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Fab idea was just flogged to death.

Oh well, so much for the theory that the commercials between the shows are much more entertaining than the programmes.

That was booted into touch by the patchy Bob's Fab Ads, which, according to one telly magazine, was intended to be `an entertaining and informative insight into television advertising'.

Which is another way of saying that a bunch of supposedly comic commercials were dug out of the archives and Bob Monkhouse linked them with some pithy patter.

Inevitably, some of the Monkhouse magic worked.

He hit the spot with cheeky gags like: "With all the political correctness,

I'm surprised they can still sell Fairy Liquid."

But even a fast-thinking comic genius like Bob could only do so much with a programme that was definitely an over-stretched idea.

A shorter show might have done the trick. But an hour was way too long.

Especially since so few of the adverts managed to make me chuckle.

And perhaps these ads only glitter in isolation. Lumped together they lose their gloss.

From the battery broadcast, only two have stuck in my mind, and they were a real couple of mouldy oldies from the days when monochrome ruled the tube.

One bizarre beer advert from 40 years ago featured Beryl Reid, doing her legendary Marleen comedy voice.

She was wearing beer bottle ear-rings that Bet Gilroy would have given her last leopard skin jacket to own.

It was ancient and, by today's standards, pretty amateurish looking.

And I have no idea what the beer was called, but it made me smile.

And the other, from the files of why did they do that? - answer, the money - saw a much younger, slimmer Bob Monkhouse extolling the virtues of a sweetie that's supposed to help you to work, rest and play.

Naturally, Bob did a line about how today it just helped him rest.

Apart from brief snatches like that, I almost found myself longing for a spot of decent entertainment ... during the commercial breaks.

Veteran actress Edna Dore - whose descent into Alzheimer's in EastEnders was deeply moving - stole the show in the new war-time drama No Bananas (BBC 1).

She was brilliant as the boozy gran who took both barrels to the snobby family of the bride by just blasting out the shock news that she was pregnant.

Edna, the inebriate granny, is the reason why I'll definitely tune in for more of this drama.
COPYRIGHT 1996 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Millar, John
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:May 11, 1996
Previous Article:Driven to slavery on the railway of death.
Next Article:Premature death for a telly classic.

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