Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. Brian Conley takes Strictly Come Dancing star Jo Wood on a trip down memory lane.
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Telly - that magic box in the corner.
It gives us access to a million different worlds
all from the comfort of our sofa.
In this series, I'm going to journey through the fantastic
world of TV with some of our favourite celebrities.
'They've chosen the precious TV moments that shed light...'
-She's beaten the panel.
Look at that.
'..on the stories of their lives.'
Go on, champion. Go on, champion.
It's like argh, urgh.
'Some are funny...'
Oh, quite amazing, unbelievable.
No, no, no, Christina.
'..some are surprising...'
'..some are inspiring...'
That's what kids should be doing now.
A ten pence piece on a table with a bit of sticky tape.
Look at that, stonking.
Some turtles capsize.
'..are deeply moving.'
I knew that we were in the presence of history.
I'm crying, I actually broke down into tears after that.
'So come watch with us, as we hand-pick the vintage telly
'that helped turn our much-loved stars
'into the people they are today.'
Welcome to The TV That Made Me.
My guest today has done it all.
She's been an international model, a best selling author,
a fashion designer and she even dances a mean tango.
Some people, let's be honest, are just too talented.
Oh, yes, today, the fabulous Jo Wood is joining me on my couch.
And the TV that made her includes the woman who gave Britain
the prawn cocktail...
Which are made with a rather special kind of custard.
..a few members of rock royalty on Top Of The Pops...
# Wake up, Maggie
# I think I got something to say to you... #
..and one of Britain's best-loved funnymen.
The other night I got mugged by a nun.
The one and only Jo Wood.
-Nice to be here.
Are you excited about looking back on your past, your TV memories?
Yeah, I really am, actually.
Because it's not until you start thinking about it that you realise,
"Oh, gosh, there's been a whole lot of TV."
Well, today is...
I mean, we've put together a selection of TV classics that
you've chosen that put you on the path to who you are today.
And we're going to start at the beginning,
we're going to rewind the clock and go back to a very early Jo Wood.
'In 1955, the year after rationing ended, Josephine Karslake,
'AKA Jo Wood, was born.
'She spent her early years in a redbrick council house in Basildon, Essex.
'One of four children, she came from a creative family -
'her father was an architectural model maker while her mum,
'originally from South Africa, was both a doll maker and an Avon lady.
'So perhaps it's no surprise she would grow up to have an
'extraordinary life full of music and creativity.'
How does it feel when you look back on those early years?
It just seems like yesterday, really.
Time goes so quickly.
You look back and you see all those pictures.
And you know, I remember some so clearly, especially the kids' ones,
having that picture taken.
Now, we're going to go onto your first choice now,
which is your mum's choice.
Because your mum religiously used to watch this every week.
I mean, my dad loved it as well, but mum loved, loved to watch her.
-Shall we put people out of their misery?
We're taking you back to 1966 and this is Fanny Cradock.
Here she is.
Adventurous cooking - cakes and puddings.
So many people come back from holidays abroad with
an absolute longing to make the delicious cakes and pastries...
Fanny Cradock first arrived on our screens in 1955 and,
being nothing short of fabulous, she soon became a regular fixture.
You could build a whole programme around this particular basic.
And she's got loads of make-up on.
Amongst Fanny's other trademarks were her glitzy ballgowns.
Not to mention the fact she often gave her recipes, some of which
haven't quite passed the test of time,
a fancy French name.
I get the rest of the job over as quickly as possible
with my old friend, the electric mixer.
Yes, this was the TV cook who first brought us
a touch of glamour into our kitchens.
Get it beaten down and then I say,
"Simon, will you please bring me half a pint of milk?"
I mean, she really did revolutionise.
I mean, she introduced to the nation a prawn cocktail.
Yeah, that was all...
Oh, my God. And I remember...
I was going to go, "That's all Fanny's idea,"
but I don't know if I can say that.
Well, I remember having a prawn cocktail back at home many
years ago because my mum, being from South Africa,
she loved exotic fruits.
'One of the biggest influences
'in Jo's life was the fact that her mum Rachel was from South Africa.
'Rachel was of mixed race and came to Britain aged just 17 to
'escape the racism she'd experienced at home.'
Do you think that is why she wanted to leave South Africa?
Yes, I know it's why she wanted to leave, because of the things
like, you could go on a black bus, a coloured bus or
a white bus, and she was only allowed on the coloured buses.
And she thought that all that was so awful and when her sister went
to England in the early '50s, I suppose,
all she wanted to do was go
and be in a country where you weren't judged like that.
-And she found that here?
-She found that here, yeah.
Was it a real culture shock when she first got here?
Yes, it really was.
So, in those early days, growing up,
that first decade, what was your lounge like?
We had one of those chairs there, those bucket chairs.
We had this mat, we actually had this very same mat.
-We've made an effort, you know.
And we had a rubber plant like that.
-Is that what they're called - rubber plants?
-A rubber plant, yeah.
But she did try and make our home a bit South African.
We actually had a big one of those on the wall.
A big one of them. There you go. We've made an effort, ladies and gentlemen.
And you know, I didn't really realise that my mother
was from a country so far away.
And is it true your dad made a cabinet for the telly?
-That was the first telly.
The black-and-white telly.
It was a wooden cabinet and it had a red curtain, and so you'd put...
I love it, Jo.
No, but the telly stood on top of the cabinet
and underneath you'd open the curtain and you could store stuff.
Oh, fair enough. I thought you meant you had a little curtain for the telly.
Like at night, you'd just, let's just...
-That would have been a good idea.
-Mum and Dad could get a bit passionate,
"Let's just pull the curtains on the telly, they might be looking at us."
He might have made it for that, but it didn't fit in,
so they had to put it on the top.
I don't know, I'm only guessing that.
Was your father passionate about telly, did he love his telly?
Yes, he did love his telly.
Especially, you know, we were one of the first people in the area to get the colour TV.
Jo, we're going to show you something now
-that I hope doesn't frighten you too much.
It's The Prisoner.
Oh, my God.
I am not a number, I am a free man.
-Oh, he was so handsome, wasn't he?
He could have been James Bond, couldn't he?
Well, you would've liked to have been James Bond, yeah.
'Although today both Patrick McGoohan and
'The Prisoner have cult status,
'when the programme first screened in 1967,
many viewers were left just scratching their heads.
'In broad strokes, this was the story of a spy who resigns,
'is abducted and then finds himself in a strange village
'where everyone has a number instead of a name.'
Did you understand it, though?
Yeah, I couldn't understand how he really couldn't get out.
I mean, it would set my mind going to making plans
on how I would get out of there.
Yeah, I used to love it.
It used to really make my imagination go wild.
What's the name of this place?
-You're new here, aren't you?
Do you want breakfast?
'But even after the last episode was screened,
'there were still more questions than answers,
'prompting many viewers to call ITV demanding an explanation.'
Well, there's a phone box round the corner.
'Though in nearly 50 years since,
'the village where it was filmed has become a popular tourist attraction.'
Portmeirion, beautiful, beautiful place.
I think a lot of people thought it was some sort of film set, but it was a real village.
And I quite liked his little house that he lived in.
See, it's your dad's architectural...ness coming out.
My dad also loved this programme and we would watch it together.
But it was such an interesting idea.
Les Dawson was a great favourite in our house.
I think particularly because he played the piano so well badly.
I love that. You could only say that about Les Dawson.
"He played the piano so well badly."
Yeah, he did and it worked.
We've got a little clip of Les now. This I'm sure will bring
back a few happy memories.
The legendary Mr Les Dawson.
So serious as he sits down at the piano.
How stupid is that, really?
'As well as playing the piano, as Jo puts it, "Well badly,"
'Les Dawson was much-loved for his deadpan delivery.'
Why you vicious...
The silly twit, honestly.
The other night, my next door neighbour
was banging on the wall with a hammer,
screaming at the top of his voice at three o'clock in the morning.
Thank God I wasn't asleep, I was playing my drums at the time.
I love all those one liners like that, that just keep coming.
He used to write a lot of it,
it was all his own stuff.
I was going home the other night in my car, it's a new car,
but the salesman said, "You'll get a lot of pleasure out of this," and it's true.
It's a pleasure to get out of it.
-So do you remember watching, sort of, Les with your mum and dad?
I mean, it was more Dad that would sit
and watch comedy, cos Mum was in the kitchen cooking.
And so he'd be there chuckling away and I'd come in and say,
"What are you watching, Dad?" Sit down with him.
In his entertaining but ultimately unreliable autobiography,
Les claimed he began his showbiz career
playing the piano in a Parisian brothel.
But whatever the real story,
along with the one liners and the mother-in-law jokes,
tinkling the ivories was always central to his act.
PLAYS PIANO WITH MISTAKES
He must have been a very good piano player to be able to do that.
Oh, yeah, Tommy Cooper was a good magician, you know?
To play it bad you've got to know how to play it bad.
I mean, do you play musical instruments?
I went to piano for a year
and only learnt one song called A Ramble,
and I can still play it perfectly today.
# Da, da, da, da, da-da, da-da, da... #
-You know, I use all my fingers.
-So, it's not like uh-uh-uh-uh...
But my parents were very frustrated with me
because they spent all that money on me learning piano
and I just learnt ONE song.
I learnt it for a lifetime.
-We're moving on now, Jo, to biggest influence.
This is something, a show that has been going for 64 years
and it's something that very much influenced your future career.
The oldest of the major beauty pageants,
Miss World was originally a bikini contest
which was dubbed Miss World by the media,
though by its second year, 1952,
the bikinis had been replaced
with swimwear that was slightly more modest.
..and Miss USA is Pamela Ford. She's a 20-year-old student...
-I absolutely loved Miss World.
Absolutely loved it.
Miss Peru is Madeline Hartog-Bel.
I sold my car to come to Europe a little while ago
and now, I am here in England from winning a beauty contest...
1967, I would definitely have watched this.
-Yeah, because it was about that time...
So, did you play that game where you want to try and pick the winner?
Oh, yes, and I just loved the outfits - look at those earrings!
-Maybe that's what gave me my earring fetish that I have.
Well, not a fetish, but, I mean, earring thing...
-Look at those earrings, fab.
Miss World 1967...
APPLAUSE AND CHEERING
During the '60s and '70s,
Miss World was one of the most watched shows on British television
but, by the '80s,
it was seen increasingly as being politically incorrect
and it moved off our mainstream telly, but, love it or hate it,
there's no denying its place in the history books.
-Did you ever imagine that, "this could be me"?
-Yes, I wanted...
-As a young child, you're looking at that, 1967...
-Oh, yeah. I would have loved that to have been me.
Walking down there with that beautiful crown on and that cape,
crying a few tears and...
I actually did...
At 14, my parents sent me to the London School of Modelling.
At the end, we had, a bit like that - a catwalk show.
My mum made me my bikini, red bikini with white flowers on it.
Then, she made me this dress,
cos she was a great seamstress - IS a great seamstress -
she made me this velvet dress with this knitted long...
It was orange. It was a long dress, it was just like Miss World
so I actually played out all of that on stage and I came second.
-Not bad, yeah.
While Jo never made it to the real Miss World,
she did pursue her dream of a modelling career
and, at the age of 16, she left home for London,
where her hard work eventually paid off
and, in 1972, she was named Face Of The Sun.
What was it like, this girl from Essex coming into the big smoke?
It was wonderful, actually.
It was everything that I imagined because I was very lucky,
cos I did all the young, young magazines
and commercials and stuff like that.
-Yeah, I was lucky.
I was 16 and there weren't many,
especially at my agency, they were all very sort of catwalk models
-and I was his only young bubbly...
"Yoo-hoo, hello, Gavin!"...
-And your parents were happy to bid you...
-..for you to go, no?
-They hated it.
-They were furious.
At 16, BAM! I was out of school
and I was at Gavin Robinson, Model Agency.
We're going back to 1971 now, cos music is a big part of your life.
-We're going to have a little look at Top Of The Pops.
Love Top Of The Pops, every Thursday night.
-Here he is, there's Tony Blackburn.
Rod Stewart and Maggie May. Do you remember it?
MUSIC: Maggie May by Rod Stewart
But I, I loved this song.
I know all the words, actually.
# Oh, Maggie... #
I'm not a good singer.
# Wake up, Maggie
# I think I've got something to say to you... #
Top Of The Pops first shimmied on to our screens
on New Year's Day 1964, with an impressive line-up
that included Dusty Springfield and The Hollies.
So, was you ever on Top Of The Pops?
I went there when my first boyfriend, Tony Wilson,
got tickets cos he knew how much I loved it.
We went up to London and we went to the BBC...
and...in that big room and it was...
-I can't remember who was playing.
-Uh-huh, how old was you?
-Oh, really, very young?
Something like that, just before I left home,
just before I started work. They came up to me and asked me
if I'd like to stand on a podium and dance.
Oh, because of your looks, because you looked so fantastic?
-Well, I was a good dancer, obviously.
-Well, good mover, yeah!
Without a doubt, but you must have looked fantastic for them to go,
-"Hey, hang on, we want you on a podium..."
-I don't know.
Yeah, must have done with my little hot pants on.
-So, you had your hot pants...
-Yeah, and a stripy jumper
-that my mum had knitted me on the knitting machine.
# Oh, Maggie... #
For this particular performance, Jo was watching at home,
unaware Rod's backing band, The Faces,
boasted her future husband, Rolling Stone Ronnie Wood.
# But I'm as blind as a fool can be... #
-I loved this song with a passion.
-And who's that playing guitar?
The old boy, eh?
-God, when he was young.
Look at him there.
The funny thing is I never noticed Ronnie, it was all about Rod.
Yeah, so... You didn't register Ronnie when you watched this, then?
-I don't remember looking at him and thinking,
-"Oh, he's nice."
-Not at all.
But I remember Rod so well.
So, if someone had told you then
that you would have been married to Ronnie Wood for 30 years,
-would you have believed them?
-Not at all, no.
How did you meet?
Erm, I met him at a party of a friend of mine, who was...
It was his wedding party.
I only went because they were renting me a room.
I'd just been slung out of my flat and so I thought,
"Oh, God, I've got to go."
Walked in and it was everybody that I didn't know.
Bill Wyman was there, Ronnie was there,
Pattie Boyd was there and it was like, "Oh, gosh."
He came up to me and he said, "Do you know who I am?"
and showed me a Black And Blue album and I said, I thought,
"He thinks the world of himself."
Then he said, "What do you do for a living?"
and I said, "I work in Woolworths on the broken biscuit counter,
"main branch, Oxford Street."
He went there with his chauffeur, looking for me.
-What, like the next day or something?
-Yeah, the next day.
-Never been there in my life.
-He never found you?
No, he did find me because I'd then moved into that house
and I obviously told him that I was going there
and he came back with his chauffeur and he said,
"You don't work in Woolworths."
I said, "Why?" He said, "Cos I've just spent the afternoon
"outside the main branch in Oxford Street."
-Tick for Jo.
-It was good.
-And the rest is history?
-And the rest is history.
After their first meeting in 1977,
Jo eventually became Ronnie's stylist and costume designer,
often accompanying him on tour.
Then, in 1985, they decided to tie the knot.
How does someone like that propose?
-Is it very romantic?
Erm, he proposed to me in Jamaica
because Keith felt that it was time he married me...
Make an honest woman of you, gal.
..so I don't know if that was very romantic, really, no.
Oh? Did he get down on one knee?
No, he was sitting at the table, miserable.
I said, "What is wrong with you?"
He said, "Will you marry me?"
I said, "Oh, all right, then."
-It was just like that.
So were they 30 exciting, incredible, unbelievable years?
-Yeah, you know, like every marriage, it has its ups and downs.
Erm, but the majority of it -
I loved going on tour, I loved travelling the world
and I got great kids and...
yeah, it was, it was... Most of it was a good marriage.
-Jo, it's time now...
just to sit back, put the kettle on, we've got a commercial break.
-A classic, one of your classics.
Here we are - one of mine, as well, without a doubt.
Oh, I love this ad!
What was the catchphrase?
# For mash, get Smash! #
On your last trip...
Hailed as the second greatest ad ever by the Sunday Times,
the ground-breaking use of puppets in Smash Martians
was a gamble that truly paid off.
..boil them for 20 of their minutes...
While Cadbury wanted a campaign
extolling the health benefits of Smash,
they eventually agreed to this more humorous approach.
it's the only non-sweet product Cadbury's ever done.
-Isn't that amazing?
That is absolutely amazing. I didn't even...
-I know, I know, I'm a font of information.
-I didn't have any idea.
They eat a great many of these...
And so the Smash Martians became something of a cultural icon,
smashing sales records
and even creating a huge demand for merchandise.
..then, they smash them all to bits!
Love those aliens there
and how they're talking about how backward we are
cos we... "Peel the potatoes, ha-ha-ha-ha"...
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-"..smash them into pieces, ah-ha-ha-ha..."
-I think it's great.
-It's from 1974, that advert.
-And we still remember it vividly.
-Such a brilliant, brilliant ad.
-Yeah, but is it a brilliant ad...
And I love the way they all start laughing,
-the aliens all start laughing.
Is that why it's a brilliant ad, because it's about aliens? UFOs?
I'm slightly obsessed about aliens and UFOs.
-SHE DOES AN EVIL LAUGH
But you have been...
You're adamant that there really is UFOs out there, that they do exist?
Yeah, I saw a UFO in Recife,
which is the furthermost point to the east of Brazil.
I was there with Ronnie and the kids and I was packing
cos we were leaving the next day to go back to London...
Oh, go back to Sao Paulo.
Ronnie said - cos he can't see distance - he goes,
"Jo, come out here and have a look -
"there's some weird lights over the sea."
I thought, "What is he talking about?"
I look out there and there was this thing hovering above the sea,
but out quite far, with these lights that came down onto the sea.
I said, "Go and get your glasses, Ronnie, go and get your glasses."
He runs in and as I watched it,
I was going, "What the hell is it? What the hell is it?"
it went WHOOSH,
-like that and stopped dead in its tracks...
..and then went WHOOF, and it was gone,
at the speed that I've never seen anything like it in my life.
I stood there and went, "I've just seen a UFO."
-There was nothing else...
-In your heart of hearts, you believe that?
-It couldn't have been anything else?
Next day, we got on the plane and we picked up the paper -
I still have the clipping -
and it says, "UFO invaders, Brasilia."
-Hundreds of people had seen the same thing.
It was brilliant.
What was your big telly break?
I suppose my thing was when I went on to Strictly.
-Yeah, I may not...
-Shall we have a little look?
-Oh, no! Don't show my useless dancing.
-Why, why, why?
-Here we go, Jo Wood dancing.
Strictly Come Dancing. You were fantastic.
Dancing the rumba...
The year was 2009 and Jo was partnered with Brendan Cole.
-I loved Brendan.
-You look nervous there, Jo.
-I was absolutely petrified.
Oh, no, it's this one! This was the rumba.
-You look fantastic.
-Oh, my God!
-Look at that figure, gal!
-I hadn't done any TV in 30 years and it was...
While Jo had rehearsed week after week to master those steps,
unfortunately the judges weren't great fans of her work,
though Craig went one step further,
saying Jo danced like a bush kangaroo -
-I was so petrified, I couldn't remember the movements.
# ..fallen for you... #
How does it feel when the judges lay into you sometimes?
You know, does it hurt, does it upset you?
Well, it did hurt at first, and then I saw Craig in the bar.
He said, "Darling, just remember - it's all theatre."
-And I felt better about that.
# I have fallen again. #
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
We've spoken about, you know, what you've enjoyed.
To bring you up-to-date, what do you enjoy now, you know?
-I still love comedy.
-Live At The Apollo, love Live At The Apollo.
Actually, I went there not so long ago and saw it.
-I watch Britain's Got Talent.
-Love Britain's Got Talent.
-I watch cookery programmes.
All sorts of them, all sorts of different ones and Ancient Aliens.
So, really, my TV thing hasn't really changed,
it's the same sort of thing really that I used to watch -
comedy, food and science fiction or not.
-And, Jo, you've been a wonderful guest
-and I want to thank you for coming on.
It's nice to be here, I loved watching those bits of film.
It is lovely, it's a nice trip down memory lane, isn't it?
-I want you now to choose, as we do with each guest,
a theme tune for us to go out on, to play out on.
Is there anything, any choice whatsoever?
So, we have been bewitched by the lovely Jo Wood
and I hope you've enjoyed The TV That Made Me.
Until next time, bye-bye.
MUSIC: Theme from Bewitched by Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller
Comedy legend Brian Conley takes Strictly Come Dancing star Jo Wood on a trip down memory lane, revisiting the classic archive TV from her early years that helped make her into the much-loved celebrity she is today.
Miss World played a big part in her formative years but how did her love of a spy thriller with a twist, a classic advert for instant mash and an early TV chef in a ballgown and pearls help set her on the path to a life of rock and roll, music and fashion?