I have seen a lot of posts recently on Youtube and blog sites that list various “facts” that aren’t true. Therefore, I thought we should do the same here at britishfilmandtelevisionreviews.
FIVE - Death to the Frosties Kid!
In 2006 a blonde child yelling “They’re gonna taste great!” beat The BBC Test Card’s world record for most people turning over channels simultaneously. Millions would switch off as this overplayed (well, it seemed overplayed on first viewing) and over-exaggerated advert bellowed in to our homes and annoyed the hell out of the nation. For once, Tony ‘the ever annoying’ Tiger wasn’t to blame. It was the previously mentioned brat, who’s sickening enthusiasm for a breakfast cereal and terrible rhyming skills with the word “Great” (man in a crate, brother on a date, pi-rate, etc…) that drove the population insane.
A few months later the rumor circulated on internet sites and school playgrounds that the child was (rightfully) bullied for his annoying TV appearances between Emmerdale and had (rightfully) committed suicide due to the harassment. Other rumors had circulated that irate TV viewers, had spotted the child and murdered him… *Insert ‘Cereal killer joke here*.
However after the rumor had caused slight concern, popular myth-busters Snopes, contacted Kellogg’s and received confirmation that the child was an actor who was alive and well living in South Africa. BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles also debunked the myth by calling the boy -identified only as Sven- live from his Breakfast show… The combination of this annoying twosome must have been unbearable.
FOUR - Doctor Who?
Doctor, who? indeed. A very common misconception is that the Doctor in Doctor Who is called, well, Doctor Who. Doctor Who is simply the name of the show and not the name of the mysterious Time Lord, who has only ever been referred to as “The Doctor” or “Doctor”. The underlying theme and plot of the show, is that nobody knows the identity of our heroic protagonist. It is not known what he is a doctor of, why we must not speak his real name, if he’s NHS or private- nothing.
However it is very easy to make the mistake that Doctor Who, is his indeed the characters name. For nearly 20 years The Doctor was credited at the end of every episode as Doctor Who and again credited with the name for the 2005 reboot, until David Tennant stepped in to the role. Being a fan of the show, Tennant insisted the character credit changed to ‘The Doctor’. This move won Tennant’s approval with the die-hard, scarf-wearing ‘Wholigans’. The show itself has also made some subtle and out-right obvious references to the title, with one script error in a late 1960’s acid-trip episode where the BT Tower in London accidentally demands that “Doctor Who is required” - I assumed a bill was owed. In the revamped series, specifically in the Matt Smith (11th Doctor) era, writer Steven Moffat seems so obsessed with referencing the title that it may as well be a full, 45 minute episode of the Doctor Who ‘Knock - Knock’ joke.
THREE - Everybody Mimed on Top of the Pops
Many believe that every performance on TOTP was mimed, however this is untrue. It’s true that the earlier days of what was once the UK’s most popular music show, the majority of the artists were forced to lip-sync and pretend to play instruments to a recording of their track. This was often due to the fact that many different genres were played throughout out one half-hour episode of the show, and although prerecorded, it would have been impossible to do so many set-ups in a small studio and in such a short amount of time.
After a while TOTP became a kind of televised Karaoke show, as singers were able to sing live to an instrumental of their track, however it seemed that most (mainly boy-bands) continued to lip-sync. Acording the Andi Peters (Yeah, he was the producer for a while- google it!) there was “no policy on lip-syncing” and it was up to the performer. As we moved in to the new millenium, it became possible for bands to play completely live- on a now broadcast live show. However by this point other channels were showing performances from festivals and there were twenty-billion music channels available on sky. Top of the Pops died a dignified death with original host Jimmy Saville appearing on the last show… Oh.
There are too many memorable examples of musicians having fun with the recorded ‘karaoke tracks’ and lip-syncing that including: The Gallagaher brothers swapping roles for ‘Roll With It’, Hendrix getting the wrong backing-track and this hilarious performance from Nirvana…
TWO - Twanging Balls of Rainbow
“We could hear you all banging away. Would you like to blow my pipe while I twang?”
We don’t remember it but we trick ourselves through repeated viewings on Youtube, that we watched this dirty episode of Rainbow as a child. You didn’t this episode which consists of innuendos and the cast “twanging their balls”, was actually a sketch written and performed especially for the Thames Television Christmas party. Thames Television made the show and similar to the BBC, when there was spare time on set, various stars from various shows would quickly film shot skits that would be shows for laughs at a self-congratulatory Christmas meal. The episode, along with other sketches from ‘Christmas tapes’ often made it on to Youtube and have been mistaken for genuine episodes. Although debunked, some of Rainbows content was often considered as a nod to the adults, there is even an episode named ‘making things dirty’. Some viewers were under the impression that the puppet characters came across, as if there was an underlying sexual tension between them. Zippy and George sometimes portrayed a married couple (Yes, they shared a bed) and Bungle was believed by many fans to be closet homosexual, something often referenced in adult sitcoms such as Two Pints of Larger and a Packet of Crisps where Bungle makes a flamboyant cameo. Leave the Bear be, I say!
ONE - Captain Plugwash
This one goes without saying… Which kid’s TV show had the characters Roger the Cabin Boy, Seaman Stains and Master Bates? None of them…
It’s an old one but the most popular. Yes, many still believe that popular 70’s children’s show Captain Pugwash featured characters with the previously mentioned names. Quite simply, it didn’t. So where did the myth come from? Although nobody is certain, the rumor got around when the Guardian and People’s Correspondent paper (the latter now defunct) issued articles highlighting their concern with the inclusion of these characters, who didn’t even exist. It all sounds like one big funny misunderstanding, however Captain Pugwash writer John Ryan successfully sued both newspapers for printing the headlines , for fear that it would forever give the show a bad name. Ironically, those made up names are what the show is probably most remembered for and many believe it was those rumors of innuendo names that lead to it’s continued popularity that resulted in the show being resurrected in 1997. I’m just surprised they never had a Rear-Admiral…
By Sam Cleere