PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

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Mr_Wolf
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PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Mr_Wolf »

Image

The bustle and banter of London’s iconic Billingsgate fish market provided the backdrop for Reg Varney’s first sitcom following his phenomenal success in On the Buses.

In the mid-Seventies, Billingsgate was Europe’s premier fish market, its turnover running into the hundreds of tons: a muddle of boxes and barrows, merchants and white-smocked porters with their fish boxes perched precariously on their heads. East Ender Varney plays porter Reg Furnell, whose misadventures Down the ’Gate and beyond were charted over two series between 1975 and 1976; Dilys Laye stars as his long-suffering wife, Irene.

Although twelve episodes were made only seven now still exist and, for the first time, this set brings together all the remaining episodes of this lesser-known slice of Cockney humour.

Special Features:
[] Image Gallery
[] Script PDFs for all twelve episodes

http://networkonair.com/shop/1751-down-the-gate.html
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David Savage
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by David Savage »

Were any of these sourced from Reg Varney's off-air copies? I recall reading about those years ago.

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John Williams
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by John Williams »

I received the following comments from friends when I told them the glad tidings that this was going to be released:

"Lovingly scraped off Reg Varney's personal N1500 tapes."

"Although twelve episodes were made the Geneva Convention forbids the collection of more than seven at any given time"

I will, of course, be buying this.

Aaron76
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Aaron76 »

Superb!

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by JWG »

The sad thing is that no-one's expressed surprise that this series doesn't exist intact in the archive.
I'm assuming that it was a flop with no overseas sales,etc.,but still...we're talking Reg Varney,star of On the Buses here.

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Ross
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Ross »

I'm surprised; I just didn't express it.

Perhaps 'surprised' is the wrong word. People who have been keen on archive TV for any length of time - ie. everyone here for a start - know that there's a risk of anything pre-1975ish not existing. If I learn of a show I've never heard of but which sounds intriguing, my first thought isn't wow, I'd like to see that, it's better check to see if any exist.

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John Williams
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by John Williams »

There's probably mileage for a thread there - which post-1976 series no longer exist (complete) in the archives. Or are there loads?

A lot of us probably know about 'Bod' and similar casualties that happened at the BBC in 1993, and we should eliminate current affairs, news and sports, but I'd be interested to hear about other examples like 'Down the 'Gate'.

On the other hand maybe we've done this before!

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by VintageFan »

JWG wrote:The sad thing is that no-one's expressed surprise that this series doesn't exist intact in the archive.
I'm assuming that it was a flop with no overseas sales,etc.,but still...we're talking Reg Varney,star of On the Buses here.
I would have been surprised had it been made by any company other than ATV. Their record is considerably worse than any other ITV company with lots of comedy and drama up to,and perhaps beyond,the late 70s missing.

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by JWG »

John Williams wrote:There's probably mileage for a thread there - which post-1976 series no longer exist (complete) in the archives. Or are there loads?

A lot of us probably know about 'Bod' and similar casualties that happened at the BBC in 1993, and we should eliminate current affairs, news and sports, but I'd be interested to hear about other examples like 'Down the 'Gate'.

On the other hand maybe we've done this before!
Sounds interesting.
To some extent,I think,it's that the post-On-The-Buses period is recent history for me,so it seems more of a shock.Teenagers might well find both Up the 'Gate' and 'Knight Errant' equally ancient.

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by ian b »

VintageFan wrote:I would have been surprised had it been made by any company other than ATV. Their record is considerably worse than any other ITV company with lots of comedy and drama up to,and perhaps beyond,the late 70s missing.
This is rather a myth that has grown up isn't it? And should be put to bed by now?

Yes, some notable programmes are either incomplete, or only exist as b/w telerecordings, but the "ATV library" is still chock-a-block with programming.

As Network releases have shown, information once thought of as being correct is being shown up as plain wrong, (hello ALL of SERGEANT CORK, or THE POWER GAME without burnt-in sub-titles, or THE BASS PLAYER AND THE BLONDE in all it's original glory), and the consolidation of the various Worldwide ITC archives have throw up other corrections to paper lists that may date back to the 70s.

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by JWG »

And hello Mrs.Thursday without burnt-in subtitles,and all episodes complete.

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Mark »

Also "The Larkins" and more episodes of "General Hospital", than previously thought.
.
On the ATV Sit-Com front, Post-76, there was "Big Boy Now", starring Leslie Crowther, two series in 76/77, none listed as surviving, although there is a very short clip in an off- air ITV trail, and "A Soft Touch", a Maureen Lipman Comedy from 78, which survive as U-Matics ( according to Lost Shows).

Be good to see the remaining episodes of "Down The Gate", though, nice addition to the release schedule.
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by fatcat »

JWG wrote:The sad thing is that no-one's expressed surprise that this series doesn't exist intact in the archive.
I'm assuming that it was a flop with no overseas sales,etc.,but still...we're talking Reg Varney,star of On the Buses here.

It probably did not sell past north of Watford.. let alone overseas?


I don't recall it as a bad comedy at all.Never forgot the hat.
IIRC Reg sang the title theme as well when maybe the rest of the UK were getting tired of the chirpy cockney scene?
Lots of location VTR stuff around the fish market itself.

Must have been another nail in the ATV franchise coffin though for continuing to loiter around London on LWT's patch?

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by JWG »

I was in Southampton at the time and can't remember ever hearing about the show.My impression of Reg Varney,post-Buses,was that he wanted to entertain us at the piano,despite our own wishes.

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by VintageFan »

ian b wrote:
VintageFan wrote:I would have been surprised had it been made by any company other than ATV. Their record is considerably worse than any other ITV company with lots of comedy and drama up to,and perhaps beyond,the late 70s missing.
This is rather a myth that has grown up isn't it? And should be put to bed by now?

Yes, some notable programmes are either incomplete, or only exist as b/w telerecordings, but the "ATV library" is still chock-a-block with programming.

As Network releases have shown, information once thought of as being correct is being shown up as plain wrong, (hello ALL of SERGEANT CORK, or THE POWER GAME without burnt-in sub-titles, or THE BASS PLAYER AND THE BLONDE in all it's original glory), and the consolidation of the various Worldwide ITC archives have throw up other corrections to paper lists that may date back to the 70s.
Hardly a myth,still,Ian. I'm not slating ATV or even questioning the reasons,but the fact remains that their archive is still significantly poorer than the other major ITV companies particular for the 1970s. I'm not suggesting that there are not a lot of goodies there and the fact that stuff is still being found is fantastic. I'm a big fan of lots of ATV programmes ,which is why I find it disappointing that lots of sitcoms,single dramas,soaps and childrens programmes are missing from this era when comparable series from Thames,Granada,Yorkshire and LWT from the same period will almost invariably exist complete in their original format. Just a casual glance at the Kal drama guides confirms this rather sad fact.

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Mark C Bale
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Mark C Bale »

I recall this series going out on Sunday evenings, and not being terribly funny, despite Reg and the lovely late great Dilys Laye.

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Mark »

I'd love to know why there is supposed to be an episode of HTV's 1979 serial "Murder at The Wedding" missing, though.?
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by JWG »

Mark wrote:I'd love to know why there is supposed to be an episode of HTV's 1979 serial "Murder at The Wedding" missing, though.?
Hopefully not the last part.How ironic if the last five minutes of 'The Missing Page' were missing...

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Mark »

JWG wrote:
Mark wrote:I'd love to know why there is supposed to be an episode of HTV's 1979 serial "Murder at The Wedding" missing, though.?
Hopefully not the last part.How ironic if the last five minutes of 'The Missing Page' were missing...
That would be shocker!

No, it's supposed to be the first episode ( out of four )...issa mystree......mislaid?
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David Buck
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by David Buck »

I didn't get a reply to an enquiry about this on Kaleidoscope's facebook page - so can anyone here tell me what's happened to the supposed seventh surviving episode - it's listed in the comedy guide - and the original PR for this, above, says 7 surviving episodes whereas the DVD has only the 6 survivng series 2 episodes.

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Mr_Wolf
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by Mr_Wolf »

The seventh, despite the best of Kaledoscope's efforts turned out to be unplayable in the end, though it is one of the remaining episodes on Reg's tapes.
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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by simon10011 »

Have seen 2 episodes of this so far and it's not bad. Mainly due to the performances of the actors rather than the quality of the script. It's great that Reg managed to get the ATV ident on the start when he recorded them!

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Re: PR: Down The 'Gate [Network]

Post by David Buck »

Thanks for the clarification on that - I can see now in the guide that whilst it is listed as Betacam from domestic VT there is no listing for adverts also recorded as there are for all the other episodes that survive which suggests somethings not quite right. Best to class it as fully missing then I guess.

It was a brave decision to release the rest anyway - the colour banding on that first episode is very distracting - I turned the colour off in the end.

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