Magpie: Volume 1
“One for sorrow, two for joy…”
A hipper, trendier, more working class version of Blue Peter, Magpie was transmitted live twice a week by Thames Television from 1968 to 1980. With its knack of tapping into the latest trends, the emphasis was firmly on fashion, music and fun and the series was presented across its 12-year run by Susan Stranks, Tony Bastable, Pete Brady, Douglas Rae, Mick Robertson, Jenny Hanley and Tommy Boyd. And not forgetting their rather portly mascot - Murgatroyd the magpie!
Out of approximately 1000 episodes made, less than a hundred survive. This volume contains twelve of the best that remain - including the 1976 Christmas show and an edition transmitted live from Beaulieu Abbey.
• My Brother David - this 1971 edition offers a frank and moving portrait of David, a special-needs child, as seen through the eyes of his elder sister (disc one).
• Nearly half an hour’s worth of orphaned film inserts from programmes that no longer exist (disc two).
• the first Magpie Annual in PDF format (disc two).
27/10/1972: Tony introduces Mick’s first show from the studio gallery. Mick is thrown in at the deep end when he goes horse ploughing. Susan investigates the English Civil War and Douglas does badly in goal.
21/10/1975: Douglas and Jenny spend some time larking about on a canal boat while Mick is stuck in the studio, having to be content with giving a potted history of the canals.
16/03/1976: Douglas turns up in the Teddington Studios car park in a Jameson Merlin; but Mick beats him by turning in a filmed report from the Grand Prix at Monaco, interviewing James Hunt along the way.
13/08/1976: Mick introduces the new series titles while Douglas has fun with an RAF sniffer dog and a case of explosives. Mick reports on drag racing.
26/11/1976: Jenny dresses as Cinderella while Mick and Douglas talk to a man who has two 30-year-old cats. Mick reports from Elephantine Island on the Nile.
24/12/1976: It’s Christmas Eve at Teddington Lock and the team alternate between the warmth of the studio and an outdoors carol session. They have a great laugh listing some Christmas fun which used to be illegal.
Special Feature: 06/07/1971 - My Brother David. This 1971 edition is a special filmed report offering a frank and moving portrait of David, a special-needs child, as seen through the eyes of his elder sister.
08/04/1977: Mick, Doug and Jenny travel around France. They visit a number of interesting places, including the Camargue where they see the wild horses.
21/04/1978: Mick tells the story of the Titanic. While Jenny investigates homemade jewellery, Tommy cleans up some rubbish on the Amsterdam waterways.
23/02/1979: While Jenny relaxes in a yoga class, Tommy endures a Royal Navy training course - how to survive a sinking ship!
28/12/1979: The team discuss 1979 in this year-end review. They cover everything from stoats to pantomime horses, sumo wrestling to jellied eels!
11/04/1980: This live transmission from the Beaulieu estate sees some classic cars - both old and new - and the marvellous model railway exhibition.
13/05/1980: Mick gets some cricket coaching while Tommy learns to tap dance. Jenny remembers the time she did a parachute jump with the Red Devils and gave an elephant a bath.
Orphaned Film Inserts: Unearthed on a tape labelled up as a September 1974 edition of Magpie, this collection of filmed reports and other insert footage comes from otherwise missing episodes.