Wiffle Lever To Full!

Daleks, Death Stars and Dreamy Sci-Fi Nostalgia…

Extracts from Bob’s 1984 Diary… Volume 117

Thursday 26th April 1984

Woke up about 8.00 and got up at 9.00. Played on the computer till 9.30, then I went downstairs and typed some of the Fighting Fantasy. After that I went out and played on the tarzie and when I came in I had dinner.

After dinner I played on the videopac and then I went outside and attacked Poggy Doggy. At 3.00 I went for a ride through the estate and up the mud track to Yarm, then I went on Levendale. Went down the cut and to Moxham’s old house, then back up the cut and saw Huggy and Magee.

Came home at 4.00 and had tea a bit later, then I went outside on the tarzie till 7.15, when I watched Top of the pops. At 7.55 I watched the best of Kenny Everett, then at 8.35 I watched We got it made. Switched over at 9.00 to watch Mike Harding, and at 9.30 I went to bed.

Poor Poggy Doggy! What had he done to deserve being ‘attacked’ in the garden? He gave us good as he got, mind. Years later, when I was in sixth form, my friend Tim Oxnard tried to ride him like a pony, and spent the next three weeks picking bits of Bonio out of his finger wounds.  

And a new friend! ‘Magee’ was Colin Magee, a nice, mild-mannered Northern Irish lad who arrived at Levendale Primary School out of nowhere, made it to the summer holidays, and then was never sighted again. He was tall and wore a stripey blue/fawn jumper, and I once bailed him out of a tricky situation by helping him write the words ‘BLUE STREAK’ in blocky, cartoon type on the side of his drawing of the vintage 1955 British ballistic missile.

We were very progressive at Levendale Primary School. I’m only surprised we weren’t still celebrating Empire Day in 1984.

I was on a good run of Top Of The Pops watching, wasn’t I? Presented this week by the unlikely Radio 1 tag-team of Janice Long and Simon Bates, here’s the line-up…

• Belle & The Devotions – Love Games [Performance]
• Bob Marley & The Wailers – One Love (People Get Ready) [Promo Video]
• Duran Duran – The Re-Flex [Performance]
• Echo & The Bunnymen – Silver [Performance]
• Flying Pickets – When Youre Young & In Love [Performance]
• Julio Iglesias & Willie Nelson – To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before [Promo Video]
• Lionel Richie – Hello [Promo Video]
• Phil Collins – Against All Odds [Promo Video]
• Sandie Shaw – Hand In Glove [Performance]

A bit of actual ‘Pops’ history here, with this classic Sandie Shaw-backed-by-the-Smiths performance…

True to form, this sensational stuff made no impression on me whatsoever, and the one that stuck in my mind was this…

I think it was our forthcoming Eurovision entry…?

Great to see a little mention of Kenny Everett as well. I was chatting about Kenny with a friend last week, and we were saying how much we miss him. I can’t help but think that if he’d still been alive, he’d have firmly entered National Treasure status by now… he’d be on Q.I. every week, he’d have a weeknight show on Radio 2, and he’d be hosting BBC4 documentaries about psychedelia and pirate radio. And we’d love him to bits because he WAS a genius.

It’s easy to forget now just HOW massive Kenny Everett was in the mid-1980s. BBC1’s ‘Kenny Everett Television Show’ (along with The Young Ones) was THE show to watch and quote relentlessly in the playground afterwards, and rightly so… I’ve watched some of the episodes recently, and they absolutely stand up. They’re surreal, anarchic, and – above all else – utterly hilariously funny.

Come on… what’s not to love?

Have a root around Youtube, and they’re all there… Brother Lee Love with his massive hands, Sid Snot trying to chuck ciggies into his mouth, Gizzard Puke, Maurice in his velvet dressing gown and cravat, the mime artist, the staggeringly-named Cupid Stunt… oh, go on then, I can’t resist…

Dear BBC, When Oh When Oh When Will We Have Them All On DVD?
A. Viewer (Mrs)

I was convinced ‘We Got It Made’ was going to be a clunky 1980s DIY show, but a bit of research reveals it’s apparently one of the least well-regarded US sitcoms ever produced… in the words of Wikipedia…

“The show focused on Mickey Mackenzie (Teri Copley), a stunningly beautiful woman in her early 20s who applies for a housekeeping job in Manhattan. Her employers are two bachelors who share the two-bedroom apartment – attorney David Tucker (Matt McCoy) and salesman Jay Bostwick (Tom Villard). Mickey is the first – and only – applicant for the job; in fact, both David and Jay are so taken by her beauty they immediately hire her”.

I have no recollection whatsoever of any of this, and the opening credits (about 6 mins and 10 seconds into the below clip) ring no bells with me either.

Did anybody else in the country actually bother watching this, or was it just me?

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