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Dirty Feed Podcast #1: TV Offal

Posted 26th February 2012

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TV Offal title sequence

Because there clearly aren’t enough of them in the world, here’s the first in a new venture on Dirty Feed – a podcast. This episode, I use Victor Lewis-Smith’s 90s series TV Offal as an excuse to play a one minute long jingle from a radio station in Denver:

Download Podcast #1: TV Offal (22MB MP3, 12:00)
(Subscribe using RSS / iTunes)

These will be published WHENEVER I CAN BE BOTHERED, and are deliberately starting off pretty short. Feedback more than welcome – I’ve been involved in G&T’s Dwarfcasts for over five years now, but this is the first time I’ve done one myself.

Give it a listen! Or: don’t.

With thanks to David Barras, Bigdave, Robin Blamires, jlehmann, jonno, Sean Martin, and mjb1124 on JingleMad for help and audio.

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Len Groat on 26 February 2012 @ 12pm

John, a thoroughly enjoyable summing-up a rather strange manifestation of the jingle world on tv.

I do wonder though if JAM ‘shot themselves in the foot’ with the sarcastic re-sings of the rather ‘cheeesey’ WNIC package, which went in an opposite direction to radio at that time? It may have helped kill the credibility of the ‘nice WNIC package’ as radio in the 1990s got less and less… nice…?

JamesW on 27 February 2012 @ 8am

It’s great to hear the background behind all this.

I noticed listening to the podcast (and having a copy of said DVD) that in editing the TV Offal program, some of the jingles were changed from the ones you included. For example, no-one actually shouts ‘bang’ during Assassination of the Week, gunfire was dubbed over it, and I also believe the “It’s Nice being Esther” song was remixed to allow for longer visual pieces, and to change the reference to Geraldo into a clip of someone insulting Esther during a vox pop.

I should also point out that, up until last Friday when I checked, all the episodes of TV Offal were up on Youtube, with ad banners due to their use of certain songs, which appears to auto trigger revenue sharing with record companies.

John Hoare on 27 February 2012 @ 3pm

Len: thanks hugely. I’m minded to think of the resing of the main song that was done for Radio Victory – was that done before or after TV Offal, I wonder?

JamesW: You know, I had a section about exactly those changes, and cut it because it was getting a bit long. Might do a brief follow-up in another podcast, as yeah, the changes are interesting in their own right.

“I’d like to say – your programme stinks!”

David G.Barras on 27 February 2012 @ 4pm

Good work there John, an enjoyable listen.

I once wrote a letter in the early 1990s, yes, a “letter” to our hero Victor Lewis-Smith, asking if I could have a copy of the JAM master for TV Offal, pleased to say, Victor replied to me and said he would have sent me a copy but the last time he saw the JAM master DAT was on a desk at Channel 4 TV, who knows where it is these days..at least there`s still a copy in “the vault” in Dallas, Texas, for those of you not “into” jingles, “the vault” is another story which cold perhaps be told on Dirty Feed ?

John Hoare on 27 February 2012 @ 5pm

Thanks David. I love that VLS is clearly one of us – so good that he at least replied. I nearly died laughing when I heard the credits to Midweek when I first heard it on JAM’s website…

And yes, I’m sure I can work something about “the vault” into things at some point!

Jon Wolfert on 2 March 2012 @ 4am

Nice feature, John.

One strange side-effect of TV Offal was that instead of mentioning “JAM Creative Productions” in the closing credits each week, they used my name. The result is that if you do a look-up at imdb.com the only thing listed under my name is TV Offal, despite being part of thousands of radio stations, scores of TV stations, and a dozen movies. What a weird claim to fame! But it was a fun project to work on.

Victor Lewis Smith also did some very clever and funny jingle-parody things for Radio 1 over the years. I enjoyed, and was appropriately honored by, my appearance on Midweek when he was at Radio 4. I think my favorite TV Offal bit is the “honest obituary” they did for Andrew Lloyd Webber. Classic.

Thanks for the mentions. -jmw

Bob Dinan on 2 March 2012 @ 6am

What a terrific compilation. Thank you!

David Furness on 2 March 2012 @ 10am

Great podcast, thanks. I remember sending Jon W a standards converted VHS back at the time (1996 ish), then promptly lost my own copy, so must track down that DVD that has done the rounds.

I used to listen to VLS’s first radio show called “Snooze Button” on Radio York, around 1984 I think. May still have some tapes of it.

His old website lives on in the web archive from 1996 – http://web.archive.org/web/19980209062327/http://www.lewis-smith.com/index.htm That site is now an architect’s site! The audio has been archived as well, amazingly.

Wixy1360 on 2 March 2012 @ 12pm

Wonder what the next one will be!

John Hoare on 2 March 2012 @ 2pm

Jon: So glad you enjoyed it – to hear that from you is a huge compliment. Thanks!

I’ve got a piece of audio somewhere here with a hilariously long warning at the beginning and end of one of VLS’s Radio 1 shows. I’ll try and dig it out.

For anyone wanting to see the Andrew Lloyd-Webber section Jon mentions, here you go.

Bob: Thanks! To anyone else reading this, I highly recommend The Bob Dinan Jingle Podcast – full of great audio.

David: If you ever manage to dig out any of his Radio York stuff, I’d love to hear it! Also sending you an email regarding TV Offal…

Wixy: Nothing else about jingles coming up in the next few weeks – doing a piece on Red Dwarf for the next episode – but I’ve got a few jingle-related ones I want to do later in the year.

I’m so happy with the response I’ve had to this episode. Thanks again to everyone who’s said they liked it.

Robin Blamires on 2 March 2012 @ 5pm

Jon Wolfert, you’ve gone up even further in my estimation for liking VLS’s “obituary” for Lord Webber.

Really good podcast overall.

jonno on 2 March 2012 @ 7pm


Great podcast and thanks for the namecheck in the credits.

Radio Victory 107.4 launched in 1999 if memory serves me correctly so it post dated TV Offal. I wonder how many listeners bak then had watched TV Offal and thought that something sounded strangely familiar? :-)

JamesW on 6 March 2012 @ 1pm

RE: Those long warnings, I remember it being said that part of the reason for the Chris Morris/VLS feud was that VLS felt he was being nannied far more, with more disclaimers and things attached, whereas Chris could get away with a lot through playing the system.
If you have the same radio shows as I do, you’ll hear his complaints about how much material he was forced to remove, and how often shows ultimately underran as a result.

As for Radio York stuff, not wanting to be cruel and repeat the comments about self plagiarism, but Inside Victor Lewis Smith (currently up on YT, but I’m frightened to link to it due to having my own copies of it taken down way back when) should give you a flavour, since there seem to be visual reworkings of a lot of the old Radio set piece sketches within it (Postman song, etc).

Rob Williams on 7 March 2012 @ 12am

Ah the Offal! Its time that this excellent programme had its due, its VLS which got me into the strange side of television. But radio jingles, were so recognisable and identifiable in their style. Honest Obituary, etc… The love is shown by the way were scattered throughout the shows as well as other VLS work.