HOME AUDIO recordings of lost episodes of Not Only… But Also have been discovered at a house in Kent.
The recovery of the soundtracks to 11 episodes from the mid-sixties and early 1970s means that some form of recording now exists for each and every episode of Peter Cook and Dudley Moore’s seminal TV comedy series.
The “bootleg” copies were found at the home of NOBA fan Graham Webb, who had recorded them off the TV at the time of transmission, using a reel-to-reel tape recorder.
Mr Webb, a freelance artist and writer, was only alerted to their rarity after attending the British Film Institute’s (BFI) Missing Believed Wiped event.
There are now plans by the BBC to make the recordings, said to be generally of good quality, available to the public.
Dick Fiddy of the BFI says the tapes, recovered with the assistance of freelance writer and researcher Charles Norton, are an “amazing find”.
He said: “A lot of the comedy is quite verbal. You’re not losing a tremendous amount.
“You know what Pete and Dud look like. You can imagine what situation they’re in. You can imagine what expressions they’re pulling.
The programmes, broadcast between 1965 and 1970, capture the duo “at the height of their comedy powers,” Mr Fiddy added.
Mr Webb, of the Isle of Sheppey, Kent, kept copies of many of his favourite shows using a reel-to-reel tape recorder soldered into the TV speaker.
He listened “avidly” to the NOBA tapes for over a decade, until boxing them up in the early 1980s after buying a video recorder.
The 63-year-old says he never told anybody apart from friends about the recordings because he “thought it was illegal, recording stuff off the BBC”.
Mr Norton, who was hired by the BBC to track down audio recordings of otherwise lost shows, says the recovery of the Webb tapes now means that every episode of the three series of Not Only… But Also is represented in some way visually or in audio.
He said: “Some of our recordings are slightly incomplete in some way and there’s one episode where we only have a few film sequences. However, we do now have something for each episode.”
Out of an original run of 22, eight episodes of Not Only… But Also still reside in the BBC archives, with one, Series 1, Episode 6, located in America in 2004.
In addition to the Graham Webb recordings, which include the soundtracks to 10 lost episodes from series 1, 2 and 3, the BBC holds further audio recordings, including duplicates, for seven episodes from series 2 and 3. Film inserts also exist from series 1 and 3.
Not Only… But Also
KEY: BBC (recovered by the BBC in 2003); ED (recorded by Ed Doolan); GW (recorded by Graham Webb); MN (recovered by Matthew North, 2005); f/r (film recording)
SERIES 1 (BBC, 1965, B&W)
Series 1, Episode 1 – tx: 09/01/1965 – Exists, 16mm f/r. Featuring: (John Lennon, Norman Rossington) Car Wash Opening/Initials/The Ravens/Good Dog Nigel/Deaf Ted, Danoota and Me. Music: Diahann Carroll (Humdrum Blues, Brown Baby, Blues In The Night), Dudley Moore Trio (Swingles Theme, Grwmst, Just in Time).
Series 1, Episode 2 – tx: 23/01/1965 – Exists, 35mm f/r. Featuring: (Barry Humphries, Roddy Maude-Roxbury) One-Man Band Opening/Silent Film extract/Tarquin Mordente – Silent Film Producer/Painting on Television/Roddy Maude-Roxbury monologue/Guide to the North Circular/Pete and Dud – A Spot of the Usual Trouble/Striptease. Music: Goldie & The Gingerbreads (Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat), Dudley Moore Trio (I Won’t Dance), Dudley and Orchestra (Got a Lot of Livin’ to Do).
Series 1, Episode 3 – tx: 06/02/1965 – Exists, 35mm f/r. Featuring: (Joe Melia, Bill Wallis, John Wells) Cinema Opening/Sir Arthur At The Tailor/The Great War/Pete and Dud – The Worst Thing in the World/Alan A’Dale. Music: June Christy (You Came a Long Way from St Louis, Just in Time, Remind Me, My Shining Hour).
Series 1, Episode 4 – tx: 20/02/1965 – Exists, 35mm f/r. Featuring:
(Barry Humphries, Anna Quayle) Gypsy Violinist Opening/Tramponuns/Tramponuns Film/Anna Quayle Monologue/Prospective Son-In-Law/Incidents in the Life of My Uncle Arly/Pete and Dud – Art Gallery. Music: Marian Montgomery (The Exciting Mr Fitch, Wasn’t the Summer Short?, Close Your Eyes), Dudley Moore Trio (Indiana).
Series 1, Episode 5 – tx: 06/03/1965 – Missing, 35mm mute film inserts only. Featuring: (Mel Torme) London Bus Opening (exists as silent film sequence)/Pete and Dud – On the Bus/Canvassing Dracula (exists as silent film sequence)/Job Offer/Privates Cigarettes Advertising (exists as silent film sequence)/Betting Agent/Restaurant (exists as silent film sequence). Music: Mel Torme (Limehouse Blues, My One and Only Highland Fling/Dat Dere Daddy).
Series 1, Episode 6 – 40’40” tx: 20/03/1965 – Exists, Held on DigiBeta ex-US NTSC copy; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: (Peter Sellers) Doomed Pilots Opening/Boxer-Cum-Painter/Pete and Dud – Superstitions/The Gourmets. Music: T-Bone Walker (Hey Baby, Goodbye Baby), Dudley Moore Trio (I Love You Samantha).
Series 1, Episode 7 – 27’26” tx: 03/04/1965 – Missing; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: (Eric Sykes, John Bluthal) The Grand Order of the Bull/Pete and Dud – Religions/Making of a B-Movie/Ballroom Dancing Competition. Music: Blossom Dearie (I Wish You Love), Dudley Moore Trio (Baubles Bangles & Beads).
SERIES 2 (BBC, 1966, B&W)
Series 2. Episode 1 – tx: 15/01/1966 – Exists, 16mm f/r. Featuring: (Henry Cooper, Terry Downes) Underwater Pianist Opening/At the Zoo/Fight of the Century/A Bit of a Chat. Music: Cilla Black (Let There Be Love).
Series 2, Episode 2 – 26’57” tx: 22/01/1966 – Missing; Audio exists, GW, BBC. Featuring:
(Alan Freeman) Scottish (“Curse of the McLooneys”) Opening/Pete And Dud – Diseases/The Most Boring Man In The World Competition/Interview with the Most Boring Man in the World/Six Of The Best. Music: Dakota Stanton (High On A Windy Valley, Morning Glory)
Series 2, Episode 3 – 18’05” tx: 29/01/1966 – Missing; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: Court Jester Opening/Italian Restaurant/Ol’ Man River/Blue Movie/Pete and Dud – Music. Music: Blossom Dearie (You Turn Me On Baby), Dudley Moore Trio (Softly As In The Morning Rise).
Series 2, Episode 4 – tx: 05/02/1966 – Missing; Audio exists, MN, BBC. Featuring: Pete and Dud At The Seaside Opening/The Frog And Peach/Commercials/Slapstick Comedy. Music: Emil Lancey (If I Were A Bell, Rainy Day), Cook and Moore (Isn’t She A Sweetie).
Series 2, Episode 5 – tx: 12/06/1966 – Missing; Audio exists, MN. Featuring: Monk Opening/The Psychiatrist/The Epic That Never Was/Father And Son. Music: Dionne Warwick (Walk On By, Unchained Melody).
Series 2, Episode 6 – 26’02” tx: 19/02/1966 – Missing, 35mm film inserts only; Audio exists, GW, MN. Featuring: Student Prince (Drinking Song) Opening (35mm film exists)/The Music Teacher/The Walrus and the Carpenter (35mm film exists)/Pete And Dud – Sex. Music: Dudley Moore Trio (Summertime), Dusty Springfield (Wives And Lovers).
Series 2, Episode 7 – tx: 26/06/1966 – Exists, 16mm f/r. Featuring: Caveman Opening/Bo Dudley/Superthunderstingcar/Pete and Dud – In Heaven. Music: Marian Montgomery.
Christmas Special – tx: 26/12/1966 – Exists, 16mm f/r. Featuring: (John Lennon) Fox Hunt Opening/Fairy Cobbler/Pete and Dud – The Unexplained/Swinging London (Lionel Bloab – Destructive Artist, Rev. Gavin Thistle, Penny Ryder, Simon Accrington, “L.S. Bumblebee”, The Ad Lav Club). Music: Marian Montgomery (“I’ll be Tired of You”, “I’m Old Fashioned”), Dudley Moore Trio.
SERIES 3 (BBC, 1970, Colour)
Series 3, Episode 1 – tx: 18/02/1970 – Missing, film inserts only; Audio exists, ED. Featuring: Tower Bridge Opening (film insert exists)/Pete and Dud – The Wardrobe (Dud Dreams)/Piano Tuner/Bargo (film insert exists)/Poets Cornered with Spike Milligan. Music: Nanette Newman, Dudley Moore Trio, Spike Milligan (On the Ning Nang Nong).
Series 3, Episode 2 – 28’27” tx: 04/03/1970 – Missing, film inserts only; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: Lavatory Humour Opening (film insert exists)/Scriptwriter/The Glidd of Glood (film insert exists)/Pete and Dud – 0-0-Dud/Poets Cornered with Willie Rushton. Music: Nanette, Dudley Moore Trio, Joe Cocker & The Grease Band.
Series 3, Episode 3 – 24’06” tx: 18/03/1970 – Missing; Audio exists, GW, ED. Featuring: Railway Station Opening/Sir Arthur’s World of Worms/Pete and Dud – Racial Prejudice/In the Club/Poets Cornered with Barry Humphries. Music: Nanette; Dudley Moore Trio; Michael Chapman.
Series 3, Episode 4 – 37’39” tx: 01/04/1970 – Missing, film inserts only; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: Not Only… But Psycho Opening (film insert exists)/Pete and Dud – The Futility of Life/Permission to Marry/Good vs. Evil Cricket Match (film insert exists)/Poets Cornered with Frank Muir. Music: Nanette; Dudley Moore Trio; Alan Price.
Series 3, Episode 5 – 36’27” tx: 15/04/1970 – Missing, film inserts only; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: Flowers Opening/Sir Arthur on Flowers/Geriatric Medicine (Undercover Doctor)/Pete and Dud – Heaving Thighs Across Manhattan (Writing A Blockbuster)/Ludwig! (film sections survive – two lengthy studio-based “chat show” sections missing)/Poets Cornered with Ronnie Barker. Music: Nanette; Dudley Moore Trio (“Lillian Lust”); Yes.
Series 3, Episode 6 – 23’19” tx: 29/04/1970 – Missing; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: Newspaper Opening/Lengths/The Conman/Pete and Dud – As Nature Intended/Poets Cornered with Denis Norden. Music: Nanette; Dudley Moore Trio; Arrival.
Series 3, Episode 7 – 40’32” tx: 13/05/1970 – Missing, film inserts only; Audio exists, GW. Featuring: Birmingham-Mandalay Cycle Race (film insert exists)/The Lunch Party/Pete and Dud – Self-Improvement/The Making of a Movie (film insert exists)/Poets Cornered with Alan Bennett. Music: Nanette; Dudley Moore Trio; John Williams.
READ ON: The Graham Webb story has been covered on BBC Radio 4 (PM, Six O’Clock News) and BBC Radio 5 (5 live Drive). Listen to a compilation of the broadcasts, including clips from some of the recovered shows, below.