We’re back to more modern times (albeit still 20 years ago – I’m so old) with a couple of episodes of Enterprise season one starting with Fight or Flight. I haven’t found this one on any tapes, and it’s the 2nd episode of the first season, after the two-part pilot.
Hoshi found a slug, and is worried about its health. Trip: “We’ve been out here for two weeks, and the only first contact we’ve made is with a dying worm.”
Malcolm Reed is trying to improve their torpedo targeting.
Doctor Phlox overshares during dinner.
They find a mystery ship drifting, and it doesn’t respond to any hails. Archer wants to investigate, T’Pol urges caution.
On board the ship, they find a lot of dead alien bodies, attached to some kind of machine flushing out their corpses.
They leave the ship, but Archer is cross. He thinks they shouldn’t have just left the ship there. T’Pol argues that Vulcans wouldn’t even have entered the ship. But Archer wants to find out what happened.
Phlox determines that the aliens were being used to collect Triglobulin. He says it’s sometimes used as an aphrodisiac.
The aliens who were harvesting return in a very big ship.
Then, another alien ship, of the species in the harvested ship. Hoshi can’t get the universal translator to make them understand it wasn’t the Enterprise who killed their crew.
So, despite her worry that she doesn’t know the language properly, Archer tells Hoshi to communicate directly, and she’s able to make the alien understand the situation. I liked this bit.
And in case you were worried about Sluggo’s health, Hoshi gets to repatriate it on a planet more suitable for its biology. I’m looking forward to the ten part Paramount Plus series about Sluggo’s journey from dying slug to interplanetary hero.
After this episode, there’s a little bit of T4, featuring a video from Pink.
I decided I wanted to rewatch the ones I’ve already done – well why not, and now I’m slightly regretting that, as at the end of the first episode, there’s a policeman, played by Michael Redfern – more well known as the dad of the Oxo Family, who died less than two weeks ago as I write. I’m so very, very sorry.
It gets worse – he’s in episode 3 too.
And Episode 5. I feel quite bad.
So we finally reach Episode 6 – part two of a two part story. Richie and Eddie are in court after showing their bottoms on TV-AM.
The judge is played by John Wells
Filthy is sentenced to death.
Richie and Eddie have to get decent, non-showbiz work, so the only option is to become a journalist, so they go to see Dingo Wucker, played by John Bird. (That’s a Blake’s 7 Federation Guard behind him, for no reason at all.)
They are sent to dig up scandal on celebs because they’re doing too much work for charity. They choose Midge Ure (because Bob Geldof wasn’t available).
It’s nice to see Robert Dougall was still doing appearances.
Oh good god, Michael Redfern is in this one too. He’s wearing glasses. Do you think they said “he’s been it a few episodes, if we put glasses on maybe they won’t recognise him”.
Richie, Eddie and Filthy concoct smears on every celebrity going.
There’s even a Benny Hill chase around the living room.
Dingo Wucker publishes all the dirt, meaning there are no more celebrities who can appear on TV – leaving the way clear for Richie to dominate the airwaves.
However, I notice I wasn’t quite as thorough there as I seemed to have been yesterday, let’s see a few of this things I might have missed.
This starts almost on the stroke of midnight, where they play the bongs of Big Ben with pictures of twelve celebs.
I did mention it previously, but Cannon and Ball’s sketch is genuinely good.
Select-a-Sketch number 6 is more from Pete & Dud – the audition.
Another total: £2,258,561
Select-a-Sketch number 5 is another Three of a Kind sketch.
The big cheques are coming in. Burton’s sold comic relief themed clothing – I bought a pair of the boxer shorts myself.
After this the new total is £2,458,589
Jimmy Mulville and Julia Hills announce some fundraising efforts.
Select-a-Sketch number 4 is a classic: Gerald the Gorilla from Not The Nine O’Clock News.
Select-a-Sketch number 3 is the Lumberjack Sketch.
Select-a-Sketch number 2 is another NTNOCN one – Constable Savage.
Select-a-Sketch number 1, rather inevitably, is the Parrot Sketch.
There’s the result of the Comic Relief Fashion Awards, Pamela Stephenson is supposed to model the winner, but she’s pregnant.
So Wossy steps in.
Another grand total – £3,783,585
In the New Statesman sketch I love it when Alan B’Stard suddenly drops into Rik from the Young Ones
We’ve passed £4m now. The new total is £4,083,578
Hale and Pace do a bit of risqué late night humour.
Comedy from Robbie Coltrane, Imelda Staunton and Emma Thompson
A series of News-based jokes from Martyn Lewis
even Ian McCaskill
More from 73 of a kind, with Jonathan Ross and Stephen Fry
Also in the same sketch, David Threlfall
I think this is Martin Shaw
And I’m pretty sure this is Miranda Richardson
Jimmy Mulville and Helen Lederer
Sarah Green and Philip Pope
Willy Rushton and Barry Cryer
Nigel Planer and Jim Broadbent
A hospital sketch featuring Pete Beale from Eastenders
Lance Percival (with Norman Pace) delivers the punchline: “He’s with BUPA”
A piece from Nigel Planer that reminds me of an old Rowan Atkinson sketch.
A version of Macbeth set in a living room, featuring Penelope Wilton
I can’t for the life of me work out who the actor is playing Macbeth. Edit: reader Mark Cunliffe tells me this is Martin Jarvis, whoch I never would have spotted, but the voice matches.
Derek Nimmo is another vicar.
Martin Shaw in The Unprofessionals
Rory Bremner and Andy Gray
Featuring an appearance by Melvyn Hayes. This is what I loved about Comic Relief – so many faces just turn up for a small appearance.
Two Eastenders alumni – Kathryn Apanowicz and June Brown, with Stephen Frost. I just had to check the spelling of Kathryn’s name (both of them actually) and I have discovered an astonishing fact – she was married to Richard Whitely since 1994. I don’t know why that seems surprising, it’s just that when you know two famous people from two completely separate spheres, you don’t really expect them to be connected in that way. Anyway, I will always know her as Nurse Rose Butchins from Angels.
Another total: £4,283,611. It’s creeping up.
Ronnie Corbett does a monologue.
They show the University Challenge bit from The Young Ones. I never tire of that.
Max Headroom duets with his favourite person. (Aside: Who else is very excited to hear that they are bring back Max Headroom – with Matt Frewer as Max? I certainly am.)
Then the show winds up, and there’s a final total: £5,390,539. That means in the final 20 minutes they raised an extra £1.1m. I’m sure this was probably something more like collecting the pledges from around the regions, which they might not have been tracking all the time during the programme. And of course, in those days the final amount ends up being far higher, as money from events, and people walking in to the banks, bumps up the total. Wikipedia tells me that the final total was £15m – around three times the night’s total. Amazing.
The next programme is one from a tape I haven’t found, and it’s a Christmas clip show of The Last Resort, broadcast on Christmas Night according to the announcer.
Jonathan Ross has eaten too much dinner, and doesn’t feel like interviewing anyone, so he and John Benson sit back and watch some clips.
Jerry Hall does some leg wrestling
Barry Humphries, out of character for once.
They dance with the Bay City Rollers
Rex Roper whips up the audience.
Steve Martin is always good value.
Back to the present, and Jonathan tries phoning Steve Martin to see if he’s available. I wonder when this was filmed.
Donny Osmond sings Puppy Love, with Billy Bragg on backing vocals.
Carrie Fisher talks about kissing Harrison Ford.
Stevie Starr swallows a goldfish
Dawn French is excited that Tom Jones is going to be on the show.
Tom Jones sings. Not helped by Jonathan.
Monsieur Mange Tout eats a glass.
Katy Boyle is there to translate.
Brigitte Nielsen eats a sausage.
Robbie Coltrane has a beef with an audience member
They still need a musical guest, so they phone Sting, who seems to live in Steve Martin’s house. (having just checked an episode guide, Sting and Steve Martin both appeared in the same episode, hence their phone call scenes being on the same set.)
Steve Martin performs as The Great Flydini
Leslie Crowther has some life advice for Jonathan.
Bernard Manning Sings Morrissey. I was always surprised that TV shows were prepared to have Manning on, given that it was hardly a secret what a vile racist he was, but I guess the same could be said about Jim Davidson, and he was Prime Time Saturday Night entertainment for years. But the irony of him singing Morrissey songs is actually quite striking, given Morrissey’s political trajectory.
Lenny Henry relaxes
Eric Idle sings
Some knife throwing
Marie Helvin has to put up with questions about whether David Bailey was a good boyfriend.
Muriel Gray eats some cake
The Beverley Sisters
Crispin Glover brought some of his art.
Paul McCartney sings
Jonathan Phones Crispin to see if he’s available.
Here’s the whole episode.
There’s one more programme here – well, I say programme, I mean advert as it’s the very first Gold Lend Couple advert starring Sharon Maugham and Anthony Head.
On this disc, in many ways it’s a hark back to the very start of this blog, as the first tape I looked at was from one of the many nights of Comic Relief, but this disc has one of those that’s been missing, and it’s the first half of the very first Night Of Comic Relief, the first Friday Night telethon following the successful launch of Comic Relief with the stage show at the Shaftesbury that I looked at recently.
So let’s don our red noses and see where it all almost started.
Even Terry Wogan is watching..
Fun with the BBC Globe.
The hosts for the night are Lenny Henry and Griff Rhys Jones
With Jonathan Ross off to one side, in case his suits alarm the children.
There’s a look at how it all started, with the Famine in Ethiopia, Band Aid, Live Aid, and the Shaftesbury Theatre show.
Stavros is in the Telecom Tower.
Along with Mike Smith.
Remember the endless lists of local numbers? Also, who had a Style card? I don’t think I ever saw one, or even knew what it was. And yet there it is underneath the Visa. Don’t call any of these numbers, as your vote won’t count and you may still be charged.
Mike Yarwood does Prince Charles.
In this Crimewatch sketch, I’m pretty sure that’s Warren Clarke in the back.
Clare Rayner, Rory McGrath and Les Dennis.
and George Layton.
Paul Daniels and Michael Grade. “You don’t mind me calling you sir, do you? It’s only in fun.”
Russ Abbot and Roy Castle
Leslie Crowther as the Devil
Ernie Wise and Nerys Hughes
and Peter Howitt
Jim Davidson is given access to children.
Rod Hull and Emu show the winners of a drawing competition.
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie put Andy Crane in the gunk tank.
This will probably be the only reference to Doctor Who on the show, it being 1988 and the show being rather unpopular in the BBC.
Frank Bruno has a sore throat.
There’s A Question of Spit, with David Coleman. “Errrrrrr. Emlyn!”
With real appearances from Barry McGuigan, Daley Thompson and Mike Gatting.
And at the end, David Coleman gets his revenge.
A sketch from Tracey Ullman and David Copperfield.
Back to Telecom Tower, Kim Wilde is there to introduce a clip from the Comic Relief Christmas single.
She performed with Mel Smith
Also there are Clare Rayner and Bill Oddie
Back to the Studio with Little and Large.
The first running total is £417,672.
There’s a look at some of the fundraising going on around the country.
Brian Blessed is climbing a mountain.
Rory Bremner does a set.
Victoria Wood and Julie Walters
Jonathan Ross drops his trousers for charity
To go into the news, they play the Morecambe and Wise sketch of Singing in the Rain, but someone wasn’t watching the time, as they have to cut it off abruptly to go into the Nine O’Clock News.
There’s a couple of minutes of that on the tape, but then it switches to Bill Giles and the weather.
Then, there’s this trailer for programmes on Saturday featuring Little and Large.
The next part of the broadcast restarts the Morecambe and Wise sketch. Then it’s back to the Telecom Tower, where the Bee Gees are entertaining us.
There’s another total – it’s past nine o’clock and they still haven’t reached a million. Total so far is £737,481
A brief plug from Elton John
Jasper Carrott does his classic Insurance Claim Form quotes bit.
There’s Select-a-Sketch where the listeners to Steve Wright’s show selected the top ten sketches. Number 10 is Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.
They’ve finally passed the million mark – so excited to announce it that they didn’t wait for the graphics department to produce a fully animated version.
Next, one of the centerpieces of the evening, Blackadder The Cavalier Years.
Warren Clarke plays Cromwell.
Stephen Fry plays the King
Baldrick has a cunning plan.
Up in the Telecom Tower, lots of celebs manning the phones. There’s June Brown and Gary Waldhorn.
Oh dear. There’s Bernard Cribbins on the phone. As I write it’s less than two weeks since he died. I’m so very, very sorry.
There’s Peter Davison and Nerys Hughes
Running total is now £1,316,578
Jimmy Perry introduces an episode of Dad’s Army
It’s The King’s Train.
There’s a brief appearance by Penelope Wilton.
And Nigel Planer.
Another total: £1,482,593
Michael Palin refused to take part in the night, so he sent his manager to explain.
Select-a-Sketch Number 9 is from Three of a Kind.
Phil Cool doing Rolf Harris.
Number 8 in Selected-a-Sketch is a Two Ronnies sketch in which a newsreader has to read the news with the script typed on a faulty typewriter which substitutes Os for Es. And it’s another sketch which mentions my hometown Hemel Hempstead, or Homol Hompstoad as it is here.
Ruby Wax joins Stavros.
There’s another total: £1,742,567
There’s another visit to the gunk tank, and the victim is Mike Smith.
He gets his revenge on Wossy.
Then, another batch of sketches starting with Bobby Davro doing Jonathan King.
A Miss Marple sketch featuring Angela Thorne
Ethel from Eastenders
and Rory McGrath
Helen Lederer, Philip Schofield and Andy Crane (plus someone I don’t recognise).
And James Hunt
Kenny Everett and Willy Rushton
Valerie Singleton in a Money Programme sketch
also featuring Geoffrey Palmer with a Corn Flakes pack with the brand taped over.
Look, it’s a Goodies Reunion
Hugh Laurie spoils everything.
Griff Rhys Jones and Gary Waldhorn in a Police sketch.
Joanna Lumley is on a date with The Saint
Ian St John
“Floyd on Fish”
“Floyd on Fire”
Warren Clarke and (I think) Pat Coombs in a sketch about Beethoven
Steve Nallon does Mrs Thatch
Also appearing are Derek Fowlds
Sylvester McCoy – not really another Doctor Who reference, though.
and Derek Jameson
Nicholas Lyndhurst in a sketch about Rugby
also featuring Robert Bathurst
and Howard Lew Lewis
Back to the Telecom Tower with Peter Howitt, Cheryl Baker, Barbara Windsor and Ruby Wax
Another total: £2,093,537
We go to outside TV Centre, as Dame Edna Everage arrives at the stage door.
Her dress is magnificent
Number 7 in Select-a-Sketch is another Ronnie Barker playing Reverend Spooner.
With that, this recording finishes. As I said when I looked at the second tape of this, I think this was the best night of Comic Relief.
First, Hammer House of Horror – Silent Scream. The one where Peter Cushing traps Brian Cox in his basement, and experiments on him using conditioning. This was from tape 223.
Next, Showreel 86, the final part of the Radio Times Film & Video Awards for young filmmakers. Perhaps notable for one of the winners being Danny Cannon, who would go on to make Judge Dredd and perhaps most notably, was a director and exec producer on the CSI franchise.
The next programme is one we haven’t seen yet. It’s a fragment of an episode of Antenna, a BBC2 science programme. This one starts with a discussion of how to optimise waiting time in a doctor’s surgery. I don’t think that’s how ‘Monte Carlo’ is spelled, though.
The next piece, and presumably the reason I recorded this, is a piece on Fractals, which (in mathematical terms at least) were the new hotness. Complete with an interview with Benoit Mandlebrot himself.
It’s presented by Franco Vivaldi.
He shows a demonstration, running on an Acorn Archimedes, my old computer stomping ground.
Alan Norton was also investigating other fractal sets.
Next, a discussion from The Late Show on Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho.
It starts with a piece on the publication in the US featuring Ellis himself.
At one point he expresses surprise that people were taking the book on a surface level. He talks about the meaning of the book. “I think it’s implicitly there, I mean I think it’s very strongly there.” I’m immediately reminded of Spinal Tap discussing the meaning of their work.
David St. Hubbins
We say, "Love your brother." We don't say it really, but...
We don't literally say it.
David St. Hubbins
No, we don't say it.
We don't really, literally mean it.
David St. Hubbins
But that message should be clear, anyway.
Sonny Mehta, who eventually published it, sounds very conflicted. “I thought it was a very ugly book. I was surprised how much uglier some of the ugly bits were than I’d anticipated.” And yet he published it.
In the studio to discuss the book are Helen McNeil
and token male Iain Banks.
I can’t locate a Genome link for this. It’s two weeks after the publication of the book in the US, but even that date isn’t clear (March 1991 is the closest I get). The UK publication is mentioned as ‘next month’ which would mean this has to be towards the end of March 1991, but since The Late Show was on every night, and never has any descriptions of what’s going to be on (because they don’t know ahead of time) I’d just be guessing. But it does vex me.
Sticking with The Late Show for the next programme, but slightly lighter subject matter – Police Squad. To my shame, it took me a moment to spot that this was not a regular Late Show panel, but the Absolutely team. Hosted by Morwenna Banks.
and comedy writer Nick Newman.
Again, no idea of the Genome link. A commenter on YouTube tells me this is from September 1989. This is earlier than my guesstimate for the previous Late Show, but since these DVDs were recorded from several different tapes, and this tape is missing, I have no idea what order the programmes were on the tape, so I can’t say if this is unlikely, so I’ll accept that for now.
Sticking with the movies today, here’s another programme whose tape I couldn’t find, so I’m glad I’ve got it on disc. It’s The Academy Awards 1986, presented from Hollywood by Barry Norman. In these days, we only get the highlights, but let’s see what delights we have.
There’s a compressed Red Carpet featuring so many faces nominated. And Steve Guttenberg.
Amy Madigan is namechecked, a nominee tonight. Her husband is ignored, since he’s only Ed Harris.
Whoopi Goldberg and Michael J Fox arrive together.
The opening number is a very elaborate song and dance number based on old Musicals involving flying.
The key performer is Teri Garr, who I love, but this isn’t necessarily her best moment. She’s incredibly game, though.
The events are set in motion by the current president of the Academy, Robert Wise, his second consecutive day on the blog.
The presenters are Alan Alda and Jane Fonda. They start with a comedy piece about how speeches go on for a long time, and they list all the people that winners might thank. All of which is taking up time from the ceremony which could have been used by winners to thank people. This just seems a bit mean-spirited. It’s not the speeches that make the ceremony run long, it’s ten minute bouts of choreography, frankly.
There’s also a piece about all the different countries watching, with Robin Williams doing different languages, ending with a joke about The Phillippines, and the Marcoses, who had recently been deposed from power.
The first award we see is presented by Marsha Mason and Richard Dreyfuss, reunited from The Goodbye Girl.
It’s for Best Supporting Actress and is won by Anjelica Huston for Prizzi’s Honor..
Next is one of the most baffling segments ever in the Oscars – and I’m including Rob Lowe dancing with Snow White when I say this. Irene Cara sings a song called “Here’s to the Losers”, along with clips from films which were nominated for Best Picture, but didn’t win. I mean, this is like twisting the knife, isn’t it?
So, with your indulgence, I’d like to showcase each and every film they present, and tell you which film the Academy deemed was ‘better’ than these. Sometimes you might agree. More often, I’ll wager, you will not.
First, The Killing Fields. Beaten by Amadeus. I can’t really quibble about this one.
Next, it’s ET. It was at this point that I’m afraid I lost my temper at this Oscars. This year is famous as the one where Spielberg’s The Color Purple was nominated for eleven Oscars, but for which Steven Spielberg wasn’t even nominated as Best Director. So now they’re rubbing past defeats in his face. ET was beaten by Ghandi. A perfectly good film, but even Richard Attenborough has said that ET should have won.
Next, there’s Teri Garr again in Tootsie which was also beaten by Ghandi.
On Golden Pond was beaten by Chariots of Fire. I won’t quibble with that, but…
… so was Raiders of the Lost Ark. The second Spielberg film in this list. And one I would pick even over Chariots of Fire, which I do genuinely love.
The Elephant Man was beaten by Ordinary People
So was Raging Bull which was probably the more worthy winner, even though it’s not a film I enjoyed.
Apocalypse Now is another film that the rest of the world loves more than I do. It was beaten by Kramer vs Kramer which is not a film that really gets discussed much any more. I would have given the award to Bob Fosse’s All That Jazz. Who doesn’t love to see Roy Scheider with a bowler hat?
Star Wars was never going to win Best Picture. Annie Hall won that year, and I shouldn’t begrudge the rare occasion a comedy wins Best Picture, but I’m going to anyway.
Network was beaten by Rocky. As was All The President’s Men and Taxi Driver. That was a year.
It’s number three for Spielberg with Jaws. Beaten by One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. And another occasion when Spielberg didn’t get a Best Director nomination.
Chinatown was beaten by The Godfather Part II. This one I don’t have too much of a problem with.
Cabaret was beaten by The Godfather. Well, it has its fans.
MASH was beaten by Patton. I don’t think that decision really stood the test of time.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was beaten by Midnight Cowboy. Hard to call that one, but I think Butch Cassidy might be better remembered.
Bonnie and Clyde was beaten by In The Heat of the Night which is probably the right decision.
The Graduate was nominated the same year, as was Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. That was a good year for Sidney Poitier.
Doctor Zhivago was beaten by The Sound of Music. I have no problem with that at all.
Dr Strangelove was beaten by My Fair Lady. That was definitely the era of musicals. But for that year, I’d vote for Mary Poppins.
To Kill a Mockingbird was beaten by Lawrence of Arabia. Hard to argue against that one.
The Hustler was beaten by West Side Story. Robert Wise again. And I wouldn’t argue that one at all.
Giant I really only know as one of James Dean’s films. It lost out to Around The World In 80 Days – was that even a musical? That seems a strange choice, but I’ve seen neither.
Surely Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was a shoo-in, being a musical? No, it lost to On The Waterfront which didn’t have a single song in it.
I’ve never seen Shane although I think we read the book at school, and I remember having to write a prequel as an assignment. The winner that year was From Here to Eternity.
Another western now, High Noon was defeated by The Greatest Show on Earth. Gunfighters versus jugglers, who would win? Jugglers, obviously.
A Place in the Sun is a film I really don’t know anything about. It was beaten by An American in Paris, another musical.
Sunset Boulevard lost out to All About Eve, another shameful gap in my film knowledge.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre is another of those movies that I know vaguely, by reputation, but don’t really know what it’s like. My pick from that year’s nominees would have been The Red Shoes but the winner was another British film, Olivier’s Hamlet.
At last – another film I’ve seen. Lots. It’s A Wonderful Life was obviously not as wonderful as The Best Years of our Lives, another film about which I know nothing.
The Grapes of Wrath was up against The Philadelphia Story, but both lost out to Rebecca (although Hitchcock didn’t win Best Director).
Also losing that year was Chaplin’s The Great Dictator
Now for four films all nominated in the same year, all lost. Mr Smith Goes to Washington
and The Wizard of Oz. Which pinnacle of the motion picture art won, also beating Of Mice and Men, Goodbye Mr Chips andWuthering Heights? Gone with the Wind. Yup, that movie in which the confederates are the good guys.
42nd Street was beaten by Cavalcade.
And finally, Citizen Kane. Beaten by a film that I don’t think has ever bothered the Sight and Sound best film polls, How Green Was My Valley.
Well, that has got a little bit of my anger out, I hope it wasn’t too painful for you.
The next award is announced by Jon Cryer. Or, as the announcer inexplicably introduces him, ‘Cinematographer Jon Cryer’. I’ve checked his iMDb profile and he’s not got a single DOP credit. But he’s there to present the award for Best Cinematography, so I guess that’s where the confusion arose.
It’s won by Brit David Watkin for Out of Africa.
The next award is presented by Kermit the Frog and Scooter, and it’s delightful. It’s for Best Animated Short Film, and it’s won by Cilia van Dijk for Anna and Bella, but you should watch the presentation as it’s a brilliant piece of quiet comedy.
Next, one of my least favourite parts of the telecast, especially when all we had was this edited version. They play three of the nominated best songs, tied together with some bespoke music and dancing just to make things go on longer. First it’s Miss Celie’s Blues from The Color Purple performed by Tata Vega.
Next, from White Knights, the song Separate Lives, a hit for Phil Collins (who was at the ceremony) but is performed by its writer, Stephen Bishop, who is either cosplaying as a Buggle, or has to be up early tomorrow to pitch for a really important advertising contract.
Last in this medly is Surprise Surprise – no, not Cilla, but a song from A Chorus Line performed by Gregg Burge.
The next presenter is Cher. “As you can see I did receive my academy booklet on how to dress as a serious actress.”
The award is for Supporting Actor, and the winner is Don Ameche.
Next, Sally Field is here to present a special award to Paul Newman.
Newman can’t be there in person, but they have him on a satellite link. I think he would have been shooting The Colour of Money, which would earn him a Best Actor Oscar next year.
Next it’s another Best Song nomination, with Huey Lewis and the News performing The Power of Love from Back to the Future.
Whoopi Goldberg is the next presenter, presenting the award for Film Editing. It’s won by Thom Noble for Witness. He isn’t there to pick it up, so Whoopi says “I’m sure that if Thom Noble were here he’d want to thank his mother. As some of us might have thanked ours.”
Presenting the award for Visual Effects is Molly Ringwald.
The winners are Ken Ralston, Ralph McQuarrie (yes, that Ralph McQuarrie) Scott Farrar and David Berry for Cocoon. I think it should have gone to Young Sherlock Holmes if only for the Stained Glass Knight effect which was truly a landmark, but I think the voters went for the more popular film.
The final nominated song is Lionel Ritchie and Say You Say Me from White Knights.
Next it’s a Singing in the Rain reunion, with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor.
They’re presenting Best Song, which is won by Lionel Ritchie for Say You Say Me.
They also present the Best Score award to the great John Barry for Out of Africa.
Irene Cara presents Best Sound.
It’s won by Chris Jenkins, Gary Alexander, Larry Stensvold and Peter Handford for Out of Africa.
F Murray Abraham presents the Best Actress award
It’s won by Geraldine Page for The Trip to Bountiful.
Barbra Streisand presents the award for Best Director.
It’s won by her director on The Way We Were, Sidney Pollack, for Out of Africa. I always worry when they get a presenter who has a personal connection with one of the nominees, but they lucked out here.
Writer Larry Gelbart presents the screenwriting awards, starting with Best Adapted Screenplay.
The winner is Kurt Luedtke, again from Out of Africa.
Just so you don’t have to watch two screenwriting awards back to back, they insert a tribute to the musicals, with Howard Keel.
He’s joined by many women who have appeared in musicals. There’s June Allyson
and Esther Williams
After that extravaganza, it’s back to poor Larry Gelbart who must have been standing there for ages. He presents the award for Original Screenplay, which is won by Earl W. Wallace, William Kelley and Pamela Wallace for Witness.
The Foreign Language film award is presented by Norma Aleandro and Jack Valenti.
Since Aleandro was the star of The Official Story it’s a good thing that was the winner. Another roll of the dice by the awards directors.
Sally Field is back to present the award for Best Actor. “Let’s see which one you like, you really really like.”
It’s won by William Hurt for Kiss of the Spider Woman.
Losing nominee Jon Voight doesn’t look delighted. But he’s brought his daughter, a very young Angelina Jolie.
To present the Best Picture award are three venerable directors – Billy Wilder, Akira Kurosawa and John Huston.
It’s another win for Out of Africa and Sidney Pollack.
Now we get the ‘also presented’ awards. Emi Wada for Costume Design, for Ran.
Documentary Feature goes to Maria Florio and Victoria Mudd for Broken Rainbow.
The Make up award goes to Michael Westmore and Zoltan Elek for Mask.
Documentary Short Subject was won by David Goodman for Witness to War.
At Direction/Set Decoration was won by Stephen Grimes and Josie MacAvin for Out of Africa.
Sound Effects Editing is won by C.L.Campbell and R. Rutledge for Back to the Future
Alex North gets an honorary award
Live Action Short goes to Jeff Brown and Chris Pelzer for Molly’s Pilgrim.
And with that, the ceremony is finished, and it’s left to Barry Norman to try and gets some interviews with the exiting stars.
This is a disc with a few items on it, but the only one we haven’t looked at before, as it was on a tape I couldn’t find is an episode of Arena – The Orson Welles Story. And it’s marvellous.
It starts with footage of Welles performing magic on stage. He says that in his experience nobody ever asks you to do a magic trick, which is why he did it professionally. He tells a story about going to a party for Louis B Mayer, with a rabbit secreted on his person, and spent the whole evening, with the poor rabbit peeing all over him, and nobody asked him to perform a trick.
At the start of the interview, there’s a moment where one of the camera crew uses an electronic scene marker instead of a clapperboard, and Orson is delighted with such a gadget. He still seemed to have a youthful curiosity.
He’s asked about acting at the Gate Theatre in Dublin, and the story that the renowned Irish actor Micheal Macliammoir tells of meeting the 16 year-old Welles arriving at the theatre. “It’s a wonderful description when you consider that the author was in London at the time this was happening in Dublin. Micheal was in London the first six weeks I was at the Gate Theatre, and I got my job only with Hilton and Micheal never saw any of the stuff he writes about. But he couldn’t have told the story as well if he hadn’t put himself in it.”
There’s a long discussion of Pauline Kael’s book about Citizen Kane which basically says that Welles didn’t write any of Citizen Kane, assigning all the credit to his collaborator Herman J Mankiewicz. Welles’ friend Peter Bogdanovich puts up a spirited defence of Welles. “Even if he didn’t write it, he did certainly, no question direct it. And if he didn’t even do that, he’s in it. But perhaps she thinks that’s Peter Lorre. She tried to indicate that he’d stolen Peter Lorre’s makeup from Mad Love.”
Welles’ next film was The Magnificent Ambersons, but the finished film wasn’t what Welles intended. After completing the shooting, and having prepared a cut of the movie for testing, he was sent to Brazil by the government to shoot a film of the Carnival. While he was away, the studio tested the movie, and it wasn’t well received. So rather than letting Welles recut the film, the studio got the editorial team to completely change the ending, removing up to 45 minutes, and even shoot several new scenes including a happier ending. Acclaimed director Robert Wise was one of those editors, and while he’s unhappy that Welles was not allowed to work on it, he did the best job he could, and “finally after the fourth preview after making all these changes we finally had a preview that the audience seemed to sit for, at least not walk out, and it didn’t get any bad laughs.”
Charlton Heston talks about Touch of Evil. He addresses the criticism that Welles attracted that he was a profligate spender on his films. “With no disrespect to directors like Mike Nichols, Michael Cimino and Spielberg and Coppola, Orson hasn’t spent as much money on all the films that he has made in his life as they have wasted in overage on any one film.”
Marlene Dietrich also appeared in the film, which the studio didn’t know until they saw rushes. “They called her up and said ‘You’re in this picture’ and she said ‘yes’ and they said ‘What’s your salary?’ and she said ‘You don’t put my name on the picture, it’s the minimum, you put my name on, see my agent.’ So they saw her agent, they were delighted.”
Part Two follows immediately. Welles talks briefly about his political aspirations. “I didn’t think anyone could get elected president who had been divorced and who had been an actor. <laughs> I made a hell of a mistake in both directions.”
Anthony Perkins talks about playing Joseph K in Welles’ version of Kafka’s The Trial. “It wasn’t very long into the project before I realized Orson’s view of Joseph K was that far from being the innocent victim of bureaucracy that Kafka had written, that, in Orson’s version and I can hear him saying I can hear his thundering voice ‘He’s guilty as hell!’ I said ‘Guilty of what?’ ‘Of everything!'”
Peter Bogdanovich remembers attending a screen of The Trial in France, with Orson, after they had given Orson an award. “It was a terribly respectful audience, like sitting in the Museum of Modern Art, cinephile, upper class wealthy people who wanted to appreciate the finer things of life. And Orson’s sitting next to me roaring with laughter. He’d always told me he thought it was funny, and sitting next to him I started to laugh too. We’re laughing at this movie that he made, and they’re thinking ‘These people have no appreciation of art'”
Jeanne Moreau talks about playing opposite Welles in Chimes at Midnight, and how Welles wouldn’t shoot his scenes because he had lost his makeup kit. But she discovers it under a couch in the makeup room, and is told that it’s been hidden there for days. She realized that Welles was suffering from stage fright.
John Huston talks about working with Welles on Moby Dick, and how Huston was having trouble writing the character Welles was playing, so Welles wrote the scenes for him. “He’s a fine writer, by the way”.
I love this documentary. I watched it first when I was 21, and didn’t really know much about Orson Welles. I think I probably watched Citizen Kane at the same time, as it was part of the same season of Welles films. He’s such a good subject for interview, full of stories, but not afraid to talk about what he thought about some of his failures. What’s sad is the number of projects he calls ‘the great failure of my life’.
And I love the bits that wouldn’t normally stay in a documentary, like Welles’ delight at the scene marker, or, in part 2, when the interviewer, Leslie Megahy, was asking a long question when the camera runs out of film and we see the film leader run through, but the sound is still going as that’s recorded separately, and Welles says “You had me riveted, don’t cut a word of it.” It’s little things like that which give a glimpse of how documentaries are made.
Here’s someone else’s uploads of these programmes. Well worth watching.
There’s two other programmes on this disc, but both of them have already been featured on the blog because they’re from another tape that I was able to find. It’s Paul Daniels Live at Halloween and an episode of Wogan featuring Clive Barker, James Herbert, and a horrific musical performance from a genuine monster, Gary Glitter.
Just one programme on this disc, but it’s right up my street. It’s 50 Greatest Magic Tricks from Channel 4, presented by Adam Buxton and (Amateur Magician) Joe Cornish.
50: Franz Harary – Vanishing Space Shuttle (1994)
As with all Top 50 shows of this time, there’s the usual talking heads, starting with Simon Munnery.
And Donna McPhail, both of whom mention Harary’s magnificent mullet.
And Harary himself is there, being told by the crew that his hairstyle is known as a mullet. “That’s a fish, isn’t it?”
The trick itself is a good one – Harary has done a similar trick making the Tower of London disappear, and it might use the same technique as David Copperfield’s Statue of Liberty trick. Mark Heap thinks fairies were involved.
49: Juan Tiramiz – 4 Blue Cards (1996)
48: Shahid & Lisa Malik – Cardboard Box Illusion (1991)
This is a modern take on a classic illusion sometimes known as the Hindu Basket Trick. Lisa Malik talks about her nervousness at doing the trick the first time.
It’s almost a running gag that so many of the talking heads are ‘Amateur Magicians’. Although I’d hold up my hand as one of those too.
Jenny Eclair thinks Shahid should get in the box once in a while.
47: Guy Hollingworth – The Reformation (1997)
Were all the League of Gentlemen amateur magicians?
Nothing Amateur about Ali Bongo, not only a fine magician himself, but he invented illusions for many other magicians. He’s the Magician’s Magician.
46: Harry Blackstone Jnr – Vanishing Bird Cage (1987)
Fay Presto calls this one ‘a bit of unexpected magic’
Blackstone’s widow Gay points out that one of the children taking part was their daughter. “We found many years ago that if she came along and worked in the show, that makes her tax deductible.”
45: Mark Mottram – Thumb Tie (2000)
This one looks quite dangerous as he pushes his tied thumbs across a sword, and the thumbs remain tied. I think it’s a lot simpler than it looks, but the effect is impressive.
44: Penn & Teller – Truck Trick (1990)
“We like to do things that look tremendously dangerous and are very very safe.” Says the man who juggles broken bottles.
This is a large scale trick, and they reveal how it’s done at the end – that’s part of the whole bit. Amateur Magician Nicholas Parsons was outraged by this reveal. “They make me angry. I think it’s all wrong.”
Paul Zenon says “They generally only expose tricks that they’ve invented, and they only ever expose something if the secret is more interesting than the original trick itself.” Nicholas Parsons’ response is “Stuff you mate. It’s very unprofessional.”
43: Meir Yedid – Finger Fantasies (1985)
He does amazing things just with his very supple fingers.
Paul Daniels: “It’s the curiosity value that makes it entertaining.”
Paul Morley: “It’s actually deeply disturbing.”
42: Derren Brown – The Tube Experiment (2001)
Derren makes a tube passenger forget that he was getting off at Archway. Nice framing when the carriage comes to a stop.
41: Melinda Saxe – The Drill of Death (1999)
“It has a message. Women are fragile, but we are strong too.”
40: Paul Zenon – Snooker Card Trick
39: Spoon Bending
I’m surprised Uri Geller didn’t sue the programme for suggesting that Spoon Bending was a magic trick.
Peter Lamont: “I’ve rubbed a couple myself”
Ian Rowland is grateful for a great trick that he’s performed a lot.
Always lovely to see Trevor and Simon
38: Stevie Starr – Goldfish (1992)
I really feel a bit queasy about this act, and worry about the wellbeing of the fish. Starr claims he learned the trick by swallowing his lunch money at school so the big kids couldn’t steal it.
37: Fay Presto – Bottle Trick (1996)
John Lenahan is a fan.
36: Lance Burton – Osmosis Illusion (1997)
This is a nice illusion. I got to see Lance Burton in Las Vegas when I was there for a tech conference. Apparently, Las Vegas hate tech conferences, because none of the attendees use the casinos because they know how they work. But we do spend money on Magic shows.
35: Robert Gallup – Straitjacket Escape (2000)
Another Amateur Magician, Jeremy Beadle.
Adam does an impression of Mitch Pileggi
Joe plays The Masked Magician
34: James Hydrick – Telephone Pages (1980)
Hydrick’s claim was that he used psychic powers to move objects and pages of phone books, when actually he’s just blowing very hard without moving his lips. Our amateur magicians give it a go.
33: Penn & Teller – Snake Trick (1991)
This is a rather gross version of the cut and restored rope, but with a live snake.
32: Paul Daniels – Electric Chair (1989)
It’s a pity that the format of this show only gives a flavour of this routine, that’s quite long, and very funny.
Sooty’s assistant Richard Cadell explains that nothing about this trick is set up. “I’ve seen him do it with any two chairs, and any two guys.”
31: Great Soprendo – Torn and Restored Newspaper (1982)
Geoffrey Durham explains how he came up with the idea of the Great Soprendo in about ten minutes during the night.
30: David Berglas – The Table (1981)
Berglas is still cagey about how the trick might work.
His son Marvin (of Marvin’s Magic fame): “We pestered him for years about how he did that.”
29: Amazing Jonathan – The Skewer
28: Tommy Cooper – Multiplying Bottles (1967)
27: Paul Zenon – Tax Disc Trick (2000)
I think I have an idea how this one might be done. It’s a good trick, though.
26: Derren Brown – The Art Gallery (2000)
I love Derren Brown but I never believe a word he says about how his illusions are done.
Before the next trick there’s a surprise appearance from Debbie McGee.
25: Paul Daniels – Camera Trick (1984)
I remember seeing this one when it was originally broadcast.
24: Amazing Jonathan – Knife Illusion (1996)
23: David Berglas – The Human Body (1986)
This trick is surprisingly simple when you know how it’s done, but he performs it very well
22: Siegfried and Roy – Interlude (1994)
In which a woman and a leopard emerge from Siegfried or Roy’s stomach.
Tommy Cockles: “They’ve taken this funny old magic, 50 year old men with cards and dusty top hats, and they’ve taken it bang into the 1980s, and left it there.”
21: Simon Drake – Swords Illusion (1990)
This one just looks painful.
20: Ishamuddin – Indian Rope Trick (1999)
19: Derren Brown – Blair Witch Illusion (2000)
Adam Bloom joins the ranks of the amateur magicians
18: Robert Gallup – Death Dive (1996)
This one genuinely looks terrifying, It’s an escape, from handcuffs, and mailbag, and a locked cage, all while the cage is falling from an aeroplane. My guess is that the time limit is greatly exaggerated, but that’s the only thing I can imagine is fake.
17: Amazing Orchante – Ball of String (1987)
I saw this one when it first went out, and it’s just as gross as I remember.
He’s clearly a bit of a thrill seeker.
16: Siegfried and Roy – Vanishing Elephant (1994)
15: Simon Drake – Guillotine (1992)
Another dangerous trick, although perhaps that was poor design. He only performed it once.
14: Lance Burton – Rollercoaster (1999)
We seem to have a lot of dangerous looking tricks. Burton himself says “They showed me the playback afterwards, and I was terrified, we can’t show this on television, this will scare little children.”
13: Harry Blackstone Jnr – Floating Lightbulb (1977)
Lots of admirers of this one, because it’s really lovely. Including The Pendragons.
and Michael Bailey of the Magic Circle
12: David Blaine – Card Revelation
11: Penn & Teller – The Magic Bullet (1996)
10: Hans and Helga Moretti – The Crossbow (1995)
Another trick that looks incredibly dangerous. In fact, there’s no trick, he does genuinely fire a crossbow at an apple on his wife’s head.
9: Richard Ross – Linking Rings (1983)
8: Paul Daniels – Chop Cup (1985)
I love this one.
7: Tom Mullica – Smoking Trick (1996)
This one’s just repulsive. But well performed.
6: David Copperfield – Flying (1995)
Possibly my favourite illusion ever. I love it.
5: Robert Harbin – Zig Zag Lady (1965)
A true classic, designed by Harbin himself. I know Robert Harbin mostly from the paperback books he wrote about doing Origami.
4: Lance Burton – Doves (1982)
Another trick involving cigarettes.
3: The Pendragons – Metamorphosis
An amazingly fast version of a very old trick. With a costume change thrown in.
2: David Blaine – Levitation
I slightly object to this one being so high on this list, as this particular presentation of the trick is, I think, slightly deceptive. It’s presented as if what we see, with a genuine levitation (wires, probably) is combined with members of the public reacting to a very different, simpler levitation that’s done without any mechanics at all. At the very least, it’s deceptive editing. (I could be wrong about this, I’m no expert, but it feels off.)
1: David Copperfield – Death Saw (1995)
No complaints about Number One, though. Genuinely astonishing the first time you see it, and always enjoyable. And even when you’ve got some idea how it’s done, it still seems impossible. A masterpiece of magical engineering. Plus, James Horner’s music from Aliens.
There’s a playlist of most of these tricks on YouTube, but for some reason, when I embed it here it says it’s unavailable. Hopefully this link will work.
The Copperfield ones in particular are hidden in that playlist, so here’s ‘Flying’.
And here’s the Death Saw.
Here’s the TiVo details. This was from Sunday 1st December 2002.
Today’s disc has the first two episodes of I’m Alan Partridge series 2. What a great series this was.
The first episode is called The Talented Mr Alan and Alan is now working at a radio station in Norwich. Tonight’s topic: Who’s the best Lord? Lord of the Rings, Lord of the Dance or Lord of the Flies?
After the show, he visits the petrol station where geordie Michael, from the Linton Travel Tavern, is now working.
When Michael pops out to restock the Bodyline Brushable Joint Sealer, Alan holds the fort, and the next customer in turns out to be one of Alan’s old teachers, now the headmaster at his old school. Alan locks him in the shop until he agrees to let Alan give a talk at the school.
Alan’s living in a caravan, outside his house which is being remodelled. Felicity Montague is brilliant as Lynn, no longer having to look after her mother, who died. Alan is as tactful as ever. “I think your hair’s snazzy. Is that your mother’s money coming through?”
We meet Alan’s new girlfriend Sonja, played by Amelia Bullmore. She has an Eastern European accent which immediately makes me think ‘mail order bride’.
Alan meets with Siobhan from Meteor Video, makers of his ‘Crash Bang Wallop What a Video’ compilation of car crashes. Lynn doesn’t approve of them as they also do wet T Shirt videos and other slightly tacky offerings. There’s a cringy moment when Alan describes these as ‘watersports’ and Siobhan says they’re not, then Alan gets her to explain what she means by Watersports.
The meeting doesn’t go well, and in the car afterwards, Alan sees Siobhan leaving, and says “I’m going to box her in at the squash court and drop my price”, and drives forward into a bollard setting off Lynn’s airbag (but not his).
Alan visits the school for his talk. There he meets someone who was also at the school at the same time – his old school bully, now a teacher of modern languages.
Alan’s talk consists mostly of him playing his video ‘Crash Bang Wallop what a video’. “This was filmed two years ago and I had let myself go a little.”
He still has to complain about the time he was caned when the bully drew a cock on his back. He tries to prove that it was impossible, but actually makes a good effort.
Later in the BP Shop, the teacher turns up again. Alan is armed with a hot apple pie from the microwave. “The temperature inside this apple turnover is 1000°. If I squeeze it a jet of molten bramley apple is going to squirt out”
Lynn has tried to draw a penis on his back, but it’s not a good rendition.
After this, there’s a trailer for the next episode. Also a trail for Armando Iannucci on Nicky Campbell’s Five Live programme, and a trail for Asian Network.
Then there’s the start of Newsnight with Kirsty Wark. After a few minutes, the TiVo recording stops. The TiVo card is actually for Never Mind The Buzzcocks earlier in the evening so I clearly recording several programmes in one rather than trust the TiVo to get all of the programmes. I can’t remember how good TiVo was at leaving some buffer space around recordings. My later Media Centres were better at that, coupled with having two separate tuners, but the TiVo could only record one thing at a time.
The next episode of I’m Alan Partridge is The Colour of Alan. All the titles of this series are movie titles with one world replaced with ‘Alan’ in case you hadn’t spotted that.
Lynn is watching Poirot on UK Gold. Or she’s being brainwashed by the BOSS computer.
Sonja has been doing arts and crafts.
Alan is promoting his book at the local train station.
Alan isn’t impressed with the security at the Choristers Country Club. He’s meeting with Piet Morant, a South African representing Dante Fireplaces. “I’m an arsonist with a huge box of matches, please can I come in to burn all the staff”. The gate opens. “Unbelievable.”
“I booked this room under the name ‘The Real IRA’ They didn’t bat an eyelid.”
Alan takes him back to the house – Apache Communications Headquarters. It’s not quite ready for visitors. The lighting is a bunch of torches tied to a bicycle wheel.
Back for the event, and Alan’s forgotten his pass, so the security won’t now let him in. He tries climbing over the fence but impales his foot on a spike.
He soldiers on with the event, but the major loss of blood isn’t improving his presentation skills. “Want some more glitter? Two grand, that cost.”
To cheer him up afterwards, Michael makes Alan a Heliport.
The final recording on this disc is an episode of Have I Got News For You presented by guest host John Sergeant. This is only the third episode with a guest presenter, after tabloid stories about Angus Deayton finally made his role on the show untenable.
Guests are Germaine Greer
and Lorraine Kelly.
I’m slightly freaked out at how close together they’re sitting.
Disturbing scenes, with Michael Buerk and Jeremy Vine on Children in Need.
This is Paul’s face when Ian knows that Beyoncé is the lead singer of Destiny’s Child.
There’s a mention of Boris Johnson. He’s not looking happy. Good.
Following on from Michael Frayn’s play Copenhagen a little while back, this disc starts off with two programmes that looks at the background of the play. First is Copenhagen: An Epilogue presented by Professor Michio Kaku.
I really got sick of this habit of documentaries cutting in extreme closeups of their interview subjects. At least it’s not also black and white.
Here’s the programme. It’s quite short, so doesn’t really say much.
The next recording follows on. The Copenhagen Fallout is a documentary looking at the meeting between Werner Heisenberg and Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, based on interviews with people who knew them.
It starts with an anecdote that was discussed in the play. Bohr was giving a lecture about his recent work.
As he was talking, he was interrupted by a young man, who told him he had an error in one of his calculations. That was Werner Heisenberg. Bohr was instantly impressed. The young man’s challenge was a good one, and Bohr was so intrigued by his level of understanding that he asked him to go for a walk in the hills that afternoon. I like this kind of story, showing that really smart people don’t get upset when a mistake in their work is pointed out.
Here’s Michio Kaku again.
Finn Aaserud of the Niels Bohr Archive is in the clock of the Copenhagen church, telling how Bohr’s model of the atom breaks with the Newtonian tradition of a clockwork universe.
Helmut Rechenberg talks about how the German nuclear programme was hampered by Nazi ideology. So much of the theoretical work came from Jewish scientists, something which the Nazis couldn’t accept, so they attacked that physics.
Hilde Levi was a German scientist who escaped Nazi Germany, and was looked after by Niels Bohr.
I feel like this sums up a lot about how fascism works.
This was a colleague of Heisenberg, who worked with him researching nuclear energy. “We started working with Heisenberg to study the possibility of generating power by using the fission of uranium. We were aware that a weapon might be developed from that and we were afraid because we did not know what to do to prevent this from happening.”
There’s actual film of Heisenberg discussing the events during the war.
My recording stops before the end of the documentary. Stupid BBC overrunning.
Here’s the whole documentary, including the end which is missing from my recording.
Here’s the TiVo details which, annoyingly, interrupted the previous recording slightly. Not a good day for TiVo.