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There are several general TV titles
at the moment, with considerable variation in subject matter and
If you're into TV trivia, then any of the general TV books will keep
interested for a while, but (in my opinion) "TV Heaven" and "The
Guiness Book of Classic
British TV" are probably the best.
While you would be lucky to find
these on the shelf of your local book shop, most of them are available
Jim Sangster and Paul Condon, published by Collins, 2005
Weighing-in at very nearly 1000 pages this book surely covers almost
every TV programme ever shown in the UK - maybe the title should have
been something like "The Ultimate Reference".
The format is very straightforward - a section on each TV programme
listed in alphabetical order, with cast list, programme description and
trivia. Even the more minor entries have over 100 words. The cult
programmes are each given their own major section (4 pages on
there are a few b&w photographs along the way.
With a cover price of £19.99 it's the most expensive book listed
here, but in terms of information-per-pound it beats all the others. I'm staggered that
two people could have researched and written so much.
If you only buy one
TV reference book, make sure it's this one.
Written by Jon E. Lewis and Penny
published by Pavilion Books Ltd 1993
Now in its second edition, this
describes many classic TV series, including American imports, seen in
UK. Illustrated with B&W photographs.
It describes Camberwick Green as "a
village idyll of picturesque shops and neat little houses in which
lived happily ever after".
The book goes on to mention: "Gordon
Murray, creator of Camberwick Green was also the man behind that other
puppet-tale Trumpton(1967) in which we met the redoubtable Captain
of the Trumpton Fire Brigade, and his plucky fire fighters Hugh,
Barney Mcgrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grubb."
The Golden Age of Childrens'
Written by Geoff Tibballs, published
ISBN: 1 85286 407 9
Geoff Tibball's tongue in cheek
gives a brief look at many of the earlier generation of children's
from 1950-1975. Well illustrated with numerous photographs.
It describes the Trumptonshire
"animated soap operas". "The hero of Camberwick Green was Windy
while many of the tales of Trumpton revolved around those intrepid
Pugh, Barney, Barney McGrew, Cuthbert Dibble and Grubb."
Besides the text, the book gives
confused) lists of Camberwick Green and Chigley characters, and several
large b&w close-up photographs of the Trumptonshire characters in
sets. While not being 100% accurate this is still a very entertaining
The Golden Age of Childrens'
Written by Geoff Tibballs, published
A follow-on to the book above,
information in a question and answer format. Entertaining stuff, with a
"Trumpton Job Centre" quiz, in which the reader has to pair up various
characters with their occupation. In the acknowledgements, the author
"everyone at Titan books for still believing that there really is such
a place as Trumpton".
Again Geoff Tibballs humour:"What
wonderful place Trumpton must have been to live in - no gangs roaming
streets, no unemployment, and no danger of The Krankies appearing there
in high season."
Strangely the Trumpton character
lists the fire brigade as: Pugh, Pugh, Barney McGrew, Guthbert,
Dibble and Grubb.
The Guiness Television
Written by Jeff Evans, published by
An alphabetical listing of
on British TV, key people, and TV related terminology, but no
Under the Camberwick
entry the author devotes the best part of a page to Trumptonshire, and
describes the programmes as a "rustic puppet trilogy". "Brian
whimsical delivery and the quality of the animation and
have made this little trilogy into children's television classics".
The Guiness Book of Classic
Written by Paul Cornell, Martin Day,
Topping, Published by Guiness Publishing Ltd.
Now in its 2nd edition, this
book reviews only British made television programmes. It not only gives
the obvious information but also looks at what was happening behind the
scenes of British TV, and includes original transmission dates.
The description of the
is undoubtedly the most comprehensive of the books featured here. "Generations
of children (and their equally addicted parents) sat enthralled by a
opera populated by puppets whose mundane trials and tribulations were
a par with anything on 'real' television.
You can tell one of the authors
was a big
fan: "Under 40 episode were made, but each one was a gem. There is
mythical part of Britain that is forever, Trumptonshire"
The book also includes a picture
Murray with some of the Camberwick Green characters. Highly recommended
(even without the Trumptonshire section).
Into the Box of Delights
Written by Anna Home (Head of BBC
Programmes), Published by BBC Books.
Unlike the other books reviewed
the Box of Delights" is a history of children's television, with
emphasis on British production (but not just BBC programmes). Having an
extensive knowledge of the children's TV industry, Anna Home describes
the thinking behind the continuing development of children's programmes
and the events that produced the programmes which reached our screens.
This book gives a valuable insight into the background of many classic
children's programmes. Illustrated with many black and white and colour
photographs, including one showing many of the characters crowding
the fire engine in Trumpton town square.
Excellent in its own right,
for a behind the scenes look, but not a TV trivia book.
Written by Peter Lord & Brian
Published by Thames & Hudson
"The Aardman Book of 3-D
a wonderful introduction to the world of animation. It covers all
of the animation process, from model making and set design to
and music. I particularly liked the way the book brings in
from the whole team, giving an insight into how many different
are involved in successful modern-day animation.
One of the best features of the
its comprehensive selection of 450 detailed colour pictures. Aardman's
Wallace & Gromit appear in many pictures along with other lesser
stars such as Wat and Adam. There are some great close-up shots of the
characters being put together, plus photo sequences showing how the
are adjusted frame by frame to create the illusion of motion.
In the section describing the
of animation over the last century there is a mention of the classic
animators including Gordon Murray, Oliver Postgate and Serge Danot.
"One film maker who found the
to cut the strings and turn to stop-motion photography was Gordon
who, at the beginning of the Sixties, was producing elaborate puppet
about the bewigged inhabitants of a Ruritanian principality named
but who within only a few years was producing stop-motion films
the small-town dramas in idealised rural communities (represented by
settings and characters in 1930's costumes) called 'Camberwick Green'
This book will also appeal to
fans of films
such as "The Wrong Trousers" who have no great desire to make their own
animation, but simply want to know how it was all done.