Play Away (1971) - News Poster



Charlie Brooker: Midsomer's plain daft. So why might adding brown faces make viewers suspend disbelief?

The TV audience isn't stupid or anywhere near that prejudiced

So then. Red faces at Midsomer Murders. Which at least provides a bit of diversity among all the white ones. Producer Brian True-May's ill-judged comments about it representing "the last bastion of Englishness" have caused a predictable storm and counter-storm, with one side crying racism and the other crying about the cries of racism.

But is the overwhelming whiteness representative of the English countryside? Well, I grew up in south Oxfordshire, very close to some of the locations used in Midsomer Murders, specifically near a town called Wallingford, which used to double as "Causton" in the series. It's also – fittingly – where Agatha Christie died. Oh, and it used to regularly show up in the Ronnie Corbett sitcom Sorry, if you're interested. Which I sense you aren't.

To the best of my knowledge, when I was growing up, there was
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

DS Icon: Derek Griffiths

This week's Digital Spy Icon is not someone you would necessarily recognise if you bumped into him down your local Asda. Although Derek Griffiths has done some fabulous work on screen down the years, entertaining generations with his sublime acting, children's TV presenting and wacky humour, his most memorable feature is actually his voice. His dulcet tones are immediately recognisable and will most probably bring tears of nostalgic joy to anyone from the ages of 25 to 65. He took starring roles in the likes of Play Away and Play School in the 1960s and 1970s, but it was when he went behind the camera that Griffiths really came into his own. His singing (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

Make children's television gentler, plead Play School's former presenters

Young viewers brought up on noisy, anarchic programming are missing the calm pace and face-to-face interaction of old-fashioned shows, say four of Play School's best-loved personalities

When Toni Arthur, the former 1960s folk singer, went up to the Edinburgh Festival one summer to direct a comedy show on the fringe, a large stranger ran up to her and declared the strength of his feelings. "I just love you, you know," he said, choking with emotion. The man was the comedian Phill Jupitus, and for Arthur it was far from an isolated incident.

Throughout her career, many of those who used to watch her during her long stint as a presenter on the BBC children's programme Play School have adopted the same attitude. And it is not just nostalgia, according to Arthur. She suspects it is because all the presenters on the show were trained to look straight into the camera,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Floella Benjamin ascends to the Lords – but who should be next?

Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham could open the floodgates for scores of favourite TV faces to be clad in ermine

Floella Benjamin has ditched her Polo mint earrings and ascended to the House of Lords this week, in recognition of her campaigning charity work. She becomes Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham, which appropriately sounds like a character from a kids' TV show. Oh look, here comes Baroness Benjamin of Beckenham on her blue bicycle!

It's obvious why she's been honoured now, after all these years. The people in government are in their late 30s and 40s and therefore the right age to reminisce about the reassuring personalities from their childhoods. Floella could open the floodgates for scores of old TV faces to be clad in ermine and propped up among the decaying reactionaries already gathering dust there.

You can just see Cameron and Clegg sat in front of a laptop, looking up
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Dominators Confirmed for DVD

The BBFC have cleared extras for the DVD release of the Second Doctor story The Dominators.

This 1968 five-part story has been expected ever since an official promo for the story was leaked to YouTube at the end of last year. The story stars Patrick Troughton as the Doctor along with Frazer Hines as Jamie and Wendy Padbury as Zoe.

The story is set on the planet Dulkis, under threat from two alien Dominators, Rago and his subordinate Toba, who have landed in a spaceship. It features the robot Quarks.

Guest stars include Ronald Allen, who was well known at the time for his starring role in the soap opera Compact and later for his role in Crossroads and Brian Cant who was a staple of Children's television in the sixties and seventies, well known for his work on Play School and Play Away and for his narration on the popular Trumpton,
See full article at The Doctor Who News Page »

DS Icon: Floella Benjamin

Floella Benjamin is a children's TV institution. The Trinidad-born presenter, who was rightly awarded an OBE in 2001, was one of the driving forces behind the long-running BBC kids shows Play School and Play Away. Alongside the likes of Brian Cant, Jeremy Irons and Johnny Ball, Benjamin kept millions of British children smiling with her enthusiasm in front of camera. Other successful projects from her '80s pomp included Channel 4's Treehouse and the zany sketch show Fast Forward. Aside from her work on children's (more)
See full article at Digital Spy - Movie News »

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