Ray’s Column 7# – 19/12/10

What connects Pan’s People, Noel Edmonds, Lesley Judd and Bruce Forsyth? Read on….

I was stunned to discover that a VC30 video cassette (recorded on a Philips N1500) of a Top of the Pops edition was being auctioned on eBay – and even more so when it transpired it was one of the most memorable editions from the 1970s.

Those of us of a certain age fondly remember programmes for their stars – in Top of the Pops case, Pan’s People are often recalled more than many of the acts, and in the latter part of the 70s, Blue Peter is often remembered for Lesley Judd.

The edition on eBay – recorded 11/12/1976, presented by Noel Edmonds, and broadcast the following day – featured Ms Judd dancing with Pan’s People. The rehearsal footage was shown on Blue Peter – and is safely in the archive, but, ludicrously, the show itself was erased. The edition also features the likes of Marmalade, the Walker Brothers and Guys n Dolls amongst others. And in mentioning the last group, let me tell you an interesting theory I have about the tape’s possible history…

One of the singers in Guys n Dolls was Julie Forsyth, daughter of the legendary Bruce.

Brucie was known to have an early video recorder, and taped his daughter’s performances.

Copies of clips of Guys n Dolls from TOTP and other shows have been uploaded to YouTube by Paul Griggs – a vocalist in the band – and also another person.

The label on the tape mentioned “Guys n’ Dolls, You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me, Top of the Pops 11/2/76”, suggesting it was taped by someone chiefly interested in the band, and with the price of video recorders in 1976 being the equivalent of nearly £6,500 in today’s money – and when there was also, you’ll recall, a recession – it’s quite possible this is a tape that was actually once owned by Mr Forsyth himself!

The winning bid was £101. Let us hope that the bidder is involved in archive recovery and that the programme is saved for posterity. Maybe we’ll hear some news soon.

I am also trying to ascertain whether some excellent footage that has been found by a fellow collector is from Top of the Pops. Although this footage is from 1967, not 1976!

In addition, my two YouTube finds of footage from Come Dancing and Pebble Mill – 1974 and 1976 respectively – have both been confirmed as missing.

Until next time,

Ray.

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