SMarteenies – Totally Blue Peter – Lost – Extras – 21 Dec 2005

The first recording today is a slight variation – it’s SMarteenies, the CBeebies version of SMart aimed at the younger audience.

This is really quite odd. The first item doesn’t involve any art at all, and just features the presenter (Jay Burridge?) tidying up his desk. I know this is supposed to be educational, but this is just dull.

Rather better is ‘Bizi Lizi’ doing paint doodles on glass.

Kirsten makes a card by printing with leaves.

Lizi paints a flower.

Mark Speight makes a picture with shapes from the Shape Store.

Lizi makes some trees.

Media Centre Description: Exciting ideas to help viewers experiment with art and crafts. Today, the man of letters, finger-painting pictures, and more from the shape store. With Mark Speight, Kirsten O’Brien, Jay Burridge, Bizi Lizi and Doogy the dog.

Recorded from CBeebies on Wednesday 21 December 2005 08:43

BBC Genome: CBeebies – Wednesday 21st December 2005 – 08:45

The next recording starts with a trailer for The Snow Queen. There’s a preview of Newsround.

Then, what turns out to be part two of Totally Blue Peter. I had completely forgotten that, for some strange reason, I hadn’t recorded part 1 of this, despite recording Blue Peter regularly. I’ll bet it was flagged as a completely different show in the Media Centre guide, so my usual series link for Blue Peter didn’t catch it. Which is a shame, although it’s available on YouTube so I can see what we missed.

On this evidence, it sounds like Liz is the strongest singer in the group.

Let’s enjoy the Dallas-style cast list.

And let’s appreciate the inclusion of an old-school presenter, Tina Heath – I had to tell my daughter she was a presenter in my day – she just assumed she was an actor. Kids, eh?

I love the way there’s a lot of stock footage of New York streets, then whenever we see Joey and Dee Dee, they seem to be walking outside the BBC White City Media Centre.

I said that Liz seemed like the strongest singer of the group, but in terms of delivering a performance, I think Matt is the best in this. His Mac McKenzie is a fairly straightforward businessman, but I think it’s significant that it’s Matt who has to play a second role, that of the stylist Rico, who has to give Joey a makeover for the front cover of the Christmas issue of Blue Peter magazine. He’s definitely channelling his inner Boy George with this performance.

Joey sings “Shy Boy” during the makeover montage. I wonder if it cost a lot of clear the use of the Superman costume?

They bring Joey’s pictures to Cassie Carrington, the editor of Blue Peter Magazine. But Cassie has CCTV footage of Dee Dee and Joey going through her drawers. They tell Cassie they know she’s trying to destroy Blue Peter magazine with a terrible Christmas issue, and that she’s sold all the best ideas to their competition, HIYA! magazine.

Joey and Dee Dee are thrown out of the offices. Their only chance is to get to see the head honcho Mac McKenzie, and they’ll need to disguise themselves. Cue another song, this one by Rico, “Be Young, Be Foolish and By Happy”.

All these interiors are parts of the Media Centre, and are giving me nostalgic flashbacks.

I like the 80s era cellphone.

She manages to get to see Mac, who’s having a bath. “Normally this is the part where I’d hit the roof and bust your ass. But I feel kind of… unprotected.”

The glitzy launch of the Christmas Edition is filmed outside the Broadcast Centre, my old offices.

At the launch, Mac reveals Cassie’s treachery. Nice use of spinning newspapers.

Cassie lands on her feet, becoming a proto Jeremy Kyle type.

Dee Dee is promoted. Bonus points for Matt doing the “same pose as the portrait” joke which is never not funny.

Tina Heath’s Veronica is let go, which seems harsh on her.

It all ends with a rendition of “Ready or Not” by the Lightning Seeds. There’s even a line of dialogue – “This is totally next decade” – to explain why the song is from 1996.

And it ends with a “You have been watching”

“And we really did live happily ever after”

That was a total delight.

Media Centre Description: In the second of a two-part Christmas special, the whole gang travel back in time to the 1980s to continue a story set in the heady world of top glossy magazine Blue Peter. Will good triumph over evil as faithful assistant Dee Dee discovers a dastardly plot by her ruthless editor Cassie Carrington to ruin the magazine and defect to join its arch rival? Along the way Dee Dee is helped by her pal from the local coffee shop, Joey, who dreams of being a singer, and her stylist friend Ricco.

BBC Genome: BBC One London – 21st December 2005 – 17:00

After this, there’s the start of Newsround which leads with the story of the company behind the Crazy Frog ringtones being fined for deceptive practices. One thing I don’t understand – in the Crazy Frog video they show, he has pixelated genitalia. Why? And does this imply there’s a version of the video where the genitalia is not pixelated?

So I just searched for “Does the Crazy Frog have genitals” which will probably ruin my search results for the rest of time. I was taken to the wikipedia page for the Crazy Frog. Under the subheading “Controversies”, the first item is “Genitals.” Here’s what it says:

In February 2005, viewers submitted a number of complaints to the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) regarding Jamster’s advertising campaign, complaining that Crazy Frog appeared to have a visible penis and scrotum. Some parents claimed that it was inappropriate for children. There were also complaints regarding the frequency with which the advertisement appeared on television, reportedly up to twice an hour across most of the day, with some channels showing it more than once per commercial break.

The ASA did not uphold the complaints, pointing out that the advert was already classified as inappropriate for airing during children’s television programmes as it contained a premium rate telephone number, and that it was the broadcasters’ decision how often an advertisement should be shown. Jamster voluntarily censored the character’s genital area in later broadcasts of its advertisements.

So not only did it have genitals, they weren’t even originally pixelated. This is an all CG character, and the ad agency decided “what this chap really needs is a meat and two veg”. And everyone involved signed it off. It all lends considerable weight to one of my core beliefs – that every single person working in advertising is whacked out of their minds on drugs at all times.

I even checked the official Crazy Frog video on YouTube, and that version has no genitals, pixelated or otherwise. So I guess when it came to something that might possibly get played on Top of the Pops, someone got sober enough to tell them not to include the genitals this time.

The next recording is an episode of LostThe Greater Good. It starts with Sayid trying to reassure Shannon, after the death of her brother Boone. Then we flash back to Sayid, who’s in custody at Heathrow Airport. He’s been picked up by US and Australian security because his old college roommate has been identified as part of a terrorist cell, and they want him to make contact. As an inducement, they dangle information about his old girlfriend, who he’s been searching for, and they have information about her location which they say they’ll give him if he helps them.

Back on the island, Boone is being buried. Nobody seems able to say anything (possibly because he was a bit of a dick). Sayid speaks up. “On our sixth day here, a woman named Joanna died. She drowned. And Boone was the first one into the water. I didn’t know him. But I’ll remember his courage… and I know he will be missed.”

A surprise attendee at the eulogy is Locke, who has been gone since he brought the injured Boone back to camp. He admits Boone’s death is his fault. “It was my fault. We found a plane. A Beechcraft, in the jungle. It was… It was lodged in the canopy, so… [stuttering] I would have gone up, but… My leg was hurt, so he… There was a radio inside, and he thought he could… His weight must have made the plane shift and it fell and… Happened because he was trying to help us. He was a hero.”

Flashback Sayid meets his old friend at a mosque. They catch up. Sayid asks about his wife/girlfriend. “She died. A stray bomb, while she was shopping for a dress.”

He goes to his friend’s flat, where his flatmate is playing either Half Life or Half Life 2. Probably 2 given the time this was made. “Damn it. I’m out of ammo.” “Use the crowbar.” “That only works on the zombies. Not the big bugs.”

Talking of bugs, Sayid quickly earns their trust when he sees a smoke alarm on the wall. Some of the men are smoking. He takes a cigarette and holds it right under the alarm, which doesn’t go off. Then he opens the alarm and pulls out what we presume must be a listening device, dropping it into a drink. “Who are you?” “I was a communications officer.” “Sayid was Republican Guard. He knows things.” “Perhaps it’s not happenstance that you and Essam met at the mosque. Perhaps… it is fate.”

Back on the island, Shannon wants revenge and she goes to Sayid. “John Locke killed my brother. Will you do something about that?”

Flashback Sayid is talking to his friend Essam about what they’re planning. Essam tells him there’s going to be an operation, and he will have to be the one who blows himself up.

Sayid takes this information to his handlers, telling them he’s finished, and they have to stop his friend killing himself. They tell him “The only way to find the C-4 is wait for Essam to walk out that door with a target to hit.” “He’s in over his head. He doesn’t even know why–” “That’s why you’re gonna convince him to go through with it.”

Locke takes Sayid to the plane. Sayid still doesn’t trust him. Locke offers to tell him something he doesn’t know. “The first week after the crash, there was a cave-in. -Jack was trapped. You remember that?” “Of course.” “You, Kate and Sawyer went out into the jungle to triangulate a signal. You were hit, knocked unconscious. When you woke up, the transceiver, your equipment was destroyed. That was me.” “This is one time you better not be telling the truth.” “I did what was in everyone’s best interest.” “You ruined my chance to find the source.” “The source of a distress call that kept saying, “They’re dead. It killed ’em all” over and over? Is that a place you really want to lead people to?” “Why wait all this time? Why not tell me then?” “Because back then you wouldn’t have engaged in a reasonable debate. And nobody else would have.”

Flashback Sayid is in the van full of explosives with Essam. They’re about to head off to their target. Sayid tells Essam that he’s working for the CIA, and Essam has ten minutes to escape before he calls them. But when he tells Essam that he’s doing it because he wants to find a woman, Essam is understandably angry. “Well, Sayid, I hope she makes you whole again” he says, just before shooting himself in the head.

Shannon has got a gun, and has found Locke. Sayid, Kate and Jack try to get her to back down. But she won’t so Sayid jumps her just as she’s about to shoot. Locke falls back, but the bullet just grazed his skull.

Meanwhile, in the less dramatic B story, Charlie has been trying to get the new baby to stop crying, and has found that only the sound of Sawyer’s voice will keep it quiet.

Flashback Sayid has his freedom, and information on his girlfriend’s whereabouts. But he wants to know what will happen to Essam’s body. He’s told it will be cremated, because nobody has claimed the body. “I’ll claim him.” “You can’t claim him when you’re on a plane in two hours, mate.” “Then change my flight to tomorrow.”

The episode closes with Sayid and Locke talking, when Sayid tells Locke that he has to show him the hatch.

Recorded from Channel 4 on Wednesday 21 December 2005 22:00

After this, the recording continues briefly with the start of the film Bowfinger.

Finally today, the last recording starts with Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight looking at the newspaper headlines. This Telegraph headline about Elton John’s wedding is extremely rude, even for the Telegraph.

In the preview for programmes, they’ve finally got a clip from the right episode of Extras.

There’s trailers for Dead Ringers and The Unknown Hancock.

Then, another episode of Extras. Andy finally gets an acting job as the Genie in a pantomime. Although his agent is offering to get them Barry from Eastenders even as he’s arriving at the theatre to start work.

The panto stars Les Dennis as Aladdin. He introduces Andy to his new girlfriend. She’s a lot younger than he is. He also talks about his recent fame or infamy – this was after he seemed to have a breakdown in Celebrity Big Brother while his marriage to Amanda Holden was failing. This is clever writing. It makes this fictional version of Les Dennis seem enormously self-involved, allows Andy to seem detached, as he obviously wouldn’t pay attention to tabloid headlines, but also gives the context to viewers of the show, who also might not all follow tabloid stories (as we’re all chin-stroking, tofu-eating woke intellectuals who are above such things – I know I am).

The panto’s director is Bunny, an overly camp theatre type, played with gusto by Gerard Kelly.

In the chorus is Bunny’s daughter Lizzie, who Maggie used to know. Maggie can’t work out how (as Andy tells her) Bunny could be gay when he’s got a daughter.

Andy sees Les’s girlfriend kissing a stagehand. Should he tell Les what he saw?

Lizzie invites Maggie to her birthday party.

Opening night, and Les has just had a shower. He asks Andy’s opinion about his girlfriend Simone. They talk about the wedding, intended for the summer. Then Les says “I can’t marry her.” “Why, what have you heard?” Les starts talking about how great their love life is, while drying himself off, and Andy doesn’t know where to look. But Les starts talking about how he can’t put her through the media spotlight, it’s not fair on her. “I just think I’m better off letting her go now before she falls in love with me any deeper.” “I think you’re making the right decision. And I’m so glad you said this ’cause it’s a weight off my mind. I saw her getting off with a stagehand, and that’s who she’s with now.”

The show must go on. Not exactly a full house.

I can’t work out whether Andy’s performance as the Genie is bad because Andy’s a bad actor, or because Bunny is a bad director, or because the dialogue is awful. Perhaps a bit of all three.

But Les obviously has other things on his mind, and drifts off into a bit of a rant.

I like this reaction when he asks “How many of you are thinking of leaving at half time?”

Maggie goes to Lizzie’s birthday party, and discovers the Lizzie’s friends are all a little older than she is.

Andy is in the pub with Les, who’s still down. Les makes a comment about how easy it is to make gays laugh, then goes into an impression of Graham Norton. “Oooh, look at this website about cocks and fannies.” They also talk about Les’s most famous impression – Mavis Riley on Coronation Street. “I don’t really know.”

Maggie asks Lizzie if all the theatre stuff is what she wants to do. “Dad knows what’s good for me.” “I’ve been doing this since I was two – it’s in my blood.” “But it wasn’t your ambition when you were two, was it?”

Lizzie and Bunny entertain the party. It’s a borderline creepy medly of songs, including Making your Mind Up – complete with the skirt rip and “If you believe that a love can hit the top, you’ve got to play around” with this action.

Bunny is the kind of horrible father who thinks it’s OK to criticise his daughter in front of her friends. In reaction to his telling her off, she says “Maggie was right. I should have friends my own age, You do look like the cast of Last of the Summer Wine.” Bunny isn’t happy. “Well, it seems like quite a poisonous element has entered our home. Quite a nasty little piece of work.”

“When the laughter stops. When the audience depart. When the makeup has been removed. What is left of the clown? Nothing but an empty costume. I should have listened to that. Do you know who said that?” “Jean Paul Sartre?” “Bobby Davro.”

The show ends with Les in bed with a woman he met at the pub, “Is that good?” she asks. Les replies, in the voice of Mavis Riley, “I don’t really know.”

Media Centre Description: Sitcom set in the world of film and TV extras. At long last Andy Millman gets his big acting break – working with TV and tabloid legend, Les Dennis. Things are looking up for Les. He’s playing Aladdin in panto and he’s engaged to the girl of his dreams – young, blonde, ambitious and very popular.

BBC Genome: BBC Two England – 21st December 2005 – 23:20

After this, trailers for Dead Ringers, The Importance of Being Earnest  and Little Britain Night.

Then there’s the start of an episode of American Dad. I had no idea Patrick Stewart did a voice for this.

In the ad breaks of Lost there’s this rather great trailer for Shameless.


  • trail: My Name is Earl
  • Pantene
  • Morrisons
  • Boots
  • Argos
  • WKD
  • trail: Shameless
  • Martini – George Clooney
  • Bourjois
  • cK One
  • Iceland – Kerry Katona
  • L’Oreal Elvive
  • Sudafed
  • Coors
  • Euphoria
  • LG U880
  • RoC
  • trail: The Big Fat Quiz of the Year 2005
  • Vodafone
  • Marks & Spencer
  • K-Swiss
  • Lacoste
  • Colgate Micro Sonic
  • Boots
  • Allure
  • Bacardi
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Vodafone
  • trail: Invasion
  • Carling
  • T-Mobile
  • Waterstone’s
  • Euromillions
  • Boots
  • Oral B Sonic Complete
  • Sainsbury’s
  • KFC
  • Emporio Armani
  • Smirnoff
  • Lacoste
  • trail: My Name is Earl
  • trail: Invasion
  • trail: E4 Music
  • K-Swiss
  • Pizza Hut
  • Chance
  • Pantene
  • Colgate Micro Sonic
  • Army Officer
  • Lacoste
  • Vicks First Defence
  • Marks & Spencer
  • King Kong in cinemas
  • trail: My Name is Earl


  1. I suspect Liz’ singing voice is “aided” by Tina Heath’s daughter Jem Cooke being a professional singer.

  2. Yes, I’m afraid singing is not one of Liz’s many talents. It did keep it all in the family, of course, with Dave Cooke, Tina Heath’s husband, being Blue Peter’s in-house musical director for many years and providing the music for all kinds of things, especially in this era where Uncle Matt Baker and Richard Marson would contrive to do musical items at every opportunity.

    I would highly recommend Richard Marson’s Blue Peter Diaries book, not just because it’s a fantastically indiscreet account of running the show, but also there are lots of behind the scenes stories from the wonderful Totally Blue Peter. As you say, much of it was filmed around BBC White City, with the Starbucks being commandeered for a couple of days. Marson says they did a few shots of New York while they were over there for a film a few months before and then tried to match them with the bits they did in W12.

    Marson also says that most of Gethin’s outfits were actually from his own wardrobe, but because Gethin was so handsome it slightly spoiled the gags as they didn’t look rubbish enough on him. And when they recorded the final song they learned just before they did it that the Head of Children’s Programmes, who they didn’t like, had just announced her departure, which just added to the fun and excitement of the whole thing, and at the end of it Liz said “this has been such a happy day”. Aww.

    1. I wondered if the New York stuff was just stock footage. It cut together very well, considering the White City stuff was mostly in one small location. It’s all wonderful.

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