Hello.  Welcome to my blog about British archive television.  This will highlight programmes I’ve been watching whilst my Twitter feed – embedded in the blog and also directly accessable via @archivetvmus71 – contains many more archive treats.

The posts are broken up into categories (by decade and type – comedy, drama, etc).  You can also explore via the tags lower down the page.  Many of the programmes which have multiple posts can also be accessed via the top of the main menu (BBC/ITV/Christmas TV/Doctor Who/Grange Hill).

These top menu options have the posts re-arranged from oldest to newest (WordPress blogs display the newest posts by default).  So if you’re looking to read about, say, The Day of the Triffids episode by episode, then selecting it via the BBC button next to the Home button is the best option – since the posts will be in the correct order!

If you notice any broken links or have any comments or suggestions then please leave a message on the relevant post or drop me an email at archivetvmusings@gmail.com

I also have a theatre related blog at Theatre Musings.

184 thoughts on “About

  1. He didn’t remember the umbrella stand.

    Not long after that episode of The Generation Game was broadcast I went to the cinema to see the children’s film Bedknobs and Broomsticks in which Bruce Forsyth threatens a child with a knife. (The storyline of the film is completely different to the book.)

    There was one series of The Generation Game where in the last edition the conveyor belt broke down, so they had to get the stagehands to carry the prizes. Anthe Redfern was carrying one of the prizes, and the announcer said “Anthea Redfern.”. And when Bruce walked past with a prize he looked at the audience and rolled his eyes as if to say “Fancy doing this for a living.”.

    There was another edition when one of the prizes went past and the announcer said “I don’t know what that is.”.

    But the most notorious incident with the conveyor belt was on his last series in 1977. At the beginning of the programme he read out a letter from a viewer who said that every week they (like my family) would try and guess what the cuddly toy was going to be on the conveyor belt. And the youngest child always said it was going to be a gorilla, but so far it hasn’t been. So Bruce told the little girl to stay tuned to see if it will be a gorilla this week.

    But then during the last game the transmission stopped partway through the Brother Lees’ drag act, and the BBC were unable to show the rest of the programme that night, or that night’s edition of The Two Ronnies, and instead they put on some rubbishy film.

    The rest of the programme was shown on the New Year’s Eve compilation programme, and it was a toy gorilla on the conveyor belt. But what should have happened was Bruce Forsyth would read out the latter at the beginning of the programme and that week’s soft toy would be a gorilla. But the break in transmission killed the joke.

    But that evening there was a music evening at our church. We decided we’d rather stay at home and watch tv, but the tv went pear-shaped, and the following morning my mum found out that we’d missed a good evening at the church.

    The following year my mum went to the music evening with my brother and sister, and my brother said it was dreadful. He said the entertainment was dreadful and the refreshments served in the interval was puke.

    Of course by that time The Generation Game was hosted by Larry Grayson who I thought was better the Bruce Forsyth. Jim Davidson was a disaster.


  2. **** spoiler ****

    Re: the Sherlock Holmes clip. This is an adaptation of the first Sherlock Holmes story, A Study in Scarlet, first published in Strand Magazine in 1887. Sherlock Holmes investigates the scene of the crime where someone has written “RACHE” on the wall. The police think some was trying to write the name Rachel, but Sherlock Holmes knows it’s the German word for revenge.

    In the first episode of the Benedict Cumberbatch series Sherlock, A Study in Pink, one of the police officers thinks that someone wrote the German word for revenge on the wall, but Sherlock knows it was some trying to write Rachel.


  3. Regarding yesterday’s postings. I was going to ask what the design was on the tv presenters’ tee-shirts. (From the day’s when children’s tv shows were children’s tv shows and small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri were small furry creatures from Alpha Centauri.) I thought it might be Comic Relief tee-shirts but then it was too early for Comic Relief because Sarah Greene’s hairstyle is the one she had when she was on Blue Peter.

    But actually I think the design is the balloon motif that replaced the jigsaw pieces as the BBC children’s television ident before the short lived computer graphics. (And the reason the computer graphics were short-lived was because in the mid-eighties they started doing the Broom Cupboard. Blue Peter ran a competition to design computer graphics for the links on children’s tv, but then they weren’t used for very long because they started doing the Broom Cupboard.)

    I didn’t know there was a tv version of Paper Moon. I think it was in colour, whereas of course the original film was, like The Last Picture Show, shot in black and white to give it a period feel. The tv series was shown on tv before the film version. (I think the same is true of M*A*S*H.)

    My brother and I watch the first screening of Paper Moon on British television on the Sunday the week before Christmas Eve 1978 on the black and white television. It was something of a guilty pleasure as it had rude words in it. Paper Moon is fifty years old next year, and is one of the films which I’ve seen on tv but would like to see on the big screen.


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