Results 1 to 3 of 3

Thread: Let's Pretend

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Let's Pretend

    I was thinking about the terrible replacement for Pipkins which was on originally on Tuesdays at 12.10 pm, and then later Mondays where it stayed (which I was too young to remember myself, ironically enough), and was a Central TV answer to the excellent Rainbow, or the Beryl Reid hosted Get Up & Go! The show itself seemed so low-budget that it looked as if Border TV rather than Central made it, and the so-called "Pretenders" as they were mentioned in the credits at the end were "no-body" actors and even made Central regional news presenters such as Bob Warman look quite famous in comparison - who indeed were Chris Hazell or Tessa Hatts? - they were hardly Beryl Reid or Peter Davison were they? I had to look on the IMDB to see what else they have done, acting-wise. I always thought that Central replacing ATV was almost like a 1980s or a Midlands equivalent of Carlton replacing Thames.

    I hated it at the time as it was so one-dimensional - the episode would start with a yellow centipede thing coming on camera, dancing to the theme music (a shark on an conveyor belt in earlier series), and it focused on something like a sweeping brush or a cardboard box where the three Z-list actors (who were probably more used to being understudies in the theatre, with a brief mention in theatre programmes) decided what it should represent such as a walking stick, a golf club, or whatever). The three "pretenders" are in a corner of a studio with shelves full of things like books, a banjo, and other things, with a keyboard-alike piano in view.

    In a nutshell, someone plays the piano, which is what we call the "Rod, Jane and Freddy" element of the show - think Stephen Boxer playing the guitar upside-down - i.e. left-handed on Get Up & Go!, or "the Band Next Door" on Our Backyard - and the "pretenders" perform what they actually call a play. After rehearsing on a depressing empty studio stage, one of the male pretenders says "now it's time for you to watch our play - the story of the King who lost his marbles" or something like that. I do feel that they must have been paid a lot less than what Geoffrey Hayes got for doing 26 episodes of Rainbow a year back then. I have a feeling that Yorkshire TV's Stepping Stones was a slight influence in that respect.

    The episode ends with some moral reminder such as: "next time you look at a sweeping brush, look at it closely and see what it could also be if you use your imagination - goodbye". Then we had the credits at the end written in the "Daily Mail headline" font before we saw the "marble" CENTRAL PRODUCTION at the end. We then go to the ad break (Pampers, Milton Sterilising Fluid, pantyliners, etc), and then onto Baby & Co or something by HTV or Tyne Tees or some other woman's programme before the News at One.

    I think that Central made a huge mistake not continuing Pipkins (after all, they did continue Crossroads for a few more years), and replacement programmes such as Playbox (imaginatively, a cat called Cat and a dog called Dog performed by Pat Coombs and Keith "Cheggers" Chegwin) and the Postman Pat author John Cunliffe's very own Rosie and Jim was a bit better, even though Let's Pretend soldiered on for six and a half years, alternating with the first series of Playbox.

    Was it really as bad as I remember it? - it was a very one-dimensional programme compared to Rainbow. I blame the lack of decent writers and relatively well-known actors and presenters taking part. Beryl Reid and Peter Davison were already quite famous, and Geoffrey Hayes became famous as a direct result of Rainbow being successful - and the irony was that all three of them appeared on a 1981 edition of Give us a Clue which appears on YouTube if you look carefully for it.

    I suppose I could "pretend" that I actually liked it at the time...
    Last edited by George 1978; 13-01-2020 at 01:55.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    906

    Default Re: Let's Pretend

    I really don't remember much about the show other than the caterpillar thing and the theme song, which is still stuck in my head!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VFMxf5nBb1g - if anyone wants it stuck in theirs too!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Location
    Nottingham, UK
    Posts
    3,397

    Default Re: Let's Pretend

    You missed nothing, mate.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •