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Category Archives: TV

My uncle was a lover of new technology, particularly in the field of home entertainment. He was the first person I knew to own a colour television. Not all the programmes were broadcast in colour, of course. But the first time I saw the colour TV I was mesmerised. It seems hard to believe in these high definition days that the majority of ordinary people settled for monochrome sets well into the 1970’s.

When was Colour TV introduced in your country? Check the list…
1950 United States
1958 Cuba (suspended until 1975 following the 1959 revolution)
1960 Japan
1963 Mexico
1966 Philippines, Canada ( Colour broadcasts from the United States were available from 1953)
1967 United Kingdom, France, West Germany
1968 Soviet Union, Netherlands
1969 Denmark, Ireland (Colour broadcasts from United Kingdom available from 1967)
1970 Sweden
1971 Yugoslavia, Belgium, Poland
1972 Brazil
1973 New Zealand
1975 Australia, Spain
1977 Italy colour broadcasts were available from abroad since 1967.
1980 Portugal, Argentina
1981 South Korea
1982 Pakistan, India
1984 Turkey

A couple of posts ago I made reference to an Airfix battle. When I was a boy Airfix models were an important part of my life. I collected the soldiers.In fact I still have a sweet jar somewhere full of them. I was never very good at building the ships, aeroplanes, tanks etc but I did have a few.
Airfix was founded in 1939 by a Hungarian businessman Nicholas Kove,initially manufacturing inflatables. In 1947, Airfix undertook their first ventures in injection moulding, producing pocket combs. The first models,for the promotion of Ferguson tractors,appeared in 1949.The model was sold in kit form by Woolworth’s .
In 1954 Airfix produced a model kit of The Golden Hind. The first aircraft kit was released in 1955, a model of the Supermarine Spitfire.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the company expanded greatly and The Airfix range expanded to include all manner of things; soldiers, knights, cowboys, animals…

Between 1966 and 1968 NBC produced a TV series of Tarzan, in which Ron Ely played the King of the Jungle. There was, however, no Jane, but Diana Ross did make a guest appearance as a nun!

The series was filmed in Mexico and Brazil, but for those fans who wished to re enact the drama in dense jungles of their own back gardens, Airfix came up with the following set:

Ron Ely

Various Africans

Scenes of mild peril…

Good guys…

Cheetah and Jai

No idea

One of the TV highlights of the 1960’s was the immaculate espionage series The Champions– and Alexandra Bastedo was responsible for much of the programmes appeal.


This iconic image of Alexandra comes from a much sought after book, The Birds of Britain– photographs by John d Green.
This book regularly sells for $200- i’ll be posting some of the shots here in the next few weeks.

In 1993 Mattinho and I were just settling down to watch Batman Returns on VCR when he nervously asked me ‘will Catwoman be scary?’
I told him that it depended on how old you were. Potentially, yes, she was scary…
But of course, Tim Burton’s vision of all things Gotham was fundamentally different from that which my generation had been used to. The Batman TV series (and movie spinoff) in the 1960’s was essentially pantomime knockabout stuff.
Catwoman has had many guises. She made her first appearance in Batman # 1 in 1940- when she was known as The Cat, and showed no sign of the trademark catsuit of later years.
Creator Bob Kane wanted to provide sex appeal,a love interest for Batman and a character with whom female readers could identify.
He based the Cat on Jean Harlow.
In Batman #62 she was said to be an amnesiac flight attendant.

In the live-action TV series of 1966-67 Catwoman was played by Julie Newmar (b 1933) in season 1 and 2 and by Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) in season 3.
For the 1966 movie the role of the “purrfect” villainess went to former Miss America Lee Meriwether (b 1935).
The 1992 incarnation of Catwoman that Mattinho was so anxious aboutwas of course Michelle Pfeiffer (b 1958).

There was a period during the mid 1960’s when Joao Kartoshka harboured fantasies of being Illya Nickovitch Kuryakin. As time has progressed he realises that he is actually more like Napoleon Solo- but that is another story for another day.
At about the same time Kartoshka had one great love- Nancy Sinatra. Miss Sinatra was unaware (and to this day remains unaware) of young Joao’s devotion to her.
So, here is a special photograph:

The Man From U.N.C.L.E, season 3, episode 16:The Take Me to Your Leader Affair , first aired December 30th, 1966 . Nancy appears as scientist’s daughter, Coco Cool.