A Spectacular Missing Believed WipedBookmark and Share

Friday, 21 June 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The second in the special Missing Believed Wiped events at the BFI this year will feature hitherto-unseen recoveries from ITV.

Taking place on Friday 2nd August at 6.20pm, the main presentation is an instalment of ATV's variety show Saturday Spectacular. Originally broadcast on 11th July 1959, it showcased the American singer Jo Stafford, who was the first woman to top the UK singles chart, reaching number one in January 1953 with You Belong To Me.

Stafford had an eponymous TV show in the USA in 1954 and would go on to have a similarly-titled UK series, again on ATV, in 1961 – and whose first edition included a poetry-reading Claire Bloom among its guests.

The 1959 edition of The Jo Stafford Show being shown by the BFI also features entertainer Teddy Johnson and was directed by Bill Ward. It came to the organisation's attention early this year via a private collector.

The BFI says:
The programme combines the usual variety show ingredients of the time with a fascinating – and now historically valuable – look at the behind-the-scenes activities in the making of such a show. Although the background material is obviously staged, it nonetheless offers a telling view of how TV was made.
Among the other light-entertainment treats being shown from the same collection will be the closing 20 minutes of a 1950s Diana Dors Show.

Stafford died in July 2008, aged 90, while Dors - who was married to the actor Alan Lake - died in May 1984 at the age of 52.

The BFI is celebrating 20 years of its initiative to locate and screen lost items of British TV with a series of Missing Believed Wiped events this year. The first one, held last month, showed gems from the collection of TV cameraman and director of photography John Henshall.

Missing Believed Wiped At The BFIBookmark and Share

Thursday, 14 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
BFI Southbank is to run a series of Missing Believed Wiped specials this year to celebrate 20 years of its initiative recovering lost TV material.

The aim is to highlight the most recent finds as well as revisit some old favourites, and the first special - entitled An Evening with John Henshall - will take place on Tuesday 28th May, starting at 6.30pm.

It was from the former television cameraman and director of photography's collection that missing footage of David Bowie performing The Jean Genie on Top of the Pops in 1973 was recovered and shown by the BFI at its 2011 MBW event. Henshall had designed special Telefex fish-eye lenses to create optical effects for the performance - recorded on 3rd January and broadcast for the one and only time the next day - and kept the footage for his showreel, not realising until 2011 that the BBC had wiped its copy.

The BFI said:
John has had a long career in the TV industry and was found to have hundreds of tapes of rare and missing bits of television within his collection, and these are being catalogued by our colleagues at Kaleidoscope, the classic television organisation.

He will join us on stage to share some of those gems with us and regale us with the fascinating – often hilarious – stories behind the productions. Expect more magical moments of missing music, segments of lost dramas, rare pop video footage, and other unmissable examples of the flotsam and jetsam of British television.

We hope to be joined on the night by some of the talents involved in the items screened.

Some of the items will be screened in full at a later MBW event.

Tickets to the event are now on sale via this link.

In Conversation With Beryl VertueBookmark and Share

Monday, 7 January 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Top TV producer, media executive, and former agent Beryl Vertue will be discussing her career at the BFI Southbank next month.

The multi-award-winning Vertue started out as a secretary at the writers' agency Associated London Scripts, where she went on to represent Spike Milligan, Eric Sykes, Johnny Speight, Ray Galton, Alan Simpson, and Terry Nation, who she ensured retained partial rights to his creation the Daleks. She was also the agent for comedians Tony Hancock and Frankie Howerd.

In the 1960s, she formed Associated London Films, which saw her involved with, among many productions, the feature films of 'Till Death Us Do Part, Steptoe And Son, and Up Pompeii, and in 1967 she was invited by the showbusiness impresario and entertainment entrepreneur Robert Stigwood to join his famed Organisation after it absorbed ALS. While there she pioneered the concept of selling British TV formats to America and Europe, with two of the most notable hits being 'Till Death Us Do Part, which became All In The Family, and Steptoe And Son, which was reworked as Sanford And Son.

Among her early producing credits for British TV was The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, for which she was the executive producer. While at the Robert Stigwood Organisation, she also executive-produced the film version of Tommy.

Vertue - the mother-in-law of Steven Moffat - left the Robert Stigwood Organisation in the 1980s to form Hartswood Films - one of the first independent TV production companies in the UK and whose many hits have included Sherlock, Men Behaving Badly, Coupling, and Jekyll.

She was given an award by Women In Film And Television in 1999 for outstanding contributions to the industry, and the same year the Royal Television Society made her a member of its Hall of Fame. Vertue was awarded an OBE in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to independent television production, and four years later was given the Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Creative Contribution to Television by BAFTA. In 2010, she and her daughters Debbie and Sue - both board directors of Hartswood - were given the Women In Film And TV Achievement Of The Year Award for Sherlock, and last March she was given both a Lifetime Achievement Award, at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards, and the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, at the Broadcasting Press Guild TV and Radio Awards.

Beryl Vertue In Conversation takes place on Tuesday 26th February at 8.40pm, when she will be interviewed by Paul Jackson, ITV's ex-director of entertainment and comedy and the current chief executive of Eyeworks, after which audience members will be able to ask her questions.

Tickets to the event go on sale to the general public on Tuesday 15th January at 11.30am.

UPDATE - 19th January: A season of related screenings has been announced, as follows:

Institut Francais To Hold TV FestivalBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 19 December 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
The Institut Francais in London is to hold a festival showcasing the best of new productions from both sides of the Channel as well as European TV shows.

The cross-cultural organisation's second Totally Serialized season runs from 16th to 20th January, featuring big-screen showings, premières, and screenwriters, directors, and actors attending, including Hugh Bonneville and Jean Reno.

  • Première of the first episode of series 4 of the French murder investigation drama Spiral, introduced by actor Grégory Fitoussi who plays Deputy Prosecutor Pierre Clément in the show, which airs on BBC Four
  • Conversation with Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville
  • A night of Doctor Who fun with scary episodes, a masterclass with writer Toby Whithouse, fancy dress, music, a quiz, and mystery guests
  • Screening of the first episode of the mini-series Labyrinth, based on the multi-million-selling novel by Kate Mosse, followed by a panel Q&A with key creatives
  • World première of the crime series Jo attended by the show's star, Jean Reno
  • UK premières of the Scandinavian TV series Real Humans and French shows Rebound, Spin, and The Church Men
  • World première of the action thriller mini-series Flight of the Storks, directed by Jan Kounen
  • A panel on TV screenwriting with Jack Thorne (The Fades, This Is England), Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars), and French screenwriters
  • Comedy marathon of French and British sitcoms (The Thick of It, Peep Show, Kaboul Kitchen, Workingirls)
  • A screening of the first episode of Skins followed by a Q&A with the show's creator, Bryan Elsley

A TV BAFTA For MoriartyBookmark and Share

Monday, 28 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
baftaAndrew Scott picked up the Supporting Actor BAFTA TV Award last night for his portrayal of Jim Moriarty in Sherlock.

Fellow Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, who plays Dr John Watson in the BBC One drama, had been vying with him for the prestigious honour.

Sherlock title actor Benedict Cumberbatch missed out on the Leading Actor gong, which went to Dominic West for his portrayal of Fred West in ITV1's Appropriate Adult. John Simm had also been nominated for the Leading Actor BAFTA, for the role of Tom Ronstadt in BBC One's Exile.

Sherlock lost out to Celebrity Juice in the YouTube Audience Award, but series co-creator Steven Moffat was given the 2012 BAFTA Television Special Award by Cumberbatch and Matt Smith in recognition of his outstanding creative writing contribution to television - see below (video via Radio Times):

Click here for the full list of winners at the ceremony, which was held at the Royal Festival Hall in London.

All Systems Go For Next Series Of Being HumanBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 16 May 2012 - Reported by John Bowman
BHA "very definitely new and nasty, chilling edge" is promised for the next series of Being Human.

The show's official blog reports that story lining, scripting, and pre-production are now under way for Series 5, with the first episode having been written.

It adds that the new series will be "bigger, better, bolder, braver and definitely more terrifying than anything that has come before" but that it will still have "laughs and fun" as previously. It also teases that "calls for a new villain have been answered".

As previously reported, Series 5 will only comprise six episodes - two fewer than all the previous series apart from the first one.