Only Fools and Horses

Tuesday, December 25, 2001 by · 2 Comments 

In the early days of Only Fools and Horses, whenever the jokes weren’t funny you could at least rely on a good story to keep you interested. The plots underlying episodes such as “The Longest Night” and “May The Force Be With You” would have worked as one-off straight dramas; whilst “No Greater Love” was a great example of brotherly love and “Chain Game” had at its centre a clever little heist. Only Fools and Horses at its best has always been more than just fine comedy. Read more

The British Comedy Awards

Saturday, December 15, 2001 by · Comments Off 

December always brings a glut of televised award ceremonies, but this year it’s felt like the circus of acclamation and recrimination has hauled itself up a notch. Last weekend alone boasted the Record of the Year, The Smash Hits Poll Winners Party, The Turner Prize and BBC Sports Personality of the Year. Read more


Wednesday, December 5, 2001 by · Comments Off 

To be abandoned on the South Pacific island of Yakuve – but first face a relentless interrogation from Andi Peters. That was the deal: you couldn’t have one without the other. Such was the initial dilemma that had faced the eager hopefuls in the latest series of C4′s reliable “reality” carnival. Read more

TV Go Home

Tuesday, December 4, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Until recently, the boast “from the cult website …” would surely have been considered the least promising, driest possible build up to a new comedy show. However throughout Tuesday night as E4 trailed the upcoming TV Go Home this was the phrase apparently designated most effective in rallying up viewers. Read more

Richard and Judy

Monday, November 26, 2001 by · Comments Off 

There wasn’t much sense of occasion on this first day of the new term with Madeley and Finnigan. No glossy title sequence showing Richard picking the kids up from school or Judy popping the tea in the oven. Read more

Pop Idol

Saturday, November 24, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Next week sees the final episode in this particular phase of ITV’s convoluted pop talent series – Pop Idol. Read more

Children in Need

Friday, November 16, 2001 by · Comments Off 

If you want people to stick with at least some of a live seven hour TV charity fundraiser then at least make sure you’ve sorted the first 60 seconds. Ideally they should be on tape, especially if a dash round half a dozen outside broadcasts is planned, and to places where the only thing to show are glum crowds standing about looking cold. Read more

I Love 1999

Saturday, November 3, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Was it really only 16 months ago? In July 2000 BBC2 screened I Love 1970, the first instalment of what turned out to be a 30-part series – and whilst it’s almost too neat to refer back to this first edition as I Love reaches its climax (at least within it’s current format), it is instructive to measure how far the series has come (or fallen) since then. Read more

Friday Night With Jonathan Ross

Friday, November 2, 2001 by · Comments Off 

The curse of Chris Evans stalks the schedules. His zeppelin-sized ego and poisonous influence landed Channel 4 with a behemoth stinker of a show it took years to put to sleep. Read more

I Love 1998

Saturday, October 27, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Do you remember I Love 1998? It wasn’t that long ago, but don’t worry if you’ve forgotten stuff because part of the fun is half-remembering something, then humorously recalling what really happened while wondering what you could’ve been “on” to generate such side-splitting amnesia. Read more

Band of Brothers

Friday, October 19, 2001 by · Comments Off 

BBC2′s ratings buster remains the highlight of Friday nights. Band of Brothers sits sheepishly on a channel that dares to schedule gardening tips and second-rate comedy repeats either side of it, yet rises above everything else flung out on television at the end of the week. Read more


Friday, October 19, 2001 by · Comments Off 

While Pop Idol and Soapstars have been taking up many column inches and hours of television, another reality TV show – just as entertaining, if not more so, than those two – has been quietly charming its audience tucked away as part of CBBC. Those who stumbled across DIY TV, though, will have found a superb, quirky and consistently amusing series. Read more

I Love 1997

Saturday, October 13, 2001 by · Comments Off 

A few hours before watching I Love 1997, I went on Friends Reunited and sent an e-mail to a mate from college I hadn’t seen since, yes, 1997. As I was writing the e-mail, it struck me how much has changed which I wanted to tell him about – since I last saw him I’d been to university, made a bunch of new friends, started full time work and had at least three different haircuts. Read more

I Love 1996

Saturday, October 6, 2001 by · Comments Off 

1996 was a fantastic year for me. I was in the first year of the Sixth Form, enjoying the new-found freedom of free lessons, going to the “biggest fee-paying concert in Britain”, laughing with my friends about the Brit Awards incident between Michael Jackson and Jarvis Cocker, falling in love with wonderful bands like Kenickie, watching Animaniacs, and listening to Radio 1 religiously between the hours of 7pm-12am. Read more


Saturday, September 29, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Writer, critic, gourmet and erstwhile biographer of Dickie Davies, Jonathan Meades made his perennial return to BBC2, presenting a programme on the subject of surrealism. Read more

I Love 1995

Saturday, September 29, 2001 by · Comments Off 

On 31 December 1995 me and a few mates decided to commit ourselves to a suitably non-hedonistic activity. We sat down and made some lists. The last 12 months had been the midpoint of the decade. What had it told us about the 1990s so far? What records and films would we rate and which would we rubbish? Would we still think the same in another five years time? Read more


Monday, September 24, 2001 by · Comments Off 

“No, the world hasn’t gone mad – it’s quarter past four!” And so, with twinkling eyes and a voice brimming with scarcely-concealed merriment, Richard Whiteley – the Mr Bumble of Channel 4 – opened another series of Countdown. Read more

The Saturday Show

Saturday, September 22, 2001 by · Comments Off 

Almost 25 years to the week, an era of Saturday morning TV has come to a close. The familiar mix that has filled the gap between 9am and noon since Swap Shop started in 1976 is no more, and, after seeing the final dire edition of Live & Kicking last week, one could argue that it didn’t end a moment too soon. Read more

Dream Team

Sunday, September 16, 2001 by · Comments Off 

I like Dream Team. There, I’ve gone and said it now. My guilty secret is out. And do you know what? I don’t really care what the soap purists think. The way I look at it, if you’re going to ask people to suspend disbelief, then you might as well go for it on a scale of Brazil circa 1970 proportions rather than the Leeds-under-Revie extent so peculiarly propagated by the likes of EastEnders and Corrie. Read more

Malcolm in the Middle

Sunday, September 16, 2001 by · Comments Off 

After a long wait, the second family of American dysfunctionalism finally returned to our screens, albeit on Sky One. Whilst comparisons to Homer, Marge and their brood are inevitable only in the minds of lazy slag writers, the hearts of viewers have long regarded Malcolm in the Middle as something considerably more than a live action version of The Simpsons. Read more

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