Retro TV W/C 2nd October 2009

by Modculture 1 October, 2009

Madness

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 2nd October to Thursday 8th October 2009.
 
Highlights of the week

BBC 4 devote an evening to Camden Town's finest  – Madness on Friday 2nd October. Among the nights programming is Julien Temple's new documentary The Liberty of Norton Folgate (Friday 2nd, 10.40pm, repeated Sunday 4th, 1.20am). This filmed concert from the Hackney Empire consists of a sustained music hall-style performance of Madness's recent acclaimed concept album, with some atmospheric interstitial pieces to camera with Suggs and Carl, filmed in the murky haunts of London around the Norton Folgate area, which explore the context of this most London of albums and bands. 

Later the same evening is a chance to see 1981 film Madness: Take It or Leave It (Friday 2nd, 12.35am, repeated Sunday 4th, 11.55pm). Produced and directed by Stiff Records owner Dave Robinson, this docudrama chronicles the rise of Madness from their first gig as The Invaders in June 1977 to the release of their initial single and their first taste of fame. The members of Madness play themselves, whilst supporting roles are filled by relatives, actors, friends of the band and business acquaintances. Filmed on location in Camden Town, the production utilises well known local landmarks such as the Dublin Castle pub, Rock On record shop and Pathway Studios, but many scenes were also filmed in flats, houses and gardens occupied by band members.

Another bunch of Great British eccentrics Monty Python are celebrated on BBC 2 on Saturday 3rd October. Monty Python – Almost the Truth: the BBC Lawyers' Cut (Saturday 3rd, 9.15pm, repeated Sunday 4th, 11.40pm) tells the story of Britain's most bizarre, surreal and influential comedy team, told in celebration of the troupe's 40th anniversary. Brand new interviews with John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Eric Idle, plus archive footage of Graham Chapman, explore their influences, and how they made the successful transition from pioneering television to ground-breaking movies.

Finally, a group of young, modly dressed, swinging London hipsters decide to go have a smashing party at the local haunted manor out in the middle of nowhere in Tigon Productions' 1969 movie The Haunted House of Horror (BBC 2. Friday 2nd, 2.00am). When one of the group is slashed to death with a Gurka blade, the others cover it up by dumping the body somewhere so they won't have to get involved with the police. While not having much of a plot, this well shot, colourful movie features The Pretty Things on the soundtrack and is well worth a viewing for any fan of late 60s/early 70s mod horror.

Friday 2nd October

TV

The Champions – ITV 4. 6.00pm – 7.00pm
The team learns of an attempt to steal a top-secret file.

Mastermind – BBC 2. 8.00pm – 8.30pm

Topics include British New Wave cinema of the 1960s.

Madness at Glastonbury – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.00pm

A performance on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury 2009, the first programme in BBC 4's night devoted to Madness.

Peep Show (3/6) – Channel 4. 10.00pm – 10.30pm

Series six. New. Jeremy realises he's in love with Elena and tries to win her affection.

Young Guns Go For It – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 10.40pm
Members of Madness recall their hits and splits.

The Liberty of Norton Folgate – BBC 4. 10.40pm – 11.45pm

New. Julien Temple's film of Madness performing their album at the Hackney Empire, using a music-hall style to tell stories from London's musical development through the years.

Later … with Jools Holland – BBC 2. 11.35pm – 12.40am
Includes Gladys Knight performing classic numbers from her back catalogue.

Film: Madness: Take It or Leave It (1981) – BBC 4. 12.35am – 2.00am
Music documentary starring band members as themselves, which provides a fanciful but largely factual account of the dead-end jobs, landmark gigs and line-up changes that saw The Invaders evolve into hit group Madness.

Film: The Haunted House of Horror (1969) – BBC 2. 2.00am – 3.30am

Horror starring Frankie Avalon. A group hold a seance in a mysterious house.

Saturday 3rd October

TV

Monty Python – Almost the Truth: the BBC Lawyers' Cut – BBC 2. 9.15pm – 10.15pm
The story of Britain's most bizarre, surreal and influential comedy team, told in celebration of the troupe's 40th anniversary. Brand new interviews with John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Eric Idle, plus archive footage of Graham Chapman, explore their influences, and how they made the successful transition from pioneering television to ground-breaking movies.

Film: And Now for Something Completely Different (1971) – BBC 2. 10.15pm – 11.40pm
A film anthology of comedy sketches from the celebrated television series.

Movie Connections – BBC 2. 11.40pm – 12.20am
The story behind Monty Python and the Holy Grail, revisiting 1974, when John Cleese and the team decided to make their first film.

Radio

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 4th October

TV

Film: You Only Live Twice (1967) – ITV 1. 4.00pm – 6.15pm
James Bond adventure starring Sean Connery and Donald Pleasence. When international crime syndicate Spectre captures an American spaceship in the hope of starting the Third World War, Bond is dispatched to Japan to face arch villain Blofield.

Upgrade Me – BBC 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm

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.

Designing the Decades (2/4) – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
A retrospective trawl through the design icons of the 1970s, a decade famous for recession and social unrest, when the nation's living rooms were transformed. Why did we turn to pine, and what was so special about the Biba brand?

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

Regan makes an arrest after a policeman is shot.

The South Bank Show: Alison Jackson on Andy Warhol – ITV 1. 10.15pm – 11.15pm

Film-maker Alison Jackson, who uses lookalikes of stars in her work, ponders what the artist who created the concept of 15 minutes of fame would think of our celebrity-obsessed world.

Madness at Glastonbury – BBC 4. 10.55pm – 11.55pm (Repeated 3.25am)
A performance on the Pyramid stage at Glastonbury 2009.

Monty Python – Almost the Truth: the BBC Lawyers' Cut – BBC 2. 11.40pm – 12.40am
The story of Britain's most bizarre, surreal and influential comedy team, told in celebration of the troupe's 40th anniversary. Brand new interviews with John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam, Michael Palin and Eric Idle, plus archive footage of Graham Chapman, explore their influences, and how they made the successful transition from pioneering television to ground-breaking movies.

Film: Madness: Take It or Leave It (1981) – BBC 4. 11.55pm – 1.20am
Music documentary starring band members as themselves, which provides a fanciful but largely factual account of the dead-end jobs, landmark gigs and line-up changes that saw The Invaders evolve into hit group Madness.

The Liberty of Norton Folgate – BBC 4. 1.20am – 2.25am
Julien Temple's film of Madness performing their album at the Hackney Empire, using a music-hall style to tell stories from London's musical development through the years.

Monday 5th October

TV

Film: Where Angels Go… Trouble Follows (1968) – Film4. 2.50pm – 4.40pm
Wry comedy starring Rosalind Russell and Stella Stevens. Mother Simplicia, the head of an all-girls school, fights to keep her pupils on the straight and narrow when she takes them on a trip to California.

Designing the Decade (

3/4) – BBC 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
A retrospective trawl through the 1980s, characterised by yuppies and shoulder pads.

Life, the Universe and Douglas Adams – BBC 4. 10.00pm – 10.50pm
This 2001 Omnibus documentary provides an insight into the career of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy writer.

Radio

Paul Jones – BBC Radio 2. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Tonight featuring a chat with ex-Animals keyboardist Alan Price, plus reminiscences of Soho's Flamingo club.

Scum – BBC Radio 4. 11.30pm – 12Midnight

Mark Kermode looks at the history and controversy surrounding the movie Scum, one of the most infamous British films of the 1980s.

Tuesday 6th October

TV

Minder – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Arthur risks all his savings.

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

Double bill. Dennis does his bit to cement Anglo-German relations. 

Radio

Benny Hill: the Untold Story – BBC Radio 2. 10.30pm – 11.30pm
Comic Ben Miller profiles racy comedian Benny Hill (1942 – 92).

Wednesday 7th October

TV

Minder – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Arthur's safe is targeted by an old acquaintance.

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 8.00pm – 9.00pm

Regan oversees a secret transport deal.

Film: Sudden Impact (1983) – Five. 10.00pm – 12.20am

Seedy crime thriller starring Clint Eastwood as maverick San Francisco cop "Dirty" Harry Callahan, whose unorthodox methods of policing have again incurred the wrath of both his superiors and the city's mayor. While things cool off, Callahan is assigned to investigate a series of brutal murders in a small seaside town.

Thursday 8th October

TV

The Sweeney – ITV 4. 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Regan oversees a secret government deal.

Micro Men – BBC 4. 9.00pm – 10.20pm
New. Comedy drama telling the story of the race for home computer supremacy during the 1980s. Clive Sinclair (Alexander Armstrong) and former colleague Chris Curry (Martin Freeman) go head to head in a battle to achieve domination of a growing market, triggering the UK computer revolution.

Peep Show (3/6) – E4. 11.35pm – 12.05am
Series six. Jeremy realises he's in love with Elena and tries to win her affection.