To home page

When I started uploading the Bradbury family's 1973 episodes of "Ask The Family" to YouTube, I did not know that my sister Jenny, the youngest member of the team, had also kept various souvenirs of our adventure. This page presents most of her material, and uses it to correct some of my faulty memories. I'll let the first few items speak for themselves.

1972 BBC compliments slip

1972 BBC researcher note

1972 BBC appearance arrangements letter

I haven't included all the press clippings below, so I'll just mention that one of them reveals this was our second application to take part in the quiz. The previous year we had been designated as one of the reserve teams, but we were not needed. It also almost-correctly describes Dad's occupation: "a senior lecturer in educational technology at Bolton College of Further Education" [the word "Further" should be omitted and "(Technical)" added at the end; it was a specialist teacher-training college, since incorporated in the Unversity of Bolton]. The surviving VHS copies of our appearances were created after he became Director of Educational Technology at Didsbury College of Education, which became part of Manchester Polytechnic (now Manchester Metropolitan University) in 1977.

1972 BBC contract (detail)

1972 British Railways reservation slip

1972 London Pembridge Gardens Hotel flyer1972 BBC TV studios location plan
The Pembridge Gardens Hotel did not, apparently, remain in business very long after experiencing the Bradburys. Although it appears in the 1975 Michelin Guide, it is absent by 1980.

Our first episode was recorded in the crumbling Lime Grove Studios, built for a film company in 1915. Although it was only about 20 minutes long, recorded "as live," the hour-long studio booking included time for various retakes and reaction shots.

1972 BBC producer thanks note

1973 BBC TV schedule change note

Jennifer Sorrell is, I think, the woman who appears in some of my photos of Robert Robinson, as seen in the videos.

1973 BBC payslips for programme + repeat

Official photo taken at 1972 recording [fading minimised]

Our second appearance was recorded at BBC Television Centre on 10 February 1973, for which, thanks to our burgeoning superstardom, we received the enhanced fee of £25.

Jenny's cache of documents includes something I had apparently been determined to forget; an article about our experiences for my school's newspaper, written by "Our BBC Correspondent". I'll spare us the most cringeworthy bits, but here's a flavour, starting with the auditions:
The Manchester studios are fairly disreputable. Producers there are usually referred to as "that dozy old b...", and the offices are soundproofed, one feels to enable people to sleep better.
In London things do at least happen. At the Lime Grove studios, everybody knows everybody else, alcohol flows like water- and they film television quizzes.
The studio we worked in was very large- the fibreglass "set" that viewers see was dwarfed by its surroundings, an oasis of light in a desert of lino and decrepit wiring ... Outside the set are the four cameras- eight feet tall, enormously heavy, and absolutely silent.
Then there are the people: the producers, director, researchers, cameramen, technicians, publicity photographer, question master- and the victims. ...
After a rehearsal, a pause for drinks then back for the recording. We went on to win.
Some months later we returned for the second round- this time at the vast Television Centre. Being round, this building is rather confusing. Also, the studios are purpose built, and the technicians have their own soundproofed palace overlooking the set. We emerged victorious- until the next time.

1973 BBC appearance arrangements letter

1973 BBC contract

1973 BBC payslips for programme + repeat, with payrise

I was almost correct in my video recollection of a flight, but it was actually the return journey from London to Manchester after our semi-final recording, not the trip south.

1973 BEA flight ticket & labels

1973 local news items

1973 Radio Times programme entry

To home page