Notes And Queries – Joking Apart – The Dave Allen Show – tape 1500

Here’s something a bit different. It’s the first episode of the Clive Anderson TV version of Notes And Queries, based on the column in The Guardian. Amazingly, one of the jokey examples of a question he throws out in his introduction is “Whatever happened to Spangles?” which I thought was an internet cliche, but clearly it predates the general popular web.

There’s a fascinating chat to a man who was in a lift that fell down a lift shaft.

Carol Vorderman works out how much Judas’ 30 pieces of silver would be worth today.

There’s a strangely heated discussion about the best way to dispose of dead people.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th January 1993 – 20:30

After this, the first episode of Joking Apart. This is the first episode of the series proper, not the original pilot, which I think I’ve got somewhere, and I think is different. It was Steven Moffat’s first sitcom for grown-ups, and his success with Press Gang. Mark and Becky meet when he turns up for a party at the wrong address, and accidentally comes to a funeral.

Whilst I do like this show, and find it funny, as time has gone on, I dislike the character of Mark (based on Moffat himself and his experience of divorce) more and more. He really is pretty awful, and Becky was quite right to leave him. Having said that, the final scene, where Becky tells him she wants a divorce, while all her friends are hiding ready for a surprise party, is masterful.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th January 1993 – 21:00

After this, recording switches to The Dave Allen Show, on ITV. Somehow, I miss the sketches he used to have in the BBC show. His material maybe isn’t the sharpest, but his delivery is still great.

After this, another episode of Notes And Queries which we join just as the opening credits finish. A man and a woman try to answer why is water wet, and it’s like every argument on Twitter except he doesn’t threaten to kill her.

Frank Muir talks about the most poignant passage in the English language, and also about his particular inability to pronounce the letter ‘R’. “I can’t order the book Rural Rides on the phone”

Carol Vorderman talks about the Querty keyboard.

There’s a discussion about how secret is the secret ballot.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th January 1993 – 20:30

Then, episode Two of Joking Apart. I’m finding it hard to sympathise with Mark now Becky has left him for another man. But at least Tracy is there to help. I do like Tracie Bennett’s performance in this.

Also, there’s an awkward ‘gay panic’ joke.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th January 1993 – 21:00

After this, another episode of The Dave Allen Show.

The tape ends after this.


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