Tag Archives: John Betjeman

Kaleidoscope event to screen rare and recently recovered Associated-Rediffusion shows

“This is Rediffusion, broadcasting on the London station of the Independent Television Authority.”

Kaleidoscope’s 25th year begins with Rediffusion Rewind, an event celebrating the London broadcaster of the fifties and sixties. As well as a special panel on Sexton Blake, we have former Rediffusion continuity announcer Keith Martin on stage to discuss his time at the company and a video interview with veteran director Christopher Hodson. Little of Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion’s programming survives today and we are pleased to present a schedule full of rare items, including some recent recoveries by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope.

The event will take place on Saturday 9th March 2013 between 12:00 – 7:00pm at our usual venue, The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1DW. Admission is free, but voluntary donations to our designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution are encouraged.

THE MAIN ROOM

  • 12:00 pm Recreated Associated-Rediffusion start up – the famous London broadcaster lives again, thanks to some modern technical wizardry…
  • 12:05 pm Crime Sheet – “The Superintendent Hedges A Bet”. Ordinarily the second Associated-Rediffusion series to feature Raymond Francis as Det. Supt. Tom Lockhart, due to Francis contracting mumps this fourth episode featured Chief Supt. Carr, played by Gerald Case. An episode of No Hiding Place, the third Lockhart series can be seen in the Second Room at 1.00pm (TX: 29/04/1959).
  • 12:30 pm Hodson’s Choice – in this comprehensive video interview, veteran director Christopher Hodson reminisces about his career with particular focus on his years at Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion.
  • 1:00 pm Our Man at St. Mark’s – “A Previous Conviction”. Recovered by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope in 2012, this rare episode of the sixties ecclesiastical comedy stars its original lead, Leslie Phillips. Rev. Parker’s attempt to give an ex-convict a new start has unexpected complications. Also featuring Joan Hickson, Warren Mitchell and Freddie Jones (TX: 23/10/1963).
  • 1:30 pm Half Hour Story – “George’s Room”. John Neville and Geraldine Moffatt star in a two-hander scripted by Alun Owen and directed by Alan Clarke. Made in 625-line colour as an engineering experiment, only the last twelve minutes survive, shot directly on film rather than telerecorded. A rare chance to see material in colour from this period, including a colour Rediffusion animated ident (TX: 30/08/1967).
  • 1:42 pm Break
  • 2:00 pm Guest Panel – Sexton Blake Lives! – A celebration of the much loved Rediffusion adaptation. Roger Foss, Tinker in the series and other surviving cast members talk with Paul Ross, author of a forthcoming book on Sexton Blake. The panel also features surviving clips and photographs from stories now lost.
  • 3.00 pm Break – accompanied by Fusion, a compilation of classic Associated-Rediffusion and Rediffusion moments and title sequences including Benny Hill, Woody Allen, The Rat Catchers, Boyd QC and Object Z.
  • 3:30 pm Betjeman’s London – “The Royal Mint”. Future Poet Laureate John Betjeman presents this documentary series covering the landmarks of his home city. Copies of the original Rediffusion publicity booklet for the whole Betjeman’s London series will be available to own on the day, in return for a donation to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. There will also be duplicated copies of the final Rediffusion programme schedule, a very colourful leaflet giving details of the final month of the station’s output, again available for a donation to our designated charity.
  • 4:00 pm Guest Panel – This is Rediffusion… – Continuity announcer Keith Martin talks about his time at the company and others later in his career. Keith also has the distinction of being one of the regulars “in the bar” on Stars and Garters! Some very rare examples of Rediffusion continuity will feature in the panel.
  • 4:30 pm Uncle Charles – “Gentle Counsels”. Based on the stories of Nigel Balchin, Uncle Charles is the endearing rogue and raconteur propping up the bar, always with a compelling tale to tell. Raymond Huntley heads the cast, supported by David Morton, Alfie Bass and Dudley Foster. This programme was recovered by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope in 2012. The series, which has never been shown in the Midlands before now also features music by Ron Grainer (TX: 13/01/1967).
  • 5:30 pm Stars and Garters. The hugely popular Rediffusion variety show hosted by comedian Ray Martine and set in a fictional public house. This edition features The Alan Braden Band and Quartet, Susan Maughan, Kim Cordell, Steve Perry, Luciano, Johnny Sheldon, Sulky Gowers, Tommy (Pudden) Wright and Diana Dors (TX: 01/02/1965).
  • 6:00 pm Maps & Men – “Falkland Islands”. An Associated-Rediffusion schools programme (TX: 20/01/1959).
  • 6:10 pm Small Time – Wally Whyton sings in the sole surviving clip, located as an insert in an ITV programme. Followed by Muskit and Dido, the only remaining adventure of this loveable duo.
  • 6:15 pm The Hippodrome Show. Rediffusion variety show, with Frank Foster as the Ringmaster and also featuring Alan Sherman, Linda Bennett, The Zombies, The Herculeans, Alma Paia, Tagora, Moni The Elephant, The Three Ghezzis and The Band of The Grenadier Guards (TX: 20/10/1966).
  • 7:00 pm Closedown – coverage of the 1959 General Election coverage ends with the Associated-Rediffusion clock and a closedown announcement from Redvers Kyle.

 

THE SECOND ROOM

  • 12:00 pm Blackmail – “Cut Yourself A Slice Of Throat”. Dramatic anthology drama with stories constructed around the theme of blackmail. This episode features Diane Cilento, Aubrey Richards, Dudley Jones and future Doctor Who producer Derrick Sherwin in an acting role (TX: 15/10/1965).
  • 1:00 pm No Hiding Place – “The White Stick”. An early episode of the celebrated drama series following the cases of Det. Chief. Supt. Tom Lockhart, played by Raymond Francis. Lockhart is assisted by Det. Sgt. Harry Baxter (Eric Lander). Also featuring Terence Alexander, Pauline Jameson and Jack Smethurst in a script by Bill Strutton (TX: 14/07/1961).
  • 2:00 pm Women in Love – a series of short plays on the theme of women in love, with linking introductions by the actor George Sanders. The plays are After So Long by Bridget Balfour, Song Without Words by Michael Meyer and The Stowaway by Charles Terrot. Produced by Peter Graham Scott and directed by Julian Amyes, Peter Graham Scott and Ronald Marriott (TX: 24/09/1958).
  • 3:00 pm At Last the 1948 Show. Before Monty Python or The Goodies, John Cleese and Tim Brooke-Taylor edited this famous satirical show, bringing Cambridge Footlights humour to a wider audience. Masterminded by David Frost, the programme was written by and starring John Cleese, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graham Chapman and Marty Feldman and also featured Aimi MacDonald. The edition presented here was not on the DVD release or seen in more recent repeat showings (TX: 31/10/1967).
  • 3:30 pm Orlando – “Dangerous Waters 3: Rhyme – But No Reason”. Sam Kydd’s character from Crane, ex-Foreign Legionnaire Orlando O’Connor was so successful he was granted his own spin-off series, aimed at children and young adults. An episode of Crane also featuring Orlando will be shown at 6.00pm (TX: 12/10/1966).
  • 4:00 pm Badger’s Bend – “The Animal Hotel episode 1”. First episode of the children’s serial about a girl who moves to the country and becomes interested in caring for animals (TX: 04/01/1963).
  • 4:30 pm Double Your Money – a later edition of the long running quiz show, in its day one of the most popular programmes on British television. Presented by Hughie Green, assisted by Monica Rose and Audrey Graham (TX: 22/11/1966).
  • 5:00 pm The Dickie Henderson Show – “The Maid”. Sitcom starring the famous entertainer at the height of his fame. Also featuring June Laverick as Dickie’s wife and John Parsons as Richard, his son (TX: 10/04/1961).
  • 5:30 pm London – A New Look. Brian Connell presents a discussion programme about the plan to replace the old London County Council with the proposed Greater London Council. Guests are Sir Edwin Herbert KBE, Lord Morrison of Lambeth, Sir Percy Rugg, Professor W. A. Robson, Sir Cyril Black MP, Alderman Leslie Room OBE, Alderman G. A. Pargiter and Alderman W. J. Ridd. This programme has survived on original 405-line videotape (TX: 24.11.1960).
  • 6:00 pm Crane – “The Cannibi Syndicate”. An early episode of the adventure series starring Patrick Allen as Richard Crane. As well as series regulars Sam Kydd, Gerald Flood, Bruce Montague and Laya Raki, David Graham and Derek Benfield also feature (TX: 16/04/1963).
  • 7:00 pm Closedown

 

All material at Kaleidoscope events is screened with the permission of the copyright holders.
Programmes and timings may be subject to change before the day.
Guests appear subject to professional and personal commitments.

In 2013 Kaleidoscope is supporting the
Royal National Lifeboat Institution once again.

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Forgotten Betjeman Film Aired For First Time

Former Poet Laureate John Betjeman (1906 – 84) made a number of BBC documentaries surveying the urban landscapes of Britain, but one remained unseen – until now.

The half-hour programme, A Poet Goes North, was made in 1968 and followed the poet and architectural critic as he explored the Victorian heritage of Leeds.

However, the film never got an airing by the BBC – for reasons that still remain unclear.

Incredibly A Poet Goes North was then forgotten about until 20 years ago, when a copy of the film was found by Dr Kevin Grady on top of a cupboard in the offices of Leeds Civic Trust, of which he is director.

The Trust had been handed a copy because it contributed 200 guineas towards the cost of the film and co-operated with the BBC during its production.

A copy also survived in the BBC’s film archive, but would most likely have remained unknown gathering dust if Dr Grady, director of the Trust, hadn’t stumbled upon it.

He mentioned the programme to Richard Taylor, a Leeds-based BBC producer who has been instrumental in finally getting the production the attention it rightly deserves.

According to Martin Wainwright of the Guardian, it ‘shows Betjeman on classic form, denouncing newly built tower blocks and suggesting – with foresight since borne out – that Leeds’s back-to-back redbrick terraces would outlive them.’

Binny Baker, of the Yorkshire Film Archive, who restored the film told the Guardian: ‘It’s just so exciting to find a treasure like this. We’ve got a star – Sir John Betjeman – and nobody’s seen it. That is a real find.’

The story of the film’s re-discovery, along with clips, received a limited broadcast in the Yorkshire area on Wednesday, February 18th on BBC1’s Inside Out.

A national broadcast is expected to follow.

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