Welcome to Raiders of the Lost Archive

This is the list of the Top 50 Shows that we are especially keen to re-discover.

  • 1. Armchair TheatreABC 1956-69 and Thames 1970-74
    • This was a long-running series of plays which changed the look of TV drama for ever. Armchair Theatre dominated the ratings for nearly 20 years. Key shows are missing, including Miss Julie (23.12.56) with Tyrone Power and Mai Zetterling; No Trams To Lime Street (18.10.59) with Billie Whitelaw; The Innocent (8.5.60) with Diana Dors; and The Signal Box Of Grandpa Hudson (27.8.1966) – the first TV play by David Nobbs, starring Ian McShane.

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  • 2. At Last, the 1948 Show – Rediffusion 1967
    • John Cleese and Graham Chapman were among the now famous names who started out on this show, meaning that Monty Python sprung from this series. Many of the shows are still missing.

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  • 3. Blackpool Night Out - ABC 1964-65
    • Blackpool Night Out was a top variety show of its day, with showbiz brothers Mike and Bernie Winters presenting top-flight guests. Every show is missing including performances by great entertainers such as The Beatles, Bob Monkhouse, Kathy Kirby, Max Bygraves, Lulu and Cilla Black. ALSO MISSING: The Blackpool ShowABC (Canal Plus) 1966-67 Another must-see variety show hosted by different comperes including Tony Hancock and featuring many of the top stars of the day including Matt Monro, Frankie Howerd and Roy Castle. Dave Allen was on the now lost 24th July 1966 show.  We would particularly like to track down the show from 7th August 1966 which Bruce Forsyth presented.

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  • 4. Broaden Your Mind – BBC 1968
    • This series saw the first combined work of Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden and Bill Oddie, two years before they made The Goodies – some home-recorded audio tapes have surfaced but none of the shows themselves seem to have survived.

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  • 5. The Bruce Forsyth Show – ABC 1966-67 & Yorkshire 1969
    • Three of the ABC shows are missing featuring appearances by Tommy Cooper and Dudley Moore.  The later series made for Yorkshire Television has been wiped completely.  Guests included Ronnie Corbett, Sid James, Cilla Black and Edward Woodward. ALSO MISSING: A Night in the Life of Bruce – ATV 1968. This hour-long Bruce Forsyth special was transmitted at 9.30pm on Saturday 7th September, 1968 – and then promptly went missing! Do you have a copy?

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    6. But Seriously – It’s Sheila Hancock – BBC 1972
    • In a change of role from playing dizzy blondes, Sheila Hancock had a hit on her hands with her Show of the Week: Simply Sheila in 1968. This follow up series showed a sharper and more satirical side of one of Britain's most favourite actresses.

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    7. Cooperarama - ABC 1966
    • Tommy Cooper made many shows for different ITV companies in the Sixties, and although some of his work survived, this series – in which he was joined by guests for sketches, musical numbers and magic routines - has vanished completely. His fans – and the whole nation – would love to see it again. ALSO MISSING: Cooper’s Capers, ABC 1958.

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    8. The Corbett Follies LWT 1969
    • This eleven-part comedy show starring Ronnie Corbett not only featured one half of the beloved Two Ronnies doing stand-up, sketch material, music and dance but it also featured appearances from his ‘other half’ Ronnie Barker.

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    9. Crossroads - ATV 1964 -1981
    • Can you believe an estimated 90pc of Crossroads episodes are missing?!  We are hoping to trace some of the historic episodes of this soap from 1964 and 1965.  David Jason made his first TV appearance on the 7th November, 1966 as Bernie Kilroy.  Meg Richardson was teased mercilessly by Sandy for her Christmas present on Christmas Day,1969 and on 15th December,1970 the nation was gripped by a ghost at Crossroads, the story proving so scary that the TV authorities forced ATV to cancel the plotline saying it was too terrifying for early evening audiences!  Some episodes are missing from as late as February 1982! Do you have the New Year’s Eve edition from 31st December, 1981.

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    10. Dad's Army - BBC 1968-1977
    • This classic series needs no introduction and yet three editions are currently missing - The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, A Stripe for Frazer and Under Fire.  Furthermore, Christmas Day sketches from 1968 and 1970 have been wiped – do you hold any of the missing footage? Perhaps you hold one of the 8mm reduction prints offered for sale in the 1960s?

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    11. Dixon of Dock Green BBC 1955–75
    • Before The Bill, Dixon Of Dock Green was the longest running police series on British television and an enormously popular one at that. Beginning in 1955 and finally ending in 1976, dozens of episodes are missing, including all of series 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 10, 12, 16 and 19.  For more details…click on www.lostshows.com

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    12. Doctor Who – BBC 1963-1989, 2005-present day
    • Over 100 episodes of this ever popular series are missing or part missing – all from the black and white 60s era of the show. Doctor Who fans are particularly interested in recovering “The Tenth Planet” Episode 4 which was first broadcast on October 29, 1966. It was the final story of the first Doctor, William Hartnell’s era and the first story to feature the Cybermen. Patrick Troughton also makes his first, uncredited appearance as the Second Doctor. Many classic gems now survive only as soundtracks and photographs. Additionally, some Jon Pertwee 70s episodes made in colour only survive in b/w.  Do you have “The Web of Fear” episodes 2-6 or “Fury from the Deep”?  For more details click on www.lostshows.com

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    13. Do Not Adjust Your Set – Rediffusion/Thames 1967-1969
    • This children’s series from the Sixties featured early performances by the likes of Michael Palin, David Jason, Denise Coffey and John Cleese with musical accompaniment by the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band. A large number of the shows produced have since been lost.

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    14. Emergency Ward 10 – ATV 1957-67
    • This was ITV’s first long-running, twice-weekly soap opera, following the professional lives of the doctors, nurses and patients at Oxbridge General Hospital. A crucial programme for TV history yet few survive – over 1,000 episodes were made but only around 100 exist.  Albert Finney was on the ward between 30th January –13th February 1959. John Alderton made his first TV appearance on 18th September 1962 as Doctor Richard Moone. None of his appearances survive.  Arthur Haynes appeared in a pantomime special on 25th December 1965 and again on New Year’s Eve 1965 and Penelope Keith teamed up with Reg Varney and Peter Bowles for her episodes from 14th January-18th January 1966.  Coronation Street’s John Savident was in the edition transmitted on 13th January 1967.

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    15. Frightened Sky – ATV 1962 16. The Golden Shot - ATV 1965-75.
    • Eight series were made of one of the most popular game shows ever - presented by the likes of Bob Monkhouse and Charlie Williams - but only six episodes exist. Made famous by Bernie the Bolt - up a bit, down a bit, fire! Classic editions now lost include Captain Scarlet taking part as a contestant.

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    17. Hancock’s Half Hour - BBC 1956 – 1959
    • It was the series that invented the British sitcom but all six episodes of the first series are missing, as well as all but one of the five episodes of the second series and around half of the third and fourth series. Losses include many of the famous appearances of Kenneth Williams as Snide, and “The Horror Serial” (30.1.1959) which spoofed Quatermass and the Pit. OTHER MISSING HANCOCK MATERIAL: Hancock’s – ABC 1967. This later series of Tony Hancock’s work was his last for British television and featured Hancock working in a nightclub introducing acts. Only a few minutes of this unique role exist.

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    18. Hey Presto! It's Rolf - BBC 1966
    • This was an early kids TV series made by one of the nation’s favourite entertainers - Rolf Harris, and featuring Coojee Bear. ALSO MISSING: The Rolf Harris Show – 1967-1971 BBC. Highlights of his guests on the missing BBC shows include Terry Jones (21.1.1967), Kenneth Williams (3.2.1968) and Shirley Bassey (31.5.1971).  We’re also looking for Rolf in editions of Street Music, The House That Jim Built and David Nixon’s Comedy Band Box.

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    19. Juke Box Jury - BBC 1959-67
    • There’s a tragic survival rate for this series (only two editions exist!) but the greatest loss is the 28 September 1963 show where the four Beatles became the panel judges, rating their contemporaries and being almost drowned out by screaming fans! The show also features Cilla Black’s first ever TV appearance singing Love of the Loved. The series was revived in the 1970s and again in the 1980s but it’s the 1950s and 60s shows that are being sought.

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    20. Junior Showtime – Yorkshire Television 1969-74
    • A popular ITV variety series for kids in the Seventies, the show featured young performers who went on to be adult stars like Pauline Quirke, Emmerdale’s Malandra Burrows, Joe Longthorne and Blue Peter’s Mark Curry. Nearly 200 episodes were made but only two survive.

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    21. The Kenny Everett Explosion – LWT 1970
    • Soon after this pioneering comedian was dismissed by BBC radio, the DJ was given his own show by LWT – 10 episodes running from 10th July – 11th Sep 1970. The Kenny Everett Explosion mixed pop music with Everett's trademark style of presentation and every visual trick that TV studio equipment could produce at the time – and all of them have been lost. OTHER MISSING KENNY EVERETT SERIES - Making Whoopee also starred Bob Kerr's Whoopee Band who served up musical madness. Every week, viewers were taken to a club in Putney as Everett introduced the band in a succession of surreal numbers.

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    22. The Likely Lads - BBC 1964-66
    • Around a dozen episodes of Clement and Le Frenais’ wonderful scripts and James Bolam and Rodney Bewes’ wide boy double act are fondly remembered but key episodes have disappeared – namely Chance of a Lifetime (31.01.65) from Series 1, all of Series 2 (apart from episode Last of the Big Spenders), and most of series 3. Click on www.lostshows.com for a full list.

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    23. Lockhart of the Yard:
    • Murder Bag – Associated Rediffusion – 1957–59
    • Crime Sheet – Associated Rediffusion – 1959–61
    • No Hiding Place – Associated Rediffusion – 1959–1967
    • This was the first time we were introduced to one of TV’s earliest crime heroes – Inspector (later Superintendent) Tom Lockhart, who later went on to feature in “Crime Sheet”, then the highly popular “No Hiding Place”. One lost episode features an early appearance from Michael Caine.

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    24. Madhouse on Castle Street – BBC 1963
    • Bob Dylan’s first trip to the UK was to take part in this BBC play shown as part of the Sunday Night Play anthology strand. Dylan sang four songs including Blowin' in the Wind. The play was shown live and never recorded. Were you a Dylan fan who filmed some footage off the television screen or might have a copy of a telerecording?

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    25. Man on the Moon – BBC & ITN Studio Coverage 1969
    • On July 20, 1969 millions of British TV viewers stayed up late to watch history as U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. detached the lunar landing craft from the Apollo 11 and travelled the remaining distance to the moon. Amazingly the BBC and ITN kept very little of their studio coverage of this historic event – though ‘the one small step…’ pictures have become very famous indeed! So did you or your relatives record this historic event off the TV with your own camera? Did you film it at any big screen gatherings to watch the moment as it was beamed live?

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    26. A Matter of Diamonds – ATV 1968
    • Cliff Richard starred in his first TV drama role as Riley, a smooth conman out to steal diamond necklace. The drama increases in intensity as Riley becomes increasingly torn between the task in hand, love for a girl and fear for his life.  This show has been lost for over 35 years – that’s one heck of a Summer Holiday.

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    27. Message for Posterity - BBC 1967
    • Shaggy Dog - a lost play by Dennis Potter – hailed as our greatest TV dramatist - recently turned up on the shelves, but here’s one of Potter’s early dramas that’s still missing presumed lost. Two other BBC Potter’s – Confidence Course and Emergency Ward 9 – are also missing.

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    28. Mystery and Imagination - ABC/Thames 1966-70
    • Only two episodes survive, with 16 episodes missing from this horror anthology series. In particular, we are looking for “The Canterville Ghost” from 1966 starring Bruce Forsyth in a rare straight acting role.

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    29. New Faces - ATV 1973-1978
    • The X Factor of its day, 160 shows were recorded of this popular ITV talent show – but only 17 survive. In particular, we are looking for the Finalists’ Shows, featuring talents such as Lenny, Henry, Victoria Wood and Les Dennis.

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    30. First edition of News At Ten - ITV 3rd July 1967
    • It went on to become a television institution with its bongs and its ‘and finallys’. But the first ever broadcast of News At Ten didn’t make it onto the ITV library shelves.

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    31. Not In Front of the Children - BBC - 1967 – 1970
    • This sitcom was first shown within the Comedy Playhouse strand and starred Wendy Craig as harassed housewife Jennifer Corner. Of the four series many editions are missing including all the shows from 1967 and most of 1968. For more info…click on www.lostshows.com

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    32. Oh Boy! – ABC TV 1958–59
    • One of pop’s earliest and most important ventures into TV this was a rock n roll extravaganza presented from the stage of Wood Green Empire in front of a live and suitably hysterical audience. Popular guests at the time included Marty Wilde and Cliff Richard and the Drifters. Officially only two editions survive. There was a one–off remake on Christmas Day 1979 which has also been wiped – did you record it off–air?

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    33. Ollie and Fred’s Five O’Clock Club – Associated Rediffusion - 1963-66
    • Twice a week children settled down in front of the TV to catch the glove puppet antics of Ollie Beak and Fred Barker on The Five O'clock Club. The show was introduced by Muriel Young and Howard Williams. We’re looking for a missing appearance from the early career of Cilla Black and lots of early animation by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin who later made The Clangers and went on to become two of the most groundbreaking figures in British kids TV.

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    34. On the Margin – BBC 1966
    • Originally transmitted on BBC2 in November – December 1966, this musical comedy by Alan Bennett was repeated in January – February of the following year but has since been lost – and so has become a real missing piece in Bennett’s TV history.

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    35. Opportunity KnocksABC and Thames 1964–1978
    • In one of the most popular shows of its day, host Hughie Green invited the studio audience to register their votes via an applause ‘clapometer’. Many programmes are missing. In particular we are looking for Les Dawson winning the show in 1967.  Only three Opp Knocks are known to survive – surely there are other editions out there held by agents, ex–acts and members of the public?

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    36. The Other Man – Granada TV 1964
    • This two-part presentation was the longest play ever run on one night by ITV and featured an early TV appearance by Michael Caine. The story traced the career and personal life of George Grant (Caine) from his youth in the Second World War onwards. A young John Thaw also starred.

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    37. Play of the Week – ITV companies 1956–1968 especially Marking Time (Granada)
    • Few episodes survive of this ground-breaking series of 90 minute plays broadcast on ITV. We are particularly keen to find a copy of Marking Time (also known as Deutsche’s House) in 1959 featuring before-he-was-Ken Barlow, Corrie star William Roache in the lead role. We also want to find a copy of ‘The Ring of Truth’ starring Michael Caine as PC Wimbush; and the last 18 minutes of Arthur Miller’s The Crucible from November 1959 starring Sean Connery and Susannah York (it was the first TV production of the play). We’re also looking for a series called Skyport made by Granada in 1959 and 1960 which was based on the tales of the World Wide Travel agency and also starred a young William Roache, as did a missing series called Knight Errant.

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    38. Running Wild - BBC 1954
    • This is real TV history gone AWOL. It was the first starring show for Morecambe and Wise and though it didn't live up to their work to come fans would still love to see it. The show went out live - but was it ever recorded? The six-episode show was broadcast from the BBC's new Television Theatre in Shepherd's Bush.  ALSO MISSING - The Morecambe and Wise Show, BBC 1968-70. After their highly successful seven-year stint on ITV Morecambe and Wise moved over to the BBC launching a season of shows on BBC2 in September, 1968. They wouldn't return to ITV for another ten years. Eight episodes of this series in the late Sixties were recorded but sadly only parts of one show survive – the rest has gone missing, including songs with Bruce Forsyth and Michael Aspel. Did you work on the show or know anyone who has their own copies? We would love to share this with the nation.

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    39. Scene at 6:30 – Granada TV 1963
    • He may be one of our most familiar faces today but back in the early Sixties Michael Parkinson presented this regional magazine show along with Gay Byrne. The show featured lively news stories and also performances from bands such as The Who and The Rolling Stones. Over 100 shows were recorded – but none are thought to have survived. Can we reunite Parky with his past?

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    40. Sez Les – Yorkshire TV 1969/70
    • Following his Opportunity Knocks success this first series of comedy sketch shows established Les Dawson as one of Britain’s best–loved comedians. Guests included John Cleese. Later shows survive but we’re looking for anything made between 1969 and 1970.

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    41. The Summer Show – ATV 1975
    • Five winning performers in ATV's New Faces, including Lenny Henry and Victoria Wood, appeared in this comedy and music series with different themes linking the sketches and songs each week. Leslie Crowther was on board in the first series to give the newcomers a guiding hand. There were five episodes, each 45 mins long which ran from 2nd – 30th Aug 1975.

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    42. Sunday Night At The London Palladium – 1955–74 ATV
    • One of ITV’s greatest ever shows, this was the undisputed highlight of the TV weekend in the Fifties and Sixties.The gifted MC’s included Bruce Forsyth, Jimmy Tarbuck and Des O’Connor, yet amazingly only a few editions survive of one of ITV’s 50 Greatest Shows.  The stars are desperate to find the rest!

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    43. Thank Your Lucky Stars – ABC 1961–66
    • Likewise, this was a classic ITV series which has all but vanished. It was a Saturday night latest pop releases show that started out as a rival to BBC TV’s Juke Box Jury and attracted all the top pop names of the time – also giving us Janice ‘I’ll give it foive’ Nicholls. So do you have an early appearance by Benny Hill, Ted Heath, The Who, The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?  249 shows were made, but incredibly for such an important show in TV history, only three survive.

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    44. This Is Your LifeBBC/Thames 1955–1969
    • Another TV institution, this long–running series, which transferred from the BBC to ITV, centred around an unsuspecting celebrity who was surprised by Eamonn Andrews and his big red book featuring the story of their life. Many episodes have gone missing – including those featuring the lives of Twiggy (1969), Adam Faith (1971) Jon Pertwee (1971) Pat Phoenix (1972) and Dudley Moore (1972).

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    45. Till Death Us Do Part – BBC 1966-75
    • This classic sitcom started life as a single play in the Comedy Playhouse slot (22/7/65) but was considered strong enough to be developed into a full series. The pilot starred Warren Mitchell as the bigoted Alf Ramsey, and Gretchen Franklin (replaced by Dandy Nichols) as his “silly moo” wife Elsie. But large parts of the first three series of this controversial and ultra successful sitcom are missing. Click www.lostshows for more details.

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    46. Tiswas ATV/Central 1976-82
    • It changed the face of kids TV and launched Chris Tarrant’s career. But although over 300 episodes were made only a few have survived on the ITV shelves. We’d love to recover more of this anarchic kids show which also starred Sally James and John Gorman assisted by Bob Carolgees, Sylvester McCoy and Lenny Henry. Do you have the first appearance of the Phantom Flan Flinger or perhaps you taped early appearances by rock groups such as Queen?

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    47. Top of the PopsBBC - 1964 – 2006
    • Sadly the TV legend that was TOTP is no more and, just as sadly, hundreds of editions from the Sixties are missing. The oldest complete episode in existence was originally transmitted on Boxing Day in 1967 but only four complete recordings from the 1960s survive. The most recent show still lost is from September 8, 1977.  Do you have a rare recording of the likes of Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton?

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    48. What A Carry On/Carry On London ATV 4th October 1973
    • This programme contained rare footage of the Carry On London stage play that was performed at Victoria Place from October 1973 to March 1975.  The programme we are looking for had clips of the Carry On Films with interviews with the stars, intercut with clips from the stage play.

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    49. Whicker’s World – BBC 1968
    • Alan Whicker filmed an interview with Tony Hancock for his BBC series of Whicker’s World shortly before Hancock’s suicide in Australia.  Sadly, the interview was deemed too morose to broadcast – and it hit the cutting room floor never to be seen again. Do you know of its existence?

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    50. The Younger Generation Granada TV, 1961
    • This eleven–part series featured an ensemble cast of up–and–coming acting talent in plays by young authors. Lost episodes include the TV debut of Coronation Street’s Johnny Briggs in The Rabbit Set (June 30 1961) as well as early appearances from a very young Michael Caine and John Thaw.

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    We’re also looking for another Johnny Briggs series called Bright’s Boffins, made by Southern TV from 1970-1972. It was a children’s comedy about a team of eccentric inventors working for the British government and featured JB as Tippy the Tipster. 

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