Nov 17, 2012
In 1982 I decided to gather some of the interviews I'd made with international broadcasters who had been at the start of it all. It was my first attempt at making a documentary. Bearing in mind the equipment we had was rather rudimentary (it was all recorded on 1/4 inch UHER's), the final result isn't all that bad. It was broadcast in the course of 1982, basically as I found time to make them. The research was the challenge...no wikipedia being available at the time. The scripts were typed on a typewriter with carbon paper between the sheets to make copies for the engineer. I remember that quite often the letter O would punch holes ever time it was tapped. Thirty Years after the series was first broadcast, it is time to put it back on the wireless. In fact, the recordings lasted longer than Radio Netherlands English Service.
This first edition relies heavily on the input from Bernard Bumpus, who was the Head of BBC International Audience Research at the time, as well as Gerard Mansell, then the Managing Director of BBC External Services. I remember chasing him around London in order to grab the interview, ending up at his home in Golders Green. I remember having a huge argument with the cab driver who wouldn't give me a receipt for the trip.