Christmas Was Better In The 80s
From the smash hits to the forgotten obscurities, it’s a unique, factual yet comic look back at everything from “Only Fools and Horses” to the “Yogi Bear’s All-Star Comedy Christmas Caper”. It was a time before satellite TV or even a fourth channel. When the big film really was The Big Film and millions tuned in for the varied likes of “EastEnders”, “Cannon and Ball”, “Mr T’s Christmas Dream”, “Minder”, The Snowman”, “Russ Abbot’s Madhouse”, “Fraggle Rock”, “The Bells of Astercote”, “The Equalizer”, “Wogan in Pantoland”, “Palace Hill”, “Noel’s Christmas Presents”, “ALF’s Special Christmas”, “Spitting Image”, “The First Annual Stuntman Awards” and “Terry and June” among many others.”
With over 125 unique, all-new mini articles, it’s a fun, breezy read whether you’re barmy about the box or a vicarious viewer. And its a perfect gift for Christmas thats not available in the shops so they cant possibly have it already! How often does that opportunity come along? So tune in, chill out and let them know it’s Christmas Time. Even if its March.
Ben Baker’s Festive Double Issue: Forty Years Of Christmas TV
Christmas invariably means excess – be it through food, drink or television. Whether it’s Morecambe and Wise recreating Singin’ In The Rain, the Trotters dressed as the Dynamic Duo or EastEnders running over a baby for light relief, TV is our very pal throughout the entire turkey and tinsel period. This book pays tribute to forty years of festive programmes with over 250 viewed and reviewed in mini-essays by Ben Baker.
Alongside the classics there’s the likes of Kid Creole’s strange post-watershed musical about racism, Roland Rat going to Switzerland, Skeletor learning the true meaning of Christmas, Doctor Who’s original spin-off, The Bee Gees teaming up with Frankie Howerd for a medieval comedy and Feargal Sharkey having a nightmare on a Concorde whilst the Krankies watch on in helpless bemusement high above the Telecom Tower. Plus much much more.
“Ben Baker’s Festive Double Issue takes us back to the simpler times before the boom of multi-channel TV, covering the forty year period from 1955 to 1995 when Christmas TV was truly a shared national experience….Baker writes wittily but informatively throughout. This is a subject that he obviously knows a great deal about but what shines through is a love for the subject. Although at times he’s slightly irreverent about the programmes he’s covering, there’s still a deep love for the subject matter.” – Simon Hart, We Are Cult
Kill Your Television: Everything You Needed To Know About TV (As Long As Its In This Book)
“Kill Your Television”, despite its nihilistic and indie disco hit borrowed title, is a love letter to all things televisual – taking in everything from ALF to Z Cars and paying tribute to the programmes, presenters, sounds and strange spin-offs that made the flashing square box in the corner of the room such a powerful friend and, occasionally, enemy.
In this collection of essays and articles, author Ben Baker (Festive Double Issue, Remotely Interesting) dives head first into television of the past and present with such diverse subjects as:
- The unseen pilot episodes of Blackadder, Star Trek, Brass Eye, Buffy The Vampire Slayer and The Big Bang Theory;
- The strange world of Russian daytime TV;
- Which comedy programmes made the best video game tie-ins;
- The best Saturday morning TV shows ever, from No.73 to The 8:15 From Manchester;
- Doc Croc and the legacy of one of Children’s ITV’s most dangerous shows;
- Why the Paramount Channel was often better with the teletext on;
- Ace teen detective Veronica Mars and why more people should sing her name;
- Teletubbies Vs Minder: which TV themes became the biggest chart hits;
- Thirty years of trying to be a fan of Red Dwarf;
- The rise of Ant and Dec and the importance of SM:TV;
- Which acts bombed hardest during the live Comic Relief broadcasts;
- The continued dreadfulness of Popeye;
- Why a clip show is in fact the greatest episode of The Simpsons ever;
- Series finales – were any of them any good?
And quite a bit more besides!
The Comedy Cash-In Book Book
A personal look at what made up the traditional “comedy cash-in” books popular in the UK between the 1970s and 1990s. From Monty Python‘s exceptionally influential ‘Boks’ through to the unique, brilliant humour of Harry Hill taking in Morecambe and Wise, The Goodies, Kenny Everett, Saturday Night Live, The Young Ones, Lenny Henry, Smith and Jones, Harry Enfield, Mr Bean, Reeves and Mortimer, Father Ted, Lee and Herring, The League Of Gentlemen and many more along the way.
Its also got quite a lot of jokes in it. A must for anyone who likes British comedy.
The Long Quiz Goodnight: A Very Good Quiz Book About Films
If you like movie films but you aren’t weird about it or anything; this is the movie film quiz book for you. Packed with over sixty unique rounds and a Godzillas-worth of all new questions, “The Long Quiz Goodnight” is Ben Baker’s biggest quiz book yet and a funny, quirky collection of trivia for all of the family!
- The greatest opening lines in film;
- Learn some probably definitely true facts about your fave stars
- What the censors cut from your favourite flick;
- The weirdest cameos committed to celluloid;
- Hoo-Ray For British Films!;
- A tribute to the biggest Box Office Bombs;
- Which movie myths are actually true and which are a load of old tut?;
- Remembering Neon and the great movie magazines of the 90s;
- a foreword from comedian and trainee Ghostbuster Paul Gannon from Cheapshow and Digitiser. PLUS: Adam and Joe‘s Toymovies, Disney, Movie siblings, in-flight flicks, bad biopics, Monty Python, depression, sequels, Great Film Years from 1964 to 2010 AND LOTS MORE!
Remotely Interesting: A TV Quiz Book For People With Eyes
“Remotely Interesting” is a quirky, funny TV quiz book for all the family featuring over 50 all-new rounds covering everything from the opening theme tune to the closing credits. Highlights include:
- Probably Definitely True Facts About… The Simpsons, Doctor Who, soap operas and series finales;
- Guess the subjects of invariably mad real letters to the Radio and TV Times;
- Donald Trump‘s Presidential Tweets on programmes past and present;
- The TV appearances of The Beatles Band;
- ‘Netflix and keeping our hands where I can see them’ with the non-TV TV revolution;
- An afterword by ‘TV Clangers Man’ Tim Worthington;
AND MUCH MORE including robots, catchphrases, theme tunes, live TV, game shows, spin-offs, remakes, mothers, kids, booze and a bunch of Christmas stuff for good measure!
Never Mind The Quizbooks: A Music Quiz Book For People Who Dont Like Music Quiz Books
A funny, interesting and quirky take on the music quiz with hundreds of themed questions about everything from ABBA to Zig and Zag. It’ll thrill fellow pop obsessives whilst also being playable by all the family – from your Motown-loving mum and Disco Dad to Screamo Son and Grimecore Speed Garage Gran – or you can keep it all to yourself, neat in your pocket.
- Learn “Possibly Definitely True Facts” about The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Kanye West!
- Revisit “Great Pop Years” from 1964 to 1997!
- Plug in for a time when pop fame meant video game!
- Watch out for superstar sitcom cameos!
- What happens when rockers get what for from their mum!
and much much more in over 130 pages of brand new quizzes. Lets (proverbially) rock!
Your Starter For Ben
Your Starter For Ben is a quiz-master’s dream. Hundreds and hundreds of quirky but fun general knowledge questions for all the family, perfect to fill the awkward silences during that Christmas dinner lull, a particularly boring bit in a film or awaiting sentencing. And it fits right in your pocket too! Although all the answers are completely true (except for the false ones in the True or False rounds), there’s a sense of humour and nonsense throughout the book that represents the finest real life quiz nights in the UK and beyond. I’ll see you at the bar…
Talk About The Passion: Modern Adventures In Retro Pop Culture (w/Tim Worthington, Christopher Bate, Garreth F Hirons et al)
Over 130 pages of in-depth articles, facts, quizzes and fun starring
- David Bowie and his pal The Laughing Gnome,
- The Beatles in mono,
- Fun on Sesame Street,
- A beginner’s guide to Godzilla,
- The rise of the early 80s’s Video Nasties,
- Frank Sidebottom and Chris Sievey‘s ever-growing comic legacy,
- Viz Comic‘s most controversial moments,
- A look at U.S sitcom favourite Newsradio,
- Ribald rubber latex lampoonery in Spitting Image,
- My Bloody Valentine make a load of bloody racket…
…plus lots more on British comics, puppets, cheapo movies, TV pilots and beyond! Perfect for lovers of pop culture everywhere.