BBC probably won’t release Harry Enfield, Naked Video, KYTV etc on DVD

About 10 years ago, it looked like there might be a DVD release of Harry Enfield’s older sketch shows – namely, Harry Enfield’s Television Programme, and Harry Enfield and Chums. They popped up on Amazon, before disappearing for good, with a boilerplate note from Amazon – the dreaded “We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock” or something similar.

I decided to contact the BBC, and got a short reply from them saying that the release had been postponed until further notice. I posted about it on my blog (the post is long gone) and as it turns out, quite a few people had been looking forward to buying the DVD.

Some other slightly less-repeated or lesser-known BBC shows were fortunate enough to get released on DVD. (I say less-repeated or lesser-known, as I obviously don’t include the “big name” shows in this list – Only Fools and Horses, for example.) However, they didn’t see a complete release. Only two or three series were released. These shows include:

  • Naked Video – three series released, two unreleased
  • KYTV – two series released, one unreleased
  • Fist of Fun – not released at all – Lee and Herring organised the release of this on their own. (And their follow-up show, TMWRNJ, seems unlikely to ever be released.)
  • 2point4 children – three series released, five unreleased

As it had been about 10 years since I last asked about Harry Enfield, I thought I’d contact the BBC again to find out what’s going on. Here’s the reply I received when I asked about Harry Enfield, Naked Video, and KYTV (I didn’t ask about the other shows):

Hi Ben thank you for your e-mail below which has been forwarded to the DVD Enquiry Line.
We have schedules of DVD/BD & DTO forthcoming releases and 99% of these titles are current programming with broadcast dates of 2017/18.
Suspect, and this is only my personal opinion, that later series of the titles you list below were not released due to disappointing sales of the earlier series.
With DVD retail market declining year-on-year I think it very unlikely that BBC would release these old titles now.
Another possibility could be our DVD rights have expired in these productions making it impossible to release without re-securing DVD rights and clearing all contributors.

Sorry to disappoint you but they do not feature on our schedules which go to end of 2018.
Best wishes
DVD Enquiry Line

So while this might not be a definitive reason for the missing releases (it’s the opinion of the person who wrote back a good and proper reply to my enquiry), it seems pretty likely that this is the case. I did ask whether the titles might get a release on streaming services, but it seems this point was overlooked.

I can only think of a few shows on my list – there may be a lot more. If so, it’s a real shame that some of the lesser-known 1980s and 1990s BBC shows might never be available on DVD, Blu-ray or streaming services such as Netflix (probably).

How to minimise CRUD front-end code duplication in Laravel 5.4 / Twig

CRUD (Create/Read/Update/Delete) is something that developers do quite a bit of. Frameworks can help with this, but there’s still a fair amount of code you’ll need to write for every CRUD screen you put together.

One particular area is the difference between Create and Update. For many of the projects I’ve worked on, Create and Update are often very similar. They aren’t identical, but if there’s enough overlap between them, you can minimise duplicate code with the following setup.

Continue reading “How to minimise CRUD front-end code duplication in Laravel 5.4 / Twig”

Food photos taken before I went gluten-free

I’ve been browsing through some old photos, looking for things that I could post on my blog. In doing so, I’ve come across several food photos (and a couple of drink photos) that are of things I’ve had to give up – or at least change – since going gluten-free in late 2014.

Here are a few of my favourites – or the things I used to like, anyway…

Continue reading “Food photos taken before I went gluten-free”

Shooting album covers in Central Park, NYC

In late September/early October 2006, we went to New York for the first time – so far, the only time. We decided to visit New York while we lived in the UK, as we would be moving to Australia just a couple of weeks later – and the journey would be shorter from the UK.

We visited Central Park, and took photos as we went. Some of these were potential album covers. Here are a few from the shoot.

Continue reading “Shooting album covers in Central Park, NYC”

What is blogging in 2017?

Never mind the future of blogging – what’s the “now” of blogging in 2017?

I’ve been a bit quiet here recently. There are various reasons for this, but if I rolled off a few, they’d sound like excuses.

The quick version? Circumstances change. People change. People move on.

Ironically, I don’t always blog my thoughts in case someone reads something I’d rather they didn’t. By not blogging at all, I’ve certainly taken care of that.

The risk in 2017 (or 2015, or 2020) is that everything you say is so visible. So easy to find – and so hard to erase.

There’s that line for people who worry about their private messages being accessed. “If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ll be fine.” I’ve become a bit paranoid – not because I’m plotting something, but because once you put something in writing, it could be held against you – somehow.

While there are loads of stories about how someone has said or done something terrible, I can’t help feeling that it’s all too easy for one bad comment to permanently tarnish your reputation. There are levels of severity here.

I guess the answer is to not put it in writing. It feels like we’re expected to do this all the time. A blog cannot be too personal, lest you reveal too much. We can’t post negative things online – unhappiness, un-constructive criticism, anger, moaning, venting – because that reflects badly on us.

Thus, we have these uber-positive social media profiles. No wonder the only thing I can remember seeing on Facebook is engagement, marriage, and babies. Occasionally birthdays and barbecues show up. Oh, and holiday photos. There’s not much else.

So, what’s the “now” of blogging in 2017? It feels like blogging – and online life in general – has become very filtered. Based on my own anecdotal evidence, the overwhelming trend for everything I’ve seen friends posting online is that it’s positive – or at least has a positive spin.

I’ve posted less, because I haven’t always had happy things to say. To be honest, I haven’t had much of anything to say. Facebook particularly seems to be geared towards sharing things when you have news – especially when it’s positive. This is perfectly illustrated by the lack of any reaction besides “like”, at least until February 2016. The “like” button “was first activated” in February 2009. That’s seven years of Facebook giving the indication that positive stuff is preferred.

We’re human beings. We’re not always going to be happy. Suppressing negative emotions by not sharing them is probably not a good thing. I’m sure someone else has said that better.

For now, blogging is filtered. Maybe it’s time to change that.