British geeks of a certain age will have been intrigued by the recent news that the iconic gaming show GamesMaster is to return to our screens later this year. While we ponder the challenges the new series will face of balancing nostalgia for the original and relevance in a market now saturated on Twitch and YouTube, thoughts turn to fond memories of the original. Hosted (in the most part) by Dominik Diamond, and featuring the disembodied head of Red Dwarf A-Z's one-eyed right-wing astronomer Patrick Moore, the show brought us news, reviews, features, cheats and tips, but its most memorable segment was challenges whereby gamers and/or celebrity guests competed for a coveted Golden Joystick. And on one such occasion, very nearly 25 years ago, the celebrity guest was one Danny John-Jules.

His segment begins at 14:01, but let's face it, you might as well watch the full episode:

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DwarfCast 144 - Wafflemen Special #2: Electric Waffleoo featured image
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It's waffle time! Again! That's right, to mark the occasion of the whole G&T trio being in the same room for the first time since that spiky red cunt fucked everything up for everyone, we thought we'd have another stab at a Wafflemen Special, since the last one seemed to go surprisingly well. So, join the slightly giddy and tipsy Danny, Cappsy and Ian as they heave their enormous, waddling frames in front of the microphone to discuss all the things you see in the banner, AND MORE.

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DwarfCast 143 - Book Club #15: Backwards (Part Four) featured image
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It's been a little while coming, but please take your seats, grab a coffee and arrange your notes because the book club is back and we have a lot of... interesting material to cover. Join a crossed legged Ian, Cappsy and Danny as they wince their way through what is undoubtedly the moment that Rob Grant's Backwards takes a bit of of a turn to the sadistic. But never fear, because Ace also makes his triumphant return, thus signalling that everything will be absolutely fine. Right?

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We’re very sad to report the terrible news that Stephen Critchlow has died, aged just 54. We know him best for his role as Captain Herring in Series XI’s Officer Rimmer, one of our favourite guest characters of the modern era. His superb comic timing and the contrast between his plummy officer persona and the ridiculousness of his appearance made for a memorable and hilarious character. He’s also fondly remembered as a guest at Dimension Jump XIX, where he was generous with his time, brilliant in his Q&A and enthusiastic when meeting fans – one of those guests that really seemed like they were having a great time too. The following year, he was one of many guest stars to send in a video message to celebrate Red Dwarf‘s thirtieth anniversary, in which his charm and enthusiasm shone through.

He’s also well known to Doctor Who fans, having performed dozens of roles for Big Finish, displaying his skills as a voice actor and narrator. As well as many television parts, the stage was perhaps his forte, from rep to touring to the West End. Plus of course, we were amused that his appearance in Red Dwarf meant that, following Philip Labey, both stars of the long-running Oak Furniture Land adverts had been in the show. Tributes from those who worked with him have come thick and fast, and speak of someone who always lit up a green room with his warmth and humour. A truly popular man who touched a lot of lives. RIP Critch.

DwarfCast 142 - Dimension Jump XXI Special featured image
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For the first time in far, far too long, a small army of Red Dwarf fans laid siege to the Nottingham Crown Plaza last weekend. We called it Dimension Jump XXI, and the last survivors converged on Sunday night to see what they could remember under the glare of our microphone. So join Ian Symes, Fan Club team members Andy Holland, Dan "Pendo" Pendleton and Shelley Smith, plus attendees Dave Billingsley, Si Bromley, Stephen Fletcher, Peter Jones and Jo Sharples as we run through such diverse topics as Lee Cornes meeting his alter ego, Doug Naylor's plans for future projects both?Dwarf and not-quite-Dwarf, Danny John-Jules's reworked lyrics to Tongue Tied, touching tributes, scandalous cheating and taking Johnny Vegas to bed.

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You join us live from Sunday lunchtime at Dimension Jump XXI, and as the cockroaches have finally finished their incessant shuffling, we're able to bring you an update on what happened last night. For the first time in a long time, Doug Naylor is not attending in person, which we presume is due to, you know, all that stuff. Nevertheless, he sent in a video message which was played betwixt costume competition and auction as part of the Saturday night entertainment, and it was both extremely positive and surprising in its content. With thanks to Si Bromley for sneakily filming it on his phone, here's a full transcript of what was said:

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At the third time of asking, Dimension Jump 20201 is finally here! The twenty-first Official Red Dwarf Fan Club convention today returns after an enforced absence to the Nottingham Crown Plaza for the fourth consecutive event, and it will feel all the more special after the long, long wait since October 2018. It will be a slightly unusual occasion in many ways. Twice postponed due to Covid, for many attendees this will be their biggest social gathering for some time; there’s bound to be mixed feelings along the way, but let’s hope the abiding memory will be the extremely happy one we’re accustomed to from past experience.

On a personal note, it’ll be the first DJ since 2007 that none of the current G&T staff are working at, and thus all the offers of drinks and chats that we’ve been too busy to accept over the previous six events can finally be cashed in. Two of our trio are giving it a miss, still suffering from PTSD from their time on the team, but one brave reporter is prepared to throw himself back into the fray for you, so we’ll be reporting on events as best we can over on Twitter – handle is @ganymedetitan, as you should know by now after twelve yeeeeears.

And we’ll be joined by Danny John-Jules, Hattie Hayridge, Norman Lovett, Rob Grant, Paul Jackson, Ray Fearon, Lee Cornes, Ian Boldsworth, Matthew Clark, Chris Barrie and Robert Llewellyn (those last two via Zoom), along with a super secret mystery guest which isn’t at all obvious from the silhouette and caption. See you back here next week for the traditional post-DJ DwarfCast.

As we approach the August Bank Holiday weekend, and therefore the conclusion of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, let's travel back in time to 31 years ago. It was a time when the festival had more of a reputation for weird and wonderful variety acts than a focus on stand-up comedy, when multi-channel television was in its infancy in this country, and when Norman Lovett still had hair.

These three states of affairs combined to form episode seven of Up Yer Festival, a daily show broadcasting live from the Fringe to an audience of tens on BSB, an early satellite service that was very briefly on air from March to November 1990, when it merged with fellow fledgling broadcaster Sky Television to form the more familiar BSkyB. Produced by Noel Gay Television, at the time the parent company of both Paul Jackson Productions and the newly formed Grant Naylor Productions, the show combined a sample of acts from the festival with specially shot sketches, all linked together by a guest host, including on one occasion, recent Edinburgh migrant Norman Lovett.

It's an obscure show on an obscure channel that aired on an obscure satellite service over thirty years ago, but thanks to the magic of the internet (and also to our good friend Jonsmad for pointing us towards it), the full series is available on YouTube, uploaded by the show's producer Richard Hearsey.

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DwarfCast 141 - Wafflemen Special #1: Maturity, Memories and Moore featured image
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Literally no one asked for it, but yet here we are anyway - a whole podcast devoted to Wafflemen, our regular segment from the commentary episodes in which talk about whatever Dwarfy topic you, the listener, so desires. So, join Cappsy, Danny and Ian as they desperately search for something we can cancel Red Dwarf for, finally settle on whether it was Rob or Doug who was the real funny one and generally just, well, waffle on.

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DwarfCast 140 - Book Club #14: Backwards (Part Three) featured image
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What's that now? You wanted more backwards stuff in your Backwards novel? Well, have we got the DwarfCast for you! Yes, whether you like it or not, in this episode Cappsy, Ian and Danny go Back to Backworld one last time as Rob Grant forces us to consider the reverse logistics of, let's say, a few too many bodily functions. Thanks Rob.

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