The Complete And Utter History Of Britain, stars Terry Jones and Michael Palin.
In news sure to warm the hearts of archive television enthusiasts everywhere, it’s been announced that The Complete And Utter History Of Britain has been rediscovered.
Airing in January and February 1969 on London Weekend Television, the comedy series starred Terry Jones, Michael Palin and Wallas Eaton. Across six episodes, the three created a run of spoof documentaries about British history.
Until recently, the show was thought partially lost. Only the first two episodes had survived in the personal collection of the director Maurice Murphy. They received a DVD release in 2014, via the late lamented Network.
Now, however, the entire run is complete thanks to the work of ITV archivists who were undertaking an audit – apparently the show was languishing, mislabelled. Additionally, the new finds mean that the entire run can now been watched in colour.
An ITV spokesman told the website Chortle:
“It was found by the ITV Archive team as part of a huge project to fully identify every archive asset ITV holds. The series had been sitting in the ITV vaults though mis-catalogued for decades, but through the identification programme we were able to make this remarkable find. We flagged it to our colleagues in streaming, had the film cleaned and restored from the 16mm telerecordings and then finally made available to our viewers for the first time since the original broadcasts.”
Of course the show, while a fascinating slice of comedy history, holds a particular appeal because its stars: Jones and Palin would go on to become part of the world-conquering Monty Python troupe straight afterwards.
The Complete And Utter History Of Britain covers:
1. From the Dawn of History to the Norman Conquest
2. Richard the Lionheart to Robin Hood
3. Edward the First to Richard the Last
4. Perkin Warbeck to Bloody Mary
5. The Great and Glorious Age of Elizabeth
6. James the McFirst to Oliver Cromwell
The Complete and Utter History of Britian is available to stream via BritBox and ITVX Premium.