Lost and found

The Goons did a show called '1985' - broadcast a few weeks after the notorious television version of '1984' of December 1954.

In 1985, Light Entertainment producer Richard Edis phone me, saying he thought it would be nice to broadcast '1985' in 1985, and had I got a copy as it wasn't in the BBC Sound Archive? I said I had, but it wasn't fit quality for transmission: however if he went to Kensington House they would have a tape of it from when it was issued by Transcription Service (for overseas stations).

So that was what was broadcast. Next thing I know, 'the World at One' rings me up - could they do an interview with me, 'lost Goon Show found' and so on. I said 'You do realise you're trying to make a news story out of the fact that the BBC can't keep track of its own tapes'.

Anyway, Richard and I did the interview - I don't remember how we filled it out with nothing really to talk about, but we managed,

This sort of thing kept happening. On another occasion I supplied Richard with a copy of the Hancock's Half Hour 'The Diary' because they'd lost the Archive copy (!) - I had a copy I'd made illicitly from it years before. And the one episode of 'I'm Sorry I'll Read that Again' without John Cleese (which Transcription didn't take) was repeated from an off air tape I'd made some time back, complete with ignition interference.

The final incident was supplying the Tamil Service with a copy of their Signature Tune a few years ago - I'd snaffled a copy of the disk when we went over to using taped Signature Tunes.