Tag Archives: Bob Monkhouse

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse

A NEW documentary on Bob Monkhouse featuring a wealth of archive material the performer himself rescued from destruction is to be screened on TV.

The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse tells the “extraordinary story” of comedian Bob Monkhouse’s life and career, recounted for the first time through the “vast private archive” of films, TV shows, letters and memorabilia that he left behind.

The 90-minute programme, which airs January 3, 2011, has been made by the BBC with assistance from classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope.

Volunteers spent over a year sifting through the huge collection of film reels, videos, scripts, photographs and audio tapes amassed by the performer during his lifetime and passed on to the group following the death of his widow in 2008.

Chris Perry of Kaleidoscope described the forthcoming BBC Four show as a “real gem”.

He said: “I’ve seen the show and it’s full of brilliant archive material from the Bob stuff we rescued.”

Bob Monkhouse was a prolific comic, writer and performer famous for his sharp one-liners, topical gags and “charming smile”.

In a career spanning over 50 years, he appeared in countless TV and radio shows including My Pal Bob, Mad Movies, The Golden Shot and Celebrity Squares.

Monkhouse died of prostate cancer in 2003, aged 75.

The performer was a keen collector of TV and radio shows throughout his life and thanks to his foresight, many hours of vintage comedy material featuring Bob, his writing partner Denis Goodwin, and stars such as Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd, Arthur Askey, Benny Hill and June Whitfield have been saved.

  • The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse is on BBC Four at 9pm, January 3.

READ ON: The BBC Four website has a two-minute clip from The Secret Life of Bob Monkhouse featuring Bob on the Golden Shot. Kaleidoscope Publishing has released a book containing the full list of what was found within the Bob Monkhouse Archive. Bob’s Full House is available in paperback, priced £19.99.

14 Comments

Filed under BBC, Comedy, Kaleidoscope, Programmes of Interest, Television

Kaleidoscope Christmas Event and Grand Charity Auction 2010

Kaleidoscope Christmas LogoTHE LINE-UP for the next Kaleidoscope event has been announced.

Highlights for the Christmas event, taking place this Saturday, November 27, include screenings of a vintage seasonal episode of Top of the Pops and Margaret Rutherford TV play The Two Wise Virgins of Hove.

It will be taking place at the Talbot Hotel in Stourbridge, West Midlands, from 12noon until 7pm.

The schedule will also include classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope’s Grand Charity Auction 2010, with proceeds going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

Entry is free.

Kaleidoscope Christmas Event schedule:

* 12:00 pm Southern Television start-up – the station opener for New Year’s Eve 1981.

* 12:05 pm Family Fortunes – “Give Us a Clue v It Ain’t Half Hot Mum”. Festive celebrity edition of the long running gameshow hosted by Bob Monkhouse, featuring Michael Aspel, Lionel Blair, Una Stubbs, Roy Kinnear, Anna Dawson, Windsor Davies, Melvyn Hayes, Donald Hewlett, John Clegg and Michael Knowles (TX: 26/12/1981).

* 12:45 pm The Two Wise Virgins of Hove – A vintage Anglia play especially for Christmas starring Margaret Rutherford as a woman who has a vision which sends her on a journey of discovery that changes her life forever (405-line conversion, TX: 22/12/1960).

* 1:35 pm Jackanory – “The Studio Ghost”. The much loved storytelling series for children brightened many a Christmas in years gone by. Here, Christopher Biggins tells the story and William Rushton features at the Ghost.

* 2:00 pm Break

* 2:15 pm Kaleidoscope Grand Charity Auction 2010 – a selection of items donated by our guests, supporters and attendees throughout the year are up for grabs in our annual charity auction, with all proceeds going to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. Please note we will be accepting bids in person only.

* 3:15 pm Break

* 3:55 pm Christmas Oneupmanship – adapted by Barry Took from a series of spoof self-help books by Stephen Potter, Richard Briers, Peter Jones and Frederick Jaeger star in this comedy from Christmas 1974 (TX: 19/12/1974).

* 4:25 pm In Memoriam 2010. Kaleidoscope’s own special tribute to those from the television industry who have passed away during 2010.

* 4:35 pm Cinderella – The Shoe Must Go On – Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the fun of a pantomime and here the story of Cinderella is brought to life by an exceptional all-star cast including Danny La Rue, Brian Murphy, Faith Brown, Cheryl Baker, Basil Brush, Roy Hudd, Mike Reid, Roy Kinnear, Les Dennis, Caroline Munro, William Rushton, Bob Carolgees, Shaw Taylor and Jim Bowen! Written by Barry Cryer and Dick Vosburgh (TX: 25/12/1986).

* 6:10 pm Top of the Pops – The edition from Christmas Eve 1981 featuring Wizzard – “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”, Adam & The Ants – “Ant Rap”, Elvis Costello – “Sweet Dreams”, Bucks Fizz – “The Land Of Make Believe”, Kool & The Gang – “Get Down On It”, ABBA – “One Of Us”, Altered Images – “I Could Be Happy”, Dollar – “Mirror Mirror” and The Human League – “Don’t You Want Me” (TX: 24/12/1981).

* 6:45 pm The Wombles play us out as usual (TX: 24/12/1974), followed by Closedown – a BBC1 end of evening animation from from Christmas Day 1985.

  • Kaleidoscope Christmas Event and Grand Charity Auction takes place on November 27, 2010, 12noon – 7pm, in the Function Suite, The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1DW. Visit www.kaleidoscope.org.uk

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Leave a comment

Filed under Events, Kaleidoscope, Screenings, Television, Top of the Pops

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.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Audio, BBC, BFI, Clips, Comedy, Episode Hunting, Finds, Kaleidoscope, Lists, Radio, Telesnaps, Television, Top of the Pops

Bob’s Full House – New Book From Kaleidoscope

THE MANY TV and radio treasures saved from oblivion thanks to the foresight of a much-missed star are set to be revealed in a new book from Kaleidoscope Publishing.

Bob Monkhouse, the prolific comic, writer and performer was famous worldwide for his sharp one-liners, topical gags and charming smile. He died of prostate cancer in 2003, aged 75, leaving behind a mystery — did he own a mythical collection of films that were the sole surviving copies in the world?

Bob's Full House, published by Kaleidoscope.

Bob's Full House - Published by Kaleidoscope.

Indeed a vast collection of film reels, videos, scripts, photographs and audio tapes WERE amassed by the performer during his lifetime, and after the death of his widow were handed over to Kaleidoscope in 2008 for future generations to enjoy.

Until the early 1980s, both the BBC and ITV regularly wiped programmes after broadcast, or simply never recorded them in the first place. Thanks to his foresight, many hours of vintage comedy material featuring Bob, his writing partner Denis Goodwin, and stars such as Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers, Tommy Cooper, Frankie Howerd, Arthur Askey, Benny Hill and June Whitfield, can now be enjoyed again.

Bob’s Full House contains between its 408 pages details of the material found within the Bob Monkhouse Collection. It is illustrated with many stills and script extracts from Bob’s work which no longer survives in broadcast form.

Any enthusiast of television will enjoy this informative and well-researched guide to the golden years of radio, film and television light entertainment.

  • Introduction by Bob Monkhouse’s daughter, Abigail.
  • Bob on the Box – as complete a listing as we can manage cataloguing Bob’s entire TV career with the items in Bob’s video collection marked and those previously thought missing highlighted
  • We Are The Masters Now – other television programmes found in the Monkhouse archive which were previously thought lost – until now.
  • Continuity Corner – details of the more interesting continuity and presentation found on Bob’s videotape recordings.
  • Wired for Sound – radio programmes and other audio gems recorded and saved by Denis Goodwin and Bob Monkhouse.
  • Monkhouse Movies – an inventory of the film prints found in Bob’s collection.
  • Tech Ops – some of the more interesting items of audio-visual equipment we found.
  • More than 150 pages of photographs, images of memorabilia and script extracts.

First to be released is a special edition hardback book, limited to 100 copies, each of which comes with a signed photograph of Bob Monkhouse and, rather bizarrely, a book-plate which says, ‘This book belongs to Bob Monkhouse’.

At least £5 from each sale will be given to the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation.

Anyone who has a ticket for Kaleidoscope’s Bob’s Full House event (October 24th) may pre-order the accompanying book at the reduced price of £27.99 for collection on the day.

Assuming it doesn’t sell out via pre-orders alone, it will be available for sale at the event at the same price.  Please note Kaleidoscope will only be able to accept cash or cheques on the day; they can only take card payments in advance via PayPal. Any PayPal pre-orders intended for collection at the event must be made no later than Thursday, October 22nd. For anyone ordering for delivery by post, no books will be despatched until after the Bob’s Full House event.

To pre-order a copy of the book visit Kaleidoscope Publishing.

Leave a comment

Filed under Books

Bob’s Full House – New Trailer

CLASSIC TV organisation Kaleidoscope has unveiled a new trailer for its forthcoming “Bob’s Full House” event, to be held at BAFTA next month.

The classic TV organisation is in charge of the Bob Monkhouse archive – a huge collection of 35mm and 16mm film, videos, audio reels and cassettes – gathered together by the late comedian, who died of prostate cancer in 2003.

Much of that material is officially missing from the archives and a full list of finds will be published to coincide with Kaleidoscope’s “Bob’s Full House” ticket-only event, being held on Saturday, October 24, at BAFTA in London. All 150 places have now been taken.

You can see the trailer on Kaleidoscope’s website by clicking the link: Bob’s Full House.

Leave a comment

Filed under Events