Thursday, 29 November 2012

The Tao Of How!

'How!' is a programme from an era when TV presenters knew stuff and told you things, rather than knowing nothing and getting on your tits, a bygone golden age that spanned the sixties to the early eighties where people smoked pipes on screen and a twenty five minute programme would provide an equivalent value of information and entertainment.

This is the rather splendid title sequence -

- and here's a clip featuring my two favourite presenters.

First, Island favourite Major Jack Hargreaves, country know it all and man of the world. JH is, as usual, slightly bossy, slightly gruff, cool as a cucumber and completely in control. There are never any questions when Jack finishes talking. Here, he puts a ship in a bottle.

In stark contrast, he's followed by ITV playboy Fred Dineage, your favourite Teacher, your wacky Uncle, the life and soul of the swinger's party. Fred doesn't take anything too seriously, and he likes to show off something rotten if there's a lady in the room. Here, he throws a pot, badly. There's always been something about wonky pottery that makes me laugh.

'How!' originally ran from 1966 to 1981, when Southern TV lost their franchise. In 1990, the format returned as 'How 2' and ran intermittently for another 13 years. Fred Dineage was again present and, happily, still had an eye for the ladies and a penchant for messing about. God bless you, Fred!*

* My wife and her family call him Fred Drainholes, one of those odd in jokes the origin of which was forgotten long ago. She loves Fred, and has about twenty thousand of his 'Murder Casebook' programmes clogging up our HD box which, apparently, cannot be deleted.

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