Not the Nine O’Clock News – Shooting Stars – Have I Got News For You – Funny For Money – tape 2068

This tape opens with the end of Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course. I think I’ve mentioned my total lack of interest in wine before. It’s like all those people who join CAMRA and use sites like untappd to tweet about the ‘malty, hoppy’ IPA they’re currently enjoying. Of course, that’s totally different to when I tweet pictures of food, obviously. I’m not a hypocrite.

There’s a trailer for Nice Work – not the David Nobbs novel, but a documentary about how hard it is to work these days.

There’s also a trail for the new series of University Challen with Jeremy Paxman.

Then, an episode of Not The Nine O’Clock News. These are always compilations, which I think is sad. I’d really like to see an unedited release of these shows, if only for completeness.

The opening sketch is a classic, the drunk darts players.

Fat Darts Players

With guest appearance by Jim Carter as the announcer. I wonder why Rowan wasn’t used.

Jim Carter

I’ve always liked the montages they used for the titles, and I wonder if part of that is that news footage in those days still was mostly shot on film, which works with the intercutting with other stock footage. I wonder if you did a similar montage today, how it would play.

Rowan Atkinson plays Lord Carrington in a Question Time sketch.

Rowan Atkinson as Lord Carrington

In a musical number, Headbanger, Mel Smith sings “I’m 42, my girfriend’s 8, I do as I please.”


There’s a ‘conservative conference’ sketch that could almost be played today.

And the classic ‘Gerald the Gorilla’ sketch.

Gerald the Gorilla

Closing musical number is ‘I Like Bouncing’

I Like Bouncing

And the epilogue is Abou Ben Adhem

Abou Ben Adhem

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th October 1995 – 21:00

There’s a trailer for My Secret Life

Then a short The Day Today episode.

There’s a trailer for Have I Got News for You.

Then, Shooting Stars featuring Shane Richie and Caroline Hook

Shane Richie, Caroline Hook, Mark Lamarr

And Simon Bates and Danny Baker

Simon Bates, Danny Baker, Ulrikka Jonsson

With a brief appearance from Charlie Higson as Camp ‘Arry.

Charlie Higson

Danny Baker isn’t that happy playing along with the gag, it feels like.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th October 1995 – 21:30

After this there’s a trailer for On The Road Again. And for University Challenge.

Then, Have I Got News For You with guests Gordon Kennedy

Gordon Kennedy

And Paula Yates.

Paula Yates

I think Ian was a bit hostile towards Paula Yates here. I did feel slightly sorry for her, and in retrospect, even sorrier.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 27th October 1995 – 22:00

Before the next programme, the end of another of Jancis Robinson’s Wine Course.

There’s a trail for Modern Times: Tory Wives

There’s another episode of Not The Nine O’Clock News including “My aunt, who I live with, has a parrot…”

There’s the Union negotiations sketch which, I’d forgotten, featured Jim Broadbent.

Jim Broadbent and Mel Smith

John McEnroe at breakfast

Griff Rhys Jones as John McEnroe

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd November 1995 – 21:00

There’s another short Day Today mini episode.

Trailers for Coogan’s Run and Running on Empty.

Then, Shooting Stars featuring Muriel Grey and Annabel Giles

Muriel Grey and Annabel Giles

David Baddiel and Paul Shane

Paul Shane David Baddiel

It’s possible this show might be growing on me.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd November 1995 – 21:30

After this, there’s a trail for a new season of Screen Two films – including a glimpse of John Hurt, who died only a few days ago as I write this. The blog’s death-watch continues, sadly, although with someone like John Hurt it would be amazing if he didn’t turn up on a tape from this era.

John Hurt

There’s also a trail for Later with Jools Holland.

Then, another episode of Have I Got News For You with guests Bob Mills

Bob Mills

and Alex Salmond

Alex Salmond

There’s even a brief mention of Tony Slattery in a piece about the Channel 5 franchise award, and Bob Mills said “there’s a law that he has to be on television”. SOUND THE SLATTERYWATCH KLAXON.

There’s a lovely nerdy moment when, in an odd one out round, Angus claims that Bob Holness was the first person to play James Bond, and Paul corrects him, that Barry Nelson played Bond two years before Holness played him on radio.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 3rd November 1995 – 22:00

After this episode, recording switches to the end of Newsnight. The lead news was Colin Powell’s withdrawal from the presidential race.

There’s a trailer for Timewatch, and one for the execrable Don’t Give Up your Day Job.

Then, a one-off programme, Funny for Money, in which Bob Monkhouse interviews Ben Elton about comedy.

It’s a far cry from the kind of stand-up interview that Monkhouse and Des O’Connor used to do, where they’d just give the artist feed lines, and they’d do their material. This one is a genuine interview about the craft of comedy, and Monkhouse is the perfect host, being an expert himself.

It’s a little deferential to Elton, but given the programme was devised by Bob Monkhouse – I assuming it was a pilot for a series that was never picked up – but it’s good to see some serious discussion about the nuts and bolts of comedy. Worth watching.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 8th November 1995 – 23:15

After this, there’s a trailer for The Thin Blue Line, and a Mel and Sue trailer for The Mrs Merton Show and Victoria Wood as Seen on TV.

The Weather with John Kettley is next.

Then, in a change to the published programme, because Parliament is in recess, the Midnight Hour isn’t on, and in its place there’s an Australian comedy programme called Fast Forward. The audience watching (I’m assuming it’s a live audience) seem to love it, but it’s a bit flat for me, especially on a tape that also contains Not the Nine O’Clock News.

The tape ends during this programme.



  1. Well, thank you so much for uploading Funny For Money, as despite watching and recording everything to do with comedy in those days, and being a huge Monkhouse fan, I didn’t bother with that at the time for some reason. Would have been a great series, I love his stuff at the start about how the public are more interested in comedy than ever before.

    The Paula Yates HIGNFY is still, I think, the highest rated episode of HIGNFY ever, it got about ten million viewers which it’s never got on BBC1. I really enjoyed it at the time, but haven’t watched it for years. I think Ian’s view after the event was that maybe he did go a bit far but Paula and the audience seemed OK with it.

    The other FASCINATING thing is that, as the pictures from the following week illustrate, it’s the only episode of HIGNFY where the set was green rather than red. Wow!

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