Categories / Film and TV

Retro TV W/C 4th January 2008

Barry Murphy
returns once more trawl the TV and radio guides (so you don’t have to) to find anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 4th January to Thursday 10th January.

Highlight of the week

This month BBC 4 launches its Pop, What is it Good For? season, a series of programming which scrutinises British pop from the 50s to the 90s. The season starts with Pop Britannia (Friday 4th, 10pm, repeated Saturday 5th, 12.10am) which begins with a look at British pop from post-war to the early 1960s. In Pop! What is it Good For? (Tuesday 8th, 10pm) Paul Morley reviews the role of music on post-war British identity and culture during the 50 years of his life, while in Pop on Trial (Thursday 10th, 10pm) Stuart Maconie presides as guest panellists discuss the merits of pop music from the 1950s. Also showing are archive episodes of Top of the Pops, Juke Box Jury (both Monday 7th) and Six Five Special (Thursday 10th) as well as three feature films Expresso Bongo (Friday 4th), Mojo (Wednesday 9th) and Absolute Beginners (Thursday 10th) which depict the London pop scene of the 1950s.

Other recommendations for shows that you might have overlooked over the Christmas period, are repeats of the Dance Britannia season (Saturday 6th, Sunday 7th) and Last Man at Hammersmith Palais (Monday 7th) the story of the west London music venue.

Friday 4th January


Sounds of the Sixties – BBC 4. 7.00pm – 7.10pm
Music from the decade.

All about Thunderbirds – BBC 4. 7.10pm – 8.10pm

Animator Nick Parks is among those paying tribute to Gerry Anderson’s sci-fi series.

Film: Expresso Bongo (1959) – BBC 4. 8.10pm – 10.00pm

Musical starring Laurence Harvey, Sylvia Syms and Cliff Richard. A talent agent hopes to get rich quick through a rookie rocker, who, for all his raw appeal, is also very religious.

Real Crime: the Gang the Krays Feared – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

Profile of 1960s mobsters Charlie and Eddie Richardson, who ran the most dangerous gang of the decade in a reign of terror across London.

Pop Britannia (1/3) – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm

The history of pop music from the aftermath of the Second World War to present day. This episode charts British pop from post-war to the early 1960s.

Film: Dr Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963) – ITV 3. 10.10pm – 12.10am
Kubrick’s satirical comedy starring Peter Sellers. In the firm belief that his impotence is the result of a Soviet plot to poison the water supply of the "free world", General Jack D Ripper despatches a squadron of nuclear-armed war planes to bomb Moscow.

Film: Till Death Us Do Part (1968) – BBC 1. 12.25am – 2.10am

Irreverent comedy based on the popular TV series, starring Warren Mitchell and Dandy Nicholls.

Saturday 5th January


TOTP2 – Dave. 8.00am – 11.00am
More classic pop clips.

Film: Dr No (1962) – ITV3. 9.20pm – 11.30pm
The first of the series of films based on Ian Fleming’s famous fictional secret agent, starring Sean Connery. James Bond is sent to Jamaica to find out more about the mysterious killing of a fellow agent.

Stingray – the Reunion Party – BBC 4. 9.30pm – 10.00pm
The premiere of a new episode of the 1960s children’s favourite, edited under the supervision of creator Gerry  Anderson, using recently discovered footage of the series.

Pop Britannia (1/3) – BBC 4. 12.10am – 1.10am

The history of pop music from the aftermath of the Second World War to present day. This episode charts British pop from post-war to the early 1960s.       

Film: The Tomb of Ligeia (1964) – BBC 1. 1.40am – 3.05am

Roger Corman directed horror starring Vincent Price. The second wife of Verden Fell is disturbed when she discovers how far her husband will go to keep the memory of his first wife alive.


Sounds of the 60s – BBC Radio 2. 8.00am – 10.00am
Brian Matthew spins two hours of hits, B -sides and album tracks.

The Funk and Soul Show – BBC Radio 6. 6.00pm – 9.00pm

3 hours of funk, soul and blues.

Sunday 6th January


TOTP2 – Dave. (Freeview Ch. 19). 7.00am – 9.00am
More classic performances from the archives.

UFO – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Straker arrives at SHADO HQ to find a traitor has infiltrated the facility and caused time to stand still.

Film: Carry on Doctor (1968) – Film4. 7.15pm – 9.00pm
Classic comedy starring Frankie Howerd. Francis Bigger is a notorious charlatan who tours the country lecturing on the subject of mind over matter. During one of his performances he falls off the platform and is taken to hospital.

Dance Britannia (1/3) – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 12Midnight

The story of popular dance in British culture during the 20th century, beginning with a look at the impact of new dance styles in the aftermath of the First World War. The programme charts how ballroom dance developed as other movements became standardised.

Film: If… (1968) – Film4. 11.10pm – 1.15am

Allegorical drama from British Director Lindsay Anderson starring Malcolm McDowel. Rising discontent at a boy’s public school escalates into open rebellion and violence.

Hammer House of Horror – ITV 3. 11.30pm – 12.40am
A young woman having an illicit affair finds she is the target of a 300-year-old witch who has returned to the present day.

Dance Britannia (2/3) – BBC 4. 12Midnight – 1.00am

Twist and Shake. 1945 -1970. How popular dance evolved during the 1960s and 1970s.

Monday 7th January


Minder – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Terry is sent to court – and with Arthur as a character witness, his prospects of acquittal look gloomy.

Top of the Pops – the True Story – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

To launch the Pop, What is it Good For? strand, Robbie Williams, Kylie Minogue and Jimmy Savile are among those recalling the legendary show.

Top of the Pops – 1968 – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 9.30pm
A classic episode from 1968, featuring performances by Status Quo, the Move, Herman’s Hermits, Amen Corner and the Foundations.

Juke Box Jury – BBC 4. 9.30pm – 10.00pm

David Jacobs hosts an edition of the pop show from 1960 in which Jill Ireland, David McCallum and Nina & Frederick discuss the latest releases.

The Story of Light Entertainment – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.30pm

A history of music TV shows, from their roots in variety performances to today’s popular family shows.

Film: Beneath the Plant of the Apes (1969) – Film4. 11.00pm – 12.45am

The first sequel to Planet of the Apes starring Charlton Heston.

The Old Grey Whistle Test Story – BBC 4. 11.30pm – 12.10am

A look back at the influential music show, which ran from 1971 to 1987.

When the Stranglers Met Roland Rat – BBC 4. 12.10am – 1.10am

Documentary which goes in search of the colliding worlds of pop and kids’ TV.

Dance Britannia (3/3) – BBC 4. 1.10am – 2.10am

From the Northern Soul scene of the 1970s and the rave culture of the 90s, to the Bhangra dance clubs of multi-cultural Britain, the story of British dance styles comes full circle in the final programme, as more traditional forms of dance once again become mainstream.

Last Man at Hammersmith Palais – BBC 4. 2.10am – 3.10am

The story of the west London music venue is recalled by many of the artists who played there and the people who used to frequent it.

Tuesday 8th January


Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Jeff is hired to trace a missing woman who had been attending seances prior to her death – but Hopkirk establishes that the medium is a fake.

Minder – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Arthur and Terry are hired to transport a bull, little suspecting they are actually being tricked into stealing it.

Be My Baby – the Girl Group Story – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

A look at the success and demise of female pop groups the Supremes, the Three Degrees, Sister Sledge, Bananarama, the Bangles and the Spice Girls.

Pop! What is it Good For? – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm

Paul Morley reviews the role of music on post-war British identity and culture during the 50 years of his life.

Wednesday 9th January

Film: Carry on Dick (1974) – Film4. 7.15pm – 9.00pm
Saucy comedy starring Sid James. In Georgian England all travellers are fair game to highwayman Dick Turpin. The Bow Street runners are at their wits end: little do they know that Dick has the most ingenious of disguises.

How Pop Songs Work – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm

Charles Hazlewood explores what makes a good pop single, breaking the songs down into six key areas and looking at successful songs from the genre, including John Lennon’s Imagine.

Film: Mojo (1998) – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 12.30am

Period drama starring Ian Hart. London, the 1950s: the Atlantic Club in Soho is the place to see rock ‘n’ roll star Silver Johnny, whose rise to stardom has been masterminded by club owner Ezra. But trouble erupts when a rival offers to take over the singer’s contract.


Mark Lamarr’s Alternative 60s (2/3) – BBC Radio 2. 10.00pm – 11.00pm
Showcasing obscure 1960s records from rock, pop and psychedelia to folk, soul, R&B and garage. 

Thursday 10th January


The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
The super powered trio investigate why a rogue nation is testing nuclear weapons under Antarctica.

UFO – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Paul Foster is abducted and transformed into a liquid-breather. 

The Professionals – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

Rumours of a deadly weapon reach the team, who need to identify both the assassin and his target.

Six Five Special – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

Josephine Douglas and Pete Murray introduce a pop programme featuring Eric Delaney and his band.

The 1950s: Pop on Trial – (1/6) – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 11.00pm

Stuart Maconie presides as guest panellists discuss the merits of pop music from the 1950s to the 1990s.

Film: Absolute Beginners (1986) – BBC 4. 11.00pm – 12.40am

Musical based on Colin MacInnes’ novel, starring Eddie O’Connell, Patsy Kensit and David Bowie. London, 1958: nineteen-year-old photographer Colin is hopelessly in love with model Crepe Suzette, but her relationships are strictly connected with her progress in the fashion world. So Colin gets involved with a pop promoter and tries to crack the big time. Meanwhile, racial tension is brewing in Colin’s Notting Hill housing estate.