Tag Archives: 60s

A Smashing Time: Murray Melvin on busting taboos in the 60s

 This is one of the most read pieces on my website but the link had stopped working so I’ve re-posted it here. The interview is still available to listen on the iplayer One to One link just below. For the … Continue reading

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The curious idea of museums

This article originally appeared in The Big Issue magazine. Journalism worth paying for. What are museums for these days? Are collections passé? Northampton City Council’s decision to sell off an ancient Egyptian statue to fund a museum extension, after striking … Continue reading

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How RBS bankers wiped The Life of Brian rushes: Stories from Missing Believed Wiped

  TV archiving is, it turns out, a lot like classic archaeology. “What archaeologists want to find most is the midden – [the dump] full of waste, and ephemera which tell you the most about a society.” Chris Perry ofKaleidoscope … Continue reading

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LBJ and JFK: Assassination & the struggle for power

“The King – the President – is dead. The King has a brother. The brother hates the Vice-President. You have a really Shakespearean struggle for power here.”  Robert Caro, Lyndon B Johnson’s biographer talking to me about the assassination. It … Continue reading

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Oh What A Lovely War Commemoration!

Recently the Prime Minister  spoke of his hopes that events  to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War would be a “commemoration that, like the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, says something about who we are as … Continue reading

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People at work: Richard III and The 60s Town Planner

This piece was about Leicester’s repentence for planning atrocities against its medieval past. Thought it worth reposting as the High Court ruled in favour of a “dignified” burial in the city. Full details and judgement here.  Maybe you used to … Continue reading

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Billy Liar, Bradford and the birth of the dollybird

“A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.” Everyone loves Billy Liar. Apart from whoever wrote imdb’s current bizarrely censorious plot summary … Continue reading

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From avenger to screamer: How Dr Who assistants remain trapped in time

The Reunion programme for Radio 4, produced by Peter Curran, recently brought together some of the original cast and crew of the first episode of Doctor Who. The first Dr Who team was notable for its diversity — Waris Hussein … Continue reading

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Philip Larkin and how internet porn began in 1963 (sort of)

1963 was a remarkable year. Among the glut of cultural and historical anniversaries — Dr Who, the assassination of JFK, Billy Liar and Oh What Lovely War! — we should I reckon be marking 50 years since the invention of … Continue reading

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Poor Cows and Angry Young Men: 50 years of Kitchen Sink Drama

The director Ken Loach and the theatre critic Michael Billington remember the dawn of the 60s well. “The 50s weren’t bleak and depressing,” spluttered Loach, listening to art critic Rachel Campbell-Johnston explain the grim postwar era that spawned the new … Continue reading

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