Christmas is madness in so many ways, but one of them is that there is far too much television on to take in all at once. So one of the series that Mr Crownfolio and I stashed away to watch later, was The Home That 2 Built, which is a history of makeover and suchlike programming on BBC2.
We’ve also been watching it in the wrong order, starting with the last programme, about the 90s and 00s. This is because in my past life before this blog, back in the late 90s, I used to make exactly this kind of show.
So I knew there would be a few familiar things in there, but I really wasn’t prepared for how much I recognised. It was like drowning and watching an entire period of my life flash before my eyes as I went under, programme after programme, episode after episode.
‘I filmed that bit. And that one.’
‘That was the first programme we ever made.’
‘She was a cow.’
‘Oh my God, it’s those credits again.’ Etc.
They didn’t interview me, though, opting instead for Laurence Llewelyn Bowen; I can’t think why.
So, fast forward a couple of weeks, and we finally get round to watching the first programme, about the 1960s. This time I really wasn’t anticipating any kind of surprises, but my goodness there was one this time too. Half way through, in a short piece of black and white film, a woman demonstrates how she has turned a dishwasher into an owl.
‘That’s Barbara Jones,’ said Mr Crownfolio.
He thought he was being flippant, but you know what? He was absolutely right. There was Barbara Jones. On our television.
It’s a good owl, too.
If you want to watch it for yourself, this episode is on Youtube, and you can find it about 27 minutes in.
But I do have to warn you, there’s a lot of Laurence Llewelyn Bowen to wade through on the way. For which I do have to apologise. It is after all, in a small way, my fault.
I hope you enjoyed ‘The Home That 2 Built’. I worked on it and it was great fun to make. And you are indeed correct about Barbara Jones. I did a double take when, in a viewing of the programme, she suddenly popped up. I recognised her and her distinctive customised dishwasher. The 1960s programme was called ‘By Design – The Eyecatchers’ and is a rather amusing watch although Barbara Jones appears in it only briefly. Another splendid period piece – which featured in the first episode of The Home that 2 Built’ was the David Hicks/Margaret Powell challenge …
Oh yes, that was rather marvellous wasn’t it.
The COI did something similar, just after the war, when they exhibited a modern and an old fashioned sitting room at Charing Cross Station, and got Mass Observation to find out what people thought. The comments are priceless.