Thursday, April 27, 2006

Telly addicts

No, this post is not an homage to Noel Edmonds, currently of Deal or No Deal "fame": it's about a catalogue of the BBC's programmes going back to the 1930s.

The BBC Programme Catalogue, which I learned about via the Guardian Technology blog, indexes the Beeb's radio and TV shows. It doesn't quite cover everything (yet), nor does it offer downloads of programmes, but it does what it does very well.

You can search for people, programmes and series titles, among other options. Searching for people seems especially useful, as your results will show you what programmes people appeared in, when they were broadcast, and usually a brief description of the programme.

There are some errors, which the BBC site makes clear from the off, but it's worth a try if you're trying to track down details on half-remembered BBC shows. There are plenty of really nice touches - subject category clouds, lists of people your search target appears with (if your target is a person), as well as some feeds for updates.

Noel Gallagher as a search term gets some typical results - 134 broadcast appearances between 1994 and 2006, pop music as the most common/relevant category, but he's got a questionable "often appears with" list of Robbie Williams, Cherie Blair, Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Liam Gallagher. Blimey!

You'll find a permanent link to the BBC Programme Catalogue in the Television and TV listings section of Signpost.

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