Archive for the TV Category

The overdue burial

Posted in Favourite Publications, Radio, TV, Words on April 21, 2013 by Johnnie

new lifeIn the grand scheme of things, embarking on a Facebook ‘friend’ cull is no big deal. Things change, people move on, acquaintances are fleeting and you’re essentially doing others a favour by ever-so-slightly lightening their burdens. You know the people who don’t ‘like’ anything you say, you know the people who probably ‘hid’ your updates some years ago. Basically, the people who can’t be arsed with you.

All you’re admitting is that, perhaps like your own sad, failed pop career or other youthful crush, clinging on to the past and trying breath life into its sagging, rotting cadaver is a pointless and tragic exercise. You need to move on, break the chains, and rejoice in hearing the Looney Tunes-style whistle as this particularly uncomfortable baggage falls off its cliff edge and moments later makes a satisfyingly distant thud. Continue reading

♫ Hartleys is my New Jam! ♫

Posted in Geeks, Music, Pointless Nostalgia, TV on April 26, 2012 by Johnnie

No one can say this blog isn’t down with the thrilling stuff those crazy internet kids are up to – only New Jam has been around since I was wee. Continue reading

Weebles wobbly wonders

Posted in Pointless Nostalgia, TV on April 15, 2012 by Johnnie

This is a silly anecdote about plastic toy eggs – not much craic here, I assure you.

Some years ago, in Dublin, I was reminiscing about Weebles, that society of egg-shaped characters with the slogan, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down”.  I never actually owned any Weebles but my cousins did, and these toys provided moments of fun whenever we visited.

However, my reminiscence on the subject didn’t go far, due to the ignorance of those I was talking to: a couple, both of them older than I am, who had never seen nor heard of Weebles.

I found this astounding.  How could anyone born in the 1960s, even those from Dublin, with its access to UK television, have failed to notice Weebles – in toy shops, at school friends’ houses, or, most likely, via the adverts and their unforgettable jingle, which were a mainstay of any 1970s Christmas rush.  Not only was this couple ignorant of Weebles’ existence, they actually mocked me and accused me of “making them up”.  Continue reading

Old rope on a soap

Posted in Favourite Publications, Geeks, TV on February 7, 2012 by Johnnie

Oh dear.  Slippers: check.  Cardie: check.  Pipe: definitely on its way.

Today I wrote an email to the editor of venerable Irish weekly Woman’s Way to correct, in as nerdy a manner as one could possibly achieve, one of their little trivia boxes on their soap pages.  Titled ‘The Rules of Soapland’, it stated that, unlike in real life, no two soap characters will have the same first name.  Much as I was tempted to let that go and turn the page, I couldn’t help the little Trekkie at the back of my brain shouting: “Well, actuallaay, in point of fact…” Continue reading

Working class heroes?

Posted in Food & Drink, Music, Pointless Nostalgia, TV on January 31, 2012 by Johnnie

A wafer, God’s sake.  For some obscure reason, the shockingly awful song “Blue Riband Blues” is stuck in my head today.  This song, sung by Mike Berry in the 1980s’ commercial, advertised Blue Riband biscuits – lightweight chocolate-covered wafers that were “the very thing”, as my late Granny used to say, to have with a wee cuppa tea.  I remember a few arguments between family members as to how to pronounce it: Rib-and or Rib-and.  I still don’t know where to put the stress – answers to the usual address.

Actually, I hated the advert back in the day but I was a big fan of the biscuits.  Continue reading

Memories of Bob Holness, 1928 – 2012

Posted in Dearly Departed, Pointless Nostalgia, TV on January 9, 2012 by Johnnie

Like anyone of an age, I’m very sorry to hear of the passing of former Blockbusters host, Bob Holness.  His show was essential tea-time viewing for me in the mid 1980s, being a quiz with questions I had a reasonable chance of answering correctly. Not that I was ever brave enough to apply to take part, mind you, but I did think the prizes were rather excellent. Bob was as gentlemanly and respectable a host as you could have, and in his banter with contestants and ability to cut out any nonsense showed he was a savvy choice for both the concept of the show and its time slot.   Blockbusters was always a slightly odd quiz, in that it tested the theory that two heads were better than one. So, with two contestants up against a solo one, it was always nice to see the solo ones doing well and reaching one or more Gold Runs, where all the prizes were to be won.

Bob was perhaps a little like a doddery uncle at times, but his often awkward smalltalk with contestants was all part of his charm.  It also led to some great comic moments, over and above the ubiquitous “I’ll have a ‘p’ please, Bob”.  Continue reading

Mastermind – more exciting than you think

Posted in Food & Drink, Rude Things, TV on January 12, 2011 by Johnnie

Good to read the great John Humphrys happily acknowledging just how sexy his presentation style is on BBC’s Mastermind.  In an interview for The Guardian about celebrity breakfasts, Humphrys says he has two breakfasts per day.  His first (“a large bowl of fruit, muesli and yoghurt, and a banana”) before Radio 4’s Today programme and then another one later on.

“When I get home,” he says, “I have toast with Marmite or blackcurrant and apple jam made by a nice lady who comes when I do Mastermind.”  Continue reading