Tag Archives: Alan Bennett

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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On The Margin CD Review

JUST a quick note to say you can read my review of BBC Audiobooks’ excellent On The Margin release over at comedy website Chortle.

It’s a great release and is strongly recommended to those who like their humour with a touch of the sophistical (after all, it IS Alan Bennett). Read it here.

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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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