I Love 1990

Saturday, August 18, 2001 by · Comments Off 

With the clip show format arguably starting to go off the boil, if we need anything at the moment we need a sense of strangeness, otherness, distance, among programmes of this genre. I Love the Nineties therefore seems rather unnecessary and pointless, and to have come too soon. Read more

I Love 1981

Saturday, January 20, 2001 by · Comments Off 

The year 1981 will be remembered for some of the greatest and most visually striking pop music ever to have ascended to the highest peak of the charts. It was entirely appropriate that a key exponent of this – Adam Ant – should have fronted this show; like Marc Bolan a decade earlier, he was a teen idol from the unlikeliest origins, the leading subculture at the end of the previous decade (hippy for Bolan, punk for Adam). Read more

SM:TV Live/CD:UK/S Club TV

Sunday, September 17, 2000 by · Comments Off 

SM:TV Live is the best Saturday morning show since Tiswas – and conceivably the best ever, anywhere. Read more

I Love 1972

Saturday, August 5, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Most archivism on present day TV is so poor and lazily uninformed that I Love The Seventies is clearly a cut above the rest simply because it knows something about its source material, and appropriately contextualises it. Read more

Counterblast: Dear William/The Real Queen Mother

Monday, July 10, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Imagine a parallel universe in which the institution of the Royal family had crumbled in the dramatic social changes of the 1960s, but television itself had not been given its first big push towards becoming a mass medium in the 1950s. Read more

Tony’s New Boy Network

Sunday, May 7, 2000 by · Comments Off 

t’s a key part of Tony Blair’s obsessive modernity rhetoric that his government has removed all the old barriers, appointments simply because of an old school tie, and power of unelected peers to overpower what a democratically-elected government has done. Read more

The Real John Betjeman

Sunday, April 23, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Channel 4, not really feeling any responsibilities to suck up to establishment values, has always been able (especially in the Secret Lives series) to take a more ambivalent, more analytical view of old Establishment figures than the BBC tends to. Read more


Thursday, March 30, 2000 by · Comments Off 

The Radio 1 series Blue Jam (1997-99) was Chris Morris’s timely abandonment of the tired formulae of “satire”. It had to happen. Read more

The Day Britain Died

Wednesday, February 2, 2000 by · Comments Off 

As I may have said elsewhere, these are auspicious times. Read more

Life Force

Monday, January 31, 2000 by · Comments Off 

Children’s drama is reborn. Read more

White Tribe

Thursday, January 27, 2000 by · Comments Off 

These are auspicious times, for sure. Read more

Millennium: The Musical

Friday, December 31, 1999 by · Comments Off 

Being a Bob Godfrey fan can be a thankless task. Read more

Pig Heart Boy

Thursday, December 23, 1999 by · Comments Off 

At a time when the rural/fantasy axis of children’s drama is ever more dependent on co-productions (enjoyable though they may often be) and the urban/contemporary/realist axis has largely been brought down to a soapified Grange Hill and Byker Grove, with no identifiable beginnings or endings, the arrival of this adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s novel, a runner-up for the 1998 Carnegie Medal, was welcome. Read more

Modern Times

Wednesday, December 15, 1999 by · Comments Off 

Like its predecessor 40 MinutesModern Times has always found space for a rather charming, old-fashioned view of “Englishness”. Read more