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    Our Friends in the North

    Our Friends in the North

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    BBC Two (ended 1996)
    Welcome to the Our Friends In The North guide at TV.com.

    Our Friends in the North was a highly acclaimed nine-part BBC TV series about the lives and loves of four individuals from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne between 1963 and 1995. The series also examined sociological and political changes in England over the thirty year period. The principal characters were Nicky (Christopher Eccleston), Mary (Gina McKee), Tosker (Mark Strong) and Geordie (Daniel Craig). Other notable characters were Nicky's parents, Florrie and Felix (Freda Dowie and Peter Vaughan) and the ruthless Benny Barratt (Malcolm McDowell).

    "Our Friends" was the biggest and most ambitious contemporary serial ever produced for BBC2. They spent all of their 1996 drama budget on the series. The eleven hours took forty weeks to film and features a cast of thousands, with 160 speaking parts and 3000 extras. The series was written by Peter Flannery and directed by Stuart Urban, Pedr James and Simon Cellan-Jones. Flannery adapted the series from a play he had written. The programme won many awards, including BAFTAs for Best Drama Serial and Best Actress (Gina McKee).

    Producer Charles Pattinson said of the series: 'The heart of this magnificent tale is a simple story of four friends who grow up and apart and - albeit briefly - together again. It is the story of parents and their children, of families and generations torn apart. And it is the story of a passionate thirty year relationship between a man who dreams of changing the world and the woman he loves...'moreless
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    Horizon

    Horizon

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    BBC Two
    Horizon is BBC Two's flagship 50-minute science documentary series. In September 2004 it celebrated its 40th anniversary and it continues to enjoy outstanding critical acclaim. Recognised as the world leader in its field, it regularly wins a sweep of international science, medical and environmental film accolades, and has recently won the Royal Television Society Award and the Prix Italia. In 2002, the British Academy of Film & Television Arts presented Horizon with the BAFTA Television Award for Best Factual Series or Strand. In 2003 it won the prestigious Images et Science award for best medical documentary and the Carl von Linne Award at the Living Europe film festival in Sweden. That year, a Horizon co-production with WGBH Boston won the Emmy for best documentary.moreless
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    Postman Pat

    Postman Pat

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    BBC Two (ended 2008)
    Postman Pat was based on a series of books by John Cunliffe, the program is about a rural postman who helps his friends in the village of Greendale, based supposedly in Cumbria, England. The first series of thirteen 15-minute episodes was produced by Woodland Animations and broadcast by the BBC in 1981. Ivor Wood, a vetaran of animations like The Magic Roundabout, was at the helm as producer. Ken Barrie sang the well known theme tune and provided the narration. The stories were very successful and have seen endless repeats over the years. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the show in 1991, the old production crew was reunited for two one-off 25 minute specials, again shown by the BBC. Two more came in 1995, and these were followed by a second full series of 13 adventures. Then, after almost 10 years of absence from our screens, Postman Pat returned in 2004 for his third series. This consisted of 25 new episodes and several specials. The model animation was a far cry from the simple look of the early 80's, with brighter sets, much smoother puppet movements and characters voices lip-synched. Ken Barrie is still the voice of our favorite postman, but he is also joined by a cast of other talented voice artists, like Carole Boyd. For the final season in 2008, the series was titled Postman Pat: Special Delivery Service. The show aired on BBC2 from 1981-2002, CBBC from 1986-2002 and at CBeebies from 2003-2008. Reruns continue today on CBeebies.moreless
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    The Day Today

    The Day Today

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    BBC Two (ended 1994)
    The Day Today was a satire spoofing current affairs TV programmes which featured a team that was then relatively new to television. All the cast had been involved in a BBC radio show, On The Hour, which had taken a similar swipe at radio current affairs programming. Worryingly it now looks rather like the shows it was parodying. Both the radio and TV shows were produced by Armando Iannucci and featured a number of recurring characters, most notably the sports correspondent Alan Partridge, later to be granted his own TV show. Other regulars included political cartoonist Brant, 'enviromation' presenter Rosie May, business correspondent Collaterlie Sisters, inept political reporter Peter O'Hanrahanrahan and the show's smarmy front-man played by Chris Morris. The entire team were deadly accurate in their impressions of personalities one sees in current affairs TV, but Morris was particularly impressive, catching the mannerisms, vocal inflections and visual style of such presenters. The show also scored with its choice of targets, moving away from the hackneyed areas of previous media-based sketch shows to concentrate on modern, virtually untouched strands of programming like the real-life emergency shows (999), reconstructions (Crimewatch UK) and home-video exploitation (You've Been Framed). To make the spoof seem even more authentic, there was no studio laughter but liberal use of voice-over contemporary news stories, sports footage and library shots. There were also genuine 'vox pops' (random interviews) with the 'man in the street' about all manner of unlikely or fictitious subjects. To complete the parody, the show employed graphics and music that expertly caricatured the high-tech, dramatic style fast becoming commonplace in TV presentation.moreless
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    Alexei Sayle's Stuff

    Alexei Sayle's Stuff

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    BBC Two (ended 1991)
    British surreal alternative comedy sketch show starring comedian Alexei Sayle.
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    Red Dwarf

    Red Dwarf

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    BBC Two
    3 Million Years from Earth, the mining ship Red Dwarf Its crew: Dave Lister, the last crew member alive Arnold Rimmer, a hologram simulation of his dead bunkmate Cat, a humanoid, evolved from Lister's cat. Additional: The ship's crew has come across new members: Kryten, a series 4000 mechanoid rescued from the Nova 5 Navigation Officer Kristine Kochanski, from a parallel universe. I am Holly, the ship's computer with an IQ of 6000 (and rapidly decreasing). Message Ends. ========================== Welcome to the Red Dwarf guide. Enjoy the backstory and details of one of the best SF parodies ever created for TV.moreless
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    Miss Marple

    Miss Marple

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    BBC Two (ended 1992)
    Miss Marple is an amateur detective created by famed mystery writer Agatha Christie. Marple, an elderly spinster, is always able to solve crimes that the professionals cannot, because of her keen eye and her experience with all the foibles of human nature through the years in her home town of St. Mary Mead in England. These 12 BBC productions are adaptations of the 12 novels Christie wrote about Miss Marple, originally published between 1930 and 1976.moreless
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    Classic Top Gear

    Classic Top Gear

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    BBC Two (ended 2001)
    Featuring many presenters over the years including Jeremy Clarkson, Classic Top Gear, or Top Gear as it was once known was a car show that ran from 1978-2001. Classic Top Gear wasn't the entertainment extravaganza it is today and focused purely on reviewing cars and keeping motorists up to date with the latest motoring info. When the more popular presenters left the show viewership dropped and it was cancelled with Fifth Gear and modern Top Gear starting the following year.moreless
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    I'm Alan Partridge

    I'm Alan Partridge

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    BBC Two (ended 2002)
    Alan is a self-obsessed DJ who has had several TV jobs in the past (including chat show Knowing Me Knowing You) and has failed to bounce back from his long dead career. Each episode normally sees Alan resorting to embarrassing anecdotes, insulting someone without noticing and failing to revive his career. In Series One he lives in a motel after a divorce leaves him homeless.

    Between promotional films for Norwich firms and his early (3am!)radio show, we see Alan ineptly flirting with the receptionist and sneaking larger plates into the breakfast buffet. By Series Two he has 'upgraded' to a mobile home next to his partially built new home and can't avoid delaying the builders' work on the house with his pedantic requests.moreless
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    Stressed Eric

    Stressed Eric

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    BBC Two (ended 2000)
    Eric Feeble is a middle-class divorced father of two who resides in London, England. An average man, with a less than average life, Eric is endlessly at his wits end -- stressed out with his family, coworkers, and his life in general. For starters, there's his children. His precocious daughter, Claire is allergic to everything, from peanuts to dolls and everything in between. Eric's toadish son, Brian, sticks everything into his mouth that he can get his hands on. The family's live-in au pair, Maria, is a drunken nymphomaniac with a bad habit of disappearing for days at a time. Eric's ex-wife, Liz, is a whiny psycho who's involved in every kind of "rights" act imaginable, from "animal rights" to "tree rights" to Buddhism. Just to make his oddball family dynamics look worse, the next door neighbors are the aptly named Perfects, who are wealthy and snobbish. At work, Eric has to put up with his insufferable boss, P.P., who is prone to insane fits of rage and over-use of the word "arseburger." And then there's his secretary, Alison, who does nothing more than spend her days gabbing on the phone to her friends. Others in Eric's life are his self-obsessed doctor, Doc, whom Eric often contacts for advice. And last, but not least, is Mrs. Wilson, the little old lady who's always slowly inching her way towards the mailbox with a letter, which eventually falls into the sewer. At the end of each episode, a throbbing vein in Eric's head bursts out and chokes him.... Stressed Eric premiered on BBC-2 in 1998. Touted as the UK's answer to "The Simpsons," it grabbed the attention of the USA's NBC network, who quickly bought the rights to air the show later that summer. This was the first animated series that ran on NBC primetime since 1982's short-lived "Joke Book," but it was quickly pulled from the air after 4 episodes due to lackluster ratings. An NBC affiliate in Utah even refused to air the series, because they felt it was stupid and not up to the same standards as the rest of the "Must See TV" schedule, so "Mad About You" was rerun in it's place. The NBC versions of the episodes shaved off around 4 minutes, so that they could add in their standard 8-minutes of commercial time per half hour. But the biggest problem with NBC's version was their decision to change Eric's voice. To appeal to US audiences, they foolishly felt Eric should be an American living abroad, so his voice was redubbed by Hank Azaria ("The Simpsons"). The original title sequence (and theme) were dumped and replaced with a scrapbook montage opening -- featuring photos of Eric in the US, moving to the UK, getting married and having kids. Comparably speaking, the US opening credits were dopey. The unaired episodes with Azaria's voice have never seen the light of day. A second season was made and finally aired on BBC2 in 2000. This second season boasted a new opening sequence identifying all the regular characters, accompanied by a new, jazzy arrangement of the theme tune (in contrast to the harsh electric guitar version used in season 1). The most dramatic change, however, was that the new episodes were made in 16:9 widesreen, which may make it the first major animated series to appear in this format.moreless
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    BBC News 24

    BBC News 24

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    BBC Two
    Not only is BBC News 24 a channel. Both BBC 1 and BBC 2 broadcast it early morning at the Moment BBC 2 is airing News 24 from any time in between 12.00am-2.00am everyday until BBC's Learning Zone Starts.moreless
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    Reputations

    Reputations

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    BBC Two (ended 2002)
    Reputations was the BBC documentary series which shows the stories of famous figures in a new light. The series has covered interesting people like Yuri Gagarin, Albert Speer, Liberace, John Wayne, George VI and many more, revealing the lives and histories that shaped these people and the world around them.moreless
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    Never Mind the Buzzcocks

    Never Mind the Buzzcocks

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    BBC Two (ended 2015)
    Unsympathetic to the precious pomposity of the rock and pop industry, 'Buzzcocks' takes a sledgehammer to the delicate egos of the biggest and most famous names in music - often whilst they are guests on the programme. The scathing wit of Mark Lamarr and later Simon Amstell, has literally caused guests to walk off the show. From 2009 to 2013, the show was presented by different guest hosts each week. In July 2014 it was revealed that Rhod Gilbert would become the show's third regular host from the 28th series. This would turn out to be the final series as the BBC announced in May 2015 that the show had been axed.

    In 2013, the BBC aired a series called What a Load of Buzzcocks which is narrated by Blur's Alex James and looks at the best bits of a certain year of music including moments from 'Buzzcocks'.moreless
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    This Life

    This Life

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    BBC Two (ended 1997)
    In This Life, a group of attractive, badly-behaved lawyers live in a posh house in London and spend their time engaged in emotional crises, usually over wanting to sleep with each other. It was a British thirtysomething, Friends, and Ally McBeal all rolled into one. Shot mainly in jerky close-ups and intercut with trendy music of the time, it had gained huge ratings by the end of the decade. - In 2004 a South African version of This Life (closely based on the UK series and story) was filmed and screened on SABC3 TV for 10 months.moreless
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    Two Fat Ladies

    Two Fat Ladies

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    BBC Two
    British cooking show with two chefs, Jennifer Patterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright. Each episode is filmed from a different location from a brewery to a cathederal, from a samll town home to a manor house. This was never filmed on a set. You always get to see an interesting part of Great Britan.moreless
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    Naked Video

    Naked Video

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    BBC Two (ended 1991)
    Naked Video was a BBC Scotland comedy series, broadcast between 1986 and 1991 on BBC2. it started life as a radio show on Radio Scotland called Naked Radio, starring Gregor Fisher, Andy Gray, Elaine C. Smith, Tony Roper, Jonathan Watson, John Sparkes, Kate Donnelly, Louise Beattie, Ron Bain, and Helen Lederer (although Lederer and Sparkes were not part of the radio version). The series was produced by Colin Gilbert and the script editor was Philip Differ.

    Naked Radio proved to be a popular part of the local schedule, and in 1985 the cast successfully mounted the show on stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Colin Gilbert realised that it had the visual potential for television and so Naked Video was born. Naked Video proved hugely popular with the viewing public and soared up massive audeince figures when first aired.moreless
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    Bang! Bang! It's Reeves and Mortimer

    Bang! Bang! It's Reeves and Mortimer

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    BBC Two (ended 1999)
    Welcome to the Bang! Bang! It's Reeves and Mortimer guide at TV.com. British sketch comedy show
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    Bottom

    Bottom

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    BBC Two (ended 1995)
    Richard Richard & Edward Elizabeth Hitler, two men with no hope of fitting in with society. Two men who will forever fall foul of life's little jokes, mainly because they are too stupid to avoid them! Adrian Edmondson and Rik Mayall take an anarchic look into the lives of these two friends who are forever threatening, and committing, violence on each other. This series could be said to be a follow up, of a kind, to The Young Ones. Same stars and same attitude but the young ones are now heading into middle age. A successful series that spawned three live tours [and three videos of these shows] and a big screen film, Guest House Paradiso. Although the film was not released as such it is advertised as a Bottom film on the video release.moreless
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    Star Trekkers

    Star Trekkers

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    BBC Two (ended 1996)
    This short documentary series was broadcast on BBC2 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of Star Trek. Each episode featured two celebrity fans who would discuss their favourite characters and themes. Clips from the various series were shown while the celebrities such as Jonathan Ross talked to the audience.moreless
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    The League of Gentlemen

    The League of Gentlemen

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    BBC Two (ended 2002)
    Welcome to Royston Vasey, a small town in northern England inhabited by an odd bunch of people. Amongst the residents you will find Edward and Tubbs, who run the Local Shop; the toad-worshipping Denton family; Dr. Chinnery, the vet who tends to turn sick animals into dead ones; Pauline, the pen-obsessed Job Centre employee; butcher Hilary Briss, who has some very suspicious sausages; and the enigmatic Papa Lazarou.moreless
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