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.

96 thoughts on “About

  1. I have recently learned that for head of BBC children’s programme Edward Barnes has died, aged 92.

    He was best remembered for his work on Blue Peter and Swap Shop, and also devised Newsround.


  2. I noticed that you recently featured “Strange Report” in your Twitter posts. Does that mean we can soon look forward to some reviews here?


  3. I would like to say a few words about the late Christopher Wenner. I read that he was dropped from Blue Peter because he was unpopular with viewers, but I couldn’t understand that. Simon Groom was visibly nervous when he started on Blue Peter, but Christopher Wenner was very natural from his first programme as presenter.

    (In the Blue Peter 50th anniversary book they mentioned something about embarrassing disco dancing. That was on his first show as presenter, and he was actually quite good at it. And disco dancing is a bit naff anyway.)

    Before he was a Blue Peter presenter he was a water ski instructor, and his first appearance on Blue Peter was a piece of film where he gave Lesley Judd a water skiing lesson.

    And of course he made the legendary Star Wars Stew for Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher.

    His last regular appearance was on Tina Heath’s last programme, and unlike her departure it was a complete surprise. He wasn’t mentioned in Blue Peter’s review of 1980. (likewise Michael Sundin wasn’t mentioned in the review of 1985.) He did make guest appearances on the 25th and 40th anniversary programmes, and got a mention in the documentary for the 50th anniversary.

    I wasn’t surprised to hear that he’d died. I recently read on Wikpedia that he’d undergone treatment for throat cancer, and he did look worse for wear in the recent photograph. (Was he a smoker? When Simon Groom showed viewers how to make a key ring/pen holder to give someone for a Christmas present, Chris said it could also be used for penknives or lighters.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Christopher Wenner also came back to Blue Peter a second time in 1998, as one of the ex presenters who took part in that year’s panto ‘Back In Time’.

      I’ve noticed something that I might find a bit alarming if I was Peter Duncan. Maybe this is a bit of a weird thing, but I have always divided up Blue Peter presenters by which ‘ilneage’ they were in, based on who they replaced. For example Simon Groom replaced Peter Purves who replace Christopher Trace, so they all form part of the same lineage, which I think of as the Trace line. Now if we look instead at the Noakes line we see that John Noakes (who was taken on as a third presenter and didn’t replace anyone) was replaced by Christopher Wenner who was replaced by Peter Duncan, who took a year out and was temporarily replaced by Michael Sundin before being eventually replaced by Caron Keating, who was replaced by Diane-Louise Jordan who was replaced by Romana D’Annunzio who was replaced by Konnie Huq (who left unreplaced, ending the line). Apart from the line mostly containing a combination of very short-lived presenters and very long-lasting ones, it also now contains four of the five deceased presenters, and three of them have died before their time from Cancer, all of which is a bit spooky. In comparison the Trace line is only missing Trace himself, and the Williams line is fully intact so to speak. So is the Noakes line cursed, and should Peter Duncan be worried?


      • For a series that’s being going for as long as it has it’s remarkable that most of the forty presenters are still alive. Four of the presenters who’ve died died of cancer.


    • His first appearance on Blue Peter was the water-skiing film. In the first Blue Peter Book to feature Chris Wenner (number sixteen) there’s an article called How I Came Aboard


  4. There are 51 editions of Radio Times every year, unless it’s a year beginning on a Sunday or a leap year beginning on a Saturday when there are 52 editions.


  5. You didn’t do a look back for 18th of January, which I believe was the anniversary of the first edition of Blankety Blank. (Two days after part one of Life on Earth.)

    Not that I blame you for not doing it. I watched the first edition of Blankety Blank when it was first shown and instantly wished I hadn’t. What made matters worse was on the following day we had an O-level geography lesson interrupted when the headmmaster got the class to take part in a questionaire. We were asked questions such as how many times we’d been abroad (none), and what we liked to watch on tv. And one of the questions was what we watched the previous evening, and I had to admit that I watched Blankety Blank.

    The best guest they had on Blankety Blank was Spike Milligan because he gave stupid answers.


  6. I noticed that one of your twitter postings was an item from Look-In on Michael Bentine’s Potty Time. This series was originally shown at lunchtimes on ITV’s young children’s slot. But it was wasted in that slot so they later repeated them as double bills on the main children’s slot. (It was the only ITV children’s show I watched at the time.)

    The picture in the article is from the Treasure Island parody. As in the book the three surviving pirates get left behind on the island. One of them asks what they’re going to do on the island, and Michael Bentine gives them a gramaphone and some records, and then the pirates fight over which record they’re going to play. I wonder how many children got the Desert Island Discs reference.

    The Pottys first appeared on a BBC show called Michael Bentine Time. There was one series, shown once, autumn of 1972, and then the whole series was wiped. The show consisted of a couple of slots with the Pottys, unusual inventions in Yesterday’s World, the flea circus, and a sketch at the end where a couple of children in the audience took part.

    In the last sketch the children had a go at being army cooks, waiters, spies, farmers, veterinary nurses (with Peter Glaze as the vet), and in one episode they had a go at being astronauts, and unlike the other careers items this was played straight. (Colin Bean from Dad’s Army was a;so a guest on one of the programmes.)


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