Friday, 30 November 2012

Badge Friday: HTV Cymru Wales Miri Mawr / Cantamil

This badge (from Rachel's collection) reflects two Welsh language childrens tv programmes broadcast on HTV Wales during the 1970s Miri Mawr and Cantamil.

Colourful and funky these badges are certainly reflective of the period, while the HTV Cymru Wales logo (stylised as a TV aerial) sets it off nicely.

I did a bit of a Google on the programmes themselves and one poster (who happens to share my surname) described the regional shows as a bit of a rough deal for younger viewers who didnt speak Welsh. Miri Mawr was apparently a magazine programme, while Cantamil was a game show in which kids advanced around a board by answering questions akin to Snakes and Ladders.

I'd be fascinated to hear from anyone who remembers these shows.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

CD Review: ToyPop! - Yellow Brick Road EP

Three original tracks make up a fabulous debut from Newport’s own colourful girl group ToyPOP!

Reminiscent of early 80s punky electro sound and the vintage creativity of the BBC Radiophonic workshop of the 60s and 70s the girls have produced three neat listenable numbers supplemented with melodic vocals and the strange noises emitted from children’s toys.

Delivered with punchy lyrics, songs such as Simulated Imitation and Persistent Secrecy deserve repeated listening.

Read my interview with ToyPOP! on the South Wales Argus website here: Meet The Band: ToyPop!

For more on ToyPOP! visit their official website.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

CD Review: The Beach Boys - Fifty Big Ones

Yes! The Beach Boys have reached their half century and what a way to celebrate with fifty remastered greats that make up this neat collection.

Obviously I Get Around, Sloop John B, Surfin' USA, Heroes and Villains, California Girls and Wouldn’t It Be Nice are here to represent the bands 1960s hit parade. Present also are the later hits Sail on Sailor and Kokomo.

The high points are undoubtedly saved to last with the ultimate pop single from 1966 God Only Knows featuring close harmonies and the original mono single edit of Good Vibrations. Hearing this in its original mono form allows the listener to appreciate just how great the originals were when played on radio back in the 60s and overcoming bad receptions and fading signals to still race to the top of the charts.

Extras on the Fifty Big Ones box set include individual photographs of band members and a neatly presented book detailing all you ever need to know about the songs presented on the collection.


Tuesday, 27 November 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: Doctor Who has Faith

Continuing our look at Colin Baker's tenure as The Doctor which ties in with his recent appearance as a contestant on I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, here's a press cutting from 1984 which features him alongside comedienne/actress Faith Brown who was cast as Flast in 1985's Attack Of The Cybermen.

Indeed Faith and Saturday Superstore's Sarah Greene were cast as the Cryon stylised aliens in the  story even though they were totally unrecognisable on screen!

On Television: Dad's Army - A Brush With The Law

Chief Warden Hodges (Bill Pertwee) has Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) exactly where he wants him when he has him up in court for leaving the church hall light on during a black out.

A Brush With The Law will be broadcast at 19:00 hrs on BBC2 Wales – please check listings for regional variations.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Badge Friday: Pass On Your Postcode

I recall a real big push by the Post Office in the late 1970s for people to use their postcode, from advertising campaigns to features on Blue Peter it was  a great way to get young people thinking about using it, seeing that the older generation didn't really see the need!

Obviously the postcode message went into the world of badges too, here's an example from the 1980s...

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: Colin Baker Joins Doctor Who

Coinciding with Colin Baker's appearance in the jungle in I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, here's his debut appearance in 1984's press when it was announced he was taking over the role of The Doctor from Peter Davison.

Joining Colin in the photo-shoot was the recently cast new companion Nicola Bryant who would play Peri.

I recall Colin's smart pin-stripe suit from this photo session which I think is a shame he wasnt allowed to retain when playing The Doctor as it gave him a rather classy look!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

On Television: Dad's Army - Brain Versus Brawn (BBC 2 Wales)

In today's episode, the platoon disguise themselves as firemen during an exercise. However, they soon find themselves called into a real life fire fighting situation...

Brain Versus Brawn is broadcast on BBC2 Wales at 18:00 Hrs, please check listings for alternate regions.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

On Television: Dad's Army - When Did You Last See Your Money (BBC2 Wales)

Lance Corporal Jones (Clive Dunn) attempts to bank £500 worth of money raised for a canteen for airmen, however the money appears to have turned into a ration of sausages.

When Did You Last see Your Money? was broadcast on BBC2 Wales at 4pm following its broadcast on BBC2 England a week earlier. It was shown as a tribute to Clive Dunn.

A fuller tribute will be broadcast at a later date.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Badge Friday: SOS? ATS

There was a really annoying TV campaign back in the 1980s, which saw a rather upper crust but dipsy lady motorist been rescued from the roadside after her car conks out.

"SOS?" she'd cry to which a motor mechanic would suddenly reply "ATS".

Well I guess the message got through - here's the badge!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

On Radio: Parsley Sidings - The Postal Express

Dad’s Army’s Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender star in a rediscovered Jim Eldridge’s Parsley Sidings, first broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in December, 1971.

Set on a sleepy railway station in the grand old days of traditional railways Parsley Sidings also features the vocal talents of Carry On stars Kenneth Connor and Liz Frazer.

This week’s episode sees the arrival of a new postal system in which Station Master Hepplewhite (Arthur Lowe) hopes will save the sleepy halt.

Parsley Sidings – The Postal Express will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:00 Hrs, 12:00 Hrs and again at 19:00 Hrs, it will also be available to Listen Again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

CD Review: Prince From Another Planet by Elvis Presley

By 1972, the King of Rock N Roll was well and truly entering the final phase of his career.

Confined to American soil, Elvis played a weekend of dates at Madison Square Garden belting out fabulous renditions of American Trilogy and Proud Mary alongside sped up renditions of Hound Dog and Don’t Be Cruel. 

This release features two concerts recorded in the same day, the second been the most superior of the two. It doesn’t capture Elvis at his rock n roll best but it still features him as the consummate performer.

Prince from another planet? Perhaps, as this album illustrates he will always be out of this world.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: Doctor Who Comic Cuts - Part 2

Continuing with a theme of Doctor Who drawings and illustrations that have appeared in a variety of publications over the last five decades here's another cartoon from the 1980s.

Again it features a Dalek, this time in a rather playful mood...something The Daleks are not usually known for, maybe this particular one has the human factor that several got contaminated with at the end of the 1967 TV story The Evil of the Daleks?

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Remembrance Sunday 2012

Today we remember those who have bravely served and continue to serve their country in conflicts so that we can have the freedom to live the lives we do.

Not only have many soldiers lost their lives while serving their country but also many on the home-front while these conflicts were occurring.

Remember them by giving a donation to The Royal British Legion.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Badge Friday: Snowdonia National Park

Another submission from Rachel's badge collection this week, this time from Snowdonia National Park.

I'm suspecting 1980s?

If anyone can confirm let me know!

Andy's Retrospace: Permission To Smile Sir! - Remembering Dad's Army's Clive Dunn

Here's my personal tribute to Clive Dunn over on Retrospace:
Andy's Retrospace: Permission To Smile Sir! - Remembering Dad's Army's Clive Dunn.

Permission To Smile Sir! - Remembering Dad's Army's Clive Dunn

Pictured with Clive Dunn, 1998
My earliest memories of watching television are undoubtedly of two particular TV series, Doctor Who and Dad’s Army.

Dad’s Army particularly caught my attention as a child for some of the madcap, comic moments written for the show by Jimmy Perry and David Croft.

Of course, many of those classic comedy moments were realised on screen by Clive Dunn as Lance Corporal Jack Jones. Stranded on a tower clock, shinning up a flag pole or going underwater in a diving suit, Jones was always the first to volunteer to take part in Captain Mainwaring’s Home Guard exercises.

Clive raises a glass
with the Dad's Army crew in
the Radio Times, 1971
Watching these antics each week as a young boy I would laugh, frequently imitating Jones catchphrase “Don’t panic!” I loved watching Clive Dunn as Jonesy in Dad’s Army and his further appearances in other medium including Grandad and My Old Man. And yes I loved the record Grandad – the song he took to the top of the charts in 1970, I still have my copy in its original Columbia Records paper sleeve.

My love for Clive’s work never went away, and in 1997 I designed an interactive CD-Rom about the Dad’s Army TV series for a college project. I wrote to the surviving stars of Dad’s Army to try and get their memories of working on the show. It was with surprise a few weeks later when I got a pleasant letter from Clive Dunn residing in Portugal giving me a couple of ideas and a signed photo. I was over the moon.

Weeks later as the project drew to a close I was greeted with a pleasant surprise one morning when my letterbox went. Another signed photo from Clive, bearing the phrase Don’t Panic! – It was a good omen – I got a distinction!

As we'll remember Clive Dunn -
Lance Corporal Jones
I met Clive Dunn at a Dad’s Army event in London in 1998. It was a special moment – I thanked him for his help and the photos and shook his hand, as he signed  a copy of his autobiography for me and posed with me for a picture – taken by my wife Rachel. I always remember Rachel panicking and hoping the picture would come out!

I met Clive again briefly at the 40th anniversary Dad’s Army Appreciation Society event in 2008. He gave a memorably warm and funny tribute to the shows creators Jimmy Perry and David Croft that day.

I was sad to hear of his passing this week at the grand age of 92, I thought like many he would go on forever. In a way he will, and so will all the laughter he has created.

Clive Dunn: January 9, 1920 - November 7, 2012

Thursday, 8 November 2012

On Radio: Parsley Sidings: The Market Special

Dad’s Army’s Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender star in the first episode of the first series Jim Eldridge’s Parsley Sidings, first broadcast on BBC Radio 2 in December, 1971.

Set on a sleepy railway station in the grand old days of traditional railways Parsley Sidings also features the vocal talents of Carry On stars Kenneth Connor and Liz Frazer.

This weeks edition sees the staff attempt to boost failing ticket sales with humorous outcomes…

Parsley Sidings – The Market Special will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:00 Hrs, 12:00 Hrs and again at 19:00 Hrs, it will also be available to Listen Again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Clive Dunn 1920-2012

Meeting Clive Dunn in 1998.
It's with great sadness Walmington-On-Sea 333 has to report the passing of Clive Dunn who played Lance Corporal Jones in Dad's Army.

Clive is reported to have died after a short illness. Our sympathies go out to his close family and friends.

He will be remembered for the happiness and laughter he has brought many Dad's Army fans over the years and indeed continues to bring new generations of fans of Dad's Army.

A full tribute to Clive Dunn will appear on this site shortly.

On Television: Welsh Greats - Philip Madoc

Ironically on the day that we received news of Clive Dunn's passing, BBC1 Wales broadcast the first programme in their new series of Welsh Greats, this edition focusing on the life and career of Philip Madoc, who died earlier this year.

The programme narrated by Robert Pugh looked, featured interviews with Philip's family and clips from his television and film career including A Mind To Kill, Last Of The Mohicans, The Life and Times of David Lloyd George, Doctor Who and of course Dad's Army. The documentary featured the famous clip of Philip in The Deadly Attachment.

Welsh Greats: Philip Madoc was broadcast on BBC1 Wales at 7.30pm.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: Doctor Who Comic Cuts - Part 1

As has been previously featured on TARDIS Tuesday, Doctor Who has managed to make its way into the world of cartoon and illustration on several occasions over the past half-century.

I'm pretty sure this example featuring a Dalek originates from The Sun in the 1980s, although quite possibly the cartoon would need to be in colour  to get the full impact.

Another Doctor Who cutting next week...

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Film Review: Skyfall

Bond is back in Skyfall
The James Bond film franchise is 50, and with the release of Daniel Craig’s third outing as Bond shows all the hallmarks of still been able to deliver the goods.

Skyfall reminds film-goers that 007 is just as aware of his own mortality as any enemy of the British secret service he may need to use his license to kill on, and so is M (Judi Dench) who after classified information falls into enemy hands is asked to consider taking retirement with honours.

The apparent death of 007 and a terrorist attack on MI6 add suspense into the mix in the opening moments of Skyfall and it doesn’t end there.

It soon becomes apparent Bond is fighting off more than the usual homicidal maniac. An exchange in a museum observing a painting of a battleship with the new Quartermaster of Q branch reminds Bond that times are changing and hes fighting to maintain his existence in a modern world:

Q: It always makes me feel a bit melancholy. Grand old war ship. Being ignominiously haunted away to scrap... The inevitability of time, don't you think? What do you see?
James Bond: A bloody big ship. Excuse me.
Q: 007. I'm your new Quartermaster.
James Bond: You must be joking.
Q: Why, because I'm not wearing a lab coat?
James Bond: Because you still have spots.
Q: My complexion is hardly relevant.
James Bond: Your competence is.
Q: Age is no guarantee of efficiency.
James Bond: And youth is no guarantee of innovation.

Skyfall is a good yarn taking the lead character back to his roots. Daniel Craig gives a top notch performance as Bond, displaying that this is the agent we’ve been watching all these years, defying time and still saving the world. There are also great performances from Judi Dench who adds even more depth to M, Javier Bardem as a more convincing menace Silvar, Ralph Fiennes as Mallory, Albert Finney as Kincade and Ben Whishaw as Q.

Evidently there is a feeling of a changing of the guard taking place, but it is reassuring that with Daniel Craig at the helm for a further two outings James Bond hasn’t been this good in years.

Nobody does it better? More like you’ve never had it so good!

On Television: Dad's Army - All Is Safely Gathered In

The Platoon help a widowed friend of Private Godfrey’s (Arnold Ridley) bring in the harvest.

All Is Safely Gathered In will be broadcast at 20:15 hrs on BBC2 Wales – please check listings for regional variations.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Badge Friday: Always Use The Green Cross Code

This weeks badge Friday recalls something I think many of today's children could benefit with paying attention too - and many grown ups gently reminded!

Growing up in the 1970s it was pretty standard as a child to be constantly reminded of the dangers of crossing the road.

That's why many of us learnt The Green Cross Code - so we could cross the road safely - and thanks to a successful TV campaign many paid heed to it!

Many of you are probably laughing as you read this. Probably because these days very few people actually use basic common sense when crossing the road. Raising three children myself I find it particularly hard telling them not to do what many grown ups do as well as other children when stepping into the path of an oncoming vehicle because they are in a hurry.

Where oh where is The Green Cross Man when we need him these days?

Thursday, 1 November 2012

On Radio: Parsley Sidings - The Royal Train

Dad’s Army’s Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender star in the original pilot episode of Jim Eldridge’s Parsley Sidings, first broadcast in April, 1971 as BBC Radio 2’s Comedy Parade series.

Set on a sleepy railway station in the grand old days of traditional railways Parsley Sidings also features the vocal talents of Carry On stars Kenneth Connor and Liz Frazer.

This weeks edition sees great excitement as the staff make preparations for The Royal Train which is due to pass through the station…

Parsley Sidings – The Royal Train will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:00 Hrs, 12:00 Hrs and again at 19:00 Hrs, it will also be available to Listen Again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.


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