'Amazing finds' from UTV archives

Published Friday, 04 July 2014
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A wealth of hidden television material has been uncovered after students from the University of Ulster were allowed to explore the UTV archives.

Now the findings of the project, conducted by PHD researchers Ken Griffin and Orla Lafferty, are going on show for the very first time.

Dr Ciara Chambers, a Lecturer in Film Studies at the university, said it has been a fantastic success and has led to some exciting lost footage being unearthed.

"They made some amazing finds in the course of their research," she said.

"For example the only sole surviving episode of Roundabout, a daily UTV magazine series, some very exciting footage of Errol Flynn with a connection to Belfast and also very significantly an episode of School Around the Corner, which was actually an RTÉ series from the 60s.

"Now, it was thought that that entire series had been lost, so UTV were very excited to send that episode back to RTÉ where they re-broadcast it. They managed to track down the individual children who appeared in the original series and interview them about their experiences.

"This lead to RTÉ receiving an international award for most innovative use of archive material."

Dr Chambers said it is important that projects such as this continue to happen, as she believes there could be a wealth of hidden archive material still out there.

She continued: "We are celebrating the findings of both Ken and Orla's research today and we are also highlighting the important nature of this type of research for the future.

"Northern Ireland is the only region in the UK not to have a dedicated moving image preservation site, so it is important that academics, broadcasters, the keepers of private archives and museums work together to ensure that we preserve our audio-visual past."

© UTV News
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