BFI to save 100000 classic TV shows as Basil Brush and Tiswas

first_imgLenny Henry in Tiswas, c.1980Credit:ITV Basil Brush with TV magician David Nixon For many, they are the television shows which epitomised their childhoods.But shows including Basil Brush and Tiswas are at risk of disappearing forever within the next five years, it has emerged, as the British Film Institute announces a race-against-time mission to save them.The BFI has announced it is to digitise more than 100,000 early television show, moving them from the near-obsolete video format to the safety of digital. One expert said the films that currently house them have a five or six year shelf life left, with no possible environmental conditions which could preserve them for the future.The plans were announced as part of the BFI’s five-year strategy yesterday, as executives detail how they plan to fund and promote British film in a changing world.It is due to invest around £500 million in the five five years, with a particular emphasis on diversity, sharing film outside London, and encouraging a new generation to broaden their viewing horizons from mainstream blockbuster films to independent British offerings. Comedies include Do Not Adjust Your Set, starring the Monty Pythons, from ITV in 1968, and 11 of the original 13 episodes of At Last the 1949 Show from 1967.BBC dramas include Second City Firsts and Rainbow City from 1967, showcasing the world of black and Asian television writers rarely seen since first broadcast.Music programmes such as the Bay City Rollers’ Shang A Lang and rock show Alright Now. Basil Brush with TV magician David Nixon The Basil Brush Show Amanda Nevill, CEO, said many older viewers who grew up with television in the 1970s and 80s might be surprised to learn some of their family favourites are now “on obsolete video format and in danger of being lost forever”.The first round of the project will involve around 100,000 of an estimated 750,000 television titles held on video formats. The Basil Brush Show Broadcasters have already moved to digitise some of them, including the most famous comedies such as Morcombe and Wise, but the BFI has pledged to step in with resources to help them catch up with the march of time.Programme now due to be digitised could include children’s programmes Tiswas, the Basil Brush Show, educational series How, Rubovia, Adventures of Twizzle, and Vision On, the 1970s series for hearing impaired children by Aardman Animation. Rare comedies will also be saved Shang-A-Lang, which will also be saved Lenny Henry in Tiswas, c.1980 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. Rare comedies will also be saved Other BFI initiatives include funding shorter and episodic works, closer to television than film, for the first time, as it seeks a “more flexible approach to encourage creative filmmaking”.Josh Berger,  BFI chairman, said: “Our aim is to find, educate and support the very best talent, give them the skills, tools and creative freedom needed to tell their stories, and make sure as many people as possible can enjoy and be inspired by those stories on the big screen, the small screen and even the screen in their pocket.” Shang-A-Lang, which will also be savedlast_img

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