Celebrities choose the TV moments that have shaped their lives. One of Britain's favourite weather presenters, Carol Kirkwood, revisits her childhood TV memories.
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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 seems like a nice girl, though.'
Look at that.
..on the stories of their lives.
Some are funny.
-Could you do the chanting?
-I could do... Mnum, mnum, mnum.
I was mortified.
Some are inspiring...
I am not a number. I am a free man.
-Did George Orwell get his predictions right?
It's all so dramatic!
..are deeply moving.
'And heads down the beach towards almost certain death.'
All of us, weeping.
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 is one of the first people we see when we wake up.
Carol Kirkwood has been brightening up our mornings come rain or
shine for over a decade.
The TV that made her includes a family game show...
Could we have the scores on the doors, please?
..a Scouse sitcom...
-Do I ever ask you personal questions about your private life?
..and a kids' institution.
My idea of this special treat is called scone pizza.
It can only be the one and only,
-the lovely Carol Kirkwood is with us today.
Are you excited about this?
I am, I'm really looking forward to taking a wee jaunt down memory lane.
That's what it is. Today is a collection of TV archives,
things that you've enjoyed over the years but first up,
we're going to rewind the clock and go back to the early Carol.
Carol Kirkwood was born Carol MacKellaig on 29 May 1962
in the remote rural village of Morar in the West Highlands of Scotland.
Mum and Dad had their hands full with two sons, six daughters
and a family business to run.
My parents owned a hotel.
It was only about four minutes' walk up the road, but we spent a lot of
time in the hotel, and we used to play in the hotel car park on our bikes.
With you talking about that hotel...
You might find this a little bit interesting.
'And then the manager will come out and welcome you all to Morar.'
That's Morar Hotel!
'Here, too, is a piper to greet you after your second day's journey.
'The hotel manager is on the doorstep to welcome you.'
Oh, my goodness!
-How does it feel seeing it?
-Oh, gosh, I spent years there.
-That's not you on the left.
SHE LAUGHS No.
We used to love it when the coach drivers would come up
because they would take us for a spin in their coach.
-You'd be sitting there like wee girls.
-So, is that...?
-Oh, yes. Yes!
That's what it was like. Look at the wallpaper and the carpets.
-Oh, look at that fire.
-That's what it was like!
'The rooms look out at the dark islands of Rum and Eigg.'
-Look at that view, Brian.
-Oh, it's stunning.
-Look at the bedspreads!
You had these candlewick bedspreads too.
We had so much freedom!
Because you'd come home from school, dump your school bag, pick up
your bike with your friends, swimming costume on, off to the beach.
-It sounds to me like you didn't have much time to watch TV!
Well, our TV was very much monitored.
I know some children nowadays go in and just watch telly
ad nauseam or watch it on their computer or whatever.
It wasn't like that for us. We were very much outdoor kids
and we'd play and make up games.
-Well, look at that. You had a chance to see...
..a beautiful setting.
But I remember, at the corner of the hotel in the opening
shot of that, there was a car parking space
and my dad always parked there.
And I was just little, wanted to learn to drive but was far too young.
And so the hotel was on a slight slope,
the car park was on a slight slope.
So anyway, he had a Jag and I was sitting in the Jag,
pretending to drive, turning the steering wheel.
I'd seen Dad taking the handbrake off often.
I took the handbrake off, didn't know how to put it back on,
as the car and me slid slowly smack into the wall.
Couldn't sit down for two weeks.
-Dad was gutted! Bless him.
Your biggest influence, Carol, stems back to 1973.
I'm not going to say any more. We're going back to 1973.
Princess Anne, as she walks down the aisle of Westminster Abbey
-to marry Captain Mark Phillips.
-Oh, my goodness.
-Now, you were a huge fan.
-I was, I loved Blue Peter.
..The Royal Military School of Music.
We used to watch this all the time.
You'd come in from whatever you were doing.
If you were outside playing, you'd come in and watch Blue Peter.
If you were outside crashing the car, you'd think,
"You know what? I'd better go in now, it's Blue Peter!"
I'm in enough trouble.
There are an estimated 500 million people going to be watching
the royal wedding on Wednesday and amongst them, there's going to be
an awful lot of children, because the Queen...
I remember actually watching this particular one.
Look at the sets.
Gosh, it looks so sparse.
Launched in 1958,
Blue Peter is the world's longest-running children's programme.
Not bad for a show that was designed to fill a six-week
gap in the schedule.
It blazed the trail for TV shows to break out of the studio
and use BBC TV Centre as a location,
prompting a stern memo from the then BBC management
that read, "Television Centre is not a place of entertainment."
Have a listen to what Johnny's got to say
because he's got rather a good idea for something to do.
Dead right, there. My idea is to give your mum a holiday too.
Tell her you'll cook her a special treat when she puts her feet up
on Wednesday morning to watch the television.
I loved John Noakes.
So did I, you never knew what he was going to do next.
-And he always got so many things wrong.
-I know, that was his charm.
Look at the state of that!
I loved, "Here's one we prepared earlier."
Oh, that's where it first started.
-A lovely smell.
-We smelt it.
-Is it done?
-Is that why you're here?
-I haven't had any lunch.
-Can you pass the knife?
-Is this the sort of thing you would have made?
I wouldn't have done it regularly but because they made it
on Blue Peter, it would be, "Let's have a bash at doing this."
I didn't make everything they made,
but they always had the sticky-back plastic
and the loo rolls and the empty washing-up liquids.
And they are making this for the royal wedding,
-so that they can eat this...
-Which is exactly what we did.
With the scones?
Yeah, we made them and we sat down... I remember it so well.
The sun was shining,
we drew the blinds, watched it on the telly with our scones.
Blue Peter is also renowned for its cast of animals.
Each year, young tortoise owners were reminded how to safely
prepare their four-legged friends for winter,
usually with the show's longest-serving pet, Freda,
who stayed with the show for 16 years.
She first appeared in 1963 as Fred until they realised he was a she.
So, was Blue Peter something that made you want to be a presenter?
-I wanted to be a Blue Peter presenter full stop,
but I was so shy.
Is it still an ambition to be a Blue Peter presenter?
Gordon MacKenzie Highlander,
I would be like the granny on that programme!
-I think you could earn a gold Blue Peter badge today.
What I've got planned for you... This is a classic,
a moment that every year on Blue Peter they would do
and present to the children, and of course this is your chance
to do that and I have a couple of things to get for you.
-I'm feeling very nervous now, Brian.
-Don't feel nervous.
First of all, I would like to introduce you to Trevor.
-That's not real, is it?
-Just put him on your lap there.
And we are going to hibernate him.
Oh, I can feel his leg moving on my leg!
Oh, it's quite tickly!
-Trevor, you're tickling me!
-So, we're going to... We're going to put...
-We're going to hibernate him.
So, you have to take this box
-that is big enough for him to turn around in...
-..fill it with shredded paper...
And this is yours. I will hold on to Trevor while you now
-present the rest of this moment to earn your gold Blue Peter badge.
OK, well, first of all,
Trevor, I hope that you are going to enjoy your bed.
Some very nice bedding here for you.
We've put this through a shredder, it's all confidential,
you can't see anything from it.
-So, Trevor, I'm just going to make...
-Very important, data protection.
CAROL LAUGHS Absolutely.
Spreading this out, nice and evenly.
HE MOUTHS Yeah.
-It's going all over the place, Trevor.
But we want to make a nice little...
I'll make it nice and soft in the middle, particularly, a little...
A little bit of a hollow for Trevor to sit in.
Yes, a little bit of a hollow.
-Note the hollow. That's very good, you know.
-Yeah, so that...
Yeah, you've sold it for me.
Right, Trevor, how deep would you like your bed?
-Um, I think one more and that should do.
-One more? OK.
Do we now place Trevor in, Blue Peter presenter?
Yes, well, has he got anything else that can go in with him,
-or is this it?
-Well, what, like, a cuddly toy?
What do you mean? I don't know, he doesn't need anything else.
Oh, Trevor, little man!
I like the way you're stroking him. He can't feel anything, it's...
I know, I don't like to touch him in case I scare him, though.
Oh, why are you going to scare him, Carol?
-Oh, you're a good boy, aren't you? Look at you!
There you are, I'll let you place him into the box.
OK, Trevor, come on, we're going in.
-In you go, wee man.
There you go! Watch your wee leggies.
-There you go!
-So, we have to... And then we have to...
This is a true Blue Peter moment.
-Look at that.
-This is a little...
A little message from Trevor.
-But a good Blue Peter presenter will always carry on
in the face of adversity.
Carol, you hold them because my hand's a bit messy.
Look at him, he's looking out, "Now, what are you laughing at?"
We have to punch some holes in here. I need a dry-clean.
If you've got to go, Trevor, you've got to go.
BRIAN SIGHS OK. How many... Three on each side?
Yeah. And just maybe a few on top there, that's it.
You're OK, Trevor.
And, of course, then you put a bit of gaffer tape over it and...
Yeah, and Bob's your uncle. Trevor's your uncle.
Congratulations, well done,
I think you've earned your gold Blue Peter badge.
In the... No, it's all right, it's the other hand!
Thank you, Brian.
-Oh, let's watch something else, we need to escape from all of this.
Thanks to Blue Peter,
the only thing harmed there was maybe a bit of my pride.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Oh, I used to love this!
Do you know, every Saturday, the television on,
everybody sitting down, The Generation Game on, loved it.
In the '70s, traditional variety shows fell out of favour
and TV bosses were on the hunt for something new.
And could we have the scores on the doors, please?
Step forward Bruce Forsyth with his Generation Game.
It fast became one of the biggest game shows of the decade.
When Larry Grayson took the helm in 1978, it seemed unstoppable.
In 1979, at its peak,
the show entertained 25 million people of all generations.
-Larry was so funny.
-He was so endearing.
You never knew what the devil was going to happen
-and he was on with Isla...St Clair, wasn't he?
Please meet Miss Isla St Clair.
And look at Isla's dresses.
Did you always want to be Isla St Clair?
-No, I wanted to be a contestant on this.
I loved the way that they would be killing themselves laughing,
so if they were making something with pottery, for example, and you know
how you have to keep your hands on it as it spins, or it'll go choooww?
-If you take your hands off it...
-Oh, here they go.
I say, I wouldn't like to stick a chocolate flake amongst this lot!
It always ended up a right old mess, didn't it?
But Larry was so camp around the whole thing, which made it.
I know, I know.
-You are doing well, Fred.
Look at that, though!
Oh, look at the mess.
Look at the mess!
And you'd be sitting at home thinking,
"I could do better than that!"
I love, more and more, Larry Grayson, as I've got older.
-I just think he was so...
-"And you know..."
-But he was also... He was caring as well, you felt you knew him.
-You thought, "Oh, Larry, bless you."
He was that kind of person.
Bruce had a slickness, but there was...there was...
It was just chaotic, you know, it was.
-With Larry, I know.
But remember the conveyor belt and they'd be trying to help him?
"Have you said a cuddly toy? Have you said a cuddly toy?"
-"Yes, I've said a cuddly toy."
Cos that was always there. But the Teasmade,
the electric blankets, the candlewick cover for your bed,
all the things that were trendy in those days, maybe a radio.
What else did they have? Cutlery and vases and glasses and all of that.
-You won, Carol, all right?
-I loved it.
-What did you get?
The Hoover, the shaver, the electric drill, the blanket, the cuddly toy...
So, we're going to move on to comedy heroes
and I'm going to take you now back to 1973.
-I was 11.
It's going back to the days of bows and arrows.
Fancy spending Friday night on me own.
CAROL GASPS The Liver Birds!
BRIAN HUMS THEME TUNE
Me, with all the talent, it's a sheer waste of woman.
They were so funny.
Didn't you just love the way that Sandra was, like,
"Oh, I've found a new man,"
-and Beryl was so matter-of-fact about the whole thing?
-Have a nice evening?
I've had four showers and half a gallon of cocoa.
-I had a fabulous time.
-Where did you go?
No, Paul and I stayed in.
-Ooh, did you now?
-Yeah, we wanted to see the play on the telly.
Of course you did, love.
I found it hilarious, I loved it.
I just loved the characters.
-I loved them both.
-Beryl, I loved her sense of humour.
-And Sandra, she was just like your big sister, wasn't she?
She was really nice.
I loved seeing their fashions, though, because they had white
boots, knee-length white boots and you'd think, "Wow, look at them!"
Look, she's got 'em on there.
Beryl! Do I ever ask you personal questions about your private life?
When you brought that fella back last week,
did I ask what you were doing on the sofa?
You didn't have to, this sofa gives its own running commentary.
Four twangs and a boing and me secrets are out.
No, that was really good, that was good fun.
So, which one of them was closest to you?
Which one of those two characters was closest to Carol?
I would like to say Sandra, but it was probably Beryl!
The Liver Birds was often seen as a female version of The Likely Lads
and was co-created by one of TV's most successful writers.
Carla Lane would become the first woman to create
hugely popular sitcoms.
She scored her first solo hit in 1978 with Butterflies, casting
Wendy Craig as the frustrated stay-at-home wife
to Geoffrey Palmer.
She went on to write love affair drama, Solo, in 1981
and The Mistress in 1985, both starring Felicity Kendal.
In 1985, she wrote I Woke Up One Morning about four alcoholics
trying to quit the drink, starring Jean Boht, who went on to star as
Nellie Boswell in the smash-hit sitcom Bread.
So, Carol, watching The Liver Birds,
did it make you want to live in the city?
I always wanted to live in the city, not necessarily Liverpool,
although I've been to Liverpool many times.
Edinburgh or London were my cities of choice
and I did end up living in both.
Yes, because it seemed so glamorous -
-the styles, the opportunities and everything else.
So, yes, it did.
And when I was growing up, you know, it was beautiful
and I appreciate it as an adult, but as a child,
you did all the outdoor things like going a bike, cycling, and so on...
Yeah, I mean, you had an idyllic childhood.
Yes, but it didn't have cinemas and things like that.
The disco was in the local hall, for example,
so it wasn't a discotheque, as they were called in those days.
Did you eventually get a pair of knee-high white boots?
No, I got knee-high black ones, though.
Let's not go there, Carol, let's move on.
Carol, what was it your mum and dad loved to watch?
A whole host of things, but again, it is Saturday night viewing -
-Blankety Blank with Terry Wogan.
They were big fans of Terry Wogan.
So I'm going to take you back there now,
to your parents' choice - Blankety Blank.
Good evening and welcome.
Now, who have we here that we haven't had before?
-Yes, me, sir.
-Wee Joe Brown.
-Do you know, the star of this was the microphone, wasn't it?
-They loved that.
-Yeah, they did too.
Said Biggles, "By Jove,
"flying in an open biplane is an exhilarating experience."
-Very good that, isn't it?
-Yes, very good, yes, carry on.
"Why, the wind almost blew my BLANK off."
Do you know, this takes me back.
We'd all be sitting round, you know,
watching the telly, and it was - shhh,
silence whilst we watched this and listened to what Terry's saying.
But it was so funny and some of the answers they gave,
and you'd play along with them as well.
I thought from the old days they would always wear one of these?
It's amazing when you look at it and you see all the hairdos,
-which were trendy at the time.
Well, I copied Norman and I had toupee, but...
-I had goggles.
But some of the things they came out with were so random,
you know, "What?!"
Come on, handsome. Pants, you had.
"Almost blew my pants off"? Some wind!
You wonder how long it took to film this with all the laughter and everything.
She's gone with goggles. I think... Well done, Lynsey.
Terry was brilliant as well, he's got the gift of the gab.
Yeah, there's a real art to it.
I mean, he's got a lot going on there - he's got six celebrities, he's got the contestants.
Well, there you are, Connie, two points is as good as anything on this show.
They had the Supermatch Game which used to finish it,
and I bet you always wished you could play that, didn't you?
-And here it is. Here it is.
So, look, I've even got a... I'm not quite sure what it is.
Looks like a drumstick.
It is, actually, you know, we've adapted that.
But it's good, it's good.
So, we are going with the theme of you being the gorgeous,
lovely weather lady that you are. Snow.
So, what do we think it is? What do we think that is?
What do you want to put in there?
I'm like as if I think that this works, I can't believe...
I want to say Snow White, in all honesty,
-but sticking with the weather theme, I'm going to say snow shower.
-Let's see. So. This is for one point.
-We did ask 100 people to supply this...missing word.
-You are saying...remind me again?
OK, let's see if you get... Snow shower?
-Snow White, which was, of course, your first answer there.
-Gasps of awe from Carol.
Number two, sno-o-o-ow...
-Yeah. So we are hoping that this is snow... Remind me again?
-So you are completely wrong.
-I'm rubbish at all the games on this show, aren't I?
-Uh, no, you're not. Yes, you are.
-Yes, I am.
I would like to give you a consolation prize,
something that you can take home with you and here it is.
I've always wanted one of these. Thank you very much, Brian.
-It's a pleasure!
-I love it.
Carol, we're moving on to your guilty pleasure now,
something that you would not ever miss.
That has to be Starsky & Hutch.
-Oh, you betcha!
-Oh, I loved this!
STARSKY & HUTCH THEME TUNE PLAYS
-Look at that car.
-Look at that car, look at it, it takes the corner...
I know, typical bloke, ain't I? "Look at the car!"
And the way they fall over the bonnet. Especially Hutch. Phwoar!
-You had a soft spot for Hutch? Really?
In the 1970s, cop shows didn't come much cooler than this.
David Starsky and Kenneth Hutch skidded their way around
Bay City, California, catching bad guys in their iconic Gran Torino.
The series caught the mood of the decade with its fashionable
flares and funky soundtrack.
Do you know, I used to wash my hair before this came on every week.
I'm going to have to hold you back, you are nearly in the telly here!
But it is the middle of the show!
Well, at least I can hear the end of the game on the radio.
Hey, listen, listen...
-Before the show went on...
-Yeah, I can't take my eyes off this, sorry.
-..you used to wash your hair?
Just...just in case. Just in case.
-In some weird world that I lived in as a child...
..David Soul could actually see me and see that I had washed my hair!
-I adored him.
And if anybody spoke when he was on, it was like, "No, please don't."
-And he was just such a hero.
He was all man, there was nothing he couldn't do.
He was brave, he was powerful, he was handsome.
He was funny and he was so cool.
Yeah, Carol, calm down, love. Calm down. Even I fancy him.
What did you think of the other characters in it and Huggy Bear?
Huggy Bear was really cool as well, you know, he was all, sort of,
shrugging his shoulders as he was walking along and...
Starsky was too, Starsky was always eating, wasn't he,
in his big long cardigans and things?
But he was cool too, but David was the epitome of perfection for me.
-Don't stand there with your mouth open, cuff him.
See? So cool, took command of the whole situation, real he-man.
Lines like that, "Don't stand there and look at him, cuff him," you know?
You are very good at that, actually, Brian.
-Do you think so?
-Thank you very much.
We've reached the point where we want to talk about your big break,
how it came about, your interest in weather.
I mean, did you go to college, did you study it, was it a game plan,
or was it pure luck that you fell into this sort of career now?
Pure luck to fall into weather. I wanted to be on the telly
and had written to the Beeb to find out what I had to do
and I was just a regular presenter, doing other shows,
but not big shows, and my agent at the time was new
and he invited me to go for an audition for the Weather Channel.
I had no meteorological experience at this stage whatsoever
and I'm saying, "I don't want to be a weather presenter,"
and he said, "Well, they're probably not going to offer it to you anyway,
"you big-headed thing, so just go for the audition,"
so I did. Well, Brian, love at first sight.
When you present the weather in certain studios,
you can't see anything behind you - it's either a blue or a green screen,
so you see the image of what you're talking about
in the camera in front of you, which is reversed,
-so it is like rubbing your tummy and patting your head.
When you've got a front - it's hard not to move your hands
when you're talking about the weather -
but when you've got a weather front that's here and you rub your finger
down along it like that
and there's nothing there, it's just green,
it's so satisfying,
and with breaking news and things, you might be told,
"You've got two minutes."
You've got what we call open talk-back,
which means you hear everything.
If somebody's saying, "I want an Earl Grey,"
you hear that, or talking about EastEnders,
you hear that as well as your timing, so you've got a minute left,
you've got 15 seconds left, whatever.
All of that is challenging,
whilst talking about the weather at the same time.
But the weather is so varied and I LOVE my job.
Do you many times go out on location?
-Yes, I go out on location lots.
-Do you enjoy that?
But sometimes it can be really rough!
-Sometimes you're standing in blizzards or rain...
We know. We've got some classic moments of you, Carol,
where things did start to go a bit rough.
And in the north of Wales, for example,
we'll be looking more at snow in the hills.
Now, behind all of that,
we're also going to have very strong winds gusting inland to about 55mph.
I remember that - we were in a blizzard.
I had the producer holding on to my legs,
-because it was...
-So while you're filming this,
-you've got a producer hanging on to your legs?
-Yes. And d'you know what?
It was so cold, my mouth started to freeze, my tongue.
It was like being hit by pins and needles.
And, really, wherever you are, it's going to feel cold,
despite the fact that we've got temperatures
up to about ten degrees Celsius in the Channel Islands.
When you add on the strength of the wind and the wind chill,
it will feel more like below freezing.
'The gallery was saying,
' "This is great television, have another minute!" I'm like, "No!" '
But you can't say, "No, I don't want another minute!"
-You've just got to carry on.
-I'll never forget that, ever, as long as I live.
-You can't even see!
That's it from me. Back to you two.
Weather is not the only hazard.
Here we go, have a look at this.
GASPING: 'I remember this!'
..although it will still be hot and humid, not quite as hot and humid
as it's going to be in the next few days, Charlie and Lou.
LOUD LAUGHTER IN STUDIO
Listen to the laughter!
Oh, Carol, don't look behind you!
Don't turn round!
Upstaged by a dog - it's the story of my life!
And it's true, it is.
You are so endearing, you really are,
-and you have the most amazing smile.
And a wonderful joy, you know?
Bless, you're not so shabby yourself, Brian.
Oh, please! No, but you really are,
and I think that's what will sustain you, and why you are so popular,
is because of how much sunshine you bring to the weather.
Oh, thank you, that's a lovely thing to say. Thank you.
So, what do you watch now?
I watch loads of telly.
I'm a big soap fan, from Neighbours
to Corrie to EastEnders, watch all of them.
I like reality telly as well...
-..such as Strictly
and The Island With Bear Grylls at the moment,
-that's pretty good as well.
-We have to finish now.
But our guest always gets the opportunity to pick a theme tune
to play us out with,
so what sort of theme tune, or what would you like us
to play out this afternoon with?
How about the theme tune to Top Of The Pops?
That sounds good to me.
I meant every word -
this lady brings a ray of sunshine into the world and we love Carol.
Thank you so...much! It's been an absolute pleasure.
Carol Kirkwood, ladies and gentlemen.
Here is Top Of The Pops!
MUSIC: TOP OF THE POPS THEME
One of Britain's favourite weather presenters, Carol Kirkwood, joins legendary entertainer Brian Conley to go back in time to revisit the TV memories that helped make her the person we love to wake up to.
From the epitome of cool - 70s cop series Starsky and Hutch - to the classic comedy of the Liver Birds, and from the archetypal children's show Blue Peter to The Generation Game, how did the TV she loved help Carol go from being a shy girl in a remote Scottish village to a perennial fixture on every TV screen in the land? And how will Carol get on playing Brian's version of Blankety Blank?