Rock and Pop on British TV
The Six-Five Special was the BBC’s first attempt to put pop music on television, breaking new ground in 1957 with a live, dancing studio audience. Drawing on interviews and anecdotes from presenters and performers, Jeff Evans analyses the development of music programming on British television, recalling the memorable moments and revealing what went on behind the scenes on shows such as Ready, Steady Go!, The Old Grey Whistle Test and Top of the Pops. Slightly off-mint.
The Life and Radio Times of Kenny Everett
One of the most original and influential personalities of the pop radio era, Kenny Everett was fired from three stations before becoming Britain’s top TV comedian in the 1980s. This biography assesses the career, private life and complex personality of the shy but outrageous entertainer.
Doctor Who: The Whoniverse
The Untold Story of Space and Time
Compiled by two Doctor Who novelists, this illustrated companion tells the history of the universe through the renegade Time Lord’s encounters with humans and with lifeforms from other planets. After explaining the cause of the Big Bang, it charts the rise of Cybermen and Daleks, describes how Earth has survived many alien incursions and ends in humanity’s final haven of Utopia.
In Two Minds
A Biography of Jonathan Miller
The late Jonathan Miller trained as a doctor before a Cambridge Footlights revue launched him on a brilliant career as a satirist, comic actor, theatre and opera director and television presenter. Written with Miller’s co-operation and drawing on the recollections of many friends, this sympathetic biography probes the working of a restless intellect that acknowledged no distinction between science and the humanities, and made him one of the ablest communicators of his generation.
The Pocket Essential Guide to Fiction, Film and TV
Identifying Ellis Peters’ Cadfael books as a starting point for a huge expansion in the writing of historical crime, this review of the genre profiles key writers, novels, TV programmes and films, and includes a number of interviews with authors.
75 Years of Doing Just About Everything
Acting in myriad roles, including Albert Perks in The Railway Children , various Carry On characters and a Fawlty Towers guest, singing ‘Right Said Fred’, fishing for trout, picking up his BAFTA award and jumping out of aeroplanes (as a paratrooper), Bernard Cribbins (b.1928) has had a busy 75 years. Using his conversational ‘Jackanory method’, he tells the story of his life in the Army, films, television, radio and on and off stage: ‘one long variety show’.
The Official Book
One of the most critically acclaimed television series of all time, Breaking Bad ran for 62 episodes between 2008 and 2013. This companion to the complex and original drama includes background information about the production, an exploration of its style, themes and meaning, a complete series timeline with a synopsis of each episode, and character profiles and interviews with members of the production team, including creator Vince Gilligan.
Here's One I Made Earlier
Blue Peter, the world’s longest-running children’s television programme, is known for its famous ‘makes’ – creative projects which transform everyday household objects into toys and gifts. This collection reproduces some of the most memorable designs, including the Advent Crown, the Doll’s House and Tracy Island, and has a foreword by Valerie Singleton and contributions from former presenters and the ‘Queen of Makes’, Margaret Parnell.
More Than Just A Good Life
The Authorised Biography of Richard Briers
Richard Briers' comedic talent and acting pedigree was revealed to an international audience (and to his Hollywood co-stars) through Kenneth Branagh's films of the 1990s but he had long been established as a national treasure in Britain. This biography chronicles the early life and training of the actor (a contemporary of Peter O'Toole and Albert Finney at RADA) and relates anecdotes from his long career in theatre, television, film and radio.
Making a Noise
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong in Life, Broadcasting and the Arts
This candid memoir by Czech-born journalist and arts administrator John Tusa recollects the wrangles with BBC senior management over the creation of Newsnight in 1979 (he was a presenter). It also reveals how as managing director of the World Service (1986–93) he saw off unwanted political influence over its remit. And musing on his stint as head of the Barbican (1995–2007), he demonstrates how his passion for the arts turned the centre’s fortunes around.
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's TV 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.
Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historical Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill
In 1962, a year after the Berlin Wall went up, a group of young West Germans risked imprisonment, torture and death to liberate friends, lovers and even strangers from the East. Based on interviews with the participants, and previously unavailable Stasi and CIA files, this history tells how two US TV networks financed their tunnel-building in return for the rights to screen the escapes, and how JF Kennedy’s White House, fearful of confrontation with Russia, tried to suppress the results.
The Secret Lives of Monsters
Presented as a dossier of evidence for the existence of hostile aliens (gleaned from the evidence provided by the adventures of Doctor Who) this well-illustrated volume explains the origins and nature of 14 extra-terrestrial threats to humankind. Chapters include case files of the Doctor's adventures with each monster, from the Daleks to the Slitheen, and behind-the-scenes insights into how the creatures were created and filmed. Felt-tip mark on lower trimmed edge.
Doctor Turner's Casebook
Based on the BBC Hit Drama Call The Midwife
Describing the practice of a GP in East London in the 1950s and '60s, this companion to the popular BBC TV series Call the Midwife recalls many of its storylines to explore the healthcare issues encountered by an inner-city doctor. Illustrated with stills from the programme and period ephemera, the cases highlight the social problems of post-war Poplar and how scientific breakthroughs and the introduction of the National Health Service transformed treatments during the period.
There's Something I've Been Dying to Tell You
Something of a national treasure, thanks to her appearances as the archetypal mum in the Oxo television commercials, Lynda Bellingham (1948–2014) was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2013. In this memoir, she reflects on her life and continuing work while undergoing treatment for the disease as well as her relationships with her family, and her quest to find her birth father, having been adopted in infancy.
Morecambe & Wise
50 Years of Sunshine
Eric Morecambe's son Gary has drawn on the family archive of photographs and ephemera to compile this illustrated biography of Eric and Ernie, reviewing their career from the early 1940s to the 1980s and their legacy beyond. The pictured items include variety bills, programmes, letters, scripts, stills from their celebrated television shows, archive images of their early career and private snaps with friends and family.
International Rescue: Thunderbirds
50th Anniversary Edition: Agents' Technical Manual
All International Rescue's fantastical equipment is explored in this celebration of Gerry Anderson's puppet adventure series. With Haynes manual-style cutaway diagrams of the Thunderbirds themselves and the facilities of Tracy Island, there are also profiles of the characters and ancillary vehicles used, and a mission file of all the episodes in the series. Off-mint.
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.
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 the studio 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.
A Very Courageous Decision
The Inside Story of Yes Minister
In 1980, when Britain had no 24-hour television news, internet, Twitter or demands for ‘transparency’, the cogs of government turned most mysteriously. Public enlightenment came with an intelligent, well-informed and hilarious TV series: Yes Minister and its sequel, Yes Prime Minister, which revealed and mercilessly lampooned what went on in Whitehall and Westminster. Graham McCann tells the story of the series and seeks out the real political fiascos that inspired it. Slightly off-mint.
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.
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.
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.