The final two parts of ITV’s Raiders of the Lost Archive are set to be broadcast this month – two years after the screening of the first episode.
Raiders of the Lost Archive, dubbed ‘an indulgent trawl through the archives’, was ITV’s contribution to the search for missing TV footage. Between 2006 – 7, researchers at the commercial station teamed up with classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope to hunt down lost gems for the series, calling on members of the public to aid the search.
The fruits of that search included 1968 ATV play ‘A Matter of Diamonds’, broadcast under the ITV Playhouse banner and notable for featuring singer Cliff Richard in a straight role. For a full list of finds, click here.
Of course, being produced by ITV Raiders was focused on celebrities being re-united with their early TV appearances more than anything else. Having comedian a, star of Max & Paddy’s Road To Nowhere, present only underlined the fact the show was seen as witless entertainment rather than an informative look at British TV history and its re-discovery.
Turned into a fast-paced clip show with more emphasis on the celebrities’ reactions to seeing their younger selves than on the footage itself, episode one of this 30-minute black and white bastard child of nostalgia shows and Surprise, Surprise was screened by ITV on January 16, 2007, then promptly pulled from the schedules.
Now it seems ITV 1 has decided to screen the remaining two episodes, at 10.35pm on Tuesdays July 21st and 28th respectively. The shows will include clips featuring Morecambe and Wise, Bill Oddie, Noddy Holder and Johnny Briggs.
Let’s hope it was worth the wait.
- If you would like to know what featured in episode one of Raiders of the Lost Archive, check out news stories (January 7, 2007) from the Sunday Times here and Manchester Evening News here.