Friday 22 December 2023

New Print Article: The Birth of Teletext

A year on from my last published article, I’m back in the pages of Best of British with The Birth of Teletext.

Ever since I first laid eyes on Pages from Ceefax back in the mid-1980s, I’ve been a little obsessed with teletext. We didn’t actually get a teletext television set until 1997, so it always felt like an exciting world of information which was just out of reach. Sure, I used to see it at friends’ houses, as we caught up on the football news and played Bamboozle, but I couldn’t get my teeth stuck into it.

Saturday 16 December 2023

All the Slices of Archive TV Christmas Footage I've Found

Christmas television has always been a landmark event. Or, at least, it always was. These days, scanning through the Christmas issue of the Radio Times with a highlighter is more a novelty than a necessity. Times change, and so do our viewing habits. But, luckily, old video tapes full of home recordings offer up a fossilised view of the way it once was. And, as I've been scanning through old video tapes for seven years now, I've found more than my fair share of Christmas TV footage.

Now, I could show you the various repeats of the 1977 Christmas edition of The Morecambe and Wise Show alongside Blackadder's Christmas Carol and The Snowman, but they're currently all being shown 24/7 on some digital channel somewhere. So, instead, I've decided to gather together all the ephemeral slices of archive TV Christmas I've found over the years. Some are fascinating, all of them are intriguing, and it's unlikely you would have seen any of them since they were originally broadcast.

Saturday 2 December 2023

Philip Schofield's Final Day on Children's BBC

2023 was a disastrous year for Philip Schofield's television career and private life, and it remains to be seen whether he'll ever return to our screens again. However, back in 1987, life for Schofield was very different. Following two years presenting the Broom Cupboard sections for Children's BBC, he had quickly risen from an unknown into the hot future of British television. Going Live! was just around the corner and, by the 1990s, Philip would be cemented as part of the lineup of British television's primetime schedules. But what happened on his final stint in the Broom Cupboard?