1 9 8 4 (UK) 20 x 5 minute episodes 1 9 8 6 (UK) 10 x 5 minute episodes Thie animated welsh-language cartoon was based on a series of children’s books written in the 1930s by Jennie Thomas and J…

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1 9 8 4 (UK) 12 x 10 minute episodes A troupe of small animals – including Billy (a goat), Snowball (a white cat), Percy and Peter Pigeon, Spike the hedgehog, Chip the Superdog, Mary Duck, Sgt Rooster and various other…

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1 9 8 4 (USA) 13 x 60 minute episodes This “behind the scenes” look at the world of modelling was seen through the experiences of two beautiful teenage high fashion models (called “paper dolls”), Taryn Blake (Nicollette Sheridan) and Laurie…

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1 9 8 4 (USA) 14 x 60 minute episodes This short-lived Aaron Spelling series for ABC followed the same tried and tested formula he used on The Love Boat and Hotel, with no demanding plots or storylines and a glittering array of…

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Exiled Polish writer/director Jerzy Skolimowski made Moonlighting as a response to the sudden and dramatic imposition of Martial Law in his home country, which occurred after the Solidarity uprising. Jeremy Irons swapped his Brideshead Revisited blazers for cement-splattered overalls to play…

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1 9 7 4 (USA) 13 x 30 minute episodes Moze: “C’mon, we’re gettin’ out” Addie: “Who’s after ya?” Moze: “Killers, that’s who” Addie: “It’s a lady, ain’t it? Ya got some irate husband after ya, right?” And so, as another Paper…

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1 9 7 0 (UK) 12 x 30 minute episodes Inside George Webley was scripted by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall and starred Roy Kinnear as compulsive worrier, George Meredith Webley. George worked as a bank clerk for the aptly named Meanside…

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1 9 8 4 (USA) 60 minute episodes This syndicated weekly late-night music video show featured comedy sketches in between videos. The original host was Canadian comedian Rick Ducommun (broadcasting from his basement pirate radio-style). A Federal Broadcasting Commission agent named…

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1 9 8 4 (UK) 7 x 30 minute episodes This late-night Channel 4 alternative comedy series (produced by London Weekend Television) introduced Hale & Pace to TV audiences and expanded Chris Barrie’s career beyond his impressions and vocal talent on…

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1 9 8 2 (UK) 6 x 50 minute episodes Mel Smith starred in a rare straight role as Tom Craig, a shrewdly opportunistic property developer progressing from nowhere to provincial tycoon in this memorable and still highly relevant drama from…

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1 9 5 9 – 1 9 6 0 (UK) 52 x 30 minute episodes As real airlines introduced regular jet services, ITV launched Skyport, a drama series about the activities at an international airport. The half-hour dramas from Granada TV…

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Thanks in no small part to the biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980), the arc of Loretta Lynn’s singing career is well known. It resembles that of many country stars – she emerged from a desperately poor childhood to become wealthy and internationally…

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Slade started life as The N’Betweens in 1966 and enjoyed modest local success, before recording a single – the excellent Kim Fowley-produced Young Rascals cover, You Better Run. The single did not chart and the band did not record again for well over two years, although…

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The Pointed Sticks formed in Vancouver, Canada, in 1977 when singer Nick Jones returned from England where he had witnessed the excitement of the British punk rock scene. Taking the name Pointed Sticks from a Monty Python sketch, Jones recruited…

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This modern horror classic from Canadian writer/director David Cronenberg – in which he seamlessly blends the genres of science fiction and conspiracy thriller into an exhilarating ride – suggests there are in existence 237 people with the ability to arrest…

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Failing magician Charles “Corky” Withers (Anthony Hopkins) suddenly hits the big time as a ventriloquist with a vulgar but outrageously funny dummy called Fats. The relationship between Corky and Fats is complex and deeply psychological, to say the least. Corky’s…

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This made-for-television movie presented John Mortimer’s dramatisation of a novel by John Fowles. Brash young art critic David Williams (Roger Rees) goes to interview Henry Breasley (Laurence Olivier), an elderly once-famous English painter who lives in a remote farmhouse in…

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A nerve gas leak in Alaska kills everyone over the age of 25 in this hopelessly surreal comedy from cult director Roger Corman. The expected Utopia doesn’t materialise, however, in a freewheeling romp that features Hell’s Angels, Che Guevara, Edgar…

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The Easy-Bake oven was introduced in 1963. Powered by a 60-watt bulb, the oven came with a couple of different mixes and cake pan options. The pastry-chef-in-training would stir together the mixing powder and water, pour the result into one…

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Wendy Emerton – later to take the stage name Richard – was born in Middlesbrough on 20 July 1943. Later, her parents moved to London to manage a Mayfair pub, and she attended St George’s school in Mount Street. Her…

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Some of the breakfast cereals listed below are still in production. Some have been re-named and re-packaged. Many of them disappeared as quickly as they arrived. But they all have a special place in our memory because they evoke powerful…

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Dolls were always good for lending a listening ear after a tough day at preschool, but Chatty Cathy actually talked back. Tired of having to carry on the entire conversation by yourself at tea parties? Let Chatty Cathy take some…

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The American male’s obsession with big breasts found its perfect incarnation in the sumptuous 40-19-36 statistics of Jayne Mansfield, who shot to stardom in 1957 in Frank Tashlin’s rock & roll comedy The Girl Can’t Help It, where the 24-year-old former…

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Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev was born in the northern Caucasus, studied law at Moscow University and joined the CPSU (Communist Party) in 1952. From 1955 to 1962 he worked for the Komsomol (Communist Youth League) before being appointed regional agriculture secretary.…

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Tiger Beat was founded in September 1965 by Charles “Chuck” Laufer, his brother Ira Laufer, and television producer and host Lloyd Thaxton. Marketed primarily to adolescent girls, the magazine featured teen idol gossip and articles about movies, music and fashion.…

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The pop-top drink can was invented in the early 1970s by Australian designer Mike Debenham, working with the steel company BHP to help eliminate traditional ring-pull cans, which – although an improvement on earlier cans which required can-openers – had created…

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January 01 – West Indies cricketer and politician Sir Learie Constantine becomes Britain’s first black life peer. 01 – Ohio State beats Southern California, 27 – 16, in the Rose Bowl to become US national collegiate football champions. 02 – Australian…

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It remains the defining assembly of rock music – an unprecedented gathering of at least 300,000 young, long-haired, raggedy clad Americans “going up the country” in New York’s Catskill Mountains, searching for answers, hoping for transcendence . . . and…

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30 January 1969 The Beatles made their last ever live appearance together on 30 January 1969, putting on a free lunchtime concert on a hastily constructed wooden stage on the (very windy) roof of their Apple Corps HQ at 30…

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January 01 – Western Samoa becomes independent. 01 – The Beatles are turned down by Decca Records, whose A&R man Dick Rowe enters the history books when he advises them that “groups with guitars are out”. 03 – Fidel Castro…

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January 01 – Fred West, the Gloucestershire builder charged with 12 murders, commits suicide in his prison cell. Prison officers discover the 53-year-old’s body hanging from strips of clothing at Winson Green prison near Birmingham. 01 – Austria, Finland and…

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January 01 – The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) comes into effect. 01 – American actor Cesar Romero – famous as The Joker from the classic Batman TV series – dies at the age of 86. 02 – In South…

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During the summer of 1967, The Beatles’ Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club album had shot straight to the top of the UK and US album charts. A few weeks later, All You Need Is Love topped the singles charts around the world. Still…

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January 01 – Chinese and North Korean forces advance across the 38th Parallel and through UN lines. 01 – First episode of The Archers is broadcast nationally on the BBC Light Programme. 01 – Bill Byford (Saxon) born. 04 – Communist…

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