Tag Archives: British Film Institute

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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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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