Television

“We haven’t had any more rain since it stopped raining” – Decades of watching Wimbledon

If you were to ask me what I love most about Wimbledon, I would have to reply that it's the sound. I've always loved the way that Wimbledon sounds. On a sunny summer afternoon, out in the garden, playing with toy cars and plastic soldiers, the sound of Wimbledon would float gently out of the open windows of our small bungalow. Rather than clash with the melodies of the natural world around me, as most sounds emanating from a television…

Music

“So, pop fans, grab your copy” – Pickwick’s Top of the Pops

In 1976 I had my music gap year. I was seven years old. I had been buying records since I was four. There were two main reasons for my music gap year. Firstly, the music in the charts, and therefore the music I had access to, was going a bit soft. Glam rock, with its fast and simple riffs (perfect for a kid like me to jump about to) had fallen out of fashion and many of the bands and…

Music

“Watch phonies run to hide” – Succumbing to the Beat Surrender

One by one they fell. One by one they changed. One by one you watched your classmates step out of their childhood. They changed in the way they spoke and in the things that they spoke about. They changed the way they wore their school uniform, applying rebellious alterations where they could. The standard school tie was jettisoned for one of a much slender appearance. Expensive brogues replaced standard "back to school" shoes bought cheaply from a local factory outlet.…

Film

“You yell shark, we’ve got a panic on our hands on the fourth of July” – The impact of Jaws

There was something new about Jaws. It created a buzz that none of us had experienced before. It felt totally modern. A new type of film for a new type of age. Jaws was released in the US in June 1975, famously becoming the first big summer blockbuster. It wasn't released in Britain until December 26, by which time the country had been under the grip of Jaws-mania for six months. The name of the film and its accompanying poster…

Television

“It took seconds” – Growing up in a post-Kennedy world

Friday, November 22, 1963. US President John F. Kennedy is on a short tour of Texas. Having delivered a breakfast speech at the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, the President, accompanied by his wife Jackie, is making a short 15 minute flight to Dallas, where he is due to give a luncheon speech at the city's Trade Mart. The visit to Dallas will include a motorcade tour through the city. Discussions take place as to whether the President's limousine should…