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Morph is Back

Morph is a plasticine man, star of many short animated films made for the BBC from the 1970s onwards by Aardman Animations, who would later use the similar techniques for Wallace & Gromit. A Kickstarter campaign last year has paid for 12 new one minute episodes. [more inside]
posted by DanCall on Jul 22, 2014 - 4 comments

By hook or by crook, we will.

A man wearing a dark blazer with white braiding steps out from behind what looks to be a giant white balloon. A penny-farthing sits in the foreground. Cheerily, he addresses the camera: "Hi, I'm Scott Apel, video critic for the San Jose Mercury News, and I'm here to welcome you again to The Prisoner, one of the most intriguing and most talked about television series ever made..." (YT) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Jul 7, 2014 - 27 comments

“It is good to see that NOEL EDMONDS has bounced back.”

On 1st November 1988, ITV dispatched over fifty crews to chronicle the production, reception and marketing of British television, at a time when, with satellite television yet to launch, the four main networks were your only viewing choice. It became the documentary One Day In The Life of Television, which you can now watch in full on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Oct 25, 2013 - 7 comments

Enter, Stranger

How we made Knightmare The creator and the dungeon master of the 1980s fantasy game show revisit dodgy technology and terrified children. The wikipedia entry explains more. Knightmare mentioned previously on mefi
posted by lalochezia on Apr 9, 2013 - 19 comments

Women's lib... in space!

Star Maidens was an obscure and pretty much forgotten British/German low budget (they borrowed sets from Space 1999 ) science fiction televsion series from 1975... On the planet Medusa where the women (naturally all hot) rule over the men, two of the later inferior species escape (including Gareth 'Blake' Thomas!) to the 'paradise' of Earth [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 4, 2012 - 13 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

Corridor running

Exploring Cardiff's Roath Lock studios, home of Doctor Who, Casualty, Upstairs Downstairs and the Welsh language Pobol y Cwm. Oh yeah, and there's a trailer for Doctor Who series 7, in which Farscape fans will catch a glimpse of Ben Browder.
posted by Artw on Mar 26, 2012 - 25 comments

The Victorian Kitchen Garden & a metric butt-ton of historical reconstruction series

The Victorian Kitchen Garden is a 13-part TV series that aired in 1987 on BBC2. It follows the month-by-month restoration of the Victorian walled kitchen garden at the Chilton Foliat estate in Wiltshire, England. Almost all the episodes are available to watch online. (via hark, a vagrant) It had three sequels - The Victorian Kitchen, The Victorian Flower Garden, and The Wartime Kitchen and Garden - and inspired more recent historical reconstruction programs: Tales From the Green Valley, A Tudor Feast at Christmas, Victorian Farm, Victorian Farm Christmas, Victorian Pharmacy, and Edwardian Farm. (Victorian Farm and Edwardian Farm previously.) [more inside]
posted by flex on Feb 26, 2012 - 29 comments

Yesterday's Tomorrow Today!

The BBC broadcasted the science and technology showcase show Tomorrow's World (titles on piano) on 7 July 1965 on BBC1, it ran for 38 years until it was cancelled at the beginning of 2003. Unlike the boosterism of US science programs, Tomorrow's World was more famous for it's live stunts and wry outlook ( James Burke experiences the "convenient" office of the future and the future of home gardening and crushing ennui). The BBC has an archive of episodes and clips for UK visitors, everyone else will have to be content with clips concerning Home Computers, New Banking, Nellie The School Computer, The Elliot Light Pen, Mobile Phones, and Moog Synthesizers.
posted by The Whelk on Nov 26, 2011 - 17 comments

Can't Beat A Bit Of Bully

Bullseye Contestants (I don't think they've got to the murderer yet) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Oct 8, 2011 - 17 comments

Syd Dale, Legend of Library

There is no questioning Syd Dale's [mid-60s UK NSFW] place amongst the legends of library music. ... his lavish big band inspired compositions were quickly brought to the public's attention through their use in countless t.v. shows and advertisements. Much of his work could be as classed as easy listening however Dale was also adept at incorporating elements of funk and spy jazz.* [The music of the 1967 Spider-Man animated TV series - to which he so memorably contributed - has been discussed previously.] [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Oct 8, 2011 - 10 comments

Documentary mistakes videogame footage for genuine terrorist footage

Last night, British ITV broadcasted "Exposure: Gaddafi and the IRA", a documentary which included this 1988 Provisional IRA footage the filmmakers found on YouTube. Unfortunately, the footage is actually and blatently from videogame ArmA 2. ITV has stopped streaming the documentary.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 27, 2011 - 25 comments

A St. Bernard and a year's supply of whisky

"Little slices of glamour beamed directly into your home in half-hour chunks; a perky theme, flashy titles, charismatic host, inventive format, gags, quiz, games, raucous outro – the works! Incredibly plain people given a quick glimpse of the good life, to which the tanned, funny man in the nice suit held the door." The joys of the 1980s game show. [more inside]
posted by mippy on Aug 4, 2011 - 4 comments

Everything's made up, and the points don't matter

Years after its final broadcast, the award-winning, pond-hopping, cult comedy hit Whose Line is it Anyway? is returning to television! Sort of! Tonight in just a few minutes, Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza (promo, sample segment) makes its debut on GSN, reuniting Carey with popular "Whosers" Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, and many more. Though the show will air every weekday, you don't have to wait around for new episodes to get your improv fix -- in spite of the lack of DVD box sets, there's a veritable treasure trove of past content available free from multiple online sources, including the complete run of the American Whose Line on both YouTube and fansite WatchWLIIA along with every episode of the original UK run from Channel4's official YouTube channel and their streaming video site 4oD. Too much content? Look inside for selections of the show's most hilarious moments as sampled from the show's burgeoning TVTropes entry. See also: Fan guide - American episode guide (UK version) - List of game types [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Apr 11, 2011 - 49 comments

Words of Warcraft

This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special (UK only link, YouTube links here and here) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and EDGE, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
posted by Artw on Dec 8, 2010 - 20 comments

In which our heroes chat entertainingly.

Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunite for a 90 minute TV special to mark the 30th anniversary of their partnership. The programme sees the former double act reminiscing about their friendship, careers and sketches. Parts I II III IV V
posted by lazaruslong on Nov 28, 2010 - 37 comments

And now, a choice of viewing

TV idents provide a bridge between programmes, remind the viewer of the channel they're watching and give the announcer something to talk over about what's on next and later. YouTube is a veritable treasure trove of idents, especially British ones, including
Classic BBC2 idents of the 90's, [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon on Jun 26, 2010 - 15 comments

I agree with Nick: you're no Jack Kennedy.

Yesterday, the leaders of the three largest political parties in the UK engaged in a live televised election debate for the first time in history. Most commentators seem to agree that Nick Clegg, the leader of Britain's perennial third party the Liberal Democrats, made the best impression in yesterday's first of three weekly debates leading up to the general election on May 6. The progressive-leaning Guardian even goes so far as to claim that he is now prime ministerial material.

This being Metafilter you will undoubtedly ask, "how does Cory Doctorow figure into all of this?" Well, he agrees with Nick on the Digital Economy Act. Then again, Nick is agreed with quite a lot.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Apr 16, 2010 - 54 comments

Quizarray by Monkeon

Flash Friday: Quizarray by Monkeon
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Apr 2, 2010 - 10 comments

Doctor Who and the Overthrow of the Thatcher Goverment

"My exact words were: I’d like to overthrow the government. I was a young firebrand and I wanted to answer honestly. I was very angry about the social injustice in Britain under Thatcher and I’m delighted that came into the show." - former Doctor Who script editor Andrew Cartmel on the shows 80s political stance. Terrance Dicks and Andrew Cartmel on Newsnight. Meanwhile former Doctor David Tennant gives his veiws on the Master-like characteristics of Tory leader David Cameron.
posted by Artw on Feb 16, 2010 - 39 comments

You'd never guess you're an actor, Brian.

Brian Blessed presents Have I Got News For You. [more inside]
posted by permafrost on Jun 12, 2009 - 42 comments

Watch from behind the sofa

Is Doctor Who too scary for kids? Parents surveyed by TheBabyWebsite seem to think so. But is being scared a good thing? (via io9)
posted by Artw on May 15, 2009 - 120 comments

The worst face of intellectualism: the bluestocking

On British TV last night, Gail Trimble, a Classics scholar at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, singlehandedly trounced the opposing team in University Challenge. To some a smug, bluestocking know-it-all, to others a role model. Cue the fightback and lots of questions about whether we, as a society, actually like really clever people and specifically, clever women?.
posted by MuffinMan on Feb 24, 2009 - 166 comments

Vision Off

Tony Hart (wiki) has died. Clip.
posted by MrMustard on Jan 18, 2009 - 44 comments

Not suitable for children, or those of you who may have a nervous disposition

The Kneale Tapes (1, 2, 3, 4) documentary about British science fiction screenwriter Nigel Kneale. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 16, 2008 - 8 comments

Ram, gang, ram!

Zombies don't run, says Simon Pegg. Well ours do, says Charlie Brooker, director of Deadset. (also some stuff about the election and skeletor and stuff)
posted by Artw on Nov 9, 2008 - 84 comments

Get Your Earplugs Ready

Two of the hosts of The Gadget Show, Suzi Perry and Jason Bradbury, took on their most embarrassing challenge to date: they each had to record a song which would be broadcast on the show and judged by industry insiders. Using the latest in home studio (Jason) and pro studio (Suzi) technology, they attempted to perfect their amateur vocal skills and impress the experts. The Results: 'I Can Be Your Robot' and 'Running'.
posted by chuckdarwin on Nov 7, 2008 - 17 comments

The Who we never knew

The Russell T. Davis papers – As he prepares to leave the role of Doctor Who show runner (previously) he’s releasing a book of email exchanges with Doctor Who Magazine writer Benjamin Cook about his time on the longstanding British SF series, revealing the younger face of Who he’s like to see, and plans for a Doctor Who/Harry Potter crossover which never materialized.
posted by Artw on Sep 18, 2008 - 30 comments

Product Placement Banned in U.K.

Product Placement Banned in U.K. Minister says it 'contaminates programs'.
posted by jeremy b on Jun 13, 2008 - 44 comments

Presented In Supermarionation!

From The Adventures of Twizzle to the reboot of Captain Scarlet - for nearly fifty years - Gerry Anderson made television shows, but is still best remembered for the classic 'Supermarionation' period were, as this documentary shows (1, 2, 3, 4) he really was making the 21st century. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 9, 2008 - 17 comments

Jeremy Beadle, RIP

Erstwhile British TV star Jeremy Beadle died yesterday from pneumonia, aged 59, having just recently fought off kidney cancer then leukaemia. While most famous for hidden camera pranks, stunts and general cruelty, and subject of undoubtedly the funniest joke in the world (due to a birth defect), his lesser known activities included knowing just about everything, euthanasia and raising millions for charity. Love him or hate him, RIP.
posted by cillit bang on Jan 31, 2008 - 19 comments

At Last, the 1967 "At Last, the 1948 Show" Show

In 1967, before "Monty Python", before "The Goodies", and before "Marty", John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman teamed up to create a groundbreaking show that influenced (and provided sketch material and dialog for) much of what we know today as British Comedy. Most of the material was erased when its owner, Rediffusion London, disappeared in England's 1967 TV franchise reshuffle. Here is almost all of what survives of "At Last, the 1948 Show".
posted by ubiquity on Oct 10, 2007 - 17 comments

Interactive British Game Shows at wedigtv

Are you a fan of Channel 4's venerable game show Countdown, but never had the chance to play? Check out this well-made Flash version. It's just one of the classic British game shows made interactive at wedigtv.com, which also features The Price is Right, Family Fortunes, and Blockbusters. Caution: Heavy Flash video, commercial breaks, and some of the UI takes a bit of practice. Via.
posted by milquetoast on Jul 1, 2007 - 17 comments

(UK) Children's TV

Influenced by two related news items...
Were you a Blue Peter or a Magpie kid ? And on Saturday morning: Swap Shop or Tiswas ?
posted by Webbster on May 31, 2007 - 29 comments

Question Time

Question Time Iraq Special (Skip to 04:45 to begin). Question Time is a British TV institution, where five prominent politicians debate current affairs while being questioned by a studio audience. The Iraq edition, available online, features the British Secretary of State for Defence, a popular, anti-war former party leader, the aristocratic old socialist leading the Stop-the-War coalition, the first female leader of a Muslim state … and John Bolton.
posted by Aloysius Bear on Mar 22, 2007 - 34 comments

Are upper lips the only things allowed to be stiff in Britain?

Sorry lads - Wank Week is cancelled. Channel 4's planned series on masturbation, which would have come this month and which was to feature such illuminating documentaries as "I Can't Stop Wanking" and "Masturbation for Women" (ukguard@mailinator.com/tester), as well as a portrait of the UK's first masturbate-a-thon, has been pulled as a result of the recent Big Brother controversy. Would-be viewers feel stiffed and wonder why 4 is being so hard on its viewers, who are now left to entertain themselves.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Mar 2, 2007 - 22 comments

Toob to Beeb

"I feel guilty because I have friends that are working really hard to get into television or acting and I'm just sitting here having not done anything more than enjoy playing with gadgets."

Susi Weaser (24) makes little one-minute gadget reviews and posts them on YouTube . The BBC must have liked them - because they hired her.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 18, 2006 - 18 comments

Heaven knows it's Manchester now

Remember the announcement for the BBC's Manchester Passion? The full list of songs and lineup were recently announced, rehearsals are over, tonight the procession through the city will be broadcast live on BBC Three - for now you can watch trailers and interviews with the cast (only for UK viewers/proxy users).
posted by funambulist on Apr 14, 2006 - 13 comments

BFI presents screenonline

BFI presents screenonline | The British Film Institute announces the launch of screenonline: "This new site features an unrivalled collection of archive film and television footage from the bfi National Film and Television Archive.... [It] is the first time the bfi has given the public access online to its comprehensive collection of film and television material, giving teachers, students and film enthusiasts an exceptional opportunity to investigate British history, culture and society through cinema. "
posted by jacknose on Dec 1, 2003 - 6 comments

10 contestants, 40 lapdancers, 1 winner....

3. The girls are always there: you make breakfast - lapdancers. You brush your teeth - lapdancers. You try and sleep - lapdancers. Can you handle that?
The Lapdance Island contestant application. Can you handle that?
posted by davehat on Aug 18, 2003 - 36 comments

the118118experience

Channel 118. The 118118 experience. [possibly nsfw]
posted by ginz on Aug 6, 2003 - 14 comments

One-in, one-out: the nominations.

One-in, one-out: the nominations. "Who should be granted honorary British citizenship and who should have it revoked?" The BBC's Today programme has its annual poll and this year, it claims, is a little different. Various celebrities, politicians etc will be giving their opinions and the result will be announced on New Year's Day. Who will you be voting for?
posted by Kiell on Dec 18, 2002 - 6 comments

Fame Academy comes to an end.

David wins Fame Academy! Mix Big Brother with Pop/American Idol and you get the Fame Academy, where 12 gorgeous under-30s are thrown into a glorified stage school for a few months, and only one emerges an idol. The prize? Supposedly the 'biggest TV prize ever.' A £1 million recording contract, a fancy apartment in London, a personal shopper, chauffeur, and more. All is not lost for the 'losers' though, as they've all gained professional management and Mercury Records is considering them all for solo careers. In contrast to the 'Idol' shows, being couped up for weeks on end has caused even the wackiest contestants to grow in their singing and songwriting abilities. So will this show reach the US? Probably, given these other crossover shows.
posted by wackybrit on Dec 13, 2002 - 8 comments

Trial by Tabloid?

Trial by Tabloid? Top BBC presenter Angus Deaton has been sacked after a sex & drugs scandal. He has presented comedy news quiz Have I Got News For You for over ten years. So, is ti right for him to be sacked after trial by tabloid? Do we actually care what our T.V. presenters get up to after the cameras are turned off?
posted by prentiz on Oct 30, 2002 - 16 comments

It looks like that the British network einstein.tv and the FIDE may open negotiations this month for a reunified world chess championship. The championship was split in 1993 when Garry Kasparov left the FIDE to start his own failed league. Kasparov claims the world championship left with him, while the FIDE claims he abdicated by refusing to play nice with others. Kasparov lost the championship last year to Kramnik. Einstein.TV is milking the publicity while the FIDE says we are meeting but no comment. Wood pushers like me are probably better off leaving the politics to the people who can't stand each other and sticking to the internet chessclub, the free chess servers or simply email chess.
posted by KirkJobSluder on Apr 30, 2002 - 2 comments

Another trip into TV Hell.

Another trip into TV Hell. In the UK we're much kinder to bad television -- shows will go on for weeks without an audience and often get comissioned for second series before someone releases they're awful (yes you 'Let Them Eat Cake' -- if that French and Saunder monstrosity had been on UStv it would have been cancelled after two episodes -- if it had been comissioned at all). 'Off The Telly' considers all the things prospective television producers need to avoid if they're going to create something they're proud of. Does anyone else have any bad examples?
posted by feelinglistless on Apr 4, 2002 - 18 comments

Will wins Pop Idol

Will wins Pop Idol - the contest to win a recording contract finally comes to a conclusion. To me, this programme just about showed how easy it is for anyone to end up in the charts. Now it's time for them to find out what the music industry is really like...
posted by robzster1977 on Feb 10, 2002 - 7 comments

Was Christmas TV really ever all that special?

Was Christmas TV really ever all that special? 'Off The Telly' reviews three decades of Christmas Day television in Britain. "It's funny...that Christmas time is actually an excuse for some of the worst TV atrocities of the year to be inflicted upon us. Christmas telly does not equate with quality. And yet, never does TV become a more integral part of our own family or personal routines and traditions. And never are we so receptive to a gathering of disparate middle-of-the-road celebrities and their stale party pieces." And for the ultra-cynic, TV-Go-Home's Charlie Booker presents an alternative schedule.
posted by feelinglistless on Dec 24, 2001 - 17 comments

Great 'The Prisoner' site -

Great 'The Prisoner' site - I just recently got into this BBC sci-fi/paranoia classic on my local PBS affiliate, so I was glad to find this lovingly done fan site. Anyone else have a pet obsessive fan site for a favorite TV show? SNPP.com comes to mind, of course, but I'm interested in the less famous and less frequented places.
posted by GriffX on Dec 5, 2001 - 18 comments

BBC 2 are axing their current channel idents

BBC 2 are axing their current channel idents One of the pleasures of this UKtv channel is seeing how they'll be banging, crashing or stretching that little number two. Is this a revolutionary development or just another example of meddling from a channel which is having trouble finding an identity within the UK's multi-channel future?
posted by feelinglistless on Nov 14, 2001 - 17 comments

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