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SATURDAY 8TH NOVEMBER 2008 AT THE ROYAL FESTIVAL HALL, THE SOUTH BANK, LONDON

The Philharmonia Orchestra will perform together with guest musicians, including composer-pianist Crispin Merrell (Space Precinct, Lavender Castle and New Captain Scarlet).

Gerry Anderson will be guest of honour along with wife Mary and son Jamie. Brian Blessed will be the compere for the event. Harry Stoneham will be playing on the UFO section as he did with the original sessions recordings.

Net proceeds will be donated to The Cinema and Television Benevolent Fund.

Posted in Latest
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:56

1994

The first Cult TV event took place at Pontin’s Seacroft, Hemsby, on the Norfolk coast, a couple of miles north of Great Yarmouth over the weekend of 11-14 November 1994...

 

Special Guest of Honour was celebrated writer Harlan Ellison, whose numerous television credits included two award-winning scripts for The Outer Limits as well as the iconic Star Trek episode, "City on the Edge of Forever". Regrettably, Sylvia Anderson had to cancel, but it wouldn't be long before she would be a guest of Cult TV's.

Joining Harlan on the guest roster was Jon Pertwee, Doctor Who companions Sophie Aldred and Anneke Wills, writers Victor Pemberton, Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts, along with Carolyn Seymour from Survivors, Annette Andre (Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased)) and her husband, the writer Arthur Weingarten, BBC effects expert Mat Irvine, Dave Rogers, Kevin Davies and Star Trek consultant Richard Arnold.

Many Ellison fans, believing he would never come to a television-oriented event, stayed away and the ambitious attendance target was never reached. While the charities got their money and the guests received their expenses, a hefty personal loan paid for the shortfall on the event; for a while it seemed that this would be the only Cult TV Weekend.

Posted in History of Cult TV
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:53

1996

A return to Haven at Caister for a second year, but trouble is brewing ...

 

The success of the previous year meant a return to Haven at Caister. However in the lead-up to the event a hate campaign organised by a group believed to include former members of the Cult TV production crew meant that the Weekender almost didn't take place.

Proposed guests were sent abusive letters by persons unknown, and rumours of cancellation were rife at rival conventions and in announcements in fanzines. However, the production crew banded together to ensure that the show would go on.

Guests included Gerry Anderson, Barry Morse from The Fugitive and Space:1999, Colin Baker and Elisabeth Sladen from Doctor Who, Kathryn Leigh Scott, ITC producer Johnny Goodman, Sue Lloyd, Valerie Leon, John Carrigan, Red Dwarf actor and comedian Norman Lovett, author Steve Gillis, and composer Mark Ayres.

After an entertaining weekend the event ends on a melancholy note as it was decided that this was going to be the last Cult TV Weekender...

Posted in History of Cult TV
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:45

2002

Looking to find a venue that could cater to everyone's taste, the newly redeveloped Southport Theatre and Floral Hall Complex was suggested for Cult TV 2002...

 

One fly in the ointment was that the venue could not stay open for 24 hours, running a continuous programme. However Southport Tourism and Sefton Council, who put their support behind the event, suggested using The Royal Clifton Hotel just along the seafront as a base of operations for the after-hours events.

For the production crew, this seemed like the ultimate solution. Feedback from previous events suggested attendees were split between those who liked hotel-based events and those who valued a more cheap and cheerful approach. Ranging from three-star hotels to simple bed and breakfasts, attendees could stay in accommodation according to their needs. With Southport Tourism dealing with all accommodation issues it left the crew time to concentrate on the programme.

The line up for the event included Dirk Benedict and Herb Jefferson Jr from Battlestar Galactica, Stargate SG-1's Teryl Rothery, Virginia Hey from Farscape, Claudia Christian, David Jackson, Francis Matthews, Angus Lennie, along with special surprise appearances from Kenneth Cope and Doctor Who's Katy Manning, plus writers Philip Martin, Stephen Gallagher, Steven Paul Davies, Roger Goodman, Gareth Owen and John Freeman, director John Glen, and BBC Radio's Tony Currie. The late Don Estelle performed the Sunday night cabaret, and Rob Fairclough and Mike Kenwood launched their new book "Sweeney! The Official Companion" at the event.

Media coverage of the Weekender was intense, with local papers and radio stations covering the event, along with crews from BBC North West, Granada, and the Channel 4 morning show RI:SE. As the weekend progressed the weather worsened, but the upside was that we had arranged shuttle buses to ferry the attendees between locations during the late-night changeovers.

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
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:39

2006

Over the weekend of 20-23 October 2006, we returned to where it all began - the Seacroft Holiday Village in Hemsby, on the east coast of England...

 

Seacroft had certainly improved in the 12 years since Cult TV last came visiting, and there was a degree of optimism that the right choice had been made.

The whole production team were impressed with Seacroft, following a familiarisation visit in the May of 2006. However, the clues that the background administration for the venue was not all it could be came very early on – with Seacroft’s inability to confirm accommodation bookings to attendees until more than six months after the first wave of bookings were presented to them. The installation of a new computerised booking system was to blame, but this was a warning sign of things to come.

Celebrity guests at the weekend included Elisabeth Sladen, Terry Carter, Herb Jefferson Jr, Norman Lovett, Terry Molloy, Francis Matthews, Dave Prowse MBE, Jeremy Bulloch and the team from Starhyke, Richard Gibson, Kim Hartman, David Barry, Stewart Bevan, Ruth Boswell, Richard Bonehill, Ian Fairbairn, Ron B Moore, Jim Mortimore, Mike Trim, Ken Rock, Ken Basford, John Ainsworth, and a surprise appearance by Stephen Greif.

Behind the scenes, all was not good. Heating was turned off in screening rooms meaning they were far too cold to occupy, lunchtime meals weren’t available where people expected them to be (as agreed in advance and noted in our schedules booklet), and bar opening times were not as had been agreed. Attendees, following the event, made their views on these and other issues well-known to the Production Team when feedback was requested, which left Cult TV with a dilemma – the venue had already been provisionally booked for the following year, and there were many people unhappy with this prospect.

That said, a considerable number of late guest cancellations did not dent the enthusiasm of those who had attended, and even with another reduction in our anticipated attendance, we still managed to raise £3,000 for our chosen charity, MSF.

Posted in History of Cult TV
Saturday, 23 February 2008 08:28

Our Charity Donations

From the very beginning the charity fund-raisng taken on by the annual Cult TV Weekenders were a prime reason for running our events. That spirit continues with the new Cineology TV Weekenders...

 

During its 14 years, the Cult TV Festival Weekenders raised over £51,000 for various charities. We would like to thank all the attendees who have supported us throughout the years as well as the many guests and celebrities who have provided numerous items for the charity auctions.  And now, we continue those fund raising efforts with the Cineology TV Weekenders.

 

ANNUAL DONATIONS

 

1994
£1,000 in total, divided equally between Amnesty International and The Cancer Relief Macmillan Fund.

1995
£3,300 in total, divided equally between Shelter and The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

1996
£3,000 donated to The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths.

1997
£2,450 donated to Shelter.

1998
£2,175 in total, divided equally between The Born Free Foundation, The Royal Theatrical Fund Retirement Home, and The Parkinson’s Disease Society.

1999
£4,302 in total of which £3,700 was donated to UNICEF, £500 to Stars for Scope and £102 for Comic Relief.

2000
£4,700 in total, divided equally between UNICEF and The Variety Club of Great Britain.

2001
£7,715 in total of which £5,900 was donated to UNICEF, £700 to The Western Springs NZ Performing Arts Centre Construction Fund, £500 to The American Red Cross Disaster Fund, £515 to Clatterbridge Cancer Research, and £100 to Wath Animal Rescue.

2002
£5,620 in total of which £3,450 donated to UNICEF, £1,750 to Southport Community Christmas Lights Appeal, £100 to St John Ambulance, and £320, via Claudia Christian, to the Make A Wish Foundation.

2003
£3,000 in total of which £2,800 was donated to UNICEF and £200 to St John Ambulance.

2004
£3,500 donated to UNICEF.

2005
£3,600 donated to UNICEF.

2006
£3,000 donated to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders).

2007
£3,500 donated to the Cinema & Television Benevolent Fund (CTBF).

 

 

NOTE: £2,000 of 2001’s UNICEF donation and £1,700 of 2002’s UNICEF donation was through a Matched Giving scheme.

To find out more about such schemes, either speak to your Employer about providing a "Matched Donation", or if they do not have a "Give As You Earn" Scheme in place, a list of suppliers of employer services in this regard can be found by visiting the INLAND REVENUE WEBSITE.

Posted in History of Cult TV
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