News highlights - 2020/21
40th anniversary - "roll VT!"
Anniversary of the Bright Thoughts first productions, 28th and 29th December 1981.
Whilst Channel 4 didn't come to air 'til November 1982, they had to start commissioning shows to be produced long before, for obvious reasons of lead-up time.
The Bright Thoughts Company was the first small independent to receive a commission (by Cecil Korer) to produce an entertainment show when the C4 temporary offices were in Knightsbridge, before Charlotte Street had been built.
Two shows were commissioned in the same contract, 'Here's A Funny Thing' and 'Macready!' shot back-to-back at the Fortune Theatre, London. This is the 40th Anniversary of the Bright Thoughts first shoot and therefore the most important date in our calendar!
28 December 2021
Composer Stephen Oliver
One of the most gifted composers of the late 20th century.
Stephen Oliver, in his all-too-short life still gifted us with many notable successes in West End ('Nicholas Nickleby', RSC, the musical Blondel, lyrics by Tim Rice), the opera stage, on radio, and there are many published recordings of his work. He wrote and presented his own series 'Understanding Opera' (guests including Dame Kiri Te Kanawa).
Simon Callow led an anniversary concert in 2010 which would have been Stephen's 60th birthday and included performances from Cantabile, among others.
James Oliver - Stephen's brother - confirms there has not been a TV documentary made yet about Stephen's life and work and whilst it would need the blessings of the other trustees, a retrospective would now be timely.
25 March 2021
The Bright Thoughts story, 'an unlikely partnership'.
Following a recent interview about being an independent producer in the early days of Channel 4, I have also been asked to write the first-hand experience and capture the unusual story of how it came about and what we believed to be pioneering years.
The Anthony-Izzard Partnership was forged in the days of Southern TV where they both worked prior to forming their own production company.
Bright Thoughts were indeed exciting times with impossible production deadlines to meet, budgets cut-to-the-quick, and editorially a constant need to be uniquely different, all of which ultimately made it unsustainable.
Neil Anthony, 09 March 2021
'An Evening With ...'
Working title for the first Programme Proposal since the BTC relaunch.
Although not a great title, the Proposal for a remake receives encouraging and positive responses. An indicator perhaps of a growing appetite of an older demographic whose needs are not being catered for by mainstream broadcasters.
The pitch is to use the unique footage of the Monologues mini-series "The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog", to revisit the performances, and talk to the surviving performers, and friends and relatives of those who are no longer with us.
In the original production three generations of comedy talent came together to record a unique piece of television programming in this mini-series.
16 February 2021
BFI National Archive
The BFI Donor Access team are able to offer a limited service.
Even in the lockdown it's fantastic news to hear the BFI Donor Access team are still able to function to some degree.
The Collections Access Manager confirms the BFI National Archive does actually have the three important episodes of our Monologues, "The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog" from 1983 and indeed they have been digitised.
Encouraging news and hoping we can get these remastered and re-released. As they have been digitised, it should be relatively straightforward to re-edit and remaster in HD once we get the go-head!
27 January 2021
Kaleidoscope News Item
Britain’s longest-established television heritage organisation. Est.1987
Kaleidoscope vigorously and actively encourages the cause of wider archive access and regularly creates opportunities for the public to engage with the history of British television and view programmes from the past.
The 1982 Bright Thoughts Company production "Great Black Music - The Art Ensemble of Chicago" was featured as part of the 2020 British Film Institute "Missing Believed Wiped" screening.
In anticipation of this event, Nick Smart (Head of Jazz, Royal Academy of Music) described the documentary with a single word - "Amazing!"
23 December 2020
Bright Thoughts relaunch
A selection of the BTC Back Catalogue to be made available online.
Curiously, the lockdown seems to have provoked much renewed interest in archive TV and researching entertainment of the past, perhaps because most of us have to work from home, cannot go out and have more time on our hands.
Whatever the reason, it has brought more interest, more enquiries into the Bright Thoughts product, people requesting DVDs of some shows, remakes, and also artists getting in touch again.
A decision has been taken to relaunch in some form, to provide an online selection of the Back Catalogue with additional details of the company and the shows.
01 May 2020