Monday, 15 December 2014

Boggen's Advent Calender (Day 16) - The Foolish on the Hill

A short one today and a more visual one as we look at Christmas tapes, the promotion made for internal viewing at television stations around this time of year. Though actually they have a lot more to answer for then just being smutty, it was from these tapes the idea of It'll Be Alright on the Night came from. By the VTR editors collecting all the mistakes throughout the year meant they had accidentally invented a new genre of television.

However in such a high pressured world as the television industry is, these tapes not for public consumption were like a pressure valve, letting out their frustration at the end of a hectic year. Though they were not without their own problems, as such with the BBC's 1978 tape White Powder Christmas, where an interview with David Coleman and Princess Anne was re-edited to make her give salacious answers to Coleman's questions. Though when this leaked to the Sunday People, all hell broke loose that a member of the Royal Family would be treated in such a way by the BBC. 

So an internal tape had escaped into the public domain and also with the tapes being even re-edited and going on sale in The Netherlands as public video entertainment, meaning which the promos/Christmas Tapes had to go even more underground.

An explanation as such comes from the 1988 BBC Christmas Tape handily known as The Christmas Tape Story.

Now get out of that...

For all the naughty bits, these promos are actually well put together with as good production numbers as in any programmes. By taking the popular songs of the time, the staff would do their own versions and even those who are more musically gifted made their own songs. But the producers knew the value in letting the production staff do this because for all their seeming messing about, that ideas could taken into programmes and used to the advantage. 

So we say 'Merry Christmas VT' to those who bring us our telly over Christmas and without them it wouldn't be possible.

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