Books By Me

Well At Least It's Free

A collection of pieces from my various adventures in fanzines, websites, and forewords to books about long-running BBC children's programmes. Within its pages you will find extended thinkpieces on Doctor Who (especially if it's in black and white and features Daleks), Watch With Mother, Lost, Heroes, Tales From Europe, Life On Mars, Hardwicke House, Primeval, Zokko!, Syd Barrett, more cult children's TV dramas and failed sci-fi/fantasy small-screen blockbusters than you ever wanted to acknowledge existed, and the books on the shelf behind Bagpuss.

What's more, they've all been revised, updated, and generally bolstered with new facts and figures since they were first published, and there's a couple of never-before-seen pieces in there too.

Available in paperback or as an eBook.

Now available from Amazon Kindle Store.

The Camberwick Green Procrastination Society

Readers of Tim Worthington’s blog will know that whenever he’s supposed to be working on something, he starts writing about Camberwick Green instead. And The Monkees, and Hardwicke House, and, well, pretty much anything other than the task at hand. As a consequence, many popular and acclaimed articles have been published, and the best of them are now in this book, with several previously unseen pieces and even a couple of extras.

There’s the story of what Jimi Hendrix was really watching when he wrote The Wind Cries Mary, a fresh look at the disastrous ITV sitcom Days Like These, and lots more besides. The overwhelming majority of it involving Camberwick Green in some capacity. "Every single one of these articles is a productive unproductive waste of time or something… erm… can’t I go back to talking about Rubik’s Magic again?", says writer Tim Worthington.

Tim of course is well qualified to say this, having written material for a host of television and radio programmes on a vast variety of subjects – documentary and… documentary.

Let Tim Worthington be a timewasting guide to you. Welcome to The Camberwick Green Procrastination Society!

Available in paperback or as an eBook.

Now available from the Kindle Store.

Not On Your Telly

Delving into the mysterious world of 'lost' TV (and music, and plays, and more, whether it's 'lost' through being wiped, being censored, or just plain being ignored, from familiar names like Doctor Who, Bob Dylan, Lee & Herring, The Beatles and Play School to the frighteningly obscure likes of R.3, Rubovia, The Tyrant King and Hear'Say It's Saturday!. Along the way you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about The BBC Pinocchio, John Lennon in Mono, Betty Boo in a swimsuit, and a certain action serial named Skiboy...

Not On Your Telly features lots of previously unseen material, including a history of the BBC 'Sunday Classics' slot, and an article on the least written-about Doctor Who story ever, The Space Pirates.

Available in paperback or as an eBook.

Now available from the Kindle Store.

Fun At One - The Story Of Comedy At BBC Radio 1 

Fun At One is the first complete history of comedy on BBC Radio 1.

Launched in 1967, the BBC’s pop music service provided an outlet for comics who struggled to get exposure elsewhere, from the humorous disc jockeys of the late sixties, through to edgy standup comedians in the late eighties, and more than one whose act defies description even today. Noel Emonds, Kenny Everett and John Peel all came to attention on Radio 1, while the station would also provide early exposure for Chris Morris, Armando Iannucci, Stephen Fry and Stewart Lee amongst many others.

Fun At One traces the story of comedy on Radio 1 from its launch – when a team of former Pirate Radio DJs tried their hardest to live up to the claim that ‘Radio One Is One-derful’ – to more recent experiments with podcasting and streaming video, and covers everything from guest spots and interviews to full-on speech comedy shows. Along the way it covers Kenny Everett, Rawlinson End, Adrian Juste, Lenny Henry, Victor Lewis-Smith, The Mary Whitehouse Experience, Lee & Herring’s Fist Of Fun, The Chris Morris Music Show, Mark & Lard, Blue Jam and much more besides, not to mention such unexpected figures as Eric Idle, Ivor Cutler, Keith Moon, Roger McGough, Jonathan Ross, Vic Reeves, Danny Baker, Jools Holland, John Shuttleworth and – of course – Smashie & Nicey.

With a foreword by TV Cream founder Phil Norman, Fun At One includes transmission details for all of the shows covered, and new interviews with many of the major figures, from late sixties veterans to the station’s newest signings, as well as the first ever first-hand account of one of the most notorious incidents in Radio 1′s history. Fun At One is an essential addition to any library, but particularly one that’s had a large shotgun hole blasted in it by Sir Henry Rawlinson.

Available in paperback or as an eBook.

Now available from the Kindle Store.

Higher Than The Sun

Higher Than The Sun is the story of four albums released by Creation Records late in 1991. It’s a story that starts with a compilation tape, and ends with a jaw-dropping act of career suicide. In between, someone gets chased by a cow. It’s a story of wild studio experimentation, demolished genre boundaries, audacious licensing deals and photos of French footballers. It’s a story that involves such fondly-remembered and long-forgotten names as House Of Love, Ride, Denim, Flowered Up, Fabulous and Adorable. And takes in Brian Cant, Kylie Minogue, and someone playing guitar inside a tent.

It’s the story of Screamadelica by Primal Scream, Foxbase Alpha by Saint Etienne, Bandwagonesque by Teenage Fanclub, and Loveless by My Bloody Valentine. And how, long before Britpop, Creation Records took on the world and very nearly won…

Available in paperback or as an eBook.

Now available from Amazon Kindle Store.

Top Of The Box - The Complete Guide To BBC Records And Tapes Singles

From Every Loser Wins to Awesome Dood!, the story behind every single released by BBC Records And Tapes.

Between 1970 and 1990, BBC Records And Tapes released almost three hundred singles, ranging from some of the best known and most loved theme tunes in television history, to full-length versions of ones that nobody had even asked for a short version of to begin with. Along the way they also put out one-off oddities by everyone from George Formby impersonators and up-and-coming folkies to a 'computer orchestra' and some posh blokes going on about how marvellous The Queen is. Oh and there's the one that's just the sound of someone hitting a phone.

Possibly the most bafflingly diverse catalogue of singles ever issued, viewed as a whole, it's a fascinating indication of what really was popular - and sometimes unpopular - with viewers at the time. Top Of The Box tells the story behind each of these singles, taking in familiar names, cult artists and obscure bafflements alike, and including the likes of Simon May, Peter Howell, Nick Berry, David Munrow, Roy Castle, Anita Dobson, Fascinating Aida, Aled Jones, Hazel O'Connor, Richard Stilgoe, Spike Milligan, Johnny Dankworth, Eric Clapton, The Grange Hill Cast, The Dooleys, Alan Hawkshaw, Enya, Keith Mansfield, Julie Covington, Georgie Fame, Godiego, Lena Zavaroni, Brown Sauce, Alan Price, Russell Grant, Kenneth Williams, Floella Benjamin, The Not The Nine O'Clock News Team, B.A. Robertson, Paddy Kingsland, Richard Denton & Martin Cook, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and of course Keith Harris & Orville. So many singles by Keith Harris & Orville. Including one that wasn't even released...

Available in paperback or as an eBook.

TV Cream Toys

A spin-off from the popular TV Cream website, featuring the site's writers reminiscing about all those amazing-looking toys that you spent hours scrutinising with a magnifying glass in the 'catalogue', but never actually got. Better still, every entry comes accompanied by lavish illustrations courtesy of Steve Berry, who actually tracked down and played with every toy featured (though even he couldn't get his hands on Sonic Ear). From Action Man to Zoids, they're all in there.

The perfect Christmas present for that relative who's still in a huff about never getting a Mr Frosty!

Available from Amazon in hardback or as an eBook.

Children Of The Stones

The notorious seventies children's drama serial about strange goings on in a remote village, as recently championed by the likes of Stewart Lee, Russell T. Davies and Charlie Brooker. This DVD release includes a book by me about ITV's seventies children's dramas about strange goings on in general, and comes with a second disc featuring episodes of some of the shows covered in it.
Available from Amazon.

Sapphire & Steel

All four series of the fantastic late seventies/early eighties ITV early evening sci-fi serial. The DVD includes a book about the series by me, written with input from series creator PJ Hammond, which nails some myths about the series (though there's one that everyone involved still refuses to elaborate on) and genuinely marked the first appearance of the full story behind that infamous show-closing cliffhanger.

Available from Amazon.