Explore the BBC

18 September 2014
Accessibility help
Text only
Treasure Hunt - can you help with the BBC Archives?

BBC Homepage
Cult homepage
» Treasure Hunt
About Archives
Contact Us
Photo Gallery
Sound Finds
Video Finds
Missing Episodes
Hit List  

Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!

About Treasure Hunt
List of Audio Finds (November 2001)

These are recordings that have been recovered, researched and transferred. They have come from a number of sources; mostly off-air domestic recordings both from individuals with a few reels and collectors with hundreds of recordings. Some are BBC recordings from former members of staff and contributors.

Quality is variable ranging from research only to acceptable broadcast quality.


Man and Superman 16-08-65
Robert Hardy & Fenella Fielding star in this production of George Bernard Shawís play

The Doctor's Dilemma 7-3-66
By George Bernard Shaw, starring Alec McCowen & Maurice Denham

Bajazet 9-1-72
By Racine with Barbara Jefford, Prunella Scales & Martin Jarvis

Peribanez and the Commendador of Ocana 3/8/68
By Lope de Vegar, with Trader Faulkner & Rosalind Shanks

School for Wives 21/1/73
By Moliere, with Geoffrey Bayldon

Showing Up of Blanco Posnet 16-7-63
By G.B. Shaw, with William Sylvester

Their Very Own and Golden City 9-12-68
By Arnold Wesker, with Carleton Hobbs

Naked ("Vestiri Illie Inuli") 27-4-70
By Pirandello, with Stephen Murray & Susannah York

She Stoops to Conquer TX Date unknown
By Oliver Goldsmith, with Alastair Sim & Brenda de Banzie

Fanny's First Play 17-9-66
By G.B. Shaw, with Dilys Laye & Timothy West

The Spanish Tragedy 2-3-69
By Thomas Kydd, with John Laurie

Prometheus Bound 3-7-70
By Aeschylus, with Peter Woodthorpe

Ubu Unchained 26-7-68
By Alfred Jarry, with Norman Shelley

The Rules of the Game 7-7-67
By Pirandello, with Robert Harris, Anthony Jacobs & Nicolette Bernard.

The Quare Fellow 22-9-69
By Brendan Behan, with players from the Arts Theatre, Lyric Theatre & Ulster Theatre Company, Belfast.

The Devil's Disciple 5-10-69
By G.B. Shaw, with Keith Michell & Max Adrian

The Caretaker 29-9-69
by Harold Pinter, with Bill Fraser, Michael Harbour & Nigel Anthony

Anybody Here Seen Friday? 11-10-61
A sound portrait of a Dublin childhood adapted by Dominic Behan from his autobiographical novel Terms of Times and Happy Returns

Something Strange 6-2-62
A play for radio by Kingsley Amis with Noel Johnson, Brian Wilde and Nerys Hughes

The Happy Couple 21-5-69
A production of W. Somerset Maughanís play starring Carleton Hobbs and Jean Anderson

What Killed Goliath? 5-5-61
Play with Leo McKern as Goliath.

Comedy and Light Entertainment

Iím Sorry, Iíll Read That Again 25-10-65
An edition of the "radio custard pie" with Tim Brooke-Taylor, John Cleese, Graeme Garden, David Hatch, Jo Kendall & Bill Oddie.

Hancockís Half Hour
4 editions not previously in the Archive starring Tony Hancock with Sid James, Bill Kerr, Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques. Most have come from individual collectors. We had multiple copies of some HHHs which have been circulating in collectors circles for years. We compared quality and rejected some as of too poor. These represent the best quality we received and may benefit from further audio restoration.
The Bolshoi Ballet Series 4 episode 2 (21-10-56).
Anna & The King of Siam Series 4 episode 7 (25-11-56).
Around The World in Eighty Days Series 5 episode 8 (11-3-58)
The Election Candidate Series 5 episode 10 (25-3-58).

Peter Sellers Estate Collection
CD copies acquired from the Estate of Peter Sellers by Entertainment Radio BBC and Information and Archives for Steve Dohertyís R4 series on Sellers 2001. Some of this material has already been broadcast. Famously a lover of things technical Sellers recorded his own broadcasts to 78 rpm disc using home equipment. He recorded just his own performances from variety shows or got his mother to do it if it was live. Includes Sellersí first TV appearance 3/5/49 and first billed appearance on radioís Starlight Hour 13/12/48. Collection includes private recordings. Radio highlights include
Sellers 1st TV appearence (TV soundtrack only) May 3 1948
Starlight Hour December 13 1948 - Sellers 1st "Billed" appearence
Starlight Hour December 20 1948
Geraldoís Open House September 15 1949
Showtime August 19 1948
Music Hall November 5 1949
Rayís a Laugh July 3 1949
Starlight Hour November 22 1948
Music Hall April 5 1949
Starlight Hour November 8 1948
Variety Bandbox September 19 1948
Ignorance is Bliss July 2 1949

Parsley Sidings
4 editions of the Radio 2 comedy series starring Arthur Lowe and Ian Lavender set around a railway station.
Pass The Parcel (29-9-73)
A Night Out (20-10-73)
A Bird In The Hand (3-11-73)
The Secret Agent (1-12-73)

The Men From The Ministry 20-11-62
Written by Edward Taylor, starring Wilfred Hyde-White & Richard Murdoch with guest star Betty Marsden.

Iím Sorry, I Havenít A Clue
11-4-72 The first edition of the long-running panel game.
25-9-74 Complete edition.

Something To Shout About
A light-hearted satire on the world of advertising written by Myles Rudge and Ronnie Wolfe and starring Michael Medwin, Fenella Fielding, Joan Sims, Eleanor Summerfield and Warren Mitchell

Itís A Deal 1-6-61
Starring Sid James as a property dealer. Written by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney. A truly lost programme as no examples were in archives at all.

Itís A Fair Cop 16-6-61
Eric Sykes stars as a blundering policeman. Written by John Junkin and Terry Nation. A truly lost programme as no examples were in archives at all.

The Next Programme Follows Immediately
4 editions of the anarchic comedy show from July 1971 with David Jason & Denise Coffey

Milligna (or Your Favourite Spike) 12-26 December 1972
3 editions of Spike Milliganís Radio 4 show from December 1972

The Secret Life of Kenneth Williams 21-7-71
One show from the Radio 4 comedy series starring Kenneth Williams with Richard Calidcot and Josephine Tewson

Beyond Our Ken 4-1-62 & 8-2-62
Two editions of the well-know show starring Kenneth Horne with Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Bill Pertwee and Betty Marsden

Radio Five with Eric Idle 30-3-74 to 4-5-74
Four editions of the Radio One show that combined Eric Idleís brand of humour with pop music.

It Sticks Our Half A Mile
A Dadís Army radio sequel written by Harold Snoad and Michael Knowles who also very successfully adapted the Dadís Army for Radio with the same core cast.

Share and Share Alike
Series written by Harold Snoad & Michael Knowles. An ĎOdd Coupleí comedy featuring two chalk and cheese brothers forced to live together by the terms of their motherís will.
Pilot show with Reg Varney & Roy Kinnear recorded 19th January 1975 (never broadcast)
Series of 9 shows with Michael Robbins & Hugh Paddick broadcast July - September 1978

My Music 20-5-68
A battle of wits, with music as the main ingredient. Proceedings are overseen by chairman Steve Race.

A Night At The Music Hall 31-8-64
Bill Scott-Coomber introduces a selection of variety acts including comedian Freddy Davis and Shirley Abicair.

The Ronnie Corbett Thing 1970
A show from Ronnie Corbettís Radio Two series.


AÔda 16-7-55
Extracts from the Third Programme broadcast of a performance of the opera from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Features Tito Gobbi, Ebe Stinagni and a young Joan Sutherland. Recorded off-air in good quality by a RAF National Serviceman and electronics enthusiast running his station music society.

Saturday Club 17-10-59
Extracts from the Light Programmeís weekly selection of music and live guests from the pop world, introduced by Brian Matthew.

Ringo Starr: My Top Twelve 7-4-74
Former Beatle Ringo selects 12 tracks to make up an imaginary album of his favourite music and chats about his career and future plans with Brian Matthew. Poor quality, not suitable for broadcast but speech content may be of some research interest.

Paul Simon Five-to-Ten Session rec. 21-1-65, tx March 1965
Paul Simonís first recorded session in the UK. Practically unknown in the UK, he was still to have his first big US hit with the Paul Simon Songbook. Acting on a tip-off from a folk fan, the BBC producer Roy Trevivian went to hear Simon and immediately asked him to record some songs.
He was asked at short notice to record some of his material for the religious-spiritual slot on the Light Programme.
The Production Assistant was sent out to the Home Office to get a work permit especially (the letter requesting the permit is in BBC Written Archives). Nine complete tracks. Simon had a cold at the time and the recording has an immediate, slightly raw but authentic quality.

Elton John: Speakeasy 11-10-69
Two session tracks from Elton Johnís appearance on this Radio One show. Broadcast quality recording by a member of the original production staff.

Tubby Hayes Quartet: Jazz Club 18-12-68 & 9-4-69
Two session recordings featuring nine tracks from the bandís appearances on this Radio One show. Broadcast quality recording made live in the studio for a band member.

Music While You Work: editions from 1943-1967
21 complete editions from the famous daily live music programme which ran from 1940 to 1967. Includes a 1943 edition and the last show on the last day of the Light Programme in 1967. Varying quality but generally good. One short extract of the theme tune only previously existed in the BBC. Collected by one man mainly by recording off-air from the 1960s and acquiring from other sources. He attended some of the last live broadcasts and has en encylopaedic knowledge of MWYW and light music of the period. His collection runs into hundreds of editions.

Poets of the Sixteenth Century: Ben Jonson - 17-4-68
Settings of Lyrics for Voice and Lute

Make Way For Music 23-10-59
A slice of daytime entertainment from the Light Programme with singer Sheila Buxton accompanied by the Northern Dance Orchestra conducted by Alan Ainsworth.

Talks, Features and Topical Material

Tuning Fork of America 17-11-61
America folk singer Pete Seeger discusses his career and plays some of his songs.

On The Edge 13-2-63
A Charles Parker Radio Ballad. ĎThe journey through adolesence faced by young people in the 1960sí. Seven 14-20 year olds interspersed with original songs by McColl and Seeger. Not excellent quality, but social history content important.

The Last of the Gleemen: The Name is Zozimus 31-8-62
An examination of the Dublin Gleemen written by Philip Rooney and featuring traditional songs sung by Dominic Behan.

Come Along To Freedom 15-8-61
A ballad documentary about an underground railway in America that provided a means of escape for slaves in the 19th century.

Sparrow: Calypsos 5-10-61
Nobel prize-winning author V.S. Naipaul selects and introduces calypsos sung by the enigmatic singer Sparrow and reflects on their social commentary.

The Poetry of e.e. Cummings 2-3-69
Selected and presented by Charles Tomlinson.

Thereís Nothing There
Extract of a talk on the BBC Sound Archive by Archive Features producer Madeau Stewart. Date unknown, probably early 1970s. Addresses the complaint of Archive users who trawling through thousands of recordings exclaim Ďthere nothing there!í.

The Public Ear 22-3-64
A short clip from the start of this edition of the programme, featuring a letter from a Beatles fan who wanted advance notice of any radio appearances by the group so that other fans could be told to switch their receivers on. The reply was read by Ringo Starr, but this was not recorded!

The BBC Archives Treasure Hunt. PO BOX 30871 London W12 6GL, or email us

BBC Information and Archives

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy