1 9 7 7 (UK) 16 x 60 minute episodes Great Britain, 1990. A dystopian future (at the time) in which Britain is under the grip of the Home Office’s Department of Public Control (PCD), a tyrannically oppressive bureaucracy riding roughshod over the population’s civil liberties. The all-powerful PCD have done away with the rights of the(…)

Challengers, The

1 9 7 2 (UK) 6 x 60 minute episodes Author Edmund Ward brought the world of local party politics to the screen in this Yorkshire Television Production. It is election time in Andersley. The party faithful gather. John Killane (Michael Gambon) becomes the new Conservative MP for Andersley West and fights a lost cause for(…)

Summer Love (1957)

  The revenge of Rock, Pretty Baby (1956) as the Daley Combo takes the Order of the Bisons up on their offer to play a two-week gig at a summer camp in Lake Tahoe. Highlights are Beatin’ On the Bongos, To Know You Is To Love You and a happy ending. Summer Love marked the cinema debut of Jill St. John. Jimmy(…)

Signalman, The

  1 9 7 6 (UK) 1 x 40 minute episode An annual Christmas treat in the UK in the 1970s, A Ghost Story For Christmas put fear into the festive season. In 1976, the sixth in the series was a spooky drama called The Signalman, based on a short story by Charles Dickens. Creepy and disturbing, it was(…)

A Touch Of Frost

1 9 9 2 (UK) 42 x 105 minute episodes Novelist R D Wingfield’s Inspector William “Jack” Frost was untidy, disorganised, and lacked respect for authority – common police procedural tropes loved by viewers. The character was in good hands when he was transferred to the screen, as many of the writers and directors on A Touch(…)

Hullaballoos, The

The Hullaballoos formed in Hull (hence their name) in August 1964 after working for several years under the name of Ricky Knight and The Crusaders. The group’s look (featuring long dyed blonde hair) and music were put together for US consumption by Luigi Creatore and Hugo Peretti of Roulette Records to take advantage of the(…)

Grove Family, The

Grove Family, The

1 9 5 4 – 1 9 5 7 (UK) 138 x 20 minute episodes The Grove Family, which ran from 1954 to 1957, was the first British television soap for adults. It was set in the north London suburb of Hendon and featured three generations of a successful builder’s family who took their name from the(…)

Chuck Berry, Father of Rock ‘n’ Roll, Dies at 90

18 March 2017 Chuck Berry, the singer, songwriter and guitar great who practically defined rock music with hits including Maybellene, Roll Over Beethoven, Rock & Roll Music, Memphis Tennessee and Sweet Little Sixteen, has died at the age of 90. The singer/songwriter, whose classic Johnny B. Goode was chosen by Carl Sagan to be included on(…)

Scruffs, The

Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, The Scruffs’ easily filled the void left by The Raspberries and Big Star with their debut album, Wanna Meet The Scruffs? (1977). Their sound was a hybrid of mid-60s influences: a little Byrds, some Beatles plus healthy doses of The Who, The Beach Boys and The Searchers. Vocalist Stephen Burns copied much of(…)

Life Less Ordinary, A (1997)

Holly Hunter and Delroy Lindo are cast as angels on assignment to make a love connection between Robert (Ewan McGregor), a scruffy, unemployed janitor, and Celine (Cameron Diaz), the spoiled smartass daughter of the corporate bigwig (Ian Holm) who fired Robert. When janitor kidnaps heiress, it’s the perfect chance for the angels to hold them hostages for(…)

Toggery Five, The

Manchester beat band The Toggery Five formed in 1963, and first rehearsed at the Thatched House pub in Stockport. The group’s unusual name came from a clothes shop, The Toggery, owned by their manager Mike Cohen. He was going out with Coronation Street‘s Lucille Hewitt (actress Jenny Moss, who cut her own single Hobbies with(…)

Idle on Parade/Idol on Parade (1959)

  Idle on Parade (also known as Idol on Parade) featured the adventures and misadventures of a rock ‘n’ roll idol (Anthony Newley), drafted into the wrong regiment of the army. Jeep Jackson Anthony Newley Sgt. Lush William Bendix Caroline Anne Aubrey Bertie Lionel Jeffries Herbie Sidney James Shorty David Lodge Rene Dilys Laye Commanding Officer William Kendall(…)

Cutter to Houston

1 9 8 3 (USA) 9 x 60 minute episodes Surgeon Beth Gilbert (Shelley Hack) hates it. General Practitioner Dr Andy Fenton (Jim Metzler) likes it just fine. And intern Dr Hal Wexler (a young Alec Baldwin) hasn’t quite made up his mind. But like it or not, these three MDs are the core of a(…)

Jean Arthur Show, The

1 9 6 6 (USA) 12 x 30 minute episodes The Jean Arthur Show displayed the comedienne with the enchantingly cracked voice who delighted moviegoers in Mr Smith Goes To Washington, Mr Deeds Goes To Town and many other cinema comedies. Her TV series cast her as a widowed lawyer who had the brains, the crusading zeal and the(…)

Hey Landlord

1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (USA) 32 x 30 minute episodes A short-lived sitcom about a carefree young man from Ohio, who inherits a New York City brownstone apartment building from his uncle, and shares his apartment with an up-and-coming stand-up comedian who also happens to be a brash city boy. Woody(…)

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