simon-on-the-river3's posts - English uPOST

Voice of Hal dies Voice of Hal dies

Canadian actor Douglas Rain has died aged 90. At first glance I knew little about this veteran stage performer - but his voice has been etched in my mind since I was six-years-old.

Epitaph Epitaph

When you go home, tell them of us and say

Lost Fifties Dan Dare radio show unearthed Lost Fifties Dan Dare radio show unearthed

Grab a mug of Horlicks and fasten that space helmet. John Freeman’s Down The Tubes comics news blog has a long lost episode of Radio Luxembourg’s The Adventures of Dan Dare. The eponymous Pilot of the Future from the pages of Eagle had his own radio serial on the commercial broadcaster from 1951 to 1956, though few…

Fifty years ago today, Sgt Benton taught the band to play  Fifty years ago today, Sgt Benton taught the band to play 

English television producer, writer, story editor and actor Derrick Sherwin passed away on October 17th, aged 82. If you are not familiar with the name, Sherwin was the architect of a pivotal development in the evolution of Doctor Who.

Groundbreaking, bold and ambitious! But what was Inside No 9 for their "live" Halloween special ? Groundbreaking, bold and ambitious! But what was Inside No 9 for their "live" Halloween special ?

Last night, Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton returned to BBC2 with a “live” edition of their comedy horror anthology Inside No 9. We were told that when Arthur Flitwick (Steve Pemberton) finds an old mobile phone in his local graveyard, he makes the mistake of trying to contact the owner. But some mysteries are…

G'daily Rolf - Guns, money, stairs and toys

I mentioned Robert Plant and Jimmy Page the other day. They covered Rolf’s Sun Arise but would you believe Rolf covered Stairway To Heaven. Back in the Eighties Harris was touring Australia and put in an appearance on a comedy talk show, The Money or The Gun. They had a spot where guests were asked to perform Stairway…

G'daily Rolf - shellfish special G'daily Rolf - shellfish special

This was the B-side to Sun Arise and after the sublime sounds what better than a bit of a bawdy laugh. Never came to terms with winkles myself but a plate of whelks would be welcome.

G'daily Rolf - Diddle-iddle-iddle-dum G'daily Rolf - Diddle-iddle-iddle-dum

The BBC used to have a stable of poppy light entertainment shows that pretty much ran in rotation. Cliff Richard, Lulu, Cilla Black and Rolf Harris would front their own shows, bring on guests, maybe do some sketches, let the Second Generation do some dancing (cripes, I had forgotten them), Sometimes they would be the…

What's your favourite Australian TV show? What's your favourite Australian TV show?

Deep question! What is your favourite Australian television show? I’m not sure I have a clear answer to that myself. Early days, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo felt like a regular fixture in the schedules along with Flipper and Champion the Wonder Horse (neither of whom were Australian but walked or swam a similar path).

Coming dead for Halloween from the BBC Coming dead for Halloween from the BBC

Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s award-winning anthology Inside No 9 returns in a special live (dead?) edition for Halloween on October 28th on BBC Two at 10pm – 10.30pm. That’s UK time, other territories might have to wait a bit.

G'daily Rolf - sunnyside up G'daily Rolf - sunnyside up

Back in 1960 it seemed Rolf could do no wrong. His fourth single confirmed that trend. Sun Arise, written with Australian naturalist Harry Butler, takes a cue from Aboriginal beliefs and music. Producer George Martin thought that was boring but Harris told him the repetitive Aboriginal chanting could become quite…

G'daily Rolf - Kangaroos and wallabies G'daily Rolf - Kangaroos and wallabies

This is one of those songs that formed the soundtrack of my childhood. It has never gone away. Rolf Harris was inspired by the calypsos of Harry Bellafonte when he wrote what has become possibly the most successful Australian song of all time. Allegedly Harris offered his backing musicians ten per cent of royalties…

Take a drive down the Mystery Road Take a drive down the Mystery Road

The last few weeks I’ve been watching a rather hard-boiled and twisted murder mystery on BBC4. The six-part Mystery Road is set in the North Western Australian outback. Newly promoted Detective Jay Swan (Aaron Pederson) is sent to investigate the disappearance of two farmhands on a cattle station. He is not exactly…

G'daily Rolf - the tree begins to breathe G'daily Rolf - the tree begins to breathe

Australian Renaissance Man Rolf Harris is one of those figures who went from international treasure to pariah in one easy court case. Still, the 88-year-old has served his time. Before he self-destructed, or at least before they pulled the pin, if you needed someone to play the didgeridoo who else where you going to…

Dundee University unveils untold treasures of Comicopolis Dundee University unveils untold treasures of Comicopolis

Move over Rebellion! A motherload of rare early edition comics have been found among thousands being catalogued at the University of Dundee library. While working on the archive American PhD student Hailey Austin has found publications that she describes as historically significant.

British MPs to interrogate robot British MPs to interrogate robot

Natural intelligence might be a rarefied commodity in the Westminster Bubble but a group of British MPs are going to ask a robot some questions about artificial intelligence. Luckily this droid likes answering questions and in pre-Brexit Britain presumably Pepper from Paris is still allowed to work in the UK. Just…

Mystery of the moving Baker Street Mystery of the moving Baker Street

I might have mentioned this before - and SPOILERS ahead if you haven’t seen the Season Six finale of Elementary - but I have a little twitch about how television shows place the residence of a certain consulting detective. Quick recap, when Conan Doyle wrote his original stories there wasn’t a 221B Baker Street. A…

An autumn cake to die for (and other Fall foods) An autumn cake to die for (and other Fall foods)

I trotted out to the Co-op a little earlier to pick up a few bits and bobs that expanded a bit to include a Spatchcock Chicken, an apple and blackberry pie and some Lemon Drizzle Kit-Kats. Not sure about the wisdom of that last one? The Co-op does a little compact magazine once a month, which they call Food. Other…

Rebellion buys comics treasure trove Rebellion buys comics treasure trove

Oxford based Games Developer and 2000AD publisher Rebellion has bought an treasure trove of British comic titles from TI Media (previously known as Time Inc). Material includes the original comic weekly Comic Cuts, launched by Daily Mail founder Alfred Harmsworth in 1890, Robot Archie, Billy Bunter, Sexton Blake, the…

Mad scientist conducts brainwashing experiments on nine-year-old orphan for spymaster Mad scientist conducts brainwashing experiments on nine-year-old orphan for spymaster

In all experimental technologies there are set backs. Things that go wrong. And neurology is such a difficult science. But we may never know what happened to the other McClaine children. Not that it matters, because they were all adopted. No one will miss them if the experiments don’t work. Of course, the Brain…

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