Category Archives: News

Christmas is here

To be honest, according to many tv channels, Christmas has been here since June.

There are Christmas specials, channels showing non-stop Xmas films, last minute presents on the shopping channels and schemes to get you saving for Xmas 2019.

There’s some kind of competition for the best Xmas advert. John Lewis always seems to do quite well, so we know where their profit goes.

The Carry On films are appearing. No sign of It’s A Wonderful Life yes, or Mary Poppins.

Galton and Simpson

It is very sad to see that Ray Galton, the other half of the scriptwriting team of Galton and Simpson, has died at a good old age.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-45772088

G&S were famous for Hancock, Steptoe and Son and other things. I didn’t like Steptoe by the end – it had got rather crude and unfunny. Hancock, however, especially on radio, had set new levels, especially by the end. I know Sunday Afternoon At Home (radio) and The Blood Donor (tv) are well remembered, but some of the others are just as funny (eg The Bowmans on radio, or Twelve Angry Men on tv) are woth watching. And while some are dated, many are not.

 

Denis Norden

It was announced today that Denis Norden has died at a ripe old age.

You probably know Mr Norden best from It’ll Be Alright On The Night, one of the early bloopers shows for ITV.

I knew him for his radio quiz shows, especially My Music (never a fan of My Word) where he was constantly ridiculed for his poor singing but where he had an in depth knowledge of certain styles of music.

People of an older generation would know him as a radio and tv scriptwriter, with his partner Frank Muir most famously. Their big hit was Take It From Here. You can still hear this. It sounds very safe, polite, rarely funny by modern tastes, rather middle class. The creation of The Glums was a middle class way of looking at working class people, crude, dishonest and loud. It was a programme that never really broke the mould, having sketches and musical breaks.

I do enjoy Balham: Gateway to the South, however.


I once encountered Frank Muir. He and Patrick Campbell were on a train apparently coming from Manchester into Euston, probably recording call my bluff. Odd people kept asking for an autograph, and he was very rude to them. They probably deserved it.