Sunday, 29 December 2013
Saturday, 28 December 2013
Published in Great Britain, World Distributors, 1974
90 pence, SBN 7235 0236 3, 80 pages
The 1975 edition of the Dad's Army Annual is the last to feature the character of Private Walker.
The usual balance of stories and cartoon strips interspersed with features on the Second World War make yet another fine offering from World Distributors.
The front cover featured an illustration of Captain Mainwaring, Sergeant Wilson and Lance-Corporal Jones.
The rear cover features a combined photo/ illustration of the cast stood behind sandbags.
Down On The Farm
The Riding Lesson
The Social Evening
Ready Steady Blow!
he Captain's Lucky Day
Cartoon Strip Stories:
Sausage and Bash
Friday, 27 December 2013
|Picture courtesy of |
Farrows Creative / National Theatre Wales
Last weekend I took the children to see National Theatre Wales presentation of Terry Jones' Silly Kings...
"Ideally situated in the atmospheric grounds of
, Silly Kings is a medieval comedy with more
than a few hints of modernism and Monty Pythonesque humour. Cardiff Castle
Performed in the round, the production immediately pulls the audience into a world featuring a feisty but very pretty princess, four crazy knights, an angry fairy, a dragon (of sorts), a dashing prince and a very Silly King.
|Picture courtesy of|
Farrows Creative / National Theatre Wales
The production features all the hallmarks of great entertainment told through drama, music and energetically choreographed comic antics, with more than a hint and a healthy nod to the Monty Python team..."
National Theatre Wales presents Silly Kings at Cardiff Castle until January 4 2014 Contact the Box Office: nationaltheatrewales.org / WMC 029 2063 6464 for further details.
Thursday, 26 December 2013
Singin' In The Rain, Wales Millennium Centre
"It’s the Hollywood Boulevard Singin’ In The Rain sequence, complete with real rain and the Technicolour recreation of Broadway Ballet that really give this show its wow factor, and plenty of laughs for the whole family..."
Read my review for Singin' In The Rain
Read my interview with Faye Tozer
Singin' in the Rain runs until 5 January 2014. Tickets range from £19 to £47.50. Concessions available. Tickets are now on sale. To book, or for further information please visit wmc.org.uk or call 02920 63 6464.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
The Following episodes of Dad's Army were broadcast on BBC1 on Saturday evenings between 1 March - 5 April 1969. All were made in Black and White.
Operation Kilt (1 March 1969)
A training exercise leads the platoon to victory and uncovers the dreaded secret of what a Scotsman keeps under his kilt.
The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage (8 March 1969)
The sound of the church bells sparks off an invasion scare for Captain Mainwaring and as he, Jones, Frazer and Godfrey take up their defence post at Godfrey's cottage they discover it pays to know your enemy.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker (15 March 1969)
Private Walker is to be drafted into the regular army and even Mainwaring's attempts to prevent it are futile, until its discovered the lovable spiv has an unusual allergy. This episode is currently missing from the BBC archive.
Sergeant Wilson's Little Secret (22 March 1969)
Mrs. Pike is to have a new arrival much to Sgt Wilson's surprise, but all is not as it seems.
A Stripe For Frazer (29 March 1969)
Frazer becomes an equal rank to Corporal Jones which spells trouble for the platoon until Captain Square arrives. This episode is currently missing from the BBC archive, although an audio recording of the tv episode is known to exist.
Under Fire (5 April 1969)
The Platoon uncover what appears to be a German spy... but face an embarrassing outcome. This episode is currently missing from the BBC archive.
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
Beauty and The Beast, Newport Riverfront
"Last years Riverfront panto Robin Hood was always going to be a tough act to follow, but the cast and crew have struck gold yet again..."
Read my review for Beauty and The Beast
Lee Mengo on Beauty and The Beast: "“Its complete panto, I think some people might expect the Disney version of Beauty and The Beast but you won’t get that! There are a couple of original songs in there, which is really nice. Lots of different stuff going on, but its still panto."
Read my interview with Lee Mengo
Read my interview with Richard Elis
Rob Vernon on Beauty and The Beast: "Challenging for me is the choreography, I’m like Rocky. I’m in training on my own just to be passable. Then they’ll go “he was alright” and I’ll go “I worked at that!””
Read my interview with Rob Vernon
Elin Llwyd on Beauty and The Beast: "“The amount of times I've told people what the panto is this year and they’ve returned with “Oh, are you playing The Beast? I reply with “No I'm actually playing Beauty” I feel awkward then! It’s quite nice really, who wouldn’t want to dress up in pretty dresses and have fun?”
Beauty and The Beast continues at The Riverfront until January 5. For full information on ticket prices visit https://nccsec.newport.gov.uk/tickets/ or call box office on (01633) 656757
1971 found Cliff fronting the first of a new series of his variety music show It's Cliff Richard with guests Olivia Newton John, Labi Siffre, The Flirtations and The New Seekers.
There was also a special guest appearance from Till Death Us Do Part's Dandy Nicholls, no doubt on hand to give Cliff a sharp telling off for replacing series regular Una Stubbs (Nicholls' screen daughter in Till Death) with Olivia Newton John, due to Stubbs recent departure as she was due to give birth to her son Christian on Christmas Day!
I hope you've enjoyed our trawl over various programmes on BBC Radio and TV over the last 24 days... may i take this opportunity to wish all readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New 2014!
Monday, 23 December 2013
As well as Jack recalling his wartime radio experiences and his creation Reg he resurrected the Ordinary Copper one final time for a one off drama entitled The Spirit of Christmas Past.
The progrramme was supported by a wonderful illustration by Roy Knipe in Radio Times.
Sunday, 22 December 2013
I actually have some vague memories of hearing later episodes of this show during the Summer of 1979, although what the episodes were about I really cant recall, the shows hardcore story lines evidently flying over my head (although there was a dog called Skip I remember!).
Anyhow back in 1971, The Nash family at No.1 Waggoners Walk were celebrating Christmas. I can't really say anything else beyond that, Radio Times doesn't divulge anything except the time of broadcast, cast list and a Christmas Family photograph...
What was in Mike Nash's (Edward Cast) Christmas Cracker I wonder?
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Ray Galton and Alan Simpson's comedy grew in prominence between 1962 and 1967, with the demand for new colour episodes high enough by 1970 both Harry H Corbett and Wilfred Brambell resurrected their roles for further series,
Strictly the episode that got shown on December 21, 1970 entitled Cuckoo In The Nest is not a Christmas episode but remains one of their best, as Harold discovers he may have a half-brother...
published in Great Britain, World Distributors, 1973
SBN: 7235 0209 9, 80 Pages
The book illustrations are an improvement in this edition and again colour photograph's are used to illustrate the front and rear covers, this time from the TV series.
Mrs. Mainwaring, notable for never been seen in the tv series appears in the story Mum's Army - not an adaptation of the TV episode from 1970!
Horror for Hodges
The Regimental Mascot
The Official Inspection
A Ghoul on the Loose
Dad's Army Joins the Navy
Cartoon Strip Stories:
Jones Saves the Day
The Great Defenders
Friday, 20 December 2013
Radio never had it so good...
Thursday, 19 December 2013
News of the Apollo missions was a big deal in the early 1970s with much airtime given over to programmes such as The Last Apollo fronted by James Burke about the space programme.
This particular programme preceded a 60s show made by Frank Sinatra, so Uncle Sam certainly had a hold on the early evening BBC programming.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
Amongst those featured were Olympic medals for swimmer David Wilkie at Montreal, John Curry skating at Innsbruck and motor sport victories for James Hunt and Barry Sheene.
The Following episodes of Dad's Army were broadcast on BBC1 on Wednesday evenings between 31 July - 11 September 1968. All were made in Black and White.
The Man and The Hour (31 July 1968)
It's May 1940; Sir Anthony Eden makes his announcement to the nation that a new home defence is to be formed for which to defend Britain's homes - the Local Defence Volunteers.
Museum Piece (7 August 1968)
The LDV attempt to requisition some antiquated war weapons from the Peabody museum but are continually thwarted by it's caretaker, which happens to be Corporal Jones father!
Command Decision (14 August 1968)
Captain Mainwaring has to make an important decision,should he stand down and let Captain Square join the LDV in order that they can be armed with Square's own rifles?
The Enemy Within the Gates (28 August 1968)
Captain Mainwaring has a run in with a Polish commander, while German parachutists are captured by Jones, Pike and Walker.
The Showing Up of Corporal Jones (4 September 1968)
Corporal Jones has to prove he is fit enough to stay within the Home Guard by completing an assault course in 12 minutes.
Shooting Pains (11 September 1968)
The platoon have to prove their worth by correctly using their firearms, as none of them are very capable, they enlist the help of a showgirl!
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Set during World War II on a US Navy Destroyer Minesweeper the film follows the cort-martial of two officers following a mutiny on the ship.
The 1954 film is alleged to have given Bogart fan Maurice Micklewhite the inspiration for his stage name Michael Caine.
Monday, 16 December 2013
Starring David Spenser and John Westbrook the story follows Paul de Vries who comes from one of Ceylon's oldest Colonnial families, but has been brought up in England. He now works in an architects office. His father died two years previously but has been receiving letters from the dead man asking him to return to his birth land..
A play from the prolific pen of Victor Pemberton who also wrote the Doctor Who adventure Fury From The Deep.
Sunday, 15 December 2013
No doubt a forerunner for all those Saturday morning shows such as Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and Tiswas that appeared later in the decade, this programme was fronted by a popular Radio 1 DJ Ed Stewart and a rebellious robot called Zed.
Guests in today's show, were Peter Noone with Herman's Hermits and Roger Spear's Giant Kinetic Wardrobe as well as a clip from Disney's Fantasia.
Ed and Zed parted company after this series of shows never to be united on TV again, similarly Peter Noone split with the original Herman's Hermits line-up in 1971 for a solo career.
It was indeed the end of an era!
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Published in Great Britain, World Distributors, 1972
SBN: 7235 0142 4, 80 Pages
Between 1973 and 1977 World Distributors produced 6 annuals based on the Dad's Army TV Series.
Each book featured new all original text and comic strip stories documenting the adventures of Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard frequently accompanied by high quality illustrations.
The 1973 Annual is thoroughly illustrated inside with text stories, cartoon strips and articles on the Second World War. Of particular interest is an introduction to the series characters which gives an insight of their backgrounds.
The Front and rear cover feature three publicity stills from the Dad's Army movie .
The Text stories are well illustrated in places, but obviously as more than one artist worked on the book, quality suffers (notably the cartoon strips!).
Which Way To Walmington?
The Anti-Jerry Device
The Platoon on Manoeuvres
The New Recruits
Cartoon Strip Stories:
Not only did regularly appear on numerous radio series such as Round The Horne, Hancock's Half Hour and Just a Minute but he sometimes became the subject of programmes too.
Such was the case on December 23, 1973 when he recalled his army experiences in The Time of My Life for BBC Radio 4.
Later that same evening, he along with Sid James, Bill Kerr, Hattie Jacques and Ray Galton & Alan Simpson recalled working with Tony Hancock in Unique Hancock, a broadcast which coincided with an album release of the same name.
Friday, 13 December 2013
The series commenced with a TV first. The Chaplin Revue featured two shorts Shoulder Arms (1918) and The Pilgrim (1922), both of which were well over 50 years old when the BBC acquired the rights to show them.
Charlie Chaplin, like Laurel and Hardy was a popular TV filler well into the 1980s with regular showings of short films, either usually on weekends or over holidays, despite the age of colour television!
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Fronting the radio series Bandwaggon the pairs fictitious home in the rooftop of London's BBC Broadcasting House became a reality to many listeners.
On December 26, 1978, the pair were invited to remember the stars of radio's golden era in conversation with Barry Took in Askey & Murdoch's Hall Of Fame on BBC Radio 4. Among those featured in the hour long programme on BBC Radio 4 were Flanagan & Allan, George Formby and Max Miller.
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
Beatles fans were actually spoilt this particular festive season as from December 21 onwards as all The Beatles films including Magical Mystery Tour, Help!, The Beatles at Shea Stadium, Yellow Submarine, A Hard Days Night and Let It Be were broadcast on BBC2 over the Christmas holiday.
Many of the films had received regular showings on the BBC during the 1970s, but following John Lennon's assassination the following year (in which Help! was hastily scheduled on BBC1 as a tribute) the films were shown less frequently.
In recent years A Hard Days Night, Help!, Magical Mystery Tour and Yellow Submarine have all gained repeats. Let It Be has not been repeated since a rock season on BBC2 in the early 80s while The Beatles at Shea Stadium has not been shown since 1979.
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
This week in 1970 Stuart Henry hosted the show with music from Bridget St John and Raymond Froggatt.
Back in the present day, maybe Johnnie Walker could give Bridget and Raymond a spin once again on future shows of the current series?
Monday, 9 December 2013
Although Operation Annihilate! was brand new to UK audiences it had been originally broadcast in the United States in April 1967.
Subsequently Star Trek was cancelled aby its makers NBC at the beginning of 1969, months before it premiered on British TV.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
The first in a new series called aptly The Entertainers looked at Danny's long and varied career...
Such documentaries of this kind were quite commonplace in the 70s and made a welcome appearance on radio, even if the subject matter was largely known for screen appearances.
Saturday, 7 December 2013
If someone needed to demonstrate fee-fall parachuting with the RAF or have a go at bobsleighing, John was usually on hand with an even more daring camera crew to keep younger viewers on the edge of their seats with real-life escapades.
On this occasion John climbed 300 feet up Fulham power station to do a paint job and without a safety harness! There must have been an easier way to make a living?
Friday, 6 December 2013
Just past midnight, (okay, technically this is December 7) Night Ride presented by Keith Skues was an Apollo Special listening in on Man's sixth and final blast off of the decade from Cape Kennedy to the moon on Apollo 17.
Then again, if you'd bothered to stay up, the chances are you were watching this on BBC1...
Thursday, 5 December 2013
Resurrected for television after a fatal gunshot wound courtesy of Dirk Bogarde in the film The Blue Lamp, Jack Warner's PC George Dixon was given his own television series which ran for 21 years from 1955 to 1976.
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Journalist, raconteur and writer Simon Raven had a long and varied career in films, books and television screenplays. Here is an example of his radio work that went out in BBC Radio 4's The Monday Play series called Salvation Island.
Nigel Stock played Millionaire James Wingham whose purchase of a remote pacific island was his personal survival policy against worldwide catastrophe.
Simon told Radio Times:"It's about this millionaire who does just that, and all the administrative problems hes faced with, I mean you have to stock up your shelter, and I suppose you get kitted out at Fortnum's.. or do you?"
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Softly, Softly: Task Force was a spin off from the original Softly, Softly series which ran from 1966 to 1969, that in turn was a spin off from Z Cars which not only starred Frank Windsor but also Stratford Johns.
Frank Windsor starred as John Watt in todays episode Blind Alley by Elwyn Jones.
Monday, 2 December 2013
Although picture sleeves were commonplace around the world for 45RPM singles during the 1960s they were pretty rare in the UK. Infact picture sleeves on UK singles didnt become commonplace until the mid to late 70s.
Here are two singles from 1979...
|Lene Lovich - Say When|
Lene Lovich: Say When / One Lonely Heart, Stiff BUY46
Say When was Lene Lovich's follow up to her UK smash Lucky Number.
With a look of a 1920s film starlet and distinctive sounding energetic records Lene was definitely one of the most interesting female singers around in 1979.
Say When only peaked at No.19 in the UK chart but was a popular airplay hit at the time (and no doubt sold a lot more records back then that it would even take to get to Number One now).
The Sleeve for Say When comes with some really funky dance moves on the reverse (a good two decades before Steps were doing such things on their CD singles).Clearly a lady well ahead of her time!
For more on Lene visit the Lene Lovich Official Website
|Sparks - Beat The Clock|
Sparks: Beat The Clock/ Alternative Mix, Virgin VS270
I became aware of Sparks in 1974 as a 6 year old watching the band perform This Town Ain't Big Enough For The Both Of Us on Top Of The Pops.
Brothers Ron and Russell Mael intelligent lyrics mixed with energetic delivery from Russell and the somewhat comical deadpan reaction disinterest from keyboard player Ron of the pop pandemonium descending around him made comical viewing to my eyes.
The pair had a brief revival in the UK charts in 1979 with Beat The Clock a Giorgio Moroder produced disco track with an imaginative pop video featuring lots of the bands charisma, and it still sounds great today.
More on Sparks: The Official Website
Jazz Singer Adelaide Hall was Roy Plomley's guest in today's Desert Island Discs, among her choices were Malcolm Roberts, Morecambe and Wise, Noel Coward, Moira Anderson, Shirley Bassey and Peter Skellern. The Lords Prayer by Mahalia Jackson was her castaway choice.
Listen to an excerpt from the programme at The Desert Island Discs archive.
Adelaide would be a castaway on the programme a second time in 1991.
Sunday, 1 December 2013
Some of these shows may be long forgotten while others maybe cosily familiar... if you have any memories of them please leave a comment!
December 1 1975 saw the first in episode in a four part adaptaion by David Turner of Mrs Gaskell's North and South on BBC2.
Rosalind Shanks played Margaret Hale while other cast members included Patrick Stewart (years before Star Trek: The Next Generation) and Ian Marter (Doctor Who's Harry Sullivan).
Seminal electro pioneers Ultravox emerged from the new wave & new romantic scenes of the late 1970s and went on to have great commercial success in the 80s with frontman Midge Ure at the helm. Achieving four Top Ten studio albums plus a triple platinum greatest hits collection, Ultravox also delivered massive hit singles such as ‘Hymn’, ‘Dancing With Tears In My Eyes’, ‘The Voice’, ‘Reap The Wild Wind’, ‘Love’s Great Adventure’, ‘We Came To Dance’ and of course their timeless classic ‘Vienna’.
The box set features the eight Midge Ure fronted Ultravox albums; studio albums Vienna (1980), Rage in Eden (1981), Quartet (1982), live album Monument (1983) - recorded at Hammersmith Odeon, London, during the band’s ‘Monument’ tour of 1982 - and studio albums Lament (1984) and U-Vox (1986), all remastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios.
Live album Return to Eden (2009) features their first recorded gig in 24 years with the classic Ultravox line-up – Midge Ure, Billy Currie, Chris Cross and Warren Cann – who hadn’t played together since Live Aid in 1985, recorded live at the Roundhouse, London (on April 30th 2009) and finally Brilliant (2012), their latest studio album (again featuring the classic line-up), released after a hiatus of almost three decades.
This new 9 CD package is housed in a clamshell box, and is available in time for the UK tour dates which see Ultravox join Simple Minds on a major UK arena tour.