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Entertainment

Scottish Television ident (1962)

Some television presentation is designed to tell you what programmes are coming up. Others might tell you the time. This ident, on the other hand, tells you what country you are in — just in case you found yourself sitting in your front room and suddenly wondering where you are.

BBC Two closedown (1998)

This isn’t even from all that long ago — 1 January 1998 in fact. But you wouldn’t see a closedown like this on BBC Two nowadays. I love that classy clock. Clocks would disappear from BBC Two later that year. It is topped off with an appropriate sting, even if it is a little bit […]

Exploring the Domesday data

I was pretty excited to learn this week about Domesday Reloaded. The Domesday project aimed to take a snapshot of British life in 1986. 25 years on, the BBC are looking to update it to document the changes that have taken place since then. I have been interested in the Domesday project for a while. […]

Integers notable for their cultural meanings

Today’s XKCD led me to look at the Wikipedia article ‘List of numbers‘ out of curiosity. I was surprised to see listed among the ‘notable integers’ were a few telephone numbers, such as 999 and 911. I guess these were included on the basis of their “cultural meanings”, although they are not integers. (They have […]

Welcome home to ITV

The 1979 ITV strike was the longest in the history of British television. It was also the last major strike. When service resumed after ten weeks, this is what viewers saw. With this naff jingle, viewers must have immediately wished that ITV never came back. Following the ten week break, it would be a further […]

The end of 405-line television

I cheated a bit last week, so this week I thought I’d better bring out a proper, genuine gem. This is the last ever broadcast on the 405-line system, on 3 January 1985. To mark the occasion, the BBC brought out a 1938 television set (that would be a Baird Model T18 for you anoraks […]

The Krypton Factor’s ITV regions puzzle

I was excited last week when I discovered that the great Gordon Burns is on Twitter. I used to love watching The Krypton Factor when I was a child. The first thing I thought of was this ITV regions map puzzle. I knew I had to feature it as a television presentation gem of the […]

My top ten albums of 2010 (part two)

This is part two of a two-part series. Check out part one. Autechre — Move of Ten Autechre’s second release of the year is officially an EP, but is just as long as its companion album Oversteps. In the case of the second half of this EP, you can certainly hear that these tracks are […]

Grand Prix posters

I recently received this print as a gift. It is a poster advertising the 5th Monaco Grand Prix, held in 1933. Doesn’t it look great? A great deal has changed in the past 78 years. But this is unmistakably Monaco — the exit of the famous tunnel, with the harbour to the left and the […]

My top ten albums of 2010 (part one)

Because that’s what you really want to know, isn’t it? It is mid-April, and ever since Christmas you have been on the edge of your seats thinking, what music really got Duncan’s toes tapping in the arbritary selection of 365 days we elect to call “2010”? Well your luck is in, because I am going […]