Category Archives: Kaleidoscope

Recording of Sean Connery’s first lead TV role discovered after more than 50 years

requiemforheavyweightSean Connery’s first-ever on-screen performance has been rediscovered more than 50 years after its first and only TV broadcast.

The “priceless” recording of ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight’, a one-off BBC drama, was found gathering dust in a London attic.

Aired in 1957, it saw a young Connery in the lead role of washed-up boxer Malcolm “Mountain” McClintock and introduced the nation to the actor’s trademark Scottish brogue.

Like all TV shows in the 1950s, the 75-minute programme was not officially recorded but broadcast live from a studio.

But director Alvin Rakoff recognised Connery’s talent and “thought it prudent, for posterity’s sake” to capture an audio recording of the show for his own private collection.

It was stowed under old blankets in his loft for safekeeping but was “soon forgotten” as his burgeoning Hollywood career took off.

The Emmy Award-winning director, now 87, finally dug out the vintage reel-to-reel tape on Monday after inadvertently reminding himself of its existence during a media interview – about Connery’s accent – last week.

Until now, no-one – including Connery, now 83, – knew that a copy existed.

Canadian-born Rakoff, whose movies have featured cinematic icons like Laurence Olivier, Donald Pleasence, Peter Sellers, Kenneth More and Alan Bates, said: “It was my habit in those days to take audio recordings of some of my better work. It was the only way of capturing it given that everything went out live.

“Sean was tall and strikingly handsome – he was an obvious star in the making – so I decided to take a copy for posterity, should my inkling come true. An international legion of 007 fans will be pleased it did.”

Requiem for a Heavyweight was originally a teleplay that was later adapted for British and American TV. It was also made into a feature film starring Quinn, Jackie Gleason and Mickey Rooney.

The British version was screened on March 31 1957 in the BBC’s Sunday Night Theatre anthology, and starred Warren Mitchell and Michael Caine.

Connery, who went on to play James Bond five years later, was cast as the lead.

But the BBC only began recording programmes in the ’60s. Until then, all shows were live. It means thousands of programmes, including Requiem for a Heavyweight, will never be seen again.

Luckily Rakoff, who launched Connery’s career with earlier walk-on parts, set-up a line feed and captured the show as audio.

He remembered the reels’ existence after discussing Connery’s accent in an interview, and “dug them out” after nearly six decades “gathering grime”.

Rakoff, who moved to the UK from Canada to work for the BBC, has just completed his latest work, ‘The Seven Einsteins’ – a novel set for big-screen adaptation.

He said: “It is remarkable that the tapes survived, unharmed, for so long. It’s also remarkable that I remembered them – they could easily have been left in the attic for another 60 years.”

Although no actual footage of Requiem for a Heavyweight exists, experts say the recording is a “major coup” for the British TV and film industry.

Chris Perry of The Kaleidoscope Archive, the classic TV and film organisation which has taken the reels for digitisation, said: “It goes without saying that this audio, featuring Sean Connery’s first on-screen lead performance, is priceless.

“It’s a snapshot of a golden era of television when programmes were broadcast live to an expectant nation.”

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Kaleidoscope uncovers lost BBC drama in RNLI vault

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CLASSIC TV organisation Kaleidoscope has uncovered a 1950s BBC maritime drama long thought lost at sea.

Broadcast in 1959, Medico — a documentary drama about emergency medical services for ships at sea — was thought not to have been recorded.

But following enquiries with the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI), which had lent one of its lifeboats for use in the programme, Kaleidoscope discovered the complete play in the charity’s vaults.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope describes the recovery of Medico as a “remarkable discovery”.

He said: “It all started on the Kaleidoscope Facebook page a few weeks ago.

“Regular readers of our Facebook page will remember Elaine Trethowan enquiring about a lost film featuring her father and the RNLI Penlee Lifeboat.

“Eventually James Cellan Jones remembered it was a play/drama called Medico and made by the BBC in 1959.

“Not surprisingly, a 1959 BBC play was not recorded according to the BBC Archives so I began to hunt for the film inserts, hoping they may survive.

“The hunt drew an initial blank but undeterred I approached the RNLI to check their vaults. They also said it was missing, but there were some cans from the 1950s that featured the Penlee Lifeboat.

“I asked them to check the cans. It was the complete BBC play Medico, which the BBC maintain was never recorded!”

Medico, described as an exciting drama-doc about the maritime emergency medical services provided by the Post Office, was broadcast by the BBC on January 7, 1959.

Starring Welsh character actor Meredith Edwards, and featuring TV and film director James Cellan Jones among the production team, the programme won writer Robert Barr the Prix Italia for live documentary.

Kaleidoscope now have a transfer of the play and plan to screen it for the first time in over 50 years at its Missing Believed Wiped in the Heart of the Midlands event in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on Saturday, April 5.

Tickets are priced £20 and are available now at www.kaleidoscopepublishing.co.uk

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Declassified at last – Lost episode of Hugh and I Spy recovered by Kaleidoscope

A LOST episode of Hugh and I Spy — featuring popular 1960s TV double-act Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd — has been recovered by Kaleidoscope.Hugh and I

The classic TV organisation joined forces with the Tim Disney Archive to buy the 16mm print of the episode, Tea or Coffin, from a collector on internet auction site eBay.

The recovered show, broadcast by the BBC on February 26, 1968, is said to be in “superb” condition and is now the only episode that remains from the six-part series — a sequel to the popular Hugh and I sitcom, which ran from 1962 – 67.

It will be shown at the BFI’s Missing Believed Wiped event later this year.

In Hugh and I Spy, written by John Chapman and produced by David Croft, Terry and Hugh found themselves unwillingly involved in espionage and double-dealing.

As befitting the spy genre, each episode ended in a cliffhanger.

Tea or Coffin was the final episode of Hugh and I Spy and starred Fred Emney and Rex Garner (series regulars) plus Derek Sydney, Robert Gillespie, Jasmina Hamzavi, Francisca Tu, David Toguri, Roger Carey, Julie Mendez, Dino Shafeek, Rafiq Anwar, Paul Anil and John Louis Mansi.

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Kaleidoscope uncover treasure trove of lost Pan’s People performances

A ‘treasure trove’ of steamy Top of the Pops performances by TV dance troupe Pan’s People is set to get men’s pulses racing once more — after being lost for over 40 years.

In an era before pop videos, the all-female group’s sultry routines to chart toppers of the day gave millions of dads a reason to tune in to the BBC’s flagship music show every week.

Yet despite being a staple of the programme for nearly a decade, the majority of Pans People appearances no longer exist — wiped by the BBC, along with hundreds of vintage editions of Tops of the Pops, in the late 1970s.

But now a dozen “sorely missed” Pans People performances — to hits by pop stars including T.Rex, Barry White, Elton John, The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross — can be seen again, after being uncovered in a music producer’s private collection.

The long-lost clips — choreographed by Felicity “Flick” Colby and featuring well-remembered Pan’s People dancers including Patricia “Dee Dee” Wilde, Louise Clarke, Ruth Pearson and Barbara “Babs” Lord — will be screened by Midlands-based TV research organisation Kaleidoscope at a special event in June.

Wilde, who hopes to be attending the one-day event on June 1, says it will be an “exciting if poignant experience” watching the clips since co-founders Colby and Clarke have both died in the last two years.

She said: “Considering that Pan’s People danced on Top of the Pops week in, week out, for so many years, it’s such a pity that most of our routines have been lost, wiped by the BBC back in the 70s.

“To hear that some of them have now been recovered thanks to a collector recording them himself and keeping the tapes all these years really is wonderful. Often we never even saw them go out as we were so busy.

“I can’t wait to see them again and it’s just so sad that neither Flick nor Louise are with us to enjoy their rediscovery too.”

The rare clips, dating from between 1973 and ’75 and featuring Pan’s People dancing to hits such as Truck On Tyke by T.Rex, (For You) I’ll Do Anything You Want Me To by Barry White, Island Girl by Elton John, I Want You Back by Jackson 5 and All Of My Life by Diana Ross, were tracked down in the collection of record producer and songwriter Ian Levine.

Other “significant” finds include dance routines to Dance With The Devil by legendary rock drummer Cozy Powell, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive and Rhythm And Blue Jean Baby by Lynsey De Paul.

Kaleidoscope spokesperson Chris Perry said: “This is a major find of missing Pan’s People performances in great condition not held by the BBC, Pan’s People or anyone else.

“Ian recorded the clips off the TV back in the 1970s using an early video recorder, and the tapes had sat unused on his shelf until donated to Kaleidoscope last year.

“We’ve received a huge haul of 20,000 tapes from Ian which we are currently cataloguing. We’ve also recently come across an almost complete Top of the Pops missing from the archives from 1976 so who knows what else is waiting to be found!”

Pan’s People expert Mike Morton, who will be releasing a biography of the dance troupe next year, added: “All in all this is a remarkable collection that manages to capture all the excitement and energy that made Top Of The Pops the greatest music show on television.

“Watching Pan’s People dance to the T.Rex hit ‘Truck On Tyke’, for example, is such a treat as no footage exists anywhere in the world of that particular Marc Bolan song, while they look like five sexy dream-catchers with feathers hanging from their waists in an electric performance alongside Cozy Powell.”

Pan’s People first appeared on Top of the Pops in 1968, four years after the programme was first aired, dancing to US Male by Elvis Presley.

They also appeared on other TV shows of the era including Lulu, The John Denver Show and The Two Ronnies.

Their last Top of the Pops appearance was in April 1976, dancing to Silver Star by The Four Seasons, but the troupe remained popular after leaving. During this period Sarah Brightman, who later married composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, was briefly a member.

For more information on Kaleidoscope’s The Ballroom! event on June 1, visit www.kaleidoscope.org.uk

ENDS

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Kaleidoscope event to screen rare and recently recovered Associated-Rediffusion shows

“This is Rediffusion, broadcasting on the London station of the Independent Television Authority.”

Kaleidoscope’s 25th year begins with Rediffusion Rewind, an event celebrating the London broadcaster of the fifties and sixties. As well as a special panel on Sexton Blake, we have former Rediffusion continuity announcer Keith Martin on stage to discuss his time at the company and a video interview with veteran director Christopher Hodson. Little of Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion’s programming survives today and we are pleased to present a schedule full of rare items, including some recent recoveries by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope.

The event will take place on Saturday 9th March 2013 between 12:00 – 7:00pm at our usual venue, The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1DW. Admission is free, but voluntary donations to our designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are encouraged.

THE MAIN ROOM

  • 12:00 pm Recreated Associated-Rediffusion start up – the famous London broadcaster lives again, thanks to some modern technical wizardry…
  • 12:05 pm Crime Sheet – “The Superintendent Hedges A Bet”. Ordinarily the second Associated-Rediffusion series to feature Raymond Francis as Det. Supt. Tom Lockhart, due to Francis contracting mumps this fourth episode featured Chief Supt. Carr, played by Gerald Case. An episode of No Hiding Place, the third Lockhart series can be seen in the Second Room at 1.00pm (TX: 29/04/1959).
  • 12:30 pm Hodson’s Choice – in this comprehensive video interview, veteran director Christopher Hodson reminisces about his career with particular focus on his years at Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion.
  • 1:00 pm Our Man at St. Mark’s – “A Previous Conviction”. Recovered by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope in 2012, this rare episode of the sixties ecclesiastical comedy stars its original lead, Leslie Phillips. Rev. Parker’s attempt to give an ex-convict a new start has unexpected complications. Also featuring Joan Hickson, Warren Mitchell and Freddie Jones (TX: 23/10/1963).
  • 1:30 pm Half Hour Story – “George’s Room”. John Neville and Geraldine Moffatt star in a two-hander scripted by Alun Owen and directed by Alan Clarke. Made in 625-line colour as an engineering experiment, only the last twelve minutes survive, shot directly on film rather than telerecorded. A rare chance to see material in colour from this period, including a colour Rediffusion animated ident (TX: 30/08/1967).
  • 1:42 pm Break
  • 2:00 pm Guest Panel – Sexton Blake Lives! – A celebration of the much loved Rediffusion adaptation. Roger Foss, Tinker in the series and other surviving cast members talk with Paul Ross, author of a forthcoming book on Sexton Blake. The panel also features surviving clips and photographs from stories now lost.
  • 3.00 pm Break – accompanied by Fusion, a compilation of classic Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion moments and title sequences including Benny Hill, Woody Allen, The Rat Catchers, Boyd QC and Object Z.
  • 3:30 pm Betjeman’s London – “The Royal Mint”. Future Poet Laureate John Betjeman presents this documentary series covering the landmarks of his home city. Copies of the original Rediffusion publicity booklet for the whole Betjeman’s London series will be available to own on the day, in return for a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. There will also be duplicated copies of the final Rediffusion programme schedule, a very colourful leaflet giving details of the final month of the station’s output, again available for a donation to our designated charity.
  • 4:00 pm Guest Panel – This is Rediffusion… – Continuity announcer Keith Martin talks about his time at the company and others later in his career. Keith also has the distinction of being one of the regulars “in the bar” on Stars and Garters! Some very rare examples of Rediffusion continuity will feature in the panel.
  • 4:30 pm Uncle Charles – “Gentle Counsels”. Based on the stories of Nigel Balchin, Uncle Charles is the endearing rogue and raconteur propping up the bar, always with a compelling tale to tell. Raymond Huntley heads the cast, supported by David Morton, Alfie Bass and Dudley Foster. This programme was recovered by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope in 2012. The series, which has never been shown in the Midlands before now also features music by Ron Grainer (TX: 13/01/1967).
  • 5:30 pm Stars and Garters. The hugely popular Rediffusion variety show hosted by comedian Ray Martine and set in a fictional public house. This edition features The Alan Braden Band and Quartet, Susan Maughan, Kim Cordell, Steve Perry, Luciano, Johnny Sheldon, Sulky Gowers, Tommy (Pudden) Wright and Diana Dors (TX: 01/02/1965).
  • 6:00 pm Maps & Men – “Falkland Islands”. An Associated-Rediffusion schools programme (TX: 20/01/1959).
  • 6:10 pm Small Time – Wally Whyton sings in the sole surviving clip, located as an insert in an ITV programme. Followed by Muskit and Dido, the only remaining adventure of this loveable duo.
  • 6:15 pm The Hippodrome Show. Rediffusion variety show, with Frank Foster as the Ringmaster and also featuring Alan Sherman, Linda Bennett, The Zombies, The Herculeans, Alma Paia, Tagora, Moni The Elephant, The Three Ghezzis and The Band of The Grenadier Guards (TX: 20/10/1966).
  • 7:00 pm Closedown – coverage of the 1959 General Election coverage ends with the Associated-Rediffusion clock and a closedown announcement from Redvers Kyle.

 

THE SECOND ROOM

  • 12:00 pm Blackmail – “Cut Yourself A Slice Of Throat”. Dramatic anthology drama with stories constructed around the theme of blackmail. This episode features Diane Cilento, Aubrey Richards, Dudley Jones and future Doctor Who producer Derrick Sherwin in an acting role (TX: 15/10/1965).
  • 1:00 pm No Hiding Place – “The White Stick”. An early episode of the celebrated drama series following the cases of Det. Chief. Supt. Tom Lockhart, played by Raymond Francis. Lockhart is assisted by Det. Sgt. Harry Baxter (Eric Lander). Also featuring Terence Alexander, Pauline Jameson and Jack Smethurst in a script by Bill Strutton (TX: 14/07/1961).
  • 2:00 pm Women in Love – a series of short plays on the theme of women in love, with linking introductions by the actor George Sanders. The plays are After So Long by Bridget Balfour, Song Without Words by Michael Meyer and The Stowaway by Charles Terrot. Produced by Peter Graham Scott and directed by Julian Amyes, Peter Graham Scott and Ronald Marriott (TX: 24/09/1958).
  • 3:00 pm At Last the 1948 Show. Before Monty Python or The Goodies, John Cleese and Tim Brooke-Taylor edited this famous satirical show, bringing Cambridge Footlights humour to a wider audience. Masterminded by David Frost, the programme was written by and starring John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman and also featured Aimi MacDonald. The edition presented here was not on the DVD release or seen in more recent repeat showings (TX: 31/10/1967).
  • 3:30 pm Orlando – “Dangerous Waters 3: Rhyme – But No Reason”. Sam Kydd’s character from Crane, ex-Foreign Legionnaire Orlando O’Connor was so successful he was granted his own spin-off series, aimed at children and young adults. An episode of Crane also featuring Orlando will be shown at 6.00pm (TX: 12/10/1966).
  • 4:00 pm Badger’s Bend – “The Animal Hotel episode 1”. First episode of the children’s serial about a girl who moves to the country and becomes interested in caring for animals (TX: 04/01/1963).
  • 4:30 pm Double Your Money – a later edition of the long running quiz show, in its day one of the most popular programmes on British television. Presented by Hughie Green, assisted by Monica Rose and Audrey Graham (TX: 22/11/1966).
  • 5:00 pm The Dickie Henderson Show – “The Maid”. Sitcom starring the famous entertainer at the height of his fame. Also featuring June Laverick as Dickie’s wife and John Parsons as Richard, his son (TX: 10/04/1961).
  • 5:30 pm London – A New Look. Brian Connell presents a discussion programme about the plan to replace the old London County Council with the proposed Greater London Council. Guests are Sir Edwin Herbert KBE, Lord Morrison of Lambeth, Sir Percy Rugg, Professor W. A. Robson, Sir Cyril Black MP, Alderman Leslie Room OBE, Alderman G. A. Pargiter and Alderman W. J. Ridd. This programme has survived on original 405-line videotape (TX: 24.11.1960).
  • 6:00 pm Crane – “The Cannibi Syndicate”. An early episode of the adventure series starring Patrick Allen as Richard Crane. As well as series regulars Sam Kydd, Gerald Flood, Bruce Montague and Laya Raki, David Graham and Derek Benfield also feature (TX: 16/04/1963).
  • 7:00 pm Closedown

 

All material at Kaleidoscope events is screened with the permission of the copyright holders.
Programmes and timings may be subject to change before the day.
Guests appear subject to professional and personal commitments.

In 2013 Kaleidoscope is supporting the
Royal National Lifeboat Institution once again.

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Lost behind-the-scenes James Bond footage comes in from the cold

LOST BEHIND-THE-SCENES footage from the making of James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me has been found in time for the secret agent’s 50th anniversary.

The rare footage comes from a recently recovered edition of children’s TV show Clapperboard — “ Behind the Scenes on The Spy Who Loved Me” — dedicated to the making of the film.

The 25-minute programme (Tx 17/1/77) also includes a lost interview with famed Bond set designer Ken Adam, who was nominated for a BAFTA for his work on the movie.

Notably, the 1977 film starring Sir Roger Moore as 007 featured a supertanker set which was the largest sound stage in the world at the time it was built.

The show is one of two editions of ITV’s Clapperboard passed on to classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope by a contact involved in the making of a new James Bond documentary being produced for the film franchise’s 50th anniversary.

The other, from 14/2/77, also features Adam — who made his name with his innovative, semi-futuristic sets for the James Bond films of the 1960s and ’70s — but looks more at his other work such as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” and “Sleuth” with Michael Caine and Laurence Oliver.

Both episodes come from 91-year-old Adam’s personal collection and have now been transferred from the original U-Matic broadcast tapes to digital format.

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Out of Town – The Lost Episodes with Jack Hargreaves

OVER 30 lost episodes of Out of Town featuring presenter Jack Hargreaves have been released on DVD for the first time, after being tracked down by TV enthusiasts.

For over 20 years Out of Town was a television programme that provided a window on country life in rural Britain.

Fishermen and farriers, horsemen and horticulturalists were prominently featured as presenter Jack Hargreaves took the Southern Television cameras around the country, in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, to explore pursuits and activities many of which have long since disappeared.

When broadcast by ITV, these programmes soon won a large following for the entertaining and informative way that they gave a gentle insight into country life, but as time has passed since the last transmission in 1981 they have become a nostalgic, historical, record of life in Britain from a bygone age.

Hundreds of programmes were broadcast by Southern Television but they were feared lost when the company lost its ITV franchise in 1981. Apart from 28 episodes that were recreated by presenter Jack Hargreaves in 1986, using extracts from films used in the original TV programmes with new footage filmed by Jack, it was presumed that all other examples of the original Out Of Town series had been lost forever.

In 2012, after extensive research by Jack’s stepson Simon Baddeley, Simon Winters, the classic television organisation Kaleidoscope, and Southern Television archive expert David King, 34 complete original episodes of Out Of Town – not seen since their original broadcast in 1980 & 1981 – came to light and are now being made available on DVD by Delta.

Over twenty eight hours of Out Of Town are presented on 10 DVDs. Only edited versions of some of the location films that are included have been seen on DVD – featured in the 28 programmes produced in 1986 – but the significant part of them are being presented in their original form for the first time since they were broadcast three decades ago.

Each disc also includes a special feature which allows the viewer to enjoy off-air studio comments and countdown clocks.

The limited edition collectors’ box set comes in an engraved presentation box with an exclusive booklet which offers an insight into Hargreaves’s life and how the lost episodes were discovered, and includes charming photos of Jack whilst filming on location.

The contents of the ten DVDs are as follows:

Volume 1: Coarse Fishing and seven other original films

Coarse Fishing / Yerro’s Operation

A River for All Seasons / Bass Fishing

Pebbles / Tidal Mill

Chalk Hills / Chalk Springs / Stagecoach

Volume 2: Gean Tree Furniture and seven other original films

Gean Tree Furniture / Southern Television Sea Angling Championships

Garden Competition / Dry Fly Fishing

Model Making / Teaching Fly Fishing Techniques

The Theft of the Countryside / Fell Ponies

Volume 3: Heavy Horses and six other original films

Heavy Horses / Fly Fishing in June

Gypsy Caravans / Fishing for Pollock

21st Anniversary Programme

Sheep Farming / Bite Indicators

Volume 4: Into the Past at Appleby Fair and seven other original films

Into the Past at Appleby Fair / Private Rivers

Fishing for Barbel / Ferrets

Pigeon Decoy / Fishing with a Dog Knobbler

Freeze Branding / Perch Fishing

Volume 5: Pony Riding and eight other original films

Pony Riding / Next Generation / Wild and Cottage Gardens / Sheep Fair / Barbel

Pannage / Dry Fly Fishing on the River Test

Wheels / Grayling Fishing

Volume 6: Sheep Dogs and five other original films

Sheep Dogs / Guns

Multiplier Reel Casting / Hounds

Corn Threshing / Eden Vale

Volume 7: Blackmore Vale and five other original films

Blackmore Vale / Breeding Lurchers

Annual Agricultural Show / Pheasant Shooting

Old Railway Line / Cloudburst at the Agricultural Show

Volume 8: Pigeons and six other original films

Pigeons / Fishing for Next To Nothing

Fishing for Minnows / Kingfishers / Corn Flail

Summer Fishing / Village Fair

Volume 9: Fish Hooks and five other original films

Fish Hooks / Gardening Earthworm Farm

Southern Fishing Competition In Ireland / Rabbit Catching

Observing The Country / Working Dog Show

Volume 10: Saving The Countryside and five other original films

Saving The Countryside / Going to Market

Sheep Farming / Centenarian Angler

Parsonage Down / First English Culture

  • Out of Town – The Lost Episodes with Jack Hargreaves is out now, priced from £149.99. For more information visit www.outoftown-dvd.co.uk/

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