The Purple Rose Of Cairo – A Sticky New Year – tape 891

This tape starts with the end of Chris Evert’s Wimbledon Farewell.

There’s a trailer for Hannah and her Sisters.

Then The Purple Rose of Cairo. Woody Allen’s version of The Last Action Hero.

Mia Farrow plays a woman, married to a boorish unemployed Danny Aiello, who finds escape in the movies.

She goes to see the movie The Purple Rose of Cairo several times, when suddenly, one of the characters, Tom Baxter (Jeff Daniels) starts talking directly to Farrow. Then he walks out of the screen and leaves the movie house with her.

The rest of the characters in the movie don’t know what to do without Tom, so they sit around waiting for him to return, to the confusion of the audience, and soon, the press and studio. The film cast includes John Wood and Edward Hermann.

The actor who plays Tom, Gil Shepherd, thinks Tom walking around could damage his career, and his agent, Michael Tucker, tells him he needs to sort it out.

Shepherd runs into Farrow and then confronts Tom, telling him he has to go back to the movie. Tom wants to stay in the real world.

It turns into an existential question about whether reality is better than fiction. And in the end, Tom goes back onto the screen as Farrow chooses real life with Gil, who says he’s fallen in love with her.

But there’s no happy ending for Farrow, as Shepherd heads back to Hollywood as soon as Tom’s back in the movie, leaving her alone with just the movies.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 31st December 1989 – 19:15

After this, there’s a trailer for Drama on Two, including Simon Gray’s Old Flames.

Then, recording continues with the start of Sviatoslav Richter at the Barbican.

Shortly into this, recording switches to Channel 4 later in this New Year’s Eve.

It’s Channel 4’s live New Year programme, Sticky Moments Live with Julian Clary.

It’s not the most edifying of New Year experiences. A little of Clary’s shambolic pseudo-quiz goes a long way. And they spared no expense with the countdown graphics to midnight.

The audience sound like they’ve had a drink or two, shouting out random rubbish when Julian is recounting an anecdote. It’s all a bit Stag Night comedy club audience, and not particularly entertaining.

After this, recording continues. You can tell this is before Channel 4 sold their own ads, as during the ad break there’s quite a long section with just this caption, because LWT (or Thames) didn’t sell enough ads to fit the timeslot.

The tape then runs out during some live American Football.


  • Norwich Union
  • Highland Spring
  • trail: Treasure Hunt
  • trail: Tanita Tikaram – Ancient Heart
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises
  • Miller Lite
  • Renault 19 Chamaude
  • 7Up
  • Black & Decker
  • trail: ‘Round Midnight
  • Rover Metro – Michael Barrymore
  • Butlin’s
  • Labatt’s – Tony Slattery
  • London Underground
  • Marathon
  • Heineken
  • World Cup 90 stickers
  • Esso
  • Castella Classic – Russ Abbott
  • British Airways
  • Labatt’s – Tony Slattery
  • The Sofabed Factory
  • When Harry Met Sally in cinemas


  1. “Woody Allen’s version of The Last Action Hero.” What a depressing concept. Although at least he wouldn’t have put in a cartoon cat.

    Too bad she just didn’t enter the movie itself…

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