You can see a bigger version of some of the pix by clicking on them

 

Monday 2 January 2006

Happy New Year to all of you who are still popping along here every now and then for a poke around. It's been a while since the last updates but I've resolved to add a lot more stuff in over the next couple of months.

 

In the meantime, a couple of bits of news.

 

Bill Wyman's Digital Daydreams was released on DVD for the first time at the back end of last year and features a couple of cameos from Stanley. It's a remastered version of Wyman's original Digital Dreams video that had a limited release in 1983. It's basically a surreal trip through Wyman's life and includes appearances from Richard 'Rocky Horror' O'Brien and James Coburn, and you can get it from all the usual online and High Street retailers.

 

If you're in time tomorrow, there's what looks to be a quite interesting programme at 11.30am on BBC Radio 4 called The Joy of Gibberish. Hosted by Stephen Fry, it's an exploration of 'the totally unintelligible' and features clips from Bill and Ben, The Goons and, of course Professor Stanley Unwin.

 

If you miss it, there's a chance it'll be available online through the BBC Radio's Listen Again page and I'll post a link here as soon as it appears.
 

 

Wednesday 6 July 2005

There's been a few things added over the last month or so including a few new clips on the Audio page and some more stuff in the Recordings section.

 

Last week I was very kindly invited over to meet the Unwin daughters Lois and Marion (not forgetting Lois's husband Alex). We had a good old root amongst the piles of stuff they've collected over the years and we found a few absolute gems which I'll put up over the next few weeks.

 

A couple of things stood out: a letter from Kenneth Williams (top right) thanking Stanley for a book he sent him - judging by the date it would have been a copy of Rock-a-bye-Babel - and the original contract for Stanley's work on The Secret Service, signed by Gerry Anderson. Interestingly, Stanley was originally contracted to do 26 episodes, so it looks like there was a second series planned from the outset. You can download a pdf of it by clicking on the pic on the bottom right.


 

 

Friday 3 June 2005

I've added in a few more bits and bobs in the Recordings section. There's a nice old thing called 'The Golden Guinea Family Album' up there at the mo' and I'll endeavour to add a few more photos of it shortly.
 


 
 

Wednesday 1 June 2005

A bit of DVD news. Network is releasing a Region 2 DVD of The Secret Service on 20 June. As with the Region 1 version (see somewhere below), it'll feature all 13 digitally remastered episodes on two discs, along with a few extras. As far as I can find out, these will include commentaries from Gerry Anderson, downloadable shooting scripts and a stills gallery, which makes it a bit more of a package than the R1 version.

 

It'll retail for 24.99, but you should be able to get it a few quid cheaper online from the usual suspects.

 

And if anyone would like to buy one of the original Father Unwin puppets from the series, there's one up on eBay at the moment here for the next week or so. If you fancy a punt, it could be yours for the giveaway price of 13,750.
 


 
 

Wednesday 1 June 2005

A big hello to everyone from b3ta.com who might be passing this way via the newsletter. This would explain the sudden jump on the hits counter, including the 1200-odd of you who came by on Friday alone. Took me a while to work it out because I didn't get round to reading last week's newsletter until yesterday!

 

And I've only ever had one Front Page...

 

Friday 15 April 2005

Just reviewing the radio interview it looks like I've got a couple of apologies to make.

 

1. Yes, I know Long Buckby isn't exactly near Coventry but my brain wasn't functioning properly. ;-)
2. Yes, I know Joe 90 didn't come after The Secret Service and I meant to say UFO but my brain wasn't functioning properly.

 

I'll just blame them both on the brain/not functioning properly thing then.
 

   

Thursday 14 April 2005

Welcome to all surfers in the Newcastle area. I hope you enjoyed the interview (what a lovely couple of blokes!) so please have a good poke around the site - and keep checking back for updates.

 

If there's anything specific you're looking for - or if you want to ask me anything - please feel free to drop me a line by clicking here.
 

   

Thursday 14 April 2005

Happy Birthday Alf Rudd. :-)

 

Right. I've actually got a few mp3 snips on the Audio page. They're just for starters but I'll hopefully get a chance to add a load more in over the next couple of weeks - and they'll also be a bit more comprehensive and organised.

 

   

Wednesday 13 April 2005

The Recordings section is now underway with the vinyl LP versions of Rotatey Diskers with Unwin up for your viewing pleasure. More to come. The good news about me starting this particular section is that I've got absolutely no excuses left for not putting up any audio clips. I'll start feeding these in over the next couple of days, so keep checking back.

 

While I'm on, if anyone's listening in the Newcastle area tomorrow morning (Thursday), I'll be doing a short telephone interview about this site on BBC Radio Newcastle's Blue Bus with Paul Wappat and Ian Robinson show round about 11.20am. You can listen in live on your PC if you click the hyperlink, otherwise I'll try and post an mp3 of it if a) I don't make a prat of myself and b) if I can work out the technology!
 

   

Friday 8 April 2005

I've added the last few bits of the Filmography and I'll be finishing off the Chitty bit over the next few days.

 

Can I also welcome all of you who have passed through this site via the appearance in The Guardian 'Guide' which was published on Saturday 26 March. I got a nice little mention on page 43 at the end of the 'Interconnected' column of their Internet section. Pull up a chair and enjoy.

 

Another bit of news: the BBC has released a special 3-CD set featuring the first and last episodes each of Beyond Our Ken and Round The Horne. The first ep of 'BOK'  - 'The Cockeyed Optimist' - featured a cameo from Stanley in a short three-minute sketch.

 

Worth getting if you're a Horne fan as well for the bits of conversation with surviving members of the cast and production team.

 

 

Thursday 7 April 2005

Yes, I know.

 

It's been a while since this site was updated but I'm hopefully going to be adding a load of new stuff over the next few days or so, including some audio files, so please bear with me.

 

Thanks to all of you who have emailed me recently saying nice things about the site - I'll reply to you all when I get a mo', but it's still great to know that people are enjoying coming here.

 

One bit of DVD news: Further Up The Creek was released last summer as a decent-ish print in letterbox format. It features a brief cameo from Stanley as a railway station porter doing his best to befuddle David Tomlinson. It's a short appearance so I'll try and get an mp3 up at some point.

 

 

Thursday 18 March 2004

Part 2 of The Secret Service episode guide is now in place so I think that wraps that section up for the mo', although there will be other cross-references here and there as I plough on. One bit that does need to go in is a 'prequel' comic strip from a 1971 Countdown comic which gives the back story to how Father Unwin acquired his Minimiser. I've only just managed to get hold of a copy of the comic so I'll scan it all in shortly.

 

Many thanks to everyone who's contacted me about the site - it's nice to know it's appreciated! If you have any suggestions, comments, info or if you've spotted any design gremlins, please email me. Any feedback is always welcome.

 

Monday 1 March 2004

The first part of The Secret Service episode guide is now up and you can get to it directly by clicking here. All the pix from this section have been taken from the new DVD and have been credited accordingly to the copyright owners ITC Entertainment Group Ltd and Carlton International Media Ltd. If any extra acknowledgement is required or if there's anything else I need to do, please drop me a line here.

 

Part 2 to follow in a bit.

 

Thursday 19 February 2004

Another section about The Secret Service has been added with some extra pix bunged in for good measure. This bit is still a sort of 'work in progress' so I'll add more stuff in when I can.

 

Thursday 8 January 2004

I've added the first couple of pages about 'The Secret Service' which you can find here or through the link on the TV page. More to come as it's written.

 

One thing I have forgotten to mention is, of course, the DVD release of the remastered version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang which came out last November. This is the first time it's been released in its original 16:9 format (the previous DVD being a disappointing 4:3 ratio) with a sharper, more colourful picture and a  Dolby 5.1 soundtrack.

 

There are two versions knocking about: the first is a two-disc Special Edition set which also features a number of short films (including one with Dick Van Dyke), a sing-along and read-along bit, interactive games, a photo gallery and excerpts from the behind-the-scenes DVD of the London musical.

 

The second version is a bit more expensive but also includes a Corgi model car, a soundtrack CD, a book and a free ticket offer to the musical.

 

You shouldn't have any problems getting either of them from the usual outlets

 

Saturday 3 January 2004

First up, a belated happy New Year to you all and I hope you're still sticking with me while I slowly update this site. There's just one bit of news from the last few days, but a fairly significant one for Unwin fans.

 

All 13 episodes of The Secret Service were released on a two disc Region 1 DVD on 30 December, the first time it's been commercially available since the four volume UK VHS release from some years ago. I understand each episode has been cleaned up quite a bit and comes with a good clear stereo soundtrack so it should look and sound a whole lot better than the VHS versions. As far as I know, the only 'extra' is a commentary from David Lane, the series producer, on the pilot episode 'A Case for the Bishop'.

 

As it's a Region 1 DVD, it's going to be a bit difficult to get hold of (and you need to check your DVD player can actually run it). A lot of the UK-based R1 online shops don't seem to be stocking it, although you can get it from at least two US suppliers who ship to the UK: CD Universe (for $27.97/ 16-ish plus shipping) and Amazon ($33.96/19-ish plus shipping).

 

More news when my copy arrives. 

 

Monday 29 December 2003

I've just moved the site over to a new server which explains why it's been down a while so sorry if you've been trying to find it and ended up staring at thin air! There are still a few glitches here and there (I can't get it to start on the 'index' page for some reason) but be assured I'm trying to sort them out and hopefully normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.

 

The new server gives me a whole stack of webspace so I'll be able to upload a few audio files, which makes sense because that's the only real way to appreciate the true genius that is Unwinese.

 

More updates to follow. 

 

One sad piece of news from today: if you're based in the UK, you'll have already heard about Bob Monkhouse who died this morning. He always got a mixed reaction to his style of humour but personally I ranked him as one of the all time comedy greats. A true all-round entertainer and someone to whom the phrase 'comic genius' doesn't seem at all inappropriate.

 

His career crossed paths with Stanley's a few times, not least the collaboration in the 'Rex the Runt' episode Johnny Saveloy's Undoing (see the telly page). You can find out a bit more about the man and his work in an extensive obituary here on the BBC site..

 

Friday 23 May 2003

The telly page is now up, although I'd be surprised if that's everything box related Stan's ever done. For instance, I'm looking for any help with the programming dates and details for Unwin Time, so if you can dredge anything up I'd be extremely grateful. If you can, mail me here. Ta.

 

Friday 16 May 2003

A couple more sections added - a sort of explanation of Unwinese and the first part of Stan's workload in radio. More soon.

 

The site seems to be getting quite a few hits recently so thanks for your patience if you keep checking back and it looks like nowt's happened. It's coming on bit by bit.

 

Thursday 17 April 2003

The last two parts of Stan's biog are now written and up in the life section. References to radio, TV and film appearances will be explained in more detail in the relevant sections when I've got round to doing them.

 

Thursday 3 April 2003

The next two parts of Stan's biog are now up in the life section covering his years at the BBC and his early dips at treading the boards

 

Friday 28 March 2003

I've added the first two parts of the life section. I'll probably end up adding stuff in the order you see it on the left, so any dead links are yet to be written. Sorry about that but bear with me.

 

I'll bung a proper email link at some point but if you want to get in touch, email me here.

 

Sunday 23 March 2003

There's been a bit of a re-design as you can see, but the main thing well worth mentioning is the release of a special tribute CD by Suns of Arqa which came out on 10 March.

 

'Tributey' is a round-up of all the tracks that Stanley recorded with the band since 1983. It also includes 'Troglodytes of Mars' (possibly the last thing Stanley recorded before his death) and a cover of the Beatles' 'Tomorrow Never Knows'.

 

If you fancy a copy, you can get it direct from the Suns of Arqa website (13.00, including postage) or you should be able to order it through most online or retail record shops (Arka Sound UK, ARKACD 33123).

 

(There'll be a bit more about the Suns over on the 'diskers' page when I've got round to writing it).

 

 

While I'm on, you might be interested to know that Stanley's brilliant 'debut' album 'Rotatey Diskers with Unwin' was re-released at the back end of last year in its original 1961 Pye sleeve.

 

It's on the Castle Pie label (PIESD289) and it looks like it's replaced the Sequel Records version that had been available up till now.

 

Saturday 15 February 2003

Well obviously the site's a little bit more progressed and I'll be adding in more sections over the next few weeks. Just one important thing you may not know about is the publication in October 2002 of a new book collecting a whole load of Stanley's writings and recollections together.

 

It's called 'O Folly!' and it's published by Caedmon of Whitby (ISBN 0905355 57 1). The book, which is illustrated by long time friend and collaborator John Percival, can be ordered (hopefully) from any bookshop and even Amazon are listing it. If you do have any problems, you can also get it direct from the publishers at 128 Upgang Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3JJ

 

Alternatively, you can contact Cordelia Stamp at Caedmon on 01947 604646 and she'll be happy to do the rest. If you're outside the UK, don't forget to add in the relevant dialling prefixes.

 

It's 60 pages long and costs 11.95 (not including p&p) and it's a bloomin' funny read with...well I was going to try and describe it but it's probably best to let the Professor do the talking. Here's a sample: