TV Cream

Cream over Britain

Run VT

As fantastic as tonight’s rank-the-prime-ministers two-hour BBC4 marathon was, it did fall back one too many times on obvious archivery. How many occasions has that same footage of an over-daubed half-dressed woman dancing alone in a muddy field been rolled out to denote the Swinging Sixties?

Anyway, here’s a rundown of other all-too ubiquitous clippage for future documentarians to avoid. How many can you collect over the next seven days?

End of the Second World War: Winston Churchill in an open-topped car waving his hat around
Late 1950s: Woman taking delivery of a washing machine
Early 1960s: Girl screaming at The Beatles and holding her hands against her face
Late 1960s: George Best pouring champagne onto a pyramid of glasses
Permissiveness: Mary Whitehouse standing up in an audience of old people complaining about “the dirtiest programme” she’s ever seen
The three-day week: Old women in a supermarket with lighted candles tied to their trolleys
The Falklands War: men marching across a field with a Union Jack tied to a radio mast
The miners strike: Arthur Scargill being arrested
The 1980s boom: A businessman talking into a brick-sized mobile phone
Mrs Thatcher in control: Maggie re-arranging tiny flags at a press conference
Mrs Thatcher not in control: Maggie being pulled along the beach by a small dog
Black Wednesday: A businessman running across an office looking crazy
John Major: PM sipping a pint of beer in a tiny near-empty village pub
Tony Blair: PM heading a ball with Kevin Keegan
Princess Diana: Martyn Lewis blubbing



  1. Droogie

    September 23, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    Great list, but you forgot the definitive Pathe News clip to show the Swinging 60’s – a guy in a top hat and black edwardian soldiers tunic outside a Carnaby Street boutique going through a clothes rail of Seargeant Pepper-style jackets. They usually also show a clip of some hippies dancing to a band at a tiny music festival in a field while smoke bombs go off on the ground.

  2. Anonymous

    September 24, 2007 at 7:20 pm

    There’s the venerable old clip of rubbish being piled on the streets to represent punk-era Britain. The Winter of Discontent is the hoariest old political cliche around!

  3. Five-Centres

    September 26, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    I was going to say, don’t forget the man rifling through military jackets in the King’s Road, or hte one trying one one. A sure sign of the Swinging Sixties.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To Top