The Friday Question: TV Time Travel


Image by BP Perry

Peggy Mitchell: What can I get you, darlin’?
Michael Caine as ‘Alfie’: (To camera) She’s a bit of a rangy old bird, but she don’t ‘alf go like the clappers in the bedroom department. That’s the fing wiv yer older woman … what they lack in looks, they sure make up for in experience, see?
PM: Sorry, what was that?
MCaA: (To camera) Cor! She’s got a mouth on ‘er, I’ll give ‘er that!
PM: I beg your pardon?
MCaA: (To camera) I’ve always found it’s best to give ’em a slap, early on, like. That way, they’re easier to control later on in the …
PM: Give me a …? Oi! Who the ‘ell do you fink you’re talking to?
MCaA: Now, now, sweetheart. You’re not too old to be bent over my knee, girl. Remember that.
PM: Bent over your …?
MCaA: (To camera) Blimey! If she turned any redder, you could bottle ‘er up and sell ‘er as fruit juice dahn my local hypermarket!

On the above evidence, I think we can all agree that time travelling some of our favourite stars / characters from long, long ago into today’s shows would be the best thing to happen to TV ever. Yes? Good.

Just imagine it …

  • Les Dawson shows ’em how it’s done on QI
  • Brian Clough takes no prisoners on Football Focus
  • Albert Steptoe has no time for the ‘bleeeeedin’ woofters’ of Queer As Folk
  • Tony Hancock’s four hundred hour-long Room 101

The possibilities, ladies and gentlemen, are endless.

So, which classic character / actor / comedian / what-have-you would YOU time travel into today’s TV shows?

What impact would they have on the storyline?

What would they do?

Would they end up washing their underpants in Ken Barlow’s front parlour when he’s just brought this sophisticated bird back from his weekly art class, or would they go careening down a hill in a tin bath in answer to one of Paxman’s impertinent University Challenge questions?

WWMers, it’s over to YOU, YOU, YOU!

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137 Responses to “The Friday Question: TV Time Travel”

  1. Swineshead Says:

    Morecambe and Wise’s Friday Night Project

  2. Mel Says:

    SH, that is blasphemy. Why not ‘Morcambe and Wise’ the sketch show, in a tribute to the comedians of all our hearts, Corden and Horne?

  3. Mel Says:

    How about a chat show with Parky and Kyle? they could play good cop bad cop to both famouses and poor unfortunates alike.

    They could have themes like “you are my mother, Miriam Margoyles, and i intend to prove it” within which Parky will ask amusing and not-so-challengiing questions about when she was the voice of the cadburys caramel bunny, and Kyle will hestor her about taking responsibility for her actions. and yell and scream in general.

  4. Mel Says:

    yes ‘hestor’ a bit like hectoring, but with more shushing the audience.

  5. Swineshead Says:

    Jamie Looks At Fanny, in which Fanny Craddock berates Mr Oliver for his lack of refinement and cavalier approach to cookery.

  6. Thumper Plowman Says:

    I would time travel Pan’s People and stick them in Later with Jools Holland. Brighten the place up a bit.

  7. Nick T Says:

    The Galloping Gourmets nightmare. Graham Kerr minces drunkenly around his local Spud-U-Like.

  8. Mel Says:

    I would just use my time machine to revel in the fact that the programming schedules are not full of flaming property programmes. I am still seething about that.

  9. Swineshead Says:

    I like the idea of Pan’s People on Later…

    Harry and Paul – vaguely amusing sketch show starring Harry Secombe and Paul Eddington.

  10. Thumper Plowman Says:

    Well, it takes itself so bloody seriously that programme doesn’t it? It’s only pop music after all. Get some hot hippy chicks in tight polyester trousers in there.

  11. Telemachus Says:

    Those property programs really do reflect the stupidity of modern times.

  12. Napoleon Says:

    Morning all.

    I’d like to see Wizbit move into the new executive flats in EastEnders. He could make friends with Minty and Gary, become the lynchpin of the Vic’s five-a-side football team, inherit Bradley’s dog when the character leaves, and end up in the cells when the EastEnders lads pack goes on a week-long holiday to the Costa Brava with hilarious results!


  13. Swineshead Says:

    Napoleon – in fact, why not wait for this Wizbit alliance until a more alliterative opportunity comes up?

    (I should mention The Walford Boys is on the verge of being commissioned – Wizbit and The Walford Boys?)

  14. Swineshead Says:

    It occurred to me whilst watching Rory McGrath on I’ve Never Seen Star Wars last night, that if you were to tell me Harold Shipman was an Arsenal fan, I’d probably view him more sympathetically.

  15. Mel Says:

    Come Dine with the Edwardians. Where five poeople compete to feed the edwardians, whom, we are led to believe overeat massively (well, except the poor ones, that have to reky on begging and the workhouse)

  16. piqued Says:

    Hitler presenting Songs of Praise

  17. Mel Says:

    Life on Columbo – where the 80s shambolic dectective is taken back in a coma, and thinks he is in the 1970s, but keeps having to go back to the 60s to ask ‘just one more thing’

  18. Mel Says:

    This Morning with Derek and Clive

  19. Napoleon Says:

    I’d watch Wizbit and the Walford Boys.

  20. Mel Says:

    How about transferring Keynes to the Apprentice?

  21. Mel Says:

    Also, the annoying ex wife of Peter Davidson, Sandra Dickenson, whom i would simply transfer to silent movies. She definitely has the voice for silent movies

  22. piqued Says:

    You can’t say that Mel. She was in the original BBC TV adaptation of The Hitchhickers Guide to the Galaxy at about the same time as I discovered how to make sperms come out of my front winkle.

  23. Napoleon Says:

    Today’s a very special day for all of us who ‘work’ at home, by the way. It’s the last day we have to put up with Lowri Turner and/em> David Van Day on The Wright Stuff.

    *opens champagne*

  24. Mel Says:

    That is as may be Piqued, but her part would have been so much better if she were not allowed o open her mouth, the squeaky-voiced floozy.

  25. Napoleon Says:

    Oooo … that went all funny.

  26. Mel Says:

    Is Lowri Turner leaving forever NC?

  27. Mel Says:

    Also, piqued, do you have a back winkle too? No wonder you don’t get out much.

  28. piqued Says:

    Mel, the late, great Douglas Adam cast her himself. Are you questioning his genius? Are you?

    Look, there’s some thin ice there, and you’re standing on it

    *points at thin ice under Mel’s feet*

  29. piqued Says:

    ‘No wonder you don’t get out much.’

    you don’t read piqued then

  30. piqued Says:

    (I do have a back winkle mind you)

  31. Napoleon Says:

    The original BBC TV adaptation of The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy was SHIT.

  32. Mel Says:

    I care not a jot if Douglas Adams himself cast her, the fact remains that she is a squeaky-voiced irritant, that holds absolutely no attraction whatsoever to a straight female.

    And no, I don’t read piqued. Sorry.

  33. johnp Says:

    I’d like Carling from Scum to turn up in ‘enders as the new apprentice in the arches. Imagine the fun and frolics centered around where tools were and he could show Phil how a proper ‘ardman behaves.

  34. Napoleon Says:

    Mel – Sadly, no. If that were to happen, I’d stick my card behind the bar and set no upper limit for my party guests.

    Why can’t she make a racist comment?

  35. piqued Says:

    I don’t want you to read Piqued, Mel.

    *slams door*

    NC, back in the day it was quite something I can tell you. I remember when the Hitchickers Guide to the Galaxy was all just fields

  36. Mel Says:

    NC, what a shame. I bet we could make her say something racist. Doesn’t she often go on about her mixed race baby? Or am i confusing her with some other contrarian?

    *puts goodbye Lowri party on hold*

  37. Mel Says:

    Yes, she does indeed.–does-feel-alien.html

    *pores over for hints of racism*

    She is te Julie Myerson of brown babies!

  38. Napoleon Says:

    Mel – But that ain’t going to get ‘er banned off of the telly, is it? I want a full-on attack on the blacks so I never have to see her flappy face ever again.

  39. Nick T Says:

    Turner could interview Carol Thatcher and Jethro….

  40. piqued Says:


  41. piqued Says:

    Inventor of the patent seed drill or the group? Either would be good

  42. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    As Cloughie was mentioned, I will go further with his sort out of Football Focus. Saint & Greavsie in. Sofa out. No lounge lizards. All sit with ties on behind a desk. Greavsie makes the jokes, The Saint laughs, occasionally wiping the tears from his eyes.

    Bob Wilson is positioned to the right and at right angles to S&G, with his own desk, adding a scientific approach, detailing statistics and tactics.
    All clips and interminable prequels to up and coming matches NOT to be put to the background of music. Indeed any musical montage would be deemed a sackable offence by the perpetrators.

    No “give us your opinion”. All opinions by members of the general public to be put in the bin.

    Any politician that should find themselves on the program, should be interviewed by Cloughie. Also they would have a gruelling test on their purported team, with absolutely no clues as to what the questions might be.

    No predicting results,it is impossible. Enough to say, I think so and so may win.

    A message at the end of the program reminding us that England can not be considered the best team in the World until they have won the World Cup again.

    No women commentators.

  43. Mel Says:

    DINLT – sexist! I may have to start that list.

  44. piqued Says:

    Dave, have you cleaned your teeth this morning?

  45. Mel Says:

    Piqued – i think Dave is still in bed, he hasn’t been here yet.

  46. piqued Says:

    I know Mel. I’m lying next to him. He went off for a tinkle and when he came back… well put it this way, his breath stinks like an exhumed corpse

  47. Mel Says:

    Christ, i thought you were about to shack up with Nappers. Must be handy having 2 winkles.

  48. piqued Says:

    …not to mention 4 bottoms

  49. Napoleon Says:

    Seeing as we’ve now got the incredibly irritating Josie Lawrence to put up with on EastEnders, why not go the whole hog and have every annoying female comedian from the late ’80s / early ’90s on there too? Helen Lederer could slip into the role of Bradley’s boss, Lauren’s new school friend could be Morwenna Banks’s ‘hilarious’ schoolgirl character off of Absolutely, and The Sunday Show’s Donna McPhial and the monstrous Rhona Cameron could rub everyone up the wrong way as Albert Square’s latest misjudged lesbian couple.

  50. Mel Says:

    I have a great idea for a time travel programme – Noels house party vs tiswas, but one where the only person that is allowed to get gunged and/or phantom pies flung at her would be Lowri Turner as a child. Hopefully, the experience would put her off wanting to be on the telly, and thus the modern day us would never have to put up with her nonsense again.

  51. Nick T Says:

    Jethro, west country version of Bernard Manning

  52. Mel Says:

    Aaah, absolutely. That was quite good, despite being mostly about the Scotch.

    They should just make Stoneybridge into a soap. That would be time travel telly i would watch.

  53. Excelsior! Says:

    Morning all.

    Attenborough of the past brought forward to the present, so he can carry on as the voice of creation for another 30 years.

  54. Napoleon Says:

    Have you noticed there’s been a ramping up of Attenborough content of late? I think they’re trying to squeeze the last few drops of juice from the orange.

  55. Excelsior! Says:

    *weeps on to his Life on Earth dvd*

  56. Mel Says:

    I think it has more to do with it being the time of year that they usually release an iconic natural history programme, plus the fact that there is a lot of content on Darwin, due to the anniversary, for whom he is the natural presenter.

  57. myopiniononstuff Says:

    Piqued – I’ve brushed my teeth twice. And cleansed my ballsack with some of that trendy aftershave you’ve been hiding from me, you tinker.

  58. piqued Says:

    What on earth are you talking about Dave? I don’t have a memory

    That David Ateenborough, he really thinks he’s it doesn’t he, he’s all ‘oooh, look at me I’m david Atten-burahhh, Oooh, my shit don’t stink, ooh, I played with a monkey, I’m sooo hard’

    Yeah, well… I bet he can’t do this

    *eats rubber plant*

  59. Mel Says:

    *awaits demise of Piqued*

    *and waits*

  60. piqued Says:

    You’ll never take me alive, copper-mel

  61. Mel Says:

    That is my dad. Or Was, he was retired at 48

  62. Excelsior! Says:

    Your dad was called mel too?

  63. Mel Says:

    No. But he was a copper. Until he retired. They only make them do 30 years you know.

    Back to time travel TV. Black Beauty as a nicer substitute for anythiing that John McCrirrick is on (this may be spelled incorrectly)

  64. Napoleon Says:

    Mel – Was your dad anything like?

    Nick Berry off of Heartbeat


  65. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve never forgiven John McCrirrick for losing me a large sum of money at York Races in 2001.

  66. myopiniononstuff Says:

    I think that if the Queen should do something about the Royal’s blatant nepotism before buggering about with religion and gender based injustices. I also think that the pope should be dressed in a giant condom costume like Leslie Neilson in The Naked Gun.

    Why am I never on Question Time?

  67. Mel Says:

    No, in truth he was probably a bit more like that one off the bill that was there ages, and eventaully made sargeant. Back from the Reg Hollis era. He was one of the workhorse types.

  68. Mel Says:

    PC Tony Stamp, that one

  69. myopiniononstuff Says:

    I’ve had a Police application form thrust toward me today and I’m considering applying. I could be Britain’s answer to Serpico.

  70. piqued Says:

    Or Blakelock

  71. myopiniononstuff Says:

    I prefer to think of Officer Murphy rather than Blakelock, Piqued.

  72. Excelsior! Says:

    The cast of Dads Army to be recruited into Spooks.

    Haha! theyve accidently crushed the Al Qaeda informant with a steamroller!

  73. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    French foreign legion… Dave.

  74. ugeine Says:

    78 comments already so it’s bound to have been said but:

    Del Bot on The Apprentice.

    ‘Now it’s over to the boys team to see how they’re responding to the challenge.’

    ‘Sikh motorcycle helmets!’

  75. ugeine Says:

    boy, obviously.

    del bot is a robotics project of mine…

  76. myopiniononstuff Says:

    Steptoe and Son would clean up on Cash in the Attic, until they go to auction and realise the ‘expert’ evaluations were all bullshit.

  77. Napoleon Says:

    I like the sound of this ‘Del Bot’ machine, Ugeine. I assume, being futuristic, its full title is the ‘Del Bot 2000’?

  78. ugeine Says:

    That’s the one, Napoleon. It has a hard drive that can store over three telephone books of data.

  79. piqued Says:

    I think you’re making this up, Ugeine. I’m sorry, but this Del Bot thing just doesn’t ring true. You lying shit

  80. Swineshead Says:

    Delbot2000 and the RodnexTrot5.


  81. piqued Says:

    And the Grandata600

    Hello SH

  82. Swineshead Says:


  83. Nick T Says:

    UncleAlbertatron 2.0

    *tries to join in…*

  84. Napoleon Says:


  85. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    The Boyceytron 300E
    **Also tries to join in***

  86. piqued Says:


  87. Napoleon Says:

    Look at that! Great minds …

    … or foetid minds.

  88. Swineshead Says:

    Uncle Albertron?

  89. Mel Says:

    Boycie should be banned from everything forever on account of the green grass rubbish. They would certainly not make a robot out of him

  90. Ashby de la Launde Says:

    Turner and Hooch – Romanticist artist JMW Turner gets bent out of shape on alcopops, and menaces Tom Hanks and his dog in an alley.

  91. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Casandratron 9000?

    **vainly tries to join in again**

  92. Napoleon Says:

    It’s a shame wot they done to Boycie. He was always my favourite in Only Fools. Damn that John Sullivan. DAMN HIM TO HELL.

  93. Nick T Says:

    The Boyciematic4000

  94. Napoleon Says:

    The Denziliser? Triggeroid? MikeFromTheNag’sHead-O-Matic 8000?

  95. Nick T Says:

    The UncleAlbertron2000 has a built in kettle…

  96. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    The Mickeytron 500?

  97. Nick T Says:

    Mike from the Nags Head used to live round the corner from me. I taught his young lad to swim….

    I’d like to take the opportunity to thank the BBC show THE APPRENTICE for linking to this blog yesterday, resulting in many many downloads of a certain podcast…….

    *falls on knees*

  98. Do I Not Like That! Says:



  99. Nick T Says:



    Do I owe you money?

  100. Nick T Says:

    All those charges were dropped in the end…..

  101. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Err no…

  102. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Nick, I think we may have a bit in common.

  103. Excelsior! Says:

    Haha, Noels HQ’s been axed. Sky wanted it to be pre recorded, presumably because of his fondness for crazy rants.

    Thanks to all the gods of telly.

  104. Napoleon Says:

    It was the crazy rants that made it watchable. Without them, it was just Noel’s Christmas Presents.

  105. Excelsior! Says:

    Oh i agree the rants were the good bits. Im just happy because the sight self important little gnome really makes my piss boil*


  106. piqued Says:

    I’m eating lunch. Who will break bread with me and share my humble meal, come, seat, eat

    *wolfs down 6 boneless buckets for 1*

  107. Nick T Says:

    ALL the charges were dropped I tell you!!

    (perhaps you should email me?)

  108. Mel Says:

    I want some piqued. I am stuck in the house waiting for a plumber, and since i have just got back from being away, have no food in the house.

    *chews off own arm*

  109. piqued Says:

    I’m sorry Mel, I’ve eaten the bloody lot

  110. Napoleon Says:

    I’ve some tins in if you want them, Mel?

  111. Mel Says:

    Oh excelsior, i couldn’t agree more.

    Can anyone tell me – was he any good on swapshop? I used to watch tiswas. I am only wondering if that was the entire basis for his TV career – saturday morning kids TV.

    Proof positive, if any were needed, that all that cosmic imagining nonsense he used to bark on about does not work after all.

  112. Mel Says:

    Yes please nappers, unless they are dog food?

  113. piqued Says:

    I’ve just eaten a Curly Wurly I found in the cold dead hand of a colleague

    I didn’t realise, there is more fat in a Curly Wurly than a camel passing through the eye of a needle in heaven

  114. Napoleon Says:

    Mel – The man’s a multi-millionaire businessman who’s still got two shows on TV even after losing Noel’s HQ. I wouldn’t dismiss the bugger’s cosmic imagining just yet if I were you.

  115. Mel Says:


    I know about DOND, but what is the other one?

    Surely a travesty??

  116. Napoleon Says:

    Mel – I’ve some Heinz Ravioli, a tin of Baxter’s Royal Game soup, four tins of TESCO peeled plum tomatoes and two tins of Pedigree I’ve still not had the heart to give to the dog shelter. You can have what you like, love.*

    *Except for the dog food.

  117. breeks Says:

    afternoon all. i see the intellectual ceiling has falled again.

    *examines nails*
    *eats cereal for lunch*

  118. Napoleon Says:

    Are You Smarter Than A 10 Year Old? is his other show, Mel.

  119. Mel Says:

    Thanks Nappers, the soup sounds nice.

    And i think the answer to the title of his show is possibly no, in his case. It smells a bit like children’s programming though. I am surprised at you watching that kind of thing.

  120. Napoleon Says:

    I think Noel’s a lot smarter than a ten year old. Ten year olds don’t tend to run multi-million pound media companies.

  121. Napoleon Says:

    You can have the soup, Mel. I’m having rabbit for my dinner. I skinned and gutted the bugger and ended up with all guts down me trousers. I knew there was a reason why you’re supposed to wear an apron.

  122. breeks Says:

    nappers – that’s hot.

  123. Excelsior! Says:

    My dad won’t eat rabbits cos he still worried about myxomatosis, the ancient bastard.

  124. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    May well do Nick…but when you goin’ to do a gig in your old stamping ground. The area exudes the history of British rock afterall.

  125. Napoleon Says:

    It practically still was when my rootin’ tootin’ shootin’ friend brought it round this morning. Two fucking incisions and a fling is all you need to get their guts out – why he can’t do this in the field is a bloody mystery to me. Still, the pie the bugger’s going in will make up for them guts.

  126. Napoleon Says:

    When I was out hiking in the ’80s, we came across a rabbit with myxomatosis, and my uncle did it in with an ice axe. Just one of many golden childhood memories …

  127. Mel Says:

    I am fairly certain that myxomatosis is still prevalent in rabbit populations. There are a number of strains of rabbit that have developed immunity, but it has not been eradicated, to my knowledge. The resistant rabbits merely act as vectors for other rabbits, which will get it and die.

  128. breeks Says:

    i wish cane toads got myxomatosis.

    when i was younger i loved a joke about a rabbit eating toasted sandwiches and getting upset about someone ‘mixin-me-toasties’.


  129. Mel Says:

    But what i dont get, since myxomatosis dooes not affect humans, why we don’t pick them off to eat, as an easy meal?

  130. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    Loodgeiter …Mel.

  131. Nick T Says:

    I’m playing at the Walton Sound Fest….oh yes.

    A three day extravaganza that rivals Guildfest

  132. Mel Says:

    Not fixed yet. Have come back to dripping pipes , and he is currently sawing away all the boxes that the landlord used to cover the pipes with.

  133. Nick T Says:

    Mel you saucy beast!

  134. Do I Not Like That! Says:

    I’ll put it in my diary, may cycle along the river to it!

  135. Mel Says:

    Yes, nick. You owe me a new carpet for cracking that obvious joke there.

    Do your kids tend to go “aw daaaad” whenever you tell jokes at home?

  136. myopiniononstuff Says:

    I made the mistake of buying some level SIX coffee instead of my normal level FOUR. It feels like I’m on amphetamine; just had a mini rave to The Alan Titchmarch Show theme tune, complete with MCing.

  137. Munselle Says:

    cool picsxx

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