At the end of 2017, I toyed with the idea of joining my peers in listing my favourite records of the year.
But that seemed like too much hard work.
So, since there was, thankfully, considerably less than there had been in 2016, I thought about writing something about all that we had lost in the preceding 12 months.
But then I remembered that there’s absolutely no point in trying to compete with the all-encompassing monthly (and yearly) round-ups of all who have checked out that Half-Hearted Dude does over at Any Major Dude With Half a Heart, which you can read here.
Having posted his annual round-up in mid December, HHD provided a further update at the end of the month, and it, rightly contained mention of the person I wanted to pay tribute to.
I don’t think I can sum up the work of the person in question any better than HHD does though, so here, hopefully with his blessing, is what he wrote:
“For many British TV fans of a certain age, the death of Keith Chegwin marked the passing of a national institution. Most famous for hosting children’s TV programmes such as Cheggers Plays Pop and Swap Shop in the 1970s and 80s, Chegwin remained a fixture on the telly, not least through his appearance on the while range of reality TV shows that feature celebrities. But before he became a TV legend, “Cheggers” tried his hand at becoming a pop star…unsuccessfully. None of the five singles he released between 1973 and 1981 charted. He did hit the charts in 1981 as part of novelty celeb trio Brown Sauce, alongside fellow TV presenters Maggie Philbin and the unspeakably awful and thoroughly objectionable Noel Edmonds. It reached #15.”
There a few things I would add to that. Firstly, it would be rude not to note that John Craven was probably livid to miss out on the chart action. Secondly, no, we’re not going to talk about The Naked Jungle, a (one-off, thankfully) gameshow where Cheggers appeared dressed in nowt but a pith helmet (Stop it!).
Thirdly, it should be noted that Cheggars managed to revive his career more than once, first as the outside broadcaster on shows like The Big Breakfast (he was the ultimate, go-to OB guy, truly nobody did it better), and then as a self-aware, past his sell-by-date caricature of himself in Ricky Gervais’ Life’s Too Short. His ability to poke fun at himself should come as no surprise to anyone who has read his autobiography, where he speaks openly, frankly and with dead-pan humour of his dark days battling alcoholism. For a man that many of us looked up to, dammit wanted to be, when we were growing up, that took some balls (which we wish we hadn’t seen on the aforementioned Naked Jungle).
Anyway here’s the record in question, which I refuse to call a Novelty, despite what some might say:
In a cardboard box stuffed under a deluge of postcards offering Dukla Prague away kits to be swapped for Scalextric kit, Posh Paws is applauding.
Cheers, Cheggars, and thanks for all the laughs.