Thursday, 6 December 2007

Christmas DVD Preview 2008 Part Two

That Bit on Hi-De-Hi! Where Peggy and Spike are Dressed as a Pantomime Horse Riding on the Back of a Real Horse (For Some Reason) and Boozy Old Mr Partridge is There Drinking Booze and Eating a Banana and he Looks at the Booze and Looks at the Banana and he Throws the Banana Away

RRP: $45.60

From Britain’s best-loved comedy comes Britain’s best-loved scene from Britain’s best-loved comedy! Everyone – WITHOUT FAIL – remembers where they were when they first saw this textbook piece of al fresco slapstick. Now it’s available in a special extended collector’s edition for you to own. (Well, for you to buy, let’s be honest, but if we talk about you ‘owning’ the thing that sounds more cosy and less rampantly profit-orientated. To tell the truth, we don’t care if you stick the thing up your arse, as long as you paid for it).


The famous scene in question, shorn of the rest of the programme it appeared in and shown entirely out of context (and probably cut to ribbons to boot, I’ll be bound).

Commentaries from everyone - and we mean everyone – involved. Jeffrey Holland and Su Pollard contribute fulsome praise for each other’s acting talents and other trad reminiscences along ‘the BBC tea kept us going’ lines.

The late Leslie Dwyer’s private diaries are ransacked and read out by a computer with his voice in a similar manner to that Tom Baker messaging service.

The late Simon Cadell does the same with a comic ‘review’ of the scene written by ‘Joe Maplin!’

Paul Shane applies his ‘rules of comedy’ to the scene. In song!

Barry Howard grins painfully, and Felix Bowness spends five minutes silently jumping up and down and ranting about something or other (audio only).

Someone in the production office suddenly gets the faint, sickening inkling in the back of his mind that this gag might be a rip-off of something WC Fields did in about 1932, but no-one bothers to go out and check.

Bonus Features:

Su Pollard’s ‘Oo Makes a Luvverly Cupp-aaah!’ donkey advert for Ty-Phoo!

Plus five more hours of solid Pollard!

Coming Soon:

That Bit Where Barry Whispers to Yvonne what Joe Maplin Means by the Term ‘Merchant Bankers’, and Yvonne Winces.

‘Pies, Pies, Who Wants a Custard Pie?’

The Complete Gladys-Sylvia Stand-offs (Commentary by Barry Davies)

Knit Yourself Funny!: Jeffrey Holland’s Step-by-Step Guide to Creating Woollen Versions of Every One of Spike’s Comedy Costumes

‘I Just Sort of Stood Next to the Webb Twins and Waved’: A Personal Journey by Chris Andrews.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Christmas DVD Preview 2008 Part One

Let's Make An Aimless Noise Right Here!: Twenty five years of arts-funded dustbin banging.

RRP: $13.99

Stomp, the internationally famous troupe of tiresomely eager-looking DIY percussionists, have been making a vaguely rhythmic noise on amusingly prosaic bits of waste metal for a quarter of a century, under various aliases so as to avoid detection. To celebrate this year's announcement that Stomp's act will not only be opening the 2012 Olympics Game, but will in fact be replacing them, and everything else, on British television for the entire fortnight, this DVD brings together for the first time every televisual appearance of the noisome crew's various incarnations.


Pookiesnackenburger's dustbin-tapping Heineken ad!

Every awards ceremony appearance Stomp have made to the end of 2006, which at last count was 263, though it feels like about 739. Bonus disc includes footage of ceremony audience looking nonplussed, bored, restless, in pain etc.

Yvette Fielding gamely joining in with a couple of kids banging plastic pipes with wooden spoons as Urban Strawberry Lunch take over the Blue Peter studio! For five minutes!

Every Yes-No People appearance on Andrea Arnold's slightly odd lunchtime eco-warrior magazine A Beetle Called Derek!

Ben Elton making that gag about someone nicking all the Yes-No People's instruments on Saturday Live!

The titles to late, lamented proto-Word Magazine Channel Four music show Wired, featuring the percussive stylings of the Yes-No People. And to enable you to enjoy the music better, we've handily blanked out all those distracting computer graphics with a big picture of a bloke in overalls grinning like a loon!

They were probably on that thing with Craig Charles and all, but I can't bear to look.


The Genesis of Stomp: leading players talk about the collective's formative years, including the moment one of them saw the start of the video for Down Under by Men at Work and thought: 'I'll have that!'

A downloadable PDF of Stomp's secret plan to infiltrate and destroy the Tap Dogs, The Blue Man Group, Cirque De Soileil and any other quirky-yet-Royal-Command-friendly novelty act on the planet by 2009!

Over To You! The Stomp ethos is all about joining in (after you've purchased the official product), so here's a step-by-step guide on how to go about setting up your own tappity-tap refuse collective. Includes tips on dustbin lid-sexing, and how to choreograph those routines where one of you walks about pretending to look bored, then starts flicking at a tin can or something, and the rest of the team leap up one by one to add to the spontaneous fun. Plus how to clear Covent Garden market of all shoppers in under ten minutes!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

'There's a ten shilling note! Remember them?'

Well, by popular demand, here's Kate workshopping a mime accompaniment to her selective-appeal-era 'Ealing comedy in four minutes' There Goes a Tenner on Stansfieldian gantrified roustabout Razzamatazz.

No need to go through a step-by-step deconstruction of this, as it's pretty much all of a piece, but do watch out for:

00:00 : Razzamatazz's helpful overhead display for non-Cockney viewers: 'KATE BUSH THERE GOES A TENNER £10')

00:00 - 00:20 : Kate's tribute to Michael Palin's tentative, Ministry-rejected silly walk.

00:35 - 00:40 : Leather trousers, T-shirt, prancing about - why, it's Sally James in Four Bucketeers mode! (According to one comment here, La James presented this very episode. The news that evening contained a grim bulletin on a nationwide spate of teenage spontaneous combustion.)

00:55 : 'Audience joined in with the 'waiting' mime rather nicely, I thought.' 'I think they were just confused, Alistair.'

01:20 : Pull-focus on MG horn, Mr Director!

01:52 : Missed opportunity - A. Pirrie or similar fails to hove into shot dressed as Edward G Robinson.

02:30 : 'Have you ever wondered what would happen if they made a Rita Tushingham Muppet? I think it might look something... like this!'

02:50 : A ukulele mime - lovely.

03:05 : Admit it, you've secretly been spending this entire song thinking, 'I wonder if they're going to..?' Well, they do! They do!

And for comparison, here's the official video version, which isn't that amazing, apart from the Great Big Pendulum:

See, surely the video for this song should have Kate herself playing the three (or is it four?) gang mambers she does accents for in the song, with loads of wobbly split screen. Or have I misunderstood things?