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Pointless Jingles

On Saturday, Pointless Celebrities did their second radio special. And to celebrate the event, Richard Osman had lots of jingles at his disposal. As possibly one of the most Dirty-Feed-friendly programmes ever broadcast, we had to mark the event somehow.

Now, many shows might have just got some cheap, nasty, mock radio jingles done – maybe because they wanted cheap, or maybe because they wouldn’t have any idea companies exist whose entire purpose is to create radio jingles. But the beauty of Pointless – as with all great programmes – is how much care is taken in the production. So we get resings of tracks which originally came from US jingle companies JAM and PAMS – who both produced Radio 1 jingles for decades.1

The result of this? That, much like TV Offal, all the jingles heard on Pointless were originally sung for US radio stations. And if you don’t want to hear a comparison between the two different versions, then you’re clearly on the wrong site. What are you doing here? Go away.

Download “Pointless Celebrities Jingles – 18/10/14″ (6MB MP3, 4:09)

For the record, the jingles in order are: Turbo Z #18, Turbo Z #4, Turbo Z #26 (my favourite), Turbo Z #1, Series 34 ‘Music Power’ #23, Series 27 ‘Jet Set’ #2, Turbo Z #6, Series 33 ‘Fun Vibrations’ #16, and Series 34 ‘Music Power’ #14. (With thanks to Robin Blamires for helping me identify that last one.)

All huge amounts of fun, and the delight with which Alexander Armstrong greeted them was a joy to behold. (Though well done Trevor Nelson for calling them “dated”, which is possibly the least interesting thing that could possibly be said about them.) It is, however, slightly ridiculous that Pointless not only has better jingles than an awful lot of radio stations, but also knows how to use them better…


  1. The resings for Pointless were in fact UK vocals done by S2Blue, rather than Dallas vocals. I find the Dallas vocals superior, but nitpicking when the results are so much fun feels a bit churlish.

    What’s also a bit of a shame is that none of the companies got a mention in the credits – but an awful lot of people and companies don’t get the credits they deserve these days. Mind you, we’d best avoid the topic of ever-shortening end credits, or – ironically – we’ll be here all day. 

■ Posted 19th October 2014 @ 5pm in Jingles, Radio, Television. No Comments Yet.

The First TX Suite I Ever Worked In

Photograph of a TX suite

Well, not really worked in. More worked by. First in a room next door, transferring material from tape to playout server, and then in the other room next door doing scheduling. But it’s the first TV place I went to where I actually got paid money for being there… so it has a special place in my heart. I don’t wish to romanticise too much, but I always got a little thrill as I walked through the room and saw that bank of monitors.

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■ Posted 9th October 2014 @ 9pm in Television. No Comments Yet.

Tumblr, there

I don’t tend to talk much about my Tumblr blog on this site. I use it for posting little pictures, thoughts, or snatches of audio, some of which develop into something more substantial over here. But I do feel I have to acknowledge by far my post popular post over there. It’s just hit over 200 likes/reblogs.

Extraordinarily unsafe for work.

Maybe I should stop talking about old radio airchecks or obscure sitcom edits on here, and just concentrate on women enjoying dog cock.

■ Posted 22nd September 2014 @ 2pm in Internet. No Comments Yet.

WJSV Complete Broadcast Day: 75 Years On

On the 21st September 1939, radio station WJSV in Washington, D.C. did something amazing: they recorded their entire day of output. From sign-on at 6am, to sign-off at 1am. Today is 75 years to the day since that recording was made; which means it seems an ideal time to inform you – or merely remind you – that the entire day is available to listen to online.1

Many others have written about the background to this remarkable recording – this piece on RadioArchives.com and this piece from the Library of Congress will tell you all you need to know. As the only complete day which has survived from what some call the Golden Age of Radio, its importance is only beaten by the sheer visceral impact of listening to the recording. This is no dry, worthy exercise – actually hearing the material is the closest you’ll get to travelling back to the United States in 1939. A horrendous cliche perhaps, but one I honestly believe is true.

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  1. There are many versions of the day dotted around the internet, but that link is by far the best quality version I have found. 

■ Posted 21st September 2014 @ 6am in Radio. No Comments Yet.

Scottish referendum: how irritating blogs covered newspapers covering broadcast media covering results

Today, the Guardian posted the following story: Scottish referendum: how broadcast media covered results. Regarding ITV’s coverage, we simply get the following:

“ITV’s Scotland Decides averaged 400,000 and a 5.5% share over the same period.”

This, however, is not how the article read earlier today. The above paragraph originally read as follows:

“ITV’s Scotland Decides averaged 400,000 and a 5.5% share over the same period, also for two simulcast editions – STV’s version for Scottish viewers fronted by Bernard Ponsonby and Aasmah Mir, with ITV News’s programme for the rest of the UK, anchored by Alastair Stewart.”

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■ Posted 19th September 2014 @ 7pm in Journalism, Television. No Comments Yet.

BAMMA Bummer

This is the tale of one of the more ridiculous things that happened to me when I worked in Channel 5 TX.

Saturday, 14th December, 2013. I’m sitting at home, preparing for my first day back in work after a short illness. It’s live BAMMA coverage that evening – mixed martial arts, which usually involves the floor being entirely smeared with blood by the end of the night – and I decide to have a look at BAMMA’s Twitter feed to see what’s going on.1

So, I scroll down their feed… and something catches my eye. Something horrible. I reproduce it below – but I’ve had to blur out the relevant bits, I’m afraid. I’m sure you’ll understand when I tell you what they are.

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  1. All TX ops should do a little research on the show they’re going to be working on. Not all do. To be fair, I did once find myself in the middle of a live sporting event and suddenly realised I didn’t know the scoring system. Never. Again. 

■ Posted 17th September 2014 @ 2pm in Internet, Television. 1 Comment.

Bob Dinan’s Jingle Pilgrimage

RADIO: # Rocking Dallas Fort-Worth, 98.7 K-LUV! #
BOB DINAN: And do you get a kind of thrill still, every time you hear one of these?
JON WOLFERT: Yeah… yeah… I like it.

Day 4, Bob Dinan’s Jingle Pilgrimage

Religious metaphors are rare on this site. For this subject, however, I make an exception. If broadcasting is the closest I’ll get to religion, and arguing about audience sitcom is the closest I’ll get to a holy war, then visiting the studios of JAM Creative Productions of Dallas1 would be the equivalent of a pilgrimage.

I’ll probably never get to do it. However there is a second best, and a very good second best at that. A UK jingle collector who goes by the name of Bob Dinan took that very trip over to Dallas in February this year… and spent a long time recording everything. Which means I get an instant religious experience from the comfort of my own sofa.

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  1. Creators of radio jingles since 1974 – from WABC, to Radio 1, to – most importantly – Dirty Feed

■ Posted 31st August 2014 @ 8am in Jingles, Radio. No Comments Yet.

A Comparison of Two Different Edits of the Sorry! Episode “Curse of the Mummy”, Because This Is Dirty Feed and You Wouldn’t Expect Anything Else From This Site Really, Would You, I Mean Come On

Curse of the Mummy title card

If you’re a TV geek of a certain disposition, you know that sinking feeling when you pop your latest DVD purchase in, sit back… and watch as rights issues tear your programme apart.

Sometimes footage isn’t cut, but the music is replaced, giving scenes a whole different feel. Amongst many other music edits, Series 1, Episode 4 of Life on Mars gets rid of “Wild Horses” on the DVD release, and Skins cut – of all things – Lily Allen’s “The Fear” from Series 3, “Pandora” (and from one of my favourite scenes of the series, to boot). Other times, whole chunks of an episode are cut entirely: Episode 6 of Filthy, Rich & Catflap includes a section where Richie sings a spirited rendition of “Consider Yourself” which is gone from all DVD releases.1 Worse still is the Casualty Series 1 episode “Teeny Poppers”, which has a storyline about a man dressed as Spider-Man. It couldn’t be cleared, so a full six minutes was lopped out the episode for commercial release.

Worst of all are the edits where you don’t even know what has been cut. On DVD, the Hi-de-Hi! episode “A Matter of Conscience” ends with a big, emotional (and very well done) speech by Peggy… followed by an extremely nasty edit which takes you right out of the show. And I have no idea what has been actually cut, not having been able to see the original.

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  1. Luckily, the opening of the very first episode – where he sings “Morning Has Broken” – was cut for VHS… but is intact on all DVD releases. 

■ Posted 13th August 2014 @ 1pm in Comedy, Television. No Comments Yet.

Curse of the Dream Sequence

Brittas asleep on the trainThe Brittas Empire: “Curse of the Tiger Women”
Written by: Ian Davidson and Peter Vincent
Produced by: Mike Stephens
Directed by: Christine Gernon
TX: 24th February 1997

This is the story of one of my least favourite endings to a sitcom ever. But to figure out what went wrong, we need to skip backwards three years…

In 1994, The Brittas Empire had a pretty incredible run. No less than seventeen episodes were broadcast1, across two series – and amongst those seventeen were some of the show’s very best episodes. Examples include “High Noon”, where the leisure centre is blown up on a sitcom budget (and largely convincingly, to boot); the audacious “The Last Day”, where they kill Brittas off, send him to heaven, and then resurrect him during his burial; and “Not A Good Day”, where… they chain Sebastian Coe to a railing and watch him suffer for half an hour.

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  1. Whilst the oft-quoted “only six episodes a year” for British sitcoms is overstated – check out Keeping Up Appearances or Drop the Dead Donkey – seventeen episodes was still pretty unusual. 

■ Posted 7th August 2014 @ 6pm in Best Of, Comedy, Television. 2 Comments.

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