Thursday, 12 August 2010
Here's something which has greatly influenced every layer of The Advisory Circle.
In the mid 1970s, the BBC were (in some ways) quite a forward-thinking organisation. On The Move was the first foray into their new Continuing Education regime; a television programme for adults who wanted to learn basic literacy skills. Several respected british character actors were part and parcel of the whole movement, most notably Bob Hoskins, seen here in one of his earliest screen-acting roles.
Both in televised and book form, On The Move is, for me, a great example of 'optimistic melancholia'. There was a certain feeling about the whole thing; a sense of hope, perhaps, for the adult students. From my point of view, as a young kid watching the re-runs in the late '70s, it was all about the graphics / logos they used, the theme tune (written by Alan Hawkshaw, of course), the sense of warmth, of being in a protective bubble for 30 minutes, as I watched. A nostalgia for the present, if you will.
I'd like to share a few pages of the accompanying book with you. So, all gather round...
First of all, here's an example of Davd Cockcroft's wonderful illustrations used throughout the book. Very educational, very institutional and clean, but with plenty of functional detail.
As you can see, some of the illustrations are a little bizarre. The chap with the oversized suit reminds me a little of David Byrne. You have to also wonder why (what looks like) a mother is bringing her daughter along to see a presumably risqué film, but that's by the by.
And finally, the lyrics to the theme song, written by Alan Hawkshaw, to sing along by. The BBC released the song as a single. It didn't exactly set the charts alight, but nonetheless it was a great little piece of optimistic motivational material in itself. Very interesting.