The World of Poldark
From the social hierarchy of 18th-century Cornwall to designing the actors’ hairstyles, this is an informative and richly illustrated companion to the BBC TV’s adaptation of Winston Graham’s Poldark novels. The eight chapters outline the story of Ross Poldark and Demelza while, in interviews, the actors reveal their interpretations of the characters they play, and the production team, including costume and make-up designers and the composer of Poldark’s music, provide insights into the making of the series.
Monty Python's Flying Circus
All the Bits: Complete and Annotated
When Monty Python’s Flying Circus first appeared on British television screens in 1969, any public outrage was drowned out by laughter as the show’s unpredictable, satirical comedy laid into the outdated foibles of the British establishment. Illustrated by numerous stills, the scripts of all 45 episodes are compiled here, including the episode containing the ‘Dead Parrot’ sketch, and are generously annotated by explanations of obscure references.
While a junior reporter, Michael Parkinson played cricket for Barnsley and counted Geoffrey Boycott and Dickie Bird amongst his team mates. Detailing his rise from local journalist to national broadcaster, this memoir relates his experiences in the television industry over a 40-year period, including the infamous TV-am launch, and his thoughts about the many famous and influential people he interviewed on his long-running chat show and Desert Island Discs.
Spock's Logic Puzzle Box
The USS Enterprise's Science Officer, Spock, was known for his prodigious powers of intellect and this game set encourages players to apply his relentless logic to a series of Star Trek-themed problems and brain-teasers. The set includes 120 puzzle cards, set at different levels of difficulty, a player’s score pad, a ‘gravity-powered continuum designator’ (egg timer) and a book containing rules and solutions.
No Cunning Plan
After stints in regional theatre in Leeds, Birmingham and Bristol, Tony Robinson played small parts on television during the 1970s, including presenting Play Away, and began to make his name as a comedian in the early 1980s with the sketch show Who Dares Wins. The Blackadder star reads his engaging autobiography in this 12-CD set.
No Cunning Plan
As one of Fagin's boys in the original production of Oliver!, Tony Robinson's understudy was Steve Marriott, later of the Small Faces, and he'd had a 20-year career in regional theatre and minor television work before Blackadder and Time Team, for which he is now principally known. In this autobiography he discusses his long professional career as well as his childhood in North London and his political and campaigning work.
I Know Nothing!
Much loved as the Spanish waiter Manuel in Fawlty Towers, Andrew Sachs (1930-2016) was born in Berlin rather than Barcelona and fled to England in 1938 after his father was arrested by the Gestapo. In this compelling and often hilarious memoir he tells of his early years in showbiz, the success of the infamous Torquay hotel, and his acting career beyond Fawlty, which included Shakespeare, Dustin Hoffman's Quartet, a stint as Father Brown, and Snowy in BBC Radio 5's Tintin.
Inside the Worlds of Gerry Anderson
Featuring Cross-Section Artworks by Graham Bleathman
Gerry Anderson's 1960s TV shows, such as Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and Joe 90, hooked their young audience with futuristic technology, and fantastical gadgets and vehicles. This book features 75 colourful cutaway artworks from the spinoff weekly magazines, exploring the locations and vehicles from all the series (including Fireball XL5 and Stingray) with detailed, captioned diagrams revealing the layout of Tracy Island, Thunderbird 2 and the like.
50 Years of Cult Fantasy and Science Fiction
Some television dramas reach beyond entertaining their audience, inspiring cult followings by offering visions of worlds where different rules apply and characters with superhuman qualities bring the human condition into sharper focus. This analysis of the science fiction and fantasy genre examines groundbreaking shows, from Star Trek and Blake's 7 to Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and features interviews with many of the shows' creators.
The Day the Music Died
A Life Lived Behind the Lens
In this memoir the filmmaker behind such groundbreaking productions as Cathy Come Home, Kes and This Life looks back at a career full of battles with movie executives and the BBC over films that were thought too controversial. He also describes how his passionate work was influenced by his lifelong struggle to come to terms with the deaths of his parents when he was just five years old.
A Celebration of Film and Television
In 1929, three years after two large film stages were built near Elstree in Hertfordshire, the studio produced the first British ‘talkie’, Alfred Hitchcock’s Blackmail. Elstree has since been at the heart of the film and television industry in the UK. This celebration of Elstree explores its history through film stills and archive photographs of famous productions from The Dam Busters, The Avengers and Star Wars to The King’s Speech and Strictly Come Dancing.
The Impossible Has Happened
The Life and Work of Gene Roddenberry, Creator of Star Trek
The legend that the original series of Star Trek was something of a failure and that its creator battled the studios to present his groundbreaking vision are questioned in this analysis of Gene Roddenberry. Revealing the turbulent private life and controversial business dealings of the producer, this book examines the creation of his vision of a utopian future and how, through numerous movies and television spin-offs, it developed into a worldwide phenomenon.
Unearthing secrets in Budapest, getting arrested in Thailand, exalting in the art of Venice or facing down airline staff... life is anything but dull with Sheila Hancock. Following on from The Two of Us, this book describes life on her own, after the death of her husband John Thaw. Having heeded a piece of Quaker advice - 'live adventurously' - she faced the future with characteristic wit, gusto and curiosity.
Ronnie Corbett (1930-2016) was one of Britain's best-loved entertainers. Here he discusses his life and work with characteristic self-deprecating wit, including his Edinburgh childhood before the war; early ventures on the stage and screen; encounters with stars such as John Cleese, Noel Coward, Tony Hancock and Spike Milligan; plus his solo sitcom Sorry! and - of course - his long-running partnership with Ronnie Barker.
Jack Duckworth and Me
Bill Tarmey (1941–2012) played the lovable rogue Jack Duckworth in Coronation Street for 31 years until his character was killed off during the show's 50th anniversary in 2010. His story of growing up in post-war Manchester, singing in working men's clubs, and then finding his niche playing a rascal whose life uncannily mirrored his own will be cherished by all fans of Britain's longest-running soap.
Joanna Lumley is not only a star of stage and screen but a national treasure. Luckily her magpie instincts have preserved a hoard of memorabilia that make this illustrated memoir a visual feast, with photos from her Indian childhood to the present. There are souvenirs of her early modelling career, her celebrated roles in The New Avengers, The Pink Panther and Absolutely Fabulous and, of course, the causes about which she feels passionate. Felt tip mark on upper trimmed edge.
Harry H Corbett
The Front Legs of the Cow
Best known as one half of the TV sitcom duo Steptoe and Son, Harry H Corbett was a gifted classical actor who fought as a Royal Marine in the Second World War before his local theatre company offered him a role as the front legs of a cow. In this affectionate yet frank biography, his actress daughter charts his career, from Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop to the popular fame that sat uneasily on the shoulders of this shy, unassuming socialist.
That Was The Life That Was: The Authorised Biography
Rising to fame at the same time as Cambridge peers such as Peter Cook and John Cleese, David Frost proved to have a knack for the new medium of television and a drive that made him one of the best-known personalities in both America and the UK by the time of his famous interviews with Richard Nixon in 1977. This authorized biography has been written with the collaboration of Frost's family and with access to his own extensive archive.
George Cole: My Autobiography
The World Was My Lobster
George Cole was adopted as a baby by a South London couple, and then again at 15 when the comic actor Alastair Sim took him in as an evacuee. This autobiography reflects on Cole's childhood and relationships as well as the long career during which he worked with many legends of the stage and screen and created such memorable characters as Flash Harry in the St Trinian's films and Arthur Daley in Minder.
The Chronicles of Downton Abbey
This official companion to the hugely successful period drama delves deeply into the lives of all the main characters, exploring the intrigue, rivalry and romance both above and below stairs. There are chapters on the Earl and Countess of Grantham and their servants, lovers, friends and guests, with photographs of the characters in the opulent surroundings of the Downton estate and illustrations of contemporary artefacts and publications. Plus a final 'behind the scenes' chapter on the making of the programmes. Slightly off-mint.
The Blaze of Obscurity
Unreliable Memoirs V
In the fifth volume of his memoirs, the endlessly witty Clive James (b.1939) tells the inside story of his years in TV, including the documentary special Clive James on Safari, which took him to Kenya, the long-running Clive James on Television and the Postcard from... programmes – work that inducted him into celebrity culture, 'the strange world where everybody knows your face while you hardly ever know theirs'.
The BBC and National Identity in Britain
The BBC has been at the centre of our national life for almost a century, and founder John Reith's mission to 'inform, educate and entertain' has shaped our public culture. This original history examines the way the corporation's early radio broadcasts championed monarchy and empire as causes around which the nation could unite, while fostering the distinctive national identities of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland within an overarching Britishness.