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Archive for April, 2010

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Scotch Videotapes – Re-record Not Fade Away

Posted by Big Boo on April 14th, 2010

scotch videotape skeletonBack before recordable DVDs and Sky+ came along, if you wanted to record a TV programme to watch later you had to use a videotape. Actually, I’m sure that many people still do use videotapes, but I heartily recommend you get hold of Sky+ or some other hard disk recorder as it beats all that faffing about waiting for tapes to rewind.

With that unpaid for advert for Sky out of the way, today I’m remembering the TV ads for one particularly brand of blank videotape – Scotch. Scotch videotapes were often one of the more expensive blank tapes you could buy, but they were supposed to be of a higher quality, or at least that’s what the adverts told us.

For many years Scotch used an animated skeleton to extol the virtues of their videotapes, with probably the following ad being the one most people will remember:-

The bit in particular that (unsurprisingly) sticks in my mind is the repeating phrase “re-record not fade away”.

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Hart To Hart

Posted by Big Boo on April 12th, 2010

Hart to HartThere have been many drama TV programmes over the years which deal with the subject of murder. Quite why such a grizzly subject is watched and enjoyed by so many people I don’t know (surely we should all be turned off by the very idea, but it would seem not) but they always seem to do well in the rankings, which is probably why there are so many to choose from.

Your typical show revolving around murder normally fits into one of three categories. It’s either the modern day, realistic drama (e.g. Taggart, Morse) or the Agatha Christie-esque meddling old investigator in a sleepy village (e.g. Miss Marple, Poirot) or the “Invesigative Couple”, where two people form a team to solve murderous crimes that they always just stumble across during their normal lives. Todays post subject falls squarely into that last bracket.

Hart To Hart is a US show about amateur detectives Jonathan and Jennifer Hart. Jonathan (Robert Wagner) is a self made millionaire, whilst his wife Jennifer (Stefanie Powers) is a freelance journalist. The pair travel the world living the high life, but keep finding themselves getting involved in mysteries that more often than not end up with someone getting murdered. The Harts then take it upon themselves to bring the culprit to justice.

Assisting the Harts in their endeavours was the gravelly voiced Max (Lionel Stander) who was a sort of butler come housekeeper come chauffeur, and their dog Freeway.

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The Least Favourite Simpsons Character

Posted by Big Boo on April 10th, 2010

A couple of weeks back I asked you to vote on which character from The Simpsons was your favourite. At the time of writing this (and it will probably come as no surprise) Homer is topping this poll, with Bart in second place.

I thought I’d try looking at things from the other side this week and ask which character is your least favourite. I’ve got my own ideas who will top this poll, but I might be proved wrong. I won’t say who I think it is though until we’ve had a few votes cast – I don’t want to influence the outcome too much!

As last time, I’ve started with the core members of The Simpsons clan, but feel free to add your own entries…

Who is your least favourite Simpsons character?
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Street Hawk – Complete DVD Box Set

Posted by Big Boo on April 9th, 2010

Street Hawk dvdThere’s nothing like the evidence of numbers to make you feel old. Classic 80s superbike show Street Hawk is now 25 years old (say a quarter of a century and that sounds even worse!), but has finally made its way onto DVD so we can all relive those heady thrills of running round in the back garden pretending to ride a motorbike at 300mph!

The DVD box set contains 4 discs which hold the pilot episode of the series and all 12 regular episodes. Also included is an alternative version of the pilot where Street Hawk is equipped with a different weapon, a wide selection of photographs from the show, biographes and a documentary about the show featuring Rex Smith (who played Street Hawk’s rider Jesse Mach), Joe Regalbuto (who was Norman Tuttle, the bikes designer) and Jeannie Wilson (who played Rachel Adams, Jesse’s co-worker in the police PR department).

The episodes themselves, which is obviously the most important part of the DVD, seem to be a good quality image considering the age of the show now. Sadly there are no episode commentaries, but again that’s probably understandable. It’s not only fun watching this show again as a trip down memory lane, but also to see how many actors you can recognise from other films and TV series.

Christopher Lloyd turns up in the pilot episode playing a really nasty villain (which seems so unlike Mr. Lloyds other roles, but he’s really quite convincing) and so does Robert Beltran, who went on to play Commander Chakotay on Star Trek Voyager. Another very famous face that pops up in one episode is a very young looking George Clooney, who plays an old friend of Jesse Mach’s. I actually found him quite hard to identify due to his floppy haircut.

The documentary is well worth a watch and demonstrates that the stars of the show obviously really enjoyed working on the show, and perhaps even feel a little bitter about its early cancellation. The story related is that the show was intended to be shown on Monday nights at 8pm, which was apparently a great time for a show to build popularity and go on to a good run. When it came to it though, the TV executives gave the slot to another show, and Street Hawk ended up in the ratings hell of a Friday at 9pm slot. Apparently the show which was chosen for the 8pm slot bombed, and was replaced by MacGyver, which ran for ages.

The photo galleries present are pretty much what you would expect, a series of promotional shots from the show, although there is one rather nice assortment showing how one of the Street Hawk bikes was bought by a motorcycle stunt rider from the UK and was restored to its former glory. There’s one very funny photo of Street Hawk sat in a typical British back yard, parked on the patio with some wooden trellis work running up the side of the house behind it.

All in all the Street Hawk DVD Box Set is a must have for any fan of the show, and if you’ve never heard of it before but enjoyed shows like Knight Rider or Airwolf then I think you’ll really enjoy it. The RRP is perhaps a little steep for a show of this age (£39.99) but you can pick it up on online for much less if you shop around.

Buy Street Hawk - Complete DVD Box Set at

Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas
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Galaxy Counters Return!

Posted by Big Boo on April 7th, 2010

galaxy counters newOne of the most commented upon posts I’ve made on this site has been the one about the old kiddies sweets Galaxy Counters. It seems many people have missed this old sweetie, and the good news is that Mars have listened, and are bringing them back!

Galaxy Counters were originally aimed squarely at the kids market, and were a competitor for Cadbury’s Buttons. For me, Galaxy Counters just had the edge, mainly because each one had a little number printed on it, which for some reason made eating them a lot more fun. I guess it was the same feeling you got when opening a packet of Smarties, to see which letter was on the plastic cap (sadly this little bit of fun has also died out now).

The relaunch of Counters is due for April/May 2010 (however, there are reports of some branches of Asda already stocking them) but don’t go looking for them in their old white packets with the animals on. No, Counters have been turned into a more grown up sweetie now, coming in those pouches that you tear the top off to get to the yumminess within and styled with the same brown and cream look that other Galaxy products have.

Aiming them at adults was definitely the right thing to do, as all us nostalgia freaks will descend upon them like waves, and we won’t be disappointed as they have also increased in size too. If you’re a lover of Galaxy milk chocolate then you’ll know what to expect – basically it’s a Galaxy Minstrel without the crispy outer shell. Yum! The only thing missing from the new version is the lack of a little white number, but that’s no great loss I suppose.

If you’re unable to track them down in the shops then why not try entering our competition to win a bag of Counters. It may not be a big prize but it does seem to be a much sought after one. Follow this link to enter – all you have to do is fill in your name and e-mail address and tell us what you’re favourite memory of the Eighties is.

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Jelly Shoes. Good or Bad?

Posted by Big Boo on April 3rd, 2010

So, Jelly Shoes then? Are they a fashion essential, or should they be buried? (although being made of rubbery plastic that probably isn’t very environmentally friendly).

Personally (as if a blokes opinion matters a jot on this kind of thing), I think as a casual holiday shoe they make a lot of sense for mooching about on the beach, but I’m not sure if the smelly sweaty feet are worth it.

What do you think? Do you love ’em or hate ’em?

Jelly Shoes? Fantastic or Faux Pas?
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Jelly Shoes

Posted by Big Boo on April 2nd, 2010

jelly shoesOver the years there have been many fashion ideas which when you hear them described to you sound ridiculous and wholly improbable that anyone would want to wear. Jelly shoes are a good example. A shoe made of brightly coloured rubber. Doesn’t exactly sound that promising, does it?

However, Jelly Shoes did become incredibly popular during the eighties for several reasons. Firstly, the range of bright colours available worked well with the other colourful fashions available at the time, but secondly, and probably most importantly for many, they were inexpensive. Jelly Shoes could be picked up for just a couple of pounds, meaning they were ideal for their target audience of youn, cash strapped teenage girls.

The rubber used to make the shoes was normally brightly coloured, but it was also normally transparent, so completely clear shoes were possible (but you really should have had nice looking feet in order to wear these!). The rubber was often also full of glitter, which often further increased their appeal.

Being rubber they were a very good choice for wearing to the beach, since they were easy to slip on and off, and it didn’t matter if they got wet when paddling in the sea, as they would soon dry off afterwards.

Jelly Shoes are still widely available today, and can be bought in a surprising array of styles. The more familiar flat slip on shoe has now been joined by Sandals, Flip Flops, Lace ups and even High Heeled and Platform varieties.

I can only assume though that girls feet must be different to boys, and must be less prone to sweating. Last Summer I got myself a pair of the Jelly Shoes more recent popular cousin, the Crocs, but having worn them on a hot day I’m not proud to say that my feet were both incredibly sweaty and covered in dust that got in through all the little holes in the side.

How do you girls wear these things without ending up with feet that should have a public safety notice attached to them?

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