Wednesday, 31 October 2012

More Dad's Army Castaways In Desert Island Discs Archive

Great news for Dad's Army fans as two further downloads featuring interviews with Clive Dunn and Arnold Ridley are now available to download again from The Desert Island Discs archive.

Read On: 
Walmington-On-Sea 333: Clive Dunn and Arnold Ridley's Desert Island Discs

Check out further vintage Desert Island Discs as well as the most recent editions at the official archive.


Clive Dunn and Arnold Ridley's Desert Island Discs Revisited

Radio Times Listing for Arnold Ridley's
appearance on Desert Island Discs, 1973
Fans of Dad's Army will be pleased to know two further Desert Island Discs podcasts have been made available to download from the Desert Island Discs website featuring Clive Dunn (Lance-Corporal Jones) and Arnold Ridley's (Private Godfrey) appearances on the show respectively.

In both cases each are incomplete editions of the show but do appear to be rather good edits of the interviews with presenter Roy Plomley, both looking at Clive and Arnold's careers and particularly wartime experiences.

Lets hope someone out there has Arthur Lowe's appearance on the show from 1970!

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Rediscovered Parsley Sidings Back On Track For BBC Radio 4 Extra

Rediscovered episodes of the classic BBC Radio 4 Sitcom Parsley Sidings will be repeated on BBC Radio 4 Extra from this Thursday.

The series which was originally broadcast on BBC Radio in the early 70s stars Dad's Army's Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender along with Carry On stars Kenneth Connor and Liz Frazer.

Read on at Walmington-On-Sea 333: 
Walmington-On-Sea 333: Take A Trip To Rediscovered Parsley Sidings On BBC

Take A Trip To Rediscovered Parsley Sidings On BBC Radio 4 Extra

Colourised image
of Arthur Lowe from
Radio Times 1971
Several episodes of the early 70s radio sit-com Parsley Sidings written by Jim Eldridge and starring Arthur Lowe, Ian Lavender, Kenneth Connor and Liz Frazer were recently returned to the BBC archive and thanks to some technical wizardry and the help of original announcer Keith Skues will be rebroadcast on BBC radio 4 extra from this Thursday.

The series set on a sleepy railway station featured Dad's Army's Arthur Lowe as Horace Hepplewhite and Ian Lavender as his son Bertrand. They were joined in each episode by Carry On Stalwarts Kenneth Connor and Liz Frazer, plus a variety of guest stars including Bill Pertwee and Roger Delgado.

The episodes which were originally broadcast on BBC Radio 2 between 1971 and 1973 were wiped in the early 70s and only a handful remained within the BBC archive. These have been repeated several times on BBC 7 and Radio 4 Extra over the last decade, four episodes of which were released on AudioGO earlier this year.

The recordings of missing episodes were recorded off the radio at the time of broadcast although and were complete all but for the original announcements made by Keith Skues at the end of the programmes. Thankfully Keith has stepped in to rerecord his original contributions so these shows can be enjoyed in their entirety once again.

So all aboard BBC Radio 4 Extra this Thursday as the original pilot episode from 1971 can be heard once again at 08:00 Hrs, 12:00 Hrs and 19:00 Hrs...

Read more about Keith Skues role in helping bring back Parsley Sidings to the radio

TARDIS Tuesday: Adventures in Comic Strips

The final #Pertober post is from 1973 featuring a fabulous cover from the comic strip adventures of the Third Doctor on TV Action. This particular story found The Doctor helping the French resistance against a Nazi menace during World War II.

TV Action was a brief home for the Doctor Who comic strip between 1972 and 1973 having previously been featured in TV Comic and Countdown.

Despite the strong storylines and excellent artwork TV Action was shortlived and folded by September 1973. The Doctor Who Comic Strip then returned to TV Comic...

Saturday, 27 October 2012

On Television: Dad's Army - The King Was In His Counting House

When a bomb falls on the bank Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) declares an emergency situation and puts the platoon in charge of counting and guarding the money from the vault.

The King was In His Counting House was broadcast at 20:15 hrs on BBC2 Wales.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Badge Friday: Bradford and Bingley Building Society

Mr Bradford and Mr Bingley were almost the double act of television advertising in the late 70s although their act wasnt about comedy - it was more about securing your future by investing your money into buying a home.

Ah! it all seemed so straightforward back then, before the days of property booms, recessions, etc...

This badge recalls a familiar 70s TV campaign. No doubt inspired by it...

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: Doctor Who's Ultimate Adventure

Continuing this months #Pertober Doctor Who posts here's a flyer from Jon Pertwee's stint as The Doctor in the stage play Doctor Who- The Ultimate Adventure in April 1989.

This particular flyer originates from when it was presented at The Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham. Jon ran with the production from March to June 1989, he was then taken over by sixth Doctor Colin Baker who ran with the rest of the tour.

A Doctor Who stage play is a neat idea, and I'm sure would still go down well now, particularly if it featured old TV Doctor's as the lead!

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Newport Playgoers in pursuit of Hound of the Baskervilles

My cover for last weeks South Wales Argus
Guide promoting Hound of the Baskervilles
featuring cover photo by Phil Mansell.
I wouldn’t usually write a review of a production that featured my brother in a role. As you might imagine I’m damned if I say something either positive or negative about it; however as I am a bit of a Sherlock Holmes fan I do feel compelled to write something on Newport Playgoers presentation of Hound of The Baskervilles directed by Alex Wilson.

The Hound of the Baskervilles is undoubtedly the best known of Sir Arthur Conan-Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes adventures, adapted for film and television many times over the years, yet I had never seen a stage version.

On sitting down to watch Newport Playgoers presentation the thought did occur to me that such a production would have a lot to live up to.

Simon Williams' stage adaptation of Conan-Doyle’s original story comes across as a homage to those wonderful Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce films from the 1940s.

There are a few jokey lines. References to Sherlock Holmes “as seen in The Strand”, the new invention of the phone, in which Holmes interjects that in a 100 years it will be technology that can be carried in a pocket and Holmes own Cocaine addiction “you shouldn’t take it on an empty stomach” scorns Dr Watson.

A simple but effective set switched the scene from Baker Street (contained within a giant book of Hound of the Baskervilles) to the moor to Baskerville Hall.

There were outstanding performances too. Steve Drowley made a great stage Holmes, reminiscent in places of Christopher Lee’s portrayal. The sequence where only Holmes voice is heard in order that Watson can independently carry on his investigations allowed him to project his characterisation with his voice only and ultimately still carried a presence.

Chris Bissex Williams was fabulously cast as Dr Watson, recalling elements of Nigel Bruce bumbling portrayal but still bringing much of his own originality to the role. James Symonds made a strong debut as Sir Henry Baskerville with a very convincing American accent.

There were also strong support from Paul Howells as Barrymore (adding a huge comedic touch with a square beard), Chloe Williams as the beautiful Beryl Stapleton and Sue Morgan as Eliza.

There was also a neat scene where Holmes pursued a suspect through London in a handsome cab this involved the cast giving chase through the theatre aisles and was good fun to witness particularly with the depiction of street urchins in Victorian London.

The Newport Playgoers presentation of Hound of the Baskervilles was a fun homage to the original story, and I sincerely hope they will return to Holmes once again at some point in the future to translate another one of his adventures on stage.

On Television: Dad's Army - If The Cap Fits

Tired of Private Frazer’s (John Laurie) constant grumbling Captain Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe) puts him in charge of the platoon.

If The Cap Fits was originally broadcast in 1971 and was broadcast today at 20:30 hrs on BBC2 Wales.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Badge Friday: Giggle With A Book

Here's another one of Rachel's badges promoting reading books, this time for students.

It says Giggle With a Book though I'm not certain what the pointy hnosed tousle haired character on the badge is supposed to be. He looks like a cross between Kenneth Williams and Ken Dodd. Strange!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

On Radio: Dad's Army - Ten Seconds From Now

In this the final radio adaptation of Dad’s Army the platoon are set to take part in a worldwide radio broadcast. Ten Seconds From Now was loosely based on the Christmas Night with the Stars special Broadcast To The Empire from 1972.

This radio adaptation of Dad's Army was originally broadcast in September 1976.

Dad’s Army is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:30 Hrs, 12:30 Hrs and 19:30 Hrs and available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: By Gummidge It's Jon Pertwee!

The Scarecrow and The Rook
Daily Express - 1980
Rifling through my old cuttings I've found several articles featuring the Third Doctor Jon Pertwee and as October has been christened #Pertober by an elite of Whovian's on Twitter I thought it might be nice to pay tribute to the Third Doctor myself over the coming weeks.

This interview from 1980 was conducted by Jean Rook in the Daily Express. At this time, Pertwee was playing Worzel Gummidge on television however this interview has a broad look at his career to date including his time on Doctor Who.

In the interview Pertwee compares playing Worzel to The Doctor: "I like Worzel a lot better than Dr.Who. You couldnt make love to Dr.Who could you? He was so weird, even I couldn't touch him."

However; Pertwee does talk of his stint as The Doctor with pride: " because Dr.Who was my first chance to be myself. I'd always fancied myself as one of those tall silver-haired Wilfred Hyde White types who crack American movies but I never made it.

"I was proud of my work on Who, keeping him down to earth. I made the Daleks cross Westminster Bridge. I've this theory that people get a big buzz from being frightened in their own surroundings."

Not sure where Jon got his reference from making The Daleks cross Westminster Bridge from, as that happened in the 1964 Hartnell story The Dalek Invasion Of Earth...


Monday, 15 October 2012

Mono Monday: Amen Corner - (If Paradise Is) Half As Nice

One of my earliest memories is hearing records by Amen Corner on the radio. Tunes like Bend Me, Shape Me, High in The Sky and (If Paradise is) Half as Nice, have continued to endure beyond their chart heyday of the 1960s.

Fronted by Andy Fairweather Low the band were formed in Cardiff in 1966, they debuted in the UK chart the following year with Gin House Blues.

However they really took the charts by storm in 1968 when Bend Me, Shape Me reached Number 2 in the UK chart. The Following year they bettered that with their rendition of the Italian song II Paradiso Della Vita which was originally recorded by La Ragazza 77.

Andy Fairweather Low remembers: "Amen Corner was very much a band that if we were free on a Tuesday (and for some reason a lot of Tuesdays we were free) we'd go onto the publisher and he'd go, "Have a listen to this! and we'd go "Oh yeah, I think we can do something with that!". Bend Me Shape Me was given to us when our manager said "I think you should do that".I think a friend of Allan Jones (of Amen Corner) might have brought it to our house one day and I was given a copy, it was by a band called La Ragazza 77, an Italian song  and I thought "oh I think we could do this.""

Translated to English by Jack Fishman, Amen Corner recorded the song taking it to the top of the charts on 12 February for two weeks.

Amen Corner parted company the following year with Andy Fairweather Low forming Fairweather before embarking on a solo career. Andy is currently touring the UK and you can find out more about him and his new band the Low Riders at his official website.

You can read my interview with Andy for The South Wales Argus here; Andy Fairweather Low - Playing for pleasure, not fame.

Thanks to Andy Fairweather Low for sharing his memories.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

On Television: The Desperate Drive of Corporal Jones

On exercise, Captain Mainwaring and the platoon are the prime targets for heavy artillery, only Lance Corporal Jones and Private Godfrey can save them.

Originally broadcast in 1972, Dad's Army : The Desperate Drive of Corporal Jones was repeated on BBC2 Wales at 20:15 Hrs

Friday, 12 October 2012

Badge Friday: Henry's Cat Woolwich Badge

Children were always encouraged to open savings accounts at school when I was growing up although I don't ever recall my parents ever setting one up for me (no wonder saving money has been a long hard haul for me over the years).

This badge for the Woolwich used cartoon characters to promote savings, in this case from the cartoon series Henry's Cat. 

Henry's Cat was written by Stan Hayward and produced by Bob Godfrey and featured regularly on children's TV between 1982 and 1993.


Thursday, 11 October 2012

On Radio: Dad's Army - Is There Honey Still For Tea?

As plans for a new aerodrome are announced it is up to Captain Mainwaring to break the news to Godfrey that his cottage may be demolished.

This radio adaptation of Dad's Army was originally broadcast in August 1976.

Dad’s Army is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:30Hrs, 12:30Hrs and 19:30Hrs and available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: Just Walking The Dog

I'm pretty certain this cartoon (which originally featured in Radio Times) was published around 1978.

Drawn by Radio Times cartoonist and satirist Marc Boxer, it captures Tom Baker at the height of his Doctor Who fame taking a stroll with none other than K9.

The caption reads Mr Tom Baker realising some secret power dogs his walk - I mean walks his dog...

I liked a lot of illustrations that appeared in Radio Times during this period but this cartoon remains one of my favourites, now yellowing in an old scrapbook I scanned it in and cleaned it up somewhat - hope you enjoy!

Monday, 8 October 2012

Mono Mondays: The Beatles - Love Me Do 50th Anniversary

1982 single reissue of
Love Me Do
Last Friday saw the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles first single Love Me Do released on the Parlophone label from EMI records.

The record itself now has major historical significance but back in late 1962 it made a small but significant dent on the UK music char reaching No.17 in the charts. Its release however came after a busy year for John, Paul, George and Ringo.

A failed Decca audition didn't get the year off to a good start. The Beatles then consisted of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best. The group recorded several tracks at Decca studios on New years Day 1962  but ultimately lost out to Dagenham group Brian Poole and the Tremeloes.

Dave Munden, drummer of The Tremeloes recently told me: ‘We didn't actually know they (The Beatles) were auditioning at the same time. I don’t know why we got the audition and they didn't. Maybe we were a bit well-rehearsed and perhaps they came down from Liverpool looking a bit scruffy. We looked like nice boys and all that, so I guess they must’ve liked us and we got the deal.’

The Beatles left the audition downhearted but manager Brian Epstein despite been told that guitar groups were out by Decca believed he had a hit combo on his hands and took them to George Martin of Parlophone Records at EMI.

George Martin was convinced the band had some potential but wasnt impressed with drummer Pete Best. Following the session, The Beatles sacked Pete Best in favour of Ringo Starr although  George Martin was not confident enough to let Ringo play drums on Love Me Do, so session musician Andy White was brought in to play drums while Ringo added support with a tambourine.

As first singles go however Love Me Do remains a cracking debut. Fabulous harmonies from Lennon and McCartney (not forgetting Lennon on Harmonica) and a catchy melody. Bigger and better things awaited in 1963 but it would be another 20 years before the single (re-released with the Please, Please Me album version as the A Side) impacted the charts once again, this time reaching number 4.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Badge Friday: Look At A Book

Here's another badge from Rachel's collection.

Right through education pupils and students are encouraged to look at books. Indeed this one obviously originates from one such campaign, here, aimed at students.

Like the way the o's become eyes...

Thursday, 4 October 2012

On Radio: Dad's Army - The Two And A Half Feathers

When a new recruit enlists in the ranks of the Walmington-On-Sea Platoon, there’s more than the honour of an old soldier at stake. Jones however is far from hiding the truth…

This radio adaptation of Dad's Army was originally broadcast in August 1976.

Dad’s Army is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 Extra at 08:30Hrs, 12:30Hrs and 19:30Hrs and available to listen again on the BBC iPlayer for a week after broadcast.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

TARDIS Tuesday: K9 Exterminated!

Doggone it K9 is for the chop
-Daily Mail, 1980
A time-travel back to 1980 today when it was announced that the Doctor's faithful robotic assistant K9 was in danger of been put down.

Indeed this story which I recall extracting from my Grandad's Daily Mail announced that K9 was likely to be written out of the series along with Lala (sic) Ward, although not until after Christmas in order not to upset the nations toy shop owners who had a lot of K9 presents for sale that year.

The BBC needn't have worried. Those Talking K9 toys barely worked anyway!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Mono Monday: Can't Get Used To Losing You by Andy Williams

A Woolworths
advert from the 70s
promoting Andy Williams
Very much a crooner of the pop era Andy Williams  (who died aged 84 on September 25) had a string of memorable hits from the 1950s through the 1960s to the mid 1970s.

No doubt his television series The Andy Williams Show gave a regular showcase for his (and other peoples hits) and was a regular ratings puller over here in the UK as it was in the US.

I remember watching Andy's shows quite regular as a child and even if I found his style middle of the road back then I quickly learnt to appreciate his coolness as I got older, particularly through songs such as the Can't Get Used To Losing You, Music To Watch Girls By (which reached the charts again in the 90s) and Home Lovin' Man (a fabulous if not overlooked early 70s sea-faring pop ballad).

Then there was his command of songs that would become standards Where do I Begin: Theme From Love Story, Moon River, Misty and Summertime. All classics of which he made his own.

His albums were always a popular seller in Woolworths and I remember purchasing a few of these for my mum over various Christmas's in the 80s. Yes as well as singing about the most wonderful time of the year - he could be the saviour of the Christmas present list too!

Andy Williams - a rich cool voice, a true music legend.



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