Shaun Lowthorpe, Business editor
Thursday, March 20, 2014
Next week marks a milestone in local television when Mustard TV begins broadcasting on Freeview Channel 8.
But what programmes will you be able to see?
With an emphasis on all things Norwich, viewers are set to see a line-up of programming with a local focus including regular news and weather updates.
Key to the schedule is the Mustard Show, the weekday magazine programme promising a “daily dollop of all things Norfolk”, while sports fans can also tune in to Three Up Front, and Three Up Front Extra, keeping football fans up to date with all things Norwich City.
There are also documentaries and wildlife programming.
One show airing next week is Splinter Bike, following the endeavours of two Norfolk friends seeking to build a 100pc wooden bike in order to set a new world speed record.
For younger viewers there is The Secret of Eel Island, a children’s drama filmed in Norfolk.
Meanwhile, a prominent part of the schedule in the first six weeks will be devoted to a new history series, Archive Half Hour, commissioned for the new channel by Mustard’s managing director, Fiona Ryder.
The six-part series is made entirely from footage selected from the East Anglian Film Archives collection, arguably one of the finest and most complete collections of film relating to the region.
“We always envisaged that Mustard would have space in its schedule for local history programming so we are absolutely thrilled to be starting with such a beautiful and nostalgic series,” she said.
“Archive Half Hour will increase awareness of the region’s heritage and bring back moments from the past into the present,” said Ms Ryder.
The series is narrated by actor, Graham Cole, familiar to The Bill fans as PC Tony Stamp.
He said: “I am passionately interested in local history and love film – so was delighted to record the commentary for Archive Half Hour.
“I enjoyed it and learnt an awful lot about East Anglia’s past. As a relative newcomer to Norfolk it gave me a real insight into the area’s history.”
Archive Half Hour, the title inspired by the immortal comic genius Tony Hancock, is the result of a long-standing relationship between producer Alison Starsmore, from Fragment Films, film editor Ray Gotts, from Timeline Media and the East Anglian Film Archive, in Norwich.
After more than 10 years working with archive film, Ms Starsmore regards this footage as a very special kind of historical document.
“While written records and photographs are essential and informative links with our past, for me, archive film is history with heart,” she said, adding: “Because of its flaws, rather than despite them – the scratches and fading that are part of the patina of old film – archive film has an immense beauty of its own.
“The documentaries, publicity films and amateur collections, curated and cared for at County Hall, complement each other and build up into an amazing picture of our cultural heritage. It’s a priceless resource that is both interesting and pleasurable to watch.”
The series is made from a selection of some of the best films at the archive, chosen because they uniquely illustrate some of the landmarks in the history and heritage of Norfolk and its neighbouring counties.
It includes material featuring all aspects of life in East Anglia across the six-part series, from fishing, to farming, transport and travel, to simply having fun.
For some viewers it will be a delightful trip down memory lane but it’s more than simple nostalgia. For those new to archive it may well be a revelation.
Tune in to Mustard TV from 5.30pm on Monday. Archive Half Hour starts Monday at 7.15pm.