Top Of The Tubes

  • 8/30/2007 12:42:00 am
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

For a while, we've been chucking out several clips of televised miscellanea (under a staggeringly original pseudonym) on this hot new website called You-Tube. Everyone'll be talking about in next year, you just wait. Now, as we've got the memory span of a gnat, we're not sure which ones we've mentioned on here, so here's a quick chart rundown of our most popular clips.

(Legal notice: When we say "our most popular clips", we actually mean "stuff we've found and put online, and have crossed our fingers that the original copyright holders aren't so litigious they honestly believe someone having put sixty seconds of their work into a tiny flash-video window means no-one will buy their DVDs any more".)

During the following, if you've got to hum a Top Of The Pops chart countdown theme to yourself, we'd much rather it were the Paul Hardcastle one, as that's the best one. A cross section of clip YouTube viewer comments are sprinkled throughout.

10. Channel Four promo, early 1980s

"She seems very relaxed about the fact that her girlfriend has an enormous head."

In a move to enrage Paul Dacre, we stumbled across a trailer for a typically 1980s Channel Four broadcast of movie 'A Question Of Love'. As Voiceover Lady tells us, it's a sensitive love drama about how one woman's love for another woman threatens her family ties. All performed without 'clever' editing, a thumping backing soundtrack, or 'wry' voiceover. A gentler, and probably better, age. Still, The Friday Night Project, eh?


9. Honda Impossible Dream: World Cup Karaoke Version


Thanks to Honda, the entire nation of England could sing their way to a meaningless 2-2 draw with Sweden in the 2006 World Cup. Which gives us a quick excuse to chuck out one of our pet theories.

In May 2002, Terry Venables - possibly the most famous person nearly to get into a lift with BrokenTV but preferring to wait for the next one instead, name drop fans - made a bit of a faux pas. Telling an audience of advertising executives that ITV always fared worse than the BBC for big World Cup Final matches because football fans hate adverts, while he was employed by ITV. Of course, he was mostly correct, but here's how we'd tackle the problem: take a tip from the US coverage of the SuperBowl. A big part of the SuperBowl coverage is the plethora of one-off advertising extravaganzas, so why can't the same be applied to ITV's coverage of World Cup games? Imagine the scene - the morning of the World Cup Final, John Smiths put out a load of newspaper adverts stating how Peter Kay will star in a three-part advert during that night's match, which will never be repeated. Accompany this with teaser poster adverts in the week leading up to the game, even a quick interview on Richard and Judy. There's an extra three million viewers for ITV1's coverage, right there. Do the same for other companies, and you've got so many viewers watching, they'll hardly notice how dire ITV1's football coverage is.

As our Pet Theories go, it's not quite up there with how Paramount should have turned Indiana Jones into a biannual movie franchise with new actors assuming the role every ten years or so, effectively creating a suitable rival for James Bond, but not too bad. And that's almost what happened here, with a few companies used what was bound to be ITV's largest audience of the year (their only exclusive broadcast of a midweek England 2006 World Cup match) being the surest thing they've had to a banker since the 1998 World Cup. A few companies seized the initiative and did something special, so if they could do something similar more often, maybe ITV could get some decent viewing figures for their football head-to-heads. After all, the adverts have only got to be more interesting than Alan Shearer droning on about how he'd wished England were in the final instead of Germany/Italy/Brazil/San Marino.


8. Jasper Carrott vs Monty Python

"piss off LlamaFarmer93 hes much beeter than monty pithon"

Not sure if the above comment was supposed to represent a Birmingham accent, but anyways. The Acocks Green laffmeister waxes lyrical, in an affectionate style, about the Pythons. It's very good, and especially interesting because the whole routine was markedly different to just about everything else he did in An Audience With...


7. Lynx: Billions (full advert)

"hottttt xD"

Smug ZooNutsLoaded berk improbably attracts lots of women. You know the drill. Full length version shown only during England vs Sweden 2006 (see number 9).


6. Journey by a London Bus (1950)

"Where's reg varney?"

This is more like it. It even attracts some proper and good comments. Very much beloved of Victor Lewis-Smith, this production by the Colonial Film Unit tells those finding themselves foreign, how to use London's bus service. And remember kids, even in this day and age, a cripple still needs much kindness.


5. Lazyboy - Inhale Positivity

"green hats lure children equally well."

Featuring the iconic tones of the late Patrick Allen, this offering from Lazyboy (Lazy B in the UK, due to people accidentally buying their CD thinking it was a chair, or something) is the follow-up to Underwear Goes Inside The Pants. It is good. Listen to it, and heed the words therein. We don't normally upload pop videos, but this one was shamelessly missing from the 'Tube at the time. It's quite nice to see how popular it turned out to be.


4. Carlsberg World Cup advert : full version

"ref is amazing joker"

A nice departure from the standard "ZooNutsLoadedMaxim berk walks into building and unexpectedly get mauled by awful FHM Honeyz" Carlsberg template. The premise shatters completely when you consider that no company actually 'does' pub teams, but it's a nice effort all the same. Another ITV's World Cup England vs Sweden advert. Lucky we'd Sky+'ed it, no?


3. Hugh Laurie lager advert, 1980s

"The two guys i love fron TV have the same hobbie. Also Dr. House and Homer Simpson loves beer."

Before House, before Stuart Little, before that small part in The Borrowers, before (air quotes) A Bit Of Fry & Laurie (/air quotes), before The Gun Seller (which everyone really should read - it's ace), possibly even before The Crystal Cube, the excellent Hugh Laurie cropped up in this early 80's (we think) advert for Kestrel Lager. Doing Generic Nerd Voice 47, for some reason. Possibly that's why we never see Kestrel Lager on sale anywhere these days.


2. Ford Cortina advert, circa 1984


Perennial favourite of dodgy minicab drivers, it's the Ford Cortina. As, according to this advert, it's also the second coming of Christ himself. And the advert seems massively popular, too. Not sure why. Our uploads of Classic Massingham Majesty should have received at least double the view count of this clip, dammit.


1. Pet Shop Boys - Numb (England World Cup Version)

"footballers are narcisstic fairies"

I say, steady on LeamingtonSteve! Most popular thing we've put on YouTube, and quite correctly, too. The best song the Pet Shop Boys have recorded since Behaviour, and football. This is the sort of reason why, despite employing Mark Lawrenson, BBC Sport will always have a special place in our hearts. While ITV went for the relatively predicable choice of Johnny Cash's rendition of Hurt, the Beeb went for this. And it wasn't even a single at the time they used it. Typically, even though a home and pub audience of about thirty million Britons got to experience this wonderful montage (no, hang on, while we're making completely unformed guesses on viewing figures, make that forty million), Parlophone dithered uselessly and when the single was finally released about five months later, nobody really noticed. In fact, if everyone who watched our upload of this clip had gone out and bought the single, Sir Neil Tennent and Earl Chris Lowe (BrokenTV Birthday Honours List 2006) would have had a proper number one, not just a phoney baloney one from a two-bob telly blog. Gah.



Well, just like with the proper charts, we're slightly surprised and a little disappointed by some of the omissions from the list. No Coughs And Sneezes, no Camel News Caravan, no Beavers? Sold!, but it is good the see the Pettoes back at number one in a chart. Expect another chart rundown the next time we've completely failed to watch any recent telly whatsoever and are really scrabbling around for something to write about.

And as for our earlier mention of litigation:


ITV are about to put out a commercial DVD containing the last ten minutes of an edition of World Of Sport from around 1980, including such gems as "League Division Four", "summary of today's sport" and "later on Southern". Presumably. Otherwise, our video of it getting removed from YouTube at the copyright holders request would be a completely pointless, stupid and spiteful move on their part. Either way, it seems Dickie Davies' excellently rakish moustache is too hot for YouTube to handle. Perhaps it is owned by Viacom.

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