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Sunday 7 October 2012

Jimmy Savile implicated in the tragic story of a 15-year-old Top of the Pops dancer who took an overdose and died after spending the night with a “well-known disc jockey” in 1971

Back in May I wrote about the tragic story of a 15-year-old girl who killed herself in 1971.

A news report in The Guardian on April 6th of that year describes how she had danced on Top of the Pops on four occasions and, according to her diary, spent the night with a man the newspaper describes as “a well-known disc jockey”.

That girl was Claire Ufland. However, she was adopted and other reports call her by her adopted name of Claire McAlpine. She also used the stage name Samantha Claire.

It seems she died on March 30th. A month earlier her mother, Vera McAlpine, had read her diary and banned her from appearing on the show again.

I looked up details of Top of the Pops for the end of 1970 and begining of 1971 and found that Jimmy Savile presented the programme on 3 Dec, 25 Dec, 26 Dec, 14 Jan, 28 Jan, 11 Feb, and 25 Feb. (more…)


Filed under: Crime,History,TV & film — GS @ 7:22 am
Sunday 7 November 2010

Street View sightseeing: Mr Benn’s house

As anyone who was a child in the 1970’s knows, Mr Benn lives at 52 Festive Road.

The artist David McKee lived ‘next door’ at 54 Festing Road in Putney (the house with the red front door) and his drawings of Festive Road were based on the real street.


Filed under: Fun,TV & film — GS @ 2:40 pm
Saturday 5 December 2009

Mork and Mindy’s offensive landlord

In 1978 I was a teenager and one afternoon switched on the local ITV channel — Tyne Tees — at about 5.15pm to watch the US sitcom Mork and Mindy. However I nearly fell off my chair when it turned out that the episode was all about their evil landlord who was called ‘Arnold Wanker’.

Although a Wikipedia page about the word claims that the show was severely edited by ITV when it was shown (and wrongly calls him ‘Oliver’), the word certainly wasn’t cut in the north-east. I can only imagine no one at Tyne Tees had viewed the episode before screening it!

Now like many dimly-remembered shows from years gone by it has turned up on YouTube.


Filed under: Fun,TV & film — GS @ 6:05 am
Tuesday 2 October 2007

Strike by ITV technicians, early 1970’s?

I was a TV addict when I was a child and this is something I have a dim memory of. Does anyone have more information?

(more…)


Filed under: TV & film — GS @ 9:46 am
Wednesday 28 February 2007

BBC World and WTC Building 7 collapse on September 11

This seems quite extraordinary. This clip seems to show BBC World reporting that World Trade Centre Building 7 has collapsed on September 11th. Yet the reporter is standing in front of a window and WTC Building 7 is still standing in the distance behind her. More info here.

(more…)


Filed under: Buildings,The media,TV & film — GS @ 12:12 am
Saturday 13 January 2007

BBC VideoTape Department Christmas Tape

In the 1970’s the BBC’s VT department produced an annual tape of out-takes and specially recorded items by the stars of the day. It was intended exclusively for BBC staff at the time. But now, inevitably, a number of them have got out onto YouTube.

Warning: strong language!

Christmas Eve On BBC One

Legs & Co. do a full musical number (1979)

Shirley Bassey, Pan’s People, Noel Edmonds/Jukebox Jury with Pan’s People

Swap Shop out-takes

News and Weather clips 1979


Filed under: Fun,The media,TV & film — GS @ 12:30 am
Monday 13 March 2006

British Rail planned nuclear-powered flying saucer

The Guardian reports that British Rail patented plans for a nuclear-powered flying saucer in 1973.

‘Charles Osmond Frederick, patented the design for a craft powered by laser-controlled thermonuclear fusion. Designed to reach high speeds in space, it was meant to move us around the globe and even to other planets.

Its “lifting platform” was designed for the British Railways Board and the patent was filed under the name of Jensen and Son.’

A bizarre and rather funny story. 1970’s British Rail staff being in charge of nuclear-powered vehicles just doesn’t bear thinking about. Although it could have made their limp sandwiches a bit more crispy!


Filed under: Science — GS @ 6:14 am
 
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