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Live From Alexandra Palace - BFI Event (Read 6764 times)
Simon Vaughan- APTS Archivist
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Live From Alexandra Palace - BFI Event
Aug 25th, 2011, 6:34pm
 
I’m pleased to announce that the Alexandra Palace Television Society will be taking part in a short season at the British Film Institute to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the BBC Television Service.

I will be giving a talk on Wednesday 28th September 2011, in NFT2, starting at 6pm, concerning pre-war and immediate post-war output of live television from Alexandra Palace.  

The main focus of my talk will be the Desmond Campbell films, donated to the APTS Archive just over ten years ago by Neil Campbell ( Desmond’s son), and the work I have undertaken on their identification during the intervening years.  

The films have been supplemented with sound effects & recreated programme captions.  The footage features:

•      Television’s first grand pantomime (featuring Cyril Fletcher)
•      Leslie Mitchell
•      Music Hall Cavalcade (transmitted on the night of the 1937 Coronation)
•      Elizabeth Cowell
•      RadiOlympia 1938 – featuring Douglas Byng, Walsh & Barker, Graham Payne, Queenie Leonard, Maureen Potter and Jack Hylton
•      Margot Fonteyn (dancing the Sleeping Princess from 1939)
•      Bank Holiday Fair (in Alexandra Park)
•      Anti-aircraft Defence of London (from 1938)
•      Ballet Negres (Britain’s first black ballet company – from 1946)
•      Felix Mendelssohn & His Hawaiian Serenaders (from 1946 – Felix was then banned from Stoll Moss Empire circuit for three months!)
•      “Once In  A Lifetime” (brief sequence of the first drama to use both studios at Alexandra Palace)
•      Fire walking in Alexandra Park (film of an outside broadcast from early 1937)
•      “Gala Variety” – the first (Light Entertainment) production from the new Studio G at Lime Grove – from December 1950

The above list also includes other unique television material, taken by John Bliss, a cameraman at Alexandra Palace, and former Baird employee.

The evening will also include amazing film footage of BBC Television received in New York, from December 1938.  I have undertaken a great deal of research into this material, which lasts almost three minutes, and look forward to presenting this material, with the additional information, for the first time.

In addition to the above there will be a audio-visual presentation, featuring photographs from the Desmond Campbell Collection, married with an audio track of  “Television Was Fun”, a radio broadcast to America, from 1944.

If you would like to attend please contact the BFI on 020 7928 3232, or at http://www.bfi.org.uk/whatson/calendar/southbank/day/20110928

Other evenings that you might find of interest are:

Thursday 8th September
The Fools on the Hill
Made as part of the BBC's 50th Anniversary Celebration of Television in 1986, Jack Rosenthal's charming play - based on anecdotes and actual events - is an affectionate tribute to the early days of television, with a story which centres on the behind-the-scenes life at Alexandra Palace during the build-up to the opening of the BBC TV service in 1936.

Television Comes to London
A demonstration film highlighting the programmes on offer to the first television viewers.

Wednesday 14th September
Georgian Television
An amazing glimpse into the early years of British television with a specially compiled selection of most of the surviving (non-news) footage from the small screen, prior to the Coronation in 1953. Highlights include George Bernard Shaw on his 90th birthday (1946), Variety in Sepia featuring Adelaide Hall (from 1947), an experimental telerecording of radio's flagship comedy show of the time ITMA (It's That Man Again) and scenes from the 1948 Olympics. c90min

Tuesday 20th September
Film & TV
Taking a look at the new medium of television through the eyes of film with extracts and whole segments from a variety of feature films, shorts and newsreels whose view was not always a rosy one. From reports from Radiolympia, via fearful warnings on the consequences of the one-eyed devil in the corner; to fanciful visions of an all-consuming, television-dominated society - with the viewer left to decide whether such a world would be a dystopia or utopia. c90min

I very much hope you will be able to join me on 28th September to step back in time and take a look at the output of the BBC Television Service during its formative years.
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Simon Vaughan
Archivist
for and on behalf of
Alexandra Palace Television Society
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