I was too young to really appreciate Looks Familiar in the 1970s, but I'm so glad I sat through some of the episodes and was at least aware of the existence of the world of variety; a world that had, by the 1970's, passed into history. I would love to watch it now, grown up and a bit more "Familiar" with the subject. Many great showbiz stars guested and as an archive of theatrical stories Looks Familiar must be unique. Let's hope the programs still exist on tape... and what's more that someone screens them again.
It does seem ironic that a paternalistic approach to broadcasting, as exercised by the BBC in those years, did in many ways lead to much greater cultural choice - like most other kids I'm sure I would have avoided shows like "Looks Familiar" or "Play for Today" if I'd have had 999+ channels to choose from; but the fact that I didn't (or rather couldn't) has made me culturally richer. I can now even empathise with the brilliant Dennis Norden's senior consternation at the modern world. So come on BBC - open up your archives and let's explore the treasures of your golden age... in fact even the a lot of the base-metal stuff would be fascinating to see again.
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