Saturday, 28 May 2011

British television archive

While writing a book about television, I’ve been collecting complete programmes from the history of British TV that I’ve found on YouTube, going back to 1953, and putting them on my playlist. It occurred to me that this archive of British television might be of interest to others. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?p=PL88962A63DD2D94D7&feature=mh_lolz

I’m not sure what the copyright status is on some of these programmes but since I’m just collating what other people have uploaded I assume it’s OK. There is plenty of banal stuff, obviously – Blankety Blank, the first episode of Countdown etc. – mixed with some little gems, from Ripping Yarns to John Betjeman’s Metro-land.

I’ll probably be adding to it as I go along, so keep checking back if you’re interested. I’ve also started a radio archive, but there’s not much on that so far.

Mundane quotes for the day: ‘The horrors of office life are soon forgotten once one has left the scene, in much the same way as summer holidays spent gazing angrily out while the rain drums against the windowpane and the clouds scud across a Chinese harbour are eclipsed, in retrospect at least, by occasional flashes of watery sun.’ - Jeremy Lewis, Kindred Spirits

‘Institutional life is only made possible, or evern tolerable, by the shared pretence that everything we do is – as, in the long run, it must be – a matter of life and death, and in the years ahead I came to find the small hierarchies of office life and the ways in which, after a holiday, the office worker had to play himself back into his part, learning once more to feign rage or delight or indignation, both moving and extremely comic.’ - Jeremy Lewis, Playing for Time

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