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The 70s: An eye-opener and a joy

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Dominic Sandbrook Dominic Sandbrook | 09:50 UK time, Monday, 16 April 2012

I've always been fascinated by the 1970s. As I was born in October 1974 I can vaguely remember some of it - mainly Bagpuss, The Wombles and the excitement of seeing Star Wars - but the politics of the day completely passed me by.

But there's something oddly compelling about the day before yesterday and that's why I was so thrilled to have the chance to turn my two books on 1970s Britain into a television series.

As a slightly nervous first-time presenter I had no idea what to expect.

But making the series has been not just an eye-opener but a joy.

Of course television has its fair share of trials, from getting up day after day at 5am to enduring the stares of crowds of Birmingham shoppers who couldn't see the camera and naturally assumed that I was just wandering around talking to myself.

Dominic Sandbrook as a child in the 1970s, holding his Silver Jubilee balloons

Dominic Sandbrook in the 1970s with his Jubilee balloons

Back when I was playing with my Silver Jubilee balloons and my Space Hopper - and yes I really did have one - I had no way of knowing that one day almost four decades later I'd be striding up and down in front of the camera in a long coat surreptitiously held together by safety pins.

And certainly I had no idea that as a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan I'd one day face the supreme challenge of feigning enthusiasm while filming a segment about our rivals West Brom's pioneering multiracial team of the late 1970s.

But it's been a real pleasure to work with such talented and committed people to bring my vision of the 1970s to the screen.

In particular, even I have been amazed by the wealth of archive footage that our researchers managed to dig up.

If nothing else our series will have a wealth of clips that haven't been seen since they were first shown back in the 1970s, covering everything from the first package holidays and the first credit card to schools, cars, football hooligans and glam rock.

What all of this brought home was how strangely poised the 1970s now seem.

In some ways the decade feels like ancient history.

When you watch the clips of, say, Bernard Manning on prime-time television, or of people joking about working women, or of British holidaymakers heading out to Torremolinos for the first time the 1970s seem impossibly remote.

But then you watch footage of the oil shock of 1973, or news reports about the great explosion in credit card debt, or anguished documentaries about the state of Britain's schools and the morals of our teenagers and you realise that some things have barely changed at all.

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Designing the perfect 1970s living room

Perhaps above all then we've tried to capture the ways in which the decade of Ted Heath, Marc Bolan and Mary Whitehouse was both strange and surprising.

Seventies Britain is a place we've almost forgotten existed: a land that seems oddly familiar but also weirdly remote.

Will it chime perfectly with viewers' recollections? I doubt it. We all remember the past in our own way.

A woman who spent the 1970s as a teenager in Aberdeen is bound to remember them differently from a man who was, say, running a small business in Shropshire.

I'll be interested to hear what you think.

I'm sure many of you will disagree with our interpretation of big events like the advent of feminism, the three-day week, the Winter of Discontent and the rise of Margaret Thatcher.

But that's what history's all about: a healthy debate.

And if it gets people talking about our recent past and if it makes people think again about the 1970s, the most turbulent but also the most exciting of recent decades, then even filming at West Bromwich Albion will have been worth it.

Dominic Sandbrook is the presenter of The 70s.

The 70s begins on Monday, 16 April at 9pm on BBC Two (except for analogue viewers in Wales and Northern Ireland, who can watch on 17 April at 11.25pm and 11.50pm respectively). The series will be available to watch in iPlayer until 21 May.

For more information about analogue television and the digital switchover please visit Help Receiving TV and Radio.

For further programme times, please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.


  • Comment number 1.

    Expectations of jobs as a girl, were secretary as I would get married, and as I went to a secondary modern, didn't take GCE's but CSE's, so not expected to go on to FE or Uni.....went to local grammar to take A levels and hated it! Class divisions were very apparent. Left and went to work. Had a baby, so was an 'unmarried mother'...lovely label! Much stigma attached to this, pressure to put up for adoption, assumptions about the kind of person I was.....have actually made me a stronger and more compassionate person...I hope. Now am a teacher after taking degree in my 30's and getting a very healthy 2:1, sometimes wish I could go back and berate those who put me down....but on the whole I use it as positive experience to draw on. The 70's were a time of great transition for society, I started them as a school child and ended them as an independent person with home and child to care for. Lots of prejudice along the way.

  • Comment number 2.

    Wonderful memories of the 70's - Space hopper gladiatorial battles with my twin brother, sadistic PE teachers, Tarby's bar at the FA Cup Final and who could forget Jeux Sans Frontier on a wednesday evening. The words of Memories could never nave been more poignant 'Could it be that life was all so simple then' - globalisation and the internet have a lot to answer for ....

  • Comment number 3.

    The 1970's co-incided with my most formative years, from the ages of 10-20. Yes, I remember, vaguely, the strikes and the shortages and the power-cuts etc, but for me it was an exciting time of colour and change, a constant sense of newness, and a great sense of a growing divide between old and young attitudes. For me, that culminated in punk: aged 16/17 in 1976/77, I was the perfect age to soak up that sense of rebelliousness and need for change: despite the false glitter and real innocence of the preceding few years, I'd gradually become aware that all was not right with the future looming ahead of me. Inspired to broaden my horizons, take control of my own destiny, and get out of my small West Midlands town, I announced my intention to go to art college: my school careers officer was distinctly unimpressed. "No-one ever made any money from art!" he harrumphed, "Now, I have an opening here for a welder in Walsall, start next Monday?"...

    The embarrassment I'd initially felt at being the only kid whose mother had come to the careers interview instantly turned to glowing pride, as Mum leapt to her feet and thundered, in her best Lady Bracknell voice, "No son of mine is going to be a welder in Walsall!" and clouted him with her handbag, before marching me home.

    I went to art college, in 1978, graduated in Graphic Design in 1982, and moved straight to London. I'm still working in it, and I've had a great life. I look back on those years with great affection, despite negative experiences like weekly running away from gangs who wanted to beat me up simply for being dressed "differently", or being (literally) kicked off a bus by the conductor for the same reason (something that would cause a national outcry today, and earn me thousands in compensation!).

    But the biggest difference between then and now seems to me to be we've lost something important: yes, perhaps we (or at least those older than me) were more racist, more sexist, less tolerant, in those days, but there was also a greater sense of community: back then, and especially amongst the working-class, we really were "all in it together". People looked out for each other, people could go out without locking their houses, people cared. The Thatcher years brought in an "I'm Alright Jack (and Screw You)" ethos, which has never quite gone away, and Thatcher's twisted version of "Victorian values" seems destined for a resurgence under her self-confessed acolyte Cameron. When you think of the huge divide between classes during the Victorian era, I can see us returning to that: the poor are being forced out of further education, and as fuel and house prices (and everything else) get higher, denied the means to move around and escape their poverty. I think I'd hate being 16/17 today....

  • Comment number 4.

    Not so much a comment as a question. There is a song used for the trailers for this series - an instrumental with a flute and marimba(?) that immediately takes me, and I guess everyone else, back to the 70s. Anyone know what this is? I've looked everywhere, to no avail.

    I was born in 1970, and I recall we spent much of the 70s and 80s laughing at how silly the 60s looked. The 70s felt like it was at the cutting edge of technology, at least to a schoolkid - we had the first digital watches, Skylab and the 6 Million Dollar Man. We will have new tech coming along - the iPad etc - but we don't feel like we're on the threshold of living in the future any more.

  • Comment number 5.

    I was 6 when the seventies started and I have many happy memories of that decade. I remember the thrill of receiving a spacehopper for christmas in 1971, and the disappointment of not getting a Raleigh Chopper bicycle for christmas the following year. I am always dismayed when the 1970's is described as "the decade that taste forgot", and it being described as the time of glam rock/punk/disco/strikes and the colour brown. The 1970's was so much more than that; there were several other genres of music which hardly ever get a mention, such as space rock, progressive rock and folk. There was a subversive underground scene, with music festivals, student demos, alternative lifestyles and radical politics. There were new ideas about virtually everything, including science, philosophy, sociology, art and architecture - anything seemed possible. The 1970's, particularly the early 70's, was a very exciting and wonderful place to be.

  • Comment number 6.

    It is very likely that the majority of those featured as the new home buyers are past retirement age now as it was 40 years ago and the people in it were 20-40 years old. It is worth also mentioning a very high number of patriotic, hard working, tax paying workers there were in the country who seem to be overlooked when viewing that decade. House buying was not so much an aspiration as an essential as the post war jerry building of houses stopped and a new generation was born. The new generation was more enticed in to mortgages rather than aspired to because there was no new social housing and those on the tail end will find that it will be unpaid at the end of term because of misold endowment policies of those times. Together with pensions they have paid in to a big chunk of the income taken out was reassigned to pay debts incurred by their employers. It would be better to let these retirees see their last decade of their lives out in peace without apportioning blame to innocent individuals.

    Like the saying goes... let sleeping dogs lie

  • Comment number 7.

    I can only echo and agree with the comments made by coapril, as if these people had any more choice over their fate in the 70's than we do now. As if they could stop in 1975 and analyse the trends and social trends that shaped the 70's (from a historical perspective) any more than we can. I know it is just the first episode but I felt it portrayed a very flawed look at the 70's and did little to illuminate the decade in any other context than Dominic Sandbrook's narrow viewpoint, his music, his part of the country, his rather patronising "snapshot" episodes of non-pc 70's life. It should be titled "Dominic Sandbrook MY (rather personalised, SE of E centric) 70's.

  • Comment number 8.

    Let's face it, the most important single impact on British people in the 70's was in June of 1970, when Edward Heath first entered No.10 Downing Street. His first executive act was to send the Special Branch around to the ofices of the Prices and Incomes Board (PIB) which was avery professional and effective part of government which had life breathed into it by Barbara Castle. Special Branch Officers sealed the doors of the offices and told all staff that they were being reassigned to somewhere else in the Civil Service. "D" Notices were obviously all over the Heath decision and presumably still are.Grocery retail price inflation escalated to about 27/28% and there was a concerted effort to have the U.K. media tell the world that it was all down to the previous Labour administration. I had a wide range of U.K. grocery clients who were expecting promotion plans from me for 1970-73 and all were wasted time on my part for,Tesco, to name just one, summoned all the clients within a few days of the Special Branch moves and handed out the prices which Tesco would be paying for brand after brand right down the tariff lists for products which had been mostly a part of the U.K. social fabric for many years or decades.If the "D" Notices are now lifted why cannot this be a central part of Dominic's histoire?

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    This programme did not mention the Decimalisation???? !!!

  • Comment number 11.

    I came from America in 1971 to marry and live in the London area - worked in London for two years and though I came from a country that had much more materially, I absolutely adored the lifestyle in England. It was more human-scale, so to speak, and I felt far more in control of my future here. I left London for the West Country in '73 and felt that I'd escaped just in time before the decline of the city began.

    I have to say I think you are a wonderful presenter - not just that you "know your stuff" but you present it in such a way that the information is foremost. After suffering through several series where the presenter's 'style' was so distracting that I could get nothing from what he/she was saying, I applaud you!

  • Comment number 12.

    At the time of the 1972 miner's strike I was eleven years old. I’d come to live in England a few years earlier from Germany, the grand-daughter of a pioneer of the Ruhr mines - a man who’d left school at the age of thirteen to go down the pit. Consequently I’d grown up with the politics of the German mining industry. My grandfather could not read or write, he’d been almost killed twice in horrendous mining accidents the second of which ended his career in his early fifties. Back in 1972 he saw on German television the news what was happening in England. English coal miners were holding the nation to ransom for a 27% pay rise. He was concerned about the effects on other industries, on unemployment and taxes. We'd come to England because my English father wished to own his own home, something that (as a factory worker) he would never have been able to do in Germany. My German grandfather was right - the effects of the strike were far reaching. Dad lost his job when the factory order book suffered. I remember him going to the “Labour Exchange” to seek work. I also remember the power cuts, going to bed early to avoid noticing a dark cold house, eating only an orange for tea as we’d run out of food. What struck me was the difference between the two nations, Germany and England. Edward Heath was busy trying to make England like Germany but even as an eleven year old I knew he would never do it. What he could not do was change the attitude of the masses. Whilst German workers were proud of the prosperity of their nation so that they worked together like a national team, English workers seemed to focus on personal prosperity. Trade unions had ensured that industry should serve its workers rather workers the industries– a powerful climate in which the seeds of entitlement could be sown. Greed and consumerism were not the creations of Margaret Thatcher. It was as Dominic Sandbrook says, the collective events of the 1970’s which gave these a perfect ground in which to grow.

  • Comment number 13.

    For those interested in the music used on the radio trailer for The 70s the artist is The Reg Wale Group playing the track Fruity Flutes.

  • Comment number 14.

    Do you have a complete list of incidental music used in episode 1 ?

  • Comment number 15.

    Generally a good programme. He didn't mention the home improvement grants, which meant that many people, like my family, could stay in their Victorian homes with modern conveniences like indoor toilets and central heating, that we could never have afforded otherwise. Two more glaring errors - the Beatles disbanded in 1970, surely meaning the end of one era and the beginning of another? And decimalisation, far more important to the average Brit than whether we went into Europe or not. Othewise, very interesting and wasn't the music better then?

  • Comment number 16.

    Dear all

    If anyone would like to find out about the music played on The 70s please check out the programme page for details:


    Many thanks

    The TV blog team

  • Comment number 17.

    Just checked out the full list of music featured in episide 1 - the list includes 'In A Broken Dream' and credits it to the Faces. Whilst featuring Rod Stewart on guest lead vocals, the band performing is NOT The Faces but Python Lee Jackson, who invited Rod Stewart to perform the vocals for them on this particular track. It was actually recorded in early 1969 before Stewart joined the Faces, but not released as a single until 1970. It is, however, a classic...

  • Comment number 18.

    In no particular order (and with some things left out).
    Mexico 70 (wow, grainy TV in the morning)
    Munich 72
    South Coast Holidays
    40 year old Parents
    Chopper Bikes (Wanted one so badly)
    Action Man
    Playing in the Woods
    Playing by the Railway Line
    Playing in the Road
    Playing up against someone's Semi
    Balls over the fence
    The Big Match
    Meals with the Family
    Pick of the Pops in the Bath, Sing Something Simple end of the weekend, Despair at going to school
    Coming in when it was getting dark
    Ice Cream vans
    Making Boring Lists (er, was that later)

  • Comment number 19.

    ...re post above, a quick update and refresh and we now have the artist listed as 'Python Lee jackosn ft. Rod Stewart' - thank you!

  • Comment number 20.

    A very interesting and timely programme, if not like an extended episode of the 'Rock 'n'Roll years'. However, as raised by several other posters, a bit woolly in it's logic, for example, the move to buying as opposed to renting surely wasn't just 'aspirational'. Just as it is now, people were forced into the housing market by a lack of council housing, a move that was capitalised upon by the tories at the end of the decade, with the selling off of council homes. Typically of such 'historical' shows, it portrays the working class as a bunch of neanderthals who, even in the 70's had to be dragged kicking and screaming into the twentieth century. In addition, the comment that the miners 'worked 6 hours shifts' is an alarming mistake (by the standards of the early seventies - this would have been considered part time !!!!) that shows appalling research and undermines any further 'facts' the episode makes, and indeed the programme's credibility .
    On reflection, these were troubled and turbulent times and watching it now, it's very hard to believe how we came through it (relatively) unscathed. Nice footage of a youngish Scargill, his point that the ruling elite won't give you anything and that it has to be taken, is as true now as it was then.

    And yes, the music was better .......... or at least some of it was !!

  • Comment number 21.

    In relation to Kevan's comment above about the miners' '6 hour shifts', I believe the point being suggested is that they worked for 6 hours non-stop down in the mine before a 20-minute break, and then went back down again for another 6 hours - it was not suggesting that their working day was only 6 hours long, but actually at least 12 hours with just a short break in the middle.

  • Comment number 22.

    Hi everyone

    I am the researcher on the TV blog. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment on Dominic's post, I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.

    Miles #17 (and #19), thank you for pointing out the mistake on the music credits. We let the production team know and you were indeed correct – the track is by Python Lee Jackson featuring Rod Stewart which they have now updated. Apologies and many thanks for letting us know so speedily!

    BBC TV blog

  • Comment number 23.

    In relation to Miles response to my initial comment - I very much doubt that was being suggested, and if it was, it makes the research look even more dire than I previously thought. The distances involved in working underground would make it completely unfeasible to do this - the journey on the cage (the lift to the non-mining folk) alone would be around 5 minutes. No, I'm afraid that the miners had to enjoy their 20 minutes break or 'snap' where they were working - warm water and dusty sandwiches and all !. The standard shift underground was seven and a quarter hours- adding on time in the lamproom , baths etc - it would be around an eight hour shift. Without wanting to get bogged down in the minutiae of everyday mining life, it is small but fundamental errors like this that undermine an otherwise enjoyable programme. I believe that this error helped to play down the difficult and dangerous conditions faced by men working down the pit, often for less money that their daughters were earning in the NCB wages office. Maybe in light of this, people will begin to agree that the NUM were justified in 'holding the country to ransom' in order to get an equitable wage deal for its members.

  • Comment number 24.

    Just so that the historical record does not miss all of the details I thought you may like a little bit of missing information: the other 70's
    Housing subsidence

    The other London 1970's housing

    Occupational medical conditions
    asbestos mesothlioma
    byssinosis or black lung, resulting from the conditions of a person's work, trade, or occupation


    I hope I haven't broken any rules about including links however. The mining thing was futile - there were never going to be any winners - global prices were cheaper elsewhere and the cost of living in the UK outside of that industry was high like the young are beginning to experience themselves now.

    Those who worked in heavy industrial have payed a high price in health to do their jobs however, like having to take a mortgage - there was no choice. The only plus point is that the work options for the young now is much healthier. There were some professions that looked down on the manual workers and referred to them as "factory fodder" so although they may have had some freedom human beings deserve to be valued. The quoted "miners striking in suits" is because most people in the regions had two lots of clothes - their workday wear and their saturday night best suit (quantity 1).

    the gentleman is right about working hours - I lived with family in a mining community for family reasons for a number of months. My uncle was at work at 6 am and back with us for tea at 6pm - he generally was falling asleep during his dinner. The mining town a few miles away had the pithead below, the houses in rows on the hill and the waste at the top. The coal buckets went on conveyeors above the houses and were more busy with them than the m1 at peak times. The coal waste fell during their journey on to the houses and gardens below complete with residents and washing below. No one wishes to complain and didn't however, the programme does seem to paint a much different picture to their realities.

  • Comment number 25.

    How can you make a programe about the 70-72 period and not mention decimalisation?
    this is one of the causes of 26 per cent inflation in 1975. The guy presenting it wasnt
    born till 1974 so he has just read it in books. You should have got someone who was
    there to present it.

  • Comment number 26.

    Would anyone be able to help me? At 2:45 into the show there is a clip of a lady dancing holding up her dress, I think it is my grandma but unfortunately she is no longer around for me to ask, is it possible to find out where the clip came from? I have already searched on the Yorkshire Film Archive but have been unable to find the clip on there. She lived in Leeds and I wondered if it was something being filmed at a work party.


  • Comment number 27.

    At 6:58 into the program there is a short (12 sec) black and white clip of a couple looking at a house. I live in that house and would love to know where this clip came from. It looks more likely to be from the 60's than the 70's.

  • Comment number 28.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 29.

    I find some views of this programme disturbing - where they differ greatly from my own and are presented subjectively in a definite / subtly dogmatic (although superficially pleasant and not rudely authoritative) manner.
    For example, Sandbrook claims that 2 valuable features of the 70s were individualism and a great increase in free practice of sexual relationships among common people. Personally, I do not have a positive attitude towards individualism (unless it causes recognition of peoples' rights, unique abilities, etc.) because I suspect it could have contributed to the disappearance of community-spirit which older-generation citizens have told me of. I certainly do not believe the bringing of the sexual / erotic freedom to many in the 70s to be "wonderful" - I rather believe it to be trivialization / cheapening of something wonderful by taking it out of the life-long husband-wife loving relationship. I believe such trivialization is very often encouraged by promoting lust (e.g. by showing nude or porn images as on the 23/4/12 programme). It doesn't fit in with my Christian values, or those of Asian cultures where I have lived, and I suspect it may have eventually led on to things like the high teenage pregnancies in Western countries.
    I was not present in the UK in the 70s - I left as a baby in 1968, and my only experience of UK life during the 70s had been through British acquaintances who moved to where I lived (South East Asia, from where I returned to a real culture shock in the UK in 1983).

  • Comment number 30.

    For all his credentials Sandbrook appears never to have heard of the '71 Industrial Relations Act ; so in his odd world, people , especially those nasty miners, went on strike between 1970 -74 for colour TVs and holidays abroad. If this series had been entitled ' A Personal View' then at least it would be plain that the series is polemical ; instead the BBC allow Sandbrook to witter on as if he's revealing Historical Truth, which is not the case. This is poor history indeed - and annoying - I was born in 1960, so I have to put up with bad , partisan scholarship from whippersnappers trying to tell me about my experience. Do the right thing BBC - pull the series and go back to the drawing board

  • Comment number 31.

    Agree with an earlier post which confessed to feeling really quite frustrated by this. It's awful. If this is an example of tv after 2008 you can keep it. Dull, under-researched, touchy-feely in the most unctuous manner and a prose style that's achingly earnest and DULL. Leaden, duff mince. Reading Tony Judt at the mo. There's an historian. DS should stick to tabloids, and litle England ones at that.

  • Comment number 32.

    Born in 1960 the 70's is the decade I remember the most (in terms of "growing up"). It's about time we had a documentary about it. The permissive 1960's didn't seem to happen up here in north east Lincolnshire, but the 70's was certainly a time of change. Despite what some other commentators have put, I'm rather enjoying the series so far. I don't find it touchy-feely at all, let alone even understand what unctuous means. I can't work out why anyone who didn't like the first show would bother to watch all of it, and the second episode, but I'm probably a bit too thick. To try include absolutely everything about the decade in historical fullness would be an impossibility. I'm just enjoying it for it's pure nostalgia. Despite being born in the same year as a previous commentator, I can't really remember the 1971 Industrial Relations Act too well. Guess they must have been a far better read 11 year old than me. I do remember my Dad working 07:00 to 19:00 daily, and half day on Saturday, power cuts, and the word inflation. However I also seem to remember having a really good time, and enjoying myself despite all the bad stuff. Also would people stop going on about the miners, as if they had the hardest job in the world. At least they got to come home each day after work. I happen to come from an area where jobs were just as scarce, and a large percentage of the workers did something which kept them away from home for 26 days out of 30, which hasn't been mentioned at all, but that hasn't detracted from the programme at all for me. Still that's just my personal opinion, to which I assume I'm entitled. Thanks for making something entertaining.

  • Comment number 33.

    @Eliza - any chance of a list of the music played in episode 2? In particular he ominous instrumental that comes just after the Royal Wedding - it's so familiar, but I just can't place it.

  • Comment number 34.

    To MadriMaraff: The song is Sunday from Nick Drake's album Bryter Layter

  • Comment number 35.

    Ah ... those dastardly Miners ! All that was missing was some grainy back and white footage of Joe Gormley twirling the tips of his waxed moustache, whist tying Brittania to some railway tracks in the path of an oncoming (steam) train to a frenzied piano accompaniment. I bet Mr Sandbrook is hoping that he gets a follow up series entitled the eighties, so as we can see those wretched working class types get the drubbing they so richly deserve. Not sure if I've ever seen the likes of this before, a frankenstien monster made up from actual footage from the 70's - with all the gusto of a Tory party political broadcast - passed off as 'history'. The wikipedia page neglected to mention whether Dominic is actually the love child of Margaret Thatcher and Ian MacGregor, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that he was. The union bashing in this excuse for a history lesson is so vicious, I half expected Dominic to be frothing at the mouth as he told us how those dashed miners had the temerity to ask for a living wage. Juxtaposed with Saudi Trillionaires holding the world to ransom because they didn't agree with our politics - it's hard to understand why the working class always seem to be at the receiving end of Dom's vitriol? Perhaps this is the product of an education at Malvern college - who knows? but if so, I'm glad we were poor. In answer to Johns comment (perhaps a relation of Dom's perchance?) - I would suggest that the reason 'people keep going on about the miners' in this blog, is because they take up a hefty portion of the programme, albeit generally being portrayed as the villain of the piece. And yes John, you are still entitled to your personal opinion, as am I and all the other posters, the majority of whom seem a little put out having this right wing balderdash paid for by their license fee.

  • Comment number 36.

    Here was me thinking this was just one man's view of the 70's, with some interesting TV footage, nice music, and a little bit of history. I didn't realise it was a party political broadcast for the Nazi party. In answer to your bizarre misguided theory Kevan, that I'm related to Dom in some way, well I'm not. I find it rather sad that you'd think that. Actually I've only ever voted Labour, although why that should matter to anyone I've no idea. I also think it's a bit odd to have to feel so self righteous about being "poor". Although I'd be keen on finding out what your definition of that is. Sorry I don't have the same opinion as the "majority" of posters, I'll try to get "re-educated". Were the miners the only workers whose income was less than a living wage? I think not. I do remember my father's wages being cut as direct result of the power cuts caused by miners and electrical workers striking. Even though we were relatively poor, I don't remember him being particularly sympathetic towards them. Maybe he didn't understand how worthy and deserving they were. Still going to watch the remainder of this "right wing balderdash" though.

  • Comment number 37.

    Hello again

    CherylM67 #26 and thompce #27 – thanks for your interesting comments! I’ve asked the production team behind The 70s about the archive clips from the programme. I’m afraid we don’t have the resource to research this in depth for you. However although we don’t have details of the people appearing on camera, I can pass on where the clips were sourced from.

    CherylM67 - the clip you ask about is taken from a BBC News item called Pensioners’ Holiday In Spain from 08/11/1971. As the title suggests it’s about pensioners going abroad.

    thompce - the clip you mention is taken from an episode of Nationwide, called Buying A House. It was from 28/05/1970, which is possibly why it still has a ‘60s’ look to it.

    In case it’s useful, there’s some general information about public access to BBC material on these pages:

    BBC FAQs: I contributed to a BBC TV or radio programme – can I get a copy? https://faq.external.bbc.co.uk/questions/television/tv_appearance

    The BBC Story: https://www.bbc.co.uk/historyofthebbc/contacts/

    BBC Archive: https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive/

    Wenlock #33 – the tracklistings should be going up soon and I will post links here when they are live.

    Hope that helps,
    BBC TV blog researcher

  • Comment number 38.

    Hi everyone

    Tracklistings for Episode two are now here:

    BBC TV blog researcher

  • Comment number 39.

    Hi again – the tracklistings for episode three are now also available:


    Hope you enjoy the episode!

    TV blog researcher

  • Comment number 40.

    I wonder if anyone remembers a Top Of The Form presenter who died when he fell down the steps pf an aircraft when he went to present the programme. I think it happened in Belfast late 1960s early 1970s.

  • Comment number 41.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 42.

    Great show, which strings very diverse subject neatly together.

    While it's impossible to recount all the defining events of the 70s, I am, however, surprised by one glaring omission: the discovery of North Sea Oil and Gas. Surely this is one the most significant economic events in the history of Britain, yet was not even mentioned here. It's hard to understate the importance of this discovery, pumping billions into the economy, and virtually bankrolling Thatcher.

  • Comment number 43.

    Can anyone help me with the history of El Vinos? I remember being taken to this wine bar on Fleet Street by my colleagues when I started my new job in 1982. My memory is that I (a woman) was unable to order my drink from the bar, and a male colleague went to the bar to buy the drinks. I felt distinctly uncomfortable, and this place was considered one of the last bastions of sex discrimination. Is my memory correct? When did this bar confirm to the Sex Discrimination Act 1975?

  • Comment number 44.

    Who was the man (a posh man, for want of a better description!) who was trying to protect England from the unions by organising some kind of force to take over essential services should the unions go on strike? Last name was Walsh.

  • Comment number 45.

    What a terrific series. I watched last nights programme and I don't think it can get any better than that one! The mention of Double Diamond beer, Led Zep, The Eagles, 10cc, England 1966 playing in Telford and then the best of all when Dominic said histrout all team was Wolves and then showed a clip of the Doog and the Wolves when we actually had a decent team!......Those were the days my friend.... Drinking in Bridgnorth as a youth...it takes me right back to the 70's...Fantastic programme.

  • Comment number 46.

    Sorry, mistyped... My post should have said, Dominic's favourite football team was Wolves.... and the year he was born in 1974 and beating Manchester City to win the league cup, we did have a decent team!

  • Comment number 47.

    Great photo! For anyone who's interested, I run a nostalgia blog which strolls regularly down memory lane to the days of childhood, 70s, 80s etc. You can find it at https://saveeverystep.wordpress.com and join in with the chat.

  • Comment number 48.

    @Eliza #38 and #39 - brilliant. Many thanks. Of course it was Kashmir...

  • Comment number 49.

    What a fantastic series, the footage has been well researched and put together. Dominic's style is well suited to programme. Haven't enjoyed anything so much on T.V in ages.

  • Comment number 50.

    Brilliant series, brought back many good memories and so far has confirmed what I already knew - the 70's were the start of the decline of what was once 'Great' Britain.
    A piece of music from the soundtrack of programme 2 Doomsday is bugging me and I can't find it in the 'playlist'. It starts at 47.20 and is a guitar driven track that sounds like it could be prog rock. If anyone could answer this you'd make a child of the 70s very happy.

  • Comment number 51.

    Re my post above. Found the 'missing' song. It's Frankenstein by the Edgar Winter Group (just in case you want to change the music listings :-)

  • Comment number 52.

    I enjoyed them so far. Really, if you are wanting a highly detailed history of this era, you'll be disappointed. It's not meant to be that. I've read Dominic's books on the UK from the 50's to the 70's, they are much more detailed though the tone is similar. very entertaining, often informative.
    But - the books alone need to be read with others to get the broader picture. So to expect these programs to do that when even the books - however much I enjoyed them - cannot do that on their own, seems churlish. Ah, but this is the comments section on a BBC blog!
    I do remember this era, being born in 1966.
    My little part of it does find resonance in parts of the program.
    In all the books, I've not detected a heavily partisan political viewpoint, might be that you have to be of a particular mindset to do this.

  • Comment number 53.

    Thank you so much for making tracklistings available for this series.
    The BBC uses some excellent incidental music in its programming, and it great to be able to find out what it is! Maybe one day, "Press red button to view details of incidental music currently playing" will be an option on all digital programming...

    There was one track which I couldn't find on your listings.
    It is in Epsiode 3/4 "Goodbye Great Britain" during the "football hooliganism" segment.
    It starts around 0:20 and finishes at just before the audio clip from David Bowie's "Subterraneans" at around 0:23.
    "Post rock"/minimalist band sound. 86bpm in Bbm. Piano, strings & electronica. Repeated chords: Ebm/Bbm/F/Bbm.
    Shazam is tagging it as the band "Charlemagne Palestine" but I don't think this is right.
    I'd be really grateful if you could ID this track for me (even if it is production music and not commercially available)
    Many thanks in anticipation & thanks for a fascinating & very enjoyable series.
    Best wishes

  • Comment number 54.

    I was born in 1964 so this is my era and it was bang on.

    I enjoyed this no end..especially those bits - of which there were many - telling the viewers it was all Labours fault for the horrors of Britians economic decline and striff ..oh and those sactimonious lot who read the Guardian who thought they knew best, when really they just made it worse. I hope all the Guardian readership and their Marxist friends were chomping at the bit when they watched this wonderfully crafted and honest telling of the 70s. And the sound track was bob-on. 9/10.

  • Comment number 55.

    Enjoyed watching this series so much. Thank you to all of those involved in making it. I was born in 1962 and it brought back memories I didn't even know that I had. Dominic Sandbook was excellent - more please


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