Rhodes – tape 2313

The tape opens with the end of an episode of The Legacy of Reginald Perrin. Then a trailer for Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia.

Then a brief bespoke ad for Clive Anderson All Talk with Joan Rivers.

Then we have the seventh episode of Rhodes, a big, important historical drama about Cecil Rhodes.

Look, I know it’s shirking my duty, but I honestly can’t bring myself to watch this. I’ve already sat through Diana Her True Story tonight, I can’t take any more. And just from the ‘Previously on’ this looks like a grumpy parade of men in moustaches and funny hats.

Anyway, this episode is Upsetting the ApplecartBBC One London, 27 October 1996 21.00

This is followed by The Reckoning, the final episode. BBC One London, 3 November 1996 21.15

According to the continuity announcer, the programme was running ten minutes late, after the earlier TV60 awards ceremony Auntie’s All Time Greats, the programme at which, controversially, Doctor Who won the award for Best Drama after a concerted drive by fans to vote for it.

After this episode, there’s a trailer for the adaptation of Iain Banks’ The Crow Road. Featuring a very young looking Peter Capaldi.

Peter Capaldi in Crow Road

There’s also a trailer for Absolutely Fabulous.

Then we get an episode of Clive Anderson All Talk, his BBC chat show. His first guest is Mikhail Gorbachev. It’s an awkward interview, having to go through a translator, but even given that, it’s clear that Gorbachev’s ousting by Yeltsin might have been the worst thing they could do. He comes across as funny, warm and realistic.

In contrast, the next guest is Steve Coogan as Tony Ferrino. I always thought Ferrino was one of his less successful, not to my taste.

Here’s the whole programme. I like the credits, featuring BBC Television Centre.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 3 November 1996 22.10

There’s a ‘due to the unique way the BBC is funded’ advert with Michael Palin.

Then a trailer for Omnibus on the Royal Court theatre.

Next, as part of the TV60 season, Stephen Tompkinson presents a special edition of Everyman looking at 60 years of God on TV. It opens with a very welcome clip of Kenny Everett.

Kenny Everett

Also appearing is Yusuf Islam (the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens) being very mealy mouthed about Salman Rushdie’s fatwa.

BBC Genome: BBC One London, 3 November 1996 22.45

After a trailer for Watching the Box, and one for Crimewatch, there’s the first part of a courtroom drama, AccusedBBC One London, 3 November 1996 23.35

There’s another trailer for Billy Connolly’s World Tour of Australia, and the trailer for The Crow Road again.

Then there’s the start of Harry Hook’s adaptation of William Golding’s paedophobic tract, Lord of the Flies. The tape stops after about 18 minutes of this film.



  1. “I know it’s shirking my duty, but I honestly can’t bring myself to watch (“Rhodes”).”

    As I recall, neither did most other viewers.

    I’ve got the soundtrack CD – why James Newton Howard didn’t sue Alan Parker for ripping off his music for “Wyatt Earp” I will never know.

  2. The Tony Ferrino interview on Clive Anderson has always baffled me because in the autumn of 1996 Coogan did a load of guest appearances – he was on Live and Kicking and Des O’Connor, as well as the Royal Variety Performance – in character, but the Ferrino show itself wasn’t on until Christmas, so most viewers will have had no idea what the context was. He was always introduced as “Steve Coogan’s new character” so I wonder if the idea was to launch him as if he was a real singer, before revealing it was Coogan, but they chickened out and instead opted for a rather awakward compromise.

    I think this weird launch rather stymied the character because the actual Ferrino show is brilliant (the main one, the “interview” a few days later was rubbish) but he’d already been considered a flop by then because the record was a flop.

    1. I think by the time the actual Tony Ferrino show came out, I was already bored with the character – I think you’re right and the whole handling of the character was misconceived.

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