Author Topic: Jeremy Beadle  (Read 2653 times)

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Jeremy Beadle
« on: August 16, 2010, 01:26:05 PM »
I came on here wondering whether anybody else saw the documentary about Jeremy Beadle's life last night - and whilst it's not a huge surprise to see no thread on here (we're not "Beadle and Bomb'd", after all) I thought I'd take the liberty of starting one.

Typically, the show was exceptionally sugary, focussing only on his positive attributes, but as he's only been dead for a couple of years, that shouldn't be surprising.  These programmes tend to be hagiographies at the best of times.  Even taking that into account, though, the only conclusion I managed to draw was that he was actually a very strange man.  A number of Verbwhores in the past have noted that Beadle's on-air radio pranks in London during the seventies, plus his shows highlighting absurd singles and exotica, were rather Morris tinted (in fact, I've heard it said that Beadle was a fan of Morris).  The Beadle of that decade seems to bear no relation to the one that became ubiquitous during the eighties and nineties.  He ran a rock festival in the North of England that involved him booking Captain Beefheart as a prominent guest of honour, edited "Time Out" in Manchester, got fired from the radio for "going too far", and compiled well-reviewed books of trivia and facts.  For most of that decade, he was actually a marginal counter-culture figure. 

He largely seemed to end up becoming Mr Light Entertainment by dint of his hidden camera tricks on "Game for a Laugh", and that's when the ITV work became never-ending.  Apparently, at his peak he was on air five times a week, and this roughly coincided with an opinion poll stating that he was the second most loathed man in Britain after Saddam Hussein.  He seems to have chalked this up to people finding his shows a "guilty pleasure" and transferring their guilt on him.  I'd argue it had more to do with the public not taking well to celebrities who never seem to be off the air, and perhaps picking up on a slightly awkward falseness about his public persona.  Even Wogan - a much more able and personable broadcaster than Beadle - struggled with his popularity when his TV diary was most packed. 

I was weighing all this up and feeling a little sorry for the man, who always seemed faintly bitter to me once his star had fallen, and I then saw that one of the main speakers at his funeral was "close friend" Richard Littlejohn.  I know you shouldn't judge a man by the company he keeps, but still...

Did anyone else catch this, and if so, what did you think?  Was he ultimately a complete sell-out who ended up getting the pasting from the pubilc he deserved, or was there more to our Jeremy than that?

Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2010, 04:09:36 PM »
Eh? Jeremy Beadle's dead?
When? How?

Ok

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2010, 04:16:25 PM »
Whilst I could understand why his family were slightly bitter at the joke figure he had become(Doing Banged up with Beadle, for example) there was no acknowledgement that Beadle enjoyed the ubiquity of his appearances and like anyone who is ubiquitous(Mylene Klass, John Barrowman, Katie Price etc etc) they get negative attention for it. Beadle must have had quite an ego as well as a quite big bank balance by being on TV as much as he was.

I don't doubt Beadle was intelligent, loving family man(except that five year affair he had...) but viewers didn't see that. They saw a prankster, at times the pranks seemed cruel and as the face of that the, unfair, assumption was that Beadle must be quite a cruel man. His "does a lot for charity but doesn't like to talk about it" side only really came out after his death. Beadle is still a focus of ridicule(see a recent episode of Mongrels that made a lazy reference to his withered arm) which must be difficult for his family and friends.[nb]Even if they are Littlejohn[/nb]

Had Beadle lived(59 is no age combined with the fact his children seem still quite young) no doubt he would have done something like I'm a Celebrity to raise his TV profile or perhaps gone back to radio.

Probably an unfair comparison but Matthew Kelly, who was also Mr Saturday Night, has moved on into acting and seems a lot happier for it. I saw him in Comedians and he was fantastic. I get impression Kelly didn't/doesn't need to being on TV to validate him, in the way Beadle did.

Eh? Jeremy Beadle's dead?
When? How?

Ok

January 2008, so not that long ago. He had cancer, then leukemia and then pneumonia that killed him.

Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2010, 04:20:04 PM »
The weirdest bit of the show was seeing the 'stache on Matthew Kelly. Blimey!

Beadle was an odd man, no doubt about it. He was hit and miss with me, but when he was good he was great. I enjoyed his Talksport radio show which wasn't mentioned on the documentary last night and some of his stunts were legendary. But he was an obnoxious guy sometimes - that Banged Up With Beadle show definitely had a few moments where you could see his nastier side come out (if I recall correctly, he completely blanked one poor contestant because he'd decided he hated her). That's not to say those moments weren't enjoyable, but I remember thinking they were a little too real to be confined to the show.

Still, obviously enjoyed his life for the most part, his friends really valued him and he raised a hell of a lot of money for charity, so he couldn't have been that bad. The witch hunt against him was just an example of the kind of cunts who write any old crap to try and ignite some kind of zeitgeist they can then claim to be at the centre of and mark out the 'populist position' to sell more rags

Wasn't his library impressive?!

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2010, 05:38:26 PM »
I'm actually annoyed these days that we didn't know anything about him before he died.  I hated him too, because I saw him as a vacuous light entertainer that made his living out of cruel, cheap, nasty lowest-common-denominator television.  My opinion of him now is quite the reverse.  I would have liked to have seen him presenting history shows, or do more public charity work.  It seems such a shame that we never got to see who he really was.

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2010, 05:53:37 PM »
But he was an obnoxious guy sometimes - that Banged Up With Beadle show definitely had a few moments where you could see his nastier side come out (if I recall correctly, he completely blanked one poor contestant because he'd decided he hated her). That's not to say those moments weren't enjoyable, but I remember thinking they were a little too real to be confined to the show.

I didn't see that at the time.  However, I do remember a nasty moment at the British Comedy Awards.  Beadle stepped up to the podium to read the next set of nominations out, but did so dressed in a circus ringleader's costume - this coincided with a period when he was actually acting as a ringleader for some family circus event, so sounds a lot stranger and more "random" than it actually was.

Jonathan Ross was clearly clueless as to the context of this, however, and joshed "Are you dressed for the circus, Jeremy?  Can you get me a job there?"
"No Jonathan," Beadle sneered, "they only let talented people in". 
"I'll rise above that, Jeremy!" replied a clearly shocked Ross. 

Now, I'm probably paraphrasing a lot with the above, but I'm sure this was a really awkward moment, and nobody seemed to know quite where the venom came from.  I also think this occurred in the mid-to-late nineties when Ross's star was temporarily on the wane, which made it especially savage.  Still, needless to say, Ross had the last laugh, etc. etc. etc.

I'm actually annoyed these days that we didn't know anything about him before he died.  I hated him too, because I saw him as a vacuous light entertainer that made his living out of cruel, cheap, nasty lowest-common-denominator television.  My opinion of him now is quite the reverse.  I would have liked to have seen him presenting history shows, or do more public charity work.  It seems such a shame that we never got to see who he really was.

It was up to him though, really.  He probably didn't want to boldly announce how much money he'd raised for charity, which is the honourable thing to do. 

He also probably could have put his name to some serious documentaries, but at the time when he was most famous he did seem to be more interested in lapping up the mass exposure and money, and when his television career died and he seemed naff, presumably nobody was rushing forward to work with him.  He did manage to contribute - actually quite brilliantly - to a progamme about "Jack The Ripper", though, so his work there is not exactly non-existent (just almost). 

I do find such cases of celebrity egotism both fascinating and strange.  Really, an extrovert Verbwhore could quite easily have a very similar personality (and certainly the same set of interests) to the seventies Beadle, but I would hope that most of us wouldn't do every bloody quiz show in existence on ITV as our main source of income when the opportunity came up.  Surely when you've reached the point where you're on your second million, such things start to seem pointless and you want to indulge yourself amongst the things that fascinate you again?  Although perhaps we would all be that weak in reality. 

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2010, 06:49:59 PM »

I do find such cases of celebrity egotism both fascinating and strange.  Really, an extrovert Verbwhore could quite easily have a very similar personality (and certainly the same set of interests) to the seventies Beadle, but I would hope that most of us wouldn't do every bloody quiz show in existence on ITV as our main source of income when the opportunity came up.  Surely when you've reached the point where you're on your second million, such things start to seem pointless and you want to indulge yourself amongst the things that fascinate you again?  Although perhaps we would all be that weak in reality.

I think that is why so many struggled to take to Beadle. He had a high opinion of himself but wasn't doing anything worthy of high opinion. Don't get me wrong, I think TV presenting must actually quite hard but what he was presenting wasn't "respectable" so people didn't respect him.

I think I would have done what he did. In hindsight doing as much work as he did must have left his family very secure when he died prematurely and maybe he sacrificed the opportunity(if anyone ever offered him that opportunity) to do what he loved for something that paid the bills. Why else do Banged up with Beadle? His family felt it was beneath him so it must have been the cash/the opportunity to be on Saturday night TV every week.

Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2010, 06:58:36 PM »
The first thing that probably comes to mind for me when I hear Beadle mentioned is that he attended a writer's convention on Jack the Ripper at a local hotel I used as a swimming club when I was about 11. Until I read the above post I had no idea why he was there, which is probably why it sticks in my mind so much. Even now that I know why, I still wonder how it all actually came about.

I also always think of him appearing on the boxes for those early (around 2002) cheap DVD sets which came with 50 crappy movies (which I was talking about on the "Good Bad Movies" thread the other day). What was the logic behind trying to convince people to buy DVDs with Jeremy Beadle, especially in 2002?

I always hear people tell me "come on admit it, you loved the original run of You've Been Framed as much as everyone else!", and there seems to be a universal consensus among (British) people I meet in my age group that it was brilliant at its peak. I think someone on here even said if you were the right age it was funnier than Blackadder. I can honestly say I never liked it. And the popularity of Beadle's About among my classmates was something I found depressing even when I was 9. But I did grow fonder of him in later years, possibly because I always feel slightly sorry for celebrities the British public suddenly decide is a living joke, even when I'm glad they're not still on telly.

Re: his supposed affection for Morris, I'm always suspicious of unhip or very mainstream celebrities bigging up the hip artist de jour in their chosen field, but on the other hand, as cliched and cheaply psychoanalytical as it may be, I can imagine Beadle watching/listening to Morris and thinking he was who he'd really want to be, or even who he thought he could have been.

I wonder if David Mitchell is verging on prime Beedle levels of overexposure...

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2010, 07:10:17 PM »
The impression I always got from Beadle (when I was younger, watching his 1980s/1990s shows) was that he was slightly affable with something else going on underneath the surface.

The impression I got from the documentary was that he was actually a lot more intelligent than the shows he was presenting, and this must have riled him a little bit.  He seems to have turned out decent well brought-up kids, and did a lot more for charity than I realised. 

So fair play to him, I say.

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2010, 07:13:38 PM »
He was given a special mention in Fortean Times when he died, due to his extensive library which included many rare volumes on the occult.

He had very eclectic interests and was very well read on the history of circus, sideshow and on medical abnormalities (perhaps a result of his own deformity?).


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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2010, 07:15:30 PM »
I also always think of him appearing on the boxes for those early (around 2002) cheap DVD sets which came with 50 crappy movies (which I was talking about on the "Good Bad Movies" thread the other day). What was the logic behind trying to convince people to buy DVDs with Jeremy Beadle, especially in 2002?

Shite B-movies sound like the kind of thing he would have been fascinated by, actually. 

Quote
Re: his supposed affection for Morris, I'm always suspicious of unhip or very mainstream celebrities bigging up the hip artist de jour in their chosen field, but on the other hand, as cliched and cheaply psychoanalytical as it may be, I can imagine Beadle watching/listening to Morris and thinking he was who he'd really want to be, or even who he thought he could have been.

I don't think he's ever been very open about bigging up Morris, and I can only remember once on one of those "100 Best" TV clip shows (or something similar) where he expressed some admiration.  So that's it - so far as I ever saw, he wasn't in the media every week talking about how great he was.  But yes, you're right, given the similar starts both their careers had, he must have at least wondered if the direction Morris took was a road he could have explored himself.  I get the impression that Beadle badly needs to be liked by the mainstream public, though, and Morris absolutely doesn't - so ultimately their personalities are far too different.

His one-time co-presenter Matthew Kelly is another case in point, actually.  I remember reading an interview with him once where he said he shaved his beard off in between series of "Stars In Their Eyes" to avoid recognition by the public, whereas you can't imagine Beadle being so coy. 

Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2010, 07:50:54 PM »
Shite B-movies sound like the kind of thing he would have been fascinated by, actually. 

It's true, but I remember it being a very straight faced campaign, with his smiling face on the box next to a big caption which read "50 great movies!" It occurs to me that maybe it amused him that people were buying a collection promising big A-listers and getting home to find a bunch of low budget movies made early in their career (sometimes with hardly any screentime), but given that it was around the time of this Banged Up with Beadle thing, it's probably more likely that he was trying to rebuild his career in any way possible. I didn't really think much of it at the time, but in retrospect it seems odd that they choose him to represent them a good half-decade after Beadle's About etc.

(Just as an aside I'm glad those Surrey allagations don't seem to have had any effect on Kelly's career, I kind of thought they would at the time even after they were thrown out)

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2010, 09:09:45 PM »
When he died I'm sure somebody on here (LFBarfe?) said that Beadle had been a massive help with a book they were writing and was generally an absolute gent. Anyone know what I'm half remembering?

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #13 on: August 17, 2010, 03:36:13 PM »
I can't help with that particular instance but I do know that he was a genuine expert in the whole Jack The Ripper thing and helped many people in that area with their research and writing. Uncredited, usually, as he didn't want his name being in the final print to distract from the real author's work. People in that particular circle (I know one pretty well) generally reckon he was a properly decent man and a very generous, enthusiastic and helpful individual.

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2010, 03:42:04 PM »
When he died I'm sure somebody on here (LFBarfe?) said that Beadle had been a massive help with a book they were writing and was generally an absolute gent. Anyone know what I'm half remembering?

I never met or spoke to him. One of the TV Cream lot (Jack K-W?) said he was a top chap, though.

There's a great interview with Beadle on an edition of Danny Baker After All. I think Baker was friends with him, but pitched it at "Come on, explain yourself" and got some good stuff out of Beadle.

Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2010, 03:55:14 PM »
I didn't realise, before watching this documentary, that the stunning 'UFO has landed in your back garden' Beadle's About stunt was actually towards the very end of it's extensive run. You always assume (or I do at least) that the best stuff is earlier on in the lifespan of the show, and that cancellation must have followed a downward trend in term of quality. Even watching the alien in this documentary I found myself quite involuntarily laughing heartily - it's just brilliant.

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2010, 05:09:14 PM »
Beadle's About was certainly very popular in my school around the time of the very last series, and I had the impression at the time it was still very popular in general. Had no idea until I looked it up it actually started as far back as 86.

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Re: Jeremy Beadle
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2010, 11:13:06 PM »
He certainly deserved a better farewell headline than The Sun's "BEADLE'S NOT ABOUT" anyway.