One Foot in the Grave – Victoria Wood – Live In Your Own Home – Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show – tape 1781

There’s an older recording just at the start of this tape. “…series about a writer caught up in a confused world of fantasy and r…” but that’s all I have. Any ideas?

This is soon overwritten by a newer recording, with the end of Robin Hood Price of Thieves.

Then there’s trailers for Dick TracyThe Lenny Henry Christmas Show and Victoria Wood Live in your Own Home.

Then, the first in a new series of One Foot in the Grave. It’s The Man Who Blew Away.

Victor likes dunking chocolates.

Chocolate Dunker

Neighbour Angus Deayton takes the dog for a walk.

Walkies

Victor has a sudden houseguest, played by Brian Murphy.

Brian Murphy

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th December 1994 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trailer for a Richard Briers comedy, Down To Earth. One for the French and Saunders Christmas Special.

Then, another Christmas treat, Victoria Wood Live In Your Own Home.

Victoria Wood

I should be enjoying this, and I am, sort of, but I just can’t help being reminded that Victoria Wood is yet another of those brilliant people that 2016 has torn from us too early. I’m writing this two days after the US election, so I’m sorry if some of my despair seeps into these entries.

This is an entirely one woman show, with a few songs, some stand-up, and a couple of character monologues. Lovely stuff.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th December 1994 – 21:40

After this, a trailer for The Butcher’s Wife. Then for Carrott-U-Like, which I don’t remember at all.

Then, a news round-up with Jill Dando – I’m always slightly sad when I see her on programmes. A hijack of an Air France plane in Algeria is leading the report. Also a suicide bomber in Jerusalem.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th December 1994 – 22:30

There’s a trailer for Cold Comfort Farm. And one for The Lenny Henry Christmas Show.

Then, another treat, with a repeat of the 1971 Morecambe and Wise Christmas Show. We get plenty of compilations of their stuff, but it’s rare to get a whole single show repeated.

There’s a brief guest appearance from Dick Emery (as the punchline to a gag).

Dick Emery

There’s music from Los Zafiros

Los Zafiros

Another musical guest is the wonderful Shirley Bassey. She gets to do two numbers, a comedy sketch around Smoke Gets in your Eyes, and then she gets to do Diamonds Are Forever.

Shirley Bassey

Next guest is star conductor Andre Previn.

Andre Previn

This is the classic sketch where Eric plays Grieg’s Piano Concerto. Sort of. Sublime.

Next it’s the turn of Glenda Jackson.

Glenda Jackson

“Dame Glenda? I’m sorry Eric, it’s just plain Glenda.”

She performs in a musical number with a number of familiar faces, like Cliff Michelmore

Cliff Michelmore

Frank Bough

Frank Bough

Eddie Waring

Eddie Waring

Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore

Michael Parkinson

Michael Parkinson

and Robert Dougall

Robert Dougall

BBC Genome: BBC One – 25th December 1994 – 22:40

Having said that it’s nice to have a complete show repeated instead of a compilation, the end credits reveal that we didn’t actually get the whole show. Several people, including Francis Matthews and Arthur Tolcher (the harmonica player who would always be interrupted with “Not now, Arthur”) are listed, but absent from this broadcast. And checking the listing, this was a 45 minute slot, but the original broadcast (BBC One – 25th December 1971 – 20:00) had a 65 minute slot, so there was plenty missing.

I feel cheated now.

Incidentally, the film that was broadcast after the original broadcast is Arabesque – that’s the film that I kept thinking was Charade, and I would lay odds on that Christmas Day broadcast being the one I originally saw.

After this, recording switches to Channel 4 for But Seriously, a look at political stand-up, interspersed with newsreel and news footage of contemporary events.

Particularly today, it’s chilling to see the news reports, with white politicians talking about ‘negroes’, and saying “show me that you are as good as the white man and can live in his area”. And “Negroes have a right to move in under the constitution, the only thing is what kind of negro?” I had thought such open racism was long a thing of the past. Not today.

Among the many comedians featured in this programme are Mort Sahl

Mort Sahl

George Carlin

George Carlin

Richard Pryor (who, incidentally, sings in this, and has a great voice)

Richard Pryor

Godfrey Cambridge

Godfrey Cambridge

Jackie Mason

Jackie Mason

Lenny Bruce

Lenny Bruce

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin

Not a comedian, here’s Fred Thompson, Minority Counsel in the hearings on the Watergate affair. He would go on to appear in Die Hard 2 as the head of Air Traffic Control. “Rack ’em, pack ’em and stack ’em”

Fred Thompson

Mark Russell appears to be the wannabee Tom Lehrer that the Simpsons poked fun at in the episode where Lisa goes to Washington.

Mark Russell

Early stand-up from Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg

Now we’re deep into Reagan’s tenure, here’s Bill Hicks

Bill Hicks

Billy Crystal

Billy Crystal

and Robin Williams

Robin Williams

Dennis Miller talks about AIDS

Dennis Miller

Eric Bogosian

Eric Bogosian

Richard Belzer

Richard Belzer

Bobcat Goldthwaite

Bobcat Goldthwaite

Eddie Murphy

Eddie Murphy

Rick Ducommun

Rick Ducommun

Jimmy Tingle, a comedian whose sharp political material always seemed a bit undercut by his overly comic name.

Jimmy TIngle

Bill Maher

Bill Maher

Will Durst

Will Durst

George Wallace

George Wallace

Ellen Cleghorne

Ellen Cleghorne

It was rather depressing to watch, this week in particular.

After this, recording continues for a time, with the start of John Boorman’s bonkers SF fable Zardoz which, I am amused to see, co-stars John Alderton. The tape runs out after a few minutes of Sean Connery in a big nappy.

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2 comments

  1. Nice to see in But Seriously that the captions were in the Casual font, which used to be ubiquitous on TV in the eighties and early nineties. Very much the equivalent of the modern day Comic Sans.

    In the One Foot book, David Renwick points out that they wanted him to write a Christmas special but he couldn’t think of anything so he decided just to set the first episode of the series at Christmas and make it a bit longer, therefore creating a de facto special (though buggering it up for future repeats). Renwick always used to enjoy casting Brian Murphy in his shows because he thought he was such a funny actor, but always used to kill him off – he dies in this episode, and then a few years later he was killed off in an episode of Jonathan Creek as well.

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