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The Out-Takes tape

This 15ips reel of tape contains just some of the popular out-takes that were doing the rounds of the recording industry in the early to mid seventies. I have my own copy recorded onto a cassette at The Manor in 1976 that was unfortunately chewed up in car tape players on several occasions.

Harold Wilson

Harold Wilson was British Prime Minister twice, in the years 1964 to 1970, & 1974 to1976. David Dimbleby is the interviewer here for a BBC programme entitled "Yesterday's Men" which was broadcast (with this bit edited out) on 16th June 1971.

Wilson had recently been advanced a large sum of money for a book publishing contract and there was a great deal of press interest to find out the actual amount. When Dimbleby poses the question of the advance, Wilson is immediately rattled and tries to deflect the question using hasty replies and bluster which has no effect, as Dimbleby continues justifying the question. Wilson then gets even more rattled and then questions the cost of Edward Heath's new yacht as a way of changing the subject. When this fails to work he then throws a tantrum and demands the interview is stopped, and in the hiatus that ensues piles on a series of insults in a wonderfully childish display of political arrogance, not realising how much of a complete arse he is making of himself.

He demanded the interview be stopped (it wasn't), he demanded the tapes be wiped (they weren't) and he demanded there be no mention of this in the Press. Two days after the broadcast "The Times" published a transcript of this episode and a fuller transcript was also published In "Private Eye" in 1972 (he mentions; "There must be other questions you can ask without stooping to this Private Eye level").

This tape was then copied around the broadcast and recording industries for all to enjoy.

Reel 22 tk1Harold Wilson2:32s

The Ampex Alignment Tape - From The Bronx

Before the days of digital perfection in the recording studio, analogue tape machines had to be aligned carefully and regularly, often each day, in a process that involved first playing an expensive calibration tape to get the frequency response and playback levels right, then recording tones onto a blank tape and carrying out bias adjustments, recording frequency response, and recording levels. Sometimes the tones were accidentally recorded onto the expensive calibration tape which was not good. The performance of an analogue tape machine would change with each tape manufacturer or batch of tape, and all these re-adjustments would take a lot of time. I once had to re-calibrate a 24track Studer A80 five times in one day as a client kept swapping between different tapes. It's not that much fun, honestly.

The calibration tapes were extremely boring to have to listen to day after day, with the same sad voice announcing each band of tones on the tape. Sometimes if you put the tape on upside down and backwards a real voice on the tape would tell you the tape was on wrong. It broke the monotony. This guy on the track is trying to inject a bit more excitement into what was a very regular and a quite tiresome job.

Reel 22 tk2Ampex Alignment Tape3:49s

David Coleman

David Coleman was a long time BBC Grandstand presenter and sports commentator, and this out-take comes from his involvement with the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Coleman was well known for shouting at anyone and everyone in the studio and his expertise was that he could change instantly to presenter mode the second before the camera was on him.

Here he is giving somebody ("Jonathan") a great deal of verbal abuse from Mexico.

Reel 22 tk3David Coleman1:59s

The exploding Grandstand Producer

The BBC Saturday afternoon sports programme "Grandstand" had to continually switch between sports reports from all over the UK to maintain its constant coverage of the day's events. Being producer of this must have led to high blood pressure and these two out-takes show what can happen when it goes wrong. David Coleman can be heard presenting in the background. Nothing is known of the date of broadcast or the person who is exploding.

Reel 22 tk4Grandstand 11:16s
Reel 22 tk5Grandstand 20:55s

Fanny Cradock

Fanny Cradock was one of the very early BBC television cookery presenters, and brought her unique upper-class snobbish approach to the programmes. Quite often she would prattle on without realising that some of her sentences could be given a different and suggestive meaning. She would also address others on the programme quite rudely on occasion.

The famous quote linked to her was after she showed the viewers on a BBC programme how to make doughnuts, her partner Johnnie followed her by saying "May all your doughnuts turn out like Fanny's".

Reel 22 tk6Fanny Cradock2:02s