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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 08:39

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
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