Sunday, 6 May 2012

Saturday night's all right . . .

Saturday night telly! Ah - I could rattle on for hours about the joys of yesteryear. In fact, why don't I do that anyway. Let's bathe the 1970s in golden sunlight and wistfully remember how wonderful it all was back in the day. Or was it?

I'm Inspector Darblay and I'm a woman
For me, the opener to the evening was always Final Score as Frank Bough and his comb-over led us through the footie highlights of the day. With tea (never dinner) out of the way, we could settle down to an evening of predominantly BBC1 fare. Doctor Who was still in its imperial phase, with Tom Baker clowning around for the kids and Leila and her bra top providing the entertainment for dad. Then on to the Generation Game, both the Brucey and Larry versions. The former, the consumate all-round entertainer. The latter, a beffudled camp comic from Nuneaton. I loved them both. Scores on the doors? After this frippery, BBC1 would usually serve up a drama. More often than not, this would be Juliet Bravo. Brave times for the Beeb as they depicted a woman - WOMAN - police inspector battling life in a 'grim up north' police station people by overweight middle-aged men. They would call her 'ma'am' (rhymed with 'spam') and roll their eyes every time she issued an edict. Aforementioned lady police inspector would then dash home at 6pm to get a casserole for her understanding (and usually feeble) husband.

"And it's goodnight from . . . oh you known the rest . . ."
The Two Ronnies was another fave in our household. Always the same week in, week out. Two sets of specs at a newsdesk, a couple of sketches set in corner shops or cocktail parties, some serialised story forever starring Diana Dors, Ronnie Barker in a frock and a song from the lovely Miss Barbara Dickson. That's entertainment!

I'm not going to suggest that these halcyon days have returned but at the moment, Saturday nights have shown a distinct improvement. BBC1's The Voice has, to date, performed better than expected. Unlike the dreary X Factor, the BBC have provided a panel who actually seem to care about music. OK, Will.iam may be a bit of a twonk but the other three are enthusiastic enough. Reggie Yates continually falls into the Dermot-like falseness of calling the lads 'feller' but other than that, well done the BBC! I feel an e-mail to Points of View in the offing.

A Bridge too far . . .
However, the real gem on Saturday is BBC4's wonderful The Bridge. I'm not the biggest fan of Copenhagen but maybe this superb drama will help reel me in again. The two lead characters are a joy - the overweight, fag-smoking laconic Dane and his uptight, socially inept female Swedish counterpart. I think the BBC should revive Juliet Bravo and have Saga Noren dispense some of her logic to the fat, northern policemen. And remember - don't call her ma'am.

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