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.

Saturday, 25 August 2018

A Further 42 Lesser Known British Children's TV Shows

Last year, I wrote an article which looked at 42 lesser known British children's TV shows that, for one reason of another, failed to gain a mention in all those 'best ever children's TV' polls that occasionally get trotted out to state the obvious. It's proved fairly popular with my readers, so I decided to gather together a further 42 lesser known British children's TV shows to pore over and see if you remember. Or, at the very least, think "Oooh! I wouldn't mind watching that!"

So, uh, yeah, here's a lengthy look at a further 42 lesser known British children's TV shows:

Friday, 17 August 2018

Friday's Five of the Best Archive TV Clips - Vol.3

We've made it through another week and, at the end of this weekly rainbow, there's a pot of gold waiting for you. Unfortunately, it's not the type of gold which will make your fortune and keep you in Betamax tapes for the rest of your life, but it will stimulate your nostalgia gland and remind you that life used to be a little bit simpler. This week we take a look at gentle childhood romps, early examples of colour TV and a rather grand piece of music to get you feeling all patriotic.

Sunday, 12 August 2018

Rare Chills: DVD Review

There's nothing like a bit of horror to get the adrenaline flowing through your veins and blood pumping through your heart at a rapid pace and British TV has been more than happy to oblige over the decades. From Nigel Kneale's Beasts Series through to the BBC's legendary A Ghost Story For Christmas, television has endeavoured to put the willies up us with an eerie level of precision. Two servings of British TV horror that you may not be aware of, however, are The Fearmakers: The Shadow of Death and Supernatural: Mrs. Amworth.

Wednesday, 8 August 2018


Ever wondered who keeps the streets clean for our highly polished shoes first thing in the morning? Probably not as it's one of those things we take for granted. However, beavering away throughout the night - in major cities at least - and into the wee hours are an army of late night street cleaners. And Horace Stockford is one of the finest examples of what it means to be a Nightcleaner.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Missing Believed Wiped: 30 Years of Kaleidoscope

Not only has it been 25 years since the BFI first launched their Missing Believed Wiped programme, but it has also been 30 years since the genesis of Kaleidoscope. Missing Believed Wiped, of course, is an endeavour that looks to rediscover television long lost from the archives and screen it in its full glory down at the BFI Southbank, London. One of the key contributors, over the years, to Missing Believed Wiped has been Kaleidoscope, a collection of archive enthusiasts headed by Chris Perry who all share a common love for British television.