Extreme formed in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1985 around Gary Cherone (vocals), Nuno Bettencourt (guitars and keyboards), Paul Geary (drums and percussion), and Pat Badger (bass guitar). Their self-titled debut album was issued in March 1989, producing the single Kid Ego,…

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Weak-kneed and fumbling GI Ernie Williams (Danny Kaye) impersonates a one-eyed English general in 1944 and becomes the victim of a Nazi assassination plot. Ernie discovers there is some recompense for his self-afflicted predicament. It is the general’s wife, Lady…

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Predictable and sentimental but nonetheless entertaining is this account of a small-town spinster no longer young who, after a trouble-strewn path to the altar, makes a match whilst in New York for a convention. Lonely and shy Evie Jackson (Geraldine…

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One of Britain’s most popular and prolific comic actresses, Liz Fraser was born Elizabeth Joan Winch on 14 August 1930 in Southwark, London. Her father was a travelling salesman for a brewery, and her mother owned a corner shop just…

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1 9 8 0 (Australia) 6 x 25 minute episodes An elderly man named Charlie Reeves (Alwyn Kurts) recalls his teenage years in a seaside town in Victoria (Australia) in the years between the First and Second World Wars in this…

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1 9 7 4 (UK) 13 x 50 minute episodes Based on Winifred Holtby’s 1936 novel of the same name, this Yorkshire Television production was voted the Society of Film and Television Arts’ Best Drama Series for 1974. Beginning in 1932,…

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1 9 8 8 (Australia) This Australian comedy show starred Andrew Denton and is notable for beginning the television careers of many Australian performers, including Flacco, Bob Downe and Roy & HG. The late-night time slot produced more adult humour and…

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1 9 6 8 (UK) 13 x 15 minute episodes With the magic word “Herbidaceous” the gate to the walled herb garden of Sir Basil (“the king of the herbs”) and Lady Rosemary would open revealing such wonderfully named characters as…

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1 9 6 5 – 1 9 7 0 (USA) 138 x 30 minute episodes 1 9 9 5 (USA) 7 x 30 minute episodes “I asked you not to tell me that!” The premise of this cult-classic television comedy series is…

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1 9 6 7 (UK) 13 x 50 minute episodes Mickey Dunne followed the misadventures of the titular gambling streetwise Cockney wide-boy who managed to survive on his wits and gift of the gab as he picked his way from one…

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1 9 6 0 – 1 9 6 2 (UK) 32 x 25 minute episodes This BBC comedy series was a superb vehicle for Sid James – Essentially a spin-off from the character played by James in Hancock’s Half Hour. When Tony…

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1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 6 (UK) 12 x 30 minute episodes In Fairly Secret Army, writer David Nobbs took the basics of his Jimmy Anderson character from The Fall And Rise Of Reginald Perrin extended the personality and landed a…

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Chicken Shack formed in Kidderminster, Worcester in 1967. They were a heavily blues-based rock band featuring Stan Webb, who has often been compared to Freddie King in his vocal and guitar technique. Thrown in at the deep end, the occasion was the…

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Dino, Desi and Billy had one of the best introductions to the entertainment world that any neophyte trio could hope for. Two of the three members came from highly successful show business backgrounds. Dino Martin – the son of crooner/actor…

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Medicine Head (ostensibly a duo comprising John Fiddler and Peter Hope Evans) formed in Stafford in 1968 and came to prominence when championed by influential DJ John Peel, who signed them to his own Dandelion label. The angelic Hope Evans…

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Malcolm Robert Andrew McLaren was born on 22 January 1946 in North London. His father left when he was two and he and his brother Stuart were raised by his maternal grandmother. Leaving home in his teens, he attended several art colleges,…

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Before directing Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982) and causing outrage in the US with his post-apocalyptic tele-feature The Day After (1983), novelist Nicholas Meyer directed this clever piece about a guilt-ridden HG Wells (Malcolm McDowell) pursuing Dr John Lesley Stevenson…

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Grieving parents Jim (James Booth) and Carol (Joan Collins) Radford discover the man who allegedly kidnapped, raped and murdered their 10-year-old daughter, Jenny, has been released by the police because of a lack of evidence. Publican Jim is persuaded by…

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Vietnam veteran and Colorado melon grower Vince Majestyk (Charles Bronson) just wants to harvest his watermelons and live in peace on his farm. But small-time protection-racket thug Bobby Kopas (Paul Koslo) has different ideas. When his Mexican workers are threatened,…

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Which bright-spark decided that orange-flavoured sugar powder + water = juice? The drink mix was created in 1957 by a food scientist at General Foods Corporation called William Mitchell (who also invented Pop Rocks, Cool Whip, a form of instant-set…

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Wrigley’s launched their Spearmint brand in 1893. As the name implies, the gum is flavoured with the spearmint plant. Originally given away free with the purchase of baking soda, the gum became so popular that it was eventually sold separately.…

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“B-11”. “nah!” “A-3” “D’oh . . . You sunk my battleship!”. In this “classic naval combat game” the open seas were cluttered with ships of war, five on each side. But unlike real war, these nautical stood perfectly still and…

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This was the first practical way to play recorded music in your car and was invented by Bill Lear and developed in the 1960s by a diverse consortium including RCA Records and the Lear Jet Company. A 4-track cartridge first…

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The key to successful surgery is a steady hand. Of course, it is also handy to have a patient whose nose lights up red when you take out the wrong kidney. That’s exactly what happened when you made a surgical…

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The diesel-powered High Speed Train (HST) known as the InterCity 125 was built by British Rail between 1975 and 1982. With its familiar sloping nose, it could run at speeds of up to 125 mph, hence its name. The prototype…

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“Nimble is for girls like this: at their best in bikinis. Fit and slim, nimble and neat.” Launched in Britain in 1955 and marketed as “diet bread” –  with the slogan “Real Bread . . . but lighter” –  Nimble…

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Show them you’re a Slimcea girl “You’re slimming. Cutting out things like bread. But you’ve got to keep fit. And that means eating proper meals. Like Breakfast . . . it wouldn’t be a proper meal without toast. Nor would…

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January 01 – David Dinkins is sworn in as New York City’s first black mayor. 02 – World population passes five billion. In 1960 it was three billion. 03 – Manuel Noriega surrenders to US forces, ten days after taking…

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January 01 – Golda Meir wins Israeli election. 01 – 38 Italians die when an Italia Airlines Fokker Friendship crashes near Turin. There are four survivors. 02 – US legislation for a national speed limit of 55 mph is signed…

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January 02 – Erica Roe Streaks at Twickenham. 03 – South Korea lifts its night-time curfew after 36 years. 05 – Public donations to the Penlee lifeboat disaster fund amount to £2,000,000. All to be shared by the families of…

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January 02 – Ideological purity has reached the superficially cosy world of the nursery. In an attempt to excise any taint of racism, all new editions of Enid Blyton’s Noddy books will be shorn of the traditional black golliwogs, who will…

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January 01 – Albanian fighters shoot down a British freight plane that allegedly strayed into Albanian airspace. 01 – The European Economic Community (the “common market”) comes into being. The UK is not included. 01 – West German forces join…

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January 01 – A new law comes into effect in California, prohibiting people from smoking in bars and restaurants. 05 – Sonny Bono (of Sonny & Cher fame) dies in a skiing accident at South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Ski Resort…

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January 01 – 11 European countries replace their national currencies with the newly created ‘Euro’, a single European currency. Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Holland, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Finland, Ireland and Luxembourg all make the switch. The actual circulation of Euro…

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January 01 – The dictator of Cuba, Fulgencio Batista, is overthrown by Fidel Castro’s guerrillas and flees to the Dominican Republic. 02 – Fidel Castro proclaims a new government in Cuba. 02 – The USSR launches lunar rocket Luna 1…

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