Thursday, December 08, 2011

A moving story

After four and a bit happy years here at Blogger, I'm moving the Cheeseford experience to my own webspace. From now on, it can be found at See you all over there for more of the same.

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 8

Phew, we've caught up. For day 8, it's the early arrival of this week's BO Problem podcast with me and top comedy writer Matt Owen. Treat yourself to just under an hour and a half of erudition and scurrilous nonsense about the seating arrangements on Blankety Blank, how Nick Knowles got into telly, a great night out with the newsreaders, how John Travolta really made his fortune and how God-fearing Brummie comic Don Maclean blew his chances in Hollywood.

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 7

Or, if you don't fancy having a dinner party, why not get a talented mate to bring his bongo-playing chum? Even better if you've got a camera crane to hand for the bongo herbert to perch on. Yes, that's right. No inlay or overlay, Juan Mendoza is actually sat in front of the camera as it tracks in and out. Dennis Main Wilson directed this one. No idea who was on camera 1, but the hat is doffed.

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 6

Apologies. I've been a bit busy, so have missed a couple of days. Let's now play catch up. At Christmas, what could be better than having your closest friends around you? Why not have a dinner party? That's what Cleo Laine and John Dankworth would do. The campaign for a DVD of this series starts right here.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 5

And for day 5, let's nip to Agricultural Hall Plain to visit the other side. On the right is the main Anglia building, where the company has been based since 1959, while on the left is the old Post Office, which it annexed from around 1980 to a few years back.

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 4

Apologies for a slight delay in presenting the fourth day of this extravaganza, but I found myself tired, slightly deaf in one ear and spending most of Sunday on trains. Anyway, have this picture of a pleasant Georgian building in Norwich. This is St Catherine's Close on All Saints Green, from where the BBC did its eastern stuff from the 1950s to 2003, when the operation moved to The Forum.

Oh, go on then, have another picture. This bit is the extension, built when Look East went into colour around 1975. It is now a dental practice. From Stewart White to pearly white. There you go. Don't complain. You're getting it for nothing.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 3

For day 3, we go to something I found on the end of a VHS tape while transferring stuff a while back. From the 6 January 1995 edition of The Word (recorded because Sleeper were the opening band, I suspect), we have Frank Bruno saying something that could well be deeply inappropriate and a future sitcom vicar's wife gambling her possessions for a CD player. Postpubtastic.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 2

For day 2, an outtake from the recording session for the inaugural BO Problem podcast, featuring a serious discussion of an important aspect of television history - the Nationwide cake-passing ritual.

The BO Problem - outtake - Nationwide (mp3)

The BO Problem - podcast number 1

The first BO Problem podcast is up now, including Dave from Minder's porn shame, Derek Nimmo format bingo, alternate careers for newsreaders, showbiz autobiography titles and inappropriate laughter during wedding ceremonies. It's all here, folks: - You need to go to 'Click here to start download from Sendspace'. The other 'download' links are ads.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Cheeseford Virtual Archive TV Advent Calendar day 1

Blimey, is it December already? Seems so, which means another 24 days of archival oddities, you lucky people. We start with a strange and lovely thing that was looped 24 hours a day on Sky channel 999 a few years back. No word of a lie, I recorded two hours of this and have kept it on DVD. Occasionally in moments when I feel like my head is about to explode, the disc comes out and order is restored. It's a soothing yet slightly melancholy thing, thanks, I think, to the music. A talking terrier and a similarly vocal duck seated in a toy fire engine would be something rather special any day of the week, but the music elevates it somehow. I can say with confidence that it's the best thing Sky has ever made or transmitted. Less so the interactive menus featuring the dog and duck, which can be seen after the initial couple of minutes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Casting a pod

For yonks now, I've had the vague idea of doing a podcast, but have dismissed the whole idea of talking to myself as boring, both for me and for anyone else. However, after extensive negotiation, I have persuaded my good friend, the comedy writer Matt Owen (Private Eye/Joan Rivers Position/11 O'Clock Show) to join me once a week for the discussion of light entertainment, real ale, interpretative dance, politics and life in general. Here, from a recent discussion on Cook'd and Bomb'd radio, is a rough downloadable MP3-type idea of what to expect. Oh, and here is a link to Cook'd and Bomb'd.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


To underline Barry Cryer's point about the warmth of the old school light entertainment stars, have a look at this glorious clip of Eric Morecambe opening a holiday home in Norfolk for handicapped children. A class act through and through, with time for everyone. "Yeah, but he's got a camera crew following him around," some of you might say. Well, I've heard numerous reports that, camera crew or no camera crew, this was how Eric Morecambe conducted himself in public. If so, it goes a long way to explain why he and Ernie were so loved. When the reporter asks a daft question in a slightly misguided effort to be funny, Morecambe plays along. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do it.