Sunday, 18 November 2018

The Boys of '66: England's Last Glory

Today's blog is a guest piece by Jonathan Hayward

The Boys of '66: England’s Last Glory, made and broadcast by the now defunct ITV company TVS in 1986 was written and presented by Michael Parkinson. It was, as its title suggests, about England’s solitary World Cup triumph on native soil in 1966, but it doesn’t just tell the story of the victory. It also tells how all 11 winning players were doing 20 years on from the nation’s greatest sporting moment.

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 2

Due to having rather more time on my hands this weekend than I expected, I've decided to bring forwards the latest edition of The Forgotten World of British Children's TV. This particular installment features anthropomorphic cushions, tie-wearing crocodiles and Bill Oddie chewing bubblegum. And, as I'm sure you'll agree, they're all incredibly British, y'know, the good British, not that pandemonium fuelled Brexit take on Britishness that seems to be clogging up the headlines. So, let's forget the customs union (whatever that is) and slide back into simpler times...

Saturday, 17 November 2018

DVD Review: Our Day Out

Drawing on Willy Russell's time as both a teacher and a pupil, his 1977 BBC2 classic Our Day Out is a multilayered narrative that takes in the chaos of youthful exuberance, the limitations of the education system and the design for life that is doled out to the socially disadvantaged. Seeing as Our Day Out has recently been released on DVD by Simply Media it's time to take a closer look at what's bubbling beneath the surface of this TV play.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 1

Following on from a couple articles I wrote about lesser known British children's TV (see them here and here), I've decided to do a few more regular articles on the subject. Whilst they won't be as huge as the previous articles, they will be marginally more bite-sized and, most importantly, they will be getting more and more obscure.

So, the general remit for inclusion in The Forgotten World of British Children's TV is that they don't appear in all those 'GREATEST CHILDREN'S PROGRAMMES EVER' type polls and that the mere mention of them in the staff room causes your colleagues to scratch their heads and quickly change the conversation towards all those urban myths about Captain Pugwash.

I suppose it may sound a little bit like an act of snobbery, but at the heart of these articles is a love of the curious, the forgotten and the unlucky. Not every TV show can become a hit, but it's a shame when they become forgotten. Hopefully, these articles will give these obscure shows a little more time in the limelight to shine. So, here comes the first batch...

Monday, 5 November 2018

Missing Believed Wiped: 25th Birthday Bonanza

The BFI's regular showcase of 'previously missing, but recently found' British TV is held down at the Southbank next month and, to celebrate the event's 25th anniversary, they've managed to dig up some quite remarkable finds. Curious British Telly is always keen to get behind the BFI - without their Viewing Rooms service, this blog would be bereft of many an article - so it's with pleasure that I serve up this press release regarding next month's event:

Sunday, 7 October 2018

Truly Maddy Deeply: A Kaleidoscope Event Celebrating Madeline Smith

Today I ventured over to Birmingham for the latest Kaleidoscope event in order to indulge in my most favourite pastime: watching decades old telly which hasn't been aired in decades. Kaleidoscope hold these events every three months at Birmingham University and, as with all events that know what they're doing, each one has a theme. And today the theme was Madeline Smith, an actress who starred in several films (including the role of Roger Moore's first ever Bond girl) and numerous television series from the 1960s onwards.

Thursday, 27 September 2018

Archive Tape Digging: September 2018

It's been a little while since my last update on my exploration of forgotten TV recordings, but rest assured I've been busy delving through tape after tape. Well, at least, I've been doing this when I can as life is a busy old game and, by the end of the evening when the house is quiet and toddler free, I'm usually far too knackered to dig out all my equipment. However, it would be impossible for me to give up my most peculiar of hobbies, so it continues slowly but surely.

I'm still on the lookout for any old tapes you may have knocking about in cupboards, lofts and garages, so please, please get in touch. If they're from the 1980s then I'm going to be highly interested in them and if they're from the late 1970s (aka the earliest days of VHS) then I'll bite your hand off (or give you a shoulder massage at the very least). A couple of weeks ago I picked up a small collection of tapes and found recordings going back to 1981, so there's clearly still plenty out there.

Anyway, my plea for magnetic tape fulfilled for the month, here's what I've found this month.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

DVD Review: The Fishing Party

A highly entertainingly analysis of pride, class and the effects of too much brown ale, The Fishing Party is a triumph of comedy and extreme Britishness. Written by the playwright Peter Terson, The Fishing Party aired as part of the legendary Play for Today anthology series which captivated audiences between 1970 to 84. Only broadcast twice in the early 1970s, The Fishing Party has finally made its way from the shelves of the BBC Archive into a fully fledged DVD release by Simply Media.

Thursday, 30 August 2018

The Gnomes of Dulwich

The Gnomes of Dulwich was recently voted the 35th most wanted missing TV programme, but how much do we know about it? After all, it's not been seen on our screens since 1970, so it's no surprise that memories relating to it are vague at best. It doesn't help that all six episodes are missing either. However, it's a programme that generates a significant amount of interest thanks not only to the handful of curious publicity shots that survive, but also the talent involved. Naturally, it's a show that's been on Curious British Telly's radar for some time, so I had to take a look at it.