GTC Vice President reveals rare Bowie footage

 

GTC Vice President John Henshall has been speaking of the moment he realised he owned 'lost' footage of David Bowie on Top of the Pops. John had retained a copy of Bowie performing Jean Genie in 1973. "I couldn't believe I was the only one with it. I just thought you wouldn't be mad enough to wipe a tape like that."

The tape was unveiled on Sunday at an event held by the British Film Institute. The annual event, Missing Believed Wiped, was the first time the footage had been seen since January 1973. 

John had kept it because he wanted it for his showreel. In the footage he used Telefex Fisheye lenses which he had designed himself. He also ended up in the background of one of the shots. After the recording he asked producers for a personal copy on 2in (5cm) broadcast videotape.

John says: "I didn't realise it had been wiped by the BBC. They'd been looking for it for years, hoping that somebody had maybe pointed an 8mm home movie camera at the screen, because there was no VHS in those days. I didn't realise anybody wanted it. I just had it because it was my Fisheye."

Bowie's performance of Jean Genie was recorded on 3 January 1973 and transmitted the following day for the first and only time. The first transmission of Jean Genie since that day will be in a BBC4 documentary, Tales of Television Centre, to be broadcast in the new year.

David Bowie on Top of the Pops

After his time with Top of the Pops, John went on to film professional music videos for Blondie, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Kate Bush, Spandau Ballet, Roxy Music and Queen. See some of these videos at:  http://www.epi-centre.com/jhvideos.html
Among other items recovered and shown at Sunday's event were two missing episodes of Doctor Who, a television play by Dennis Potter called Emergency Ward 9 and a comedy sketch featuring Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

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