The YouTube Files – an introduction.

Here’s a quick story about how I became interested in old TV clips on the internet and why I decided to upload my own.

We first got the internet in our house in 2000, but we didn’t have a computer at the time, so how was this possible? Because we had subscribed to On Digital we decided to take up a thing called “On Net”, where you could access the internet through your television. You were sent a keyboard and a modem and all that so we decided to give it a try.

I decided to have a look for sites that had old TV clips on them and I was really surprised that such sites existed. There was only really TV Ark and TV World in those days but I found them fascinating and a great way to increase my knowledge of various TV channels over the years. Also because it was the pre-broadband days the sites were very slow but it was enjoyable.

A few years later, when we’d finally got ourselves a PC, I went on sites including TV Forum and MHP. I learned a lot from these sites but I never really plucked up the courage to join a forum, and although MHP was a very good source it does seem a little 1998 now, but I joined and downloaded lots of videos. After a while I decided it was right to give something back.

When I first went on YouTube I decided to look for old BBC and ITV clips. I realised what a remarkable source this site could be, as a Londoner I was only familiar with Thames/Carlton/LWT and now I could watch videos from any region I wanted and finally discover famous announcers and local news programmes from regions that I had never been to.

One day I decided to compile all the advert breaks I had on some old tapes all on to a few tapes, and then on to a few discs. These were lying around for a while when I realised that it would be great to share these with people and finally reveal myself to be fan of old continuity clips.

So one day I just decided to join YouTube. I wasn’t really sure what I was getting myself into but I thought I might as well try. There were a lot of people whose channels I enjoyed on YouTube and when they all started to subscribe to me and comment on my videos providing dates and things I was hugely flattered, it felt as if I had been accepted into the group of people who like to talk about this subject online and I was really pleased.

I now have 2,143 subscribers which has exceeded all my expectations, so I wondered how I could expand my presence on the internet. A few years later I decided to join Twitter. Once again, I was pleased that just about all the people I wanted to follow who knew their stuff about old TV followed me back and it was great that they wanted to give me my support and they were interested in what I had to say. I decided to use Twitter to upload some old scans from TV magazines, plus pictures of old TV clips.

So this year, now I was more confident and I wanted to share my knowledge, I decided to start a blog where I could talk in more detail about my memories of programmes that I have enjoyed watching over the years and after only a couple of weeks on here I’m pleased with my progress.

So one thing I will do on here is talk about some of the strange clips that I have found on YouTube, not those stupid videos will people falling over “that have taken the internet by storm”, just any TV shows I’ve enjoyed watching that fall into the “unclassifiable” category, I’ll upload my first piece reviewing a YouTube clip later.


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