If you are British and over the age of thirty then those memories would undoubtedly include Christmas specials from the likes of Mike Yarwood, Paul Daniels, The Two Ronnies and, of course, Morecambe and Wise...
The man responsible for those and many other great BBC television programmes was BILL COTTON (left) who died earlier this year and who at various times in his long and prolific career was Head of Light Entertainment, Controller of BBC 1 and Managing Director of Television.
The programmes which he either created or oversaw include The Generation Game, Jim'll Fix It!, Parkinson and a legion of memorable sit-coms such as Dad's Army, The Good Life, To the Manor Born and Monty Python's Flying Circus.
As a huge fan of many of those shows it was a thrill to have the job of researching and writing a two-part tribute to this great TV impresario, Showman and Star Maker - A Tribute to Bill Cotton which is being broadcast on BBC Radio 2, beginning tonight at 7:00 pm with the second part going on-air at the same time tomorrow.
The programmes are presented by Paul O'Grady and feature, among others, Bruce Forsyth, John Cleese, Val Donican, Cilla Black, Rolf Harris, Des O'Connor, Michael Parkinson, Terry Wogan, Sandie Shaw, Sue Lawley and Tom Jones - all of whom I got to meet --- in person!!
Here's a little anecdote from one of those encounters...
Bruce Forsyth gave me a great interview talking about the impact which Bill Cotton had on his career and at the end of it I mentioned that I had a bone to pick with our Brucie...
"Oh," he asked, "what's that?"
"Well," I told him, "when I was a youngster, I wrote to you when you were the star of the TV hit Sunday Night at the London Palladium, asking for an autographed photograph. I got the photo but I was terribly disappointed because the photo I got back had a printed autograph!"
"Ah," said Bruce, "well I used to get masses of fan mail... In fact, I remember turning up at my agent's office one day and there was this long line of mail sacks all the way down the hall. 'What's all that?' I asked. 'Your mail!' he answered. So, the agent used to send out the photos for me..."
"Hmmm," I replied, "well, Bruce I was in one of those sacks!" And I produced the photo to prove it.
"Right!" said Brucie, "give it 'ere!" And grabbing a pen he signed it again - this time with a genuine signature and, as the note on it says, IN REAL INK!
And here is Bruce playing piano as a guest (following Jamie Cullum!) on another of those shows launched by Bill Cotton, Parkinson...
So, once again you can catch Part One of Showman and Star Maker - A Tribute to Bill Cotton on BBC Radio tonight at 7:00 pm and Part Two can be heard tomorrow, New Year's Day, at the same time.