Micro Live – Carrott Confidential – BBC News – tape 227

This tape opens with the end of the last programme in International Bridge Club.

Then, we’re back to more Micro Live. Fred finds out how television audiences are measured. Apparently it’s by having Fred Harris lurk outside your house.

Fred Harris Lurks

The viewing family Fred talks to is actually the family of a production manager for the company that collects the data, Rupert Bragg.

Rupert Bragg

Mac looks at Red Boxes, a new home automation system from the founder of Acorn. It’s the Internet of Things before the internet really arrived.

Red Boxes

It’s also a precursor to the powerline network adapters.

Next there’s a look at online bank accounts for business. And Lesley looks at a new music software package for the Commodore Amiga.

Lesley Plays Jazz

There’s a report on how a Jeweller in Dundee is using a computerised stock control system. Sounds like a dry report, but John Wilson, the shop owner, gives a really good explanation of how he’s used the system to improve window placement, and to see which stock items are selling best.

John Wilson

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 14th February 1987 – 18:20

After this, recording switches to the end of International Athletics, presented by future Godhead David Icke.

There’s a trailer for Workshop – The Many Pranks of Richard Strauss.

Then, a Micro Live Robots special. It opens with a clip of the General Motors exhibition in Walt Disney’s Epcot center.

Fred demonstrates a small industrial robot stacking blocks. £30,000 worth of robot, there.

Robot Block Stacker

There’s a really impressive display of accuracy from a huge industrial robot, which starts by pushing a pin into the top of an egg, then is spins the arm around randomly for a while, then it goes back and puts the pin in precisely the same hole it created at the start.


Professor Mike Brady talks about robotic vision systems.

Professor Mike Brady

Freff reports from a car production line in America on using robots for attaching car windscreens.

Freff at a car plant

Here’s how biscuit moulds used to be made – by carving them in brass as large scale.

Biscuit mould

There’s some great footage of walking and balancing robots from MIT – and some great bloopers of them not quite working over the credits.

Working Robots

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 21st February 1987 – 18:20

After this, recording continues briefly with the start of Newsview with Moira Stuart and Jan Leeming. Then it switches to the end of an episode of Bergerac.

There’s a trailer for vet drama One By One.

Then, the last in a series of Carrott Confidential. As always, the show starts with a walk from Jasper’s dressing room to the studio, with topical sight gags. Today, it’s obviously about estate agents selling small properties.

Jasper Carrott studio walk

Talking about nostalgia, Jasper talks about Doctor Who as if it’s in the past tense, but this show went out in February 1987, so I presume it was in that post-Trial of a Timelord period when the show’s future was still uncertain.

“Well Doctor Who is history now, and in a few years time we’ll be yearning for it back along with all the other things that have disappeared, like Cabbage Patch Dolls and coal mines.”

Jon Stephen Fink does the Russian TV schedules

Jon Stephen Fink

Punt and Dennis do a pun-filled sketch about placenames.

Punt and Dennis

Loudon Wainwright III provides music.

Loundon Wainwright III

Talking of puns, some adverts for car alternatives.

The Rhino Five

Four Spring Pork Technik

Credit Spot – one of the designers on the show is

BBC Genome: BBC One – 21st February 1987 – 21:05

It’s back to BBC Two for more Micro Live next. It’s a programme dedicated to computers in medicine. David Ellis, a GP, is there talking about his book about the subject. We’ve seen him before on Micro Live, demonstrating music programs.

David Ellis

There’s a report from a practice in Manchester who have computerised.

Lesley tests out some exercise software.

Lesley does some exercise

There’s a look at how ultrasound works, along with CT scans and MRI.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th March 1987 – 18:20

After this recording continues with a trailer for Thinking Aloud with Michael Ignatieff in Moscow.

Then, Newsview, with a report on the capsizing of the car ferry Herald of Free Enterprise. Kate Adie’s report is particularly harrowing. The interviews with survivors are moving and shocking. I’ve been on plenty of car ferries and I just can’t imagine being in that situation.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 7th March 1987 – 18:50


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