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Mugs and T-Shirts

Mug Shot Example T-Shirt Fancy a cup of tea with Frank Marker? Want to stroll down the street with Batman and Robin? We have a new range of mugs and T-Shirts featuring some of your favourite TVTimes and TVWorld covers.

Take a look...

The Best of Times by Brian Tesler

The cover of “The Best of Times” by Brian TeslerBrian Tesler’s professional career encompassed TV’s entire post-war evolution from a single-channel BBC to the explosion of satellite and cable channels in the 1990s.

This is a history of 42 tumultuous years of British television as seen from the inside: its delights and dismays, its triumphs and disasters, its programmes and personalities, all making up what its author vividly remembers as the intoxicating and exhilarating Best of Times.

You can find more details here.

British Television Pilot Episodes Research Guide 1936-2015

The cover of “The British Television Pilot Episodes Guide 1936-2015”A new idea can become an expensive flop for TV executives. So from the earliest days of television, the concept of a pilot episode seemed like a good idea. Trying out new actors; new situations and new concepts before making a series was good economical sense. It was also tax deductible. Sometimes these pilots were shown on television; sometimes they were so awful they were hidden from sight in archives; and sometimes they were excellent one-offs, but a series seemed elusive and never materialised.

Chris Perry has always been fascinated by the pilot episode. So many pilots are made annually, but never seen by audiences. Only a handful appear on screen. It’s a hidden world of comedy, variety, drama and factual programming.

This volume attempts to lift the lid on the world of the TV pilot by revealing the many transmitted and untransmitted episodes made through the decades.

With thousands of titles waiting to be re-discovered in TV archives, it won’t be a complete list. This first edition is a pilot volume for a bigger series of second and third editions that are almost certainly going to follow as people join the journey, share their memories, and Kaleidoscope fill in the gaps.

You can find more details here.

History of Associated-Rediffusion 1954-1959

The cover of the “History of Associated-Rediffusion 1954-1959” This book, an early history of pioneering ITV station Associated-Rediffusion, is a first for Kaleidoscope – in that it was actually written well over 50 years ago.

The manuscript was produced in the summer of 1961 when Henry Brownrigg, son of the station’s General Manager Captain Thomas Brownrigg RN, was given work at the company in a university gap year.

Henry was given complete access to confidential company documents, and the authorisation to interview any member of staff. Originally intended for publication by the company itself, the completed manuscript remained in the company secretary’s in-tray for some time and never made it to print.

Just seven years later, the station itself would be consigned to history. Meanwhile Henry carefully preserved some of his notes and a carbon-copy of his manuscript, and it remained in his personal files for over five decades.

Some two years ago, in a chance telephone call to a local council concerning – of all things - a parking fine, Henry found himself talking to Simon Winters, who recognised the unusual surname and asked the question: “Would you by any chance be related to Tom Brownrigg?”

The result of that short phone conversation is this book.

The manuscript and its detailed footnotes have been typeset, adding unique photographs held by the Brownrigg family, and other original material. Such a book could not be written today – for the original source documents and the staff are all long gone.

The book will, we are sure, be seen for years to come as the most definitive record of the joint-first ITV station to hit the airwaves. It is also a fascinating example of the lost television history that can still to this day be found in peoples’ lofts and personal collections.

You can find more information about the History of Associated-Rediffusion 1954-1959 here.

The British Television Music & Light Entertainment Research Guide 1936-2012

The cover of the “The British Television Music & Light Entertainment Research Guide 1936-2012” Our latest research guide is now available in both print and download editions. Expanding on our old-style Music and Variety book, in more than 2,800 pages this new guide now covers almost 64,000 episode entries spread across more than 3,600 different programes. The printed set costs £29.99 per volume, while the single download volume remains available for just £29.99.

You can find more information about the The British Television Music & Light Entertainment Research Guide on this page, while a complete list of all the programmes covered by the guide may be found here.

The British Christmas Television Guide 1937-2013

The cover of “The British Christmas Television Guide 1937-2013”Christmas Time. Mistletoe and wine. In other words, lots of kissing and excessive drinking!

Christmas is a time of relaxation and enjoyment. The Perry household sit down to watch Mrs. Brown’s Boys and Strictly Come Dancing;. The Coward household prefers The Avengers. Richard Down would have ignored his lunch to watch Top of the Pops and Doctor Who. Whatever your favourite, unwrap our guide to British television programmes shown at Christmas time throughout the years, and enjoy your Christmas highlights... again.

You can find more details here.

The Thrilling Adventures of Sexton Blake

The cover of “The Thrilling Adventures of Sexton Blake”The first book in our Sexton Blake trilogy is now available in a hardcover print edition.

In The Thrilling Adventures of Sexton Blake, Paul V. Ross explores the character’s journey from the written word to the media of theatre, cinema, radio and television.

With fond memories from those involved with the Rediffusion/Thames television series as well as the BBC Radio series, the book touches upon the technical and human origins of these productions using rare documents, scripts and photographs, many of which have never been seen in print before.

You can find more information the book here.

The British Television Comedy Research Guide 1936-2011

The cover of the “British Television Comedy Research Guide 1936-2011 September 2011 download edition”Our Comedy Research Guide is now available in both print and download editions. Both editions contain over 2,500 pages of information. The printed set is £29.99 per volume plus p&p. The download edition remains available for £29.99.

You can find more information about the Comedy Guide here and there is also a list of all the programmes covered in the Guide.

Kaleidoscope goes Kindle with a new Robert Banks Stewart novel

The cover of the “The Hurricane’s Tail” The creator of Shoestring and Bergerac, Robert Banks Stewart, introduces a newcomer to British crime fiction: Harper Buchanan.

“Superb thriller, utterly compelling” – Sir Trevor McDonald

“Beautifully crafted from first page to last” – John Nettles

“A rousing read” – Celia Imrie

As well as being available as a printed book, it’s also our first title for the Kindle. Find out more about this thriller here.

High Drama by Rex Firkin

The cover of the “High Drama”Rex Firkin was one of the pioneers of independent television. He produced and directed some of ATV’s most successful drama series including Emergency Ward 10, The Plane Makers and The Power Game. Joining London Weekend Television, he ran a drama department responsible for some of the most spectacular hits of the 1970s, from Manhunt and Budgie to Upstairs, Downstairs and Bouquet of Barbed Wire. In this frank and fascinating memoir, Rex takes the reader behind the scenes on all these famous programmes, recapturing the heady highs and occasional disasters and tragedies of the heyday of British television.

The manuscript was compiled and edited by Richard Marson, himself a writer and television producer, whose most recent production was the BBC documentary, Tales of Television Centre.

You can find more information about the book here.

Serial Thrillers by Charles Norton

The cover of the “Serial Thrillers”The story of Paul Temple, Dick Barton – Special Agent, Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, Journey Into Space and the adventure serial on British radio.

“The BBC seems bent on turning the children into a new kind of drug addict for... serial thrillers...” (The Times – 17th December 1946)

Following the end of the Second World War, a new form of radio entertainment would explode across Britain – the adventure serial.

Whether solving murders, foiling conspiracies or journeying into space, the heroes of these radio serials would be the idols of an entire generation of post-war radio listeners.

Dick Barton, Paul Temple, Dan Dare and Jet Morgan were once among the most famous names in British fiction. However, today they are almost forgotten.

With detailed episode guides and behind-the-scenes stories, it is now once again possible to relive the excitement of one of radio’s most addictive formats and enjoy again the exploits of its most daring adventurers.

With a special introduction by Nicholas Parsons

You can find more information about the book on this page.

Mr Nationwide by Michael Barratt

The cover of the “Mr Nationwide”Television, radio, commercial video and journalism have provided Michael Barratt with a rollercoaster career. His successes and failures are charted with refreshing honesty in his new book, Mr Nationwide. Now in his 85th year and still working, Michael recalls his introduction to TV in its pioneering days with BBC’s Panorama and 24 Hours before launching the programme that was to see him become a household personality – he is often described as an icon of the time – Nationwide, which enjoyed an audience of up to eleven million every weekday evening at six o’clock.

He takes his readers behind the scenes with frank and sometimes painfully honest stories of the famous people – politicians, sporting heroes, show business celebrities – with whom he worked and developed friendships, not least the romance that led to his much publicised marriage to Dilys.

It’s all as enjoyable – and moving – as the programme that made his name.

You can find more information about the book on this page.

Inside Updown, The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs - new hardback edition

The cover of the “Inside Updown”As a child, Richard Marson was fascinated by and fell in love with Upstairs, Downstairs. Years later, when he was himself working in the television industry, he produced and directed the 25th anniversary documentary about the series. This led him to research and write what he hoped would be the ultimate book about the making of a major TV drama, from first idea to final frame.

For this special edition of that book, he has revisited the original text to fully revise and update it, unearthing a plethora of new information and tracking down some important new contributors. The book is packed with rare photographs and illustrations, many in colour, from the archives of those who worked on the production. It also includes the first publication of Rosemary Anne Sisson’s long lost screenplay for the proposed Upstairs, Downstairs film, as well as the original document which first sold the idea for the programme and a charming short story, written by producer John Hawkesworth, in which Christmas comes to 165 Eaton Place.

You can find more information about the book here.

Downloadable Guides

The cover of the “BBC Television Drama Research Guide 1936-2011 September 2011 download edition” The cover of the “British Television Comedy Research Guide 1936-2011 September 2011 download edition” Our two latest titles are both downloadable books. Instead of ten or twelve paper volumes, the latest version of our BBC Drama Guide together with the first new-style re-issue of our Comedy Guide come in two handy downloads. Each contains over 2,500 pages of information for just £29.99.

You can find more information about the BBC Drama Guide on this page, and on the Comedy Guide here. There are also lists of all the programmes covered in the Drama Guide and in the Comedy Guide

Here’s A House - Reference Section by Paul R. Jackson

Here’s A House - Volume 2 by Paul R. Jackson

Many Moons and a few stars - the first volume of autobiography from Leonard White

The cover of “Many Moons and a few stars’ by Leonard WhiteOur latest book is the first autobiographical volume from actor, producer and director Leonard White (The Avengers, Armchair Theatre, Sky).

This book takes us through the first thirty or so years of his life, as a council-schoolboy, sometime newspaper-boy, bookie’s clerk, shipping agents’ penpusher, and then, initially against his will, involved in theatre. Remarkably, however, a very fine teacher changed all that. From then on he only wanted to be an actor...

Available from 6th September 2010 – for £12.99 plus p&p – pre-orders are post-free in the UK.

British Independent Television Drama Guide 1955-2010 May 2010 Download edition

The cover of the “Independent Television Drama Guide 1955-2010 May 2010 download edition”This Drama Guide is our first downloadable book. Instead of the seven paper volumes you’d have had to find space for if we’d printed it, it now comes in handy download form, straight to your computer. Over 3,000 pages of information for just £29.99.

You can find more information about the book on this page. There also a list of all the programmes covered in the book and a few sample pages to give you an idea what it looks like.

What people have already been saying:

“I'm really pleased you've moved to electronic versions and at a very reasonable price. I just hope people understand that they are paying a minuscule amount for a very large body of research...” – Tim Disney

“... an incredible reference tool...” – Alun Jones, ITV Wales

“...anyone who hasn't got a print copy should buy this immediately & if you're passionate enough about tv to have the print version then this is a bargain price for an update.” – David Buck

Kaleidoscope Publishing exists to promote the appreciation of British television in general and particularly ‘classic’ television programmes that many of us remember from years gone by.

“...a very enterprising group of people in the midlands called Kaleidoscope who specialise in looking at old programmes, gettings copies that everyone thinks have long disappeared and they find them and restore them, and they do credits lists for people like me.”   Alan Plater, CBE.

To this end we have published a number of guides to British television archive holdings. These guides include exhaustive information on the number of archived programmes and the format(s) that they are held in. We have created this website as a means by which visitors can get a flavour of just why our guides have been described as “invaluable resources for anyone wishing to research, or even with a general interest in, British television”.

Use the links above or to the left to explore this site and find out more about Kaleidoscope Publishing, our books and future publications.

Kaleidoscope, The Classic Television Organisation

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