As Bob Dylan famously sang 'The times they are a changing' - it was a call of hope and optimism which echoed the giant strides the civil rights and equality movements were making. It was a message that didn't reach the BBC or large swathes of the British people because The Good Old Days was a hugely popular hour of escapism throughout the 1970s and 80s. I never quite understood why, at a time when there were three TV channels (Channel 4 didn't arrive until the mid-80s), this show could eat an hour out of BBC One's primetime schedule.Gareth Hargreaves, On The Box, 20th January 2017
They are the "most gregarious, garrulous, gorgeous creatures in the history of British theatre", says Michael Grade of the pantomime dame as he takes a tour through the character's history on stage. "It all depends on the eyes and knees," says one observer, of someone who can be "motherly, vain, outrageous and anarchic". Grade looks back to the pantomime productions of the 19th century and to vintage performances by Terry Scott and Arthur Askey. In the company of Richard Briers and Berwick Kaler, the latter having played the part for 30 years at York's Theatre Royal, Grade discovers why the dame has proved so popular.Simon Horsford, The Telegraph, 19th December 2012
So the how-it-all-started flashback for Only Fools and Horses, Rock & Chips, kicked off hobbled by its grown-up self. And it wasn't helped by being about a 20-year-old sitcom that, though much loved in its time, is now nostalgia television. Nobody who's watching Glee is going to care what Trigger was like as a kid - the answer is: just the same, but younger. It was all utterly predictable, and predictably utter, an immeasurably long and plodding series of inevitable scenes set in 1960. The styling and sense of time was about as convincing as a junior-school history project. The amusing cameos had all the grim innuendo and constipated double entendres of an old Arthur Askey movie.
What was a dramatic surprise, though, was the lighting. I can't remember a BBC drama that looked quite this dreary and inconsistently illuminated. It must have been lit by two boy scouts with a torch and a halogen lamp. This was the laziest and most cynical and misbegotten use of a shrinking drama budget, a miserable example of licking an empty bowl. I expect, somewhere, someone imagines they're going to get a series out of it. I dearly hope not. This was The History Boys written by Chas and Dave.A. A. Gill, The Sunday Times, 31st January 2010
Band Wagon came off the air in December 1939, but it's the daddy of all radio comedy. It was meant to be the usual 1930s light entertainment show - dance bands linked by a comic compere - but the comedy, from Richard Murdoch and Arthur Askey, simply took over. The show became well known for its catch phrases: "Ay thang yew!" and "Ah! Happy days".Roland White, The Times, 12th April 2009