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1960s 1970s 1980s Actors BBC BBC Scotland Billy Smart Douglas Camfield Maurice Roëves Sutherland's Law

Maurice Roëves (1937-2020)

I had the good fortune to interview the actor Maurice Roëves (who has died at the age of 83) on two occasions. Maurice had an extraordinarily prolific 55-year career in film, theatre and especially television, the span and range of which (“beginning with an episode of Doctor Finlay’s Casebook in 1966 and concluding with a […]

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1950s 1960s 1970s BBC BBC drama Gilchrist Calder Producers Tony Garnett Troy Kennedy Martin

Tony Garnett (1936-2020)

Following the death of Tony Garnett, on 12 January 2020, obituary writers and those paying tribute to him understandably focused on his hugely influential career as a radical television producer, sometimes noting that he had begun his career as an actor in series such as An Age of Kings (BBC, 1960), Emergency – Ward 10 […]

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1960s Events Forgotten Black TV Drama Jan Carew & Sylvia Wynter

Forgotten Black TV Drama at BFI Southbank: The Big Pride (1961) + The Day of the Fox (1961)

Our Forgotten Black TV Drama season at BFI Southbank continues at 5.20pm on Sunday 10 February with a double bill of two ATV Drama ’61 plays written by Jan Carew (the first with his wife, Sylvia Wynter), both directed by Herbert Wise. The Big Pride (28 May 1961) features William Marshall, Johnny Sekka, Barbara Assoon […]

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1950s 1960s ATV Directors Johnson Over Jordan Lionel Harris Producers

A Life Found in a Skip: Rediscovering Lionel Harris, TV Producer, Director and Actor

A Life Found in a Skip [1] by Joel Finler Virtually forgotten today, Lionel Harris was one of the leading producer/directors of live television drama in the 1950s when adaptations of the most successful West End plays became a staple fare of both the BBC and ITV. He joined the newly formed ITV in 1955 and […]

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1960s 1970s ATV BFI Billy Smart Drama She Wrote Edwardian Drama Granada Television HTV ITV John Galsworthy

‘Love Story: Home for the Holidays’ and ten other recent ITV Archive drama recoveries

Not every archive rediscovery is a dramatic recovery from an outside source such as a film collector selling a print on, or an original programme maker mentioning that they made an off-air recording of one of their shows. Many, perhaps the majority, of recovered programmes never actually left the archives, but have existed as mislabelled […]

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1960s ABC Angus Wilson Armchair Theatre Armchair Theatre Archive Billy Smart DVD ITV Network Distributing Ltd Writers

‘Armchair Theatre: The Invasion’ (ABC/ ITV, 1963): An introduction by Angus Wilson

One of the four plays included on Armchair Theatre Archive: Volume Two, (one of the titles in our ‘Forgotten TV Drama’ DVD range) is The Invasion (31 March 1963) written by Angus Wilson and directed by Charles Jarrott. Since I wrote the Viewing Notes for the play last year, a few more details have come […]

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1960s BBC Billy Smart Douglas Camfield Events Police drama Writers Z Cars

Directed by Douglas Camfield: Z Cars 1967-69 (BBC1)

  A new biography written by Michael Seely, Directed by Douglas Camfield, is published this week by Miwk Books. Camfield (1931-84) was one of British television’s great directors, but the combined factors of his early death and the unavailability of many of his productions have left both the man and his works being only partially […]

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1960s 1970s Audience Research BBC BBC 2 BBC drama BBC Scotland Billy Smart Iain Cuthbertson Sutherland's Law The View From Daniel Pike This Man Craig

The BBC Television Audience Research Reports and BBC Scotland Drama, 1964-82: Recorded Opinions and Invisible Expectations

Between the 1950s and the 1980s, the BBC’s internal Audience Research Unit compiled up to 700 television Audience Research reports per year, attempting to cover the complete spectrum of BBC TV programming. What I’m going to do today is consider the value of this material, in relation to my own work on the development of […]

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1950s 1960s 1970s BBC BBC drama BBC English Regions Drama Conferences Directors Events Granada Television ITV John Osborne Regional Drama Uncategorized Writers

Reflections on ‘TV’s Forgotten Dramas’ season and conference, BFI Southbank, 2017

By Lez Cooke, John Hill and Billy Smart Programming a season of ‘Television’s Forgotten Dramas’, and encouraging a BFI Southbank audience to come and see them,  presented both challenges and opportunities. The major challenge involved in promoting forgotten dramas is that, by their nature, they are not well-known and titles on their own do not […]

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1960s BBC BBC 2 BBC Archive Directors Events Experimental drama John McGrath Philip Saville

‘Forgotten Dramas 2’ at BFI Southbank: The Day of Ragnarok + Exit 19

   The Day of Ragnarok (BBC2, 2 January 1965) and Exit 19 (BBC2, 8 August 1966) are showing in a double bill as part of the Forgotten Dramas season at BFI Southbank on Wednesday 22 February at 6.20 pm. This is a rare opportunity to see two remarkable short films which have not been seen […]