Enjoy a traditional seventies television Christmas with our recreation of the BBC1 and BBC2 programme line-up from Christmas Day 1973.
Merry Christmas 1973 will take place on Saturday 7th December 2013 at our usual venue, The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1DW between 11.25am-7.00pm. Please note the earlier start time.
The Talbot Hotel is offering a special room rate for anyone coming to Kaleidoscope events, so if you wish to stay the night before or the night after an event, please mention Kaleidoscope when booking. Their telephone number is 01384 394350.
Ten years ago today, we lost a friend. To those of us who knew Richard, that loss has remained keenly felt throughout the years and never more so than as this most poignant of anniversaries drew near. Richard was a very good man, much loved by his circle of loyal friends, family and work colleagues. The fact that this gentle, kind hearted figure with an infectious laugh and everpresent twinkle in his eye is still mentioned on an almost daily basis within our group says more than mere words can about his significance both to Kaleidoscope and on a personal level to all of us.
In the decade since Richard's passing, Kaleidoscope has changed beyond all recognition but so many of our achievements since can still be traced directly back to him. An early hunter of missing television material, Richard instilled the enthusiasm and dedication to search for those lost treasures into the rest of us. Across the years we've been involved in many successful recoveries both large and small, but one of the best remains the episode of The Likely Lads that Richard discovered. Who'd have ever imagined that a modest, sometimes mould-infested collection of VHS tapes in a cramped back bedroom in Pill would lead to the current Kaleidoscope archive, which hosts the collections of many industry bodies as well as such legendary figures as Bob Monkhouse or Frankie Howerd? Richard's thorough research methods and publishing skills led to the landmark Telefantasy Booklet which in turn quickly took on a life of its own, ultimately evolving into Kaleidoscope's celebrated research guides, long relied upon by fans and industry professionals alike. Even now, two decades and many editions later, the entire range is still graced by a massive amount of Richard's personal research.
A great many of the home video releases we all now enjoy can be attributed to Richard's influence, either by keeping their fading memory alive with his original research or championing possible screenings of old classics in the early years of Kaleidoscope events. Richard was intensely modest about his contributions, but his influence is everywhere. Although there will always be an empty seat at the table, it's almost like he's still with us and I think he always will be.
If you're a friend of Kaleidoscope old or new, a classic British telly fan or just passing through searching for the answer to that nagging question about a vintage television memory, please take a few minutes this week to read our In Memoriam - Richard Down page, which features many accounts and personal memories of Richard. If you wish to remember him, please consider a donation to our designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution of which Richard was a great supporter.
"Uncle" Richard, if you're out there somewhere watching over us, I hope we've done you proud.
Adrian Petford Co-founder of Kaleidoscope
Friday 28th June 2013
A PANS-TASTIC DISCOVERY!
A "treasure trove" of steamy Top of the Pops performances by TV dance troupe Pan's People is set to get men's pulses racing once more - after being lost for over 40 years.
In an era before pop videos, the all-female group's sultry routines to chart toppers of the day gave millions of dads a reason to tune in to the BBC's flagship music show every week.
Yet despite being a staple of the programme for nearly a decade, the majority of Pan's People appearances no longer exist - wiped by the BBC, along with hundreds of vintage editions of Tops of the Pops, in the late 1970s.
But now a dozen "sorely missed" Pan's People performances - to hits by pop stars including T.Rex, Barry White, Elton John, The Jackson 5 and Diana Ross - can be seen again, after being uncovered in a music producer's private collection.
The long-lost clips - choreographed by Felicity "Flick" Colby and featuring well-remembered Pan's People dancers including Patricia "Dee Dee" Wilde, Louise Clarke, Ruth Pearson and Barbara "Babs" Lord - will be screened by Midlands-based TV research organisation Kaleidoscope at a special event in June.
Wilde, who hopes to be attending the one-day event on June 1, says it will be an "exciting if poignant experience" watching the clips since co-founders Colby and Clarke have both died in the last two years.
She said: "Considering that Pan's People danced on Top of the Pops week in, week out, for so many years, it's such a pity that most of our routines have been lost, wiped by the BBC back in the 70s.
To hear that some of them have now been recovered thanks to a collector recording them himself and keeping the tapes all these years really is wonderful. Often we never even saw them go out as we were so busy.
I can't wait to see them again and it's just so sad that neither Flick nor Louise are with us to enjoy their rediscovery too."
The rare clips, dating from between 1973 and '75 and featuring Pan's People dancing to hits such as Truck On Tyke by T.Rex, (For You) I'll Do Anything You Want Me To by Barry White, Island Girl by Elton John, I Want You Back by Jackson 5 and All Of My Life by Diana Ross, were tracked down in the collection of record producer and songwriter Ian Levine.
Other "significant" finds include dance routines to Dance With The Devil by legendary rock drummer Cozy Powell, You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet by Bachman Turner Overdrive and Rhythm And Blue Jean Baby by Lynsey De Paul.
Kaleidoscope spokesperson Chris Perry said: "This is a major find of missing Pan's People performances in great condition not held by the BBC, Pan's People or anyone else.
Ian recorded the clips off the TV back in the 1970s using an early video recorder, and the tapes had sat unused on his shelf until donated to Kaleidoscope last year.
We've received a huge haul of 20,000 tapes from Ian which we are currently cataloguing. We've also recently come across an almost complete Top of the Pops missing from the archives from 1976 so who knows what else is waiting to be found!"
Former Top of the Pops cameraman John Henshall, who regularly filmed Pan's People performances back in the early 1970s, added: "All in all this is a remarkable collection that manages to capture all the excitement and energy that made Top Of The Pops the greatest music show on television.
Watching Pan's People dance to the T.Rex hit Truck On Tyke, for example, is such a treat as no footage exists anywhere in the world of that particular Marc Bolan song, while they look like five sexy dream-catchers with feathers hanging from their waists in an electric performance alongside Cozy Powell."
Pan's People first appeared on Top of the Pops in 1968, four years after the programme was first aired, dancing to US Male by Elvis Presley.
They also appeared on other TV shows of the era including Lulu, The John Denver Show and The Two Ronnies.
Their last Top of the Pops appearance was in April 1976, dancing to Silver Star by The Four Seasons, but the troupe remained popular after leaving. During this period Sarah Brightman, who later married composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, was briefly a member.
REDIFFUSION REWIND IN MARCH
BEGAN KALEIDOSCOPE'S 25TH YEAR
"This is Rediffusion, broadcasting on the London station of the Independent Television Authority."
Kaleidoscope's 25th year began with Rediffusion Rewind, an event celebrating the London broadcaster of the fifties and sixties. As well as a special panel on Sexton Blake, we had 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 were pleased to present a schedule full of rare items, including some recent recoveries by The Tim Disney Archive and Kaleidoscope.
The event took place on Saturday 9th March 2013 and was again in support of our designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution. An impressive £227.55 was raised on the day, bringing Kaleidoscope's overall total since 1994 to £17,587.28. Thank you to everyone who attended for your generosity in supporting this worthy cause.
Sue Coombes, Honorary Secretary of RNLI Stourbridge Branch, said:
"What a brilliant start to 2013! Thrilled to report £227.55 raised on Saturday bringing the total raised since 1994 to £17,587.28.
Thank you so much - 2012 was a very busy year for the RNLI's volunteer crews and beach lifeguards and no doubt 2013 will be just as busy on the coast. Without support from inland, however, our girls and boys at the sharp end just couldn't do what they do and more lives would undoubtedly be lost, so thank you very much."
The hotel is offering a special room rate for anyone coming to Kaleidoscope events, so if you wish to stay the night before or the night after an event, please mention Kaleidoscope when booking.
Hope to see some of you there.
A TRIBUTE TO ATV
"Hello loyal fans... er, friends. Hartley Hare here, the star of the show. I'd have thought three events were enough, but no... those Kaleidoscope people have been pestering me again. You think all those PPI calls are bad? This lot are relentless. Oh well, I suppose I could do it again. I've left Tortoise in charge of Pipkins (you need a sound financial brain on hand in these tough economic times) and am off to the spiritual home of ATV for another all expenses jolly. Always nice to meet my adoring... er, ordinary people. Someone of my fame, handsome good looks and charm always has minor celebrities following in his wake and I expect I'll bring some with me again, to bask in my reflected glory of course. My manager, Nigel Plaskitt seems to follow me everywhere. That Gail Renard's a talented lady. She writes you know, although I was responsible for all her best work. It will be lovely to remember the glory days of Pipkins and ATV. Lew Grade always said I was his biggest star. Noele Gordon handbagged me over that more than once. You never know, you might just get to see some of my other old friends as well, although if the Pig turns up, I'm not leaving the presidential suite..."
Kaleidoscope's September event was a special celebration of ATV and Midlands broadcasting. Titled Midlands Memories, the day's line up featured guest interviews, rare screenings and ATV memorabilia on display. Hartley Hare, Nigel Plaskitt and Gail Renard joined us to remember their time on classic ATV children's show, Pipkins. Celebrated musician and composer Johnny Patrick has an association with music on Midlands television going back five decades and appeared live. Former producer, writer and television executive Rex Firkin was also at the event to sign copies of High Drama, his new memoirs.
The team behind the highly acclaimed ATVLand in Colour, Peter Raven and Lee Bannister talked about their next project, devoted to ATV Today. Emma Morley from the Media Archive for Central England (MACE) showcased a special presentation of rare gems from their vault.
Screenings included previously missing footage from TISWAS, a tribute to The Golden Shot, local comic Lenny Henry's television debut on New Faces which was preserved by Bob Monkhouse, Tingha and Tucker, an untransmitted look at ATV's years at Elstree Studios, rare material from ATV Today and much more.
Sue Coombes, Honorary Secretary of RNLI Stourbridge Branch, said:
"A sincere thank you for the event on 1st September - it was superb - so many celebrities and all lovely, lovely people. The buckets contained £140.20 - another fantastic effort - bringing the total raised since 1994 to an amazing £16,667.35."
WE HAVE LIFT OFF!
KALEIDOSCOPE'S POPTASTIC SUMMER EVENT
Kaleidoscope's poptastic summer event, titled Lift Off at The Talbot! was a great success and featured a feast of musical delights. John Henshall, the pioneering cameraman and director of photography who invented many of the leading optical effects used in musical peformances on television presented Life Through a Lens, a fascinating journey through his long career including work with artists such as Kate Bush, Paul McCartney and David Bowie. An avid collector of television material, John also talked us through a first look into his personal vault, which is packed with variety shows, drama, adverts and continuity as well as rare pop material.
Screenings included Top of the Pops, Galaxy and a previously missing edition of A Whole Scene Going, the 1960s youth culture magazine show which was recovered from a private collection by Kaleidoscope and The Tim Disney Archive just before the event. For Doctor Who fans there was a fascinating behind the scenes glimpse into the making of feature film Daleks' Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., starring Peter Cushing. In the studio, classic British beat band The Spencer Davis Group were interviewed and performed their number one hit "Somebody Help Me Now". American singer/songwriter Judy Collins also featured in the programme. Kaleidoscope were pleased to present the film print back to the BBC on stage after the screening.
Author Charles Norton signed his newly-published book Serial Thrillers, the story of Paul Temple, Dick Barton - Special Agent, Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, Journey Into Space and the adventure serial on British radio. You can find out more information or order a copy of the book at Kaleidoscope Publishing.
Jeff Christie from Christie watched a vintage appearance by the band on Lift Off with Ayshea and took questions from the audience afterwards.
Once again, the event was in support of Kaleidoscope's designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and raised another very impressive total for this good cause. Sue Coombes, Honorary Secretary of RNLI Stourbridge Branch, said:
"What a fantastic event on Saturday! So many people! An amazing event - John Henshall and Jeff Christie were both fantastic. Your supporters/followers, too - what a knowledgeable lot! The episodes shown brought back so many memories and showed just how times have changed - when I saw the Pan's People of yesteryear I immediately thought of the Diversity of today - how different they are!
The buckets produced a fabulous £283.76 bringing the total raised since 1994 to £16,527.15. The combined March and June amounts (£460.86) is enough to buy a lifejacket for a crew member at one of our lifeboat stations so I will find out which stations still need funding and ask for the money to go to that station for you."
UP, DOWN AND NATIONWIDE...
KALEIDOSCOPE'S MARCH EVENT
Kaleidoscope's first event of the year, titled Up, Down and Nationwide... focused on the much loved historical drama series Upstairs Downstairs and factual broadcasting with a selection of programming related to both areas.
Joining us as guests were journalist and presenter Michael Barratt, for many years the face of Nationwide and from Upstairs Downstairs, writer Rosemary Anne Sisson, actor George Innes, director Brian Parker, executive producer Rex Firkin and author Richard Marson. The event saw the launch of two new books, a fully updated and revised edition of Richard Marson's Inside Updown, the definitive history of Upstairs Downstairs and the memoirs of Michael Barratt, Mr Nationwide.
Rosemary Anne Sisson has had a prolific career as a writer going back five decades, contributing to series including Compact, The Six Wives of Henry VIII, Elizabeth R, Follyfoot, Armchair Theatre, Love Story, Within These Walls, The Duchess of Duke Street, The Irish R.M., Upstairs Downstairs and The Wind in the Willows.
We were pleased to welcome a very familiar television face: George Innes has appeared in series such as The Avengers, After Henry, Budgie, Callan, Danger UXB, Dick Turpin, I, Claudius and The Sweeney. In Upstairs Downstairs, he played the role of Alfred.
As well as Upstairs Downstairs, Brian Parker's credits as a director include Crown Court, The Beiderbecke Tapes, Dr. Finlay's Casebook, Gazette, Hadleigh, The Bill, Inspector Morse, Play for Today, Softly Softly and Z Cars.
Producer, director and TV executive Rex Firkin should need no introduction to fans of quality British drama, having overseen many celebrated series such as Emergency Ward 10, Sergeant Cork, Budgie, The Plane Makers, Manhunt, The Power Game, Within These Walls, The Guardians, Bouquet of Barbed Wire and, of course, Upstairs Downstairs.
Up, Down and Nationwide... took place on Saturday 3rd March 2012 between 12:00 - 7:00pm at our usual venue, The Talbot Hotel, High Street, Stourbridge, West Midlands DY8 1DW, UK. The event was once again in support of our designated charity, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and raised £177.10, bringing Kaleidoscope's overall total for this worthy cause since 1994 to £16,243.39.
Sue Coombes, Honorary Secretary of RNLI Stourbridge Branch, said:
"What a fantastic event on Saturday - so many guests and everyone so lovely! I really enjoyed it - can't wait until June!
I'm absolutely delighted to be able to tell you that the buckets contained £177.10! What a superb start to 2012! This brings the total raised since 1994 to £16,243.39. A sincere thank you.
This year sees the start of a campaign to replace all the lifejackets worn by the RNLI's volunteer crews - their current ones are nearing the end of their serviceable lives - and I shall be asking for the money raised by you during 2012 to go towards this appeal for the purchase of lifejackets at a lifeboat station where there is a Blue Peter lifeboat.
The new lifejackets incorporate the latest material technology and were designed specifically to meet the RNLI's current search and rescue operational requirements. As you can imagine, they're not cheap with the ones to be worn by our all-weather lifeboat crews costing £350 and by the inshore lifeboat crews £330. £177.10 is therefore well on the way to funding at least one lifejacket - brilliant!"
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