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Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:48

1999

While the previous event had been logistically sound, it was decided to go back to the original style of venue. Relocating to Pontin's Sand Bay Holiday Village near Weston-Super-Mare...

 

"Cult TV: Telly Breakaway" saw a big turnout of guests from both sides of the Atlantic. 

Along with Wendy Padbury and writer Troy Kennedy Martin who arrived unannounced, attendees were entertained by the likes of Kristen Cloke from Space: Above and Beyond, Paul Darrow from Blake's 7, Carrie Dobro and Marjean Holden from the Babylon 5 spinoff Crusade, the first UK convention appearance of the late Michael Billington (UFO, The Onedin Line), Doctor Who assistants Frazer Hines, Louise Jameson and Nicola Bryant, plus William Gaunt, Bill Pertwee, Michael Sheard, mastermind of the latest Blake’s 7 revival Andrew Sewell, Nigel Plaskitt and Hartley Hare, and make-up artist Sue Kneebone.

The cabaret was provided by comedian Mitch Benn, as well as a certain "Nigel Charles", a Sinatra impersonator also known as Stephen Triffitt, who would go on to take the runner-up honour in the televised ITV final of the following year's Stars In Their Eyes.

Sky One Television took the opportunity to launch their new Autumn schedule at the Weekender. Aiding the production team, which had already grown in terms of size and expertise, the new technical crew - BK Sound and Vision of Telford - laid on an audio-visual display that allowed attendees to keep in touch with what was going on no matter which one of the venues they were in.

Posted in History of Cult TV
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:42

2004

Back to Sand Bay for a third year, meaning it now tied as being one of the venues most used by Cult TV ...

 

The guest list was as diverse as ever, including Colin Baker, Bonnie Langford, John Levene, Roy Skelton and Jennie Linden from Doctor Who, Vaughn Armstrong from Star Trek: Enterprise, Danny John-Jules from Red Dwarf, Nicholas Young from The Tomorrow People, Jenny Hanley from Magpie, Sally Geeson from Bless This House, Peter Tuddenham from Blake's 7, producer and director Joe McGrath, stuntman Frank Maher, costume designer June Hudson, and P J Hammond and Shaun O'Riordan - the creative forces behind Sapphire and Steel.

Mark Spencer provided some excellent visuals in terms of making the Cult TV magazine and schedules booklet really fizz, as well as graphics and specially produced video material for the Opening Ceremony and the Awards night. Tony Currie, Robert Ross, Dick Fiddy and Thomasina Gibson, amongst others, ensured that the celebrity guest talks were conducted in an upbeat and informative manner.

This was very much the end of an era. Regrettably, in the run up to the Weekender, Sand Bay had works carried out on many of its smaller venues, meaning that it was not as suitable as in previous years for the requirements of Cult TV. In fact, it was now the case that there had to be less screening rooms, as well as no-one being able to get to the Workshop area without passing through and interrupting what was happening in the Fanstrand location.

Added to this, a move to gain sponsorship of the order of £150,000 from a partnership deal (with a major UK holiday organisation) was frowned upon by several of the Production Crew of the time. Needless to say, as an entirely voluntary activity, these people exercised their right to not return for future Cult TV Weekenders. It is a shame that they did not recognise the considerable opportunity this would have offered the Weekender if the deal had gone through, but the show must go on, and the following year things were not only "business as usual", but to most observers better organised than they had ever been before.

Posted in History of Cult TV
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