A Local Shop For Local People

With the excellent news that The League Of Gentlemen will be returning to our screens for three new episodes in the autumn, it’s remarkable how many of their seemingly grotesque characters are born from encounters with real people.

We all know that the Local Shop is based on a visit to Brighton for the gang’s first ever live outing as the League at Komedia.

But even Papa Lazarou stems from reality.

Pauline is based on a real Restart officer Reece had when he was unemployed.

While The Dentons have their genesis in a family one of the Gents stayed with one time.

Charlie and Stella are based on a chance encounter had in a restaurant, where a couple were witnessed conversing with one another through the waiter.

While Ollie Plimsolls is based on an actor Reece worked with in community theatre.

Anyway, can’t wait for the new episodes.

What Else Was On Telly Thirty Years Ago Today?

A year ago today, I wondered what was on TV thirty years ago that day. Seems like a good time to revisit that idea, and using the BBC Genome Project, we can see what was on a year later.

BBC One started its day with Pages From Ceefax, before Edgar Kennedy and the Weather led us into Breakfast Time. Then this episode of The Pink Panther came on.

More news, and Children’s BBC started for the morning, beginning with Boss Cat (Yes, Top Cat, I know), and some Hartbeat.

After the cricket, with interruptions for the news, Neighbours and Dallas, the afternoon run of Children’s BBC included an episode of Galloping Galaxies!, which we revisited here a while ago. After Gentle Ben, where you’d expect to see Neighbours, we actually have Roland Rat – The Series.

The evening began with Wogan at 7pm, guest hosted by Selena Scott, and moved on to Every Second Counts.

After Dynasty, and the news, Michael Caine hosted a tribute to J Arthur Rank (no giggling at the back) in The Golden Gong.

Then Omnibus went to The Proms, before we closed the night with a film called Black Christmas.



Bob’s Full House

How many of Bob Monkhouse’s game shows do you remember?

There’s The Golden Shot of course.

Then he did Quick On The Draw for a year, before other people took over hosting duties.

And then onto Celebrity Squares, which he hosted through the 70s, and again in the 90s.

My first real memory of him on TV was hosting Family Fortunes, in the early part of the 1980s.

Then he moved to the BBC, and did the wonderful Bob’s Full House.

Before popping back to ITV for The $64,000 Question (top prize: £6400). Here’s a lovely outtake from that show.

At the same time as doing Bob’s Your Uncle.

And then back to the Beeb, to take over from Paul Daniels on Wipeout. I seem to remember there being a bit of a kerfuffle when it was discovered there wasn’t actually an audience in the studio, and one had been added in post.

Along the way there was also Monkhouse’s Memory Masters, For Love Or Money, Do You Trust Your Wife?, Carnival Time, and Bury Your Hatchet.