Categories / Film and TV

Retro TV W/C 25th September 2009


Barry Murphy returns once more to trawl the TV and radio guides (so you don't have to), finding anything worth tuning into this week. All listings are for UK terrestrial TV, Freeview and national radio, with the shows running from Friday 25th September to Thursday 1st October 2009.
Highlights of the week

The 1960s was one of the most visually exciting decades of the last century. British culture and pop design exploded internationally. Post-war blues were gone and there was a flurry of innovation in architecture, fashion and design to satisfy the emerging youth market.

In the first part of a new series, Designing the Decade (BBC 4. Monday 28th, 8pm) explores this significant period of design history to discover the designers and objects that shaped the era. The programme reveals the story behind cult car the Mini, interviews Robin Day about his ubiquitous stacking chair – 40 million have been manufactured – still found in church halls, dole queues and Botswana canoes' and discovers why a controversial new fashion, the mini-skirt, actually changed tax regulation.

In the 60s, the Post Office Tower went up, Tupperware was the new buzz word in pioneering materials, on the high street, Habitat was changing the face of shopping and the nation's interest in interior design, and a four-man band from Liverpool produced an album with one of the most celebrated covers in pop history. Designer Peter Blake reveals the story behind the sleeve of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Designing the 60s includes interviews with Kenneth Grange, designer of the Kenwood Chef; Peter Murdoch, Mary Quant, Adam Faith, Molly Parkin, Terence Conran, Martyn Rowlands, the man behind the Trimphone, Tony Benn, and series consultant Jonathan Glancey, architecture and design critic for The Guardian.

For more than twenty years, Dick Emery dominated the TV schedules. The Dick Emery Show regularly pulled in audiences of 17 million, making him one of the giants of British character comedy, until his death in 1983. His catchphrases were legendary – the most memorable being '"Ooh you are awful, but I like you" – and his influence can be seen in Little Britain, as well as the work of Catherine Tate, and Harry Enfield. In Dick Emery: the Comedy of Errors? (BBC Radio 2. Tuesday 29th, 10.30pm) fan David Walliams investigates Dick Emery's legacy and asks why the comic has been largely forgotten.

Friday 25th September


The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
Craig and Richard look for Sharron who has disappeared.

Classic Albums: The Doors – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 9.50pm
New. The mix of blues, rock and jazz made the Doors' 1967 debut album a massive worldwide hit. The surviving members of the band discuss the music and lyricist Jim Morrison's genius.

The Doors: No One Here Gets Out Alive – BBC 4. 9.50pm – 10.30pm

Profile of singer/songwriter Jim Morrison, frontman of The Doors, examining the effect his emergence in the mid-1960s had on the music scene, and featuring former bandmates.

Peep Show (2/6) – Channel 4. 10.00pm – 10.30pm

Series six. New. Mark is still obsessed with his geeky-but-cute ex-work colleague Dobby, while hapless lothario Jeremy falls for an arty Russian emigre.

Les Dawson's Lost Diaries – More4. 11.25pm – 12.30am

Insight into the comedian's private journals, which reveal the fears he faced both on and off stage. 

Film: The Rat Pack (1998) – ITV 1. 1.10am – 3.10am

Biographical drama starring Ray Liotta. It's the early 1960s and the entertainers known as the "Rat Pack" are the epitome of cool. But the group are embroiled in a world of Mob connections, political feuds and troubled relationships.

Film: Gonzo: the Life and Work of Dr Hunter S Thompson (2008) – BBC 1. 1.15am – 4.00am

Documentary about the life and work of controversial journalist Hunter S Thompson, narrated by Johnny Depp, featuring previously unseen home-movie footage and readings from unpublished manuscripts. Contributors include Sonny Barger, Tom Wolfe, Sondi Wright, Pat Buchanan, George McGovern and Ralph Steadman. (Signed).

Film: The Terror (1963) – BBC 2. 2.05am – 3.25am
Roger Corman horror starring Boris Karloff and a young Jack Nicholson. A Napoleonic officer is captivated by a mysterious woman.

Saturday 26th September 


Film: Carry on Up the Khyber (1968) – Film4. 3.10pm – 4.55pm
Saucy comedy starring Sidney James and Kenneth Williams. India 1895: in the North-West Frontier province, the villainous Khasi of Kalaber plans a rebellion against the governor, Sir Sidney Ruff-Diamond.

Film: Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954) – Channel 4. 3.00am – 4.25am
Prison drama directed by Don Siegel, starring Neville Brand. During a nationwide wave of riots, inmates from the punishment block of Folsom Prison take advantage of an inexperienced guard and barricade themselves in. Taking four officers as hostages, they demand better conditions. The warden wants to negotiate, but state officials prefer to use force.


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 6 Music. 6.00pm – 9.00pm

3 hours of funk, soul and blues presented by Craig Charles.

Sunday 20th September


Film: Thunderball (1965) – ITV 1. 3.55pm – 6.15pm
Spy adventure starring Sean Connery. A Nato aircraft has been stolen by criminal organisation Spectre and the world is threatened by its nuclear payload. 007 investigates.

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

A gang takes hostages.

Tweed (3/3) – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

Hanging by a Thread. Deryck Walker tries to bring tweed into the modern age, and the closure of Brain Hagga's mill leaves Harris's other two facilities struggling to meet demand.

Film: This is England (2006) – Film4. 9.00pm – 11.00pm
Shane Meadows' drama set during the early 1980s. After losing his father in the Falklands war, Shaun finds friendship with a gang of skinheads. But, when a new face appears on the scene, the group's loyalties become divided.

Film: For Your Consideration (2006) – BBC 2. 11.15pm – 12.35am

Christopher Guest's spoof documentary about the film industry. Midway through the shooting of a low-budget period drama, Hollywood's rumour machine cranks out the suggestion that three of the film's cast are tipped for Oscar nominations.


Billy Liar: 50 Years On – BBC Radio 4. 1.30pm – 2.00pm
Writer Blake Morrison travels to Leeds in search of the world depicted in Keith Waterhouse's novel Billy Liar. Repeated as a tribute to Keith Waterhouse, who died earlier this month.

Monday 28th September 


The Sweeney – ITV 4. 6.05pm – 7.00pm
A gang takes hostages.

Minder – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

A strike causes trouble.

Designing the Decade (1/4) – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

A historical look at design in the 1960s. Among the subjects covered are why the mini-skirt challenged taxation laws, Peter Blake's sleeve for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and how Tupperware parties became the latest fad.

Upgrade Me – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm
New. Poet and gadget lover Simon Armitage explores the public's obsession with upgrading to the latest technology. He finds out whether it is design, functionality, fashion or pressure from friends that drives people to upgrade, and questions how a person's choice defines their identity.

Film: The Gauntlet (1977) – ITV 4. 11.00pm – 1.15am
Action crime drama directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Alcoholic policeman Ben Stockley is sent from Phoenix to Las Vegas with orders to bring back a prisoner who is to testify against senior police officers in court.


Holloway Dreams: the Joe Meek Story (3/3) – BBC Radio 2. 11.30pm – 12Midnight
Another chance to hear a 2007 tribute to studio pioneer Joe Meek, who manufactured futuristic sounds, most famously the Tornado's 1962 number one instrumental Telstar. Other beneficiaries of the Meek touch include Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, Billy Fury, Gene Vincent, The Honeycombs and Petula Clark. But Meek led a life troubled by depression and the then illegality of homosexuality. On 3 February 1967 – the eighth anniversary of his hero Buddy Holly's death – Meek fatally shot both his landlady and himself. Presented by Tom Robinso

Tuesday 29th September 


Film: Seance on a Wet Afternoon (1964) – Channel 4. 1.15pm – 3.25pm
Drama. Claiming to be a medium, Myra Savage desperately seeks recognition for her abilities.

Electric Dreams (1/3) – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

New. A family agree to live for 10 days without the use of modern technology, relying on the use of household gadgets available during the 1970s.

Auf Wiedersehen, Pet – ITV 4. 9.00pm – 11.10pm

Double bill. Bomber receives news his daughter has run away.

Later Live… with Jools Holland – BBC 2. 10.00pm – 10.30pm
Includes Gladys Knight performing classic numbers from her back catalogue.


Dick Emery: the Comedy of Errors? – BBC Radio 2. 10.30pm – 11.30pm
David Walliams pays tribute to largely forgotten saucy comedian Dick Emery, who in the 1970s regularly pulled in an audience of 17 million. The programme assesses Emery's legacy and looks at the bumpy personal life he masked by grotesque and exaggeratedly stereotypical comic creations.

Wednesday 30th September 


Minder – ITV 4. 5.55pm – 7.00pm
An incriminating tape is delivered to Daley videos.

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
The team investigate a multi-million-pound scam.

Film: The Gauntlet (1977) – ITV 4. 10.00pm – 12.20am
Action crime drama directed by and starring Clint Eastwood. Alcoholic policeman Ben Stockley is sent from Phoenix to Las Vegas with orders to bring back a prisoner who is to testify against senior police officers in court.

Thursday 1st October 


Film: The League of Gentlemen (1960) – Channel 4. 1.15pm – 3.25pm
Crime comedy starring Jack Hawkins. Infuriated by his enforced retirement from the army, an ex-officer plans a military experience and a group of old colleagues.

Electric Dreams (1/3) – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

A family agree to live for 10 days without the use of modern technology, relying on the use of household gadgets available during the 1970s.