alf Garnett talks up the British Empire emblazoning hang-up pictures of Churchill and the Queen Victoria and blasting the Labour government. Probably no different from today, somewhere? But still, changed days indeed. However, you know you can't take the man seriously, as his vitriol is the whole joke of the show. He always gets his comeuppance in the end.

The Gem in the pudding. Fiddles me tiddles! A rare stage sketch starring Wilfred Brambell and Harry H. Corbett. Corbett looking unusually dressed up in suit and bow tie as Harold Steptoe, as they prepare to bathe in the sun and some golf later, in this sketch, appropiately staged in Blackpool.

My Personal Nostalgia Favourites...

Before the video embedding begins, let me tell you about my nostalgia viewing habits outlined by TV genres. They're not neccesarily my favourites ever, because let's say one of my favourite comedies is "Only Fools and Horses", because it's repeated non-stop on GOLD all the time, there isn't much scope to watch it on Youtube! And more so, if the show is not on DVD. On that note, the one thing i do find annoying is you have footage on youtube, that someone has recorded, and it may no longer be on the official archives. Youtube tries (rather loosely, because it knows that's why it gets most of it's tremondous traffic) to protect copyright, but the downside to that is it doesn't care what it is, when reported, and it doesn't believe in conservation.

Anyway, Let's go to my favourites starting with:

COMEDY: Hale and Pace, Smith and Jones, Russ Abbott, Billy Connolly, Alf Garnett, Father Ted, Mr. Bean & Whose Line is it Anyway, Rab C Nesbitt, & Stewart Lee.

GAMESHOWS: The Generation Game, Bullseye, Strike it Lucky, Gamesmaster, Gladiators and The Crystal Maze.

SOAPS: Eastenders is the main one, followed by Brookside, Coronation Street and Neighbours (When you had your Madge, Harold, Helen & big Jim Robinson). Not really into any of the others.

CHILDRENS: Grange Hill, Byker Grove, Tucker's Luck, Bananaman, Maid Marian and her Merry Men, The Real Ghostbusters, Chucklevision and The Girl From Tomorrow

MUSIC: Hitman and Her, Top of the Pops and The Tube.

LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT: Noel's House Party, Royal Variety Performance & Comic Relief

DOCUMENTARY: Any nostalgic show, Anything presented by Johnathan Meades, and old docs on the way we used to life in the 50s-90s.

SATURDAY MORNING: Going Live! of course!

SCHOOLS TV: Oh, do i have to? Ahem, Look and Read, Scientific Eye, Geographical Eye, Ghostwriter, Landmarks, Zig Zag, Science Zone, Go 4/5 & Science in Action.

SPORT: American wrestling (does that count as sport though?), Darts, Football, Fantasy Football, World Cup and Olympics titles.

DRAMA: Doctor Who.

ADVERTS: I Like watching the old 80s adverts. Favourites? Well, that car ad with the Princess Diana look-a-like advert, the Tango man ads and Um Bongo ad!

Public Information Film: Well a long-time favourite is the fire safety ant cartoon narrated by Richard Briers, and this late-80s scary "Don't be a Dummy!" Fireworks ad, bloody brilliant.

Introduction - A comprehensive guide to classic 50's/60's/70's/80's/90's UK TV on Youtube

Hello there, it's time to get all misty-eyed and melancholic about the TV of yesteryear. I'm aiming for this site to be an in-depth glossary of all your classic shows on youtube, that otherwise, ones you may've forgotten about, ones you may not remember the name of, and therefore never take that trip down memory lane.

There are a few helpful sites that do this, such as Youtube itself. If you have an user account, youtube can suggest similar videos to what you are watching, but it's not exactly fool-proof. There is also the TV Cream forums, which are quite new, and they have a forum for youtube links, but the frequency of posts and links isn't great.

Here is the link for the TV Cream Forums:

In this blog, will a large variety of genres from the last 5 decades. However, expect the odd link from the odd wealth of nostlgia-type shows that invaded up in the early-mid-2000's, primarily, the BBC's "I Love" series.

Genres will include the mainstream to the obscure. Drama, Children's (i.e CITV/CBBC), Comedy, Soaps, Documentary, Adverts, Gameshows, Saturday Morning TV, Light Entertainment, Schools TV, Music shows, Continuity, Sport, Public Information Films + more!

Videos will be embedded for you all to enjoy.

About me: I'm always enthused by the TV i grew up with and before, but even though there were less channels, the budgets were bigger, they seemed to make more of an effort, and there's just something more innocent about those times, while sometimes today's TV can be quite stale. As much as i like reality TV, too much of is spent on this and wages for over-paid celebrities.

The main era of TV i'm interested in is probably the the whole of the 80's + the first half of the 90's. I think it makes me sound older than i am, because i was born in the mid-80's. I can't remember the mid-80's, but i pride myself that i can remember as far back as 1987. In those times, TV and music felt better and more original. British culture felt stronger back then, the world was less commercialised back then, however, it was the 80's that started comericalisation, but i can bear that era.

Also, may i reccommend the website TV Ark, for extra nostalgia viewing. Now in-built with it's video player, now more easily accessible without the previous hassle of downloading onto realplayer. This contains mainly titles, as well as adverts, classic British programmes, as well as international channels. Choose among the many genres availiable, and the site is updated regularly.