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I'm really enjoying this series. Very talented cast, with Skinner well supported by the excellent young actor Tony Bignell, who displays great comic timing.
Kelly Scott looks to have a big career ahead of her as she excellently plays Shane's pretty late-teens daughter Velma, while Schneider, Norris and Berrington assist Skinner with their experience as comic actors.
The jokes are funny, the actors give good performances as likeable characters and the plots are amiable enough. Good, light-hearted entertainment; there is certainly space on the market for good quality sitcoms such as this.
Boon was an excellent series. Former firemen Ken Boon (Michael Elphick) and Harry Crawford (David Daker) run a security and a private investigator company, assisted by their staff led by Rocky (Neil Morrissey) and Laura (Elizabeth Carling), later replaced by Alex (Saskia Wickham). All three could consider 'Boon' to be their big break on the road to stardom. The series was really enjoyable, and the cast superbly talented. The late Michael Elphick took the lead role and was tremendous, winning an army of fans for himself, respecting his great acting ability. I'll just always regret being about a week away from writing him fan mail to praise him and thank him for the entertainment he'd provided in his career thus far, at the time he tragically died aged 55. With Daker, they played the best of friends, which helped make the drama and close shaves involved in the episodes all the more compelling. This was an example of a great show; entertaining, humourous at times, well-written and with an excellent cast.
Fantasy World Cup (1998)
The resurrection of a brilliant show
This was a delight to watch for fans of Fantasy Football, which in its original format had ended in the mid 90s. The comeback, as a series running throughout the 1998 World Cup, was really good. Frank and David were back to their best, sat on the sofa in a flat-like studio, welcoming celebrity guests (such as Tracey Ullman, Sean Bean, Noel Gallagher and the infamous Johnny Rotten) to view clips selected by Frank and David, and to discuss the various goings-on of the World Cup. The Phoenix from the Flames sketches probably reached their peak in this series of the programme. Hilarious sketches, such as the recreation of a Klinsmann dive, and the Patrick Batiston incident when a goalkeeper, Schumacher, mowed him down and got off scot-free. In one of these sketches, Frank and David were taunting a former Czech international, who left, and so Frank goes into a phone box to phone him back in the Czech Republic to apologise and tell him that they just want to recreate the goal he scored to beat Germany in a past international. Upon Frank saying this, there's a tap at the door of the phone box, and the guy has returned, luggage on his arms, telling Frank "I got here as quick as I could". That was just wonderful, but you need to see it to find it funny. It sounds less funny typing it, but on seeing it I was in stitches and have remembered it 4 years on.
Brit Awards 2002 (2002)
This was a very poor show
This lacked in many areas, and maybe 'The Brits Awards' has seen its best days. Frank Skinner was a poor choice for host. This is not really his thing, and he may not really appeal to such an audience. And, unfortunately, Frank's better jokes on this occasions were his more risque ones, and as this was a prime-time show, anything offensive was cut. So that lays the blame at the people who gave him the job, rather than Frank, because they know exactly what Frank is like and whilst he is very funny and a great entertainer, he's a strange choice for a programme aimed, really, at children.
Day to Day (1986)
I like this chat show
'Kilroy' has maintained a nice Englishness about it. Chat shows have become more and more extreme in recent years, with people badmouthing each other and attacking each other. But Kilroy has refused to go the way of Jerry Springer. I couldn't watch this show every day and it isn't 'tapeable'. But over the years, when I'm off sick or on holiday, or just at home, this has been, on occasions, an enjoyable show to watch. Often, this show is very good and very sensible. The spoofs of it in recent years by Aliastair McGowan have made me enjoy it more! Robert Kilroy-Silk does an excellent job as host. He always lets people have a fair amount of time to get their points across and move the discussion on. He's firm, so that people don't ramble and don't engage in personal debate across the studio floor, but fair, so that people have the chance to make their points. He's also sympathetic when he needs to be, and can defuse tension, whether that be anger or upset, with his good use of humour.
Fantasy Football League (1994)
The Ultimate Football Programme
This was brilliant. Shame it hasn't been on in it's usual format since about 1995, and shame it hasn't been on for a football tournament since 1998. This is excellent. Frank Skinner and David Baddiel, with 2 celebrity guests for each show. The studio was designed to be like a flat, and Frank and David would be sitting on their sofa as they did in real life when they shared a flat. The resident Statto would be there, as their geeky mate, always in his dressing gown and slippers, who tended to concentrate on the details of football, whilst Frank and Dave would deal with the passion, and the humour. If only this series would come back. The duo would show clips in which they'd noticed amusing things, and discuss the various goings-on of football at the time. There would also be a hilarious 'Phoenix from the Flames' where a goal from past football would be re-created by Frank, David and one of the players involved. It was a classic show. There has never been a better programme on football, and it is one of the greatest comedy shows ever, in the opinions of football supporters.
The Frank Skinner Show (1995)
An excellent show!
This is such an enjoyable programme. Often quite excellent, it never falls below the label 'good' for entertainment value. Frank Skinner is a fantastic comedian, and this show is brilliant to watch in recording, or live, depending on how it's done for each series. The show will start with Frank singing 'Fun Time Frankie', the theme tune, with musical backing from The Skinnerettes, of whom sadly 2 of the original 4 are now deceased. The Skinnerettes are a team of veteran musicians Frank uses for this. Frank will then launch into his stand-up routine and will show a sketch he has created, often hilarious, and these are based on recent news and events. Then Frank introduces a guest, and this is usually followed by a second guest after the break. He always has good people on and the show is very memorable. Very funny. Past guests include Britney Spears, Kylie Minogue, Tony Blair, Westlife and Ant & Dec. A great show, just like most of Frank's accomplishments, and very worth watching.
Renford Rejects (1998)
Certainly worth watching
About a 5 a side football team, who were all rejects from other teams and came together to form their own team. They don't win many matches. But people who don't like football can still enjoy this, as they don't really play that much. The personnel of the Rejects change gradually over the series'. But actors such as Paul Parris, Martin Delaney and Charlie Rolland remain throughout playing Barry Bruno Di Gradi' Grade, the wannabe Italian, chip-loving-Hull-City-shirt-wearing Jason Summerbee, and gangly goalkeeping poet Ben Phillips, respectively. Other constant characters include Elvis-worshipping café owner Eddie McAvoy, and, for sheer comic value, Basil and Terry Stoker. Basil is the sports' teacher at Renford Comprehensive, and is the sort of teacher everyone can remember having for PE. Loves to shout and scream at people and order them around, lacks intelligence, and has very hard, old-fashioned ideas. His son, Terry, is supposed to be groomed like him, and plays the feared tough man and bully role, but often reveals a softer side. These two provide the comedy as dim characters, prone to being outwitted and saying daft things. Roger Davies also remains through the series as Vinnie Rodriguez, the Rejects' own reporter. The series was probably at its finest during the first series, with the excellent Holly Davidson playing the original girl in the team, and the star player of the Rejects, but it remains an enjoyable programme to watch.
Down to Earth (2000)
This is a very good series. Well acted, well written and often idyllic yet realistic too. It takes an enchanting but honest look at country life. 2 series have been shown so far of this family TV favourite. In the first, the Addis' took the plunge and moved from their familiar urban lives in London to totally different lives in the countryside. The second series revisits the Addis' and elaborates further on their lives once fully adapted to rural life. Fine actors such as Pauline Quirke, Warren Clarke, Toby Ross-Bryant, Ellie Beaven, Alexandra Stone and Caroline Hayes play very likeable characters and make this clean, easy-to-the-eye programme very enjoyable.
Brush Strokes (1986)
If only they'd bring this back...
Even if they just repeated the episodes again. This programme was truly brilliant. So well acted, so well written, so funny, and nice and clean, with likeable characters such as Jacko and Elmo. I loved this programme!