Monthly Archives: September 2009

A Word From our Sponsors… Nike – Federer Vs. Darby

I’m not sure where this 2008 Nike advert aired but it’s a cracker.

Inspired by the Pink Panther movie scenes featuring Inspector Clouseau being attacked by his housekeeper Cato, to keep him on his toes, it features tennis legend Roger Federer and his rather unorthodox manager/trainer, played by Flight Of The Conchords scene-stealer Rhys Darby.

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Tuesday Is Theme Tunes Day: UFO

I’ve already featured Space: 1999, which I consider to be the best theme tune/opening titles sequence from a Gerry Anderson show, in my classic theme tunes feature.

However, this one ain’t half bad either. UFO was Anderson’s first live-action show and ran for just a single season of 26 episodes in 1970/71.

Set in a futuristic, silver-jumpsuited 1980, it told the story of Earth’s attempt to thwart a covert alien invasion. In particular, it told the adventures of the agents of a secret organisation set up to fight them, called SHADO (Supreme Headquarters Alien Defence Organisation) and led by commander Ed Straker (played by Ed Bishop).

A proposed second season was cancelled after pre-production work was carried out, some of which was later used as the basis for Space: 1999, though no link between the two shows is ever explicitly mentioned on screen.

The funny thing for me as I watch these opening titles is that I remember so many of the striking images they contain, even though I have very little memory of actually watching any episodes of the show. I guess I probably did see repeats of some episodes in the mid-to-late 70s, though I very pretty young at the time – but these opening titles sure made an impression!

Here is that original opening sequence:

And here is a nicely-edited, excellent quality, extended version of the theme tune and titles:


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The Monday Movie – Fame

“I want to learn how to fly – HIGH!”

Continuing the Fame theme from yesterday, here is the classic street-dancing scene from director Alan Parker‘s original 1980 movie, performed to the sound of the film’s Oscar-winning title track, sung by Irene Cara.

You know, I’ve visited New York a few times in recent years and there’s a little part of me that’s just a little bit disappointed that you don’t actually ever see this spontaneously happening in Times Square (and believe me, I’ve looked…)


Vodpod videos no longer available.


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Video Killed The Radio Star: The Kids From Fame – Starmaker

I couldn’t help noticing that the latest movie in the section marked “unneccessary remake” opened on Friday.

Fame is an updating of director Alan Parker‘s much-loved 1980 movie of the same name, a musical drama about pupils attending New York’s High School For The Performing Arts.

I was only 11 or 12 when the original film came out and so was a bit young to go see it at the cinema. I didn’t see it until several years later on home video.

I do, however, vividly remember regularly watching the Fame spin-off TV series, which began in 1982 and aired on BBC1 in the UK for several years.

At the height of the show’s popularity, the young stars, under the group name of The Kids From Fame, had a handful of hit singles in the UK and released several successful albums (would it betray my cool exterior to admit that I own two of them?), the first of which reached number one in the UK album charts.

Starmakerwas their biggest single, reaching number 2 in the UK singles chart and it is my my personal favourite Kids From Fame song.

I can still remember watching the episode it appeared in when it first aired. The song – the kids’ tribute to a much-loved elderly teacher, Mr Crandall, who was losing his job due to funding cuts – was incredible moving when I first saw it and the Choob isn’t afraid to admit that even after all these years, when I have forgotten almost everything else about the TV show, it still brings a lump to his throat.

The video for the single was simply the scene from the TV show – and here it is. Hankies at the ready…


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Saturday Stuff: Star Wars Dance-Off

Now, see, if celebrity reality TV dance contests were as good as this, I might watch them…

For the last few years, Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park in Orlando, Florida, has run Star Wars Weekends and a big part of the fun has been the Dancing With The Star Wars Stars events.

Here’s my personal favourite, from the 2008 event:

Here’s the 2009 version (in two parts):

And finally, the 2007 (possibly the first?) show:

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It’s Classic Clip Friday: Sarah Silverman – I’m F*@#ing Matt Damon

So, late-night US TV talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel had a long-running gag on his show in which he would repeatedly “bump” actor Matt Damon as he always ran out of time before he could interview him.

Kimmel’s real-life girlfriend is controversial stand-up comic Sarah Silverman. On the January 31 edition of Jimmy Kimmel Live, she appeared as a guest and played a video that she said she had made for Kimmel’s birthday – and the internet went into meltdown! Here’s Silverman introducing the video on the show:

Now, that was funny enough… but then Kimmel hit back with a video of his own, which he unveiled on February 24 during his post-Oscars show, that was even bigger and better. See how many stars you can spot:

Finally, as a footnote here’s a great little off-the-cuff interview with Damon just after the videos really took off:

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Top Of The Pops Thursday: Marillion – Forgotten Sons

“On the news, a nation mourns you,
Unknown Soldier, count the cost.
For a second, you’ll be famous
but labelled ‘posthumous’…”

We have a couple of live versions of this week’s song, which is Marillion‘s powerful peace anthem Forgotten Sons, from their 1983 debut album Script For A Jester’s Tear.

The song refers explicitly to The Troubles in Northern Ireland, then at their height, but the poignant, hard-hitting lyrics could just as easily refer to any conflict and the young, aimless, working-class men on both sides who end up as pawns, manipulated and sacrificed by faceless bureaucrats in a deadly, never-ending game.

Here is a performance on BBC music show The Old Grey Whistle Test, dating from 1983:

Here is a better-quality version, from the Recital Of The Scriptlive concert video that was filmed at London’s Hammersmith Odeon on April 18, 1983, but it’s been split into two parts due to the 10-minute restriction on length of YouTube videos:

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