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A Library Tale

1 January 2009

Preserving the TV-am archive

"TV-am should be an eternal summer, Good Morning Britain should shine from the TV screen every morning to cheer people up. When it's raining and overcast people in Britain are miserable, but when it's sunny people smile and chat".
Bruce Gyngell, Managing Director TV-am.

Moving Image has heavily invested time and money over the past few years in preserving the TV-am archives (1983-1992), the most popular within our collections, but also the most at risk.

TV-am was broadcast from 1st February 1983 until 31st December 1992 on ITV, for seven days a week, three hours per day, and was the first commercial breakfast television programme to be shown in the UK. The archive covers some 10,000 hours of broadcast television. TV-am reflects pivotal moments in the history of British broadcasting and chronicles poignant events of British history during the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

TV-am is a significant archive for three reasons:

Firstly, the size of the collection and the wide range of subjects it covers. The 10,000 hours of broadcast cover a vast range of topics, typically in 3 or 5 minute features or interviews, to provide material for a range of subject areas, from agriculture to fashion, from tourism to politics, from arts to celebrities. It also includes major programmes children of the eighties grew up with, such as Roland Rat, Wacaday, Wide Awake Club, Top Banana...

Secondly, the historical period it covers (1983-1992). A key period in British politics, which included Thatcherism and the miners' strike. The TV-am collection is unique, and differs from other archives, in the fact that it not only reported these events but had the time to conduct in-depth interviews with all the participants. Significant supporting material, such as on location features, is also available.

Thirdly, its place in UK broadcasting history. TV-am is important because it was the first company to set up a breakfast programme in the UK, and the second programme to be broadcast. Programmes reflected changes in management style as well as changes in broadcast trends chronicling how the originally stated 'mission to explain' became the 'mission to entertain'.

Presenters left their marks in the history of British television: the Famous Five (Anna Ford, David Frost, Robert Kee, Michael Parkinson, Angela Rippon); Anne Diamond; Kay Burley; Chris Evans; Lorraine Kelly; Rustie Lee; Timmy Mallett; Mike Morris; Nick Owen; John Stapleton; Carol Vorderman; Lizzie Webb; Wincey Willis and  many others  (…

Currently, the TV-am archive is held on a variety of video tape formats, mainly 1" and MII. These broadcast formats are becoming obsolete and the facility to play the master tapes will become more difficult. Unless TV-am is fully digitised, the collection will be jeopardized and possibly lost for ever.

Obviously, as action was needed, we decided to keep transferring the TV-am original video tapes, both on digital tapes and broadcast digital files. Nearly 10% of the 10,000 hours have been digitised so far...

Our staff also carried out many of the other costly activities that are required to bring an archive to the public and ensure that it is made available. Preservation, storage, identification, documentation, logging, making of screeners, database input, online access and online viewing are some of the tasks we have concentrated on. We believe it is a tremendous obligation to keep a record of this treasured archive for the next generations.

With this in mind we worked on developing relationships with various partners; the BFI  ( obtained a grant to digitise some of the TV-am archive and make it available for education; Clips & Bits developed a DVD on demand  ( tool for the general public.

We also worked on providing TV-am to a as wide as possible audience, including the TV-am fans; they grew up with TV-am and have now reached the age of nostalgia, wanting opportunities for real trips down memory lane. They express their interest on many websites and online networking communities.
In order to reach this audience:
. we designed a TV-am section  ( on our website
. we developed a Youtube channel  (
. we created a Facebook profile  (
. in collaboration with Clips & Bits, we developed an innovative and ambitious project to offer a DVD on demand  ( service
. and we are currently working on projects for education purposes.

Finally, we would like to thank all our customers who licensed TV-am material over the past years, and included it in their programmes, thus helping with making it accessible to a larger public. We hope that 2009 will bring us all even more opportunities to develop projects together....

The way we work

Free research and online viewing
. we can do a search for you in our collections for free. Simply contact us and we will send you a link to an online basket to view the footage relevant to your request.
. you can also do a search yourself in our online database   ( and view complete films as well as clips. Do not hesitate to contact us when doing a search yourself; our staff knows the collections well and will be able to help with your research.
. we can digitise items on demand if they are not yet available online.

Then, when you have found what you are looking for we can compile the footage on a DVD screener or we can create video files for you to download.

What you decide to put in your programme, we'll get transferred onto master tapes.

We do charge both for screeners and masters simply because it involves a cost in terms of time, technical equipment and services.
Usage fees will vary depending on how exactly the footage will be used.

A Sideways Launch

A film to celebrate and chronicle the achievements of the Pollock shipyard in Faversham from 1916 to 1970.

Michael Maloney, director of Moving Image, has produced 'A Sideways Launch', a film available on DVD, which tells the history of the shipyard established in Faversham by James Pollock & Sons (Shipbuilders) in 1916.

The Faversham shipyard was developed at the request of Lord Fisher, the First Lord of The Admiralty. Faversham already had a tradition of shipbuilding, and it soon became a major contributor to markets throughout the world. Vessels such as the Molliette and the Violette both constructed of concrete were the forerunners to over 1200 ships built and launched from Faversham between 1916 and 1969.

The film explores through interviews and original archive film the development of Faversham Creek with frank and often humorous anecdotes from some of the workforce.

The film is intended to chronicle Faversham, the shipyard, but most importantly of all, the people that gave most of their working lives to an industry that has now mostly been forgotten.

The film was successfully shown at the Royal Cinema in Faversham. More...   (

Moving Image Communications Ltd
9 Faversham Reach - Faversham - Kent - ME13 7LA - UK
Tel: +44 (0)845 257 2968 Fax: +44 (0)1795 534 306 | |