The Precious Things season gives us the perfect opportunity to pore through the deeper alcoves of the archives to liberate material that would often otherwise lay unseen for decades. Today’s compilation brings together a cornucopia of colourful clips of pop and rock stars from the 1970s; performances, reports, interviews and some inspired daftness. The scattergun approach of our compilation means that many styles and types of music and performer are included. Although the main focus may be the artists included, there is also much interest here in comparing and contrasting the styles of the different host programmes included. These comparisons can be made between the contemporary programmes but also with the very different styles and tones of today’s programmes.
Clips today come from the following programmes:
Nationwide (the BBC’s early-evening wraparound strand featuring items of interests from various BVC regions)
2Gs and The Pop People (an LWT music and dance programme featuring the Second Generation group with musical guest stars)
The Basil Brush Show (BBC puppet superstar Basil often featured musical guest stars on his show, usually involved in some comedy business with the host, a quick-witted, often faintly risqué fox partly based on ace cad Terry-Thomas)
It’s Your Future (A Thames show that looked at future job prospects for teenagers. In this edition they consider pop music)
45 (Granada pop programme, hosted by David ‘Kid’ Jensen and broadcast from The Hardrock in Manchester)
Play It Again Stewpot (Yorkshire TV show, made before the rise of the pop video, with its own unique method of interpreting pop songs)
Russell Harty (The LWT chat show would occasionally feature music guests)
Magpie (Thames children’s magazine programme aimed to be trendier than its BBC rival Blue Peter by offering features on items of interest to pre-teens and early teens, especially pop music items)
Look Alive (Granada pop music magazine programme)
Rock of Ages (LWT series featuring pop artists in performance and in interview)
The majority of clips come from ITV programmes and there are two reasons for this. Firstly the BBC pop and rock archives have been quite comprehensively plundered over the years whereas the ITV archives, split as they are between various ex-franchises, are harder to negotiate. Secondly the BFI is the official archivist for ITV and so holds a massive amount of ITV material from all the regions.
Dick Fiddy, December 2021
THE PRECIOUS THINGS
1970s Odd Pop and Rare Rock
Sat 11 Dec 15:00
An Evening with Vincent Price: Vincent Price Is in the Country + Aspel and Company
Sat 11 Dec 17:50
Neil Innes and Terry Jones: East of the Moon (+ intro by producer Joy Whitby) + The Innes Book of Records
Fri 17 Dec 18:10
Christmas Specials of Yesteryear: Magpie + Max Headroom’s Giant Christmas Turkey
Sat 18 Dec 18:20
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Programme notes and credits compiled by the BFI Documentation Unit
Notes may be edited or abridged
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