Tuesday, 2 December 2014

The Art of Deliberately Misleading Comedy TV Listings: Part Three

In which we spend a third day uncovering entertaining Radio Times listings from yesteryear, because just taking things from the BBC’s Genome website is every bit as good as actually creating something ourselves. Still, three updates in three days!

Deliberately Misleading BBC Comedy Episode Descriptions Of The Past, Part Three: There’s a Lot of It About


Following on from Qs five through nine, There’s a Lot of It About marked the last ‘proper’ series for the arch Goon, with Spike thereafter restricted to sporadic guest appearances and one-offs (like C4’s The Last Laugh Before TV-am). Luckily, with it having roped in prolific mirth-merchants Marshall and Renwick (see also: yesterday’s blog) that meant another great example of wonderfully inventive Radio Times listings. And here they are.

In this programme (which is not suitable for those of a sensitive or nervous disposition) SPIKE MILLIGAN , the famous author and philosopher, takes an in-depth look at all kinds of wild and exotic life abounding in this anniversary year, and poses many interesting and intellectual questions he doesn't understand.
- 20 September 1982

Former stuntman and free-fall parachutist SPIKE MILLIGAN comes out of hospital for tonight's special thrill-a-minute show which is dedicated to all those unseen people who encouraged him in his dare-devil career yet were happy to stand firmly in the background. But for them he might have remained an unknown writer-comedian.
- 27 September 1982

Tonight SPIKE MILLIGAN will be talking frankly to four ravishingly beautiful women - a nude model, a stripper, a rugby supporter and a bus conductress - about their attitudes to the opposite sex in this permissive society, and asking the question ' Does age matter? ' He will definitely not be watching this programme which is not half as interesting.
- 4 October 1982

In a heavily censored programme, SPIKE milligan takes a restrained and patronising look at Unemployment, the GLC Marital Harmony Squad, Japanese Ritual Suicide, the British Space Programme and Hitler's well-meaning attempts to break into the pop-music business and become a household name. The censored bits will be released on a BBC video cassette in 1985. Pirate copies are available now from ' 24 hr Grocers' (24 hr Grossers Ltd), Tooting Broadway, SW1Z
- 11 October 1982

[There’s every chance the original RT listing had ‘SW12’ there, but SW1Z is a better joke so we hope it didn’t. Of course, any of the seemingly mis-transcribed misspellings of ‘Milligan’ that are on Genome could be deliberate.]

Spike Milligan , recently voted light entertainment's Smiley, in an excerpt from his one-man show.
- 18 October 1982

In a programme celebrating his 63 years with BBC Television, spike MILLIGAN will be looking back on his long career at Television Centre; serving his apprenticeship as canteen manager before graduating to comedian. He will be remembering all those interesting people he worked with during that time who had a profound effect on his life and getting his own back.
- 25 October 1982


Disappointingly, the 30 July-27 August 1985 repeat run largely re-uses those same descriptions, truncating several of them to fit a less prestigious amount of column inches. That's save for the repeat broadcast on 20 August 1985, which has the following listing. Presumably originally intended for episode 5 of the original run (the one with the phoned-in "excerpt from his one-man show" listing up there), it's nice to see this somehow survived whatever filing system the Radio Times used in 1982.

In a lively programme dedicated to his bank manager, Spike looks at the toupee epidemic, army boots and the perils of smoking.
- 20 August 1985

Unfortunately, the revised repeat showings of ...About in 1989 didn't go as far as including new descriptions, so we're not going to include them.  Instead, here's all of episode one.



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