It Started With Swap Shop

Thursday, December 28, 2006 by · Comments Off 

In 1996, the BBC’s Saturday morning kids shows were still hugely popular and prestigious programmes, watched by children and adults alike. Read more

Doctor Who

Monday, December 25, 2006 by · Comments Off 

If you like your Doctor Who in the breezy style then “The Runaway Bride” was for you. Read more

Vanessa’s Real Lives

Thursday, December 7, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Whereas some might consider Vanessa Feltz’s new daytime show to be exploitationist, could it actually be a forum for challenging and re-evaluating societal norms? Read more

MacIntyre’s Underworld

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 by · Comments Off 

As anyone who’s seen shirtless Newcastle supporters on a winter evening at St James’ Park will testify, Geordie men are made of hardy stock. Read more


Sunday, November 19, 2006 by · Comments Off 

By rights, Entourage should be, and is, a difficult show to promote to friends, family and well wishers. Read more

Dating the Enemy

Sunday, November 19, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Being honest, did we ever want the Blind Date couples to live happily ever after? Read more

The Cult of… Adam Adamant Lives!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006 by · Comments Off 

I’ve been trying to dig up the past. For some reason, Gerald Harper, the star of BBC1′s Adam Adamant Lives! was referred to in my family as “Old Lemonade-Bottle Shoulders”; after a few years nobody could remember why. Read more


Thursday, November 2, 2006 by · Comments Off 

By the look on Des’ face, you’d have thought someone had died. But no, it was just Countdown‘s 24th birthday, and as usual our man was doing his best to grace the occasion with a crisply-executed ill-suited response. Read more

Man to Man with Dean Learner

Friday, October 27, 2006 by · Comments Off 

You wake up screaming and drenched in sweat. No, darling, don’t worry, go back to sleep. It’s all right … it wasn’t really you who commissioned Man to Man With Dean Learner. Read more

Your Money or Your Wife

Wednesday, October 25, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Despite claims by some that Britain has become a nanny state, what we are in fact living under is a dominatrix dictatorship. Read more

Fear of Fanny

Monday, October 23, 2006 by · Comments Off 

You know how it is. You’re gorbing down chocolate Hobnobs at three in the afternoon while watching Pocoyo, or maybe just blasted to the gills on G&T, and the phone rings. Read more


Sunday, October 22, 2006 by · Comments Off 

In the same way big screen versions of stage musicals used to have professional vocalists “singing” the parts of the lead actors, so it might be advisable to have professional scribes employed to “write” the scripts of Russell T Davies. Read more

Hitler’s Holocaust

Saturday, October 21, 2006 by · Comments Off 

As Megadeth once sagely observed, “Peace sells… but who’s buying?” Read more

Children of the Valley

Monday, October 16, 2006 by · Comments Off 

144. The number at the end of the times table, the merciless grid emblazoned on countless classroom walls for so many years, and no doubt in those of the Pantglas Junior School in Aberfan, South Wales, whose obliteration by a colliery slagheap landslide 40 years ago this week has been shamefully all but overlooked by TV. Read more

Suez: A Very British Crisis

Monday, October 16, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Given our accelerating obsession with media and pop culture trivia, it’s conceivable that in 50 years time school history lessons will concentrate more on the succession of the Foxes than the ramifications of the Suez crisis. Read more

Prime Suspect

Sunday, October 15, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Bad weather follows Jane Tennison everywhere. Like the Douglas Adams character who blunders through a soggy existence unaware of his real status as a Rain God, and for whom precipitation was but a lumpen fact of existence, so Tennison has served her time in a near-continual downpour of dirty rain. Read more

Raymond Baxter: Gentleman and Broadcaster

Thursday, October 12, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be. I mean, for a start, there wasn’t a sign of Stuart Maconie on this compelling half-hour of TV that did exactly what the medium was meant to do when its subject Raymond Baxter and his mellifluous port-and-stilton baritone were royalty – ie. it informed, it amused and it entertained. Read more

Guys and Dolls

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 by · Comments Off 

Is five becoming the new old-school Channel 4? Read more

Robin Hood

Saturday, October 7, 2006 by · Comments Off 

There’s an almost primal satisfaction in seeing a familiar face back on Saturday night television where they’ve always belonged. Read more

Election ’83

Friday, October 6, 2006 by · Comments Off 

At least they got the exit poll right. At the start of the coverage, David Dimbleby announced that the Conservatives were going to win the General Election with a majority of 146. At the end of the coverage, David Dimbleby announced that the Conservatives had won the General Election with a majority of 144. Read more

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