Review – Keith Richards’ Lost Weekend (in full)

If you haven’t discovered it already on BBC Iplayer, last weekend, BBC4 gave Keith Richards the role of Channel Controller for three nights!  Some of the programmes were listed on EPG’s and in TV guides, but in the way a pirate broadcast would be done, some of them were kept quiet too.

Friday September 23rd 2016:

So, what did we see on Day 1 (Friday)?  And, when was the last time on TV that we’re watching it and we don’t have a clue what’s coming up next – it really is a genius touch – come on BBC Four, we want more of them!

You can catch up on Keith’s links right here at


First up, we see some vintage early Rolling Stones footage – can’t remember the last time clips from music show ‘Ready Steady Go’ were on TV!  Then, a Tex Avery cartoon – a surprising choice!  I’m liking Keith’s programme selections!

They get better – next up is a 1959 episode of ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ called Twelve Angry Men – bear in mind that an episode of Hancock’s Half Hour hasn’t been shown on BBC4 since 2012 – and not on BBC2 since 1999! The comedy continues with a Spike Milligan ‘Q’ compilation.

Before 9pm we have the Rolling Stones promo video from 1983 ‘Undercover of the Night’ then an interesting 8 minute film from 1976 called “C’Etait Un Rendezvous” (see here – which sees a car speeding round Paris one morning, brilliant footage.


Next up a documentary all about Keith Richards called ‘The Origin of the Species’.


Keith’s back with more clips!  Interesting one here – Salvador Dali appearing on ‘What’s My Line’ in America!


Time for Keith’s first film choice – the Hitchcock classic ‘The 39 Steps’.


Keith’s back – we get to see an ‘Interlude’ film in this bit – from the early days of BBC Television, where there was a break in programming, they’d put one of these on…  fascinating footage from years gone by.  He also tells us how to make Shepherd’s Pie…  there’s another Tex Avery cartoon and there’s Old Grey Whistle Test footage of Patti Smith.


Another film – ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’ from 1957.


Another Keith Richards snippet – starts with some Chuck Berry footage…  another BBC Interlude film.


Final film of the evening ‘The Sorcerers’ from 1967, a “sinister story of mind control”…


Final Keith Richards link of the night – and we see a clip of an old BBC Television closedown and we hear the National Anthem!  I miss that on TV 😦

And, that’s Day 1 over – 2 more to go!

Saturday September 24th 2016:


The 2nd evening starts with ‘King-Size Canary’, another Tex Avery cartoon offering.  We also see a second Spike Milligan ‘Q’ compilation, followed by some old commercials – including a Kelloggs Rice Krispies offering with a Rolling Stones composed song for the ad!  It’s quite catchy, see what you think.


Documentary time – and from 1969, it’s an hour long profile of Johnny Cash, called ‘The Man, His World, His Music’.


More musings from Keith, including footage of Buddy Holly.


Next up – ‘London – The Modern Babylon’ – the story about our capital.


Another cartoon, a Rolling Stones promo video for ‘She Was Hot’…  an episode of Hancock’s Half Hour called ‘The Knighthood’ (one more to come on Sunday)…  another BBC interlude… and another cartoon!  (When was the last time we had cartoons like these on the BBC?  Anyone know?  They should bring them back – come on BBC4!)


Film time – ‘Bicycle Thieves’ from 1948.  An Italian choice from Mr Richards…


Archive clips fill this half hour – Alan Whicker pops up, there’s also clips from an old interview with Keith Richards too.


Last film of the evening – ‘I Walked With a Zombie’ from 1943!


Keith closes the evening – and one day to go.  See you for the final day on Sunday!


Sunday September 25th 2016:


We start the evening with some monochrome Rolling Stones footage, Jimi Hendrix appears then into another Tex Avery cartoon.  And… an episode of children’s series ‘Captain Pugwash’ – a great treat!


Into the first film of the evening – ‘The Man Who Would Be King’ starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine.


Time for a 1961 documentary called ‘Lords of Little Egypt’ – about the lifestyle of gypsies in the Camargue.


We see some wildlife clips (Keith seems to like these, the weekend is full of them!), another BBC Interlude film – then into another episode of ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ from 1959 called ‘The Big Night’.  For me, the best bit of the weekend has been seeing the Hancock episodes transmitted.  Then, there’s some colour Beatles footage…  and we see the Stones on Top of the Pops.


Film time.  A movie called ‘Pandaemonium’ – about the relationship between Coleridge and Wordsworth.


Time to see a documentary not advertised, all shot in the sixties – and titled ‘The Memory Marbles of Anthony Stern’.


Film time again – this time a Robert Mitchum movie from 1947 titled ‘Build My Gallows High’.


Keith comes back to conclude the weekend – it’s all over 😦  Some great choices from Mr Richards over the three nights, catch up with some of them if you can!  Hopefully this guide will help you find some of the bits that you’d be interested in.

Please leave your comments on the weekend below – what were your favourite bits?  Chris





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