Monday, 17 December 2018

British TV Comedies You Can't Remember - Vol. 3


In the pursuit of obscure, forgotten and downright bizzare British comedies, I've spent the last week or so laughing and scratching my head at some real gems hidden in the dusty corners of British television's past. In this edition of British TV Comedies You Can't Remember, we've got sitcom greats in their final TV series, a Doctor Who at the peak of his early 80s powers and a standup that you're unlikely to see starring in his own TV show anytime soon...

Sunday, 9 December 2018

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 7


And, out of the depths of time, did many dusty, forgotten memories slowly begin to re-inhabit this cold, dreary land of reduced attention spans and endless Channel 5 docudramas. These memories, of a simpler time, have been excavated and hand polished by myself for your reading pleasure, so please give a warm welcome to the latest volume of The Forgotten World of British Children's TV.

Sunday, 2 December 2018

British TV Comedies You Can't Remember - Vol. 2


Welcome to the latest edition of British TV Comedies You Can't Remember where my nefarious aim is to get you scratching your head at the lack of recognition on offer. Maybe these comedies are forgotten for good reason, perhaps they're tied up in complex rights issues or, most worryingly, maybe most people can move on with their lives and leave the past behind. As you know by now, I can't leave the past behind as I think it's a crying shame that so much British culture should be left languishing in the dusty recesses of our memories, no matter how dreadful it may be. Anyway, let's get started...

Saturday, 1 December 2018

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 6


December is finally here, so it's time to get the season of Advent off to a start with another batch of forgotten British children's TV shows. I headed off to the BFI yesterday to watch several shows that I simply couldn't track down anywhere else and the first of these shows features in today's article. And, to help celebrate the start of the year's most festive month, I've even gone and included a Christmas special in today's offerings. I'm practically Father Christmas.

Monday, 26 November 2018

British TV Comedies You Can't Remember - Vol. 1


Having not covered enough curiously forgotten comedies in the last year, I've decided to start up a regular series of articles that will take bitesize looks at little known British TV comedies. After all, we clearly get the point that Only Fools and Horses, Blackadder, The Office and Red Dwarf are fantastic, in fact it's almost impossible to avoid them unless you haven't turned on a television set in the last 30 years. Naturally, I'm more than happy to sit through endless repeats of these genius creations, but I'm equally as interested in their comedy peers who failed to make the grade. And it's these shows which will be making up the bulk of British TV Comedies You Can't Remember.

Saturday, 24 November 2018

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 5


You may have thought my odyssey through the murky world of British children's TV would be taking a break for the weekend, but there's no better time to sit back and reminisce about those shows you can barely remember. Or, depending on your age, you probably haven't even heard of. However, every day's a school day and all that jazz, so let's take a look at the latest batch of shows that I think are worthy of peering through the mists of time at.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 4


It doesn't seem long since the last edition of The Forgotten World of Britsh Children's TV and *glances at calendar* it's only actually been 48 hours. However, you've had to wait long enough to remember these old, forgotten shows, so I'm not going to slow up just yet. Right, let's get started.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

The Forgotten World of British Children's TV - Vol. 3


You may be forgiven for thinking that all those half-remembered children's TV shows from your youth were destined to stay that way, but help is at hand. Delving deep into the archives and surveying as many old editions of the Radio Times and TV Times, I'm attempting to unearth these mostly forgotten shows to reignite your synapses and restore your memories. And, without further ado, it's time for the third serving of The Forgotten World of British Children's TV.

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.

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

Nightcleaner


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.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Friday's Five of the Best Archive TV Clips - Vol.2


This week's selection of archive clips are a curious melange of televisual goodness and should herald the start of a fantastic weekend. Well, at the very least, you'll learn about outdated encryption methods and that's surely better than anything else you've got planned, right?

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Archive Tape Digging: July 2018


It's been another bumper month of dusting down VHS tapes and holding them up to the light of the modern day. I'm still wading through the pile of tapes I got at the start of June and they're still throwing up some intriguing finds. Progress is a little slow due to life commitments, but I've been making regular uploads over the last month and here are some of the best picks:

Sunday, 29 July 2018

The Year of the Sex Olympics: 50 Years On

 

Today's blog is written by Jonathan Hayward, a man with an almost encyclopaedic knowledge of British TV

This Monday will see the finale of this year’s series of Love Island on ITV2, the most successful yet in terms of viewing figures and, indeed, the most successful in the channel’s and digital TV history. What will also be truly extraordinary, if a trifle disturbing, will be the fact that it will be almost 50 years to the day, and virtually the exact time, that Nigel Kneale’s The Year of The Sex Olympics was first broadcast by BBC2.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Friday's Five of the Best Archive TV Clips - Vol.1


Welcome to what I hope will be a regular Friday feature and, as the title suggests, it will feature five archive TV clips that I've found online and think will be of interest to Curious British Telly readers. So, every Friday, at the end of what will almost certainly be a tough week, there will be a little dose of nostalgic escapism to remedy the horrors of the modern world.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Laugh??? I Nearly Paid my Licence Fee


If Scotland had only ever contributed Naked Video, Rab C Nesbitt and Still Game to British comedy then it would represent a significant contribution. Thankfully, for our funny bones, Scottish comedy doesn’t begin and end with these three shows.

With an output that also includes A Kick up the Eighties, City Lights and Limmy’s Show, Scotland can be rightly proud of its unique take on comedy. Cast your eye towards the periphery of these rightly venerated shows, though and you’ll discover one of the lesser known, yet just as fantastic, shows in the form of Laugh??? I Nearly Paid my Licence Fee.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

I Found a BBC Engineering Test and Attempted to Break it Down


Regular readers are aware that I spend an unhealthy amount of my time scouring through old VHS tapes in search of intriguing curios that haven't been seen in years. I've found a few interesting clips here and there, but nothing that was outrageously beyond the bounds of my imagination. However, that all changed the other night when I found what appears to be a BBC engineering test.

Friday, 13 July 2018

25 Examples of Jan Leeming Being a BBC News Fashion Icon


For many years, all I knew about Jan Leeming was that she briefly appeared in the 1985 Roland Rat Christmas special Roland's Yuletide Binge. When I got a little older I discovered that she had been a BBC newsreader. And, many years later, after trawling through innumerable VHS tapes of old TV recordings, I realised just how fantastic a newsreader she was. Blessed with an innate calmness, yet complemented by an authoritative air, Leeming delivered the news with all the chutzpah of a classic BBC newsreader.

However, what I also noticed with all this old footage of Leeming was that she was an absolutely amazing dresser during her tenure on the various 1980s BBC News programmes. Versatility was the key to her style success as she mixed polka dot blouses, knitwear with embellishments going in all directions and even dungarees. It's easy to mock 1980s fashion, but Leeming always pulled it off with consummate ease. Whilst Princess Diana may have been getting all the plaudits for her fashion sense, Leeming was matching her at every step.

And, to celebrate this sartorial elegance, I decided to gather together 25 examples of Jan Leeming being a BBC News fashion icon.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

Norbert Smith: A Life - DVD Review


Norbert Smith: A Life is yet another comedy gem from the magnificent Harry Enfield although, quite frankly, if you were expecting anything less than fantastic then your funny bone clearly stopped functioning around the same time that a man first slipped on a banana skin.

Written by Harry Enfield and the equally legendary (yet much less publicly celebrated) Geoffrey Perkins, this one-off mockumentary was directed by Geoff Posner and produced by Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4 in 1989. Finally, after years in the wilderness, Norbert Smith: A Life is coming to DVD thanks to Simply Media.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

A Selection of Early Press Ads for Obsolete Video Formats

Thanks to the wonder of personal video recorders (PVR) we can record anything we want from the TV schedules with just a few clicks of the remote. You don't even have to get up thanks to the hard drive element of PVR. Roll the clock back about 40 years, however, and things were very different. Whilst, yes, you could record anything from the schedules, you most certainly had to get up and fiddle about with mindbending timers and, of course, those clunky old video tapes.

World Cup Heroes and Villains


You may have noticed that there's a World Cup on. England, after all, haven't delivered their customary turgid showing and the nation is going as mad for football as Gareth Southgate does for waistcoats. Live sport, however, doesn't really fall under the Curious British Telly banner, but thankfully that doesn't mean we can't enter into the spirit of the event. And that's why we're going to highlight the hilarity of World Cup Heroes and Villains from 1994.

Monday, 2 July 2018

Marjorie and Men


Dating has never been anything less than a highly precarious and tricky activity. Two completely different entities coming together and hoping that things will click is a recipe for disaster. It’s not impossible to succeed, but, you can rest assured that your path towards happiness will be littered with misfires and misfortunes. If, of course, you’re the wrong side of 40 and have an interfering mother acting as a matchmaker, matters get a whole lot worse. And, for Marjorie Belton, that’s exactly what’s happening in Marjorie and Men.

Sunday, 1 July 2018

Peter Firmin 11/12/1928 - 01/07/2018


It's been confirmed today that Peter Firmin has passed away at the stately age of 89. Alongside Oliver Postgate, Firmin was responsible for many of the programmes which have gone on to define British children's TV such as Bagpuss, Ivor the Engine, The Clangers and Pogles' Wood to name but a handful.

The strength of Firmin's contribution to British culture is almost unparalleled in terms of longevity; not only was he behind millions and millions of childhood memories that remain active after many decades, but the appeal of his shows has remained strong for one generation after another.

Sunday, 24 June 2018

Archive Tape Digging: June 2018


I started the month with no new video tapes to look at and a slight sense of apathy seeping into my television archaeology exploits, but the month ended quite spectacularly. Not only have I now got an improved VHS player, I've also managed to uncover my oldest footage yet.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

I Watched a Complete 1985 Edition of Saturday Superstore and Made Extensive Notes


If you were young at some point between 1974 and the early 2000s then there's a good chance you would have watched a Saturday morning children's TV show along the lines of Tiswas, Multi-Coloured Swap Shop, Saturday Superstore, Going Live, Motormouth, Ghost Train, Live and Kicking, The 8.15 from Manchester etc. In fact, there's more than a good chance you watched these as they were on for around three and a bit hours every single Saturday morning.

Monday, 4 June 2018

I, Lovett


It’s thanks to inventors and their unique innovations that we live such a blessed life in the 21st century. Take the light bulb, for example, just how amazing is that? And it's all thanks to one man: Thomas Edison. In fact, there's an almost endless list of inventors such as John Logie Baird, Alexander Graham Bell and Nikola Tesla who have all made an indelible impact on society. However, just how many people have heard of inventor extraordinare Norman Lovett? That’s right, hardly anyone, but if you want to know a little more, maybe you should look at I, Lovett.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Father Matthew's Daughter


Clerical celibacy is an absolute prerequisite when it comes to being ordained as a Roman Catholic priest; the objective of this celibacy is to help the clergy focus their energies on serving God. Now, if you ever attended biology lessons, then you should be able to do the maths (or should that be biology?) and realise that priests can never father children of their own. However, this clerical celibacy doesn’t mean that a priest can’t become a father in familial terms. It’s perfectly possible, but the relationship just needs a little tinkering as seen in Father Matthew’s Daughter.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Pyjamarama


Stand-up comedy has become more and more ubiquitous as the 21st century has unfolded, particularly on television. In fact, it seems that it’s almost impossible to flick through the channels these days and not come across either a stand-up showcase or a panel show packed full of stand-ups. Jump in a time machine and head back three and a half decades, though, and you’ll discover a very different landscape for comedy.

Aside from The Wheeltappers and Shunters Social Club and The Comedians, fully fledged television platforms for stand-ups were rare. And stand-ups weren’t even called stand-ups then, they were just comedians. It was never seen as a career either – the modern age now offers degrees in stand-up comedy – and many of the stars of the circuit just fell into it in between jobs.

However, the alternative comedy boom promoted a new interest in comedy and, with the establishment of The Comedy Store in Soho in 1979, a whole new raft of exciting comedians began to enter the fray. And showcasing this burgeoning scene was Pyjamarama.

Hancock's


Hancock’s Half Hour was the first modern sitcom and, consequently, it turned Tony Hancock into the first star of British sitcom. With his hangdog expression and downtrodden personality, he encapsulated everything that, even to this day, is painfully funny about being British. As is well known, the tragedy that played out at 23 Railway Cuttings, East Cheam was refracted into an even more sorrowful angle in Hancock’s personal life. Spiralling into a destructive alcoholism, Hancock committed suicide in June 1968 while living in Sydney, Australia. His relocation to Antipodean climes had been a disastrous attempt to re-ignite his career in Hancock Down Under, but his final British TV series had aired a year previously in the guise of Hancock’s.

Saturday, 5 May 2018

The Mad Death: DVD Review


Packed full of tension, The Mad Death is a chilling, disturbing watch and, after watching it, one that ensures you'll never stroke a dog in the same way again. Not seen on British TV screens since the mid 1980s, The Mad Death is finally available on DVD for the first time through Simply Media.

First transmitted in July 1983 on BBC1, The Mad Death was a three-part drama series which examined the impact of a rabies outbreak in Britain. Based on Nigel Slater's novel of the same name, The Mad Death tapped into a contemporary fear of rabies. Despite Britain being declared rabies free since 1922, the ominous threat of the disease still hung heavy in the air due to the risk posed by animals imported from the continent. Helping to instill fear into the hearts of millions, numerous public information films were released throughout the 1970s and 80s to warn about the horrors of rabies.  

The Mad Death, however, manages to trump all of these with a disturbing ease.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

The Price: DVD Review


A thrilling game of cat and mouse, The Price is a drama which grasps political ideologies, romantic discord and the pursuit of happiness close to its chest. Unrelenting in its analysis of relationships and the seismic impact of wealth upon British society, 1985's The Price radiates with a vitality and thrust that many a mini-series has failed to maintain. And, as luck would have it, this gripping narrative has finally received a commercial release on DVD through Simply Media.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

Archive Tape Digging: April 2018


I haven't been digging through too many tapes over the last few months, but I've still managed to work my way through several hundred metres worth of magnetic tape. And, with it being such a harmless pursuit, who would possibly want to break a butterfly on a wheel? So, that's why I've managed to gather together a few curiosities for you to gaze upon and get terribly nostalgic over.

Monday, 2 April 2018

John Lennon: A Journey in the Life


Ever since The Beatles first burst into the public's consciousness in 1962, there has been an enduring interest in John, Paul, George and Ringo thanks to the the manner in which they redefined modern culture and conveyed a sense of togetherness to millions. John Lennon, as anyone who's ever listened to a note of music knows, departed the stage far earlier than anyone would wish, but his legacy lives on as the finest encore imaginable. John Lennon: A Journey in the Life may not add anything new to Lennon's legend, but it maintains the absorbing appeal of the man and is a must watch for any fan.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Threads: Remastered DVD Review


Threads is one of the most fantastic slices of British television ever transmitted, but it's also one that will bring you to your knees and leave your soul battered and bruised for days afterwards.

Originally broadcast in September 1984 on BBC2, Threads is a drama-documentary which presents a disturbing look at the effects of a nuclear attack on Britain. Taking its title from the threads which hold society together, Threads examines the catastrophic events that unfold as these threads are ripped to pieces.

Focussing on the fortunes (or rather devastating misfortunes) of Ruth Beckett (Karen Meagher), Threads tells Ruth's tale as she stumbles first from unplanned pregnancy to the crippling ordeal of a nuclear winter. Providing a broader analysis on the impact of nuclear weapons falling on the UK, Threads uses a mixture of onscreen updates and statistics alongside the dulcet, yet academic tones of Paul Vaughan's narration.

And, now, after undergoing a 2K restoration from the original 16mm prints, Threads has been remastered for DVD by Simply Media in a two-disc release. Whereas previous DVD releases have, in terms of features, been as stark as the content within Threads, this new release is everything that fans have been waiting for. Comprising interviews, cast and crew commentaries along with original Radio Times articles and letters, it's an exhaustive run through the film's history.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Benny


I’ve only been able to track down two episodes of Benny, but those two episodes contain a measure of violence and terror which are in stark contrast to its beautiful Cambridge surroundings.

Monday, 5 February 2018

The Loner


Les Dawson may be synonymous with mother-in-law jokes, Blankety Blank and his performances with Roy Barraclough as Cissie and Ada, but, what he's less well known for, is his involvement in a narrative which examined corporate greed, gangland crime and a doomed romance which starts with congealed custard. Don't believe me? Well, let's take a look at The Loner.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Pygmalion Smith


If irrefutable proof was ever required that genius is not a guarantee of delivering a hilarious sitcom then Pygmalion Smith is a damning piece of evidence. And Pygmalion Smith is blessed with genius on two fronts: Roy Clarke on writing duties and Leonard Rossiter in front of the camera. Whilst Pygmalion Smith certainly isn’t bad enough to leave you weeping at the waste of talent, it won’t leave you laughing either.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Moondial


Moondial is a children's TV show which may leave you rather baffled as questions with no answers rain down on you like a summer storm, but you can rest assured that this irked puzzlement will take place from behind the sofa. You see, from the cold opening sequence with its cacophony of haunted, otherworldly tones to the creepy Halloween finale, Moondial is real horrorshow. Founding its narrative in a good old fashioned ghost story, Moondial taps into that area of the brain which operates purely on instinct and won't rest until every square inch of your body is covered in goosebumps.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Want to Be Part of the Video Tape Swap Club?


Netflix is a wonderful marvel of modern entertainment which provides hundreds of thousands of hours worth of visual delights with just a few swipes of a screen. Apparently. I've only used it a few times, so can't really comment on the stranglehold it has over our modern viewing habits.

I do, however, absolutely love the rich history of British TV. I also adore the nostalgic thrill of wading through old VHS tapes to discover the home recordings which may be lurking within. So, why don't I try to combine these two passions? Well, I already do and my Archive Tape Digging articles are testament to this hobby obsession.

However, what I'd really love to do is create something which is a little more communal, so that's why I've dreamt up the Video Tape Swap Club. And, no, it's nothing like Blockbusters. Or even LoveFilm. Instead, the Video Tape Swap Club will provide a curiously analog alternative to Netflix with all the mystery and excitement of a lucky dip down on the village green.

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Kazuko's Karaoke Klub


When you watch Kazuko's Karaoke Klub you have to wonder exactly what Channel 4 executives were smoking in the late 1980s. Sure, the channel was a much needed beacon for the alternative and the strange and, in a trashy way, this continues with shows such as Naked Attraction. However, whereas Naked Attraction, serves up some mild titillation (no, I'm not going to apologise for the pun) that taps into our base instincts, Kazuko's Karaoke Klub is very much the kind of television that leaves you as bewildered as an aging aunt confronted with a new TV remote.

Friday, 5 January 2018

Whatever You Want


Whatever You Want is thrilling, agitated, rock and roll, hilarious and out to prove a point. It's the kind of television that the British youth had been waiting for in 1982, a soapbox for them to investigate and discuss the issues affecting a Britain gripped by unemployment figures tipping over the three million mark. With an acerbic brand of journalism forming the show's background, it's presented by the unpredictable, forthright stylings of Keith Allen. Whatever You Want is also a disjointed melange of viewpoints, moods and styles.