Archive for BBC

Remembrance of Things Past

Posted in Films, Investigations with tags , , , on January 23, 2009 by mrtoppit

Haydenseek_Tuned

Continuing my investigations, I recently spoke to two very kind archivists at White City. William Hammond and Phillip Birch are currently buried deep in the bowels of BBC head quarters digitising a wealth of old Radio programmes for posterity. After some intense cajoling they were persuaded to rummage through a cavernous hard drive of untold terabits to find and pass on this absolute gem of a recording.

The following sample is from a long forgotten staple of the BBC’s Home Service, Film Time. Originally airing in 1949, the quintessentially BBCish Mr Lewis discusses and (somewhat) favourably reviews Arthur Hayman’s Love’s Capture, a film he describes as a ‘challenging exploration of contemporary British mores’.

Enjoy.

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eBay Excitement

Posted in Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 17, 2008 by mrtoppit

Fifty Great British Pounds seems like a lot to spend on a little over 130mm of plastic in these times of economic turmoil. But this Luke Hayseed action figure from the BBC adaptation of the Hayseed Chronicles is worth every penny.

Luke Hayseed Action Figure 1

Once Hayseed hysteria hit America, The Carter Press was inundated with requests from Hollywood to option the series into a full scale motion picture. Despite the astronomical figures running across Graham Carter’s desk, it was Arthur Hayman’s widow, Martha, that had the final say on the matter and her mind was swayed by a hand written note from a Junior Script Editor at the BBC.

Luke Hayseed Action Figure 2

Jake Cotton (known to colleagues as “Joke Cotton” due his general ineptness) had languished in White City for longer than he cared to remember and saw The Hayseed Chronicles as a way to make a name for himself. Legend has it that he wrote to Martha directly, mentioning his interest in her PhD on the First Crusade in his covering letter. A lunch was organised, a contract signed and the rest is history.

Luke Hayseed Action Figure 3

The action figure is based on the likeness of Toby Luttrell, a regular in Grange Hill, a bit part player in Bugsy Malone, and the young British actor cast to play Luke Hayseed in the six-part BBC miniseries of The Hayseed Chronicles. The series was a huge success both sides of the Atlantic and my old VHS tapes are practically worn out from extensive watching. Does anybody know if the BBC are planning to reissue them on DVD?

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