Category Archives: Audio

Kaleidoscope Raiders of the Lost Archives list 2009 – 2010

CLASSIC TV organisation Kaleidoscope has revealed its annual Raiders of the Lost Archives list for 2009 – 2010, detailing all the missing material located in the last 12 months by the group along with the BBC, ITV, BFI and missing episode hunters.

Particularly notable on this year’s list is the Library of Congress finds, where over 60 long-lost British dramas dating beween the late fifties and early seventies were discovered sitting in an American archive. The assortment of plays and adaptations boast a who’s who of acting talent including Sean Connery, David McCallum, Charles Gray, Susannah York, Patrick Macnee, William Gaunt, Norman Rossington, Ron Moody, Derek Jacobi, Maggie Smith, Ronald Pickup, Nerys Hughes, Patricia Routledge, David Hemmings, Kevin Stoney, Hywel Bennett, Thora Hird, John Gielgud, Michael Gambon, Hugh Paddick, Robert Hardy, Peggy Ashcroft, Leonard Rossiter, John Le Mesurier, Patrick Stewart, Brian Rawlinson, Michael Gough, Bernard Horsfall, Michael Hordern, Patrick Troughton, Jeremy Brett, Patrick Wymark, Bernard Cribbins, Betty Marsden, Edward De Souza, Patsy Rowlands, Gerald Flood, Donald Wolfit, Philip Madoc, Geoffrey Bayldon, Frank Finlay, Henry McGee,  Jane Asher and Graham Crowden.

Also on the list are classic comedy shows starring Benny Hill, Dick Emery, Frankie Howerd, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, the Monty Python team, The Goodies, Marty Feldman, Bob Monkhouse, Denis Goodwin, Ronnie Barker, Willie Rushton, Frank Muir, Denis Norden, Alan Bennett and Hattie Jacques; serial dramas such as No Hiding Place and The Troubleshooters; light entertainment including The Rolf Harris Show; music from The Hollies, Cliff Richard and the Shadows, Showaddywaddy, The Arrows and Guys n Dolls; and children’s programmes by animator Oliver Postgate and the Smallfilms studio, including Ivor the Engine.

Last but not least, the list reveals some good progress in the BSB recoveries campaign of Ian Greaves, including episodes of The Happening, I Love Keith Allen and Up Yer News.

Speaking about the impressive list, Kaleidoscope’s Chris Perry said: “It’s been a great year for recoveries all round and goes to show there’s still more out there to find.”

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Look At The Sun – New Release from Top Sounds Record Label

Look at the Sun cover-2LOOK AT THE SUN -Precious Seconds Thought Gone From The British Underground 1967 – 1970 is the new release from UK-based vintage British psychedelia and pop label Top Sounds.

Top Sounds specialises in tracking down and sharing unreleased and previously missing recordings by the cream of underground bands from the 1960s to early ’70s.

Among the rare acetates and BBC sessions present on the officially licensed album are tracks by KALEIDOSCOPE, COCONUT MUSHROOM, THE ELASTIC BAND, THE GLASS OPENING, THE FLEUR DE LYS and ELMER GANTRY’S VELVET OPERA.

LOOK AT THE SUN is available now on vinyl and CD, priced £14.49 and £12.99 respectively. Read more in the Out Now section or visit the Top Sounds website: www.topsoundsrecords.co.uk

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I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again Restoration

Wiped catches up with Keith Wickham, whose restored episodes of pre-Python radio show I’m Sorry I’ll Read That Again have recently been lighting up the BBC Radio 7 schedule.

Keith has also worked on restoring such shows as The Goon Show, The Embassy Lark and The Big Business Lark.

You can read the full interview here.

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Morecambe and Wise: The Garage Tapes

PREVIOUSLY lost recordings featuring celebrated comedy duo Morcambe and Wise are to be aired for the first time in over 50 years.

Morcambe and Wise: The Garage Tapes documents the rediscovery of 45 hours’ worth of material – including episodes of their first radio show – found last year during a clear-out.

The BBC Radio 4 programme, presented by impressionist Jon Culshaw has been made by Whistledown. The independent radio company was contacted by Doreen Wise, widow of Ernie, after she came across two boxes of reel-to-reel tapes and a leather suitcase packed with 78rpm acetates.

These were passed on to Whistledown radio producer David Prest, who says that “three-quarters” of the old recordings were missing from the archives.

He said: “There were 45 hours of tape and we worked out that three-quarters of this stuff was thought lost. The BBC hadn’t kept much of it, but Ernie had.

RESTORED: Producer David Prest cleaning one of the 78rmp acetates.

“After six months of restoration, we had a little piece of history – the missing link between their stage and TV careers.”

The most important find is a near-complete run of Morcambe and Wise’s first radio show, You’re Only Young Once, made for the BBC BBC Northern Home Service between November 1953 and June 1954.

Also found were the fledgling duo’s appearances on BBC radio programmes Variety Bandbox and Variety Fanfare going back to 1949, sound copies of their Sixties’ Great Yarmouth and Blackpool stage-shows, song demos and audio doodles, and the speeches from a 1974 Variety Club lunch held in their honour.

You’re Only Young Once featured skits, songs and cameos from fellow comics such as Bob Monkhouse and Harry Secombe, and, according to William Cook, author of Morecambe & Wise Untold, are important for illustrating the evolution of their comedy.

He said: “They were never Northern comics in the vein of George Formby. They looked across the Pond to that Abbott & Costello style of quick-fire repartee.

Jon Culshaw, a Morcambe and Wise fan, narrates The Garage Tapes.

“It’s recognisably Morecambe & Wise. But it’s like The Beatles’ Hamburg tapes. They’re almost playing cover versions, haven’t yet discovered the thing that makes them special.”

The garage tapes are believed to be ‘run off’ copies recorded at 33/4 ips by studio engineers immediately after the recordings, and acetate copies for which Doreen Wise paid the studio engineer a few shillings.

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More Missing Hancock Set For Release

THIS year is turning out to be a treat for fans of Hancock’s Half Hour, with two new releases featuring missing episodes set to hit the shops in time for Christmas.

Hancock: The Lost Radio Episodes: Sid James’s Dad and The Diet is due out on November 5th 2009, according to Amazon.co.uk – the same day as Hancock: The ‘Lost’ TV Episodes: The Horror Serial and The Beauty Contest.

Both CDs have sourced their recordings from the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society (read an earlier story on the recovery of the TV episode soundtracks here). The THAS also holds a poor-quality recording of the radio series’ season three episode “How Hancock Won The War”.

The soon-to-be released radio episodes, “The Diet” and “Sid James’s Dad”, come from series three and four respectively and with the latter recording’s return, series four is now complete.

In “The Diet”, tx 7/12/55, Hancock is too fat for the part he is playing in a film, so he goes on a diet – and to the Turkish Baths. In “Sid James’s Dad”, tx 28/10/56, Sid is expecting a visit from his father, and, being ashamed to admit his true profession, has explained his appearances in court by telling the old man he is a judge. (Plot synopsises courtesy of www.railwaycuttings.co.uk)

  • Hancock: The Lost Radio Episodes: Sid James’s Dad and The Diet is available for pre-order on Amazon here, priced £8.80. The CD features an expanded sleeve note explaining how the episodes came to be released.

Hancock: The ‘Lost’ TV Episodes: The Horror Serial and The Beauty Contest includes two restored off-air audio recordings from series four of the TV show.

In “The Horror Serial”, tx 30/01/59, Hancock is in a nervous state after watching the last episode of Quatermass and the Pit on TV, especially when he discovers a strange object buried in his garden. Sid calls in the Army Bomb Disposal Squad, but Hancock is convinced that it is a Martian spaceship. It features John Le Mesurier and Hugh Lloyd.

In “The Beauty Contest”, tx 20/02/59, Hancock and Sid enter the council’s ‘Mr East Cheam’ contest. Naturally, both Hancock and Sid see themselves as natural winners. Hancock writer Alan Simpson appears in this episode.

  • Hancock: The ‘Lost’ TV Episodes: The Horror Serial and The Beauty Contest is available for pre-order over at Play.com, priced £6.99.

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No Longer On The Margin Thanks To BBC Audio

onthemargin SKETCHES from acclaimed writer Alan Bennett’s first and only  full-blown comedy series are to be released in October by BBC Audiobooks.

Six-part show On The Margin, which aired from September 9th to December 14th, 1966, featured satirical, political and musical sketches written and performed by Bennett, who had risen to fame as part of the legendary Beyond The Fringe revue show, which also featured luminaries Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Jonathan Miller.

Bennett was joined by a regular cast including John Sergeant, later to become the BBC’s chief political correspondent, and Virginia Stride, best-remembered as the seductive Liz Champion in BBC weekly drama series Champion House (1967 – 8). The series also featured Yvonne Gillan, Madge Hindle and Roland MacLeod.

Despite proving a popular and critical hit and getting two repeats in 1967, the second seeing the show move from BBC2 to BBC1, On The Margin is now known mainly as one of the high-profile losses of the BBC’s wiping policy.

Only one filmed insert remains to represent the series visually. However, a number of audio excerpts are also known to exist and these have been compiled by BBC Audiobooks for an exciting new CD scheduled for release in October.

Alan Bennett’s On The Margin, due out October 8th, will at least give a taste for what the show must have been like. No details of the track titles or running time have yet been revealed but an idea of the type of comedy to expect can be gleaned from BFI Screenonline’s guide to the show:

“Each instalment featured a mixture of sketches (some foreshadowing Bennett’s subsequent television dramas, others mocking television clichés, such as documentaries about working-class Northern writers and discussion programmes featuring pretentious critics), the quasi-soap ‘Streets Ahead: Life and Times in NW1’ (about a supposedly upwardly mobile Camden couple) and, more unexpectedly, serious poetry and music slots incorporating readings by Michael Hordern and Prunella Scales and archive footage of music-hall stars. This personalised nostalgic element distinguished On the Margin from other sketch shows, with Bennett’s satirical swipes at contemporary Britain integrated with his entirely genuine love of its cultural heritage.”

Alan Bennett’s On The Margin is currently available for pre-order on Play.com, priced £5.99.

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