74. TV Heaven 10,11 & 12

  • TV Heaven 10 – “1976”
  • TV Heaven 11 – “1969”
  • TV Heaven 12 – “1950s”

TV Heaven episode 10

This edition, originally broadcast on 11th April 1992, covers the year 1976. The full programmes for the night were an edition of the sitcom The Fosters, Jack Rosenthal’s  Ready When You Are, Mr McGill and episodes of drama Bouquet of Barbed Wire and arts programme Aquarius.

TV Heaven episode 11

This edition, originally broadcast on 18th April 1992, brings a feast of entertainment from the 1950’s. A bumper crop of full programmes on the evening were:

  • Oh Boy! (1959)
  • The Bob Monkhouse Hour (1959)
  • Double Your Money (1955)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1957)
  • Dial 999 (1957)

TV Heaven episode 12

This penultimate edition was originally broadcast on 25th April 1992 and celebrates the programmes of 1966. The full programmes on the evening were the opening episode of the sitcom George & The DragonDare I Weep, Dare I Mourn; and an episode of Danger Man.

A Boots E240 tape in a BASF box

75. TV Heaven 13

Frank brings us, sadly, the final episode of this excellent series broadcast on 2nd May 1992. Covering the year 1968. Don’t forget to order the book.

Full programmes were epsiodes of Please Sir!, The World of Whicker, Do Not Adjust Your Set and The Prisoner (“The Girl Who Was Death”).

The tape is a Scotch E195.

76. Christmas 1991

  • The Ghosts of Oxford Street
  • Bigfoot and the Hendersons
  • Telly Addicts

Three shows recorded to keep over the Christmans holidays of 1991.

The Ghosts of Oxford Street (IMDB)

An interesting cast, it looks good but nearly thirty years on I still haven’t got round to watching it. With face masks standard apparellel in the “new normal” Oxford Street of 2020, Malcolm McLaren loses a lot of his intended menacing appearance.

Bigfoot and the Hendersons
A BBC1 showing.

Telly Addicts – Celebrity Christmas Special (Genome)

BBC v ITV, shown on Boxing day. From Radio Times:

“A BBC team takes on an ITV quartet in a special edition of the television knowledge quiz. Les Dawson captains the BBC team, with Carmen Silvera (Edith in ‘Allo ‘Allo), Mike Reid (Frank Butcher in EastEnders) and weather forecaster Suzanne Charlton.
You Bet‘s Matthew Kelly is the ITV captain, with Sarah Kennedy (from Busman’s Holiday), Bob Holness (of Blockbusters) and Best of Magic‘s Geoffrey Durham. Hosted by Noel Edmonds.”

The credits tally 3x “thanks” for the clips used…

…which is less than half the number of “copyright violation” claimants I got when I tried to upload it to YouTube. For those who have asked me why I don’t make this material available for viewing online, that’s your answer.

Other fragments, promos and overruns on the tape…

A Scotch E195 tape

77. Various TV Programmes 1991

“Various TV Programmes 1991” is what the label claims the tape contains, and so it does…

  • A Postcard from Sydney
  • Survival
  • Jason Donovan
  • Advert
  • Top Of The Pops
  • Excerpt from The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin
  • The Holiday Programme
  • Four Mations
  • Excerpt from Eastenders
  • Top Of The Pops 1973
  • Two episodes of King of the Rocket Men

Varied indeed.

Clive James Postcard from Sydney (Genome)
30 May 1991


Good Morning Britain
Jason Donovan video for his cover version of “Happy Together”, broadcast by TV-AM at 7:53. Apparently it reached #10 in the charts in 1991. Available on YouTube, sans clock, if you’re interested.

A popular street vendor of kebabs in Bristol is the Jason Donervan. I thought this was a good place to impart that information.

Advertisement: Barclays Bank.

Partly filmed in Red Lion Street, Midhurst. Church Hill the location of the Ford Fiesta ad on tape 5, runs parallel to this street and filming for Foyle’s War has also taken place here.

Promotions for the evening’s viewing

before going into the first of them…

Top Of The Pops

The opening titles has the TOTP logo morphing into a pumpkin, conveniently dating this epsiode as 31 Oct 1991. Further confirmed by the unseen and unidentified presenter introducing “this spooky edition”.

Having seen Jason earlier on the tape we now have Kylie, inexplicably singing her latest offering in an old gasworks … which appears to have given her a headache.

The programme ends abruptly after 20 minutes immediately following the “exclusive” Genesis performance of “No Son of Mine”.

The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
“Why do you think Windsor Castle is ringed with Chinese restaurants?”

Uncle Jimmy tries to recuit Reggie into his secret army to fight the “wreckers of law and order. Communists, Maoists, Trotskyists, neo-Trotskyists, crypto-Trotskyists, union leaders, Communist union leaders, atheists, agnostics, long-haired weirdos, short-haired weirdos…”

A wonderfully crafted piece of writing performed brilliantly by Geoffrey Palmer and Leonard Rossiter. Available on YouTube.

Segment. The opening seconds of a John Thaw vehicle…

Followed by a short piece from Wish YouWere Here…?

John Carter is on the Côte d’Azur, lucky him.

Four Mations: Bzig.

A documentary in the Channel 4 animation strand following Polish film maker Zbigniew Rybczynski (IMDB) creating his most recent work The Orchestra. Some of Zbig’s work are on his YouTube channel: ZbigVision

Eastenders. (Fragment)

Tension in the Queen Vic while Arthur goes mad at home.

Top Of The Pops 1973

Noel Edmonds and Tony Blackburn in a repeat showing of the 1973 Christmas TOTP, an episode highly unlikely to be broadcast again in its entirety.

King of the Rocket Men (IMDB)

The final two chapters (11 & 12) of this 1949 serial.

Which concludes the previously documented contents. Along the way there have been some “ends and fragments” – trailers and continuity – including (rather too much) of a 1991 episode of Home & Away and a brief glimpse of cricketer Fred Trueman in his Yorkshire home.

The tape runs on into the opening minutes of

Ring My Bell (IMDB)

A short-lived live celebrity phone-in fronted by Laurie Pike.

A 2 hour tape with unmatched labels and box.

Project update – 2020

So I was half way through tape 77 in May 2016 when I decided to take a little break for the summer. It lasted longer than I thought but never mind … here we are again. So what’s left?

In theory, 77 tapes.

In practice, 77 tapes in the ownership of someone who has completely forgotten all the processes for transferring them to digital format. Also currently AWOL is the folder of notes and clippings and my ability to drive WordPress, which seems to have changed substaintially in the last 4 years.

Somewhere there is a stack of VHS players, DVD recorders, scart cables and blank discs (I hope blank discs, are they still obtainable?).

But at least I’ve found the tapes…


78. Various programmes 91/92

A 4 hour tape of odds and ends, some recorded and kept intentionally plus some fragments and time-shifts:

  • The Darling Buds of May
  • Scarfe on…
  • Classic Cars
  • Without Walls: The Avengers
  • Fragments
  • Nature Watch
  • Genesis “I Can’t Dance” video
  • Wish You Were Here?
  • Election ’92

I think what you’d call an eclectic mix.

The Darling Buds of May: Part 2.  (IMDB)

We must have enjoyed the first episode so much we decided to record and keep the second one(?). Broadcast 14th April 1991.

Scarfe on… (Genome)

The caricaturist Gerald Scarfe (local lad and husband of Jane Asher) in the company of a puppet snake and a rhinoceros, embarks on a mission to determine if the BBC’s guidelines need updating.

Broadcast 2 May 1991, one of a number of programmes by Scarfe in the genre that Louis Theroux later made his own.

Classic Cars – Autojumble (BFI)

The first episode of a Channel 4 series called Classic Cars covered the “The world’s largest autojumble sale at Beaulieu, England”. Broadcast 1 Sept 1991

Without Walls: The Avengers (IMDB)

This is a 30 minute segment from Channel 4’s arts series Without Walls.

“A film tribute to the long-running cult 1960’s spy adventure series, starring Patrick Macnee. With contributions from its stars and creators.”

Being the original broadcast, on 14 Jan 1992, it contains a contribution from writer Leonard White which was removed at his request from the later DVD release.


Some lingering temporary recordings, mostly TVS, including a continuity caption for snooker and half an episode of Home and Away.

Nature Watch – All For The Elephant

I can’t find out much about this Julian Pettifer fronted series, made by Central and shown on Channel 4. This particular episode focuses on the work of artist David Shepherd as he attempts to raise £1million for elephant conservation. His painting “The Ivory is Theirs” raised a great deal of that amount through the sale of prints, one of which has hung on my living room since the time of this programme.

Genesis – I Can’t Dance


The video for Genesis’s 1991 hit.

Wish You Were Here?

Nick Owen in Corfu, recorded and kept for no better reason than I had been there.

Election ’92

…and finally. The tape is filled with late night coverage of the 1992 election, with its twists and turns (well some of them). Familiar faces, some looking a lot younger and others now gone (where is John Cole these days?). The recording is mostly BBC but switches occasionally to ITV.

Jon Snow in charge of driving the graphics, of course. A particularly ironic comment from Chris Patten early in the proceedings, clearly not anticipating losing his own seat.

As mentioned, a 4 hour tape:

81-86. Old film collection


Hold tight, I’m going to race through these next few.  More in the set of black & white British feature films recorded from BBC2 and Channel4 between 1990 and 1993. I’ll point out anything else that has lingered on the tapes.

81. Oliver Twist 

David Lean’s 1948 classic starring Alec Guinness and Robert Newton.

After some Channel 4 trailers and adverts this is followed by the start of To The Moon, Alice – a short American feature about homelessness.

It cuts out after about 15 minutes to golf coverage, presumably run on after a previous late night film.

82. The Man in the White Suit / The Smallest Show on Earth

Recorded in Nov 91 and Feb 92 respectively.

The tape ends with some C4 trailers, continuity and a caption for the next programme, the World Cinema offering: La Cage Aux Folles; then we launch into an advert break starting with Rolf Harris recommending KFC and continuing with Brian Clough with his Shredded Wheat; a trailer for The Camomile Lawn and the opening minutes of the foreign film.

83. Boys Will be Boys / Where’s There’s a Will

Two Will Hay films, recorded 28/05/1990 and 23/07/1990 from BBC2. I must have forgotten I had them as I recorded them again 3 years later (tape 179 and tape 123).


Following on the tape is an episode from the US series Faerie Tale Theatre, of which I know nothing at all.  I have, though, extracted from it a Channel4 advert break with a couple of interesting celebrity appearances…

84. Oh Mr. Porter / Ask A Policeman

Two more Will Hay films, recorded on 24 and 25/07/1990.  Memory fade evident again as I previously recorded these films 6 years earlier (tapes 7 and 9).

Each of the films is preceded by a repeat of an old Mastermind episode, the last few minutes of which are caught on these early morning BBC2 recordings.

At the end of the tape is some continuity and the opening minutes of the following film, a Laurel & Hardy classic Fraternally Yours.

This tape had visible mould and took some effort to unstick.

85. School for Scoundrels / Hue and Cry

Two unique recordings this time, the first from Channel 4 and the second BBC2 on 2 Jan 1993.

The tape continues on with a repeat of a documentary, first shown on 11/11/91, about the sculptor Arthur Dooley and his work Joseph and Child (Genome)

86. The Long Arm / Passport to Pimlico

The first has been mislabelled as “The Long Arm of the Law” and is a rather good police drama from 1956 starring Jack Hawkins.

The tapes.

And finally the cassettes themselves, everything from a Dixon’s own to a Scotch EXG+

They’re all the same in the skip, landfill is a great leveller.

87. Granadaland


28th December 1992, BBC2. To quote the RadioTimes: (Genome)

As part of its first night in 1956, Granada Television broadcast a Tribute to the BBC. In the week that Granada begins its new franchise, the BBC belatedly returns the favour by transmitting an evening of programmes devoted to the oldest surviving independent TV company.

I had already recorded Telly Addicts on BBC1 earlier the same evening and it’s a demonstration of how disordered the collection has become that the tape on which that programme lives is number 111.

This tape contains just a 30 minute segment of Granadaland, starting at 9.30pm (having already missed From the North, The story of Granada) with some trailers for programmes to come.

Then a special one-off “Pro-Celebrity” edition of University Challenge with Bamber Gasgoine back in the chair after  a 5 year absence.

Details from my earlier catalogue:

A team of celebrity former University Challenge contestants take
on current undergraduates from Keble College Oxford. Keble were
champions of the final series in 1987.

Asking the questions:
Bamber Gascoigne

Keble Oxford:
Richard Arthur reading Geography
Joe McDonagh reading History
Alexander Newman reading Maths
Andy Hallsworth reading Classics

Alistair Little – Chef and Restaurateur (Downing 1970)
John Simpson – BBC Foreign Affairs Editor (Magdelene 1965)
Stephen Fry – Actor (Queens’ 1980)
Charles Moore – Editor of Sunday Telegraph (Trinity 1978)

Jim Pope

Begins with a brief look back at the quiz and includes a clip
of Stephen Fry’s original appearance for Queens’ in 1980.

Then we quickly switch over to BBC1 where One Foot in the Grave is already under way, a repeat of the previous year’s Christmas special. (Genome)

For completeness the tape begins with Hitchcock’s version of The 39 Steps, recorded from BBC2 a few days earlier, and the promise of Rear Window to come.


A Dixons tape, presumably from the same set used for The Prisoner and very nearly labelled as such.

88-89. More old films

We are in a part of the collection where a number of recordings of old films have been catalogued together. It would seem that from 1991 to 1993 both BBC 2 and Channel 4 had a habit of broadcasting – mainly black & white – British movies from the 1930’s to 50’s. Most of these I now have on DVD, and one of two are duplicates of recordings from earlier transmissions.

I am playing each tape but not bothering to transfer them unless something unexpected and/or interesting turns up (as in tape 90, for instance). Consequently I shall just note the contents here without screenshots and press on.

So for the record:

Tape 88:

  • The Belles of St. Trinians
  • Two Way Stretch

Tape 89:

  • Murder at the Gallop
  • Brothers in Law BBC2 2 Jan 1993

Tape 88 is a Scotch E-195 and I have actually used the little label that sticks to the cassette window and is supposed to show how much tape is remaining.