Author Topic: Portrayals of British TV/radio in esp. foreign media - when characters watch UK  (Read 11691 times)

Brookside had The Magic Rabbits, the rushes for which still exist. There was a soap opera they watched too, but I can't remember what it was called and searching for "soap opera brookside" is unsurprisingly unhelpful.

I refer the honourable member to the top of page 2

Wrongfully Accused features one time BBC regulars Shari Lewis and Lambchop who also pop up in the Nanny. Similarly, Americathon has Paul Daniels guests Willie Tyler and Lester, regulars on US TV appearing in everything from the variety shows to The White Shadow.

La Prisonniere by 1968 features a lot of French TV.

Bobby Deerfield features Paul Daniels guest Norm Nielsen as himself

The Nanny featured Andrew Lloyd Webber as a character, played by various actors, with various uncredited soundtrack contributions from Richard Stilgoe.

Lance Burton, another Magic Show regular turned up  playing a magician in Knight Rider.

Norman Wisdom turns up in Charlie's Angels, as a prison pinup photo.
Billy McComb, another Paul Daniels face played magicians in Disneyland - Young Harry Houdini and Adam-12, AND a thinly disguised version of self in Lord of Illusions and Matlock.
Another US guest, Peter Pit played himself in Bill Bixby action show The Magician.

Sidewalks of London with Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh features a theatre advertising  a show starring Fred Emney and Mr/ Pastry Richard Hearne.
The 1978 Winner-Mitchum Big Sleep has John Mills watching Miss World on his telly, plus Robert Mitchum reading the Mirror.

Army Archerd appeared as himself in Columbo, CBS' Valley of the Dolls, NBC's James at 15, Won Ton Ton, NBC's the Moneychangers,  Young Runaways, The Oscar, CBS' HoneyWest/Burke's Law, Clark Gable and Doris Day in Teacher's Pet, What A Way t Go,  Ellen, Diagnosis Murder, California Suite, HBO's Not Neccesarily the News, Hyper Sapien, Hotel, Devil and Max Devlin, ABC's Matt Houston, Happy Hooker goes Hollywood, ABC's the Love Boat...
Don Ho appeared as himself in Batman, Charlie's Angels, Life Goes On,One West Waiki, Brady Bunch, This is Tom Jones,  Fall Guy,  Fantasy Island and Sanford and Son and Michael Moore's BBC TV Nation.

The French Atlantic Affair features on a television, the chariot race off Ben-Hur but with Hugh Griffith and various closeups cut out to avoid payment, and a Muppets poster.

Goliath Awaits features characters putting on a version of BBC variety personality Lupino Lane's Me and My Girl, forever stuck singing the Lambeth Walk.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2020, 03:56:50 PM by George White »

The Tales from the Crypt ep Cold War has a shootout scene set in a newsagent full of Crunchies, Roses, Werther's, Tetley, Quality Street, Arena Magazine, the Mirror, the Daily Mail  Satellite TV Europe.
Also the short-lived Teletext-affiliated Lukcy (sic) charity lotto draw.

Miss Jean Brodie gives out about comics, especially Tiger Tim in the original novel.

In Kes, there's the shipping forecast.

Peter Greenaway's the Falls feature background copies of the Owl Service and the Midwich Cuckoos, plus a random subliminal cut-in of Lord Snooty.

The original Friday the 13th has a distractingly large pot of Carnation Milk in the dinner. Five years before Nestle bought the brand.

The Tristar Tom Hanks film Everytime We Say Goodbye has characters rattle on about Crosse and Blackwell to show they're Anglophiles.

Hands Across the Table 1935 aparently has Polos in it.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 11:42:22 AM by George White »

Teheran-43 (1981) has a Buzby cameo And a cinema showing Quadrophenia

Brannigan (1975)  has Bass and Double Diamond ad placement.  And features schmaltzy Brit-pop library versions of And I Love You So and Let the Sunshine In It also shows the Piccadilly Theatre is showing A Streetcar Named Desire with Martin Shaw, Claire Bloom, Morag Hood and .Joss Ackland.

The Ipcress File features Caine passing by Heinz Spaghetti in a can.

Nestle's Crunch bars feature in Troma's Monster in the Closet

Until they Sail features Radio New Zealand.

The Edgar Wallace mystery Der Buclige von Soho features a sign for the Dulcie Gray-Michael Denison-Richard Todd stage show of An Ideal Husband

The films Joanna (1968) and Las Adolescences (featuring Koo Stark as a sexy schoolgirl in full uniform, chances are a certain Prince has seen it and *****) feature a Wimpy.

Tescoand Green Shield Stamps in the Saint.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2020, 07:55:52 PM by George White »

Richard Haydn's BBC radio character Professor Edwin Carp turned up in Dick Van Dyke Show.

Braindead - the Archers soundtracks a zombie attack.
The Archers also appears in a Rumpole, Chicken Run and Porridge the Movie.

International Velvet features a BBC TV reporter played by Susan Jameson.

Don't Lower the Bridge, Raise the River has Jerry Lewis outside the Eros cartoon cinema, Piccadilly.

Bovril and Schweppes appears in Royal Wedding (1951), Night and the City (1950),  Indiscreet (1958). the Deep Blue Sea (1955, with Vivien Leigh, for Fox), Schweppes in Otley, Bovril in Star (1968), Brighton Rock (1947)

Ben-Hur is seen in a London cinema in The Collector, also by William Wyler.

The Skol/Double Diamond Piccadilly sign features in A Taste of Blood.

Nighthawks features a red bus with a poster for Silver Dream Racer.
The Accidental Tourist has an Angus steakhouse in the London scenes.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2020, 10:45:05 PM by George White »


  • Dance like The Goverment is watching.

There's all sorts of TV in the background in that TV series Gogglebox.
Sometimes so much that it gets in the way of the plot too.

Nixon (1995), Hellraiser II, The English Patient, Entrapment, the Pianist, Schindler's List, Executive Decision, Gandhi, Stalag 17, the Planet of the Apes remake, the Assignment 1997, Kundun - the scripts all specify BBC as characters and programmes.   
EDTV, The Insider, You've Got Mail, Hudson Hawk, Clerks/Jay and Silent Bob, Death to Smoochy all feature PBS.

the sequels to Drac 2000 feature  the EBC, presumably home of such classic  series as Professor What, Southport and Sage, the 4 Rolands, Just Eejits and Foals, The Crooning Inspector, Corner of Gloom, Stairfinger and Nephew, Y-Vans, WestEnders, Chateau Flaud, Grandma's AirForce

The Local Stigmatic, that astounding Al Pacino vanity project set in London though filmed all over the place has Paul Guilfoyle and Mockney  Al go on about... well, the original play had the character played by Paul Guilfoyle mention Katie Boyle, Anna Massey, Jimmy Hill, but this is changed to Massey, David Frost and Lesley Anne Down.

Yes, that's right, Al Pacino talking about Jimmy Hill. It did happen off-Broadway in a 1968 production of the play.

One keeps expecting Mrs. Huggett to pop in.

Highlander had MacLeod working for the BBC in the Blitz.

In the novel of It, Ben Hanscom has just designed the new BBC communications centre.

Victor Canning'sCastle Minerva features the BBC, adapted as Masquerade.

In Coming to America, Akeem is a fan of Stock-Aitken-Waterman/Mel and Kim.
Also, every Paramount film exists in the world of Coming to America. As the Paramount mountain is explicitly located in Zamunda.

The Nick Carter books feature BBC TV personality Ali Hassain.

Arthur Hailey's The Evening News and Strong Medicine feature the BBC.

Harold Robbins' Tycoon features the BBC.
Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt novels has Leigh Hunt of the BBC.

Alistair MacLean's When 8 Bells Toll brilliantly has the Robert Morley character, Arthur complain about "the  BBC and the ITA". Because him referring to the Independent Television Authority instead of ITV was par the course.

Eric Knight's This Above All, adapted in 1942 with Joan Fontaine and Tyrone Power features the BBC.

The 1998 Remo Williams book Empire of Dreams features the BBC.

Wodehouse's Uncle Dynamite has a character with a BBC announcer's voice.

The John Gardner Bond Death Is Forever features "Sky Channel" and the BBC.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2020, 08:17:49 PM by George White »

The 1989 TV pilot Tarzan in Manhattanhas Tarz riding a bus past  a sign for 42nd Street starring Millicent Martin.  The 2003 version has Six Feet Under and Phantom and Les Mis.

A Private Eye poster turns up in The Italian Job.

Future BBC science host Richard Feynman is a character in CBS' Day One.
The CBC series Race for the Bomb, based on the same events has Leo Sziilard get his ideas from seeing Things to Come (which stars Margaretta "Mrs. Pumphrey" Scott) while bringing fish and chips into a London cinema.

Ike features Noel Coward, played by Francis Matthews.
The Gathering Storm and Churchill -the Wilderness Years feature SarahChurchill, Winston's B-movie actress, who was in things like Fabian of the Yard.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 11:46:57 AM by George White »

PBS but Sesame Street - reffed in 227, Mama's Family, Coach, Mary Tyler Moore, Odd Couple, Brewster McCloud, the A Team, Day by Day, Growing Pains, Benson, Cheers, Night Court, Dick Cavett, Family Ties, Webster, Bill Cosby Show, LaughIn, Paul Lynde Show, Hunter, Full House, Saved by the Bell, Mod Squad, Sanford and Son, Parker Lewis, All in the Family, Diff'rent Strokes, Alf, Small Wonder, Gimme A Break, Family Ties, WKRP, St. Elsewhere, Pelham 123, Brady Bunch,  Stepford Wives, the Happy Hooker, I wonder Who's Killing Her Now, THE Car, Supervan, Rollercoaster, Dallas, the Muppets in SNL, the Shining, Blues Brothers, Mother's Day, Student Bodies, Strange Behaviour, Strange Invaders, Mr. Mom, Joey, Deadtime Stories, Amazing Stories, Lethal Weapon, Big, War of the Roses, Lionheart/Awol, 3 Men and a Little Lady, the X Files,  Noises Off, Where's Poppa, Being There 21 Jump Street, Forest Gump

Muppet Show is referenced in La Boum, the Children, Road Games, Honky Tonk Freeway,  Fame, Mork and Mindy, Auf Pet, Mike Leigh's Meantime, Girls Just Want to Have Fun, K9, Matlock, Short Cuts, Weird Science, Baywatch.

Six Million Dollar Man had a nun obsessed with Dale Robertson, star of Tales of Wells Fargo (and in both Dallas and Dynasty) who did an Edgar Wallace mystery, Coast of Skeletons and a few other British B-flicks. Robertson eventually appeared in the ep.

Mr. Rogers is reffed in American Graffiti II, Airplane, A Team, Golden Girls, real Ghostbusters, Perfect Strangers, the Charmings,   Deadly Dreams, Out of this World, Bob Roberts, Fire in the Sky, Demolition Man, Mrs Doubtfire, the Seinfeld ep set at PBS, the Nanny

DC Comics' Justice League Europe #30 Introduced BBC-3.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2020, 04:05:47 PM by George White »

23 Paces to Baker Street has some ads for Libby's milk and a Lion annual on sale in Baxter's of Kensington.

The Wonder Years had a Help poster with Leo McKern and Eleanor Bron's names visible.

Nestle bars feature in Die Hard, The Sandlot, Bubba HoTep, the Package, Scarface, the Truman Show, Ford Fairlane

The Bud Spencer vehicle Charleston (costarring Geoffrey Bayldon, Ronald Lacey, James Coco and with an appearance by Peter Glaze) has the poster for Leslie Phillips' stage show of the Avengers starring Simon Oates as Steed.

Freakazoid had them interrupting PBS, also trying to find refs to British TV in it as they were always referencing the last season of Bonanza or The Stockard Channing Show. They had Harlan Ellison as a character, talked about Disney's flop Something Wicked this Way Comes starring Jonathan Pryce, and the MPAA's Jack Valenti appeared as himself.   But bar Lord Bravery being based on Fawlty, struggling. 

Animaniacs had Disasterpiece Theatre and also explained Variety Speak i.e. Stallone's figures going up. They also had a Cleese caricature in Windsor Hassle, alongside Prince Andrew and Fergie.

Death Wish references Michael Winner himself, a poster of Lawman is seen.
A later sequel has a Toxic Avenger theatre marquee, along with Friday the 13th part iv and Godzilla 1985 and an Excalibur poster in Part II.

King Kong '76 mentions Fonteyn and Nureyev. Nureyev of course was in The Muppet Show and forgotten HTV/Berlusconi Europudding romance anthology Love at First Sight.
Amityville II has a poster of Rocky, meaning future Crocodile Shoes II actor Burt Young appears as both himself and a character. 

The Brain not only has a TV in the window with a fake BBCnewsflash but a bit of Yellow Submarine too.

The Wisdom of Corocdiles has a ref to Captain Birdseye. American Birdseye is reffed in Buckaroo Banzai and the Monogram classic The Babe Ruth Story.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 10:27:10 PM by George White »

Captain Crunch

  • Twister, Dustbuster, Hospital Bed
Beavis & Butthead – “I’ve got me fingers stuck up me bum”.


  • mere rhetorical frippery
Beavis & Butthead – “I’ve got me fingers stuck up me bum”.

Fair enough, but what do they say on the show?

From this week's Saturday Night Live

Bang on.

Thames associate New York Channel 9 WOR (later part of UPN, PTEN and Hollywood Premiere Network) are in the Hudsucker Proxy, Dog Day Afternoon, Shaft, Gremlins, Goodbye Girl and even the Universal ride Kong-Frontation with Kong attacking WWOR reporters in NYC.
PBS face Richard Kiley as himself in Jurassic Park.
Crackerjack guest Brenda Lee in Smokey and the Bandit 2.

The Fan (1981) with Lauren Bacall has psycho Michael Biehn listen to the Selecter. Pauline Black was in The Bill, Shelley and of course, Hold Tight!

Flash Gordon has Zarkov remember the Beatles, however, the Beatles were also King Features characters, in their cartoon form, so I like to think the Beatles he's thinking of are the weird posh ones from the cartoon.  The novelisation also him listen to the Who.  He also has Flash mistake Dale for "one of those nude models for those cheap English newspapers"
Fittingly, IIRC a lot of the glamour girls who form Aura's entourage were Page 3 girls.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2020, 10:02:17 PM by George White »

The unaired final episode of Secret Army is set during the BBC series In Our Time, a fictional kind of This is Your Life type program, hosted by Philip Reece, aka the man from Del Monte, Brian Jackson.

The News at Ten theme pops up in Al Adamson western Five Bloody Graves and Beyond Atlantis.

Robin Hughes who appeared in Ghost Squad, the Saint, Sir Francis Drake, and Selwyn Pike, the Sexton Blake expy in Hue and Cry appeared as a character in ABC's One Step Beyond.  Karloff played himself in Thriller.

All the Colors of the Dark (1972) has a display for the Canterbury Tales west end musical starring Kenneth J Warren and Jack "LeClerc" Haig.

Another giallo, Case of the Scorpion's Tail features bus ads for Joe (1970) at the Prince Charles, and the musical Catch My Soul at the Prince Charles Theatre.

In the book of Orca, there's mention of reports on Canadian radio. The film settles for Richard Harris eating Heinz tomato soup, Carnation milk, DelMonte, Maxwell House, Ritz biscuits (an Irishman's choice, there), and IIRC Walls' sausages.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 05:56:23 PM by George White »

In the original Hindenburg non-fiction novel  by Michael McDonald Mooney that inspired the 1975 movie, one of the rreal-life characters is Sir Robert Vansittart, the wartime Chief of British Intelligence, who wrote bits of the 1940 Thief of Bagdad. He is played by Tom Wilkinson in the Gathering Storm. 

Also in the Hindenburg film, the character of Joseph Spah is played by Robert Clary. Joseph Spah under his stage name "Ben Dova" (yes, really, not that one) played Szell's brother in Marathon Man, appeared in a Bayerischer Rundfunk TVM with Michel Piccoli and an ARD TV movie, Mr. Wonderful with Joe Pesci, and Naked City with Paul Burke of ITC's Thriller.

Watching Sword of Gideon - a ref to French TV and film - the lead Avner as in real life (and the book on which it is documented - Vengeance by George Jonas) is a massive fan of Louis De Funes and has seen every film the actor/comedian made. Confusingly, De Funes' real life costar Lino "Medusa Touch" Ventura plays the character of Papa. Does Avner notice? Nah.

French TV example- but in Fantomas, De Funes has his own Police 5-type show on ORTF. The tellies displaying it in a TV shop explode. De Funes also reads the Daily Telegraph, presumably the Young Telegraph supplement with Maid Marian and her Merry Men and Young Indiana Jones.

De Funes appeared on Die Rudi Carrell Show/am Laufenden Band, like Richard Hearne, Max wall, Emu and Rod and Davy Kaye

Young Indiana Jones featured Ben Hecht, who wrote the Iron Mistress, where Katharine Hepburn reads the Daily Mirror. It also has a London cinema showing Tarantula.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2020, 09:58:54 PM by George White »

Dirty Weekend features  Andrew Neil as himself.

Return of the Man from Uncle features one-time Hammer TV guest George Maharis' Cooneyesque dinner theatre show, "Sorry, Wrong Husband" in Vegas being advertised during the car chase.

The Boys from Brazil - the bus passing the Harringtons' house advertises a Thin Lizzy concert.

William Friedkin's C.A.T. Squad begins at the British Museum of World Art in Montreal, sorry London.

 C.A.T. Squad is ludicrous. Because it's all 70s giallo cues. Sans Mobile Apparent, Revolver, Plot (itself rehashed in Exorcist II -as  theme for Pazuzu), Devil in the Brain, Cat O'Nine Tails. I was listening to the Morricone Giallo soundtrack just before watching it, and got confused if the soundtrack was still playing. And they're all random cues. A sad romantic moment scored to Cat O'Nine Tails and then towards the end, the music from My Name is Nobody. So, you're watching it and you can't stop thinking of Terence Hill or Karl Malden or Sacha Distel or anyone else who was in any of the sampled movies.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2020, 04:22:05 PM by George White »

Claude Zidi's The Wing and the Thigh features a French cooking show, and Louis De Funes' book in a shop alongside some book by Norah who wrote the books on which Jassy and Hammer's the Witches were based on, plus books by Mary Stewart. Also Louis De Funes plays essentially the editor of the Michelin guide.
On the subject of Louis De Funes, The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob has a

Eagles Over London and From Hell to Victory (which reuses footage from the former) feature a fake Churchill speech broadcast from the BBC.
As does Mrs. Miniver.
Battle Force/The Biggest Battle, also from Umberto Lenzi, like Victory has John Huston as a BBC war correspondent and Giuliano Gemma's family in their massive mansion in suburban Plymouth (!) listening to a BBC broadcast with aEuropean-accented commentator. The theme, fittingly considering Europudding accents is by Eurovision favourite Maggie MacNeal of Mouth and MacNeal fame.

The Deadly Bees features a TOTP-type pop show.