Friday, 30 September 2011

Badge Friday: Guide Dogs

Guide Dogs Badge - 1980s
Badge Friday continues for the next few months  with some retro badges from my wife Rachel's collection.

Rachel collected a lot of badges for a Brownie award when she was younger and many examples of her diverse and wondrous collection seem to originate from the 70s and the 80s. If anyone can pinpoint a time for any of the badges I'd be more than happy to hear from you!

The first badge in the collection is one for the Guide Dogs charity, as I googled this I got a few variations back,  there also appears to be a green version of this design. I'm assuming it originates from the 1980s.

The Guide Dogs Charity is still going strong now in its 80th year. Visit www.guidedogs.org for more information.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Finest Croft Originals Now Online

Andy with David Croft -
Rachel Howells
Further to my post on the passing of David Croft OBE I felt inspired today to hunt out a couple of pictures Rachel took of me when I met the great man along with Jimmy Perry at the National Film Theatre back in 2000.

The event entitled Missing Believed Wiped and featured the writers introducing the then recently recovered episode The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage from 1969.

You can see two other pictures over at my Online Scribblings blog while I have posted an article on the five finest examples of Croft Originals at Suite101

Look out for more posts on Dad's Army in coming weeks!


Meeting David Croft and Jimmy Perry in 2000

David Croft signs Andy's Copy of
Dad's Army: The Missing Episodes
- Rachel Howells
Here's a couple of images I found from when Rachel and myself were invited to attend the screening of a certain amount of missing TV material which had been recovered back in 2000.

This particular event entitled Missing Believed Wiped featured a screening of the Dad's Army episode The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage which had recently been recovered and was staged at the NFT, London.

Andy with David Croft - Rachel Howells
The event was covered by a documentary team from BBC Scotland who were making the documentary Dad's Army: Missing Believed Wiped.

I had been contacted on a regular basis for several weeks by a BBC researcher in order to suggest clips to be used on the show, so I was quite chuffed when I noticed they'd given me a credit on the documentary when it was broadcast on BBC2.

The documentary has since been repeated on numerous occasions and is featured as an extra on the Dad's Army: Complete Series 1 & 2 DVD.
Andy chatting with Jimmy Perry - Rachel Howells
I was also interviewed on this particular day and briefly appear on the documentary but my biggest thrill was getting to chat with Mr Perry and Mr Croft after the showing, both kindly signed my book of Dad's Army missing episodes scripts - a treasured possession!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Those Radio Times: The Ronnie Corbett Thing (1970)

41 years ago this week, comedian Ronnie Corbett started a new radio series entitled The Ronnie Corbett Thing. Written by Eric Merriman the series featured what was described in the Radio Times as “knee to nose comedy” and also featured Hugh Paddick, Josephine Tewson and Doug Fisher with music from The Pattersons.

The Ronnie Corbett Thing began broadcasting on BBC Radio 2 on Sunday 27 September at 2.1pm with a repeat the following day (Monday 28 September) on BBC Radio 4 at 6.15pm.

“The series won’t do anything really different in the way of breaking new ground.” Ronnie told the Radio Times, “Eric Merriman who wrote Round the Horne and The Morecambe and Wise radio series is writing the scripts.”

Ronnie went on to describe the formula of The Ronnie Corbett Thing: “The shows will have a few quickies, different characters, a musical spot and then a big parody sketch. I just hope it’s going to be funny”. 

Radio 2 and 4 billings
from Radio Times
for the first show
“For a comic, radio is like working with your hands tied behind your back. I’ve been in the business 20 years and I’ve only done a couple of radio broadcasts before.”

Ronnie by now, was well known for his television appearances on David Frost’s shows with Ronnie Barker, although the pair was still over half a year away from taking the BBC TV schedules by storm by headlining their first TV series.

The Ronnie Corbett Thing would prove to be a brief fling with radio for Mr Corbett, with great TV success ahead for him and Mr Barker, future return visits to radio would be rare until Ronnie returned to Radio 4 some four decades later in the comedy sitcom When the Dog Dies with Liza Tarbuck.

I’m not aware that any episodes of The Ronnie Corbett Thing survived except of one which reappeared when the BBC had their Treasure Hunt appeal a few years back. If you do happen to have anything from the series I’d be very glad to hear from you so I could review an episode of the series for a future post.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

David Croft OBE Remembered

David Croft, Pamela Cundell and Ann Croft in 2005
- Andy Howells
Anyone who knows me will know that I've been a lifelong fan of Dad's Army.

My earliest memories of the series are watching Arthur Lowe carried away by a barrage balloon on The Day The Balloon Went Up and I was hooked  ( I must have only have been 2).

So it's with some sadness when I learn of the passing of someone associated with the show, although with David's Croft's case if he hadn't have spotted the potential of Jimmy Perry's original idea for a series we may never have had Dad's Army, Allo Allo, It Ain't Half Hot Mum! Are You Being Served or any other classics he was associated with...

I had the pleasure of meeting David a few times and here's a quick snap I took of him and his wife Ann chatting with Pamela Cundell who played Mrs Fox in Dad's Army back at a Dad's Army Appreciation Society Luncheon at Bressingham in 2006.

You can read my full tribute to David Croft over on my Retrospace blog.

David Croft OBE 1922-2011

David Croft
David Croft's name for me will be eternally linked with that of  Jimmy Perry's.

Following up Perry's idea for a situation comedy based on a Home Guard unit formed on the South Coast of England during the early years of the second world war was not a decision to be taken lightly by any TV producer back in 1968.  The war itself had only been over 24 years and to a degree still had painful memories for many that had lived through it.

Yet on reading Jimmy's script for The Fighting Tigers, David, a TV producer for the BBC thought there was something there and he was right. The Fighting Tigers was renamed Dad's Army and it became a British institution, making those who'd cried 24 years earlier laugh again and the younger generations laughing with them.

We still laugh at Dad's Army over 40 years later, I was only watching Come In Your Time Is Up on BBC2 tonight shortly before I learned of David's death.

David Croft with Pamela Cundell (Mrs Fox in Dad's Army)
and his wife Ann at a Dad's Army luncheon in Bressingham

- Photo: Andy Howells
I had the good fortune of meeting David myself on a few occasions including a showing of the recovered lost episodes in 2001 at the NFT and a Dad's Army luncheon a few years later where I sat opposite him and his wife Ann. A lovely chap who was always pleased to talk about his time working on Dad's Army, Are You Being Served, It Ain't Half Hot Mum, You Rang M'Lord  and Oh Doctor Beeching!

I remember discussing the recovered Dad's Army missing episodes with him in 2001. Although he was pleased at the return of Operation Kilt and The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage, he revealed to me he would have really liked to have seen the return of The Loneliness Of The Long Distance Walker because that was the episode that revealed the real reason why Walker (James Beck) wasn't let into the regular army. Let's hope that episode will still one day turn up!

You have been watching and will continue to watch... Thank you David Croft!

For more on Dad's Army visit my Dad's Army website and more on David Croft's work visit The David Croft Website

Press To Play: Helen Shapiro - 25th Anniversary Album

Helen Shapiro - 25th Anniversary Album
Music For Pleasure 1986
It was my 18th Birthday in 1986 when I picked up Helen Shapiro's 25th Anniversary Album on Cassette and funnily enough I just realised it was 25 years ago this year I bought this tape!

My mum had a few of Helen's singles from the early 60s in her collection so I was quite familiar with Helen's material when I bought the album.

At the time Helen was celebrating 25 years in show business and had recently landed a role in the ITV soap Albion Market. No doubt some shrewd executive at EMI's budget label Music For Pleasure spotted the opportunity to shove out a compilation of Helen's early material and a neat compilation it was too!

Besides the obvious hits there's some neat rarities on this release. She Needs Company was a song written by Manfred Mann's Paul Jones which featured on his 1966 solo album My Way. Helen covered She Needs Company in 1967 and featured another great track on the B Side Stop And You Will Become Aware.

Other rarities include Look Who It Is (of which she performed on TV back in 1963 with none other than 3 Beatles!) , Woe Is Me (a real rocker) and her version of Fever.

This cassette transferred reasonably well, most of the tracks are in Mono while some are in Stereo.

Helen Shapiro: 25th Anniversary Album
MFP 41 5741 4 Mono/Stereo*, 1986
  1. Walkin' Back to Happiness*
  2. Keep Away From Other Girls*
  3. Basin Street Blues*
  4. Don't Treat Me Like A Child
  5. It's My Party
  6. Little Miss Lonely*
  7. She Needs Company
  8. Stop And You Will Become Aware
  9. Something Wonderful (From The King And I)
  10. Tell Me What He Said
  11. Fever
  12. You Don't Know
  13. Look Who It Is
  14. St Louis Blues*
  15. In My Calendar
  16. Lets Talk About Love
  17. Woe Is Me
  18. Queen For Tonight
  19. Here In Your Arms
  20. The Birth Of The Blues*

Monday, 26 September 2011

From Fawlty Towers To Paul Robeson - New Theatre Reviews

Fawlty Towers - Andy Howells
The last few weeks have seen me preoccupied writing reviews and articles in my spare time on Suite101, I'll start adding some updates on here in due course with some of the other pics and scribblings I've been producing.

In the meantime here are some of my recent theatre reviews...

The first was the first production of the new season from Newport Playgoers : Fawlty Towers - a tribute to the classic comedy series by John Cleese and Connie Booth of which I was also inspired to draw the above cartoon:  TV Comedy Classic Fawlty Towers Opens For Business On Stage

Then there was Tayo Aluko's Stage Show about the life and career of athlete, actor, singer and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson Call Mr.Robeson: Paul Robeson's Career Remembered On Stage in "Call Mr.Robeson"

Fawlty Towers Stage Show Review Online

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of catching Newport Playgoers production of John Cleese and Connie Booth's Fawlty Towers live on stage.

Fawlty Towers has always been a favourite of mine and thought the re-creation of the TV series on stage was a daring one to say the least!

The episodes featured included The Hotel Inspectors, Communication Problems and The Germans.

Read my full review of Fawlty Towers over on Suite101: TV Comedy Classic Fawlty Towers Opens For Business On Stage

"Call Mr.Robeson" Review Now Online

Paul Robeson
Athlete, singer, actor and civil rights campaigner Paul Robeson was one of the most outstanding singers of the 20th century and I had the pleasure of catching a show about his life at Newport Riverfront's Studio last Thursday entitled "Call Mr. Robeson" recalling the events leading up to Robeson's trial by the House Un-American Activities Committee.

"Call Mr.Robeson" has been written, produced and stars Tayo Aluko as Paul Robeson.

The production is currently touring the UK with U.S. dates promised for next year including Carnegie Hall.

Read my review for Call Mr.Robeson at Suite101 and find out more information about Call Mr Robeson at the official website.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Saturday Superstore : The Kenwood Chef (1969)

Kenwood Chef Advert 1969 - Radio Times
The September 4 1969 edition of The Radio Times boasted an advert for the new Kenwood Chef.

Kitchen saviour of the 70s, Kenwood Chef did everything for the housewife in the kitchen that Kenwood felt she shouldn’t have to do. 

This included mixing cakes and pastries, kneading dough, peeling spuds and carrots, shredding, grinding coffee, squeezing lemons, grating cheese, chopping nuts, parsley, mint, fizzing up crazy drinks.

The Kenwood Chef ultimately made the housewife redundant, paving the way to free her time up to do other things like go to work, night school, run countries or just become bored and frustrated around the home. 

And you thought the milkman was to blame for the high divorce rates since the 70s? 

Friday, 23 September 2011

Badge Friday: Big!

Big! Badge - 1989
Big! magazine was a bit of a big deal in the late 80s / early 90s with its scoops and posters of pop stars of the era.

I've already featured a Craig McLachlan badge from the magazine in a previous post, but here's one featuring the magazine's own logo.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Those Radio Times! : Cliff Morgan - Accent On Melody (1970)

Cliff Morgan pictured
in Radio Times, 1970
Today in 1970, former Welsh Rugby star Cliff Morgan took over Sam Costa's Radio 2 lunchtime show Accent On Melody for a three week run (BBC Radio 2, 12.1pm).

Cliff's broadcasting career began as far back as 1958 when he joined BBC Wales as Sports organiser. His talent  for programme making allowed him to diversify moving into television editing current affairs programmes such as This Week and producing sports programmes such as Grandstand and Sportsnight With Coleman.

Cliff also loaned his rugby expertise to the commentary box providing a celebrated narrative to the 1973 Barbarians rugby match against the All Blacks at Cardiff. "This is Gareth Edwards... a dramatic start... what a score!"

Cliff didn't consider himself  a natural broadcaster as he told Radio Times this week in 1970: "I couldn't be a disc jockey, I'm pedantic, slow and Welsh." "But I shall enjoy doing the programme because it's the music of my generation" he continued. Cliff confessed to being catholic in his musical tastes and having a liking to pop, Verdi, Ella Fitzgerald and sloppy romantic music.

Cliff's association with music wasn't short-lived as he went on to front These You Have Loved for many years.

Perhaps you have a recording of Cliff's stint on Accent On Melody or  other examples of his broadcasting career? - if so, please get in touch as I'd like to do a further feature on his work in a future post.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Press To Play: Elvis Presley - Don't Be Cruel

Elvis - Don't Be Cruel RCA Records
Like 8 Track cartridges and Betamax Video Recorders, cassette singles never really caught the imagination of the music buying public.

Unlike a piece of vinyl or a programmable compact disc there was no way of avoiding that dodgy B-Side or instrumental version of the A-Side of the hit as both tracks usually appeared on the same side together (and lets face it by the 1980s - nobody was really that bothered about what appeared on the B-Side of a record anymore!).

Moving on, this release was one of those rare cassette singles which I consider to be more of a glorified Extended Play (EP).

RCA tied in a reissue of Elvis Presley's Don't Be Cruel with his album The Complete Rock N Roll Masters featuring no less than four of the King's classics.

I must have played this cassette to death as it features two of my favourite Presley cuts All Shook Up and Jailhouse Rock. I seem to remember I paid less than a pound for it at The Record Cavern in Richmond, North Yorkshire who had something like sixty tons of cassette singles at the time...

I still haven't got around to buying a decent Elvis compilation on CD yet but I whizzed this on to my MP3 collection a few months back and have to say it transferred really well!

Elvis Presley - Don't Be Cruel
RCA/BMG (Stereo) 1992
  1. Don't Be Cruel
  2. All Shook Up
  3. Jailhouse Rock
  4. I Need Your Love Tonight (unreleased performance take 9)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Navy Lark And Doctor Who Audiobook Reviews

The Navy Lark 24: AudioGO
I'm working my way through a lot of Audiobook releases at the moment, many of which are from the AudioGO stable. Having enjoyed much in the way from  The Navy Lark recently I was glad to learn of the release of four more episodes from AudioGO that make up their 24th volume.

Doctor Who -
Lost TV Episodes Vol 3

AudioGO
You can read my full review of The Navy Lark 24: You're A Rotten here.

Fans of Doctor Who may also be interested in two further audiobook reviews:

Audiobook Review: Doctor Who - The Lost TV Episodes Volume 3 features the soundtracks of several missing Doctor Who TV episodes from 1966 and 1967 starring William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton.

Audiobook Review: Doctor Who - The Eye Of The Jungle is a new story by Darren Jones featuring Matt Smith's Doctor and read by David Troughton (son of Patrick).

You can check all these and many more of my articles out on Suite101.com

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Saturday Superstore: The Co-op cuts your cost of living!

Co-op advert - Radio Times, September 1974
If you have an eye for a bargain well it might be in the blood. Long before we had Asda roll-backs and Tesco club-cards, supermarkets like the Co-op were always keen to hit consumers with bargains, so no doubt your Mum, Dad, Grandad or Grandma would have been heading towards the local Co-op sometime in 1974.

In 1974, this Radio Times advert boasted a packet of 10 Fish Fingers for 25p, a tin of 4 Heinz Beefburgers for 27.5p, Garden Peas for 14.5p and a packet of Ritz Crackers for 11.5p. There was also a nice selection of Wines and Spirits available for just under a pound per bottle.

However, bargains such as these were sounding the death knell of many local grocers back in the 70s who couldn't match such prices, one of which was my Grandfather. Goodness knows what they would make of the "buy one, get one free" culture!

Friday, 16 September 2011

Badge Friday: The Teddy Bear Museum

The Teddy Bear Museum Badge - 1990
Back in 1990, I took a coach trip from Darlington County Durham to Birmingham NEC to see Paul McCartney Live In Concert. What's this got to do with a badge from The Teddy Bear Museum I hear you ask?

Well, the day after the gig, the coach trip I was on stopped off at Stratford-Upon-Avon so we could take in some of William Shakespeare country.

I have to admit, I didn't really fancy going into a museum about Shakespeare that day so decided to see a grand collection of famous peoples teddy bears at The teddy Bear Museum.

Hence that's why I have this delightful badge!

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Those Radio Times! (BBC TV and Radio Selections for 14 September 1974)

Martin Baker's Radio Times artwork for the 1974 Last Night Of the Proms
Broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 14 September, 1974
Today on BBC Radio in 1974,  Bob Monkhouse  series Mostly Monkhouse (BBC R2, 1.2pm) continued  with a look at Changing The Subject. Bob was aided and abetted by David Jason and Priscilla Morgan (Mrs Clive Dunn).

Sport On 2 (BBC R2, 1.30pm) featured International Rugby from Cardiff where the Tongan touring team played their first match in Britain against east wales. Alun Williams would report a victory for Tonga in today's match.

Brian Matthew Paid tribute To Mama Cass Elliot

Over on Radio 1, Brian Matthew paid tribute to Cass Elliot in Something For Mama (BBC R1, 2.0pm) in which Brian played an interview recorded with Cass prior to her tragic death in London on July 29th.

TVs Record Breaker Roy Castle featured in his own light entertainment show Castle's On The Air (BBC R2, 7.0pm) while Roy Plomley's castaway on Desert Island Discs (BBC R4, 7.0pm) was actor Denholm Elliott.

It was also Last Night Of The Proms with a stereo broadcast on Radio 3 at  7.30pm and 8.50pm...

BBC TV For 14 September, 1974 Included The Generation Game

Martin Baker's Radio Times artwork for TV
Coverage of The Last Night of The Proms
On BBC television today, you would undoubtedly have tuned in to the most popular game show on TV in the 1970s. Bruce Forsyth presented highlights of the last series of The Generation Game (BBC1, 5.45pm) prior to the beginning of the new series due to start on BBC1 next weekend.

Saturday Night at The Movies (BBC1,7.20pm) featured Attack On The Iron Coast starring Lloyd Bridges, Andrew Keir, Sue Lloyd and Mark Eden. The 1968 film was described by Radio Times critic Philip Jenkinson as an "Economy Navarone with hard working cast...".

Meanwhile, Pot Black (BBC2, 8.20pm) found Ted Lowe commentating the 1974 Final Snooker Championship between twice world champion John Spencer and 1974 finalist Graham Miles.

Late evening entertainment found a choice of programming on the BBC. The New York Shakespeare Company presented a modern take on William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (BBC 2, 8.45pm).

Back on BBC 1, following The News (BBC1, 8.45pm) read by Peter Woods, Richard Baker presented The Last Night Of The Proms (BBC1, 8.55pm).

No doubt this was one of those infamous nights I experienced as a child hearing the strains of Land Of Hope and Glory blaring up the stairs...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Press To Play: An Hour Of the Hits Of 1958

This was one of the later releases in MFP’s Hour of Compilations released in the late 1980s.These were a good way of acquiring some classic hits (which by then were 30 years old) at a bargain price (£2.99).

They usually came in neat presentation boxes housing the original cassettes though I must admit I dumped half of these when finding they were generating too much clutter.
  • 25 of the 26 recordings on this release appeared in Mono except the final track on the release, Dean Martin’s Return to Me.
  •  Two spelling mistakes appear on the sleeve, Don Lang is miscredited as Dong Lang while Johnny Otis surname is spelt Ottis (which seems odd as the writer credit is spelt Otis).
All tracks digitised really well and sound great – back to mono!

An Hour of the Hits Of 1958 - Various Artists
MFP HR8175 Mono / *Stereo
  1. Eddie Cochran – Summertime Blues
  2. Alma Cogan – Sugartime
  3. Mudlarks – Book of Love
  4. Don Lang – Witch Doctor
  5. Fats Domino – The Big Beat
  6. Michael Holliday – The Story of My Life
  7. Rick Nelson – Poor Little Fool
  8. Eddie Calvert – Mandy
  9. Jim Dale – Crazy Dream
  10. Malcolm Vaughan – To Be Loved
  11. Bernard Bresslaw – Mad Passionate Love
  12. Ronnie Hilton – Magic Moments
  13. Michael Medwin/ Bernard Bresslaw / Alfie Bass / Cesce Fyfson – The Signature Tune of The Army Game
  14. Mudlarks – Lollipop
  15. Russ Conway – More Party Pops Part 1
  16. Sam Cooke – You Send Me
  17. Peggy Lee – Fever
  18. Four Preps – Big Man
  19. Michael Holliday – Stairway of Love
  20. Rick Nelson - Someday (You’ll Want Me to Want You)
  21. Charlie Drake – Splish Splash
  22. King Brothers – Put a Light in the Window
  23. Malcolm Vaughan – More Than Ever (Coma Prima)
  24. Ruby MurrayReal Love
  25. Johnny Otis Show – Bye Bye Baby
  26. Dean Martin – Return To Me*

Monday, 12 September 2011

Vintage Sherlock Holmes Audio Dramas Reviewed

The New Adventures Of
Sherlock Holmes
-
Radio Archives
If your a fan of Sherlock Holmes you may be interested in a new series of audio dramas featuring Arthur Conan Doyle's great detective from Radio Archives.Com

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volume 1 features Nigel Bruce as Dr Watson and Tom Conway as Sherlock Holmes in a series originally broadcast on American Radio in 1946. Tom Conway replaced Basil Rathbone as Holmes when Rathbone tired of the part in 1946.

Read my full review of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes Volume 1 at Suite101.com

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Saturday Superstore: Jimmy Edwards and Imperial Cigars

Imperial Cigars Advertisement
Radio Times, 1974
Okay, I'm not sanctioning anyone who reads this should take up smoking, but I thought some of you retro fans out there might enjoy this advert from September 1974 featuring 50s radio star, TV personality and script-writer Jimmy Edwards advertising his favourite brand of cigars called Imperial.

Like celebrities so readily become the face of many products in 2011, male celebrities readily gave their services for popular cigar brands back in the 1970s!

'...basically a cigar is something I relax with, after a game, in the pub, that sort of thing. Imperials I enjoy they're suitably mellow, they hold together well. Splendid!' said Jim in the advert; which shows him after a game with some nicely placed horses in the background.

The quote used in the advert seems to originate from a conversation Jimmy  had in a pub (no doubt with a shrewd business executive from Imperial Cigars) in July 1973. I should think Jimmy was shrewd enough to negotiate a years supply of them before he became the face (and whiskers) of Imperial Cigars!

Friday, 9 September 2011

Badge Friday: Marilyn Monroe (2)

Marilyn Monroe Badge - 1980s
I got interested in Marilyn Monroe's film career back in the early 80s's after catching the film Niagara on Channel 4 one evening.

I gradually started catching most of her films on TV after that and along with Niagara, I also enjoyed Some Like it Hot (still one of my favourites), Bus-Stop and The Seven Year Itch.

This badge is quite an unusual one as it seems to feature a younger Marilyn Monroe, her hair not quite  the blond bombshell look she later sold to the world,

No doubt this badge was purchased at one of my numerous trips to Darlington market...

Thursday, 8 September 2011

AudioGO New Goon Show Release Reviewed

Classic Goon Shows Collected - AudioGO
The excellent new Goon Show Compendium Volume 6: Series 7, Part 2 has just been released by AudioGO bringing together 12 classic episodes from 1957 as well as extras including alternate takes and early examples of Goonery from ITMA.

You can read my full review of Goon Show Compendium Volume 6: Series 7Part 2 over on Suite101.com.

If you enjoy classic comedy, why not check out some of my other recent reviews of comedy audiobooks?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Those Radio Times! (BBC TV and Radio Selections For 7 September 1969)

On Sunday 7 September 1969, the black and white TV set flickered a great line-up of television programmes into the average British living room...

Today's film choices included The Imperfect Lady (BBC1, 2.21pm) starring Ray Millard, Teresa Wright, Anthony Quinn and Cedric Hardwicke.

Later on, a new series of more recent movies began when British Film Night broadcast 1962's The L Shaped Room, directed by Brian Forbes and starring Tom Bell, Leslie Caron and Brock Peters, modern times indeed!

Sunday Afternoon Serial Was Dombey and Son

A vital ingredient to Sunday schedules in 1969 was the classic serial. Part 4 of Charles Dickens' Dombey and Son (BBC1, 5.30pm)  featured amongst others William Moore, Pat Coombs, Hilda Braid and Twiggy!

Lee Montague starred in the first of a new Sunday evening drama series entitled Detective (BBC1, 7.25pm). Montague had played his fair share of Policemen and villains over the years and told Radio Times: "I've been a criminal in most parts of the world.... but I've got a lot of sympathy for Policemen". Detective also featured Philip Madoc, Joe Melia and Alan Tilvern.

The BBC's flagship documentary series Omnibus (BBC1, 10.25pm) profiled the first promenader Sir Henry Wood rounding off a days television on BBC1.

BBC Radio for 7 September 1969 Started With Robin Boyle

On the radio, Robin Boyle started the day with Sunday Special (BBC R1 & R2, 7.0am), music featured the Don Reeve Sound and The Mexicans. This was followed by Ed Stewart who  took over the airwaves with younger listeners requests in Junior Choice (BBC R1 & R2, 9.0am).

There was comedy with I'm Sorry If You've Heard This Before (BBC R4, 12.30pm) a repeat of an award winning instance of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again which had previously been broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on June 9, 1968.

A spin-off from Radio's successful The Navy Lark written by series creator Lawrie Wyman entitled The Big Business Lark (BBC R2, 2.0pm) also kept the laughs coming. Starring Jimmy Edwards and Frank Thornton  The Big Business Lark chronicled life in and around the higher echelons of British United Plastics.

Peter Haigh presented Movie-Go-Round (BBC R2, 4.15pm) featuring interviews with Edith Evans, Susan Hampshire and Ron Moody on the set of David Copperfield.

When Zager and Evans were Pick of The Pops

Ray Moore hosted a wealth of new talent in Stage One (BBC R1, 4.2pm), followed by Alan "Fluff" Freeman counting down the charts in Pick Of The Pops (BBC R1 & R2, 5pm) in which sitting at the top was Zager and Evans looking forward In The Year 2525.

The older generation may have re-tuned to Radio 4 around now as Malcolm Muggeridge recalled The 30s (BBC R4, 6.53pm) as the writer and critic revisited the decade with the recorded voices of Lord Reith, Ramsay McDonald and Noel Coward.

Following the chart countdown on Radio 1, John Peel presented Top Gear (BBC R1, 7pm) while over on Radio 2 there was lighter listening courtesy of The Adam Singers in Sing Something Simple (BBC R2, 7pm) which was a repeat from 8 December, 1968.

Stuart Henry was making Noise at Nine (BBC R1, 9pm) with all the latest tunes, while on Radio 2 there was Many a Slip  'twixt' Isobel Barnett, Eleanor Summerfield, David Nixon and Richard Murdoch participating in the parlour game chaired by Roy Plomley with tune twisters by Steve Race.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Press To Play: The Mamas and The Papas 20 Greatest Hits

This issue of The Mamas and The Papas 20 Greatest Hits is a prime example that although we have moved on from the cassette and vinyl formats we are still not always served with good mixes of tracks on CD's.

This cassette which I transferred to MP3 some weeks ago has better mixes of Monday Monday and Dedicated To The One I Love than on the recent similarly titled CD releases.

For instance, Monday Monday and California Dreamin' have the vocals and the music seperated to different channels on the CD while the cassette seems more neatly balanced.

Furthermore, the CD has a much quieter opening on Dedicated... whilst its more audible on the cassette or maybe that's just my mix? Anyhow I much prefer the cassette version which I'll keep on my MP3 player until I find these recordings in mono!

This excellent compilation which seems to be a release MFP did in conjunction with MCA Records features a publicity shot of the group which also featured on several other Mama's and The Papa's Compilations including one I have on ABC Records entitled Hits Of Gold.

The Mamas and The Papas 20 Greatest Hits
(TC MFP 50493)
  1. California Dreamin'
  2. I Saw Her Again Last Night
  3. I Call Your Name
  4. Twist and Shout
  5. Sing For Your Supper
  6. Look Through My Window
  7. Do You Wanna Dance
  8. Dancing In The Street
  9. You Baby
  10. Dedicated To The One I Love
  11. Monday Monday
  12. Words Of Love
  13. Glad To Be Unhappy
  14. Go Where You Wanna Go
  15. Safe In My Garden
  16. Spanish Harlem
  17. Trip Stumble and Fall
  18. My Girl
  19. Creeque Alley
  20. Dream A Little Dream Of Me

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Andy Howells' New Suite101 Sub Domain

Suite101 have now placed all my articles under my own sub domain, so any articles / reviews / previews I have written for Suite101 can now be found at http://andyhowells.suite101.com/

Andy Howells' New Suite101 Sub Domain

Suite101 have now placed all my articles under my own sub domain, so any articles / reviews / previews I have written for Suite101can now be found online at andyhowells.suite101.com.

Enjoy! and please hit like if you enjoy the article!

Saturday Superstore: Portable Radio Phone




Portable Radio Phone Advertisement -
Now!, April, 1981
We take mobile phones for granted so much now, yet it doesn't seem that long ago that phones as big as bricks with five miles radius were the technology of tomorrow...

Thanks to fellow blogger Andy Walmsley who sent in the above advert from Now!  published 3 April 1981, and pointed out: 'The odd thing about the advert is that it says you can connect the unit with your “local GPO exchange” but down the side it says “for use outside UK”. So how does that work then??'

Answers in the comment box please...

Friday, 2 September 2011

Badge Friday: I Like Vikings




I Like Vikings Badge - 1980s
One of my secondary school trips in 1980/81 from The Wensleydale School in Leyburn, North Yorkshire was to the Coppergate Dig at The Jorvik Viking Centre  in York.

All I remember about the day was seeing lots of rain, mud and artefact's and picking up this delightful badge which declared "I Like Vikings". There was also a trip to the Railway museum and an hour to do some shopping which I seem to remember wasting looking for WH Smiths...

Back to the badge...

I actually wore it for years afterwards and always got the occasional grimace from people who queried it...

I lived in York for two years in the early 90s but never actually returned to the Jorvik Viking Centre, and I probably walked past it most days... anyway it's still going - why not pay the website a visit to find out more about it!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Is There A Doctor In The House? - A New Barry Evans Forum!

Barry Evans as Dr Michael Upton on Cover
Of Richard Gordon's Doctor At Sea Published in 1971
Further to my posts on the classic Doctor in The House comedy series, Cindi Hill has kindly informed me there is a new forum dedicated to the star of that show - the late great Barry Evans.

I always enjoy Barry's work whenever I catch it on TV, be it film or television, although his creation of Dr Michael Upton remains my personal favourite!

You can check out the new Barry Evans forum on Yahoo Groups: http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/barryevans/ and if you have any memories, memorabilia or otherwise of Barry, I'm sure the group's administrators will be more than pleased to hear from you!


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