Inspector Morse – The South Bank Show – tape 1124

First on this tape, Inspector MorseSecond Time Around. An episode written by Daniel Boyle, but not to be confused with Danny Boyle who has also directed episodes of Inspector Morse but not this one. All clear?

It starts off with someone lurking outside a house.

He’s got a clipping about a policeman writing a book.

Morse and Lewis get to go to a nice party, to celebrate a the same policeman collecting an OBE.

An old colleague of Morse, Chief Inspector Dawson, gives the speech. He’s played by Ken Colley. The both worked together under Hillian, the man being honoured that night.


Dawson takes Hillian home, and because he’s blind drunk he leaves him on his sofa. But someone breaks in, and rifles through his folders, presumably notes for his book. Hillier wakes up, there’s a struggle, and Hillian falls and cracks his head.

Morse is slightly miffed that Dawson is going to hang around for the investigation, as there’s a bit of rivalry there.

Guest Star Alert! It’s a young Christopher Eccleston, playing young Terence Mitchell, who was doing work on a fence for Hillian, so he had been at the house the day before. Is he a big enough actor to be a major character? He wasn’t in the opening titles. iMDb says it’s only his third role. He’s an autistic young man, living with his mother and drawing pictures of his birds.

A car was spotted driving away from the house, and its driver is traced. It’s Oliver Ford Davies, playing a bookseller called Redpath. “A communications blackout can mean only one thing – Invasion!” is something he doesn’t say in this programme. He claims he was there because he was interested in the book, but Morse doesn’t buy it.

His daughter arrives at the station and seems very agitated that her father is being accused of anything.

Here’s another guest star, as Sam Kelly plays the other man who was at the victim’s house the previous day. he has a ball playing the louche ghost writer who was helping Hillian with his book. He seems like he has a motive – all the royalties would go to him – but he really doesn’t seem dark or broody enough to be the killer.

Morse is still questioning Redpath, trying to understand why he’s lying, and why he would have been there. Dawson (Colley) returns from London, walks into the interview room and goes ballistic. We learn that this is harking back to the murder of an 8 year old child, Mary Lapsley. Dawson had been Hillian’s sergeant during the investigation. Redpath had a different name, and was under suspicion for a long time. Dawson in particular was rumoured to have been violent towards him. Morse was the one who found the dead girl. A knife was found, which used to belong to Redpath, although he claimed he had lost it a year ago.

The investigation continues, and Redpath tries to hang himself in his cell, but he’s found just in time by an officer. Weirdly, Shahnaz Pakravan – a Tomorrow’s World presenter among other things – plays a doctor.

There’s an old piece of evidence from the Lapsley murder – they received a typed version of a diary the purported to talk about the murder, but it was generally reckoned by Dawson to be a fake.

They contact Lapsley’s grandmother to try to learn more about the case. She gives Morse an old picture of Mary with her mother (now dead). A photographic expert reckons he can blow up the label in a jacket Mary is sitting on in the picture, some clue to who her father was.

He does a pretty good job. A pre-computer example of ‘Enhance’.

The label proves a dead end, as the tailor is no longer there, so no records were kept. Morse returns to the Grandmother, who shows him something young Mary kept as a keepsake of her father. Morse recognises what it is, but leaves it with the Grandmother. He’s got one just the same in his own desk.

They’re also following another old lead, looking up John Mitchell, Father of Christopher Eccleston’s character, who has been missing for many years, who kept his son at home, possibly to stop him talking about Mitchell’s guilt, and also mistreated him. Lewis thinks Mitchell might have returned when he heard about the book. Morse doesn’t think so, and almost suspends Lewis when he won’t drop the idea.

But he seems to accept the solution, and the police descend on the Mitchell house. Dawson angrily confronts Mitchell’s wife, who seems to admit that Mitchell was the murderer. He’s almost too angry, though. Lewis is particularly disapproving of Dawson’s behaviour.

Morse goes to see Redpath to give him the news, expecting that he’ll be relieved to finally be free from suspicion. But Redpath just laughs. “Can’t you get anything right?” He knew that John Mitchell couldn’t have killed the girl, because he knew that he was bedridden with a virus that day. This seems like a fact that should have been in the case notes, assuming Mitchell had been a person of interest during the investigation.

After going to see Hillian’s ghostwriter again, Morse goes back to the Mitchell house to talk to young Terrence (Eccleston). Terrence was the one who killed Mary, and later, Hillian. He gets to explain the entire plot to Morse.

But the story’s not quite over, as Morse and Lewis go to see Dawson, a Lewis arrests him for the murder of John Mitchell. “We lacked your great incentive, didn’t we? To find the man that killed your daughter.”

I really enjoyed this one. Although Eccleston might have seemed obvious at the start by dint of casting, Colley was so grumpy and dogmatic through the whole thing he had to be guilty of something, although it was my wife who first suggested he was the father.

And I particularly liked  the line, when he described killing Mitchell, and he asks “He admitted it. He said he did it. Why would he do that?” “Because he loved his son, like you loved your daughter.”

After this, recording switches, and there’s an episode of The South Bank Show with a profile and interview with Steve Martin, while he’s shooting the film LA Story.

Also interviewed are Director of The Jerk Carl Reiner

His old writing partner, Bob Einstein, also known as Super-Dave Osbourne.

The director of LA Story, Mick Jackson.

There’s a trail for LWT using ‘We Built This City’.


  • Trail: LWT
  • The Leeds – George Cole

BAFTA Awards – Shooting from The Heart – Chris Menges, Cameraman – It’s Your Move – tape 143

It certainly is Awards time here, as we have another BAFTA Awards, this time it’s 1986, I think.

It’s on ITV again, so the host is, inevitably, Michael Aspel.

Jimmy Tarbuck presents the award for Best Light Entertainment Programme.

It’s won by Geoff Posner for Victoria Wood As Seen on TV. Now he’s an unsung hero of television, responsible for so much great comedy.

Susannah York presents the award for Best Drama Series. It’s a curious arrangement this year, as Michael Aspel lurks and reads out the nominations.

It’s won by Edge of Darkness, as is right and proper. Producer Michael Wearing and Director Martin Campbell accept. I don’t like this presentation style – shrinking the winners into a tiny box. It’s bad enough they’re not letting the winners make a speech, this is just making it worse.

Ludovic Kennedy presents the award for Best Factual Series.

It’s won by Forty Minutes.

Best Single Drama is presented by Geraldine McEwan.

It’s won by Shadowlands.

Denholm Elliott presents the Writers Award to Arthur Hopcraft.

He at least gets to make a speech.

John Mortimer presents the Best Original Screenplay Award. It’s won by Woody Allen, who hasn’t turned up.

Melvyn Bragg presents the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Richard Condon and Janet Roach win for Prizzi’s Honor.

Neil Kinnock presents the award for Best News or Outside Broadcast coverage

It’s won by the Live Aid production team

Hannah Gordon presents the award for Best Comedy Series.

It’s won by Ray Butts for Only Fools and Horses.

Brian Walden presents the Flaherty Documentary Award

It’s won by Christopher Swan for Leonard Bernstei’s West Side Story.

Best Short Animated Programme is presented by Jan Francis

It’s won by Cosgrove Hall for Alias the Jester – one of three Cosgrove Hall productions nominated.

Selina Scott presents the Originality award. Aspel introduces her saying her first name means ‘Heaven; and she has to correct him. “Best to get it right it means ‘Moon’ Michael”.

It’s won by Bob Geldof for Live Aid.

The award for Best Factual Children’s Television Programme is presented by David Bellamy.

It’s won by Timmy’s Story.

Su Pollard presents Best Children’s Entertainment Programme

It’s won by Grange Hill

Best Television Music is presented by Paul Nicholas

It’s won for Edge of Darkness by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen. We’ve had a lot of appearances by Michael Kamen recently, and it always makes me sad he died so young.

Shirley Bassey presents the award for Best Film Score

I love that Maurice Jarre was nominated twice, for Witness (the winner) and A Passage To India, and they made the effort to point two cameras at him for the nominees shot.

Alistair Burnett presents the Richard Dimbleby Award

It’s won by Brian Walden

Martin Shaw presents Best Television Actress

It’s won by Claire Bloom

Patricia Hodge presents the award for Best Television Actor

The winner is Bob Peck for Edge of Darkness. Another worthy winner, and another person who died far too young.

Best Light Entertainment Performance is next, and the moment I was expecting, a dark inevitability. It’s presented by Clive James, who died only a few days ago. At the time I was saying to my wife that I’d got through an entire Bafta awards without his appearance, but I knew, given where we are in time with this batch of tapes, I couldn’t hope to avoid seeing him. And here we are. I’m so very, very sorry.

The winner is Victoria Wood. So I’m still sad.

Mel Smith presents the award for Best Short Film

It’s won by Noella Smith for Careless Talk

Eli Wallach presents the award for Best Foreign Film

It’s won by Colonel Redl

John Hurt presents the award for Best Supporting Actress award.

I don’t understand why Rosanna Arquette was nominated in the Supporting Actress for Desperately Seeking Susan since the film is literally all about her. But she’s the winner nonetheless, and is sitting at the end of a badly colour corrected satellite feed.

Stephanie Powers presents the Best Supporting Actor award.

The winner is Denholm Elliott for Defence of the Realm, a film I really like.

Anthony Hopkins presents the Best Actress award.

It’s won by Peggy Ashcroft in A Passage To India.

Ali McGraw presents the Best Actor award.

It’s won by William Hurt, who finds the Satellite hook-up slightly tricky.

The presenter for Best Film is Ginger Rogers, whose announcement raises a gasp from the audience. I’m sure I’d like her more if she hadn’t been one of the actors who squealed to Joe McCarthy’s House Unamerican Activities Committee.

The winner is The Purple Rose of Cairo. Not a bad film, but not better than Witness or Back to the Future, both also nominated. Probably not better than Passage to India or Amadeus either, frankly. Unlike earlier in the ceremony, Woody Allen has now turned up at the New York Satellite studio to accept the award.

Head of Bafta Graham Benson introduces three special awards.

Gus Macdonald presents the Desmond Davies award.

It goes to Leslie Woodhead.

Richard Attenborough presents the Michael Balcon award for outstanding contribution to the British Film Industry.

It goes to Sydney Samuelson.

Finally Richard Dreyfuss announces the Fellowship award.

Which goes to Steven Spielberg.

After this, recording switches and there’s the end of the Gloria Hunniford Show. She meets George Cunningham, the fast talking Irishman from Strabane who became famous on It’ll Be All Right On The Night.

There’s a news bulletin, and then a change of programme. “Due to circumstances beyond our control we are unable to obtain an acceptable transmission coy of A Chorus Line: From Stage to Screen.” That’s a vicious burn from the engineering department.

Instead, though, a great documentary, Shooting from The Heart – Chris Menges, Cameraman.

Recording switches to BBC1 and the end of an episode of Wogan. There’s a trailer for the Budget.

Then, an episode of the US Sitcom It’s Your Move staring a very young Jason Bateman. If you’re familiar with the show (I watched quite a few episodes) it’s the one where he invents a rock band for his School dance called The Dregs of Humanity by attaching some medical skeletons to ropes and using lots of smoke. It’s part one of two, but there’s only one episode here.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 17th March 1986 – 19:35

After this, there’s a trailer for The Naked Runner, and John Humphrys trails the Nine O’Clock News.

Then there’s the start of Scott Free with Selina Scott. The tape ends after a few minutes of this.

In the ad breaks there a couple of notable things.

First, this advert for The Times Budget Special, which intones “Would a change in family tax allowances create more jobs for men by keeping women in the home?” I was watching this on my laptop, and my wife, sitting opposite looks over and asked “What did they just say?” So I had to show her the image they chose to illustrate this statement – a young woman sitting on a sofa drinking a big glass of wine. Because women don’t actually do anything when they stay at home, do they, boys?

Fortunately, the next advert is an example of advertising done right. It’s a Carling Black Label ad featuring a cowboy being chased, but it then runs into two more fake adverts which are also interrupted by the cowboys.

Finally, here’s a lovely example of some 1986-era CGI for Swan Kettles.


  • trail: Reunion at Fairborough
  • Clarks
  • Nationwide
  • Cote d’Or
  • The Times – Budget
  • Carling Black Label
  • 3M Diskettes
  • Pass On Your Postcode
  • Creme Eggs
  • Swan
  • L’Oreal Recital
  • Harp Lager
  • NEC
  • Vauxhall Cavalier
  • Carlsberg
  • Beautiful by Estee Lauder
  • Radiopaging
  • Cream Silk
  • Bisto
  • French Wine
  • Dime
  • Stork
  • Cream Silk
  • NEC
  • Batchelor’s Slim-a-Soup
  • Jif
  • Clerical Medical
  • After Eights
  • France
  • Carlsberg
  • Vidal Sassoon
  • Beaujolais

Film 86 – Hand made in Hong Kong – The Money Makers – tape 154

We’re really going back in time now, to 1986, and a few more episodes of the BBC’s former flagship film review programme, Film 86.

In the first episode, Barry Norman reviews the following films:

There’s a look at the shooting of Polanski’s Pirates. When Barry mentions Polanski he describes him as having been ‘driven out of America by the sheriff and his posse.’ Ignoring the whole ‘convicted of raping a child’ thing.

There’s also a report about a cruise with Dudley Moore.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th October 1986 – 22:20

Next, it’s Hand made in Hong KongMaking of Shanghai Surprise. Paula Yates goes on location with Madonna, Sean Penn and George Harrison as they are filming Shanghai Surprise.

It’s quite a long programme, and the Tube team made the most of their access. There’s a distinct concentration on producer George Harrison and his songs for the film. And composer Michael Kamen makes an appearance.

Some of the interviews are quite amusing, especially the one where the film’s director Jim Goddard calls cut because there’s a plane flying overhead and spoiling the sound, and then he starts directing the interview.

Here’s the official Handmade Films upload of this programme which, annoyingly, is in the wrong aspect ratio, for which I apologize. I would not have made that mistake.

Recording switches back to BBC1 and the end of an episode of Big Deal.

There’s a trailer for daytime programmes on the BBC.

Then, another edition of Film 86 with Barry’s verdicts on the following films:

There’s an interview with Robert Redford. I presume this is an external interview that the programme bought in because I don’t think Gloria Steinem was on the Film 86 staff.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 14th October 1986 – 22:30

Before the next episode there’s the end of Big Deal and a trailer for Call Me Mister.

Then, another episode of Film 86. Barry Norman casts a critical eye on the following films:

There’s a location report on Gothic, Ken Russell and Stephen Volk’s film about the night that Mary Shelly conceived Frankenstein. I was on set for some of this film, as it was shot partly at Gaddesden Place (although this report comes from one of the other locations). I got to meet Ken Russell, and he was very nice. We had a short chat while he was waiting for the special effects team to rig a tree to burst into flames. Later, talking to some of the crew, I learned their nickname for him was Jabba the Hutt.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 21st October 1986 – 22:20

After this, recording continues with The Money MakersJohn Harvey Jones. David Lomax talks to the man who turned around ICI and made it the first British company to earn profits of £1B. I presume this was the start of his television career.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 21st October 1986 – 22:50

After this, there’s the start of Rhoda. I used to love this show. An early appearance of Julie Kavner before her global fame as Marge Simpson.

The tape ends after a few minutes of this.


  • City Limits
  • Peterborough – Roy Kinnear
  • Virgin
  • Silvikrin
  • Country Homes and Interiors

Pinocchio – tape 1039

There’s only one film on this tape. It’s the Disney Christmas Premiere. What modern animation marvel are we seeing for the first time?

It’s Pinocchio, a film made in 1940. Disney really kept those movies under lock and key, didn’t they?

When DVD first arrived, I used to have to buy them from the US. I bought a DVD of Pinocchio from Amazon, but when I tried to play it, it just played a garbled video that seemed to be of Prince of Egypt. It’s the weirdest faulty disc I’ve ever seen.

Pinocchio occupies an odd space in Disney’s catalogue. It’s not about a princess, so it doesn’t fit there, it’s not one of their animal tales, like Bambi or Dumbo, it sort of lives in its own niche.

It’s beautifully animated. My daughter asked me if I thought the animators would have used actual puppets as reference, and I said I would have thought so, given they shot visual reference for a lot of their movies. And the animation in the opening musical number is flawless.

The film’s cultural footprint is fairly big, though. It has at least three hugely well known songs. When he made Close Encounters, Steven Spielberg referenced Pinocchio in the dialogue, and with a Pinocchio doll in Roy Neary’s house, but he also wanted to play ‘When You Wish Upon A Star’ over the end titles. But for the original release, he second guessed himself, thinking it was too cheesy, and took out the musical reference. When he did the first Special Edition, a couple of years later, he was confident enough to put John Williams’ quotation of the song back in – that’s the version you’ll be familiar with.

The Blue Fairy makes an appearance in another Spielberg SF movie, AI: Artificial Intelligence. Although that story actually came from Brian Aldiss and Stanley Kubrick.

My daughter commented that she’d forgotten how terrifying so much of the film is. Disney didn’t shy away from scaring its audience, but Pinocchio is almost a succession of terrifying scenarios. The film has four different villains, starting with the fox, J Worthing Foulfellow, who persuades Pinocchio that going to school is a waste of time, and he should pursue a career on the stage.

He then gives Pinocchio to the even more terrifying Stromboli, who runs the puppet theatre, locks Pinocchio in a birdcage, and tells him when he stops getting audiences, he’ll chop him into firewood.

Then there’s this chap, who kidnaps young boys, and takes them to a twisted theme park.

All their basest impulses are encouraged.

And as a result, they all turn into Asses. And are sold to the Salt Mines.

Escaping from this, Pinocchio goes looking for his father Geppetto. He has been swallowed by the great whale, Monstro. And their escape from him is another really terrifying sequence. After which Pinocchio appears to drown. This film could give you PTSD.

Thank goodness for Happy Endings, that’s all I can say.

The tape ends just after the movie.


  • trail: Christmas Day on ITV
  • trail: Beadle’s About
  • Just Brazils
  • Tango
  • Lunn Poly
  • Lego
  • Beechams Powders Capsules
  • Radion
  • Atrixo
  • Domestos
  • trail: Beadle’s About
  • Wrigley’s Spearmint Gum
  • Beechams Powders Capsules
  • trail: Return of the Jedi

Inspector Morse – Tonight With Jonathan Ross – Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV – tape 316

This is another tape that’s been recorded over. The classic Thames ident is first.

But it’s almost immediately replaced by the newer, much less interesting Thames logo.

It’s an episode of Inspector MorseThe Death Of the Self. There’s some kind of self-help thing going on (in Italy, we later discover) with people ‘burning the past’.

It’s being run by Michael Kitchen

One of the women is unhappy about ‘going out into the woods’.

Sometime later, a body is discovered very dead. I presume it’s the same woman, but it’s dark, raining, and I can’t recognise faces.

The grieving husband speaks at the inquest, where accidental death is the verdict, about being put under pressure, but won’t say what. He later goes to Italy.

Morse and Lewis are tasked with going to Italy to check that the Italian investigation was in order. There’s someone to meet them when they arrive.

Frances Barber plays an opera singer who is having problems returning to performing, hence her attending Kitchen’s weird self-help group. Will Morse fall in love with her?

Georges Corraface plays the police liason in Italy.

They’re definitely getting great value from the location shooting. It all looks lovely.

And in a twist, the death wasn’t murder, but Kitchen et al were definitely crooked, working a forgery racket with fake ancient illuminated manuscripts.

After this, there’s a segment from Tonight With Jonathan Ross featuring Britain’s Loudest Band – Spinal Tap.

Then, over to BBC2 for an episode of Victoria Wood – As Seen On TV. Always a delight.

“A woman came up to me in the street with a big badge saying ‘Lose Weight Now. Ask Me How.’ Stop your nose bleeding. Ask someone else.”

“He used to pop over if I needed a hand with a tricky buttock.”

There’s shock over the sudden axing of two beloved characters from Acorn Antiques. Mr Clifford and Mrs Overall are out.

“That show’s my life.”

Mrs Overall has her last speech written on the macaroon that will kill her.

Henry Kelly makes an appearance in Winnie’s Lucky Day in which Winnie has won £1,000,000 in a competition. “It was to think up six new shades for lingerie. Like a new name for Grey or Green. We put Anthracite, Sprout, Liver, Ketchup, Balaclava and Bandage.” Whenever I see something about pretentious colours for interior design, I always think of ‘Bandage’.

The show closes with one of the greatest comedy sketches ever performed. Two Soups. I can’t imagine how you’d start writing something like this. I guess you’d only even start if you knew it would be performed by Julie Walters. On the page it must have seemed like nothing.

BBC Genome: BBC Two – 10th April 1992 – 21:00

After this, there’s a trail for Harry Enfield’s Television Programme.

Then recording stops, and underneath there’s a bit of Channel 4 News, where they’re discussing the election. Yes, my past is mirroring the present.

The tape runs out on Paddy Ashdown’s Battle Bus.


  • Ford Escort – Kevin Sorbo
  • The Essential Chill
  • Yellow Pages
  • Electrolux Airstream
  • Down To Earth
  • Robert Palmer – Addictions volume 2
  • trail: Goldfinger
  • Network Q
  • McDonalds
  • Amstrad Word Processors
  • Baci
  • Abbey National
  • Bisto
  • Air Canada
  • British Airways
  • Radion
  • Mars
  • Freejack in cinemas
  • Peugeot 106
  • trail: In Suspicious Circumstances
  • Electrolux
  • The Guardian
  • Lexus
  • Electrolux
  • VW Golf – John Hannah
  • Mobil 1
  • Lyons Original Coffee

BAFTA Awards 1992 – tape 402

It’s definitely awards season on the blog, as today we have the BAFTA Awards 1992 although this tape has a tiny bit of Alan Whicker right at the start

This is the 1992 ceremony, presented by ITV, so Michael Aspel is presenting. He makes a nice joke combinging Marcel Marceau and Give Us a Clue.

Pauline Collins presents the first award of the night, for best Drama Series.

It’s won by Inspector Morse. David Lascelles accepts.

Alan Rickman presents the award for Best Single Drama.

In the clips, there’s a clip from The Trials of Oz featuring a pre-Four Weddings Hugh Grant as a hippie.

It’s won by A Question of Attribution by Alan Bennet, and director John Schelsinger accepts the award – he even gets to make a speech.

Sharon Gless presents the award for Best Drama Serial. (In case you’re wondering what the difference is between this and ‘Drama Series’ a series has multiple seasons, and is ongoing. A serial is what the Americans call a Mini Series, because they often don’t realise that words exist.

It’s won by Prime Suspect.

The award for Best Factual Children’s Programme is presented by Jason Donovan

It’s won by Lewis Bronze for Blue Peter.

Hale and Pace do their annoying childrens TV presenter characters to present the award for Best Fictional Children’s Programme

It’s won by Jim Henson’s Greek Myths, and is accepted by producer Duncan Kenworthy, another pre-Four Weddings person.

Michael Palin presents the award for Best Factual Series.

It’s won (deservingly) by Naked Hollywood, and accepted by Producer Nicholas Kent. I apologise for all the backs of people’s heads here, by the way, but very few winners are being allowed to make speeches, and they don’t do a nice pose on stage as they accept. Amateur Hour, really.

The next presenter is Dame Edna Everage.

The award for Best Comedy Programme or Series goes to One Foot in the Grave. Here’s writer David Renwick giving Dame Edna a kiss.

Melvyn Bragg presents the next award.

It’s the writers’ award, and it’s won by Gordon F Newman. He gets to make a speech, and I bet the producers wished he hadn’t, as it’s heavy on the politics (this is about two weeks before the 1992 election) and he says “in a fortnight’s time we will almost certainly change the government of this country.” I wish that had been the case. His speech strangely runs out of steam at the end.

Julia Somerville presents the Flaherty Documentary award.

It goes to Michael Apted for 35Up. He’s not there, but they did record a message from him, from the set of his latest film, in Atlanta. He looks like he’s on a farm, shot in the US. My top of the head guess is Nell. That came out in 1994 though, so maybe it was Blink.

Producer Richard Price presents the Best International programme.

It’s won by Ken Burns for The Civil War. I’m not sure I expected Ken Burns to look so young.

Best Short Film is presented by Patsy Kensit

It’s won by The Harmfulness of Tobacco.

Josie Lawrence presents the award for Best Animated Short

It’s won by Balloon by Ken Lidster who is lucky he didn’t get put on a register the way he lunges at poor Josie.

Terry Waite is the next presenter, and he gets a huge ovation, to which he looks a bit embarrassed.

He’s presenting Best Actuality Coverage, which is won by ITN for their Gulf War coverage. The first man on stage gives Terry Waite a big hug. I can’t tell if that’s because he knows him (fairly likely) or whether, at that point in time, almost everyone would instinctively want to hug him.

Anthony Hopkins presents the next award.

It’s the Huw Wheldon award for Best Arts Programme and it’s won by Without Walls: J’Accuse – Citizen Kane. I didn’t have polite things to say about this in 2014 when it came up, and Gary Johnstone looks exactly like the kind of floppy haired media student type who would produce such a show. Not that I’m at all bigoted.

Jason Connery is the next presenter.

The winner of Best Television Actress is Helen Mirren for Prime Suspect.

Catherine Zeta-Jones presents the award for Best Televison Music.

It’s won by Richard Harvey and Elvis Costello for GBH

Presenting the Fellowship award is Jeremy Isaacs

It goes to David Plowright, former head of Granada but recently ousted.

Michael Barrymore arrives to present the Best Light Entertainment Series award.

It’s won by Have I Got News For You, accepted by producer Harry Thompson.

David Frost presents the Richard Dimbleby award.

It goes to John Simpson.

Next, Tony Slattery presents the award for Originality

It’s won by Vic Reeves Big Night Out

The next presenter is Jenny Agutter

The award for Best Television Actor goes to Robert Lindsay for GBH.

He gets quite emotional when he talks about his partner, Diana Weston.

Ronnie Barker has been tempted out of retirement to present the award for Best Light Entertainment Performance.

The Winner is Richard Wilson for One Foot in the Grave.

Stephen Fry presents the Alan Clarke award for Outstanding Creative Contribution for Television.

It goes to director Robert Young, director of GBH

Rita Tushingham is the next presenter.

The award for Best Adapted Screenplay goes to The Commitments. Roddy Doyle accepts in the studio.

And in Los Angeles, co-writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.

James Fox presents the award for Best Original Screenplay.

It’s won by Anthony Minghella for Truly, Madly, Deeply.

Wim Wenders presents the award for Best Foreign Film.

It’s won by The Nasty Girl whose director Michael Verhoeven isn’t at the ceremony. Except he is, and the organisers haven’t realised. Unless this bloke is just a rando.

The next presenter is Cliff Richard.

He’s presenting the award for Best Original Film Music, which goes to Jean-Claude Petit for Cyrano de Bergerac. Yes, the film that literally quoted an entire cue from Elfman’s Batman.

Vanessa Redgrave is the next presenter. I cannot see her or hear her name without thinking “But I don’t know Vanessa Redgrave. And neither do you, Theatre.”

She’s presenting the Michael Balcon award and it goes to Derek Jarman in Los Angeles.

Next at the podium, it’s Nigel Hawthorne.

It’s the Best Supporting Actress award, and it’s won by Kate Nelligan for Frankie and Johnny.

Returning to the podium, this time as a presenter, it’s Helen Mirren again.

The award for Best Supporting Actor goes to Alan Rickman for Robin Hood Prince of Thieves. “A healthy reminder to me that subtlety isn’t everything.”

The next presenter is Michael J Fox. As he puts on his glasses he says “Yes I am aging. Imperceptible but it’s happening.”

The award for Best Leading Actress goes to Jodie Foster for Silence of the Lambs. “I’d like to thank the British Academy not only for this award but also for giving me Most Promising Newcomer when I was 13.”

Jean Simmons is presenting Best Leading Actor.

It’s won by Anthony Hopkins for Silence of the Lambs.

Kenneth Branagh presents the David Lean award for Excellence in Direction.

It’s won by Alan Parker for The Commitments. “Gordon Newman wrote a speech for me but it was confiscated by the police.”

Jeremy Irons presents the award for Best Film. After the nominations, he bemoans the lack of British money in the nominated films. “because of too many years of Conservative policy towards the film industry.” The room seems split on this, with some uncomfortable murmuring.

The winner is The Commitments. Producer Lynda Myles beats Alan Parker to the stage and gets to make a speech.

Princess Anne makes her traditional speech. “You know when you see me that it’s nearly the end.”

Gregory Peck, specking from his garden in Los Angeles, introduces a special award.

It goes to Audrey Hepburn

It wouldn’t be a Baftas without Richard Attenborough, and he’s here to present another Bafta Fellowship.

It goes to John Gielgud.

And that’s it. After this, recording stops, and underneath, rather alarmingly, is the end of an episode of Saturday Live. Did I really tape over Saturday Live? I hope this was a repeat after something else.

It’s followed by the Baseball World Series. The tape ends after a few minutes of this.


  • Tennent’s Pilsner – Nick Revell
  • Butter
  • Datapost
  • Shell
  • B&I – Keith Floyd
  • trail: Beverly Hills 90210
  • trail: The Magic Comedy Strip
  • Nationwide
  • Carling Black Label
  • Comet
  • Walker’s Ruffles
  • Canon
  • The Guardian
  • Danone Bio
  • trail: Trading Places
  • Danone Bio
  • Network Q
  • Diet Coke – Elton John
  • American Airlines
  • Nat West
  • Datapost
  • trail: The Piglet Files
  • L’Oreal Recital
  • Puma
  • Carling Black Label
  • trail: Just For Laughs
  • Our Price – True Love
  • McDonalds
  • Ferguson
  • LBC
  • trail: International Badminton


Natural Lies – tape 1017

There’s a couple of older recordings hidden at the start of this tape. First, a fraction of a second of someone rather roughly frisking a woman.

Then, a BBC 2 intro to The Late Show Annual, only for a second or two.

Then over to BBC1, and this recording finally sticks. It’s the thriller Natural Lies. Not really as well remembered as Edge of Darkness, and I had remembered it as a Denis Lawson thriller, but it stars Bob Peck. But Denis Lawson is second billing, so I wasn’t completely misremembering.

It opens with a young woman running in the darkness, past some cows. So I’m now remembering it’s got an ecological theme of some kind. She finally gets to a phone box, classic 90s.

Bob Peck plays Andrew Fell, who is in advertising, and he’s showing his family the latest ad for Burger Choice. Then he gets a visit from the police.

The woman from the opening has been found dead in her bath, apparent suicide. She was an old friend of Peck’s as they’d shared a house with several others, including Peck’s wife Maggie, played by Sharon Duce.

At the funeral, Denis Lawson, as James Towne, nips in quickly to say a word. He was also one of the old friends. He’s now running a newspaper, a Murdoch-type tabloid if I’m inferring from the clues.

The group of friends spend the night after the funeral at her house. There’s lots of clues to her eco-activism

Another of the friends, Grace (Deborah Findlay) works in government, and tells Andrew that she’s seen a file about their late friend. She was investigating what could be the first case of human infection by BSE.

Andrew goes to the Eco group GreenSearch where Grace worked, to talk to her boyfriend, only to find that he’s skipped off, and that he appears to have been some kind of private detective working there undercover to dig up dirt on them. This alarms Andrew who has just sent his wife to stay at the house, and told the man she would be there. If he was the one who killed their friend, she’s in danger.

Sure enough, he turns up at the house, sounding perfectly friendly.

But he soon turns, and there’s chasing and running and falling over. He’s about to kill Maggie with a shotgun when the police turn up, at which point he turns the gun on himself. So whoever he’s with must be really scary people.

Andrew goes through the bad guy’s wallet for clues. Remember phonecards?

Remember Blockbuster Video? This is proving a real nostalgia inducer.

Good grief! This one wallet is a time capsule of the 90s. Now there’s a Scala Cinema membership card.

Maggie wants Andrew to stop trying to investigate, but he can’t. He grabs the phone during the night to call a number he found – by the looks of it, it could be a phone sex line.

At an event where an expert is talking about the dangers of BSE in the food supply, Andrew sees a woman that the fake boyfriend had been with, and tries to talk to her, but she’s being a bit cagey. Later at night, he sees that she’s sitting in a car outside his house.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 31st May 1992 – 21:05

Before the next episode there’s the end of Mastermind. It’s the final, and champion Steve Williams looks delighted by his victory.

There’s a trailer for Denmark v Sweden and for Running Scared, a movie I always get confused with Money Train.

Then, episode 2 of Natural Lies. This episode manages to take a fairly ordinary political thriller, and descends into farce. The mysterious Jo Scott from the last episode phones Andrew and tells him she has to talk to him at her flat. He goes round there, and she’s still completely cagey. She also happens to live with a man whose brother ate some cake contaminated with Anti-freeze – more food production mystery.

Jo is still being really cagey, and it’s blindingly obvious that she’s angling to sleep with Andrew. They might as well flash a big FEMME-FATALE caption when she’s on screen. She has an old record player, probably because the writer watched Sea of Love once.

She literally strips off all her clothes and begs Andrew to have sex. I’m assuming at this point that she’s actually a spy or something similar, since this behaviour makes no sense to me except as a male fantasy on the part of the writer.

Amazingly, Andrew gets out with all his clothes on. But Jo turns up at his work to embarrass him.

She also calls him in tears, telling him she’s afraid for her life. When she said “I had some coke” to explain her behaviour I wondered if she always reacted that way to sugary drinks. Yes, reader, I am that naive.

A day or so after this, Andrew arrives home, hears music playing in the living room, and discovers Jo’s dead body on his nice rug, bludgeoned to death, with her record player next to her. At this point, I am actually screaming at the TV “DON’T TOUCH THE BODY” but in a world where even Inspector Morse can’t resist, he turns the body over.

My screaming gets louder when he doesn’t immediately call the police – although I know it’s intended to be that he believes he will be held guilty for the attack. But it gets worse, as there’s a knock on the window and it’s their annoying friend Harriet (Sylvia Sims) who might be the mother in law and I missed her introduction.

So what does Andrew do? He wraps the body up in the hearth rug and drags it into the garage before answering the door. And then, he leaves Harriet in the living room while he goes back into the garage to manhandle the body into the car boot. And while he’s trying to do this, Harriet wanders in from the living room to tell him that the base interest rate has gone down. Perhaps this is the programme’s way of distracting us from what a stupid thing it is he’s doing. Even I’m shouting at her to take her stupid Daily Mail mortgage rate musings back to the living room.

He heads out to dump the body, so of course a police car drives next to him, and the policeman looks over.

After dumping the body, he takes the rug to a launderette to wash it, while staring morosely at the record he took from the record player. “Did you see anything unusual that evening?” “Well there was that bloke who washed a single rug, and stared at a vintage 45rpm single.”

He even dumps the rug at Left Luggage.

The one thing he does right during all this is to tell his wife, but this only makes it more annoying that he still doesn’t listen to her and go to the police.

Inevitably, the police turn up on his doorstep in the shape of Brian Croucher. Andrew manages not to confess everything, and thinks he’s off the hook.

Andrew’s friend Grace has traced the number that he found in boyfriend Malcolm’s wallet to a company called Lovehouse, but doesn’t know what it is. “It sounds like a record company” says Andrew. Does it?

But Croucher returns and takes him back to Jo Scott’s flat, where her flatmate positively identifies him as the man who was there. Busted!

BBC Genome: BBC One – 7th June 1992 – 21:10

Straight into Episode Three, and amazingly, he still manages to convince them they don’t have any evidence. More evidence comes up about Lovehouse, which was a shell company that owned a lot of small farms, and would have been badly hit by the BSE scare.

Andrew makes stupid mistake number 113 as he goes back to left luggage to pick up the rug. He’s stopped by two plain clothes police officers and arrested.

But it’s not the police, and they take him out into the middle of some woods, and get him to dig his own grave at gunpoint.

But just as they are about to execute him, they’re interrupted by a school party of small children on a nature ramble, giving Andrew a chance to run for it.

After waiting and not being discovered, he makes his way back to civilisation and phones Maggie. She tells him the police are there – but we know it’s the assassins, and they’re there with the children. This is almost tense.

Maggie manages to escape the clutches of the bad guys, and is reunited with Andrew. And now the plan is to go to the big Food exhibition in Brighton where they were supposed to be anyway, so there would be a lot of people around and they would be safer. I think his big plan is to make a big speech at the food conference exposing the whole conspiracy. If only he knew what the conspiracy was.

He’s even got his slide deck ready. (Note for younger readers. In the olden days, Powerpoint consisted of shining a bright light through photographs printed on transparent plastic (known as a colour slide) onto a big screen.) That orange slide box is unmistakable. I’ve got a whole box full of my dad’s old slides, with slides going back to before I was born.

Unbelievably, this really is his plan, and he really has brought slides. Needless to say, with an audience of food manufacturing executives, it’s a hard sell. Plus the police are there to arrest him.

He skips out of the lecture, and Towne takes him up to his room to lie low.

But shortly after Towne leaves, there’s someone at the door, and it’s Croucher and the police, so Andrew has to hide on the adjoining balcony.

But it’s lucky that he had to, as he goes across a couple of balconies, fails to attract his wife’s attention as she’s leaving her room, then he hears a voice – it’s Jo Scott’s voice, coming from the room his children are in. Before she was murdered, she’d found a tape in his daughter’s bedroom and recorded a message for him, explaining everything.

She was Towne’s lover, and it was he who had been running Lovehouse. Andrew finds him, takes him out to the beach, and plays him the tape, so Towne explains the whole plot. He had assigned evil Malcolm to keep tabs on their friend Beth, but he had strayed from the brief and murdered her. Towne had gone to Andrew’s house to find Jo, they’d got into an argument, he didn’t mean to kill her, blah blah blah. There’s a half-hearted fight, and Andrew is left unconscious by the sea, waking up some time later to find Towne gone.

He goes back to the hotel room, and finds Towne on tiptoes on the balcony railing trying to retrieve the copy of the tape Andrew had left there with the children’s fishing net (which, I have to admit, was set up half an hour ago in a piece of dialogue – Chekov’s fishing net). Now you and I both want to see Andrew push Towne off the edge, but he can’t even do that, even while Towne is almost literally dancing on the balcony, taunting him with his balance and non-slip footwear.

There’s another fight, which finally goes Andrew’s way, and he chokes Towne.

But, now this programme seems to have turned into a horror film, because as soon as Andrew turns his back on Towne’s inert body, a hand rises from beneath the duvet, and Towne rises from apparent death.

This time the fight doesn’t go Andrew’s way. “This is how I killed her” Towne tells Andrew, brandishing a glass ashtray.

No, it’s not a horror film, it’s Fatal Attraction, as Maggie appears at the door of the room and charges at Towne screaming, and pushes him right off the balcony. I’ll say this – the writer knows what we wanted to see, and he’s giving it to us in an unexpected way, so top marks for that.

But it’s not over yet, as Towne is hanging by his fingertips to the balcony. Then he sees the incriminating cassette just out of reach, and can’t help but reach out for it.

He can’t hold on, though, and plunges to his death. Not on a boring old pavement, though. Not for this show. No, he crashes through a glass roof, and ends up dead in a cold meat buffet. This is pure poetry.

I think I enjoyed this show despite itself. I had a lot of issues with the way most of the women were written, and the underlying conspiracy never really felt as rock solid as it should in a thriller. And Andrew really was a bit of an idiot throughout. But Bob Peck can lend gravitas and seriousness to anything, so it definitely wasn’t time wasted.

BBC Genome: BBC One – 14th June 1992 – 21:10

After this, there’s a trailer for Ring of Scorpio. Then the recording stops, and underneath there’s the end of Everyman.

There’s a trailer for Inside Story: The Illegals.

Then, the start of the first episode of a new sitcom, Knight and Daye. It stars Mason Adams as a retired radio host, living with his daughter and grandchildren, and the plot concerns him being reunited with his old radio partner (who we don’t see in the small part I have recorded here, but he’s played by Jack Warden) who he hates. It’s created by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel, familiar names on many comedy shows and films.

The tape ends after a few minutes of this.