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.

338 thoughts on “About

  1. Rod Hull had eclectic taste in television. And not only that he like lots of different types of programmes. Emu’s Broadcasting Company was his best contribution to television. One of the most post-modern things I ever saw on tv was on that series of EBC. They did a parody of of Ask Aspel called Ask Emu and the guest on ask Emu was – Michael Aspel. On the real Ask Aspel they always showed a clip of the guest’s tv show, so when Michael Aspel was the guest on Asl Emu they showed a clip of – Ask Aspel. And they showed a clip of the edition of Ask Aspel where the guests were – Rod Hull and Emu.

    Mind you, there was a bit of a sore point. When that edition of Ask Aspel was on we were on holiday and I wanted to get back to the chalet in time for Ask Aspel but my dad wanted to make the most of the day out. I wanted to see to see it because firstly Rod Hull and Emu were on it, and secondly I was hoping they’d show a clip of Yellow Submarine which the BBC put on the previous week. And when EBC did Ask Emu they showed the clip of Ask Aspel with Emu beating up Michael Aspel while he was trying to introduce the last clip, and it was a clip from Yellow Submarine. When I went back to school our first English homework assignment was to write an essay about something we did in the holidays. I did not write about the family holiday.

    About a couple of weeks before the final Dad’s Army was broadcast there was a letter in Radio Times from a former Home Guard captain who said that Dad’s Army made a mockery of the Home Guard. They got several letters from former Home Guardsmen who disagreed including one which they published which mentioned a couple of anecdotes from his Home Guard days, and a letter from someone who agreed with the original correspondent who described the Dad’s Army team as a bunch of refugees from the Crazy Gang. (No relation.) And the letters editor said that that Sunday’s edition of Dad’s Army would be the last one, which was the first I’d heard that Dad’s Army was ending.

    One of your correspondents said that John Le Mesurier looked unwell. He had been ill before the last series was made, but he lived another six years. Edward Sinclair who played Mr Yateman died before the last series was broadcast. Arnold Ridley didn’t do as much of the action, in the first episode, Wake Up Walmington, he holds the fort while the rest of the platoon go on manouvers. James Beck was long gone, although he does appear in the closing credits.

    I thought the toast at the end of the programme was a good ending. (Although the last series of The Good Life a few months earlier also ended with the main character proposing a toast.) Did anyone else notice Private Pike choking on his champagne.


  2. Fifteen years before breakfast television BBC and ITV werre on early for the results of the United States Presidential Election. Nixon won.

    This week’s Jackanory was a non-fiction story. Edward de Souza reads the hisory of the motor car.

    Hector’s House was awful.

    I remember Little Big Time. I remember Freddie Garrity as a children’s tv presenter and didn’t find out that he was a pop singer until much later.

    Opportunity Knocks. Those were the days.

    Where were they then? Before she was on Crackerjack Jan Hunt was one of the Bow Belles on The Good Old Days.

    I would have seen that night’s episode of The Avengers when Channel 4 showed them in the nineties. ITV were still showing late night repeats of the Tara King episodes of The Avengers in 1974, five years after the series finished, and two years before The New Avengers.


  3. The newspaper cutting was from 1969, not 1968. (We did 1968 yesterday. Make sure you do 1970 tomorrow.)

    BBC1 and ITV had just under a week to go before they started broadcasting in colour. Intriguingly the story on that day’s Play School, Dark is Beautiful by Jill Tomlinson, was the same story that was on the programme one year and one day earlier.

    Pogle’s Wood was the Pig in the Middle episode. Two of the boys playing pig in the middle were Oliver Postgate’s twin sons Simon and Stephen.

    I do remember that week’s Jackanory. Larry Parker read his own Clown Stories, funny true stories about life with a travelling circus. The programmes included a clown act.

    Hattytown Tales was one of Ivor Wood’s lesser know contributions to television. I din’t know it was in colour until decades later.

    I never liked Lost in Space. I once went to a friend’s party, and during the party they put on the tv to watch Lost in Space. (At our parties we didn’t have the tv on on principle.) They had a colour tv but Lost in Space was in black and white. A younger girl got scared and wanted to leave the room and said “I don’t like Doctor Smith.”. “Yes, you do.” replied the host. No she didn’t! I’d never been so bored at a party before. But I have since.

    About twenty years later Channel 4 showed Lost in Space. Some of my colleagues, who took every opportunity to say how much they hated Doctor Who, raved about Lost in Space. It could be the childhood nostalgia thing. Doctor Who continued after they outgrew it, while Lost in Space only ran for a short time. But some things I watched and enjoyed as a child I find don’t stand up well now. Banana Splits for example.

    BBC2 was already getting into world cinema with a season of French films. This week it was Lola Montes. According to Radio Times “Max Ophuls’s last film was savagely cut when it was first released in Britain. The version screened tonight has all the flashbacks in the correct order and is the longest print in existence.”. A true rarity. The next week it was Jules et Jim.


  4. Oops! You’ve done 1969 again. If you’d done the tv listings for 8th of November 1970 you would have had the day The Goodies started. But as you downloaded a clip of the first episode I can still tell you about the second time I saw it.

    I didn’t watch the first series of The Goodies when it was first shown because it was on too late, but I saw the repeats on BBC1 the following summer.

    The second time I saw it was at an event to celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of The Goodies. At Cult TV Weekend 2000 I had the good luck to sit next to the young lady who organised this event. She came to Cult tv Weekend because Bill Oddie was one of the guests, and his panel was the highpoint of the weekend.

    And two weeks later we met in a pub in Cricklewood where we watched The Tower of London, The Playgirl Club which only exists in black and white, Radio Goodies the last episode of the first series, Big Bunny from the 1973 series, South Africa a satire on racism that was banned for being racist, Goodies Rule OK, and String. We would have watched Fifties Revival, Goodies Almost Live and one of the ITV episodes but we ran out of time. I can’t remember whether or not we saw Ecky Thump, but we didn’t watch Kitten Kong or Goodies and the Beanstalk because they were already available on video.

    The second and third episodes of The Goodies, Snooze and Give Police a Chance, were shown at Cult TV Weekend 1997. I later attended the two Goodies events at the Prince Charles Cinema to tie in with the releases of the DVDs. At the first one they showed Saturday Night Grease and Kitten Kong, and at the second they showed Movies, appropriately enough, and Bunfight at the OK Tearoom. Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie came to both events and answered questions from the audience, and I got their autographs at the first one.


  5. 8th of November 1969 was the last time that Grandstand, Star Trek, Dixon of Dock Green, and Match of the Day were shown in black and white. The Harry Secombe Show was previously shown on BBC2, so that would have been made in colour.

    It’s a shame the colour tv didn’t start a week earlier, because then The Festival of Remembrance would have been in shown colour.

    Star Trek was What Are Little Girls Made of which was written by Robert Bloch who wrote the novel Psycho was based on, and the guest cast included Ted Cassidy from The Addams Family. The first episode shown in colour was Arena where Ted Cassidy did the voice of the Gorn (the lizard creature).

    I have seen a clip of One Pair of Eyes with Patrick Moore speaking to a man who speaks Venusian.

    I would like to have seen a picture of Nerys Hughes in Doctor Who: Kinda. I liked her character in Doctor Who, but hated her character in Torchwood. From the Heart.

    Which film did the picture of Leslie Phillips with Bob Monkhouse, Shirley Eaton and Dora Brian come from. They Carry Ons that Leslie Phillips was in, and the other early Carry Ons are the ones that stand up best today. He said hios catchphrase “Ding dong!” originated in Carry On Nurse. In Carry On Cowboy Sid James tells Belle her ding has lost its dong, and in Carry on Doctor the nurse tells Bernard Breslaw that if he needs the toilet he should ring for a bedpan, to which he sarcastically replies “Ding dong.”. Carry On Doctor also has an oblique reference to the punchline of Carry On Nurse.

    I reckon you could have made a fortune in 1961 selling sepia coloured filters for people to put over their tv screens during particularly dramatic moments in Coronation Street. Failing that try watching it through a ginger beer bottle.

    I saw the first Please Sir! on TV Heaven. A lot of people’s only experience of Please Sir! is the much repeated film version.

    The Two Ronnies sketch was a good one, but for years I’ve thought it was Ronnie Barker as the stall holder and Ronnie Corbett as the customer.

    On the 8th of October 1970 George Baker was in the first episode of The Goodies. On 8th of October 1976 he was in I Claudius. On 8th of October 1980 he was in Doctor Who: Full Circle.


    • Was George Baker on the first Blankety Blank? I seem to remember him telling Terry Wogan about his make-up job on his last appearance in I Claudius. He said they used old cornflakes for the scabs.


  6. The Young Ones started forty years ago today.

    There used to be a sketch show called A Kick Up the Eighties which wasn’t very good apart from the Kevin Turvey Slot. He was played by Rik Mayall but was billed as Kevin Turvey. During the early autumn of 1982 he had his own one-off programme, and again he was billed as Kevin Turvey. And shortly after that there was a trailer on BBC2 for a one series called the Young Ones. One of the four people was the actor who played Kevin Turvey. One of the characters introduced himself as Neil and said that the other four were Vyvyan, Mike, and the one who looked like Kevin Turvey was called Rick.

    The day the second programme was broadcast, it was a Tuesday, it was sausages for dinner, and plants and goldfish, and it was also the day I had no lectures at college in the afternoon so I came home at lunchtime. On the bus home I saw a friend who also went to the college and told him The Young Ones was on that evening. He said some of his friends saw it and said it was really ******. But he did see it later and liked it.

    The next day I asked the other students saw it, and one said angrily that I’d better not have been watching that rubbishy play about that family. He was referring to that week’s Play For Today which about a young man whose parents had died and was now acting as legal guardian to his teenage brothers. But the next week he did watch The Young Ones and he hated it because there was a bit where it suddenly cut to a scene with two crooners playing golf which had nothing to do with the main story.

    Another friend who was a Madness fan only watched the episode with Madness in it and hated the rest of the programme. But she did watch Bambi round our house when we put The Great Rock n Roll Swindle on for her and my brother had recorded the Young Ones episode on the same tape.

    The first series was repeated very quickly, in the spring of 1983. The second series came in the spring of 1984. The Young Ones were on the cover of Radio Times, but disappointingly there was only a single page article about the programme where the reporter explained how he failed to get an interview with the cast and crew. All twelve episodes were repeated in 1985.

    It was during that time that my parents celebrated their silver wedding anniversary. At the end of the party there were a few guests left, my godmother, my godfather and his wife, and my sisters godfather and his wife. I asked them what was the worst programme on television. (The correct answer was The Price Is Right, this was before Blind Date ruined our lives forever.) And my sister’s godfather’s wife said it was that programme my godmother’s youngest daughter watches. And I knew she meant The Young Ones. Talk about way off the mark. The Young Ones was the comedy series of the eighties.

    I seem to have talked more about people who didn’t like The Young Ones than who did. I used to subscribe to a cult tv fanzine, and we used to have an opinion poll each year. For the 1989 opinion poll there was a vote for best tv programme of the 1980s, and Doctor Who and the Young Ones tied for first place. Which is as it should be.


  7. I’ve just learned some sad news. Garry Roberts, the guitarist in the Boomtown Rats, had died

    The edition of Top of the Pops broadcast 44 years ago today was the week that Rat Trap was at number two. My fondest memory of Top of the Pops was on the following week’s edition when the Rats ripped up John Travolta posters.

    There was a competition on the New Year edition of Swap Shop where the prize was a selection of number one records from 1978, and the question was “How many weeks was Summer Nights at number one?”. And somebody wrote in and said “Too many.”.


    • Rat Trap getting to number one was a turning point, as it marked the new wave finally getting into the mainstream. The following year we had Ian Dury and the Blockheads at number one, Blondie at number one, Tubeway Army at number one, the Police at number one.


  8. I don’t think they’d get away with the House of Lords sketch today. One of the girls mentioned Alec Douglas Home who was still alive at the time.

    The people who made Sounds of the Sixties and Sounds of the Seventies made a series called Sounds of the Eighties. The programme on heavy rock included too many clips of the Smith and Jones sketch parodying Pop Quiz, a clip of Tim Rice on the real Pop Quiz, and three clips from Juke Box Jury, a one off edition hosted by David Jacobs, the new series with Jools Holland, and the doctored clip of the sixties episode from Alexi Sayle’s Stuff.

    The programme with David McCallum, his wife Jill Ireland, and Nina and Frederik is one of the few surviving editions of Juke Box Jury which is why that;s the one that always pops up in nostalgia fests. (Even the one with the Beatles is missing.)

    Mary, Mungo and Malcolm Muggeridge. Steptoe and Son was the second episode of the series. They were on the cover of the previous week’s Radio Times. Guests on Call My Bluff included Dave Allen and Susan Stranks. (I wonder if she still lives with Itsy and Bitsy.) Girls About Town might have been watching to see Julie Stevens and Denise Coffey in twenties outfits. (And that’s something that’s changed its meaning recently.)

    Tonight’s prizes on Blankety Blank are a self surgery kit, an alarm clock that wakes you up by pouring boiling water over your hand when you try to turn it off, and a computer that doesn’t work.


  9. The other day I logged off before you put up your goodnight pic. I enjoyed The Beiderbecke Affair, but I didn’t like The Beiderbecke Tapes, but I did like The Beiderbecke Connection. So if they repeated the series I would have watched the first series again, skipped the second and watched the third.

    As mentioned I used to subscribe to a cult tv fanzine. Sometimes the editor would print the tv ratings which I always found boring. (And newspaper cuttings in fanzines generally.) But this listing from 1980 was interesting in that it showed that BBC managed to beat Coronation Street with a gentle sitcom, a US import and a popular quiz show. This was before the BBC fought dirty by fighting Coronation Street with EastEnders.

    Where the Triffid props used in Alexi Sayle’s Stuff the same ones from the BBC’s adaptation of Day of the Triffids?

    June Whitfield appeared in at least three Tony Hancock episodes. She was in The Alpine Holiday, she was the nurse in The Blood Donor, and she was almost unrecognisable as an intellectual in the dating episode. But who is the other man in the picture with her and Ronnie Barker. I saw the colour remake of the first episode of The Glumms on Bruce’s Big Night. Ron and Eth were played by Ian Lavender and Patricia Brake, who funnily enough played Ronnie Barker’s daughter in Porridge and Going Straight.

    John Esmonde and Bob Larby wrote three sitcoms for Richard Briers, The Good Life, The Other One and Ever Decreasing Circles. And The Other One was the other one.

    I never followed Auf Wiedersen Pet. Shortly after the first series I went to a friend’s party, and after we sang Happy Birthday, and he cut the cake and pended his present the DJ put on That’s Living Alright by Joe Fagin which I thought was scraping the barrel.


  10. Fifty-one years ago yesterday I watched mostly children’s BBC.

    Jackanory was Ann Bell reading When Marnie Was There by Joan G Robinson which was later made into an animated film by Studio Gibli. I remember Gold on Crow Mountain. It was one of those foreign serials with a British actor (in this case Colin Jeavons) narrating in English.

    Screen Test showed clips from four films, but Radio Times only gave details of three. This week it was The Barefoot Executive with Wally Cox, Scrooge (too early), and Pinocchio. Before they took over the Young Film Makers’ Competition, Screen Test used to have a Behind the Scenes slot, and this week it was an interview with a stills photographer.

    ITV’s alternative was Tottering Towers which featured a very young Tom Owen who died recently.

    I never followed Star Trek until 1992 when BBC showed them for the first time in the correct running order, and showed the episodes that hadn’t been shown before because the BBC thought they were too kinky. And after that Run of Star Trek finished the BBC resumed Star Trek: The Next Generation which I watched, and when that finished they went back to the beginning so I caught up with the episodes I missed.

    To tie in with Miss World 1971 there was an article in Radio Times called Just Forget Women’s Lib. Who can forget the previous year’s contest? The last time I went to the cinema I saw Misbehaviour which was a drama about feminist protesters invading the 1970 Miss World Contest. Jennifer Hosten, who was crowned Miss World 1970, and appeared on the 1971 contest to hand over her crown, was played by Gugu Mbatha-Raw, a good actress, who played Tish Jones in Doctor Who.

    Fifty years ago yesterday I saw Dad’s Army: If the Cap Fits. That was the first series of Dad’s Army I watched.

    Fifty years ago today I saw Play Away with Roy Castle at my great-aunt’s house. This was the same great-aunt who got a colour tv before we did and let us watch The Waltons in colour, but she only had a black and white set at that time.

    I would have watched Mr Benn the Zookeeper on one of the later repeats, and I saw the Harlem Globetrotters cartoon when it was first shown on weekday television. The Generation Game was one of my regular programmes at the time.

    Fifty years ago tomorrow BBC2 showed Alistair Cook’s America which the programme featured on that week’s Radio Times.


  11. The Good Morning Picture is from It Started With Swap Shop. On August Bank Holiday Monday 1996 the BBC broadcast Multi-Coloured Saturdays to mark the twentieth anniversary of Swap Shop. And on the day after Boxing Day 2006 the celebrated Swap Shop’s thirtieth anniversary with It Started With Swap Shop. (Maggie Philbin declined to appear in the twentieth anniversary programme.)

    In 2006 BBC2 did a programme celebrating The Goodies which was done in front of a studio audience, but it wasn’t very good. But the format was much better suited to the programme celebrating Multi-Coloured Swap Shop and its successors.

    The late Off they Telly website pointed out that It Started With Swap Shop really only went as far as Multi-Coloured Saturdays. Multi-Coloured Saturdays finished with a clip from the most recent Live and Kicking, Andi Peters’ last one. It Started With Swap Shop spoke to Mike Read, Sarah Greene and Philip Schofield, Trevor and Simon, and Emma Forbes and Andi Peters. But they didn’t speak to Zoe Ball and Jamie Theakston, and glossed over the later years of Live and Kickingand the programmes that came after. In 1996 Live and Kicking was still going strong, by 2006 Saturday morning tv had gone downhill drastically.

    Swap Shop’s original phone number was 01 288 8055.


  12. Oh no. The tv listing is in fact from Thursday 8th of November 1973.

    Highpoints on Monday the 12th of November 1973 included a Panorama interview with Princess Anne and Captain Mark Philips who got married two days later. And Blue Peter paid a visit to Westminster Abbey to show how the wedding would be televised. Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phllips were the cover starts of both Radio and TV Times that week.

    Jackanory was John Laurie reading The Princess and the Curdie by John Laurie.

    There was the Sykes episode uniform, one of a handful of episodes with Ronnie Brody as Mr Jenkins the postman. After a repeat of the pilot episode the previous week there was the second episode of Last of the Summer Wine.

    On BBC2 there was Reginald Perrin’s landlady’s favourites Alias Smith and Jones and Call My Bluff.

    There was Willy Russell’s first tv play King of the Castle, part of the Second City First series.

    There was also part five of Six of the Best in which Edwin Mullins had a look at six unusual museums in London. There was Apsley House, the home of the Duke of Wellington (I’ve been there), the Cricket Memorial Gallery at Lord’s, Leighton House (never been there), the Geffrye Museum (a very interesting museum which I’ve visited twice), that night’s programme on the Dulwich Picture Gallery (never been there), and The Horniman Museum where we went for our autumn term school outing that year.

    The best times to visit the Geffrye Museum are on a sunny day during the summer months when the gardens are open, and at Christmas, preferably during the Twelfth Night weekend.


  13. I like the way the goodnight video replays itself so that the Flintstones go to the drive-in movie and then see themselves going to the drive-in movie and so on.

    This must be from one of the early series. In the later series they pick up the Rubbles, and there were further versions where Pebbles and the Bam Bam where added.

    I did find The Flintstones rather old fashioned. I don’t mean because it was set in the stoneage, I found the sixties sitcom attitudes of the sixties were old fashioned even by the seventies.

    In 1994 there was a live action film of The Flintstone with John Goodman as Fred. The film began with a live action version of Fred clocking out of work and then taking his family and friends to the drive-in movie theatre to see the Flintstones film. And at the end of the film we saw them leaving the drive-in movie theatre, and the gag with Fred ordering over-sized ribs at a drive-in burger bar, and Fred putting the cat out and the cat putting him out.

    One of the things I liked in The Flintstones was the way they used animals as tools and machines. In the film they used a pig for a waste disposal unit. The waste disposal started making funny noises, and Fred pulled a fork out of its throat.

    Music played over the closing credits included the B-52’s (credited as the BC-52s) version of the Flintstones theme, and Green Jelly’s version of Anarchy in the UK rewritten as Anarchy in Bedrock.

    One of the items of merchandise that came off the back of the film was a comic strip version of the film. It looked like a 3-D comic, but if you looked through one lens you see pictures of the Flintstones characters based on the actors from the film, and if you look through the other lens you see the cartoon versions. It should have been an upside down-downside up book.

    One of the most bizarre items of tv merchandise was Chip Away from the seventies. It consisted of white plastic figures of Flintstones characters embedded in blocks of plaster of Paris. And you had to use the tiny hammer and chisel provided to chip away the plaster of Paris so it looked as if you were carving the models of the Flintstones.


  14. I liked the clip of The Three Musketeers, and I was pleased to see that all the episodes exist.

    I had a look at one of the Seaside Specials from 1978 with Ian Dury and the Blockheads singing What a Waste. That is a variety show.

    On 13th of November 1974 the BBC were doing a daytime rerun of the seven year old black and white The Forsyte Saga. (Not The Generation Game).

    The previous Wednesday the BBC finished a repeat run of The Little Princess starring Deborah Makepeace as Sara, and a week later she was in the new children’s serial Chinese Puzzle. She later played one of the nurses in Angels. The cast also included Michael Cronin who played Bullet Baxter in Grange Hill. The actor playing the Master was credited as Lee Wing, a subtle clue that he was the Wing Commander in disguise.

    Also on Children’s BBC, Jackanory was Ronald Pickup reading the horsey story The Moon on the Water by Nina Warner Hooke. I liked Yogi’s Gang because it had lots of characters from other cartoon shows, although some were unfamiliar to me at the time. A lot of people in my year at school dismissed Roobarb as a babies’ programme, but it was brilliant.

    On ITV there was Follow That Dog, a children’s comedy about a telepathic basset hound, which sounds intriguing but was probably rubbish. Bootsie and Snudge was a short-lived revival of the Army Game spin-off. Michael Cantaur was a profile of Michael Ramsey the 100th Archbishop of Canterbury who was about to stand down. His successor was Donald Coggan, who sounds like one of the Sex Pistols.

    Film trivia. The cat in The Incredible Shrinking Man (part of BBC1’s science fiction films season) was the same cat who played Holly Golightly’s cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Clips from Ken Loach’s Poor Cow (BBC2’s late film) were usedc as flashback sequences in the 1999 Terrence Stamp film The Limey.


  15. 14th of November 1976. I remember watching Tomfoolery on Sunday lunchtimes in 1977. The stars were the Enthusiastic Elephant, the Fizzgiggious Fish, the Scroobious Snake, the Umbrageous Umbrella-maker and the Yongy Bongy Bo, who were charcters in an alphabet poem by Edward Lear.

    But they could also have had the Absolutely Abstemious Ass, the Bountiful Beetle, the Comfortable Confidential Cow, the Dolomphious Duck, the Goodnatured Grey Gull (friend of the Old Owl), the Hasty Higgeldipiggledy Hen, the Inventive Indian (who caught a Remarkable Rabbit), the Judicious Jubilant Jay, the Kicking Kangaroo, the Lively Learned Lobster, the Melodious Meritorious Mouse, the Nutritious Newt, the Obsequious Ornamental Ostrich, the Perpendicular Purple Polly, the Queer Querulous Quail, the Rural Runcible Raven, the Tumultuous Tom-Tommy Tortoise, the Visibly Vicious Vulture, the Worrying Whizzing Wasp, the Excellent Double-extra XX imbibing King Xerxes, or Zigzag Zealous Zebra. (Edward Lear wrote several alphabet poems and X was always for King Xerxes.)

    I’ve never see School For Scoundrels. It was based on a series of books by Stephen Potter, which were later adapted into the tv series called Oneupmanship, written by Barry Took and starring Richard Briers. School For Scoundrels was directed by Robert Hamer who also directed Kind Hearts and Coronets.

    Oneupmanship also featured Donald Gee who appeared in On the Move with Bob Hoskins, and played Eckersley in Doctor Who: The Monstter of Peladon.

    I would have watched The Waltons. The Sunday serial was Katy but I wasn’t very keen on that. I definitely watched The Muppet Show with country singer Jim Nabors. The New Avengers was shown on weekdays in our region.

    You’ve downloaded strips from TV Tops, Look-In, TV Comic, TV-21, Lady Penelope, and Buddy. Which other comics do you have in your collection?


  16. ******* Hell, It’s Selwyn Froggitt.

    I mentioned Big John, Little John Before. Noah and Nelly was sublime.

    It was the last series of It Ain’t Half Hot Mum to feature Michael Bates. In this episode the find an illicit supply of tinned Christmas puddings which they dispose of by feeding to the audience to stop them from heckling the concert party. (I always have a tin of rice pudding for pudding on Christmas Day.)

    The Goodies was supposed to be Royal Command but that episode got postponed because Peter Phillips was born that day. They showed an earlier episode instead, but I can’t remember which one.

    I never watched The Water Margin. I think it was made by the same production company that made Monkey. Burt Kwouk narrated the English soundtrack of both series,


  17. The pictures of Jon Pertwee are from a photo-session taken when he appeared on the cover of the first Radio Times of the seventies. Jon Pertwee appeared on the cover of Radio Times every time he had a new series. But Tom Baker didn’t, and during the whole period from Tom Baker to Sylvester McCoy Doctor Who only appeared on the cover of Radio Times once, The Five Doctors.

    The first episode of Doctor Who with Tom Baker was broadcast on the last Saturday of December 1974, so was listed in the Christmas double issue of Radio Times. Whereas if it had been broadcast a week later, on the first Sunday of January 1975, the new Doctor may well have appeared on the first Radio Times cover of the new year.

    I read an article in Doctor Who Magazine where someone who worked at Radio Times during the Tom Baker era pointed out that Doctor Who hadn’t been on the cover of Radio Times for a while. The editor replied that Doctor Who was popular enough so didn’t need to be promoted. But the interviewee thought that the fact that Doctor Who was popular was all the more reason to have it on the cover of Radio Times every now and again.

    Apparently Radio Times did ask John Nathan-Turner if he wanted to have the Cybermen on Radio Times when Earthshock was broadcast, but he said no because he wanted their appearance to be a surprise.

    The newspaper story about Tom Baker reminds me of a story he told at a convention. One day the son of one of the production team visited the Doctor Who set, and Tom asked him if he liked school. The boy said he didn’t like school because another boy bullied him. So Tom went to the school dressed as the Doctor and told the boy he was a bully and he was to stop picking on other children. The interviewer asked if the boy is now in therapy.


    • The BBC Doctor Who website did a screen-saver where they showed theses pictures of Jon Pertwee and their mirror images in quick succession so it looked like he was disco dancing.

      Did the Doctor drive again after Jon Pertwee. He wan’t the only Doctor to drive a motor vehicle. Tome Baker drove Bessie and Robot, and Sylvester McCoy in Battlefield.


  18. My dad got me a couple of cassette tapes of the plays I studied for O-Level English Literature. I had a tape of The Importance of Being Ernest with Pemala Brown as Gwendoline. Lady Bracknell was of course played by Edith Evans, and John Gielgud was Ernest Worthing. I had a tape of Macbeth with Alec Guinness as Macbeth and Pamela Brown.

    Morcambe and Wise’s Starsky and Hutch parody was from the 1977 Christmas show. I like the way that it looks obvious that it was shot in London. Morcambe and Wise never had that much money spent on them again.

    You’ll have to tell me what Death Is a Good Living was about as I couldn’t download it.

    I’m surprised the chimpanzee in the snug wasn’t one of the more talked about stories from the early days of Coronation Street.

    Do you watch Coronation Street now? Do you like it? If you don’t watch or like it, when did you go of it? Be honest now, when Doctor Who was on at the same time as Coronation street in the late eighties which programme did you watch?


  19. Did Tommy Steele meet Elvis Presley when he came to Britain? The only time Elvis did visit Britain was when he was in the army, and the plane he was in stopped in Scotland to refuel. He made a film called Double Trouble which was partly set in Britain, and featured British actor Norman Rossington, but it was made in America. Norman Rossington is the only actor to have appeared in films with Elvis and the Beatles. I think Ann-Marget is the only person to have acted in films with Elvis and the Who.

    Which year did the Dixon’s catalogue come from?

    Was The BBC Honours Sykes intended to be the last episode?

    Will Batman survive?


  20. Top of the Pops forty-four years ago today was the one we were talking about last week when the Boomtown Rast got to number one. The line-up was:

    Giving Up, Giving In by the Three Degrees played over the charts
    Promises by the Buzzcocks
    Part Time Love by Elton John
    Pretty Little Angel Eyes by Showaddywaddy
    Radio Radio by Elvis Costello and the Attractions
    Always and Forever by Heatwave
    Hanging on the Telephone by Blondie
    Lydia by Dean Friedman
    Toast by Street Band
    Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen
    Still the One by Child
    The number one Rat Trap by the Boomtown Rats
    Do You Think I’m Sexy by Rod Stewart played over the closing credits

    People tend to forget that in the sixties and seventies Top of the Pops used to show the charts at the beginning of the programme. They started showing the charts just before the number one in 1980 when it returned after the musicians’ strike. But The Boomtown Rats knocking Summer Nights off the number one slot would have been even better if we didn’t find out they were number one until the number one slot.

    Apparently Legs and Co had a week off that week.


    • Emu’s Broadcasting Company jumped on the science-fiction bandwagon with the serial Emu Trek. Since the series started I wondered when they’d get round to doing Emu Peter, and they did Emu Peter during the 1978 series, but it wasn’t very good.

      The real Blue Peter got interesting in 1978 because they got some new presenters for the first time in years.

      Argentina won the World Cup, and Miss Argentina won Miss World. But the national costumes section was a joke. And the contestants had to speak English, so when some of the non-anglophone contestants said “I’m nineteen years old, and I am a model.” it sounded like “I am ninety years old and I am immoral.”.

      On Wednesdays Sue MacGregor presented a series of short programmes called My Kind of Movie in which various celebrities talked about their favourite films. Forty-four years and one day ago Roald Dahl talked about his favourite film, Hud, which features his wife Patricia Neal. And Hud was shown on BBC2 the following night.

      I don’t know if any editions of My Kind of Movie exist. I’d be interested to see the one with Edward Heath talking about Kind Hearts and Coronets which I saw for the first time when it was shown in that season.


  21. Dennis Waterman and his other partner. John Thaw and his other partner.

    It would have been nice to have had a clip of Peter Cook in Revolver. The art gallery sketch is a classic. I would like to have met Peter Cook and told him about the most stupid sandwich I ever had, and about the time I put a guide at the National Gallery in her place.

    When I was at college the library there had cassette players and headsets, a bit like a language laboratory, and students could listen to educational tapes. (And if any prospective college students are reading this I do recommend joining the college library.) One of my friends got thrown out of the library when he got caught listening to a Derek and Clive tape on the library tape player.

    A couple of interesting cuttings of Patrick Troughton. I know some people who would now be well into their sixties who stopped watching Doctor Who when William Hartnell left. I didn’t like Tom Baker when he started because it wasn’t Jon Pertwee anymore. although I was aware that other actors had played the Doctor before Jon Pertwee. I couldn’t stand Sylvester McCoy on children’s television, but he grew as me as the Doctor. I thought Matt Smith was a bit too young, but he was the Doctor I could most easily believe was the same character played by William Hartnell in the sixties.

    We first got BBC2 just after Play Away started. I saw trailers for the Play School spin-off and was disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to watch it because we couldn’t get BBC2, and begged my parent to get it. So my dad got a new tv with push buttons for changing the channels instead of using a dial, and we got BBC2. It was an overdue move.

    We got out first colour tv shortly after Multi-Coloured Swap Shop started. And we got our first video recorder in time for Box of Delights. My brother had just got a new job that involved shift work, so getting a video recorder meant he could follow tv series. And Box of Delights was one of the first series we recorded. It was the best children’s tv drama ever.

    I like the clip of Patricia Routledge delivering a monologue that’s clearly a script by Victoria Wood.


  22. This is the first time since the summer that we’ve had a look back at 1979 on a day when ITV was broadcasting in the UK.

    The only programme I would have watched that day was Freddie Starr’s Variety Madhouse.

    Tiswas was shown for the first time in the London Weekend Television region the Saturday after the strike ended. At the time most people said Tiswas was rubbish, although some people said it was so pathetic you had to laugh. A year later people were saying Tiswas was brilliant, even to the point of saying that Swap Shop was rubbish because it wasn’t Tiswas. I used to think Tiswas was the worst children’s programme of all time, and I still think it was, but I should stress was because some of the Saturday morning shows that have come since have been worse.

    There was a second series of Saturday Banana. The first series was shown in the LWT region from June to December 1978. The first series started the week after Our Show finished, and two of the children from Our Show, Susan Tully and Melissa (Grand Prix/Smackhead’s girlfriend) Wilkes (I said slipping into TV Cream mode) were Bill Oddie’s co-stars on Saturday Banana. When I went to Scout Camp that year we camped in Hampshire and went on day trips to Portsmouth and Southampton. On the way to one of these trips we passed the Southern Television studios and saw the giant banana, which was sent to a children’s hospital at the end of the first series. I hadn’t seen Saturday Banana at that point, but I saw a few episodes later and it wasn’t very good. One day in 1980 I went to a friend’s house and they had Tiswas on and Sally James said a special hello to their new viewers in the Southern region, so I’m guessing that was the week after the second series of The Big Yellow One finished. (Slipped into TV Cream mode again.)

    Mind Your ****** Language has the distinction of being the only thing Michael Grade apologized for.

    Saturday People sounds interesting buut was on late.


  23. This is the first time since the summer that we’ve had a look back at a day in 1979 when ITV was broadcasting in the UK.

    The only thing I would have watched that day was Freddie Starr’s Variety Madhouse.

    Tiswas was first shown in the London Weekend Television are the Saturday after the strike ended. At the time most people said Tiswas was rubbish, although some people said it was so pathetic you had to laugh. But a year later people were saying Tiswas was brilliant, even to the point of saying Swap Shop was rubbish because it wasn’t Tiswas. I used to think that Tiswas was the worst children’s tv show of all time, and it was, but I should stress the was because some of the Saturday morning shows that have come since have been worse.

    There was a second series of Saturday Banana. Only the first series was shown in the LWT region. It ran from June to December 1978. It started the week after Our Show ended, and two of the children from Our Show, Susan Tully and Melissa (Grand Prix/Smackhead’s girlfriend) Wilkes (I said slipping into TV Cream mode) were Bill Oddie’s co-hosts on Saturday Banana.

    On Scout Camp that year we camped in Hampshire and had day trips to Portsmouth and Southampton. On the way to one of the outings we went past the Southern Television studios and saw the giant banana, which went to a children’s hospital at the end of the first series. I hadn’t seen Saturday Banana at that point, but I did see some programmes later and it wasn’t very good.

    In 1980 I went round a friend’s house and they had Tiswas on, and Sally James said a special hello to their new viewers in the Southern region, so I’m guessing that was the week after the second series of The Big Yellow One finished. (TV Cream Mode again.)

    Mind Your ******* Language has the distinction of being the only thing Michael Grade ever apologized for.

    Saturday People sounds interesting, but was on late.


    • Meanwhile…

      Doctor Who was part four of The Creature From the Pit. But in the autumn of 1979 Saturdays didn’t just mean Doctor Who, it also meant Doctor Who Weekly. According to my calculations this was the day I bougght Doctor Who Weekly number six. It was the first issue not to have Tom Baker on the cover, instead it was a picture of Jion Pertwee and a Sontaran. Inside there was a feature on the Sontarans, a feature on Marco Polo, a profile of Lalla Ward, the sixth part of the comic strip The Iron Legion, and the third part of the backup strip Throwback – Soul of a Cyberman.

      For some reason I remember buying issue six of Doctor Whoo Weekly on the same day as the Scouts’ Christmas fair, so I would have missed Swap Shop that day.

      As to other Saturday favourites. I think it was the last series of Play Away before they started doing it in front of a studio audience. The Generation Game was better with Larry Grayson, but Billy Boyle was the wrong foil for Basil Brush. Janet Brown was now a regular on Mike Yarwood’s show, he’d stopped doing Margaret Thatcher long before she became prime minister. But ultimately the best Margaret Thatcher impersonator during her time as PM was a man, Steve Nallon.

      I never saw the cartoon Lucky Luke, or read any of the comic strips, despite being an Asterix fan.


  24. I watched House of Cards. Four days after the first programme was broadcast Margaret Thatcher resigned.

    In the book Francis Urquhart commits suicide at the end, but in the tv version he commits murder instead. Subsequently Michael Dobbs wrote a sequel To Play the King. The second novel ends with the King being forced to abdicate, but the prime minister also has to resign, but in the tv series only the King loses his job. The third book, The Final Cut ends with the prime minister being assassinated, and the tv version he gets assassinated which I thought was a cop-out.

    He always used to say “You may very well think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.”, but partway through the last series one of the MPs crosses to floor, and when a news reporter asks if he’s going to be challenging the prime minister for the party leadership he says “Well as the prime minister would say, you may very well think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.”. And Urqhart, watching it on tv, says “You bastard.”, and he never uses the phrase again.

    At the end of the documentary Thirty Years in the Tardis director and producer Kevin Davies asks Alan Yentob if the rumours are true about the BBC having discussions with Stephen Spielberg over a Doctor Who tv movie. Alan Yentob replies “You may very well think that, I couldn’t possibly comment.”. But at the first Cult TV Weekend we had a late night discussion on the future of Doctor Who and Kevin Davies showed the tape of the full conversation qwith Alan Yentob actually looking up the correct quote. Not a pretty sight.


    • Ten years before House of Card cookery writer Mary Berry was showing Afternoon Plus viewers an alternative to Christmas Turkey.

      Talk about filler material. BBC’s children’s programmes included Don and Pete, which was a series of silent comedy films that Peter Glaze and Don Maclean made for Crackerjack. And by then Crackerjack has been taken over by Stu Francis and the Krankies. And they were still showing The Banana Splits.

      Children’s tv finished with the Jackanory spin-off Spine Chillers, but these proved unpopular. Most people wanted to see Morph, Paddington et al.

      But it was better than ITV’s children’s lineup which ended at 5.15.

      I like Russell Harty’s chat show. It was better than the three times Weekly Wogan show that came later. Once a wekk was enough. This evening it was the infamous edition with Grace Jones.

      Thanks to the Daily Mirror for printing a picture of Claudia Cardinale.


  25. Happy 98th Birthday to William Russell. Only two more years till his centenary.

    I don’t know where the first picture is from, but the others are from The Adventures of Sir Lancelot, and the later episodes were shot in colour, the Christmas edition of Whodunnit? where he played the victim, and looking like Christopher Lee in Robin of Sherwood. And can you tell me which other Doctor Who assistant played the victim in Whodunnit??

    Of course I would like to have seen a picture of Ian Chesterton. Preferably a picture of him and William Hartnell in atmospheric density jackets from The Web Planet.

    I saw the first George and the Dragon on TV Heaven. The clip with Tom Baker that you correspondent posted was a great piece of Where Were They Then?

    When I heard the Beatrles song Good Morning Good Morning and John Lennon sings “It’s time for Tea and Meet the wife.” I thought he was singing about going home from work to meet the wife and have tea. I had no idea it was a tv series, which had actually finished before the Sergeant Pepper album came out. It’s a good album.


    • The other Doctor Who assistant who played the victim in Whodunnit? was Nicholas Courtney who was murdered in Last Tango in Tooting. (Katy Manning and Mary Tamm also appeared in Whodunnit? as suspects.)


  26. Forty-one years ago there were more programme that I would have wanted to watch than I could have watched. I had to do homework, there were programme clashes.

    Pigeon Street was on it’s first run, and it was the best lunchtime young children’s programme from the See Saw era.

    Blue Peter was presented by Simon Groom, Peter Duncan and Sarah Greene who were a good team.

    I definitely watched part four of Doctor Who: Carnival of Monsters, part of the Five Faces season.

    BBC2 were already doing a season of Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films on Fridays, and on Thursdays they ran o season of monster movies, starting with King Kong. I don’t remember if I did see King Kong that time. It would have clashed with Top of the Pops (qv), as did the Tex Avery double bill. I remember not being allowed to watch King Kong on tv five years earlier because my parents insisted on me going out to do something which I didn’t want to do and was a complete waste of time. I saw the original version of King Kong at the NFT at about the same time the Peter Jackson film came out. It’s a fantastic film that doesn’t need remaking.

    I remember watching Russell Harty talking with the Nolan Family. I think I saw some or all of that episode of Happy Endings. Forty Minutes was late, but the programme on the gorillas at Jersey Zoo sounds interesting. (As I said before, Forty minutes could be very interesting, and sometimes it was boring.)


    • Top of the Pops that night was:

      Ay Ay Ay Ay Moosey by Modern Romance
      Begin the Beguine by Julio Iglesias
      I Go To Sleep by the Pretenders
      Tears Are Not Enough by ABC
      Why Do Fools Fall in Love by Diana Ross
      The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum by the Fun Boy Three
      Love Me Tonight by Trevor Walters
      Bedsitter by Soft Cell
      Zoo dancing the the number one Under Pressure by Queen and David Bowie
      Yes Tonight Josephine played over the closing credits

      All in all I would have preferred King Kong.

      But thanks for the Pretenders clip. I read Chrissie Hynde’s autobiography last year. She did a photo-session in 1980 with the saucy Debbie Harry, Siouxsie of the Banshees, Viv Albertine of the Slits, Poly Styrene of X-Ray Spex, and Pauline Black of the Selecter.

      Under Pressure reminds me of Zach Galifianakis’ best film It’s King of a Funny Story which I saw at the 2010 London Film Festival.


  27. Branded and Mum’s Army were respectively Jimmy Perry and David Croft’s favourite episodes of Dad’s Army, and coincidentally shown one year apart.

    You must download Victoria Wood’s parody of early Coronation Street.

    I didn’t see a lot of Saturday Superstore as I was working on Saturdays. I certainly don’t remember seeing the episode where Peter Davison went on the plug his Book of Alien Monsters, a book of stories by various authors which he selected himself. My mum saw him plugging the book on Pebble Mill. Peter Davison appeared on Saturday Superstore again, towards the end of the first series, along with Janet Fielding and Mark Strickson to promote the Doctor Who event at Longleat. The latter item is on the Five Doctors DVD.

    Some if the ITV regions had some choice repeats such as Stingray and Catweazle. I never did see Star Fleet.

    I watched The Late Late Breakfast Show when it started, but I soon went off it. The only decent programmes Noel Edmonds did after Swap Shop finished were Mulit-Coloured Saturdays and It Started With Swap Shop. But it was better than Game For a Laugh which was an abomination.

    Blankety Blank just wasn’t a Saturday Night programme.

    I looked at a clip of Colin Baker in Juliet Bravo. He played a drunk driver.

    Channel 4 was in its third week. They showed The Avengers on Saturday nights, but initially only showed the colour series. And it seems that they omitted the black and white episodes of Upstairs Downstairs.

    BBC2’s late film was Hounds of Zaroff which was made by the same peopole who made King Kong, and also stars Fay Wray. I didn’t see it then, but I saw it thirteen years later when it was one of the films shown to tie in with Mondo Rosso, a series where Jonathan Ross had a look at low-budget B-movies. And Hounds of Zaroff was the only film in the season worth watching.


  28. Looking at last night’s clip of Sweep it seems that in the later editions of Sooty they put in jokes that adults would like, whereas when Harry Corbett was doing it it was very squarely aimed at adults. In later episodes of Play Aaway they also put in jokes the adults would like, but then they did it in front of a stusio audience so they had to entertain the adults who brought the children.

    There are some Doctor Who serials I haven’t watched during the past two years because they’re too topical, such as The Crimson Horror, The Visitation, The Invisible Enemy, and Dalek Invasion of Earth. But Dalek Invasion of Earth is a good serial.

    Which paper did the letter from F A David come from? That child had a narrow escape. He would be 59 now.

    Play for Today was an adaptation of a stage play by Vaclev Havel, and presumably was shown to mark the tenth anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. It was one of several plays to feature Ferdinand Vanek (Michael Crawford). It seem to be a play where the characters look at works of art which the audience don’t see.


    • The Blue Peter picture was taken between autumn of 1977 and Maundy Thursday 1978 (Peter Purves’ last programme), because the statuette of Petra is in the background.


  29. 39 Years ago today the highpoint on tv was Peter Davison and Richard Hurndall appearing on Blue Peter to promote The Five Doctors which was on on Friday the 25th of November. The item is one of bonus items on the Dive Doctors DVD.

    Doctor Who was on the cover of Radio Times that week, and on TV Times it was Martin Sheen as President Kennedy in the mini-series Kennedy. The last episode was shown on the anniversary of his assassination. The week of 19-25 of November would have been a good week to look back at rather than this week in 1982.

    Unfortunately I wasn’t home from college in time for Blue Peter. I usually caught the last children’s programme on BBC1, in this case Willo the Wisp, and BBC2 showed more intellectual children’s programmes such as Eureka.

    I believe Bob Monkhouse said that his chat show on BBC2 where he spoke to various comedians was the show he enjoyed doing most.

    That night’s episode of The Prisoner was Hammer Into Anvil where for once Number Six gets the better of Number Two.


  30. I like a picture of Sarah Jane Smith in the morning.

    Does the Two Ronnies episode with Ronnie Corbett as Jason King still exist? Harry Enfield did a parody of Jason King.

    I have a feeling that Frank Spencer was left hanging from the cliff in that episode of Some Mothers Don’t Half Have ‘Em.

    One day you should do a review of I Claudius.

    22nd of November 1984 was fairly slim pickings. Blue Peter, presented by Simon Groom, Janet Ellis and Michael Sundin, did a Double Life Saver Appeal. They collected stamps for the Ethiopian famine, and postcards for a new Blue Peter lifeboat.

    Zoo 2000 sounded interesting but I didn’t watch it.

    Top if the Pops line-up was:

    Warning Sign by Nick Hayward
    Hard Habit to Break by Chicago
    Respect Yourself by the Kane Gang
    Louise by the Human League
    Caribbean Queen by Billy Ocean
    One Night in Bangkok by Murray Head
    Teardrops by Skakin’ Stevens
    The number one I Feel For You by Chaka Kahn
    Never Ending Story by Limahl played over the closing credits

    The pop scene was less interesting than it was five years earlier.

    The cover of that week’s Radio Times was Devin Stanfield in Box of Delights which started the previous day.


  31. The Five Doctors.

    The interview with John Laurie was interesting. The picture from Dad’s Army was from Ring Dem Bells in which the platoon had to wear Nazi uniforms for a propaganda film. When Ian Lavender was on Swap Shop he said that the people who lived in the village where they did the location scenes got to know the cast, and always addressed them by their character names. But when they shot Ring Dem Bells and turned up in German uniforms the people in the village wouldn’t speak to them.

    In 1937 John Laurie starred in a film called The Edge of the World by my favourite director Michael Powell. And in 1978, the year the newspaper interview was published, John Laurie, Michael Powell and other members of the cast and crew went back to Foula in the Shetlands where the film was made, and made a new framing sequence called Return to the Edge of the World. If you look carefully in the cinema scene in the Dad’s Army episode The Lion Has Phones you can see a poster for The Edge of the World with John Laurie’s name on it.

    On 23rd of November 1970 Coronation Street was in black and white. What happened?

    I wish I’d seen more of End of Part One. One of your correspondents said it was post modern before post modernism. The same creators did the radio series The Burkiss Way broke the same rules on radio that Monty Python broke on tv. They had sudden endings. There were two episodes called Repeat Yourself the Burkiss Way where the first few minutes were the same. They did a parody of Blankety Blank which was far funnier on radio than it ever could have been on tv.

    I thought Peter Duncan wore his green and white checked suit on the fortieth anniversary edition of Blue Peter. Or did he get changed for the photograph.


      • I thought the colour strike was in 1971. The programme most notoriously affect by the strike was Upstairs Downstairs. Or were those programmes made in 1970 but broadcast in 1971?

        Of course there are some programmes that were made and broadcast in colour, some of the Jon Pertwee episodes odf Doctor Who for example, but only the black and white copy exists.


  32. By the autumn of 1985 I had a full time job, so I did see some of the later editions of Saturday Superstore. I remember Crow’s Road. BBC managed to squeeze in a couple of repeats of children’s programmes in before Superstore.

    I watched the last episode of Tripods, based on the three novels by John Christopher. They did an item on Tripods on Blue Peter (and of course Janet Ellis’ father Peter Ellis designed the Tripods), and they said it turns out right in the end, but it didn’t. In the last episode Will and Beanpole escape from Tripod City and find the encampment has been destroyed and everyone has gone, and the cliffhanger was never resolved. When BBC4 did a science fiction week the producer of Tripods said he was still sad that the third series was never made.

    John Cleese did an advert for the tv license where he was in a pub and said “What have the BBC ever done for us?” and various celebrities mention the types of programme the BBC make. On Saturday Live Ben Elton said that they didn’t say that the BBC make documentaries about the IRA, because the BBC pulled the Panorama film Death on the Rock. The advert also didn’t have the Tardis materializing in the pub and the Doctor getting out and saying the BBC make science fiction programmes, because that loathsome **** Michael Grade too Doctor Who off the air for eighteen months, and Tripods got cut short.

    Otherwise BBC1 on Saturday nights was a cultural desert. I wasn’t interested in Juliet Bravo, and there was The Late Late Breakfast Show and two not very funny sitcoms. In the seventies and early eighties I sometimes had to miss Doctor Who, The Generation Game and The Two Ronnies if I went out on a Saturday. When we got a video recorder there was usually nothing worth watching on Saturdays.

    I watched some of the later series of Who Dares Wins. I saw some of the repeats of Upstairs Downstairs and Hill Street Blues in the nineties. The latter was one of the better American crime series.


  33. Citizen James appears to be a spin-off from Hancock. He plays the same character. After the 1960 series of Hancock, Tony Hancock decided to go it alone, and the episodes without Sid James were the best ones. In 1960 Sid got his first Carry On role, playing the sergeant in Carry On Constable. In his first Carry On films he played the benign authority figure. He first got the role in Hancock when Galton and Simpson saw him in The Lavender Hill mob.

    Bill Kerr didn’t appear in the Hancock tv series, but he did appear in Citizen James. He also appeared in Doctor Who: Enemy of the World, and was on the cover of the novelization. (The tv serial was set in 2018, the book was set in 2030.) Target at that time had a policy of only featuring the current Doctor on the book covers, so the novel of the story where the main gimmick was that Patrick Troughton played the villain didn’t feature Patrick Troughton on the cover. But then Bill Kerr and Mary Peach would be less familiar to readers than Patrick Troughton.

    Likewise the novel of Tom Basker’s last story, Logopolis, didn’t feature Tom Baker on the cover, but did feature Anthony Ainley as the Master who was a current regular. And exception was The Three Doctors, although oddly enough the reference photo of Patrick Troughton used by the artist was of him as Salamander in Enemy of the World. One reader wrote to Doctor Who Magazine and said that on the new edition of The Three Doctors Jon Pertwee looked too old, Patrick Troughton looked too bad, and William Hartnell looked too Welsh.

    Liz Frazer was in The Great Rock n Roll Swindle.


  34. I wouldn’t have been home for Blue Peter, but I would have seen that edition the following Sunday morning when they did the Blue Peter Omnibus. Rather annoyingly they took the omnibus off in January. According to BC Genome Peter Duncan, Janet Ellis and Mark Curry were the presenters, but they didn’t mention Caron Keating who joined the show a couple of weeks earlier.

    Likewise I didn’t see Jonny Briggs at the time, but I saw it when they repeated on Sunday mornings in the nineties. Where were they then? Before she became a regular on Casualty and dinnerladies, eighteen year old Sue Devaney played Jonny’s sister Rita Briggs.

    Was Brush Strokes really written by the same people who wrote The Good Life? It was awful.

    Open to Question later became part of the DEF II slot.

    I saw some of The Story of English. It was interesting.

    I sometimes watched Phil Cool, and Victoria Wood As Seen on TV, and Mrs Overall was the real star of Acorn Antiques. However that evening I watched the last part of Paradise Postponed. Paradise Postponed should have won the BAFTA.


  35. Yesterday’s good morning picture was a publicity shot taken when Doctor Who finally got shown in America. Another picture from the same session was in for Doctor Who Weekly’s first Crazy Caption competition. I can’t remember what the winning caption was.

    A reprint of the first Doctor Who Weekly was given away with, I think, the twenty-fifth anniversary edition of Doctor Who Magazine. There are four ways of telling the difference between the reprint and an original copy 1) the reprint has small print at the bottom of the third page stating that it’s a reprint, 2) the reprint is printed throughout on glossy paper, while on the original glossy paper is only used for the covers, 3) the reprint has pictures of the transfers printed on the cover, whereas on the original there was a plain orange square underneath the transfers, 4) if it’s an original copy the original will have drawn round the Daleks in brown felt pen!

    One of your correspondents asked what if American tv had bought Doctor Who in the sixties. If they had then almost certainly more episodes of Doctor Who would have survived. I read in an interview with Jaqueline Hill that William Hartnell wanted Doctor Who to be made in colour, and if it had been the American tv networks might have picked it up earlier.

    Then again if American tv had bought Doctor Who would we have has Star Trek?

    Then again I heard the NBC launched Star Trek in an attempt to beat Lost In Space in the ratings, but they failed to beat it.

    Then again in America all four Beatles had solo number one when they were all still alive.


  36. Thirty-five years ago Andy Crane had replace Philip Schofield as the host of the Broom Cupboard, now that Philip Schofield had moved on to Going Live. I remember Benji, Zax and the Alien Prince. The people who made the Benji films wanted to shhot one in Lonson, but couldn’t because of the UK quarantine laws.

    BBC2’s Carry On season seems to be made up of the black and white Carry Ons.

    The Clothes Show was for trendy people.

    BBC2’s repeats of M*A*S*H had reched the fourth series. Colonel Potter and BJ Hunnicut had replace Colonel Blake and Trapper John, but Major Burns was still in it. This episode was The Bus which mostly take place on board a bus stuck in the middle of nowhere.

    I watched A Perfect Spy. Ray McAnally was excellent as the main character’s father. A year later he got the lead role a prime minister Harry Perkins in A Very British Coup. Sadly he died the year after that.

    Don’t Miss Wax was a repeat, and I would have seen it first time round.

    The late night (or rather early morning) film was Doctor Phibes Rises Again. In the early seventies three consecutive films by Vincent Price were The Abominable Doctor Phibes, Doctor Phibes Rises Again, and Theatre of Blood.

    And I must comment on the letter about the latest series of Doctor Who. It was despicable the way Colin Baker was treated by the BBC. I couldn’t stand Sylvester McCoy when he was on children’s television, but he grew on me as the Doctor with the second series which had better scripts.


  37. It’s not surprising that Dallas was the most watched programme on this week in 1980 because it was the episode where they revealed who shot JR.

    The best bit of Doctor Who: The War Games was the monster flashback. (Something that got overdone in the eighties.)

    There were some choice pics and clips of Ernie Wise, Verity Lambert and Rodney Bewes. People forget that Rodney Bewes was Basil Brush’s straight man (Derek Fowlds and Roy North are better remembered). Was the picture of him in the dinner jacket print shirt from Whodunnit?? Of course I would like to have seen a picture of him as Stein in Resurrection of the Daleks.

    As far as the profile of Linda Carter was concerned, I was more interested in the other item about Noel Edmonds appearing in the Second City First play Glitter. Where were they then? It was eighteen year old Toyah Wilcox’s first tv appearance, just at the start of the punk explosion.

    The still in the Dad’s Army article is from Battlefield. It was the second episode made in colour, and a clip from that episode was played at the end of all the colour episodes.

    I thought Little Pieces of Hancock was a jigsaw. My dad bought a Hancock tape for the eight track in the car, but it was clips from shows rather than complete programmes so it wasn’t very good. Does anyone remember the Dougal and the Blue Cat soundtrack album?

    Which episode of The Avengers was shown on 26th of November 1965?

    Today’s listings cutting was actually from 1967. Jackanory was Susanah York reading Children of Green Knowe by Lucy M Boston. Highpoints on children’s tv included Blue Peter with the launch of the Doctor Who monster competition, and of cousrse Magic Roundabout. Colour programmes on BBC2 included the original Three of a Kind with Mike Yarwood, Ray Fell and Lulu. They appeared on the cover of Radio Times as well.


  38. I notice the Galton and Simpson DVD set includes Another Bunch of Daffodils with Starford Johns and Patsy Rowlands. I saw it on TV Heaven. It would have made a good episode of Murder Most Horrid.

    When Martha Longhurst died in Coronation Street the programme ended with the credits being played in silence, and that’s where John Nathan-Turner got the idea of having the last episode of Earthshock finish with the credits rolling in silence. And twenty years later Coronation Street ended without the theme music when Stan Ogden died.

    Meanwhile back in 1967. The second series of Pogle’s Wood was getting its first showing, and Playing Cards was one of my favourite episodes.

    I used to subscribe to a cult tv fanzine. In the first edition he said he remembered a cartoon series about a pop group who were also superheros. In a letter that appeared in the final edition I told him it was The Impossibles.

    Tom Tom appears to be a science programme for children that ran from 1965 to 1970. A bit like BBC’s answer to How. Jan Leeming was a presenter on the last series.

    I believe 1967 was when Tom and Jerry was first shown on British television. My earliest memory of watching tv was watching Tom and Jerry in black and white at my mum’s cousin’s house. I can just about remember when we didn’t have a television. In 1967 ITV had the rights to Laurel and Hardy.

    I’d never heard of No – That’s Me Over Here! It was written by Barry Cryer, Graham Chapman and Eric Idle. Ronnie Corbett’s co-stars were Henry McGee and Ivor Dean who played Inspector Large in Randall and Hopkirk.

    After the Rugby most of BBC2’s programme were in colour, which is just as well because Life (showing on alternate weeks with Horizon) looked at whether apes can paint.

    Petula Clark talks about two forthcoming film roles. Finian’s Rainbow believe it or not was dirtected by Francis For Coppola who made The Godfather series and Apocalypse Now. The musical version of Goodbye Mr Chips was dull.


  39. John Challis’ first screen role was in the short film Where Has Poor Mickey Gone? where he played one of a group of yobs who broke into a magic shop and fell foul of the owner played by Warren Mitchell.

    The clip from I Claudius reminded me of the legend of the ghost of Cartherine Howard who runs through the corridor at Hampton Court screaming for her husband not to have her executed.

    It also reminded me of the decapitation in Aguirre, the Wrath of God.

    One of your correspondents said Messalina was better off letting them cut her head off than stabbing herself. I think it would be better to die like Joan of Arc, because a hot stake is better than a cold chop.

    And speaking of really excellent jokes, “Don’t tell him, Pike.” is often regarded as the classic Dad’s Army moment, but my favourite is Private Frazer’s story about the old empty barn.


  40. On Friday the 29th of November 1979 I probably watched Crackerjack, although I also watched Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. So I must have watched Skippy when it was on another evening.

    I remember Leslie Crowther on Crackerjack, and I remember the Leslie Crowther and Peter Glaze comic strip in Playhour, and I remember Michael Aspel taking over. This week’s guests included Norman Barrett and his performing budgerigars.

    Only four episodes of Crackerjack with Michael Aspel exist, and only two which he presented, both from his last series. All the episodes with Rod McLennan (Peter Glaze’s after Leslie Crowther and before Don Maclean), the series with Little and Large, Stuart Sherwin and Elaine Paige. the first series with Don Maclean and Jacqueline Clarke were all wiped.

    TV Heaven had a slot called Where Were They Then? They didn’t do 1972, but if they had and even one episode from the 1972 series existed then a clip of Crackerjack with Little and Large and Elaine Paige would have been a good choice.

    One of the editions from the 1974 series that does exist is the one which begins with the Doctor Who titles and then the Crackerjack team appear and say “No, it isn’t Doctor Who. It’s Friday, it’s five o’clock , and it’s Crackerjack!”. They showed that opening on More Than Thirty Years in the Tardis. Either the same episode or the other one is the one where instead of the usual sketch they did a music hall. They showed clips of that on Danny Baker’s TV Heroes.

    The Crackerjack Christmas pantomime, Aladdin exists. Michael Aspel only had a minor role, as the judge. It was the last Crackerjack appearance of Jaqueline Clarke (Genie of the Ring), and the first to feature Ed Stewart (Genie of the Lamp) and Jan Hunt (Aladdin).

    His last appearance on Crackerjack was in the first edition of the second series in 1978. In the first series of Crackerjack in 1978 each episode began with the Crackerjack team playing a prank on a tv presenter. In the last edition of the series someone was doing a trailer fo a tv show standing by the boating lake at Chessington Zoo, the Crackerjack team sneaked up on him, but he ducked and they fell in instead. And on the first edition of the next series they played a prank on Michael Aspel while he was doing a trailer for Ask Aspel.

    I was going to say that originally Crackerjack started in the autumn and ran up to Christmas, finishing with Crackerjack Christmas party, and after Crackerjack Christmas Party 1970 there was no new series in 1971 as they decided to have Crackerjack run from January to the spring, and then in 1978 there were two series, one from January to April, and one from September to December and then the rest of the series were shown in the autumn.

    But I was wrong. Originally Crackerjack ran from Autumn to Spring until the 1969-70 series. After that Crackerjack wasn’t on until 1972. So in 1971 you could be forgiven for thinking that Crackerjack had finished. From 1970 Michael Aspel had his own series called Ask Aspel. On Christmas Day 1971 he hosted Aspel’s Christmas Cracker from the Ask Aspel studio, with Peter Glaze disguised as Father Christmas. Peter Glaze made a guest appearance on Michael Bentine Time as a vet.

    I think all the editions of Crackerjack with Ed Stewart exist, although I also heard that his last one, the hotel episode which features a cameo from Micky Dolenz was wiped. And all the editions with Stu Francis exist.

    There is one episode with Little and Large that does exist, because they appeared on the Christmas 1980 edition in pro-celebrity Take a Letter. And one edition exists with Elaine Paige because she was a guest on one of the Ed Stewart editions.


    • Also on this day.

      Was Richard Neville who co-presented How It Is the same Richard Neville who edited Oz magazine?

      BBC2 increased their output of colour programmes. The news was now in colour.

      Tony Blackburn’s guests included singers Marion Ryan and her son Barry Ryan. Barry’s twin brother Paul Ryan was a song writer.

      I thought Garrison’s Gorillas was a misprint, and it should have been Garrison’s Guerrillas, but the paper was correct.


  41. Dennis Potter’s first impressions of Doctor Who were interesting. The article was published the same day the second episode was broadcast. Some of the monsters he described didn’t appear in the series until years later. When BBC2 did The Five Faces of Doctor Who the article in Doctor Who Magazine said that An Unearthly Child is refreshingly free of cavemen fighting dinosaurs.

    On the fifteenth anniversary of the second episode of Doctor Who Mankind performed their disco version of the Doctor Who theme. (The current serial at the time was Androids of Tara.) The previous week, on the fifteenth anniversary of the first programme, Blue Peter did an item on Doctor Who which along with Doctor Who Magazine got me more interested in the programme. The first time Mankind were on Top of the Pops the keyboard player dressed as the fourth Doctor. Two weeks later he wore what looked like a Pied Piper outfit. They appeared on Top of the Pops again in January 1979 when the record climbed back up the charts.

    Not all tv critics were as trustworthy as Dennis Potter. I saw Dutch Girls and I thought it was quite good, even though Timothy Spall was 28 and at least a decade older than the character he was playing.

    Scott Tracy killed Steve Zodiac!

    I remember Jon Pertwee on Blankety Blank when Terry Wogan was on it. He called Terry Wogan’s microphone a half sucked liquorice lollipop. I was going to say something funny about the prizes, but how can you send up a game show where one of the prizes was a shoe making set?


  42. One programme I would have watched on 30th of November 1969 was The Clangers. They were repeated in the weekday children’s slot, but originally they were on Sunday afternoons. This was the third episode, the first one with the Iron Chicken.

    Valerie Singleton showed you how to make a Clanger out of an old sock. My mum my made brother and myself Clangers, and I had a green Clanger. There used to be a Clangers website. It had the episode guide, details about most of the Clangers merchandise from the seventies, the commemorative stamps from the nineties, and their appearance on Doctor Who: The Sea Devils. But no mention of the Blue Peter item, although there was another guide to making a Clanger.

    I remember girls at school playing at Clangers in the playground and arguing over who was going to be the Soup Dragon.

    I sometimes watched The Golden hot. Does anyone remember Guzzle to Golden Grub? And I was intrigued to see All Creature Great and Small on the ITV Schedules.

    I saw Randall and Hopkirk twenty-five years later on BBC2. This week’s episode was the one with the most interesting supporting cast. It was the first time Nicholas Courtney and Roger Delgado met.

    Annette Andre was a guest at Cult TV Weekend. As well as acting she is a member of the animal welfare organisation Zoo Check and during her panel I asked if her if she’d like to talk about Zoo Check. She said she would love to talk about Zoo Check and told us about one of their latest success stories.

    I saw the Monty Python episode You’re No Fun Anymore twenty years later. This was the only episode of the first series not to end with the old man from the beginning of the programme. The last sketch was about blancmanges from outer space, and ended with a Scotsman playing tennis and Scottish dance music playing over the credits instead of Liberty Bell.


    • In 1989 BBC started showing repeats of the first series of Monty Python to mark its 20th anniversary, but they had to change the running order because Full Frontal Nudity, the episode with the Parrot Sketch, also included Hell’s Grannies which had the Baby Snatchers, and it was too topical. And then it got taken off to make way for Comic Strip Presents which had jumped the shark long before it moved to the BBC.

      They showed all the episodes of the first series in the correct order a year later.


  43. Will you be doing another look back at a Christmas fortnight later this month?

    Last year you looked back at Christmas 1985, and this year you looked back at a week in 1977, two different weeks in 1982, and a week in 1986, so this year I think you should have a look back at a Christmas in the seventies.

    Of course if Christmas Day is on certain days of the week it can be problematic as far as the Christmas double issues of Radio & TV Times are concerned.

    If Christmas Day is on Saturday the double issues usually cover the period from 18th of December to New Year’s Eve, so your half way through the magazine befoore it’s Christmas Day, and how can you plan your Christmas viewing properly without knowing what’s on on New Year’s Day. Sometimes they do a fifteen day guide, or brief details (times and titles only) for New Year.

    New Year’s Day 2000 was on a Saturday, so the Christmas Radio Times only gave sketchy details for seeing in the New Year (the biggest anti-climax of the twentieth century). It was a bit of a twist of fate New Year’s Day 2000 being on a Saturday. Partly because it was the one time New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day programmes are listed in separate editions of Radio and TV Times. And also because there was an extra bank holiday on New Year’s Eve, but as New Year’s Day was a Saturday it meant Monday the 3rd of January was a bank holiday so there was a for day break. Whereas if Christmas Day and New Year’s Day had been mid-week we would have had two days off in the middle of one week and two days in the middle of the next.

    If Christmas Day is on a Sunday the double issues usually cover the period from 17th to 30th of December, so you’re halfway through the magazine before it’s Christmas Eve, and you have to wait for the next issue before you know what’s on New Year’s Eve.

    In 1972 and 1995, when Christmas Day was on Monday, the Christmas Radio and TV Times covered the period from 16th to 29th of December which defeats the whole idea of having a Christmas/New Year double issue.

    Usually when Christmas Day is on a Monday the double issue cover the period from 23rd of December to 5th of January, so you’re only on the second Day and it’s Christmas Eve. On the other hand it doesn’t include the pre-Christmas programmes like Christmas Blue Peter, and the League of Gentlemen Christmas special. And the last four days of programmes aren’t very Christmassy. And last year we were flagging when we got to January the 3rd.

    There were exceptions when Christmas Day was at the weekend as well. 1977 was the only year when the Christmas Radio and TV Times covered the period from 24th of December to 6th of January. The BBC’s pre-Christmas programmes were listed in the issue for 17th to 23rd of December which had an excellent cover depicting chefs carrying a Christmas dessert.

    In 1982 both magazines published issues for 18th to 24th of December. Radio Times had a not very Christmassy cover featured Tim Preece in the play The Forgotten Voyage which was broadcast on Christmas Day. They then published fifteen Day guides for 24th of December to Friday the 7th of January, the day after the Christmas decorations come down.

    In 1976 Radio Times did a fifteen day guide for 18th of December to 1st of January, and then listed the New Year’s programmes again in the issue for 1st to 7th of January, while TV Times did an issue for 18th to 24th of December, and then listed the Christmas Eve programmes again in the fifteen day guide for 24th of December to 7th of January. So that year the Christmas issues of Radio and TV Times between them covered a period of three weeks.


  44. I do remember the Look and Read serial Bob and Carol Look For Treasure.

    In the seventies Tuesday’s children’s tv was always either Animal Magic or Vision On. When the current series of Animal Magic finished there’d be a new series of Vision On the next week or a repeat of the previous series, and when Vision On finished Animal Magic would be back the next week.

    When they were first shown Dastardly and Muttley and The Perils of Penelope Pitstop were shown on alternate weeks. I was hoping dor series with Professor Pat Pending, the Slagg Brothers, the Gruesome Twosome etc, but those were the only two spin-off of Wacky Races.

    I saw the Film the Ghost and Mrs Muir but I didn’t know there was a tv version.

    More Monty Python. This is the second series. Tonight’s sketches included Scott of the Sahara, a length pre-credits sketch, Conrad Scott and his dancing teeth, Mr Praline (John Cleese’s character in the Parrot Sketch) buying a fish licence, and a football match between surgeons and Long John Silvers.

    Shiver and Shake used to do a centre page comic strip called Match of the Week where they have football matches between cowboys and indians, cops versus robbers, even Shiver versus Shake. But I thought it would good to have a comic strip about football matches between really random teams,, like surgeons versus Long John Silvers, or Bakers versus the cast of It Ain’t Half Hoot Mum.


  45. I saw the clip of the Beatles on Morcambe and Wise on TV Heaven. That week TV Heaven looked at 1963, but the episode was from 1964. Ringo is criminally underused in the sketch. It was before Richard Lester discovered who the best actor in the Beatles was.

    The best act on The Good Old Days was Denny Willis and Company performing The Fox Has Left His Lair.

    I remember the 1973 Basil Brush Christmas Show. They usually took the form of Basil having a dream. The previous year he dreamt he was in the world of Charles Dickens, the following year he dreamt he was in the world of nursery rhymes, and that year he dreamt that he met Blastoff Basil, the hero of the story that Roy North tried to read in the previous series. Surpringly Blastoff turned out to be human whereas I thought he was a fox.

    dinnerladies was a great series. At the tome I knew that, like Thelma Barlow, Anne Reid was on Coronation Street, but I didn’t know that she hadn’t been in it for over twenty-five years. I remember Thelma Barlow in Coronation Street, or rather I remember Les Dennis’ impression of her, but I thought that Anne Reid had been it it until recently.

    Did that make sense?


  46. 2nd of December 1971. Pogle’s Wood again, and it’s the playing cards episode.

    Play School that week was presented by Rick Jones and Toni Arthur. Rick Jones read a story about the lion Fearless Fred which was written for Play School by Lionel Morton.

    Jackanory that week featured various actors telling stories about animals. On Thursday it was Joe Melia telling the true story of Jumbo the elephant.

    I loved the Doctor Dolittle cartoon series. And of course I would have watched Blue Peter and Magic Roundabout.

    That night’s Tom and Jerry Cartoon was The Invisible Mouse.

    It’s Awfully Bad For Your Eyes Darling was a sitcom about three girls sharing a flat and one of them was called Pudding.

    Top of the Pops that night was:

    Shaft by Isaac Hayes played over the charts
    Soley Soley by Middle of the Road
    Ernie by Benny Hill
    Is This the Way to Amarillo by Tony Christie
    Diamonds Are Forever by the Bachelors
    Pan’s People dancing to Fireball by Deep Purple
    Follow Me by Alan Price and Georgie Fame
    It Must Be Love by Labi Siffre
    You Gotta Have Love In Your Heart by the Supremes and the Four Tops
    The number one Coz I Love You by Slade
    Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves by Cher played over the closing credits

    This episode does exist, but only the black and white copy.


  47. I don’t remember The Dick Emery Hour. Was it on ITV? The last series he did for the BBC was a comedy detective series called Jack of Diamonds, which I never saw. He wanted to do something different from his usual sketch shows.

    Fifty years ago today. When did BBC start showing Watch With Mother programmes at the weekends? Chigley wasn’t one of my favourites. I may well have watched Shari Lewis and Ask Aspel.

    I sometimes watched the Sunday Serial but I don’t remember Cranford.

    I’m not sure if I did watch Thunderbirds before BBC2 showed them in the nineties. UFO, Gerry Anderson’s best live action series, was on ridiculously late. I saw some of The Persauders when Channel 4 showed it in the nineties but I gave up because it was a bit samey.

    Omnibus celebrated the twentieth anniversary of The Mousetrap.

    I saw the films Twelve Angry Men and She Wore a Yellow Ribbon many years later. The latter was shown as part of a John Ford season. Did they include The Searchers?


  48. A few weeks ago you put up some pictures of Jon Pertwee at an exhibition at the Science Museum to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the BBC which included props from Doctor Who.

    It was as a result of the success of that exhibition that the BBC opened permanent Doctor Who exhibitions in Blackpool and Longleat.

    I didn’t see the Science Museum’s Doctor Who exhibition, firstly I wasn’t as a big a fan of the series as I was later, and secondly my parents had already taken my brother and myself to the Natural History and Science Museums for the first time during the Easter holidays that year.

    The BBC exhibition was on at the same times as the Tutankhamun exhibition at the British Museum, which we did see. Someone who belonged to a Doctor Who fan club that I used to run told me that in 1972 she went with her school to see the Tutankhamun exhibition, and she spent ten minutes in the Tutankhamun exhibition, and then sneaked off and took a Piccadilly Line train to South Kensington, and went to see the Doctor Who exhibition at the Science Museum.

    When I was in the sixth form the A-level biology students visited the Natural History Museum. And some people spent ten minutes in the museum and the went off to do some Christmas shopping. But that’s the first time I heard of someone absconding from a school outing to go to another museum.


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