YouTubeXL: More Packed With Entertainment Than Seventeen Double Issues Of The Radio Times (Part Two)

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Our trawl through the bits of the British television archives that trundled out of Windmill Road and straight onto YouTube continues. Just after, as we hope will soon become traditional, another photo of Tatu.

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That Mitchell and Webb Sound: Series 1

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First up today, a video that isn’t even video. It’s the first series of Radio 4’s That Mitchell & Webb Sound, which is very good indeed. Though as it’s from the commercially released version of the series, each episode opens with a not-proper version of Strangers On The Shore, which just sounds terrible. But, y’know, stick with it.

Fanorama

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Here’s a curious one. From (we think) E4 in 2002, a full episode of a show called Fanorama. Hosted by Claudia Winkleman, this panel show sees two fans of a particular artist take on another pair of musical devotees. Each ‘team’ is captained by a comedian, in this case one David Mitchell and Rhys “Bellamy’s People” Thomas. This episode: Marilyn Manson versus Absolutely Fabulous.

Spitting Image 1987 Election Special

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Quite a few full episodes of Spitting Image knocking around, but if you don’t fancy the (slightly rubbish) last ever episode or the special episode looking back at the presidency of Ronald Reagan, how about this? The infamous Spitting Image Election Special from 1987. Tomorrow beeeeeelongs… (etc)

Video Gaiden 1.1

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TV shows about videogaming, eh? Why can’t they do it? It was all either “Dear Gamesmahstah, how do I get past the Visigoth in Nodes Of Yarmouth Part III?” or Nam sodding Rood on sodding Bad Influence, or maybe Steve Priestly on Movies Games & Videos telling us everything is fantastic and they all tried really hard to make the games good so it’d be rude not to buy every game on sale, eh?

Well, a few years ago, BBC Scotland gave Rab and Ryan from Consolevania ten minutes a week to tell us about games. So they did, then filled the other eight minutes each week being brilliant in lots of other ways. And it was incredibly popular, with viewers from all around the UK dusting off the BBC Two Scotland channel on their EPGs to join in the fun. At one point, it was the BBC Scotland programme with more positive viewer feedback than any other show. So: how did the BBC react to this popularity? Was it:

a) Moved the show to BBC Two throughout the entire UK?

b) Moved the show to BBC Three in an earlier slot, with an extended runtime?

or

c) Neglected to show the third series on television at all, not even in Scotland, only making it available on the BBC website?

Yep, it was ‘C’.

Still waiting for a second episode of Charlie Brooker’s Gameswipe.

The Story of The Young Ones

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From the 25th Anniversary DVD of the landmark sitcom, this 50 minute documentary looks at the story behind the series. As you’ll have already guessed from the title.

The Full Wax - Eddie Izzard & Carrie Fisher

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Remember when Ruby Wax was a proper big TV star, and not just someone who cropped up on things occasionally? To be honest, it was a bit of a mystery just why she fell from favour so suddenly, especially when her shows were always fun enough. She’s basically like Clive James, only a woman, American, and not that much like Clive James at all now we think about it.

Here she interviews Eddie Izzard and Carrie Fisher, in 1994.

Life Without George: Episode 1

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Very much “of it’s time” 1980s pseudo-sophisticated sitcommery, you say? Here you go. It’s got Simon Cadell in it and everything.

That single screengrab from the opening titles probably tells you all you need to know.

People Like Us: The Managing Director

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One of a several complete shows uploaded by BBC Worldwide, and a very fine choice it is too (along with, it seems, classic Doctor Who, The League of Gentlemen and, surprisingly, This Is Dom Joly), The presence of Chris Langham probably curtails any chance of this appearing on Dave, so thankfully we get this chance to take in this marvellously underrated sitcom that bettered The Office before The Office even appeared on our screens.

Arena: Ken Dodd's Happiness

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Yeah, we did documentaries the other day, but this is too good not to include. A lovely look at the life and work of Britain’s most hardworking funnymen.

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TOMORROW: MORE VIDEO GOODNESS.

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Simon said...

Fanorama was indeed E4, one of the first series it ever did itself, and that was Mitchell's first solo TV work. Interesting to think now of Bruiser, the 2000 BBC Choice and later late Friday night BBC2 sketch series that Off The Telly especially used to use as a byword for how bad television comedy could be and how - I remember Steve W using these pretty much exact words once - we'd never see anyone involved ever again. And sure enough Mitchell, Webb, Colman, Martin Freeman, Matthew Holness, Charlotte Hudson and writers Gervais, Ayoade and James Bachman were never seen again.