Saturday, 24 July 2010

Retro Blast - July 2006

Yes, THAT summer! Who IS she?!

Jumping 40 years between weekends means that whereas l couldn't even summon memories from 1966, I can actually lay hands on the correct "Radio Times" for 2006, and there it is above. Well, it covers the majority of the equivalent week. It just misses one of the landmark TV events of that year which was on the following Sunday evening on BBC Two - the last ever regular "Top of the Pops", presented by this rogues gallery:

Annoyingly, Fearne Cotton simultaneously managed to co-present "Love Island" from Fiji with Patrick Kielty. The last TOTP was watched by 3.98 million people, pitted against a shark documentary on BBC One, an "Emmerdale"/"Coronation Street" combo on ITV1 and the repeat of episode 39 of "Lost" on Channel 4

(Just to be confusing, I'm using the singles chart just previous because the one they used had literally just been announced on the 30th and so Shakira isn't the No1).

Another lesser British institution of sorts began the previous day, 29 July, on BBC One tea-time, slotted between Anne Robinson and Dale Winton - "How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria?":

This was the first in a winning format wherein host Graham Norton and Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber searched for an unknown to be Maria in "The Sound Of Music" (won on 16 September by Connie Fisher). Norton had already hosted the second and final series of "Strictly Dance Fever" that had finished only 8 weeks before. Graham and Andrew went on to foist a Joseph, a Nancy, a Dorothy and a UK Eurovision entrant on us in similar fashion of course.

There was a fair amount of new programming on at the time including Saxondale, Prehistoric Park, Casualty, Silent Witness, Tribe, Sorted, The Chase, Come Dine With Me, Richard & Judy, Restoration Village, Big Bear Week, Excuse My French, Modern Toss, The Friday Night Project, Bad Lads Army: Extreme, The Inspector Lynley Mysteries, How to Look Good Naked, The F Word, Bad Girls, Holby City, Mythbusters, The Kumars at No42, Sugar Rush and The Law of the Playground. On the digital channels The L Word was premiering on Living while The West Wing breathed its last on More 4.

Big Brother 7, the summer 2006 series, was recently voted the best ever (not by me, but it's probably the last 'big' one and the one where the rot started). It had started on 18 May and was eventually won by Pete Bennett on 18 August

On this particular week, after a House-Next-Door 'prison' task and where everyone was paired off in handcuffs, Michael & Spiral were evicted together on 29 July.

This came just before the producers made the possibly fatal mistake of putting a housemate back in for the final week and making them eligible to win. That housemate was Nikki Graham, Pete's showmance partner.

In ye olde soaps Emmerdale was still in the aftermath of a showhome exploding and killing three people while also just about to kill off Alice Dingle in an award winning euthenasia storyline, Coronation Street was focussed on Leanne blackmailing Danny Baldwin over Mike's true will (leading to a temporary exit for Leanne) and Owen Turner menacingly reappeared in the life of Denise Fox in Eastenders. She can really pick husbands!

So if I haven't already magicked up the memories of that summer, my chart picks surely will, and here they are:

That's Madonna's new entry at #45 - Get Together.

And a Radio 2 playlist favourite of the time, it's Ray Lamontagne's "Trouble", also new at #38

The rarely heard Snow Patrol hit "Chasing Cars" is in at #25

Gnarls Barkley have their second hit rising to #10. Great video too.

Only last month this was heard as newlyweds Amy and Rory danced at the close of the last "Doctor Who" series. "You Give Me Something" is at #5 for James Morrison.

And topping the UK singles chart, here's a 'last days' TOTP performance of "Don't Stop Me Now" by McFly (would have been much more appropriate No1 on the final show)

Things are a bit more cool in the top three albums - all three new entries by Paulo Nutini, Lily Allen and Razorlight at #3, #2 and #1 respectively.

Just released in the cinema were "Miami Vice", "You, Me and Dupree" and "Little Miss Sunshine", but he summer blockbuster was the second "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, "Dead Man's Chest" featuring Bill Nighy as Davy Jones (above).

Next weekend - July 1986

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