Saturday 29 April 2023

How I Wrote Lytton’s Diary: Writer Ray Connolly Tells All

Nearly four decades after its pilot episode aired, Lytton's Diary writer, Ray Connolly, remembers the series being a big hit with the very people it was profiling "All the journalists I knew loved it. We got Fleet Fleet as right as we could."

Sunday 16 April 2023

Curious British Telly Substack Subscription

Just a quick update to let you know that I’ve decided to try out the paid-subscription option on Substack to deliver exclusive Curious British Telly bits and pieces. You can find out more about the Substack here. There will, of course, continue to be free posts on the Substack and on here but I thought I’d see if anyone is willing to subscribe.

The articles behind the paywall will be similar to the articles featured in the now defunct Curious British Telly fanzine, and there will be at least one a week.

Any proceeds generated will go towards investing more money in the Substack and the main Curious British Telly e.g. trips to the BFI Archive and, as I’ve been threatening to for years, finally purchase a Betamax player and a mountain of old tapes to investigate.

However, there’s no pressure as I appreciate there’s a cost of living crisis hitting everyone and, well, archive television isn’t the most important thing in life. So, if you do want to subscribe - either to the free or paid version - then just click here.

Monday 10 April 2023

The EastEnders Cook Book and Wicksy's Cocktails

It's debatable if EastEnders, despite running for 38 years now, is still considered a hot property. Nonetheless, when it launched in 1985, it was accompanied by a huge buzz of excitement which lasted for many, many years. Not surprisingly, this popularity quickly led to a nice line in merchandise to generate further revenue for the BBC.

And, in 1986, the first EastEnders annual appeared. I looked at this annual in an issue of the now defunct Curious British Telly fanzine, but I thought it would be fun to bring two of its more curious sections to a wider audience: The EastEnders Cook Book and Wicksy's Cocktails.

Friday 7 April 2023

Looking at the Items in Brian Cant’s Bric-A-Brac Shop

As a preschooler, Bric-a-Brac was easily one of my favourite television programmes and it's a fact which remains true to this day. However, it's a programme which, despite being repeated for nearly a decade, has had very little of substance written about it. This isn't a surprise as, well, very little information is available and only a handful of episodes have ever surfaced on YouTube. But, luckily, a few years ago, I picked up a copy of the 1983 See-Saw annual, which contains the only official photos I've found. And it's going to help us look at the items in Brian Cant's Bric-a-Brac shop.

Monday 3 April 2023

Dramarama: Snap

By Scampy Spiro

With folk horror having become the subject of increasing cultural fascination over the past decade (fuelled, in part, by the spotlight it received in Mark Gatiss’ 2010 documentary series A History of Horror), one candidate that still seems curiously overdue for rediscovery would be Snap, a 1987 installment from the ITV children’s anthology series Dramarama (1983-1989).