Monthly Archives: March 2009

Kaleidoscope Event Dedicated to Bob Monkhouse Announced

Classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope has just announced it is organizing an event dedicated to comedian’s comedian Bob Monkhouse.

Entitled ‘Bob’s Full House‘, the hotly-anticipated event will be a retrospective of the life and work of the hugely-talented comic, writer and avid TV, film and radio collector, who died of prostate cancer in 2003.

According to Kaleidoscope’s Christopher Perry, the event will feature Bob in some of his best-remembered programmes including ATV quiz show The Golden Shot, Mad Movies and My Pal Bob – a late ’50s BBC sitcom he co-wrote with Denis Goodwin.

These programmes have been recovered from the Bob Monkhouse collection (see Wiped story Missing TV/Radio Recoveries 2008) by Kaleidoscope, which continues its meticulous cataloguing operation of over 36,000 video tapes, not to mention film cans and audio recordings.

In addition to the programming, the event promises yet-to-be-announced special guests, afternoon tea and an auction in aid of the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation.

Fittingly, Kaleidoscope has chosen the event – to be held on Saturday, 24th October 2009 – to reveal ‘You Heard It First’, which according to Mr Perry (writing on the Missing Episodes forum here) is “the first ever publication of the full list of what has been found in the Bob Monkhouse Archive, held by Kaleidoscope, plus our usual October list of other missing material returned to TV archives.”

‘Bob’s Full House’ is being sponsored by the Monkhouse family and is to be held in the The David Lean Room of the BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts), London.

Entry will be free by ticket only and tickets are available from May 1st, by sending an SAE to Kaleidoscope. You can find the address here.

Closer to home, the next Kaleidoscope event is scheduled for June 6th, 2009 and will be held, as usual, in Stourbridge, West Midlands. A list of featured programmes and guests has yet to be released.


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Lost TV Hancock Half Hours Get Audiobook Release

Soundtracks to two missing episodes of superlative 1950s sit-com Hancock’s Half Hour are set to be released on CD this summer.

The season four episodes – The Flight of the Red Shadow (tx 23/01/1959) and The Wrong Man (tx 06/03/1959) – are due to be released by BBC Audiobooks as a two-CD set on July 2, 2009,according to Amazon.

Like with many shows of the time, the master tapes to both episodes (written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson) were wiped by the BBC long ago, but fortunately fans recorded off-air audio copies.

These copies have been restored to make them as listenable as possible.

The recordings were recovered in December 2008 by the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society along with further season four episodes: Underpaid! Or, Grandad’s SOS; The Horror Serial; Matrimony Almost and The Beauty Contest.

In addition to series regulars Tony Hancock and Sid James, The Flight of the Red Shadow features Rolf Harris and small roles for series’ creators Galton and Simpson themselves. Alan Simpson also appears in The Wrong Man.

The forthcoming CD will include an explanded sleeve note explaining how the episodes came to be released.

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Colour Me Pop – Can You Help Track Down Missing Material?

During its short life, BBC 2’s Colour Me Pop showcased some of brightest lights of British rock and pop music in glorious colour.

Between June 1968 and August ’69 51 editions of this pioneering music show (a spin-off of BBC 2 arts magazine Late Night Line-Up) were made, with era-defining groups such as The Kinks, Caravan and Free performing half-hour sets.

Today, Colour Me Pop would be seen as providing a a treasure-trove of material from the cream of the UK charts, if all but a few editions hadn’t been wiped long ago.

In total, five editions remain intact within the BBC archive – The Small Faces, The Moody Blues, The Move, Trapeze and an unscreened programme showcasing The Chambers Brothers. Apart from that there are a few tantalizing clips from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band edition and film inserts from the Clodagh Rodgers/Honeybus edition, according to the show’s entry on Wikipedia.

Music enthusiast A. J. Smith is currently researching Colour Me Pop and has helped recover precious audio recordings of missing shows during the course of his work.

He told Wiped: ‘I’ve been researching CMP since December last year, with a view to hopefully gathering enough information for an absorbing (magazine) article.

‘To this end, I’ve been trying to track down and interview anyone who appeared on or worked on the show, to find out more info and possibly to recover lost material from the show.

‘So far, most of the artists I’ve emailed who appeared on the show can’t remember much, (with the exception of Peter Giles of Giles, Giles and Fripp) but, after posting about my research on the Mausoleum Club forum, a member managed to put me in touch with BBC sound engineer Michael Cotton, who worked on CMP and could remember a lot about it.

‘He had also saved the soundtracks to the Hollies and Barry Noble editions, and kindly supplied me with CD copies of them. These have been the first (hopefully of more) recoveries of my on-going research.’

Mr Smith is now trying to track down CMP’s director, Steve Turner, and is appealing for anyone who might know of his present whereabouts to get in touch.

He continued: ‘My number one priority for future research is to track down Steve Turner, who would remember the most about the show.

‘He was last heard from working at Central TV in the early ’90s and is almost certainly retired by now, as he must be, by my reckoning, aged 72 at present.

‘If any of the readers of Wiped have any clue as to where-in-the-world Steve Turner is these days, or anything else about Colour Me Pop at all, PLEASE get in contact with me at khakishorts@gmail.’

Wiped wishes Mr Smith all the best with his research and missing episode hunting.


Filed under Music

The Rat Catchers – The Unwitting Courier Update

The recently rediscovered episode of 60s spy drama The Rat CatchersThe Unwitting Courier (see the original Wiped story about the find here) – is a classic slice of prime-time television at its best. Dark and gritty but with some great moments of comic relief to lighten the tension, The Unwitting Courier boasts strong performances from all the regulars – Derek Flood, Glyn Owen and Philip Stone – who make the most of a literate, intelligent script by writer Raymond Bowers. From the opening notes of the memorable theme tune right through to the end credits, The Unwitting Courier demands the viewer’s full attention.

Below you can watch the first few minutes and see for yourself.


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Historic Footage of Sir Edmund Hillary Found Just In Time

Rare footage of mountaineer and explorer Sir Edmund Hillary ready to embark on his historic expedition to Antarctica has been saved from oblivion after being  found in a loft.

The black and white 16mm film was discovered in February in the loft of CB Norwood, a farm machinery company in Palmerston North, North Island, New Zealand, that had supplied tractors for the 1957 expedition.

It shows Hillary, who in 1953 made history by conquering the peak of Mount Everest alongside sherpa Tenzing Norgay, being teased by team members for having a hair cut and the team leaving Christchurch, New Zealand, aboard the ship Endeavour bound for Antarctica.

Hillary led the New Zealand section of a joint Commonwealth trans-Antarctic expedition, which became the first party to reach the South Pole since Robert Scott’s ill-fated expedition in 1912.

The “rusty old can” containing the priceless film was found by CB Norwood staff member Paul Collins among junk destined for the rubbish tip.

Curious, Collins took the film home to play on his projector.

“It was magic, absolutely magic,” he told The Dominion Post.

“We tend to look at Sir Ed now as a hero but back then he was just one of the lads, one of the team. Sir Ed doesn’t feature prominently but in it they laugh about him having a haircut.”

Company spokesman Rob Edwards said the film was nearly thrown away during the loft clear-out.

“Thankfully someone thought to check and when we watched the footage we realised we were looking at an amazing piece of history.”

Copies of the footage, said to be in perfect condition, have been donated to the Sir Edmund Hillary Alpine Centre at Aoraki/Mt Cook.

It is the second new Hillary find that has recently come to light. The centre has also acquired a rare recording of an ABC Australia radio interview with Hillary in early August 1953, shortly after he conquered Everest.

Bough from an estate in Sydney, and then sold by a New Zealand bookshop, it is understood to be the only copy in existence.

Alpine centre general manager Denis Callesen was delighted to add the latest discoveries to the museum’s exhibits.

“In the radio recording you can hear a young Sir Ed, who is obviously shy and unused to media attention, talking about his epic climb of Everest,” he told The Dominion Post.

Read the full story here.

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Legendary Deep Purple Tour Footage Discovered

Unique footage from rock band Deep Purple’s legendary 1970s Made in Japan tour has been discovered.

Seven reels of silent 8mm black & white film taken during the group’s famous trio of concerts in Japan, August 1972, have been unearthed – running to around 26 minutes in total.

Made in Japan

Made in Japan

Until the discovery no visual footage from the performances, which formed the basis of Deep Purple’s acclaimed Made in Japan live album, was known to exist – though rumours of such material had persisted for years, according to Deep Purple website The Highway Star which broke the story here.

A 90-second clip of  Highway Star from the silent film has been synced to audio and is to be included on the forthcoming Deep Purple rarities DVD History, Hits & Highlights, set for release by Eagle Rock Entertainment in June, 2009.

It is the only footage to be utilized on the DVD because the rest of the newly-discovered material comprises many short excerpts from different songs rather than full performances. To see some stills from the footage, click here.

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Will There Be More Official Missing Who Animations?

An animated resurrection may be in store for some of the missing adventures of Doctor Who.

One hundred and eight episodes of the much cherished sci-fi show are currently missing from the BBC archives. The black and white episodes, dating from 1963-9 and featuring William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton as the peripatetic Time Lord, were junked in the early 1970s – deemed to be of no further commercial interest.

But though the visuals may be long gone, the soundtracks have survived thanks to the efforts of fans making home recordings at the time.

Publishing company 2|entertain has previously released a Doctor Who DVD (Troughton’s 1968 Cyberman story The Invasion) featuring animations of (missing) episodes one and four, produced by Cosgrove Hall. But further releases seemed unlikely due to a major funding short-fall.

The Invasion

The Invasion

However, fans’ hopes of seeing further animated episodes have been given a boost thanks to comments made by Dan Hall, Commissioning Editor for the 2|entertain Doctor Who DVD range, over at Doctor Who Online.

Though promising nothing concrete, he reveals that there are plans for two further animated stories to be released.

He told Doctor Who Online: ‘Contrary to rumour, two further animated stories are in development. Two of the core production team have been working on these projects for several months now.

‘Solving this financial shortfall has been worked on these past 24 months. Low-cost animations that fall below standard are not an option, artistically or commercially. BBC Audiobooks provide brilliant linking narrations that fire the most active imaginations. Therefore, if animations are to be commissioned, they must be of a quality that does the brand proud.

‘The commissions are by no means guaranteed, but the stories have been decided and negotiations are underway.’

Wiped will keep readers posted on any further announcements.

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Rat Catcher Caught: Missing Episode of 60s Spy Show Discovered

A missing episode of 1960s spy drama The Rat Catchers is making its way back to the archives after being discovered on a P2P file-sharing website.

The Associated Rediffusion show, which ran for two seasons between 1966 and ’67, concerned a top secret British Intelligence Unit (the ‘rat catchers’ of the title) which battled enemy spies and criminals in order to protect the security of Great Britain and the Western Alliance.

In total 25 60-minute colour episodes were produced, but until the find only the first episode, Ticket To Madrid, was known to exist, along with an incomplete print of season two’s The Heel of Achilles.

Now season one’s The Unwitting Courier can be added to that list, after being located by a classic television enthusiast on a popular torrent site.

The finder, ‘Marcus’, broke the news on the Mausoleum Club forum, which you can read here.

The uploaded episode doesn’t originate from a 16mm film print but a VHS copy obtained at a film convention. Nevertheless it is said to be of good quality and classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope has downloaded a copy with the intention of handing it over to Dick Fiddy at the British Film Institute.

Wiped hopes to bring you a follow-up to this exciting story soon.

The Rat Catchers

The Rat Catchers


Filed under Television

Missing Hancock’s Half Hour Discovered

Hancock Discovery

Hancock Discovery

Chris Perry of classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope has announced that the group has discovered a previously lost mini-episode of radio sitcom Hancock’s Half Hour.

The important find was made while sorting through reel-to-reel recordings that comprise part of the Bob Monkhouse collection. Monkhouse, who died in 2003, was an avid collector of film, TV and radio, and Kaleidoscope has been entrusted with cataloguing the vast collection.

The untitled episode, written by Hancock creators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, runs to around seven and a half minutes and features all the regular cast: Tony Hancock, Sid James and Bill Kerr.

It was originally broadcast as part of Welcome to London, tx. 3rd August 1958 (BBC Light Programme), described by Alan Hayes, who has restored the programme, as a a ‘gala performance to celebrate the successful conclusion of the 1958 Commonwealth Games’. The Hancock mini-episode is on this subject.

What’s even more exciting is that the whole Welcome to London programme has been recovered and, as Alan explains on the Mausoleum Club forum, features other gems like a Take It From Here mini-episode, Frankie Howerd, the Much Binding in the Marsh cast and a sketch featuring Eric Sykes and Hattie Jacques.

The Hancock episode has now been added to the next Kaleidoscope event, scheduled for Saturday, March 7, 2009, from 12pm-7pm at Stourbridge Town Hall, Stourbridge, West Midlands. Entry is free and for a full schedule of the rare gems being shown, click here.

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