BBC archives: Pages from Ceefax

Those mourning the imminent final demise of analogue teletext in Britain may like to take a look at this short piece on the BBC website about the similar ending of "Pages from Ceefax". I'm pleased to say that they've used an appropriate soundtrack for the most part! It also gets a point from me for having Grandad (with Clive Dunn) in the TV listings; I used to watch that quite a bit.
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For the love of Ceefax

Quaint and charming. Despite being in the internet age I for one will miss it when it goes in October 2012 in my region.

As a matter of interest how many of you still have access to analogue Ceefax?

While we're at it, please feel free to share your memories of Ceefax, Oracle, Teletext, etc. What were your favourite pages? Did any of your letters/articles get published?

I'll start-circa 1995 I had various silly bits and pieces published on the long defunct Megazine page on Teletext on 4 under various pseudonyms. :-D
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Charley more.

COI to close. Unbelievable. The end of the PIF makers and another nail in the coffin of nostalgia.

(Cross posted from my journal-apologies.)
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Closing Logos Wiki

I just found this while looking for the ident at the end of American Dad!, and thought it was pretty neat that someone made a wiki just for ending idents. They even rate them by scare factor! I think it's mostly American idents, however :)
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Relevant to our interests...

Fred Harris | Promote your Page too

Yes, it was always going to happen.

Very much in its infancy...scanned material from the likes of old Play School annuals 'follows shortly' (pardon the pun). So if you're on Facebook, click that 'like' button. :-)
davidn: (Jam)
[personal profile] davidn2009-06-27 09:20 am


Once again I've been going through the archive of DVDs converted from old tapes that my parents sent to me, and uploading the best bits to Youtube - one of my recent finds is an episode of Junior Maths, a programme presented by our lord and master Fred Harris that demonstrated maths concepts using often quite hallucinogenic computer graphics.

The problem happens almost exactly 45 seconds into that video. Previously I'd been quietly proud of being part of an era where things weren't dumbed down for children, but why in the name of Oliver Postgate do they called the number 20 "two-ty"? Now that I remember it I'm fairly certain they did this with 30 and 10 (one-ty one, one-ty two...) as well. I can't think of any reason to favour stretching the words to fit an artificial pattern like that over calling the numbers by their actual names, unless they were trying to subtly implant a more logical numbering system into our brains. Did anything else around that era do this?
davidn: (skull)
[personal profile] davidn2009-05-16 09:10 am

Tribute to the Past

I've... sort of forgotten to actually make a post actually announcing this before, but a while ago my parents got themselves a VHS to DVD recorder and have been rescuing relics from the old tapes at the back of the video cupboard. This includes a pile of schools programmes that were recorded for me when I was very young - I think they're fairly late on in the general era that this group covers (mostly being from the mid-to-late 80s), but there's a fair amount of Fred Harris and his lot on there. I've been uploading them to Youtube under the account name:

Programmes up there at the moment include Video Maths, Words and Pictures, Music Time, Thinkabout Science (the series where their gran was Nursie from Blackadder), Storyworld with Tony Robinson, and, of course, Chockablock. My personal favourite so far, though, is something that's in this group's interests but I haven't seen any other trace of anywhere - Wondermaths, a maths programme in space.


A few BBC1 'firsts' circa 1981

Some of you may have seen this clip before, but if not, I thought I'd draw your attention to it as it's quite a gem. Not only do we have the first appearance of this particular variation of the BBC1 mirror globe ident/font combination *and* a snippet of Moira Stuart's first TV news bulletin, the music on this clip is an absolute winner. It sounds to me like Wendy Carlos-can anyone confirm or deny this?

Enjoy! )

Wilf Lunn lives

I'm not sure whether he ever appeared on a schools programme as such, but he was certainly on Vision On which surely more or less counts. I used to watch him mostly on Jigsaw, though I confess I'd almost forgotten about him until I stumbled on his website ( pretty much by accident.
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I'm sure most of you are aware of this...

RIP Tony Hart. Another piece of our childhoods gone. :-(

As a matter of interest, did any of you have your pictures appear in the Gallery?
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Grange Hill Stuff

I just found this top 15 GH characters and thought it might be an interesting point of discussion :D

For the eagle eyed amongst us

There was a brief clip of Fred Harris (complete with beard) from Me And My Micro shown last night on BBC4's TV's Believe It Or Not.

If you missed it, it's available on BBC iPlayer and will also be repeated on BBC4 this Friday night.

As an aside: despite the fact that Sean Lock wishes he was Victor Lewis-Smith, the show in its entirety is worth a watch for some genuine toe-curling televisual moments, and most of the clips *aren't* the ones that are repeated ad nauseum!
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Since it is Hallowe'en

...And the general consensus is that certain PIFs scared us, here's one of the grimmest of all - Apaches. Watch with the lights out for maximum terror! *evil cackle*

Part 1 )

Part 2 )

Part 3 )

MrBronson66, I salute you for sharing this nightmarish gem!
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No Fred Harris, I'm afraid...

cross-posted to my personal LJ

...but you do get a longish interview with Martin Lambie-Nairn (who sadly has a rather boring interview manner) and some great examples of 1987-vintage CGI from the Imagina Conference that year. I wonder what happened to that "John Lasseter" bloke from the "Pixar" company which won the top prize... =;) There's also a truly wonderful Hamlet (as in the cigar) advert quite near the start (about 1'30" in) that I remembered as soon as I saw it. =:)

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OT-brain teaser

On catching a glimpse of Saxondale last night, I instantly recognised the theme tune ('House of the King' by Focus, apparently) as being the very same as that of a classic schools language programme. As did one or two others on t'interweb, it seems.

But which one?

[Poll #767090]

Whilst on the subject of theme tunes, can anyone think of any other examples which were album tracks or singles before being used as a theme tune? I know there are a plethora of folk/prog and Radiophonic/electronic tracks which have been plundered by both the BBC and ITV for their educational broadcasts in the 1970s and 1980s, and a list of both tracks and artists would be a useful resource for this humble little community.

Any suggestions?
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Another dreaded '21st century makeover'

This time it's been given to Joe and Petunia. Have any of you seen this yet? I saw it for the first time the other night, hence me being a bit late with the news!

And why are chav elements *always* incorporated into remakes? *sigh*
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Favourite PIF

Something that might be of interest over on Auntie's site.

Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water

Those of a sensitive disposition probably shouldn't click on this link, but the BBC website's Magazine is running a series on classic Public Information Films, and Thursday's offering is the infamous Lonely Water, which I suspect most people growing up in the 1970s and 1980s got shown at school; I know I did.
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Public Information films online

Probably many of you already know about this, but the National Archives is putting a collection of Public Information Films up on its website. So far they have about 20 up, from the period 1945 to 1951, which can be found here: