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BFI events

What TV’s on at the BFI in October-November 2017? Including Hard Sun, Inside No.9, Callan at 50 and The Prisoner at 50

Every month, TMINE lets you know what TV the BFI will be presenting at the South Bank in London

Oh, I do love October-November. All the leaves, colours. And, of course, all the lovely TV events that the BFI will be hosting. This ‘month’, in fact, there are a few doozies that I will shortly be booking, I suspect.

For most people, the appeal will be two previews with Q&As: the first of the fourth season of Inside No.9, at which Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith will be in attendance; the second of the forthcoming Hard Sun, written by Luther‘s Neil Cross and starring Jim Sturgess and Agyness Deyn.

For me, though, the big draw is Saturday 25th November’s ‘thrilling television’ day, which will include:

  • A ‘Callan at 50′ panel discussion
  • A ‘Sixties Spies and Beyond’ discussion that will include clips of The Avengers, The Man From UNCLE et al
  • ‘The Prisoner at 50′, which will include a bespoke BFI cut of Network’s documentary.

That’s me sorted for the day. How do you reckon I break it to my wife?

Or that there’s a talk on the Wednesday evening about the state of conspiracy thrillers on UK TV, comparing them to classic shows like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and Edge of Darkness? Ah, waddya gonna do?

Continue reading “What TV’s on at the BFI in October-November 2017? Including Hard Sun, Inside No.9, Callan at 50 and The Prisoner at 50”

Crossroads in Tunisia

Watch some lost Crossroads and Hancock if you’re in Birmingham tomorrow

Like Classic TV? Within easy reach of Birmingham tomorrow? Then there’s a treat in store for you:

Lost episodes of iconic TV soap ‘Crossroads’ will be shown for the first time in more than 50 years in Birmingham this weekend.

It was presumed that the original recordings were wiped immediately following broadcast, however, Kaleidoscope – a Birmingham-based organisation specialising in locating missing television footage – found the uncatalogued cans in an ITV vault in Leeds after searching for several days earlier this year.

Set in the fictitious King’s Oak Crossroads Motel near Birmingham, and focusing on the relationships between the staff, the programme ran for 24 years from 1964, finally closing its doors in 1988 after 4,510 episodes. The series was revived in 2001, but the new ‘Crossroads’ only lasted two years.

On Saturday 2 September, the found footage will be screened at Birmingham City University as part of Kaleidoscope’s K-2.9.17 event. Along with scenes staged in and around the Crossroads Motel, the recovered material shown also sees waitress Marilyn Gates chase a drug smuggler to France by plane and, further afield, the staff travel to Tunisia for a holiday while the motel is rebuilt after a bomb explosion.

Crossroads fans will also get to enjoy a specially arranged version of the soap opera’s theme by Paul McCartney and Wings, which was used on the show from the late 1970s, usually when an episode ended with a dramatic event.

Birmingham City University alumnus and Kaleidoscope CEO, Chris Perry, commented:

“2017 has been a great year for Crossroads fans. First of all, Kaleidoscope located 32 cans of classic scenes from the 1960s including a plane crash, and footage of the motel being blown up by an old World War Two bomb. Other footage includes Crossroads filming abroad in Paris and Tunisia. It changes the way people view Crossroads today to see the series staging ambitious aerial chases and trips to Africa.

“We also found six minutes from an old 1975 edition on a Phillips videotape featuring all the classic characters we know so well. None of this footage has been seen since its original broadcast.”

Despite becoming a byword for cheap production values, Crossroads attracted 15 million viewers at its peak – more than Coronation Street – and making household names out of its stars, including actor Paul Henry. Portraying the role of handyman Benny Hawkins, Paul originally trained at Birmingham School of Acting, now Birmingham Conservatoire, and part of Birmingham City University.

The footage shown at K-2.9.17 features stars such as Noele Gordon as Meg Mortimer, Susan Hanson as Diane Lawton, and Sue Nicholls, who today plays Audrey Roberts in Coronation Street. Born in Walsall, Sue Nicholls first became known as Marilyn Gates in Crossroads, a role which also saw her perform the song ‘Where Will You Be?’ which reached number 17 in the UK Singles Chart in July 1968.

The screening on Saturday will be attended by Tim Woolgar, the son of actor Jack Woolgar, who played Sam Carne in Crossroads, and also appears in the material shown.

Crossroads expert John Drury, from Telford, said that the newly discovered footage counteracts lasting perceptions that the show had low production values with shaky sets and hammy acting:

“The scenes involving a wartime bomb that destroyed part of the motel are particularly important as it led to an updated set and the characters going on a busman’s holiday to Tunisia. This footage alone shows the ambition of the producers to produce an entertaining and engaging programme that still stands up well against the soaps of today.”

“Unlike fans of Coronation Street,Crossroads fans are unable to enjoy episodes from the earliest years of the show, as the tapes were sadly wiped and reused. These recovered scenes now provide us a rare and tantalising glimpse of Crossroads during the 1960s and a chance to relive some of the most important events once again.

The K-2.9.17 event takes place in The Curzon Building at Birmingham City University between 10am and 6pm, with all proceeds raised from the free charity event donated to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).

Alongside ‘Crossroads’, K-2.9.17 will also showcase other archived and lost material from Birmingham and Midlands-orientated shows and stars, including rare and lost material from Tony Hancock, marking almost 50 years since his death.

Presented by Tristan Brittain-Dissont, Archivist for the Tony Hancock Appreciation Society, visitors will be able to see the only known footage of the Birmingham actor and comedian’s last-ever UK television series in 1967 – titled Hancock’s where he played the manager of a nightclub – as well as his final television performance, which originally aired in Australia in 1968.

Tickets are free, but you’ll need to register. Incidentally, those lost episodes aren’t the only thing that are going to be shown tomorrow. Full details after the jump.

Continue reading “Watch some lost Crossroads and Hancock if you’re in Birmingham tomorrow”

TV Cream's anniversary cassette

TV Cream is 20 years old tomorrow

For those of you who don’t know, TV Cream is one of those annoying things in life (eg, Mark Kermode) that makes me wonder if I should continue doing something (eg, reviewing movies) since they do it so much better than I do. Celebrating its 20th birthday tomorrow, it’s pretty much the most comprehensive guide to Classic (rather than necessarily classic) TV, movies, books, music et al from back when we were all youngsters.

While I used to contribute to sister site Off The Telly back in the day, my sole real contribution to TV Cream was to ensure its guide to The Aphrodite Inheritance was accurate (my guide is still the toppest on the internet, mind). Perhaps because my input was so small, my few brushes with wider fame on Radio 5 and the like have led to nothing, while some of TV Cream’s more important contributors have actually been successful in life. Or maybe there’s some other reason.

Seen a TV clips show? Then you’ll almost certainly have seen TV Cream’s Steve Berry making some cogent comments on it. Enjoyed Adventures with the Wife in Space? That’ll be TV Cream’s Neil and Sue Perryman*. However, that’s far from the site’s full staff roster, so don’t go thinking that’s all there is to it.

Anyway, to celebrate their birthday, tomorrow the site will be unveiling an hour-long ‘anniversary cassette’ that shows what a talented bunch of people they all are, as well as just how many contributions Steve Berry has made to TV clips shows. There’s a couple of trailers below and if you come back here tomorrow, you’ll be able to see the full mix tape in action. I’ve seen it – I wish I was that talented.

* TV Cream tells me that Neil and Sue are best regarded as ‘friends of TV Cream’ rather than contributors


Pilot Light TV festival’s Ghostwatch 25th anniversary showing

TV’s not just for Londoners you know. Actually, probably you do know – this might just be something I’m discovering for myself. Similarly, not all TV festivals are for Londoners, either, and the Pilot Light TV festival is a prime example. Now about to enter its ‘third season’, it’ll be taking place in Manchester between 3rd and 6th May 2018:

At Pilot Light we are proud to produce a communal TV experience where fans and industry can come together to celebrate the past, present and future of television! In a very similar structure to a traditional film festival, Pilot Light TV Festival is hosted in Manchester over 4 days and will contain screenings featuring all kinds of series new & old plus exclusive panels featuring the writers, producers, directors, actors, commissioners, and more behind them!

We believe that the television industry is in a state of revolution. A large number of the best writers, directors and producers have migrated from Cinema to TV in order to tell the greatest stories in pop culture. These shows are generally produced and seen in the arenas of television networks such as HBO, AMC, C4, BBC & ITV plus web content providers such as Netflix & Amazon. In recent years there has been a surge in independently financed TV Pilot and web series production and their popularity with audiences. We aim to function as a TV equivalent of independent film festivals, by finding the best of this new episodic content from around the globe and giving the talented creative teams behind them opportunities to network with fellow creatives and to place their projects in front of the most important pairs of eyes in TV: the fans and industry professionals!

Which is nice, obviously. I’m not 100% exactly sure how it works, though, since it appears to have some special events as well that don’t take place next year and don’t all take place in Manchester. Hmm.

Anyway, the best of these events by far is a 25th anniversary showing in both London and Manchester of the rather awesome Ghostwatch, followed by a Q&A with writer Stephen Volk, director Lesley Manning, actress Gillian Bevan (London only) and the writer/director of Ghostwatch: Behind the Curtains, Rich Lawden. I might actually go to it. The London one, obvs.

Manchester Event Details

30th October 2017 // Gorilla
7pm doors // 8pm start​
Tickets £15ADV – 18+​

London Event Details

31st October 2017 // Genesis Cinema
8.30pm doors // 8.45pm start​
Tickets £18.50ADV – 18+​

Before then, here’s a reminder of what you’re in for: