Day: February 21, 2016

Film 87 – Micro Live – Saturday Live – tape 225

In many ways, this single tape could serve as a microcosm of my entire collection. Even the very start, featuring the end of an episode of Tutti Frutti, is something I love.

There’s a trailer for Sportsnight featuring the kind of 80s Computer Graphics that used to make me very excited, it being very new.

Sportsnight camera

Then, an episode of Film 87 with Barry Norman, where he reviews:

Barry interviews Julie Walters about Personal Services.

And there’s a location report on Haunted Honeymoon. Gene Wilder on incredibly melancholic form.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 10th March 1987 – 22:30

After this, recording switches to BBC2, with the end of The Week in The Lords.

Then, ‘The end of Micro Live as we know it’. It’s so sad.

This whole episode is available on BBC iPlayer here. But that’s a truncated version of the original live broadcast. Here’s the original live introduction.

The first part looks at Derek Jacobi playing Alan Turing in the play Breaking the Code.

Then there’s a look at the various ‘generations’ of computing, and talks to Donald Michie of the Turing Institute, about their work.

After this, there are a couple of items omitted in the 30 minute version of this programme on iPlayer. Ian Page from Oxford University talks about the problems of doing the massive computing tasks like weather programming, and how chips need to be a lot faster. Then it goes to America to talk to Shaun Hennessey about the MIPS RISC chip.

Plus, the first public showing of Acorn’s development RISC machine, based on the original ARM processor that now powers most mobile smartphones. I spent quite a few years writing software for the Acorn Archimedes range, having moved up from programming on the BBC Micro, so this was a watershed moment for me personally.

There’s another couple of segments missing, one on robotics and voice recognition, and face recognition.

The next segment, about Xerox PARC, is in the BBC version, as is the closing segment of the show. The end of an era.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 28th March 1987 – 18:15

Watch the episode on the BBC Computer Literacy Project website

After this, recording switches to Channel 4 and an episode of Saturday Live. After a topical intro from Ben Elton, there’s music from the Pogues and the Dubliners.

The Pogues and the Dubliners

Stavros does his usual turn.

Stavros 3

Andy De La Tour

Andy De La Tour

Not sure I particularly like his anti-anti-smoking material.

Music from the wonderful Alison Moyet.

Alison Moyet

There’s a strange novelty act, Frederick Benson.

Frederick Benson

A young Paul Merton

Paul Merton 4

Then there’s a four-hander between Harry Enfield, Ben Elton, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, which contains the original version of a sketch Fry & Laurie would go on to do in their series. “You’re blind, Wicklow.”

There’s music from The Yes No People.

The Yes No People

Comedy from Joy Behar

Joy Behar

And after this, The Two Marks, one of whom is the great Mark Heap. Remember, a while back looking at Big Train, I noted that Heap was a good juggler? Well here he is showing his skills again.

The programme finishes with another Ben Elton set, and Alison Moyet closing the show.


  • trail: Just For Laughs
  • Paul Simon – Graceland
  • Mail on Sunday
  • Gold Blend
  • Go-Cat – Kenneth Kendall
  • Levi 501
  • Brook Street
  • trail: Billy The Kid and the Green Baize Vampire