1 9 7 9 (UK) 8 x 50 minute episodes For the first five minutes, the BBC miniseries The Aphrodite Inheritance looked as though it might please someone else besides the Cyprus Tourist Board. The faintly recognisable theme music by George…

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1 9 9 6 (Australia) 7 x 30 minute episodes Josephine Donnelly (Genevieve Lemon) is a 30-something single white female who shares her home with flatmate Colin (Giordano Gangl), an aspiring beefcake who is more cake than beef. Also known as…

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1 9 8 7 (UK) 3 x 60 minute episodes This Thames Television miniseries presented a star-studded cast in a tongue-in-cheek satirical drama based on a best-selling novel by Alison Lurie. Bullying sociologist and charismatic TV guru Professor Tom McMann (John…

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Cousin Brucie (Bruce Morrow) One of the kings of the East Coast, Brooklyn-born Brucie held down the primetime slot at WABC in NYC. He was adept at blending a variety of genres – including Motown, pop, hard rock, surf music, and…

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1 9 9 6 – 1 9 9 8 (Australia) 12 x 25 minute episodes This SBS (Australia) comedy featured bankrupt landlord Mike (Chris Haywood) and his pampered 15-year-old daughter Chloe (Jocelyn Rosen) who suddenly find themselves homeless and decide the…

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1 9 9 6 (UK) 40 x 25 minute episodes JoJo Smith hosted this look at the world of British comedy – from stand-up and sitcoms to videos and feature films – which aired on ITV late at night, often…

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1 9 9 0 (UK) 6 x 60 minute episodes This six-part series from Thames Television was set in the newsroom of satellite channel TNC. In the debut episode, reporter Sam Courtney (Bill Nighy) and his crew were taken hostage by…

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1 9 7 5 – 1 9 7 6 (UK) 12 x 30 minute episodes The bustle and banter of London’s iconic Billingsgate fish market provided the backdrop for Reg Varney’s first sitcom following his phenomenal success in On the Buses.…

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1 9 8 5 – 1 9 9 0 (UK) 29 x 50 minute episodes Divorced office worker Henry Willows (ex-Sweeney hard man, John Thaw) is content in his uneventful life, one of his few domestic contacts being Enid (Mrs Thompson), who…

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1 9 8 9 (UK) 4 x 50 minute episodes Dennis Potter is arguably the most important creative figure in the history of British television. From 1965 until his death in 1994, he constructed a personal work of such depth and…

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1 9 8 1 (UK) 6 x 55 minute episodes This BBC2 series cast Michael Elphick as small-time German crook and wheeler-dealer Gerhard Schulz, who had spent two spells in Spandau prison for fraud, before being sent to work in an…

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1 9 9 8 (UK) 3 x 60 minute episodes During World War I, a group of wounded soldiers returned from France to recuperate in England. Among them was a mute amnesiac (Peak Practice star Gary Mavers) who had been found wandering…

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Playing electronic instruments and singing openly gay lyrics in a shrill falsetto, this London trio burst onto a complacent music scene in 1984. Scottish-born Jimmy Somerville had a memorably piercing voice and the duo of Larry Steinbachek and Steve Bronski…

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Formed in the Pacific Northwest in the mid-1980s before a musical movement even existed there, Screaming Trees embodied the post-punk and psychedelic elements that later bands would commercialise. Screaming Trees’ 1985 debut EP, Other Worlds, was released on Velvetone and…

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South Londoner Terry Dene (born Terence Williams) was one of many early UK rockers to benefit from the opportunity to sing at London’s 2i’s Coffee Bar – The same venue that helped the early musical careers of Tommy Steele, Cliff…

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In Britain, Radio 1 and Top of the Pops began in the Sixties, but by 1970 the Disc Jockeys (or DJ’s) had been elevated to stardom, and many were household names; Tony Blackburn, David ‘Diddy’ Hamilton, Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman, Dave Lee Travis,…

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1 9 1 7 – 1 9 6 3 Born in 1917, John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the second son of a millionaire Democrat power-broker, Joseph P Kennedy. Jack graduated from Harvard in 1940 and saw service with the Marines during…

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Cynthia Plaster Caster was born Cynthia Albritton in Chicago in May 1947. The only child of Lithuanian-Americans from Chicago’s Southside, she was shy and unpopular at school and developed a thing for English men and for rock musicians. In college…

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Designer Barbara Hulanicki began running a mail-order fashion operation in 1964 with her husband Stephen Fitzsimon. They felt that the price of fashion was too high for many so they promoted a “throw away and buy another” philosophy, and the…

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Sabrina (her real name was Norma Sykes – the name Sabrina was invented by the BBC) drove British men to distraction in the 1950s with her version of the fuller figure. With vital statistics of 42-19-36 she was an enormous…

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John Peel (born John Ravenscroft in 1939) cut his teeth as a DJ in the USA, working on stations in Dallas, Oklahoma and San Bernadino, California. He covered the assassination of President John F Kennedy before the advent of Beatlemania…

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Once upon a time, there were girls (and occasionally guys) who took pride in the mere act of bedding rock stars. Some of them even became celebrities in their own right and honed this ability to a fine art. There…

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The GTOs were a “group of groupies” in the late 1960s, comprising Miss Pamela (Pamela Des Barres), Miss Sparky (Linda Sue Parker), Miss Lucy (Lucy McLaren), Miss Christine (Christine Frka), Miss Sandra (Sandra Leano), Miss Mercy (Mercy Fontentot) and Miss Cynderella…

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The LG Hawkins company introduced its “heated sideboard” in 1931, but it was 22 years before one of its designers, Eddy Maciejewski, thought of making it mobile. The Hostess – a plug-in heated metal sideboard on wheels that resembled a…

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Cold War America was a hotbed of fear and suspicion of possible Communist infiltrators and spies – known as ‘the enemy within’ – and the resulting atmosphere of hysteria enabled the unscrupulous activities of one rogue Senator to blight the lives of…

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A fifth Australian television channel began broadcasting on Channel 0 in Sydney and Melbourne on Friday 24 October 1980 – United Nations Day. Bruce Gyngell, whose face was the first to appear on television in Australia when it debuted on…

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1966 was, in all respects, a crucial turning point for the black movement in America. In that year the Black Panther party was founded in Oakland, California, and Stokely Carmichael coined the slogan of ‘Black Power’. The failure of the US anti-poverty programme…

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The war in Vietnam ended abruptly on 30 April 1975.  Saigon surrendered almost without a struggle as North Vietnamese tanks rolled into the city and knocked down the gates of the Presidential palace. Convoys of lorries carrying thousands of jubilant…

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In his sporting prime, Orenthal James Simpson – a.k.a. The Juice – was an American institution. Born in San Francisco in 1947, he played American Football for the University of Southern California, winning the 1968 Heisman Trophy for the most…

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In 1945, at the end of WWII, Germany was divided into a Soviet Zone in the East, and British, French and American Zone in the West. The border between East and West Germany was closed on 26 May 1953. Control…

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January 01 – In Britain, the Farthing (¼ of a penny) is withdrawn from circulation and ceases to be legal tender. 02 – Oral contraceptives for women go on sale in Australia. 03 – US severs diplomatic relations with Cuba.…

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January 01 – The Watergate criminal trial ends. Aides of former President Nixon (John N. Mitchell, H. R. Haldeman, Robert Mardian and John D. Ehrlichman) are found guilty of trying to cover up. 01 – The University of Wollongong (in…

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