10 items from 2014
Comedian, sports pundit and novelist on his TV highs and lows
Sherlock. There's a real sense of occasion about it. [The reveal of how Sherlock survived the fall] was a lot less cunning than people thought it might be. But I liked the way they addressed that by starting with those fantasy scenarios. It's the sort of thing that could have annoyed people, but I thought it fitted perfectly. For 10 minutes the whole country thought that the writers had gone insane.
Earliest TV memory?
Watching the video of Into The Groove by Madonna on Top Of The Pops, in about 1985 or 1986. I would definitely have watched TV before then, but that is immortalised in my brain, for a number of reasons: it was my first experience of Madonna, my first experience of sexy women, and the first time I can remember understanding what TV was.
I'd lobby for a one-off Friends reunion. It had »
- Gwilym Mumford
The 1970s were a weird time. I'm glad I didn't have to live through any of it... but thanks to the internet, I can marvel (and mock) at the wonders of the 1970s.
Lalo Schifrin is best known as a composer who has scored hundreds of films, everything from The Amityville Horror to Dirty Harry to Thx 1138. He also put out a number of albums, mostly jazz instrumentals. In the late 1970s, he did a disco cover of John Williams' classic Jaws score. The BBC music show Top of the Pops decided to choreograph a strange dance to the song, complete with waggling legs, a swimming cut-out shark, and scared looks on the dancers' faces. The icing on this disco cake is that the dance troupe was called Legs & Co.
Sit back and enjoy the weirdness.
- Alyse Wax
The second series of the ITV2 reality show reveals the grim reality of rapid pop fame – and it should be screened in all stage schools as a warning
If you've never seen The Big Reunion, the ITV2 show in which late-90s pop groups reform for one last shot at success, you'd be forgiven for thinking it might be a feel-good slice of nostalgia for fans of manufactured pop. In fact, it's unrelenting pathos from beginning to end.
They say it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, but going on the evidence presented by the ragtag bunch in series two, it's hard to decide whether their lives were improved or damaged by their brief taste of success. This was perhaps best illustrated when we saw Linzi, a former member of short-lived girlband Girl Thing, living back on the Manchester estate where she was bought up. »
- Joe Stone
Wasted muscles, psychological damage … and patchy Wi-Fi. We're not going to be ready to hit the ground running when we travel to Mars
When we abandon this increasingly useless planet and head, as surely we must, to Mars, there will be a few problems on arrival. It's not just that there is, as yet, no baggage reclaim, but rather that, after a 15-month flight across space, prey to radiation from solar flares, having recycled again and again our own urine and solid matter, we won't be ready to hit the ground running. In fact, our muscles and bones will have wasted so much during that 56m km journey that we will have to be carried from our landing craft and nursed until we recover the strength to stand upright.
- Stuart Jeffries
Oh, isn't it good to have The Big Reunion back? As the sort of people who grew up pasting Top of the Pops stickers on every available surface, it's pleasing that we can revisit the glory years with the help of an ITV2 show on these cold, wet January nights. And boy, episode one did not disappoint. But as pop devotees, what exactly did we learn? Well, read on for the all-important lessons from tonight's instalment...
1. Andi Peters is still cheeky.
Well. Andi's narration was one of the best things about tonight's show, but we admit to blushing at times. "Simon Cowell splashed his massive wad in the direction of a famous French landmark." Andi, this is a family show! (Praise, though, for dubbing 'Freak Me' a "bonking anthem".)
2. Girl Thing's Nikki is voice twins with Philomena Cunk from Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe.
Seriously. It's creepy.
3. Victoria Beckham is loads of fun. »
Since we grew up surrounded by Top of the Pops and Smash Hits magazines, we were always going to be pretty happy with the lineup for series two of The Big Reunion. While others moaned about the lack of big names, we were chuffed. 3T? Check. Damage? Yep, remember them. Eternal? Obviously. A1? Well, we were a bit old for them, but then Ben was adorable on Big Brother. Brand new supergroup 5th Story? Our karaoke dreams made a reality.
But even we were left scratching our heads when Girl Thing were announced. Sure, we remember them vaguely trying to be a hit; we remember their one big song 'Last One Standing' in the sense that if someone hummed it we might have some kind of recollection. We know Jodi Albert, of course. But were Girl Thing really going to hit the nostalgic value of series one of The Big Reunion? »
The Big Reunion - the No.1 TV guilty pleasure of last year - returns for series two this evening.
So dig out your best Kappa tracksuit and buy yourself a multi-pack of Sunny D and prepare for a trip in a music time machine to an era pre-downloads and The X Factor, when Top of the Pops was still the most important show on television.
To celebrate the show's return, why not check out our Big Reunion Class of 2014's Greatest Hits package, featuring the best tracks from this year's acts preparing to reunite and face their demons.
The Spice Girls? Pah, too cheesy. Girls Aloud? Hah, they came from a reality show. If you want vintage British girl power pop, the original masters were Easther, Vernie, Kelle and Louise. Sadly, Mrs Redknapp isn't involved in the reunion, but we're still keeping our fingers crossed for a BeBe Winans cameo. »
Kate Greer, assistant producer, 1960s
I applied for a secretarial job at the BBC, but when I said I was interested in theatre, music and entertainment, they said I'd be useful in TV production. I was gobsmacked. I started off on Grandstand then, in 1965, was seconded to Top of the Pops, which had been launched to rival ITV's already successful Ready, Steady, Go!
The hit parade, as the charts were called then, had always been dominated by Us acts. But suddenly we had the Beatles, the Stones – and swinging London. Although our office was there, the first shows were filmed in Dickenson Road, Manchester, in an old church with a spireWe'd scour the city's clubs looking for kids to be in the audience. »
- Dave Simpson
London, January 30: Dave Lee Travis has claimed that he had been groped by three "very famous" female stars.
The former Radio 1 DJ refused to name them, but insisted that he was the victim as three female celebrities had "squeezed" his manhood, the Daily Star reported.
The former 'Top Of The Pops' host said that he was the victim of a "witch-hunt" by women who were lying or bearing a grudge because he did not sign autographs for them.
Travis is accused of sex attacks on 11 women over three decades, but has denied 13 indecent assaults and one sexual assault. (Ani) »
- Ketali Mehta
I gave up on a musical career after 15 years broke. It was painful at the time, but now I'm a happy software engineer
Inside Llewyn Davis, the latest film from the Coen brothers, tells the story of a musician struggling to climb one of life's hardest ladders. Anyone who has essayed a career in music will sympathise with Davis, even if they don't warm to his spiky persona. But while Hollywood has dealt extensively over the years with the blossoming of talent, it has been less penetrating in its analysis of the many careers that never flower, a lacuna that the Coens' film tries to fill.
When I was about 15, I discovered that I could write music. Worse than that, I found that I enjoyed it. Thus my academic fate was sealed – no longer was I going to drift rudderless through sixth form and university and become a second-rate solicitor »
- Edward Collier
10 items from 2014
IMDb.com, Inc. takes no responsibility for the content or accuracy of the above news articles, Tweets, or blog posts. This content is published for the entertainment of our users only. The news articles, Tweets, and blog posts do not represent IMDb's opinions nor can we guarantee that the reporting therein is completely factual. Please visit the source responsible for the item in question to report any concerns you may have regarding content or accuracy.See our NewsDesk partners