Tag Archives: BFI

Guest Post: Refinding Rod ‘the Mod’ Stewart documentary after 48 years

ROD STEWART’S film archive has survived remarkably well compared to other artists, mostly thanks to infrequent television appearances.  In fact with the exception of seven Top Of The Pops performances, everything of note broadcast in the UK from mid-1973 onwards survives intact.

Rod StewartAs for the sixties, all that has ever come to light has been poor quality footage of Steampacket at the 1965 Richmond Jazz Festival and what appears to be home movie footage of the Jeff Beck Group at the Fillmore East in New York dubbed with ‘Shapes Of Things’. Around a decade ago a short Swedish film of the Jeff Beck Group in the recording studio with Mickie Most and featuring great footage of ‘Plynth’ was discovered. And that’s it!

Rod Stewart’s most significant sixties television appearance was a 30-minute documentary titled ‘An Easter With Rod’ (otherwise known as ‘Rod The Mod’), produced by Francis Megahy and Fred Burnley. This was sold as “a portrait of a typical mod” and screened on 2 November 1965.

There has never been any serious hope of finding this film which had been assumed to have been wiped.  Last week that assumption changed when the BBC announced they had found this documentary at the British Film Institute (BFI) in “bits and pieces”.

I had always suspected ‘An Easter With Rod’ still existed due to a quote from Geoff Wright (one of Rod’s early managers) in George Tremlett’s 1976 paperback The Rod Stewart Story:

“He would turn down any idea that he thought was ‘pop’ rather than ‘blues’. That was something he repeated again when he was interviewed in that film ‘Rod The Mod’, which is an interesting film to see now because many of the opinions he expressed then he has flatly contradicted in his later career.”

But when Long John Baldry spoke to Smiler magazine in 1993 hopes faded when in response to a question about concerts being filmed, he said:

“There was a documentary, but maybe Rod has put pressure on for it to be destroyed. It was a show called ‘Rod The Mod’. It showed us travelling round all these places in a vile van we had which was a Bovril cattle van. I’d bought it for £40 and had it converted. Our heating device was actually a Kerosene Stove secured with ropes!

“Lord knows what would have happened if we had collided with anything, we’d have all gone up in smoke! The film was a history of us going hither and hither, going up to Stoke on Trent and places like that. The crew were there all the time. It was a black and white thing and I know that when it was broadcast it was called ‘Rod The Mod’ because it was built around Rod. It was very interesting but it’s never seen the light of day since.”

‘An Easter With Rod’ has been sought many times over the years by numerous writers of books and producers of television documentaries but no one ever managed to locate it. The most recent search was three years ago by Andy Neill, author of the excellent Faces biography ‘Had Me A Real Good Time’. Andy is a thorough and meticulous researcher and it was fair to assume that if he could not locate it, then it did not exist.

The discovery of ‘An Easter With Rod’ is one of the most significant musical finds ever of swinging sixties London – not just for Rod Stewart fans, but as a visual documentation of the R&B scene that was emerging, the fashions and attitudes and for unique footage of London architecture that has long disappeared – most notably the newsagent’s run by Rod’s parents that he grew up above.

David Bowie’s lost Top Of The Pops clip made the national news and was the subject of newspaper articles and huge interest on internet forums – and quite rightly too.  Whereas, so far, the reaction to this equally significant find has been luke warm at best.

On 9 July a BBC Rod Stewart documentary used around 10 minutes of footage out of the 30-minutes that was originally broadcast in 1965. The film deserves to be lovingly re-assembled and broadcast in full. This is musical history in the making featuring one of the biggest singers the World has ever seen.

If, like me, you believe this important piece of musical and cultural social history deserves to be re-assembled and broadcast in full please join our campaign to make it happen.

Please email the BBC in your own words telling them how much you enjoyed Tuesday’s documentary and how much you would like to see the full Rod The Mod sixties documentary in its entirety. And don’t settle for a standard reply!

You can also join our forthcoming ‘Rod The Mod’ Facebook campaign to be announced shortly at www.rodstewartfanclub.com

JOHN GRAY
Smiler Retro

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UnLOCked: The Library of Congress Discoveries at the BFI

Theatre 625: World of George Orwell - 1984

SELECTED highlights from the treasure-trove of early British TV dramas unearthed at the Library of Congress are to be screened by the BFI.

Over 100 hours of lost British TV dramas were discovered in the archives of The Library of Congress (LOC) last year, in what was hailed as the “most important” retrieval of material since the search for such footage began.

Now, the British Film Institute (BFI), which orchestrated the recovery of the shows from America, has announced that it set to screen a number of the recovered gems during a two-month season dedicated to the finds.

UnLOCked: The Library of Congress Discoveries runs across June and July at BFI Southbank, with the first month dedicated to 20th century dramas and the second focused on pre-20th century.

Screenings scheduled for June are as follows: Theatre 625: “World of George Orwell – 1984”, Theatre 625: “Dr Knock” (starring Leonard Rossiter), Twentieth Century Theatre: “Colombe” (starring Sean Connery), Play of the Week: “The Typewriter” (starring Jeremy Brett), and Twentieth Century Theatre: The Insect Play.

Dick Fiddy of the BFI says the forthcoming season demonstrates the institute’s determination to provide access to the finds.

He said: “When such material is found, there are concerns expressed in some quarters that the footage will just disappear into various archives,
never to see the light of day, partly because of the perceived reluctance on the part of broadcasters and product releasers to exploit vintage black-and-white material.

“Indeed, many similar titles to those found in the LOC have survived intact but remain unseen and unreleased on archive shelves.

“However, the BFI – which has mounted numerous
seasons over the years to exploit such materials and encouraged various regional venues to do the same – was determined to provide access to these finds.

“Accordingly, June sees the launch of a two-month season of highlights from the collection, which will then be followed by regular screenings of further titles through various stranded programming.”

READ ON:

Lost Sean Connery TV footage found in US – BBC News (September 14, 2010)

Footage of British stars unearthed in lost archive in America – The Telegraph (September 14, 2010).

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Audio Recordings of Not Only But Also Episodes Found

Not Only... But Also: Peter Cook and Dudley Moore

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.

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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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At Last… Another Episode of 1948 Show Recovered

At Last the 1948 ShowCOMEDY sketches featuring John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Marty Feldman and Frankie Howerd have come to light after being missing for over 40 years.

The long-lost material, dubbed “comedy gold dust”, also features early appearances by Tim Brooke-Taylor, Arthur Mullard and Yootha Joyce.

The black & white footage, which dates from the 1960s, was handed over to the British Film Institute as part of its ongoing campaign to plug gaps in the British TV archives.

Dick Fiddy, TV consultant at the BFI, says that a private collector is to thank for the recovery of a missing edition of “Monty Python” precursor “At Last The 1948 Show” and an absent episode of “The Frankie Howerd Show”.

He said: “Recently, a private collector contacted the BFI’s “Missing Believed Wiped” project and handed over two priceless missing items of 1960s TV comedy.

“It’s good news all round with these finds – they feature some of the UK’s finest clowns at their peak and are pure comedy gold dust.

What was found
At Last the 1948 Show, Associated Rediffusion, tx 31 Oct 1967, Series 2, Programme 6 Includes: Police Banquet/Return Of The Sydney Lotterbies/The Chartered Accountant dance/MI5 Banquet/Dentistry With A Difference/The Four Yorkshiremen
The Frankie Howerd Show, BBC tx 15.01.65 With Yootha Joyce, Arthur Mullard., Julian Orchard, Felix Bowness; Wr: Galton & Simpson; Prod: Duncan Wood

“The ‘Frankie Howerd Show’, for example, not only features more rare Frankie stuff but boasts a script from Ray Galton and Alan Simpson and – particularly precious – the great Yootha Joyce hamming it up as a tipsy vamp trying to have her way with the aghast Frankie.”

Until the late 1970s, broadcasters regularly wiped TV shows to re-use expensive video tape and save space in their archives.

Both newly-recovered shows were casualties of this purge.

Thames Television destroyed all but two episodes of famous pre-”Python” sketch series “The 1948 Show”, which ran between 1967 – 8 and starred John Cleese, Marty Feldman, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Aimi Macdonald.

The BBC, meanwhile, wiped the entire second series run of “The Frankie Howerd Show”, aired in 1965.

Mr Fiddy says the BFI, in conjunction with key partner organisations including classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope, has done much to undo the damage.

He said: “The ‘1948 Show’ episode plugs yet another gap in what has become the most successful rebuilding project of the entire “Missing Believed Wiped” initiative.

“Material has come back from Sweden, Australia, industry personnel and private collectors to rebuild the once-thought-lost programme.

“This latest retrieval is a near-complete episode which can be restored with the help of an existing clip of one of the two missing sketches and an audio recording of the other.”

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope added: “Once again our partner organisation the BFI have found some brilliant examples of previously-lost TV. Hats off to Dick Fiddy and his team for tracking down these hilarious episodes.”

Both items will be shown later this year at Missing Believed Wiped, to be held at BFI Southbank.

If you want to check if you have a missing item, please contact Dick Fiddy at the BFI (dick.fiddy@bfi.org.uk).

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SEE EMILY PLAYED AT THE BFI

A LEGENDARY ‘lost’ performance by rock band Pink Floyd is just one of the many recently-unearthed television treasures being shown at a major London event this Saturday (January 9).

Other highlights in a packed schedule at BFI Southbank include footage of The Who, Black Sabbath and Procol Harum during their prime; a vintage episode of acclaimed Sixties’ sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, and the late Ronnie Barker shining in a long-missing comedy gem.

Organised and run by the British Film Institute, Missing Believed Wiped is an annual survey of recently rediscovered television material. It showcases the important work of missing episode enthusiasts and organisations in tracking down our lost TV heritage: programmes tragically considered ephemeral and disposable at the time of broadcast but now recognised as of great cultural value.

And this year, for the first time, the BFI will be running the popular event in conjunction with classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope, responsible for bringing to light some of the biggest discoveries of 2009.

Programme One: “A Mixed Bag” – features episodes from two very different yet equally entertaining BBC sitcoms recovered with the help of Kaleidoscope. One of comedy’s finest (and foulest) creations – Alf Garnett (played by Warren Mitchell) – rails against devious politicians and the world in general in an episode of Till Death Us Do Part entitled ‘State Visit’, from 1967. The second screening is of a show referred to as “Fawlty Towers mark one” by its writer and main star, the late great Ronnie Barker. In His Lordship Entertains, from 1973, Barker plays Lord Rustless, the owner of a stately home-turned-hotel. Truly an orphaned episode, “The Food Inspector” is the sole surviving instalment of this seven-part show.

Completing the first half of Programme One is an update by Kaleidoscope on the Bob Monkhouse archive, entrusted to the group by the family of the late comedian and comprising a vast collection of film reels, videos and audio tapes amassed by the performer during his lifetime, and a presentation on lost BSB satellite TV archive material from the 1990s.

Programme Two: “Music, Music, Music” brings together all of the year’s music finds, including a rediscovered Time for Blackburn featuring a live 1970s performance from The Who; a compilation of musical finds from the 1970s series Look! Hear! featuring rare performances from Black Sabbath and The Selecter, and introduced by the show’s presenter John Holmes; segments from Top of the Pops from the collection of DJ David Hamilton; and very rare 1960s material from Top of the Pops featuring these performances:

From TOTP 6th July 1967 (Presenter: Alan Freeman)
• Pink Floyd – See Emily Play
• Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale

From TOTP 27th July 1967 (Presenter: Alan Freeman)
• Dave Davies – Death of a Clown
• The Alan Price Set – The House That Jack Built
• The Turtles – She’d Rather be With Me

Kaleidoscope’s Chris Perry said: “The cultural significance of this TOTP material cannot be underestimated. Unearthed in an unnamed rock star’s collection, the material had been severely damaged and was in an extremely poor condition, but was retrieved as far as possible by BFI technicians.

“About 20 minutes of the material had been considered completely lost, and is sure to generate huge interest among music fans and music historians all over the world.

“Despite the fact that the quality of the footage is still poor, the recordings remain a highly important and fascinating document of some of pop’s greatest names.”

Dick Fiddy, BFI TV Programmer/ Consultant, said: “For more than 15 years, the BFI’s annual Missing Believed Wiped campaign has given the public access to vital material long thought lost from the British television archives.

“This year, we are once again very grateful to our partner organisation Kaleidoscope, who have collaborated with us on retrieving material and making it available for this screening.”

  • Missing Believed Wiped runs in NFT1 at the BFI Southbank, London, on Saturday, January 9th. Programme One starts at 4.15pm and Programme Two at 6.30pm. For this event, joint tickets for Programmes One and Two are available for £12.90, concs £9.65 (members pay £1.40 less). Unless otherwise stated, tickets are £9.00, concs £7.60.

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Forgotten But Not Goon – Hoard Of Lost British Comedy Films Discovered

A hoard of lost films featuring the earliest cinematic appearances of some of the UK’s most famous comedians has been discovered after gathering dust in a garage for over 50 years.

The incredible collection – which comprises of more than 30 movies dating from the early 1950s – stars the likes of Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Sid James, Ronnie Corbett, Thora Hird and Prunella Scales.

Unearthed films include The Goons’ stars Sellers, Milligan and Harry Secombe in their first big screen production, Penny Points to Paradise, released in 1951 – the same year in which their famously anarchic BBC radio show began. Another Sellers and Milligan film, Let’s Go Crazy, was also in the cache.

The movies were all either made or distributed by Adelphi, a family-run company set up in 1939 by Arthur Dent, a one time British representative of Hollywood mogul Sam Goldwyn.

His company ceased producing films after 1956 but Dent stored negatives and prints in his garage in Highgate, north London, where they were forgotten about until his granddaughter, Kate Lees, recently stumbled upon them.

The treasure trove – which also includes The Great Game, a football-themed comedy featuring Thora Hird and Diana Dors; boy’s boarding school farce Fun At St Fanny’s, starring Ronnie Corbett; and What Every Woman Wants, a drama with Brian Rix and Joan Hickson – has been described as “a snapshot of a particularly prolific period of British film-making,” by Lees, speaking to The Sunday Times.

She has now handed over to the British Film Institute (BFI) for restoration.

Penny Points to Paradise and Let’s Go Crazy are set to be screened at the BFI’s cinema on London’s South Bank in July, before being released on DVD, with more releases expected to follow, funds-permitting.

You can read more about this exciting story by visiting UK comedy website Chortle here, The Sunday Times here, and the BFI website here.

Wiped hopes to bring you more information soon.

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