Sunday, 1 May 2011

Picture Book: 1955

Patricia Driscoll

Often described as the inspiration for Jackanory, Picture Book was a BBC TV series that first appeared in 1955. It was the Monday programme in the Watch with Mother cycle and was created by Freda Lingstrom. It was initially introduced by Patricia Driscoll. The programme encouraged children to make things. Patricia Driscoll left in 1957 to play the part of Maid Marian with Richard Greene in the ITV series, The Adventures of Robin Hood. She was later replaced by Vera McKechnie.

Each Monday, either Driscoll or McKechnie would fetch out the Picture Book and open it at a relevant page. Sometimes this would be shown to the camera at a distance, making the pages'content often brief and obscure. Alternatively, the presenter would simply tell the children what the next item would be, sometimes with a still photograph as a continuity link. It was something different every week. The 1963 series featured throughout a puppet dachshund called Sausage, that could speak a few words and generally shared the presentation with Vera McKechnie.

Vera McKechnie

Ted Lowe: 1920 - 2011: R.I.P.

Voice of reason: Lowe was dubbed 'Whispering Ted' given his unique approach to commentary for the BBC

Former snooker commentator Ted Lowe has died aged 90, following a 10-week illness that had seen him hospitalised. Lowe, known as 'Whispering Ted' was a member of the generation of BBC commentators who became closely identified with their sports.


Ted Lowe MBE (1 November 1920 – 1 May 2011) was a BBC Snooker Commentator commentator. His commentary style was always measured but quietly dramatic as required. His unmistakably husky, hushed tones earned him the nickname Whispering Ted.

Born in Lambourn, Berkshire, Lowe was the commentator for the popular TV show Pot Black from 1969 onwards. He went on to become the "voice of snooker" and led the commentary in many tournaments. He also commentated in what is generally regarded as snooker's greatest ever final, that between Steve Davis and Dennis Taylor in the 1985 World Snooker Championship.

Lowe uttered the occasional on-air gaffe, similar to motor racing commentator Murray Walker; Lowe's most famous quote was, "and for those of you who are watching in black and white, the pink is next to the green."and he once told viewers that Fred Davis, struggling to rest one leg on the edge of the table in order to reach a long shot, "is getting on a bit and is having trouble getting his leg over".

Lowe retired after the 1996 World Snooker final, although he briefly joined in the commentary for the 2005 World Championship final between Matthew Stevens and Shaun Murphy which Murphy won. This was also the last final sponsored by Embassy.

Lowe died, aged 90, on the morning of the first session of the 2011 Snooker World Championship final.

Sidney Lee and Ted Lowe, 1973

His wife of 21 years, Jean, said: "His health had been deteriorating for the last 10 weeks. He went into a hospice a week ago and I never left his side. But I could see he was slowly going. He still loves snooker and was watching it on TV."

John Virgo a former player before becoming a co-commentator alongside Lowe, said: "He set a standard for us all. He was wonderful, he had an impish sense of humour and while cricket had its John Arlott and Wimbledon had its Dan Maskell, we had Ted Lowe.

"He was one of the BBC greats. It's a sad day for snooker and he'll be sadly missed."

Bang - A - Boomerang!

File:ABBA - Bang-A-Boomerang.jpg
As a massive Abba fan I first came across this song back in 1975 when I was bought for Christmas, the Abba Greatest Hits album. This song was so shit hot it should have been released in to the charts where I guarantee it would have reached the No 1 position!

"Bang-A-Boomerang" first released by Svenne & Lotta (both Swedish and English language versions). The track was first recorded as a demo with English lyrics (but without any recorded vocals) in September 1974 by the ABBA musicians for their forthcoming eponymous album ABBA. The song was written by Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaues and Stig Anderson and at one point had the working title "Stop and Listen to Your Heart". The lyrics compare the "message of love" with the returning boomerangs which the Australian Aborigines developed.

In late 1974 Andersson, Ulvaeus and Anderson were invited by Svegires Television as composers to submit a song to the 1975 Melodifestivalen. Since ABBA themselves didn't want to compete in the contest again, just one year after having won, they instead gave the opportunity and the song to Polar Music labe lmates Svenne & Lotta. "Bang-A-Boomerang" was given new Swedish lyrics by Stig Anderson and retitled "Bang en Boomerang" and the duo subsequently made a vocal recording of the track in November 1974 - produced by Björn & Benny - with a different arrangement, most noticeably slightly shorter (2:50) than the original demo, to fit the Eurovision three-minute rule. The song finished 3rd in the Swedish preselections in February 1975, became one of Svenne & Lotta's biggest hits and spent 7 weeks on the Svensktoppen radio chart during the period 9 March-11 May 1975, with a 2nd place as best result. Svenne & Lotta also recorded the song with the original English lyrics, both versions were included on their 1975 album Svenne & Lotta 2/Bang-A-Boomerang (Polar POLS 259). The English version was also released as a single in Denmark and became a big seller there, from a Scandinavian perspective the track is therefore still primarily seen as a hit single and Melodifestivalen classic by Svenne & Lotta. Under the name of "Sven & Charlotte", their original English version was also released in most European countries, and in Oceania, charting in several.

Bang-A-Boomerang Song Lyrics

Making somebody happy is a question of give and take
You can learn how to show it so come on, give yourself a break
Every smile and every little touch
Don`t you know that they mean so much
Sweet sweet kisses so tender
Always will return to sender

Like a bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Dum-be-dum-dum be-dum-be-dum-dum
Oh bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Love is a tune you hum-de-hum-hum
By giving away, I think you`ll learn
You`ll get love in return
So bang, a boom-a-boomerang is love
A boom-a-boomerang is love

Love is always around and you can look for it anywhere
When you feel that you`ve found it my advice is to take good care
Never use it as a selfish tool
Never ever be such a fool
Every feeling you`re showing
Is a boomerang you`re throwing

Yes a bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Dum-be-dum-dum be-dum-be-dum-dum
Oh bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Love is a tune you hum-de-hum-hum
By giving away, I think you`ll learn
You`ll get love in return
So bang, a boom-a-boomerang is love

And if you`re warm and tender
I`ll kiss you, return to sender
Please surrender

Bang, a boom-a-boomerang
Dum-be-dum-dum be-dum-be-dum-dum
Oh bang, a boom-a-boomerang is love
A boom-a-boomerang is love

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