THE SOLE surviving episodes of Out of Town — the leisurely countryside series fronted by Jack Hargreaves — are set to be released on DVD . . . after being rediscovered at a BBQ.
The shows, dating from the early 1980s, were believed to have been lost forever when the distribution company that owned them wiped the master tapes.
But copies of the 34 episodes were kept by the man tasked with remastering them to digital format, and came to light last year after a chance conversation at a summer party.
Rights to the shows — dating from 1980–81 and including the very last broadcast episode — have now been secured by the Delta Leisure Group, which is planning to release them on DVD at a date yet to be decided.
The episodes are the original TV broadcast programmes, as made by Southern Television. They were located by David King, Simon Baddeley, Simon Winters and classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope.
They feature the following location films:
Coarse Fishing/ Donkey Vet
A River for all Seasons/ Bass Fishing
Pebbles/ Eling Tidal Mill
Chalk Hills and Chalk Springs/ Stagecoach
Gean Tree Furniture/ Fly Fishing
Garden Competition/ Bulls & Countryside (dry fly fishing)
Model Making/ Fly Fishing
The theft of the countryside/Fell Ponies
Heavy Horses/ Fly Fishing
Gypsy Caravans/ Sea Fishing
Sheep Farming/Bite Indicators
Into the Past/Private Rivers
Wood Sculptor/ Ferrets
21st Anniversary Programme
Pony & Horse Branding/Perch Fishing
Pony Riding/Next Generation/Gardens/Sheep
Pannage /Dry Fly Fishing
Multiplier Reel Casting/Hounds
Growing Corn/Eden Vale
Blackmore Vale/Dog Breeding
Annual Agricultural Show/Pheasant Shooting
Old Railway Line/Annual Agricultural Shows
Southern Fishing Competition/ Rabbit Catching
Observing The Country/Dog Show
Saving The Countryside/ Going to Market
Sheep Farming/ Fishing
Parsonage Down/First English Culture
Out of Town ran for almost two decades, with viewers of all ages fascinated by Hargreaves’s gentle expeditions through the countryside and insights into the bygone ways of rural life.
When the demise of ITV franchise Southern Television in 1981 brought the much-loved programme to a close after 18 years, Hargreaves went on to make a further series of 27 Out of Town episodes for commercial release.
These direct-to-video episodes — using original cut film inserts Hargreaves had bought from Southern married with a new voiceover track and links — have recently been re-released by Delta.
But the original series, with it’s fondly-remembered studio ‘shed’ setting, has not been seen since original transmission
Delta, which has acquired the DVD rights from Endemol Worldwide Distribution, has said that it welcome the views of those with an interest in the release of these episodes on DVD and can be contacted by email at email@example.com.