With Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes

With Umbrella-Avengers-Paperback Cover FrontWith Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes, the sister-book to The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes, has just been released – with co-authors Richard McGinlay and Alan Hayes telling the fascinating behind-the-scenes story of the mostly-missing series one of cult ’60s TV show The Avengers.

In this exclusive guest article, Richard explains why he and Alan (who also runs the The Avengers Declassified website) decided to don the trenchcoats once more and further investigate the monochrome crime-fighting adventures of Patrick Macnee’s mysterious secret agent John Steed and Ian Hendry’s Dr. David Keel.

“Some of you might be thinking: “Hang on a minute! The Avengers? Series 1? Haven’t you done a book about that already?”

Well, yes, we have. In 2013, Alan Hayes, his wife Alys, and I produced a book entitled The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes, which retold, in the form of detailed summaries, the lost stories from the first series of The Avengers. There were plenty of those to cram into the book, as 24 of the 26 episodes from that period of the show are missing or incomplete, presumed wiped.

However, Alan and I had a lot more to say about this mostly missing year. Aside from a short introductory essay, Strange Case had barely scratched the surface of the real-life story of Series 1 – that is, its production. With Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes looks at the why, who, how and where of the Keel and Steed era of The Avengers. It examines why the show was commissioned in the first place, touching upon the cancellation of Ian Hendry’s previous series, Police Surgeon. It discusses who worked on The Avengers behind the scenes, including detailed biographical information about drama supervisor Sydney Newman, producer Leonard White, the directors, writers, actors, and many others. It describes how The Avengers was realised, from the earliest discussions of the show’s format and the gathering of scripts, to the design of sets and the creation of special effects. It also explores where the series was made, including a history of Teddington Studios and details about the locations used for exterior filming.

It wasn’t an easy ride for the programme makers, and our new book documents all the difficulties of the process – from late scripts and contentious rewrites to rickety props and stunts that did not go quite according to plan – as well as the pleasures. Despite the problems, those involved with the series have all looked back upon it with affection.

Avengers-HendryAlan and I had this book in mind even before the publication of The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes. Our initial plan was to produce a single book about Series 1, covering the storylines as well as the behind-the-scenes stuff. However, as soon as we started collating our researches, it became clear that there had to be two books. The total page count of the two volumes we have now published is close to 700 pages, and though it would have been possible to produce a book of that extent, it would not have been economical for us to do so. Therefore, we published the storylines book first… and now the ‘making of’ book.

In case you are wondering why it has taken us a year to complete With Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes, there are a couple of reasons for that. Firstly, we wanted to see how the first book went down with its readers. As it happens, we have had a lot of very positive and useful feedback, which has helped us to make the second book even better! For example, reader comments inspired us to add illustrations, which were provided by the talented artist Shaqui Le Vesconte. The second and arguably the most important consideration is that we have been a lot more ambitious with the content of this book.

Avengers-MacneeAs some of you will be aware, there is already a large body of work about the making of Series 1 on Alan’s website, The Avengers Declassified. However, we have built upon those researches substantially. Though of course our coverage of the individual episodes contains some fundamental facts that are common to both the book and the website, the episodic chapters of With Umbrella have been expanded considerably. Nowhere else can you read about the hazards of the sewer sets from Hunt the Man Down, for instance, or the Armchair Mystery Theatre and Callan teleplays that bear comparison to the episodes Death on the Slipway and Kill the King. About a third of the page count is wholly exclusive to the book, in the form of an in-depth essay at the front, covering the creation of The Avengers, another essay at the back, regarding the enforced hiatus that brought about a change of direction for the show after Series 1, and 60 pages of appendices, including full episode guides for the unmade storylines and licensed publications featuring Keel and Steed.

The opening essay includes some impressive detective work by Alan regarding precisely where and when a set of famous ‘sleuthing shots’ of Ian Hendry and Patrick Macnee were taken. Alan has also contacted a number of people who were involved in making The Avengers (or the relatives of those who are sadly no longer with us), who have kindly helped us to fill in some of the blanks. We’ve also been out and about, visiting the British Film Institute, for example, in whose Special Collections reside the unproduced Keel storylines The White Rook and Fifi and the Scorpion.

Yes, Alan and I had a very great deal to say about Series 1 of The Avengers, which is somewhat better represented in terms of production documentation than it is in the form of actual surviving episodes – but after this book, we are moving on to other subjects.

The topic of our next volume will be of related interest, though, as it will cover the aforementioned Ian Hendry series Police Surgeon, of which only one episode is known to exist from its thirteen-week run back in 1960. Dr Hendry’s Casebook will be published some time next year. After that, we have some nebulous ideas for other books that should also appeal to readers of Wiped News!

With Umbrella, Scotch and Cigarettes (£19,99 paperback/£24.99 hardback) and The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes (£19,99 paperback/£24.99 hardback/£2.99 ebook)  are available in print exclusively from www.lulu.com, though from November 2014 they will also be for sale at Amazon sites worldwide. Until October 6, you can use the following discount codes togetger: ‘FWD15’ gets 15% off and ‘GMF14’ gives free shipping.

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Recording of Sean Connery’s first lead TV role discovered after more than 50 years

requiemforheavyweightSean Connery’s first-ever on-screen performance has been rediscovered more than 50 years after its first and only TV broadcast.

The “priceless” recording of ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight’, a one-off BBC drama, was found gathering dust in a London attic.

Aired in 1957, it saw a young Connery in the lead role of washed-up boxer Malcolm “Mountain” McClintock and introduced the nation to the actor’s trademark Scottish brogue.

Like all TV shows in the 1950s, the 75-minute programme was not officially recorded but broadcast live from a studio.

But director Alvin Rakoff recognised Connery’s talent and “thought it prudent, for posterity’s sake” to capture an audio recording of the show for his own private collection.

It was stowed under old blankets in his loft for safekeeping but was “soon forgotten” as his burgeoning Hollywood career took off.

The Emmy Award-winning director, now 87, finally dug out the vintage reel-to-reel tape on Monday after inadvertently reminding himself of its existence during a media interview – about Connery’s accent – last week.

Until now, no-one – including Connery, now 83, – knew that a copy existed.

Canadian-born Rakoff, whose movies have featured cinematic icons like Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Peter Sellers, Kenneth More and Alan Bates, said: “It was my habit in those days to take audio recordings of some of my better work. It was the only way of capturing it given that everything went out live.

“Sean was tall and strikingly handsome – he was an obvious star in the making – so I decided to take a copy for posterity, should my inkling come true. An international legion of 007 fans will be pleased it did.”

Requiem for a Heavyweight was originally a teleplay that was later adapted for British and American TV. It was also made into a feature film starring Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney.

The British version was screened on March 31 1957 in the BBC’s Sunday Night Theatre anthology, and starred Warren Mitchell and Michael Caine.

Connery, who went on to play James Bond five years later, was cast as the lead.

But the BBC only began recording programmes in the ’60s. Until then, all shows were live. It means thousands of programmes, including Requiem for a Heavyweight, will never be seen again.

Luckily Rakoff, who launched Connery’s career with earlier walk-on parts, set-up a line feed and captured the show as audio.

He remembered the reels’ existence after discussing Connery’s accent in an interview, and “dug them out” after nearly six decades “gathering grime”.

Rakoff, who moved to the UK from Canada to work for the BBC, has just completed his latest work, ‘The Seven Einsteins’ – a novel set for big-screen adaptation.

He said: “It is remarkable that the tapes survived, unharmed, for so long. It’s also remarkable that I remembered them – they could easily have been left in the attic for another 60 years.”

Although no actual footage of Requiem for a Heavyweight exists, experts say the recording is a “major coup” for the British TV and film industry.

Chris Perry of The Kaleidoscope Archive, the classic TV and film organisation which has taken the reels for digitisation, said: “It goes without saying that this audio, featuring Sean Connery’s first on-screen lead performance, is priceless.

“It’s a snapshot of a golden era of television when programmes were broadcast live to an expectant nation.”

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Kaleidoscope uncovers lost BBC drama in RNLI vault

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CLASSIC TV organisation Kaleidoscope has uncovered a 1950s BBC maritime drama long thought lost at sea.

Broadcast in 1959, Medico — a documentary drama about emergency medical services for ships at sea — was thought not to have been recorded.

But following enquiries with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which had lent one of its lifeboats for use in the programme, Kaleidoscope discovered the complete play in the charity’s vaults.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope describes the recovery of Medico as a “remarkable discovery”.

He said: “It all started on the Kaleidoscope Facebook page a few weeks ago.

“Regular readers of our Facebook page will remember Elaine Trethowan enquiring about a lost film featuring her father and the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat.

“Eventually James Cellan Jones remembered it was a play/drama called Medico and made by the BBC in 1959.

“Not surprisingly, a 1959 BBC play was not recorded according to the BBC Archives so I began to hunt for the film inserts, hoping they may survive.

“The hunt drew an initial blank but undeterred I approached the RNLI to check their vaults. They also said it was missing, but there were some cans from the 1950s that featured the Penlee Lifeboat.

“I asked them to check the cans. It was the complete BBC play Medico, which the BBC maintain was never recorded!”

Medico, described as an exciting drama-doc about the maritime emergency medical services provided by the Post Office, was broadcast by the BBC on January 7, 1959.

Starring Welsh character actor Meredith Edwards, and featuring TV and film director James Cellan Jones among the production team, the programme won writer Robert Barr the Prix Italia for live documentary.

Kaleidoscope now have a transfer of the play and plan to screen it for the first time in over 50 years at its Missing Believed Wiped in the Heart of the Midlands event in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Saturday, April 5.

Tickets are priced £20 and are available now at www.kaleidoscopepublishing.co.uk

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Guest Post: Refinding Rod ‘the Mod’ Stewart documentary after 48 years

ROD STEWART’S film archive has survived remarkably well compared to other artists, mostly thanks to infrequent television appearances.  In fact with the exception of seven Top Of The Pops performances, everything of note broadcast in the UK from mid-1973 onwards survives intact.

Rod StewartAs for the sixties, all that has ever come to light has been poor quality footage of Steampacket at the 1965 Richmond Jazz Festival and what appears to be home movie footage of the Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East in New York dubbed with ‘Shapes Of Things’. Around a decade ago a short Swedish film of the Jeff Beck Group in the recording studio with Mickie Most and featuring great footage of ‘Plynth’ was discovered. And that’s it!

Rod Stewart’s most significant sixties television appearance was a 30-minute documentary titled ‘An Easter With Rod’ (otherwise known as ‘Rod The Mod’), produced by Francis Megahy and Fred Burnley. This was sold as “a portrait of a typical mod” and screened on 2 November 1965.

There has never been any serious hope of finding this film which had been assumed to have been wiped.  Last week that assumption changed when the BBC announced they had found this documentary at the British Film Institute (BFI) in “bits and pieces”.

I had always suspected ‘An Easter With Rod’ still existed due to a quote from Geoff Wright (one of Rod’s early managers) in George Tremlett’s 1976 paperback The Rod Stewart Story:

“He would turn down any idea that he thought was ‘pop’ rather than ‘blues’. That was something he repeated again when he was interviewed in that film ‘Rod The Mod’, which is an interesting film to see now because many of the opinions he expressed then he has flatly contradicted in his later career.”

But when Long John Baldry spoke to Smiler magazine in 1993 hopes faded when in response to a question about concerts being filmed, he said:

“There was a documentary, but maybe Rod has put pressure on for it to be destroyed. It was a show called ‘Rod The Mod’. It showed us travelling round all these places in a vile van we had which was a Bovril cattle van. I’d bought it for £40 and had it converted. Our heating device was actually a Kerosene Stove secured with ropes!

“Lord knows what would have happened if we had collided with anything, we’d have all gone up in smoke! The film was a history of us going hither and hither, going up to Stoke on Trent and places like that. The crew were there all the time. It was a black and white thing and I know that when it was broadcast it was called ‘Rod The Mod’ because it was built around Rod. It was very interesting but it’s never seen the light of day since.”

‘An Easter With Rod’ has been sought many times over the years by numerous writers of books and producers of television documentaries but no one ever managed to locate it. The most recent search was three years ago by Andy Neill, author of the excellent Faces biography ‘Had Me A Real Good Time’. Andy is a thorough and meticulous researcher and it was fair to assume that if he could not locate it, then it did not exist.

The discovery of ‘An Easter With Rod’ is one of the most significant musical finds ever of swinging sixties London – not just for Rod Stewart fans, but as a visual documentation of the R&B scene that was emerging, the fashions and attitudes and for unique footage of London architecture that has long disappeared – most notably the newsagent’s run by Rod’s parents that he grew up above.

David Bowie’s lost Top Of The Pops clip made the national news and was the subject of newspaper articles and huge interest on internet forums – and quite rightly too.  Whereas, so far, the reaction to this equally significant find has been luke warm at best.

On 9 July a BBC Rod Stewart documentary used around 10 minutes of footage out of the 30-minutes that was originally broadcast in 1965. The film deserves to be lovingly re-assembled and broadcast in full. This is musical history in the making featuring one of the biggest singers the World has ever seen.

If, like me, you believe this important piece of musical and cultural social history deserves to be re-assembled and broadcast in full please join our campaign to make it happen.

Please email the BBC in your own words telling them how much you enjoyed Tuesday’s documentary and how much you would like to see the full Rod The Mod sixties documentary in its entirety. And don’t settle for a standard reply!

You can also join our forthcoming ‘Rod The Mod’ Facebook campaign to be announced shortly at www.rodstewartfanclub.com

JOHN GRAY
Smiler Retro

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Lost episodes of The Avengers to be remade by Big Finish Productions

The AvengersBIG FINISH Productions is delighted to announce that it has signed a licence with STUDIOCANAL to produce full cast audio productions of 12 lost episodes of the classic TV series The Avengers.

Lost for over fifty years, the missing episodes from the first series of the cult classic have been lovingly recreated on audio from the original scripts.

The Avengers first launched in 1961, and starred Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel and Patrick Macnee as the elusive and suave John Steed. Beginning with the murder of Keel’s fiancée, and his sworn intent to avenge her death, that first year comprised 26 episodes. Sadly, only two of them exist in their entirety as film prints (Girl on the Trapeze and The Frighteners), while just the first act remains of the opening episode, Hot Snow.

Working from the surviving scripts, Big Finish will be presenting the adaptations in three four-disc box sets. The scripts will be adapted, with minimal changes, by John Dorney, the director is Ken Bentley and the producer is David Richardson. The executive producers are Nicholas Briggs and Jason Haigh-Ellery.

“We are absolutely thrilled to add this wonderful series to our catalogue,” says David Richardson, “and we look forward to faithfully recreating those classic lost episodes. We have two brilliant, high-profile actors for the roles of Dr Keel and John Steed – look out for an announcement of the casting once recording begins in July.”

“This opportunity confirms the enduring appeal of this classic TV series and the resonance of the SC collection in the context of British Film and Pop culture,” says John Rodden, General Manager Home Entertainment at STUDIOCANAL.

Volume 1 of The Avengers: The Lost Episodes will be released in January 2014 (and includes a full recreation of Hot Snow), with Volumes 2 and 3 following in July 2014 and January 2015.

Each person who pre-orders will be entered into a draw to win a copy of The Avengers: Series 1 and 2 on DVD box set, containing the remaining three first series episodes.

For for more information visit www.bigfinish.com

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New book explores the strange case of The Avengers’ missing episodes

IN THE mid-Sixties, The Avengers proved itself to be a cultural phenomenon. Despite its quintessential Englishness, it transcended international barriers, and established itself as British television’s most successful export of the day. Front cover of The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes - The Lost Stories of The Avengers Series 1

Today, it remains hugely popular, perhaps because of the schizophrenic nature of the show as it developed; it was a series of many colours, with something for everyone. But the earliest episodes of the show – produce by ABC Television and pairing Ian Hendry as Dr David Keel alongside the mysterious John Steed (Patrick Macnee) – have, since their 1961 broadcast, disappeared from view, the vast majority of the recordings lost forever.

The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes lifts the lid on that first year, and retells the stories in extended synopsis form, covering twenty-four episodes, often with script extracts, in greater depth than ever before. The book also boasts a detailed introduction, which explores how these much sought after programmes came to be lost, and a detailed retelling of an alternative, untransmitted version of the episode Double Danger.

The Strange Case of the Missing Episodes – The Lost Stories of The Avengers is available in hardcover (£19.99) and paperback (£14.99) from Hidden Tiger. Visit www.hiddentigerbooks.co.uk

Read an interview with authors Alan Hayes, Alys Hayes and Richard McGinlay about their fantastic new book.

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Declassified at last – Lost episode of Hugh and I Spy recovered by Kaleidoscope

A LOST episode of Hugh and I Spy — featuring popular 1960s TV double-act Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd — has been recovered by Kaleidoscope.Hugh and I

The classic TV organisation joined forces with the Tim Disney Archive to buy the 16mm print of the episode, Tea or Coffin, from a collector on internet auction site eBay.

The recovered show, broadcast by the BBC on February 26, 1968, is said to be in “superb” condition and is now the only episode that remains from the six-part series — a sequel to the popular Hugh and I sitcom, which ran from 1962 – 67.

It will be shown at the BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped event later this year.

In Hugh and I Spy, written by John Chapman and produced by David Croft, Terry and Hugh found themselves unwillingly involved in espionage and double-dealing.

As befitting the spy genre, each episode ended in a cliffhanger.

Tea or Coffin was the final episode of Hugh and I Spy and starred Fred Emney and Rex Garner (series regulars) plus Derek Sydney, Robert Gillespie, Jasmina Hamzavi, Francisca Tu, David Toguri, Roger Carey, Julie Mendez, Dino Shafeek, Rafiq Anwar, Paul Anil and John Louis Mansi.

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Kaleidoscope uncover treasure trove of lost Pan’s People performances

A ‘treasure trove’ of steamy Top of the Pops performances by TV dance troupe Pan’s People is set to get men’s pulses racing once more — after being lost for over 40 years.

In an era before pop videos, the all-female group’s sultry routines to chart toppers of the day gave millions of dads a reason to tune in to the BBC’s flagship music show every week.

Yet despite being a staple of the programme for nearly a decade, the majority of Pans People appearances no longer exist — wiped by the BBC, along with hundreds of vintage editions of Tops of the Pops, in the late 1970s.

But now a dozen “sorely missed” Pans People performances — to hits by pop stars including T.Rex, Barry White, Elton John, The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross — can be seen again, after being uncovered in a music producer’s private collection.

The long-lost clips — choreographed by Felicity “Flick” Colby and featuring well-remembered Pan’s People dancers including Patricia “Dee Dee” Wilde, Louise Clarke, Ruth Pearson and Barbara “Babs” Lord — will be screened by Midlands-based TV research organisation Kaleidoscope at a special event in June.

Wilde, who hopes to be attending the one-day event on June 1, says it will be an “exciting if poignant experience” watching the clips since co-founders Colby and Clarke have both died in the last two years.

She said: “Considering that Pan’s People danced on Top of the Pops week in, week out, for so many years, it’s such a pity that most of our routines have been lost, wiped by the BBC back in the 70s.

“To hear that some of them have now been recovered thanks to a collector recording them himself and keeping the tapes all these years really is wonderful. Often we never even saw them go out as we were so busy.

“I can’t wait to see them again and it’s just so sad that neither Flick nor Louise are with us to enjoy their rediscovery too.”

The rare clips, dating from between 1973 and ’75 and featuring Pan’s People dancing to hits such as Truck On Tyke by T.Rex, (For You) I’ll Do Anything You Want Me To by Barry White, Island Girl by Elton John, I Want You Back by Jackson 5 and All Of My Life by Diana Ross, were tracked down in the collection of record producer and songwriter Ian Levine.

Other “significant” finds include dance routines to Dance With The Devil by legendary rock drummer Cozy Powell, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive and Rhythm And Blue Jean Baby by Lynsey De Paul.

Kaleidoscope spokesperson Chris Perry said: “This is a major find of missing Pan’s People performances in great condition not held by the BBC, Pan’s People or anyone else.

“Ian recorded the clips off the TV back in the 1970s using an early video recorder, and the tapes had sat unused on his shelf until donated to Kaleidoscope last year.

“We’ve received a huge haul of 20,000 tapes from Ian which we are currently cataloguing. We’ve also recently come across an almost complete Top of the Pops missing from the archives from 1976 so who knows what else is waiting to be found!”

Pan’s People expert Mike Morton, who will be releasing a biography of the dance troupe next year, added: “All in all this is a remarkable collection that manages to capture all the excitement and energy that made Top Of The Pops the greatest music show on television.

“Watching Pan’s People dance to the T.Rex hit ‘Truck On Tyke’, for example, is such a treat as no footage exists anywhere in the world of that particular Marc Bolan song, while they look like five sexy dream-catchers with feathers hanging from their waists in an electric performance alongside Cozy Powell.”

Pan’s People first appeared on Top of the Pops in 1968, four years after the programme was first aired, dancing to US Male by Elvis Presley.

They also appeared on other TV shows of the era including Lulu, The John Denver Show and The Two Ronnies.

Their last Top of the Pops appearance was in April 1976, dancing to Silver Star by The Four Seasons, but the troupe remained popular after leaving. During this period Sarah Brightman, who later married composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, was briefly a member.

For more information on Kaleidoscope’s The Ballroom! event on June 1, visit www.kaleidoscope.org.uk

ENDS

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The Tenth Planet episode four to be animated for DVD release

The Tenth Planet animated stillTHE TENTH PLANET – the Doctor Who story that marked the close of the William Hartnell era – is to have its missing fourth episode animated for DVD release, BBC Worldwide has confirmed.

Broadcast in October 1966, The Tenth Planet was the first story to feature iconic foes the Cybermen, the first to introduce the concept of regeneration and the last to feature the First Doctor as the series’s lead. The final installment of the story, episode four, has been missing from the BBC Archives since the mid-1970s and is possible the most sought-after of the lost Doctor Who episodes because of its historical importance to the show.

The missing episode four will be animated by Australia-based Planet 55 Studios, which used its patent Thetamation process to recreate the lost episodes 4 and 5 of Hartnell adventure The Reign of Terror for its DVD release last month.

Doctor Who range producer Dan Hall said: “It’s a real thrill to be bringing such an iconic Doctor Who episode back to life. Without the events established in The Tenth Planet episode 4, there would be no Doctor Who as we know it!”

The Tenth Planet DVD is set to be released in late 2013 and is expected to also include a reconstruction of the missing episode using existing telesnaps which featured on the VHS release in 2000.

A selection of stills from the new animation work-in-progress can be seen via a gallery on BBC Worldwide’s official Doctor Who 50th Anniversary website.

There is also a showreel available to watch on the Planet 55 website featuring a scene of the First Doctor stalked in the snow, inspired by The Tenth Planet.

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Kaleidoscope event to screen rare and recently recovered Associated-Rediffusion shows

“This is Rediffusion, broadcasting on the London station of the Independent Television Authority.”

Kaleidoscope’s 25th year begins with Rediffusion Rewind, an event celebrating the London broadcaster of the fifties and sixties. As well as a special panel on Sexton Blake, we have former Rediffusion continuity announcer Keith Martin on stage to discuss his time at the company and a video interview with veteran director Christopher Hodson. Little of Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion’s programming survives today and we are pleased to present a schedule full of rare items, including some recent recoveries by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope.

The event will take place on Saturday 9th March 2013 between 12:00 – 7:00pm at our usual venue, The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1DW. Admission is free, but voluntary donations to our designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are encouraged.

THE MAIN ROOM

  • 12:00 pm Recreated Associated-Rediffusion start up – the famous London broadcaster lives again, thanks to some modern technical wizardry…
  • 12:05 pm Crime Sheet – “The Superintendent Hedges A Bet”. Ordinarily the second Associated-Rediffusion series to feature Raymond Francis as Det. Supt. Tom Lockhart, due to Francis contracting mumps this fourth episode featured Chief Supt. Carr, played by Gerald Case. An episode of No Hiding Place, the third Lockhart series can be seen in the Second Room at 1.00pm (TX: 29/04/1959).
  • 12:30 pm Hodson’s Choice – in this comprehensive video interview, veteran director Christopher Hodson reminisces about his career with particular focus on his years at Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion.
  • 1:00 pm Our Man at St. Mark’s – “A Previous Conviction”. Recovered by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope in 2012, this rare episode of the sixties ecclesiastical comedy stars its original lead, Leslie Phillips. Rev. Parker’s attempt to give an ex-convict a new start has unexpected complications. Also featuring Joan Hickson, Warren Mitchell and Freddie Jones (TX: 23/10/1963).
  • 1:30 pm Half Hour Story – “George’s Room”. John Neville and Geraldine Moffatt star in a two-hander scripted by Alun Owen and directed by Alan Clarke. Made in 625-line colour as an engineering experiment, only the last twelve minutes survive, shot directly on film rather than telerecorded. A rare chance to see material in colour from this period, including a colour Rediffusion animated ident (TX: 30/08/1967).
  • 1:42 pm Break
  • 2:00 pm Guest Panel – Sexton Blake Lives! – A celebration of the much loved Rediffusion adaptation. Roger Foss, Tinker in the series and other surviving cast members talk with Paul Ross, author of a forthcoming book on Sexton Blake. The panel also features surviving clips and photographs from stories now lost.
  • 3.00 pm Break – accompanied by Fusion, a compilation of classic Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion moments and title sequences including Benny Hill, Woody Allen, The Rat Catchers, Boyd QC and Object Z.
  • 3:30 pm Betjeman’s London – “The Royal Mint”. Future Poet Laureate John Betjeman presents this documentary series covering the landmarks of his home city. Copies of the original Rediffusion publicity booklet for the whole Betjeman’s London series will be available to own on the day, in return for a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. There will also be duplicated copies of the final Rediffusion programme schedule, a very colourful leaflet giving details of the final month of the station’s output, again available for a donation to our designated charity.
  • 4:00 pm Guest Panel – This is Rediffusion… – Continuity announcer Keith Martin talks about his time at the company and others later in his career. Keith also has the distinction of being one of the regulars “in the bar” on Stars and Garters! Some very rare examples of Rediffusion continuity will feature in the panel.
  • 4:30 pm Uncle Charles – “Gentle Counsels”. Based on the stories of Nigel Balchin, Uncle Charles is the endearing rogue and raconteur propping up the bar, always with a compelling tale to tell. Raymond Huntley heads the cast, supported by David Morton, Alfie Bass and Dudley Foster. This programme was recovered by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope in 2012. The series, which has never been shown in the Midlands before now also features music by Ron Grainer (TX: 13/01/1967).
  • 5:30 pm Stars and Garters. The hugely popular Rediffusion variety show hosted by comedian Ray Martine and set in a fictional public house. This edition features The Alan Braden Band and Quartet, Susan Maughan, Kim Cordell, Steve Perry, Luciano, Johnny Sheldon, Sulky Gowers, Tommy (Pudden) Wright and Diana Dors (TX: 01/02/1965).
  • 6:00 pm Maps & Men – “Falkland Islands”. An Associated-Rediffusion schools programme (TX: 20/01/1959).
  • 6:10 pm Small Time – Wally Whyton sings in the sole surviving clip, located as an insert in an ITV programme. Followed by Muskit and Dido, the only remaining adventure of this loveable duo.
  • 6:15 pm The Hippodrome Show. Rediffusion variety show, with Frank Foster as the Ringmaster and also featuring Alan Sherman, Linda Bennett, The Zombies, The Herculeans, Alma Paia, Tagora, Moni The Elephant, The Three Ghezzis and The Band of The Grenadier Guards (TX: 20/10/1966).
  • 7:00 pm Closedown – coverage of the 1959 General Election coverage ends with the Associated-Rediffusion clock and a closedown announcement from Redvers Kyle.

 

THE SECOND ROOM

  • 12:00 pm Blackmail – “Cut Yourself A Slice Of Throat”. Dramatic anthology drama with stories constructed around the theme of blackmail. This episode features Diane Cilento, Aubrey Richards, Dudley Jones and future Doctor Who producer Derrick Sherwin in an acting role (TX: 15/10/1965).
  • 1:00 pm No Hiding Place – “The White Stick”. An early episode of the celebrated drama series following the cases of Det. Chief. Supt. Tom Lockhart, played by Raymond Francis. Lockhart is assisted by Det. Sgt. Harry Baxter (Eric Lander). Also featuring Terence Alexander, Pauline Jameson and Jack Smethurst in a script by Bill Strutton (TX: 14/07/1961).
  • 2:00 pm Women in Love – a series of short plays on the theme of women in love, with linking introductions by the actor George Sanders. The plays are After So Long by Bridget Balfour, Song Without Words by Michael Meyer and The Stowaway by Charles Terrot. Produced by Peter Graham Scott and directed by Julian Amyes, Peter Graham Scott and Ronald Marriott (TX: 24/09/1958).
  • 3:00 pm At Last the 1948 Show. Before Monty Python or The Goodies, John Cleese and Tim Brooke-Taylor edited this famous satirical show, bringing Cambridge Footlights humour to a wider audience. Masterminded by David Frost, the programme was written by and starring John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman and also featured Aimi MacDonald. The edition presented here was not on the DVD release or seen in more recent repeat showings (TX: 31/10/1967).
  • 3:30 pm Orlando – “Dangerous Waters 3: Rhyme – But No Reason”. Sam Kydd’s character from Crane, ex-Foreign Legionnaire Orlando O’Connor was so successful he was granted his own spin-off series, aimed at children and young adults. An episode of Crane also featuring Orlando will be shown at 6.00pm (TX: 12/10/1966).
  • 4:00 pm Badger’s Bend – “The Animal Hotel episode 1”. First episode of the children’s serial about a girl who moves to the country and becomes interested in caring for animals (TX: 04/01/1963).
  • 4:30 pm Double Your Money – a later edition of the long running quiz show, in its day one of the most popular programmes on British television. Presented by Hughie Green, assisted by Monica Rose and Audrey Graham (TX: 22/11/1966).
  • 5:00 pm The Dickie Henderson Show – “The Maid”. Sitcom starring the famous entertainer at the height of his fame. Also featuring June Laverick as Dickie’s wife and John Parsons as Richard, his son (TX: 10/04/1961).
  • 5:30 pm London – A New Look. Brian Connell presents a discussion programme about the plan to replace the old London County Council with the proposed Greater London Council. Guests are Sir Edwin Herbert KBE, Lord Morrison of Lambeth, Sir Percy Rugg, Professor W. A. Robson, Sir Cyril Black MP, Alderman Leslie Room OBE, Alderman G. A. Pargiter and Alderman W. J. Ridd. This programme has survived on original 405-line videotape (TX: 24.11.1960).
  • 6:00 pm Crane – “The Cannibi Syndicate”. An early episode of the adventure series starring Patrick Allen as Richard Crane. As well as series regulars Sam Kydd, Gerald Flood, Bruce Montague and Laya Raki, David Graham and Derek Benfield also feature (TX: 16/04/1963).
  • 7:00 pm Closedown

 

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Programmes and timings may be subject to change before the day.
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In 2013 Kaleidoscope is supporting the
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