Long-lost Beatles footage to be screened for the first time in 50 years


Long-Lost footage of The Beatles performing ‘Paperback Writer’ will be shown for the first time in more than 50 years.

The footage, which was unearthed in Mexico, is believed to be one of a very few surviving tapes from the iconic Liverpool band miming along to the song back in 1966 on Top of the Pops. At the time of recording, the BBC did not keep the tapes nor did they make copies which resulted in mountains of footage being lost.

Collector David Chandler, who had been storing the tapes, handed over a series of 8mm film reels to Kaleidoscope – a company who specialises in recovering video and TV shows.

The company has now restored 92 seconds of the Fab Four performing having originally released only 11 seconds of the clip. Kaleidoscope’s chief executive, Chris Perry, said in a statement: “Kaleidoscope thought finding 11 seconds of Paperback Writer was incredible, but to then be donated 92 seconds – and nine minutes of other 1966 Top of the Pops footage – was phenomenal.”

Now it has been revealed that Birmingham City University will screen the full clip on Saturday. The event will also feature talks from Ayshea Brough who was a host on Granada Television in the lates ’60s and ’70s’

Here’s an 11 second taster of the footage:

“We don’t know whether or not this particular piece of Top of the Pops history has disappeared forever, but unfortunately there was a time when BBC programmes were not archived as carefully as they are today and some programmes were sadly lost,” a BBC spokesperson previously said back in 2000 about the lost tapes.

“I think if you’re a Beatles fans, it’s the holy grail,” Kaleidoscope’s Chris Perry told the BBC. “People thought it was gone forever because videotape wasn’t kept in 1966. To find it all these years later was stunning.”

The event will be happening at Parkside Building between 10am and 6pm, with tickets available to book here.