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Archive for September, 2011

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Where’s Asterix?

Posted by Big Boo on September 9th, 2011

Where's Asterix?Towards the tail end of the Eighties, a new phenomenon in books came along – the Where’s Wally? (or if you come from the US – Where’s Waldo?) series. These books had incredibly detailed and intricate drawings depicting various different types of scenes in which the stripy jumpered Wally was hiding, and it was the readers job to scour the pages trying to find him.

The concept proved very popular and as well as several follow up Wally books, it has also been applied to other famous characters, and one of these is Asterix the Gaul, in a book entitled, funnily enough, Where’s Asterix?

Where’s Asterix contains 12 action packed double page scenes in which it is your task to locate the famous French character. To add to the fun each scene also lists a number of other things for you to try and find, turning the book into a game in the process. You award yourself one laurel wreath for everything you find, and two every time you locate Asterix himself. If you manage to attain between 50 and 65 wreaths you can declare yourself a champion Asterix spotter!

The book was originally published in France a few years back, and has finally made it’s way to the UK thanks to Orion publishing, who deal with all the Asterix books in the UK. Since I’m sure a great many younger readers of today will probably not be that familiar with Asterix and his friends, the book also includes a useful introduction showing you what all the funny named characters are, including Asterix’s best friend Obelix and his dog Dogmatix. I still can’t believe that the potion providing druid is called Getafix…

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Only Fools At 30

Posted by Big Boo on September 7th, 2011

Only Fools and Horses 30th AnniversaryI’m a little late to the party on this one, but satellite and cable TV channel Gold are currently celebrating the 30th anniversary of Only Fools and Horses by showing every episode of the sitcom from the very beginning. This started on August 30th but runs on until the end of September, so there’s still plenty of time to catch a few classic episodes.

It seems somewhat unbelievable that Only Fools and Horses first aired 30 years ago. Somehow the memory of watching the show when it first aired and the cold hard fact of it being 30 years just don’t seem to fit together in my brain. 30 years? 3 whole decades? How can that be?

Anyway, to celebrate the anniversary Gold have put together a couple of special items for all Fools and Horses fans. Firstly, they’ve recreated the Trotter’s famously gaudy flat (check out the Gold Facebook page for some pictures of it in all it’s kitsch glory).

Secondly they’ve put together a rather amusing little video showing a bunch of Del Boys, Rodneys and Uncle Alberts who are busting some groovy moves on the dance floor. Check it out below, but it’s just a shame they couldn’t convince David Jason and Nicholas Lyndhurst to come and join in too. Instead we’re left with Boycie and Marlene introducing it, although that’s OK as I just love the way Boycie talks.

The Only Fools and Horses At 30 season is showing on Gold every day at 10pm.

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Posted by Big Boo on September 5th, 2011

GobotsWhen you think of mighty warrior robots that can transform into vehicles (and other things) most people would immediately think of the Transformers range. There’s no doubt that this brand captured the market, spreading from toys to cartoons to videogames to Hollywood movies. However, there were another set of contenders for the robot toy crown, and they were the Gobots.

Gobots actually started life in Japan (where else) as the Machine Robo series of toys, slightly before the Transformers even came into existence. In 1983 western toy manufacturer Tonka licensed the toys for the US market, and renamed them Gobots in the process.

Sales of the toys were initially very good, as the concept resonated with many a young lad. However, when Hasbro launched Transformers the Gobots suffered. This can be attributed to many things, but ultimately the Transformers toys were just a whole lot cooler. The Transformers looked more robotic an futuristic in many cases that their Gobot cousins, and they had better names too. Where the Transformers had Optimus Prime and Starscream, Gobots had Scooter and Tank (no prizes for guessing what they transformed into).

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Give Us A Clue

Posted by Big Boo on September 2nd, 2011

Give Us A ClueHands up who groans when somebody suggests playing Charades at Christmas? (Idle thought – does anybody even play charades any more?). I’m sure many people will probably remember this experience well at a family Christmas gathering. Normally a batty old aunt will suggest it, some of the kids will be well up for it, but teenagers and up will just go “ohhhh noooo!”.

The problem with Charades is that most people don’t like doing the miming bit because you feel, well, a bit silly. However, everyone likes watching somebody else make a fool out of themselves, and this has to be why the TV version of the game, Give Us A Clue, was so popular.

First airing in 1979 and sticking around until 1992, Give Us A Clue was one of my favourite TV game shows as a child. Initially hosted by Michael Aspel, and later Michael Parkinson, the show pitted two teams of four celebrities against each other. It was also a battle of the sexes as it was strictly boys vs girls.

The boys team was captained by Lionel Blair, whilst the girls was led by Una Stubbs (who I was a big fan of thanks to her being Aunt Sally in Worzel Gummidge). At some point Una left the show and was replaced by Liza Goddard.

Unlike today’s idea of what constitutes being a celebrity the people who made up the rest of the two teams truly were celebrities, in so far as they were generally people who you had heard of before and knew exactly what it was they were famous for. Off the top of my head the sort of people you could expect to see were Lorraine Chase, Kenny Everett, Windsor Davies and even Kenneth Williams.

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Stocking Fillers - Suppliers to Father Christmas