Friday, July 29, 2022

There was I, digging this hole…

If you are under 40 of from Abroad, you probably can’t imagine what TV was like in the 1970s. I can’t imagine the ticktock so thats fair enough. So let’s just say that there were a roster of “personalities” — DJs, newsreaders and entertainers who seemed to appear on everything and everywhere. Not big stars like Eric and Ernie or Paul McCartney or Jon Pertwee. People who appeared today voicing a kids show, tomorrow singing a novelty song on Ed Stewpot Stewarts Junior Choice, and the next day doing Stand Up on the Good Old Days. And they were sufficiently unfamous that there was a very good choice you might see them in a pantomime or even opening a village fete. (This is why Jimmy Savile was such a collective trauma.) TV explicitly presented itself as a family or a club, with pantos and presenters giving each other presents at Christmas.

It so happens that I just watched Daleks Invasion Earth at the pictures and thought it stood up real well. And it so happens that the Wombles was childhood obsession I grew out of, just as important, while it lasted as Spider-Man. But Bernard Cribbins is not the star of Doctor Who or the voice of Orinoco or the man who sang Digging a Hole. He isn’t even the person who did the second best dramatic reading of Winnie the Pooh. (He didn’t nail Eeyore’s voice as well as my Daddy.) Bernard Cribbins was Bernard Cribbins, and it feels like losing an elderly grandparent.

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