Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Flipping Heck!

What happens when a radio DJ starts to go off the rails? While we’ve seen that answered over the past weeks, the question was posed over forty years ago in The Flip Side. Written by Charles M. Cohen, the episode of the BBC’s anthology drama series Thirty Minute Theatre, transmitted in January 1966, is the centrepiece of the first of the two programmes in the annual Missing, Believed Wiped event at the BFI Southbank.

Since its inception in 1993, the Missing, Believed Wiped initiative has tenaciously unearthed and restored numerous television shows previously wiped by UK broadcasters in an effort to save on the high cost of videotape during the 1950s and 60s. This year the BFI unveils the first fruits of their acquisition of titles from the collection of the late Bob Monkhouse.

Along with his appearance as Jerry Janus in The Flip Side, Programme 01: Monkhouse and More includes a classic, typically risqué episode of the comedian’s 1957 situation comedy My Pal Bob together with newly recovered performances from Top of the Pops and rare footage of celebrated playwright John Osborne from Granada Television’s Chelsea at Eight.

Newly recovered treats from the BBC form Programme 02: BBC Recoveries. These include trailers for much loved shows from the 1960s, including Detective, the long running series of plays featuring the great sleuths of crime fiction, and Michael Bentine and John Law’s comical It's a Square World.

There will also be a presentation of the BBC’s new initiative to recover colour information from B&W tele-recordings, including a programme that has gone through the process. Rounding off the event is an important new find of an episode from a classic adaptation from the 1950s that the BFI Southbank website assures us is “the blueprint for modern-day period dramas like Cranford and Jane Eyre”.

Both Missing Believed Wiped programmes take place at the BFI Southbank’s NFT 1 on Sunday 14 December with Monkhouse and More kicking off the proceedings at 4:00pm in NFT1, followed by BBC Recoveries at 6:30pm. Further details can be found here. See you in the bar beforehand.


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