Page 6, 28th December 2001

28th December 2001
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Page 6, 28th December 2001 — Heaven can wait: the answers...

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Organisations: Worcester College, army
Locations: Oxford


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Heaven can wait: the answers...

Media Matter

Nick Thomas

ere, for those of you who could be bothered to puzzle over last week's Christmas quiz, are the answers.

1. Konkommertijd means "cucumber time", and it's what the Dutch call the silly season.

2. Toby Mears was played first by Peter Bowles, then Anthony Valentine, then in the film by Peter Egan.

3. During the Gulf War, Jon Snow was sitting behind his desk at ITN sunounded by worthy guests, when a screen suddenly rose like the demon king in a panto and flashed up a still of a horse standing in a field. It then sank back whence it came, without explanation of any kind.

4. Bob tininess, unbelievably, once played James Bond on South African radio.

5. The eponymous spouse in Meet The Wife was played by Thora Hird (opposite Freddy Frinton).

6. "If this is justice, I'm a banana" quoth Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye. The jury's still out

7. Ma Briggs was once Provost of Worcester College, Oxford.

8. It was Denis Potter who, in that unbearably poignant interview with Melvyn Bragg, said that if he could murder someone it would be Rupert Murdoch.

9. Top Cat, of course. Some of us remember that wonderful pastiche of Bilko from the days when the Radio Times had to list it as Boss Cat in order to avoid advertising the cat food. We all thought it was daft back then.

10. It was the night of German reunification. Jeremy Paxman and Charles Wheeler were standing on a balcony overlooking the Brandenburg Gate, with various heavyweight German guests, one of whom was Jewish and less than euphoric. We could hear them, but they couldn't hear each other, because of all the noise going on below. The full exchange went as follows. Wheeler: "Jeremy this is pure Monty Python! Trying to have a serious political discussion in the middle of a firework party!" Paxman: "I'm only obeying orders, Charles!" Whoops.

11. It was the estimable Matthew Parris who outed Peter Mandelson on Newsnight, to Paxo's visible consternation. One of television's all time priceless moments.

12. "Oh what would I do without Jeeves?" The series was actually called World of Wooster, and starred Ian Carmichael and Denis Price.

13. Robert Robinson.

14. It was Max Hastings who marched into Port Stanley ahead of the army, to the considerable displeasure of everyone except the Daily Telegraph and The Spectator.

15. The great cartoon strip in question is "Alex".

16. Eric Idle brought us Rutland Weekend Television, and very fine it was. I wouldn't mind seeing it repeated.

17. Craig Brown wrote Norman Ormat a very Political Turtle. That could do with a repeat, as well, though I think it's still available on video.

18, Another Brown, namely Tma. No !elation, as far as I'm aware.

19. Mark Lemon was the first editor of Punch, in 1841, Malcolm Muggeridge and Alan Coren two of his more distinguished successors.

20. My first memory of Esther Rantzen is as Bernard Braden's number two on a BBC show called Braden 's Week, of which That's Life was a later, dumbed down rehash. It was axed after Braden committed the unforgiveable sin of advertising something on ITV. About 15 ago I saw him on stage, playing the American ambassador to Peter O'Toole's King Magnus in an otherwise dreadful production of Shaw's The Apple Cart. The man was a great loss to television, and if That's Life had never been developed much needless suffering would have been avoided.

So there you are. Normal service will be resumed when our schedules have settled down again. Meanwhile, a very happy New Year from this column to all its readers.

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