Friday, 20 April 2012


Dear Reader, 

So here we are, at the letter R. Resucitation, resurrection, recombinant, racoon, Rentaghost, arrrrrrgh. Another one of those days where nothing seems to fit. Resuscitation and resurrection are things I need, not things I would write about. Recombinant is probably made-up. Racoon is tempting, a funny animal and a nice word. Rentaghost, hmm, this may have some mileage.

Apologies, Dear Reader, for what seems like another stage managed intro. All I can say is, if you've got nothing  to go with, then you go with what you've got. Rentaghost, then.

When I was a wee bairn I would come home from school, plonk myself in front of the television and share what my parents wanted to see. This was invariably on the "other side" as we knew it in those days. This implies that there were two sides as in "this side" and the "other side". For the sake of clarity: a "side" was what we now call a TV channel.

During these bygone days there were in fact "three" sides but the parents never talked about the "other other" side because it was not for the likes of me. Also the phrase "other other side" sounded a little silly. The parents never watched it either. As a consequence in my world there were just two "sides." The parents may have been syntactically incorrect but it all made sense to me. I could not spell, let alone comprehend the meaning of pedant at this point in history, so I just accepted the two "sides."

Whilst I sat through Crossroads, possibly the most turgid soap every to be unleashed upon the UK nation, all the good stuff was happening on the "other side." 

On the "other side" was Rentaghost. At that time in my life I was against television dumbing-up, if it sounds stupid and entertaining, then it should be. Don't be dressing up any stupid sounding programs in this time slot with anything irritating like education, character development, or science. Rentaghost failed miserably to dumb-up. As suggested by the name and the plot it was very silly, complete with silly titles and a rather amusing title song. This from the first episode, (1974), you'll get the idea after a minute or so... don't be scared of watching it all though.

It was fab on the fleeting occasions that I got access to the "other side." Grange Hill was also often on the other side. I was not so worried about this though. It was about a depressing comprehensive school where pupils had problems. Not only did I have problems with TV dumbing-up, I also had problems with TV not dumbing at all.

The Dear Lady Wife has just asked me about how much I can write about Rentaghost. The reality is about this much. There is, however, one little tidbit worth sharing with anyone who watches (or has watched,) Coronation Street. Scan the cast photo (circa 1984) below and see if anyone jumps out. Answers on a postcard...

If this post made no sense and did not connect, I apologise. That will be to anyone who was not resident in England between 1974 and 1984 and is now between the age of 35 and 45. Let me re-phrase... Apologies to the 6.95 billion Earthlings who don't know what I am talking about. 

Tomorrow, Dear Reader, I will be soliciting the letter S, laters...



  1. I like to think of my own blog as a querky british blog, and I like to find other quirky british blogs. So I like this blog.

    1. I would like to say that quirky is my middle name, but having checked my passport I realised that would be a lie.

  2. I remember I found Rentaghost absolutely terrifying as a child.

    There is, however, one little tidbit worth sharing with anyone who watches (or has watched,) Doctor Who. The actors who played the pantomime horse, were also inside this.

    Dave Wrote This

    1. As random facts go, this is one of the best. Thanks, Dave