Tag Archives: Warren Mitchell

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.

2 Comments

Filed under Events, ITV, Kaleidoscope, Screenings, Television

Hallelujah! Lost episode of Our Man at St. Mark’s recovered

A LOST episode of Our Man at St. Mark’s — the ’60s ecclesiastical comedy starring Leslie Philips — has been recovered after being bought on internet auction site eBay.

Our Man at St. Mark's

PRAISE BE: Leslie Philips starred in A-R comedy show Our Man at St. Mark's.

The 16mm film print of “A Previous Conviction” was bought with the assistance of classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope and The Tim Disney Archive.

It’s recovery brings the total number of surviving episodes to four and doubles the number of surviving episodes to feature Carry On . . . star Philips in the lead role.

It will now be transferred to digital format before being offered for loan to the British Film Institute. A public screening is also expected at some point “in the not too distant future”.

Broadcast by A-R between 1963 and 1965, Our Man at St. Mark’s was a “light-hearted but superior” comedy that revolved around the day-to-day exploits of a parish vicar.

“A Previous Conviction” (Tx 23/10/63) hails from the first series of the show and stars regular cast members Philips, as the slightly eccentric Reverend Andrew Parker, Anne Lawson as his girlfriend Anne Gibson and Joan Hickson as his housekeeper, Mrs Pace.

In the episode — guest-starring Warren Mitchell, Frank Tregear and Freddie Jones — Revd Parker’s attempt to give an ex-convict a fresh start in life becomes more than complicated when Anne decides to take a hand.

With the recovery of the print, four out of the 35 broadcast episodes are now known to exist. The others are the very first episode, “The Facts of Life” (Tx 25/09/63), “We Do It on Saturday” (Tx 18/06/64) and “A Funny Thing Happened to Amanda” (Tx 26/04/65).

Philips only appeared in series one of the show. For the remaining two series (1964–5), Donald Sinden took over the charge of St Mark’s as vicar Stephen Young.

1 Comment

Filed under BBC, Comedy, Finds, Kaleidoscope, Television

Major TV Discovery – Two Episodes of Till Death Us Do Part Found

TWO long-lost episodes of Johnny Speight’s classic BBC sitcom Till Death Us Do Part have been recovered with the help of classic TV organisation Kaleidoscope.

The show, transmitted between 1965 and 1975, was one of the most important in television history. Conceived as a rival to Coronation Street, Till Death Us Do Part introduced the world to the monstrous, bigoted, right wing Alf Garnett, played brilliantly by Warren Mitchell; his vegetating wife Else (Dandy Nichols); the equally obnoxious left wing son-in-law Mike (Anthony Booth, Tony Blair’s father-in-law); and the giggly, charming daughter Rita (played by Una Stubbs). Despite endless controversy, most famously involving Mrs Mary Whitehouse, Till Death was consistently top of the viewing figures during its ten year run.

Sadly, the majority of the show’s 26 episodes from the first three series, broadcast in black and white between 1965-68, no longer exist. They were junked following transmission because storage costs of videotape were prohibitive. The recovery of two intact episodes, both from the second season of the show screened in early 1967, is therefore an extremely exciting event.

“In Sickness and In Health”, first shown on February 13th, 1967, features Alf, the worlds worst patient, undergoing treatment on the NHS. Highlights include Alf cleaning his pipe with a scalpel and a hypodermic needle, a classic kiss between Alf and Else, and a hilarious hospital visit by Alf’s family. Guests stars include sitcom stalwarts Graham Stark, Anthony Sharp, Tommy Godfrey, and Mark Eden, most famous for his role in Coronation Street as the murderous Alan Bradley.

“State Visit”, transmitted the following week, was inspired by a front page of The Daily Mirror (Alf’s “bloody Labour rag”), which was covering the state visit of the Soviet premier to London. Alf rails at the deviousness of politicians, from his bête noire Harold Wilson to Peter Mandelson’s grandfather Herbert Morrison, and from cheating chancellors to false expense claims in a period of nationwide recession. Just to make it even more eerily topical, the Deputy Prime Minister that most arouses Alf’s wrath is another Mr Brown – George Brown.

The episodes came to light after former BBC film editor Graham Walker got in touch with Kaleidoscope via its website http://www.lostshows.com. Discovering the shows to be missing, he offered the not-for-profit TV heritage organisation his 16mm film prints. These included a third Till Death episode, “Peace and Goodwill”, that already existed in the BBC archives, albeit in an edited form. There are hopes that the excised footage found in Mr Walker’s copy can be restored to the original BBC print.

Mark Ward, author of A Family At War: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Till Death Us Do Part, is delighted with the recoveries. He said:

“This is an astonishing find of major importance to British television history, one which we will all maybe (to use Alf Garnett’s charming phrase) “bloody learn somefink”.

“Neither episode has been seen in public for forty years, and both demonstrate the series ability to be funny, topical and utterly shocking despite the passing of time. “

Film collector Graham Walker, who has enjoyed watching the episodes over the years with his family, said: “These early episodes are just wonderful. Not only do they boast superb performances from all the main characters, but also the mixture of hilarious humour and pathos has never been bettered in British TV.

“They are indeed timeless and fantastic pieces of social history. It’s amazing how much is still relevant today. The sentiments behind the wonderfully funny dialogue between Alf and Mike at the beginning of “State Visit” about Britain’s role as a declining world power could so easily be transposed to events of now.”

All the episodes have now been returned by Kaleidoscope to the BBC for restoration and transfer to high-quality digibeta video. One edition will be screened at Kaleidoscope’s forthcoming career retrospective and tribute to comedian’s comedian Bob Monkhouse – “Bob’s Full House” – which is to be held at the prestigious BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) headquarters, Piccadilly, on Saturday, October 24th.

Kaleidoscope’s Chris Perry said: “This is a find of enormous cultural significance. We are very grateful to Graham Walker for letting Kaleidoscope screen this episode at our forthcoming ‘Bob’s Full House’ event and return them all to the BBC for future generations to enjoy”.

  • Click here for a Q and A with Graham Walker about the previously missing episodes.

Leave a comment

Filed under Discoveries, Television