Here’s something more to my taste. Big Train, the sketch show created by Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, which featured Simon Pegg, Mark Heap, the actor Kevin Eldon and Julia Davis among its cast.
There’s a pleasing sense of surrealism in the sketches here, particularly the showjumpers who are obsessed with firefighters, and the boss who uses magic tricks to distract his workers from complaining – Mark Heap is a very good juggler, we find. And there’s a wild west gunfight between The Bee Gees and Chaka Khan.
The only parts I never liked were the World Championship of Staring.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 9th November 1998 – 22:00
Episode two features the classic ‘jockeys in Africa’ sketches.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 16th November 1998 – 22:00
The third episode features Emperor Ming relaxing at home.
And Portaccio, the greatest Shakespeare lookalike the world has ever seen. Played by series co-creator Arthur Mathews.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 23rd November 1998 – 22:00
Next episode features Hitler in the green room after Nuremberg.
Simon Pegg fashions a bra and pants out of a flipchart.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 30th November 1998 – 22:00
The next episode looks at Hall & Oates helping out with local community problems.
You might spot series co-creator Graham Linehan in the community meeting.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th December 1998 – 22:00
The next episode brings us Sweary Florence Nightingale
George Martin is kidnapped by terrorists
There’s a New Romantic auction
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th December 1998 – 22:00
After this, there’s a Video Nation featuring Anthony Sayonas from Liverpool. Then, an episode of Newsnight starts, looking at a treatment for male infertility. This recording stops as Newsnight starts, and underneath, part of On Air The Truth About TV looking at fake news reports about the drug scene in Germany, presented by David Aaronovitch.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 30th November 1998 – 23:15
After this, there’s a trailer for Human Rights Season. Then Peter Cockroft presents the weather. Then another trailer for Naked.
Then, Andrew Neil presents Dispatch Box.
BBC Genome: BBC Two – 1st December 1998 – 00:00
After this, The Learning Zone starts, rather incongruously, with a clip from The Brittas Empire.
The tape stops during Containing The Pacific.