There are some old BBC radio episodes of mind-reading team The Piddingtons available here... www.thepiddingtons.com/broadcasts.html Episode dates are 21.7.49 (Tower of London), 25.8.49 (Final), 16.1.50 (Diving Bell), 23.1.50 (Murder), 30.1.50 (Stratocruiser). Anyone know of any more?
Considering how few broadcasts from this era exist, it's surprising that we have five complete shows out of the twelve BBC Light Programme performances by The Piddingtons.
The source of these recordings is mentioned in the Australian radio documentary, "Keep them guessing":
When he was growing up, producer Jesse Cox, discovered a set of old cassette tapes, which turned out to be a high rating radio show his grandparents had done on the BBC. They'd been illegally pirated onto vinyl in the 1950's and had survived being transferred onto tape decades later. The tapes had sat in the front room of his parents place for years and it wasn't until Jesse was a teenager that he discovered what was on them: recordings of an unsolved mystery that has now captivated and kept his family guessing for three generations.
All their shows were broadcast live so I'm presuming BBC transcription services were involved in making the original recordings, perhaps for possible repeats (although there weren't any) or for overseas sales.
They also did one live TV show on Wednesday, 3rd August 1949, but I doubt any footage of that exists as it most likely wasn't recorded in the first place...
This second one was filmed during the Stratocruiser episode. There's also 4 outtakes reels containing quite a bit of extra footage, someone with video editing skills could put together quite a decent version of that episode.
And this made me smile. Given the subject of the episode I'm wondering if this is a little joke by the Radio Times typesetters, since OCR errors usually involve similarly shaped letters, not an i for an a. Has anyone got that week's Radio Times that they could check?
After several years of lurking as a guest I thought it was about time I made some sort of contribution. Inspired by Dan S’s challenge I’d used my fairly rudimentary video editing skills with MovieMaker to piece together a full half hour broadcast from the YouTube clips he listed.
Since under a third of the video footage exists for this programme, the remainder is padded out with repeated footage and general shots of the audience, plane etc. A fair bit of artistic licence was also called upon for sections where no suitable footage existed. I had to be particularly ‘creative’ for the first 12 minutes of the programme for which only about 40 seconds exists.
Moviemaker has quite an effective video stabilisation feature but sadly that results in a stable picture but a very unstable Pathe logo! I chose not to implement it.
Incidentally, the first draft of this video was finished at the end of December. No sooner had I watched it on my tv than I turned over to Channel 5 to see a programme called ‘How Magic Changed TV’ which had a minute long section about The Piddingtons and showed some of the film clips I’d spent days fiddling with. What are the chances of that?
If anyone would like to see the fruits of my labour please contact me and I’ll happily send you a link.
I've already seen Dave's video and thanked him by PM but it seems weird to leave that post hanging there without a reply. I doubt that the one BBC TV show they did in Aug 1949 still exists so this is probably the only way to see one of their shows, albeit with some parts creatively reconstructed to cover for missing footage. So thanks again Dave, when I made my comment I didn't think anyone would actually go and do it!