Dave Allen Doc

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Mark
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Dave Allen Doc

Post by Mark »

Excellent programme, I thought.

Lots of great clips, rare ones too, including his ATV show, "Tonight With Dave Allen",early Australian TV footage, his Documentaries and forays into straight Acting, and his "At Large" series, of course.

A great anecdote from Jackie Clarke, about nearly getting blown up.

Mention of Allen not liking repeats, and the dearth of material available, it is a shame that we only got one proper series repeated and a supposed cancellation of a DVD release.

Easy to forget how controversial, the shows were, back in the day..!
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

AndrewP
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by AndrewP »

Agree totally - one of the best programmes of this sort I've seen in a long time. Superbly researched and assembled. A real treat.

All the best

Andrew

Alice80
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Alice80 »

We caught it by accident, but agree...stunningly good!

And interesting about his attitude toward repeats...I've wondered why he never got shown. Would this still affect releases and DVDs after his death? It's a shame he wasn't repeated - I had forgotten how downright funny his stuff was...

andrew baker
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by andrew baker »

Very good show.

I loved his documentaries. They had a big influence on me, showing how endlessly fascinating were the strange byways and stranger people of this country. As the programme showed it worked because he was completely sympathetic and non judgmental. They were important and original bits of TV - not that far removed from some of John Betjeman's documentaries and also, now I think of it, very reminiscent of the weird little films Fyffe Robertson (and also Alan Whicker) did for Tonight.

We need some DVDs.

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John Williams
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by John Williams »

[Now amended to incorporate lots of useful amendments supplied by various people including Steve Arnold, Simon Coward, Richard Ward and Rumpole]

I've had a quick look at the BFI database (the new one http://collections-search.bfi.org.uk/web) and I've come up with the following list of documentaries hosted by Dave Allen. I hope Network consider releasing them!

Dave Allen in the Melting Pot 1969-12-23
Dave Allen in Search of the Great English Eccentric (1974-10-08)
Dave Allen: Eccentrics at Play (1974-12-30)

Dave Allen and Friends "Dave Allen tours Britain in search of unusual people, customs and stories, following on from the documentaries IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT BRITISH ECCENTRIC and ECCENTRICS AT PLAY. GB, ATV, c1977. Tx GB, ITV, 04/01/1977 - 29/3/1977 (13 parts)"

Episodes as follows:

1977-01-04: Tonight, Dave kicks off the series by boarding a time machine to try a Cornish health curt that is cons old; tastes the delights of life in the Edwardian steam age; learns just how brave and bold were the knights of old; and discovers the strange, special skills of Lancashire mill girls.
1977-01-11: Continuing his nationwide tour of the unusual, Dave takes a Penny Farthing down Memory Lane in search of a Somerset skull, Scottish treasure, six runaway Gloucestershire cheeses — all culminating in Scotland with a proposal for a really fruity weekend.
1977-01-18: Features a high speed car, mad hatters in London, miniature Stonehenge, matchmaker of Middlesex, Bacon's chicken surprise and the barbers of Lincoln.
1977-01-25: Features include the Maharajah's well in Oxfordshire, legless in the Black Country, Yorkshire past and future, the water beetles of Wales, searching out Sherlock Holmes and the church mice of Lincolnshire."
1977-02-01: Features a punt gun, the oldest almshouse in Britain, Wookey Hole in Somerset, the Worth Valley railway and the furry dance from Helston, Cornwall.
1977-02-08: Looks at Pomeranian dogs who live in a Victorian dolls house, a storeroom for Madame Tussaud's in Somerset, corrupt monks in Cornwall and a canvas castle in Devon.
1977-02-15: Tonight, Dave tries to keep up with Britain's toughest walker, becomes the subject of a man hunt, reveals how a piece of meat was knighted, and sleeps in a herd of cows—with some strange results.
1977-02-22: Features the legend of a Cornish mermaid, the story of Lord Byron and the poetry of a dairy farmer from Devon.
1977-03-01: Looks at a unique garden and someone who has spent his life decorating a room"
1977-03-08: Continuing his nationwide search of the unusual, Dave Allen encounters: a fire-eating clown in a Scottish wood, a man who owns a collection of items from the sea-shore and Kiplingcote Derby. [1977-03-01 in database - error?]
1977-03-15: Dave Allen learns about The Glorious Twelveth shooting custom and visits Ripon in Yorkshire where the laws depend on a man blowing an ox-horn at 9 O'Clock every night of the year. He finally visits the site of the first Christian church in Glastonbury.
1977-03-22: Features a 10 year old museum curator, the life cycle of fleas and two of the loudest women in Britain.
1977-03-29: Dave Allen continues his safari in search of the unusual: Medieval jousting; the jilted woman who jumped off Clifton Suspension Bridge and lived; a man who makes audio recordings of animals in the countryside; and Scotland - Blackness Castle, the ship that would never sink.

Dave Allen "Dave Allen tours America in search of unusual people, customs and stories, following on from the documentary series DAVE ALLEN AND FRIENDS in which he toured Britain. GB, ATV c.1978 Tx GB, ITV 03/01/1978 - 02/05/1978 (14 parts)"

Updated:

1978-01-03: In the first of this series on strange places and extraordinary People, Dave Allen plunges into the American wilderness. There he tastes the lifestyle of Sylvan Hart who, 50 years ago, decided to “get away from it all” in the most dramatic way possible. This unusual man has found “heaven”.
1978-01-10: Dave Allen continues his tour of America search of the strange and the exotic. In the Californian forest he meets Preston Boomer who has converted every boy's dream of a toy castle with soldiers into a full-scale fantasy. Then Dave does down to the sea off San Francisco for a sail with Scott Newhall, whose childhood games with a boat in the bath have been converted to the real thing - as the result of an epic ocean voyage.
1978-01-17: Continuing his search for the eccentric in America, Dave Allen learns the ancient art at juggling—by joining a group of enthusiasts in a San Francisco park. He also travels to the heart of the world’s hottest desert to attend an extraordinary performance. Here a lone woman regularty stage a classical ballet in a ghost town’s empty theatre.
1978-01-24: Continujng his exploration of the unusual side of America, Dave Allen this week visits a world of animals more fascinating than anything dreamed up by Walt Disney. At a Californian university he meets Koko, the world’s first “talking” gorilla. Using deaf and dumb language, Koko has a vocabulary of some 600 words. Even more unlikely is the occupation of Beatrice Lydecker-she earns her living reading animals’ minds. Finally, Dave drops in at a ranch where the horses are in fact no bigger than dogs.
1978-01-31: Dave meets the dentist who fell out with the town elders over a Vietnam war memorial. The dentist got his own back by building a 60-foot statue of a naked woman in the high street.
1978-02-07: Dave Allen continues his search for America’s off-beat people and places. This week, he attends an extra-ordinary funeral. Complete with coffin, grave-digger, chapel of remembrance and due ceremony, we witness the final departure of a much-loved cat. Also, amid an atmosphere of reverence, we meet Michael Lord, the rising star of the hot gospel circuit. Preacher, singer, miracle-worker, Michael is just 10 years old.
1978-02-14: Continuing his exploration of the unusual in America, Dave Allen considers crime US-style but with an eccentric twist. On the West Coast, he treads the beat with Sherlock Bones, the world's most famous dog detective. In New York he experiences the dangers of a night on patrol with the country's strangest police force, the Decoy Squad.
1978-02-21: Dave Allen meets Duff Chapman, tracker of animals in California and goes in search of sharks in Miami on the boat Seaquarium.
1978-02-28: continuing his exploration of America’s unusual people and places, Dave Allen this week discovers the extraordinary hidden life in Death Valley, hottest spot in the world. Then, on the other side of the continent, he learns about herbal cures and treatments from an Appalachian Mountain Man.
1978-03-07: This week Dave Allen investigates the world’s most eccentric city—Las Vegas. The town was built for one purpose only—as a playground for adults to play in. Allen reveals how much people part with—and put up with—for a so-called “good time”. We meet the gamblers, the casino operators and a host of other people drawn to this bizarre city—even though it exists and survives only because every-one loses in the end ...
1978-03-14: Do you want your budgie to be a film star? What do the tobacco auctioneers of Virginia have to sing about? As he continues his survey of America’s unusual people and places, Dave Allen hopes to provide these answers.
1978-03-21: Continuing his exploration of the unusual people and places of America, Dave Allen is lured to the green hills of North Carolina by a family and its music, Stanley Hicks makes and plays traditional local instruments—the fretless five-string banjo and the Appalachian dulcimer, or “dulcimore”, as he calls it. Here, as m much of Dave’s native Ireland, traditional music is a natural part of everyday life. You can see another facet of American life with Dave Allen tomorrow night.
1978-03-29: Dave Allen continues his exploration of the stranger aspects of America. Tonight the unbelievable happens. Dave becomes the Reverend Dave Allen-legally and officially. It’s the climax of three journeys down different by-roads of American religion. First he goes to Las Vegas, where marriages are served supermarket style in roadside wedding parlours by priests with gold Cadillacs on radio call. Next to a San Francisco church, where the bride and groom are both men. And finally comes the moment when Dave is transformed into a fully-fledged vicar.

Dave Allen in the Enchanted Garden 1978-05-01: in which Dave Allen, on his American tour, visits the inhabitants - human and animal - of the Okefenoke Swamp.

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Ross
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Ross »

John Williams wrote:I hope Network consider releasing them!
Me too.

Nigel Stapley
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Nigel Stapley »

Agreed - an excellent programme.

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Simon Coward
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Simon Coward »

These certainly do look like they could be quite entertaining.
John Williams wrote: Dave Allen and Friends "Dave Allen tours Britain in search of unusual people, customs and stories, following on from the documentaries IN SEARCH OF THE GREAT BRITISH ECCENTRIC and ECCENTRICS AT PLAY. GB, ATV, c1977. Tx GB, ITV, 04/01/1977 - 29/3/1977 (12 parts)"
I think it should be 13, there was one listed on 15/02/1977. I don't think this TVTimes description duplicates any of the others...
Tonight, Dave tries to keep up with Britain's toughest walker, becomes the subject of a man hunt, reveals how a piece of meat was knighted, and sleeps in a herd of cows—with some strange results.
It's interesting the way the BFI have the US series listed. In TVTimes, the US-based series was only ever billed as Dave Allen (12 x 25 mins). There it was only the special (1 x 50 mins) shown a few weeks later that was billed as Dave Allen in the Enchanted Garden.

To help clarify some of the date changes:

The edition shown on 31/01/1978 appears to be unlisted here. According to the Daily Mirror blurb:
Dave meets the dentist who fell out with the town elders over a Vietnam war memorial. The dentist got his own back by building a 60-foot statue of a naked woman in the high street.
The edition shown on 03/07/1978 was originally scheduled and billed on 14/02/1978. The edition eventually shown on 22/03/1978 was originally scheduled and billed on 31/01/1978 - both according to TVTimes.

Back to the Daily Mirror and it reveals that the edition that was actually shown on 14/02/1978 was the one billed in TVTimes for 21/02/1978 (Sherlock Bones), while the one on 21/02/1978 was the "Duff Chapman" edition.
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andrew baker
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by andrew baker »

Thanks for the brilliantly detailed info.

It's Dave Allen and Friends (1977) that I particularly liked. At the time there was hardly anything on TV or in print about this kind of present day oddity and folklore. There are quite a few books these days but it was very out of fashion in 1977. After 35 years the films would have a whole new layer of historic value.

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John Williams
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by John Williams »

I've made some changes to the list in light of Simon's very helpful comments. Simon - does it look right now?

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Simon Coward
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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John Williams wrote:I've made some changes to the list in light of Simon's very helpful comments. Simon - does it look right now?
It would do but for one thing. I've just discovered that the final edition wasn't shown on 22/03/78 because of a change in the ITV schedules to accommodate the highlights of the Football League Cup final replay between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.

Coincidentally, the other broadcast to be scuppered by the schedule changes had also been postponed once already - Barrie Keeffe's play "Champions" - which was, ironically enough, about soccer fans at a cup final.

Edit: Both were eventually shown the following week - 29/03/1978 - replacing various programmes, depending on which region you were in, but in all cases Dave Allen ran from 22.30-23.00 and Champions from 23.00-00.00.

Edit 2: I was concentrating on the second series. The additional programme from the 1977 series is still missing.
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Mark »

I wouldn't mind seeing the various docs released as well, perhaps with the one remaining edition of ATV's "Tonight With Dave Allen" ( unless Network know different.!).

The car under water demo was very interesting, and even saved at least one life, afterwards.
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Mark »

Alice80 wrote:We caught it by accident, but agree...stunningly good!

And interesting about his attitude toward repeats...I've wondered why he never got shown. Would this still affect releases and DVDs after his death? It's a shame he wasn't repeated - I had forgotten how downright funny his stuff was...
The beeb did repeat his 1971 series, just a few years ago, I think the DVD was shelved ( along with Ken Dodd and Kenny Everett ones) when the person responsible left, and the newbie wasn't so keen.
"A cup of Tea....Tea...Tea"

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John Williams
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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Mark wrote:
Alice80 wrote:We caught it by accident, but agree...stunningly good!

And interesting about his attitude toward repeats...I've wondered why he never got shown. Would this still affect releases and DVDs after his death? It's a shame he wasn't repeated - I had forgotten how downright funny his stuff was...
The beeb did repeat his 1971 series, just a few years ago, I think the DVD was shelved ( along with Ken Dodd and Kenny Everett ones) when the person responsible left, and the newbie wasn't so keen.
No - the Dave Allen release was shelved because the family are still enforcing Allen's wish that his comedy work is not repeated or released on DVD. Richard Ward on Roobarb's (one of the people involved with the recent documentary) confirmed this and I've also heard it direct from someone at the BBC who was involved with DVD releases. The latter emphasised that the BBC were keen to release some Allen on DVD because the existing "Best of" DVD (just a re-release of the earlier VHS) had sold very well.

On the positive side, Richard thought that the family might be more amenable to Allen's documentaries being released.

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John Williams
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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I've amended the list of documentaries again according to Simon's suggestions.

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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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John Williams wrote:I've amended the list of documentaries again according to Simon's suggestions.
Not quite, but nearly...

The programmes and synopses are grand, but you've still got the last of the USA series on 22/03/78 instead of 29/03/1978.
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John Williams
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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Simon Coward wrote:
John Williams wrote:I've amended the list of documentaries again according to Simon's suggestions.
Not quite, but nearly...

The programmes and synopses are grand, but you've still got the last of the USA series on 22/03/78 instead of 29/03/1978.
OK - hopefully done now.

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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by Simon Coward »

John Williams wrote:
Simon Coward wrote:
John Williams wrote:I've amended the list of documentaries again according to Simon's suggestions.
Not quite, but nearly...

The programmes and synopses are grand, but you've still got the last of the USA series on 22/03/78 instead of 29/03/1978.
OK - hopefully done now.
I really am sorry, John.

Now you've done that, as soon as I looked at it I saw a couple of typos, both in that 29/03/78 programme. It's Dave Allen himself, on both occasions. Right at the start you have him as "Dave Alien"*, and near the end he's become "Dace". I promise I won't look at it again.



* A search on the page reveals there are a couple more of these.
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John Williams
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by John Williams »

Simon Coward wrote:I really am sorry, John.

Now you've done that, as soon as I looked at it I saw a couple of typos, both in that 29/03/78 programme. It's Dave Allen himself, on both occasions. Right at the start you have him as "Dave Alien"*, and near the end he's become "Dace". I promise I won't look at it again.
* A search on the page reveals there are a couple more of these.
:-) That's OK - those errors are from inaccurate OCR issues or direct from the BFI database so I don't feel hurt!

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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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John Williams wrote:
Mark wrote:
Alice80 wrote:We caught it by accident, but agree...stunningly good!

And interesting about his attitude toward repeats...I've wondered why he never got shown. Would this still affect releases and DVDs after his death? It's a shame he wasn't repeated - I had forgotten how downright funny his stuff was...
The beeb did repeat his 1971 series, just a few years ago, I think the DVD was shelved ( along with Ken Dodd and Kenny Everett ones) when the person responsible left, and the newbie wasn't so keen.
No - the Dave Allen release was shelved because the family are still enforcing Allen's wish that his comedy work is not repeated or released on DVD. Richard Ward on Roobarb's (one of the people involved with the recent documentary) confirmed this and I've also heard it direct from someone at the BBC who was involved with DVD releases. The latter emphasised that the BBC were keen to release some Allen on DVD because the existing "Best of" DVD (just a re-release of the earlier VHS) had sold very well.



On the positive side, Richard thought that the family might be more amenable to Allen's documentaries being released.
Really, that's a shame, I can understand them protecting their fathers wishes, but it's frustrating that we have to rely on retrospective Docs, to remember his comedy genius.

Good news about the serious documentaries, though.
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Re: Dave Allen Doc

Post by dprisoner »

John Williams wrote: No - the Dave Allen release was shelved because the family are still enforcing Allen's wish that his comedy work is not repeated or released on DVD.
I think that's partially my fellow countryman's fault, as DAaL was in pretty good rotation on PBS here in the States. Apparently he'd gotten so much hate mail from "christians" who took offense at his religious humor, that it soured his view of his shows being repeated (or at least that's what my old BBCWA sales rep used to claim...)

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Re: Dave Allen Doc

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Mark wrote:The car under water demo was very interesting, and even saved at least one life, afterwards.
Until I saw the doc I had no idea he had done things/programmes like that.

It does seem that Dave Allen inadvertently invented Mythbusters

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