Saturday, 22 October 2016

Acting Masterclass: 21 Faces of Matthew Corbett

Recently, whilst I should have been getting on more important things in life, I've been watching an awful lot of The Sooty Show. And you know what I've realised? Yes, I really should get round to renewing my car tax instead of reacquainting myself with a mute bear from the blessed years of my childhood.

However, more importantly, I've also realised that Matthew Corbett is one of the finest actors to ever grace the TV screens of Great Britain. And, if you don't believe me, why don't you take a look at the wide variety of facial expressions and guises below that he can conjure up to underline his acting prowess.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

25 Curious British TV Comedies That Only Had One Series

Not every British TV comedy show can rack up 51 series (and counting) as demonstrated by Have I Got News for You and it's highly unlikely that many others will manage to better the 37 year lifespan of Last of the Summer Wine. In fact, many comedy TV shows bow out after one series, but just because they're not prolific, it doesn't mean these short run British comedies don't have a story to tell.

And, sometimes, these stories can be as tragic as a star actor dying during filming, controversy splashed all over the airwaves about the shows content or, maybe, a show which didn't quite click was actually conceived by writers and actors who would go on to be megastars. Also, you can't discount the possibility that some shows are either criminally overlooked or the creative teams simply want to move onto a new challenge.

I've decided to take a look at 25 curious British TV comedies that only had one series to see what intriguing stories lay behind some of these (hopefully) laugh filled comedic gems.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

The Wall Game

Genre: Children's
Channel: ITV

Transmission: 1985 - 1986

I can't think of a more fun and welcoming subject at school than drama. It was the one lesson a week where you were guaranteed no homework, no discussion of the intricacies of French nouns, no breathless exercise, but you were promised more fun than you could shake a stick at - this is why no one ever skipped drama.

Now, I'm not trying to reduce drama teachers to mere purveyors of frivolity. Far from it in fact, as drama is a crucial area of education which breeds confidence and allows children to express themselves through a wide range of methods. In fact, drama was always the one lesson at school where even the particularly shy kid who smelt of mothballs (there was always one in every year) got their moment to shine and garner a rare applause from their peers.

And this is why the idea of a TV show which embraced this rich vein of enthusiasm and expression made so much sense that we got The Wall Game.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

22 of the Most Hideous Jumpers on British TV in the 80s

The 1980s are synonymous with many things, but, once you get past Thatcher, AIDS hysteria and George Michael's fax machine, you soon find yourself examining the fashions. And, Adidas trainers aside, it was a pretty horrendous time for wrapping yourself up in the fabrics which defined the decade.

Few families can boast a photo album from the 1980s which doesn't include a collection of abysmal tracksuits, stonewash jeans and, more importantly, jumpers which are so unbelievably dull or just downright grotesque that they feel like a vulgar attack on our digestive systems.

However, at the time, these disgusting, woolly manifestations of bad taste were beloved by millions. And, in particular, they were adored by people appearing on British TV. Now, maybe I'm just feeling particularly sadistic or perhaps I feel that maybe, beneath all this hideousness, there's actually a hint of style and elan that I could appropriate for the modern age.

Either way, it's time to take a look at 22 of the most hideous jumpers on British TV in the 80s!

Sunday, 25 September 2016

6 of the Best Morrissey Appearances on British TV

An incredibly divisive character, Morrissey has certainly pulled no punches over the years when it comes to being forthright and handy with an opinion. However, he's also incredibly British with his detailed observations on the tediousness of life, a rapier wit which punctures with its dark cruelty and a passion for the stars of Britain's past.

In particular, he's never shied away from his admiration of small screen stars such as Pat Phoenix and Violet Carson, so it's no surprise that he's never failed to light up British television when he's made an appearance. And, as I've been listening to The Queen is Dead all week, I decided it was time to look at 6 of the best Morrissey appearances on British TV.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Amazing See-Saw Idents from Children's BBC

If you were a child growing up in the 1980s then there's a good chance you lived for the See-Saw slot which aired on BBC1 (and occasionally BBC2). In an age where there was no such thing as CBeebies, the See-Saw slot - which had evolved from Watch with Mother - was the only real chance for pre-schoolers to get their fix of children's TV.

Some downright legendary shows aired in this timeslot and were usually preceded by a brief ident advertising the upcoming shows. And here are all the ones I've managed to find so far, so let's reminisce for a few moments about a period of life when life felt warm, simple and fuzzy.

Friday, 16 September 2016

15 of the Greatest Evil Villains of British Children's TV

Television's not really television without villains, is it? After all, why would anyone tune in to see the good guys just sitting round in a world free from jeopardy and tension? Exactly, it would generate about as much narrative excitement as our own humdrum lives, so that's why television needs villains to provide that bit of fantasy and escapism that we crave.

Now, when it comes to children's TV, villains are particularly interesting characters as they're installed not only to act as the antagonists, but also to symbolise the dark paths one can wander down if they stray off the straight and narrow.

And it's because of this symbolism that they become so ingrained in our memories, so let's take a look at 15 of the greatest evil villains of British children's TV.