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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 January, 2005, 16:44 GMT
'Lost' Dennis Potter drama found
Dennis Potter
Potter was one of the first playwrights to embrace television
A TV drama by playwright Dennis Potter, thought destroyed after its one and only broadcast, has been rediscovered.

Shaggy Dog was transmitted in 1968 but no copy was thought to exist due to the expense of making early TV recordings.

However, vintage TV enthusiast group Kaleidoscope found the 51-minute show in broadcaster LWT's London archive while researching a book on ITV dramas.

"While not one of Potter's more controversial works, it shows his early approach," said member Chris Perry.


Potter was one of the first playwrights to fully embrace the medium of television from 1965 until his death in 1994.

His dramas such as Son of Man, The Singing Detective, Brimstone and Treacle and Blackeyes attracted critical praise and public outrage with depictions of Christianity, rape and sexual objectification.

Black and white drama Shaggy Dog stars John Neville as a petulant businessman who spectacularly snaps during a job interview.

The Singing Detective
Michael Gambon starred in Potter's drama The Singing Detective
"It was a very well-written and well-made piece of television," Mr Perry said.

"I don't think it will set anyone's world on fire in the way Potter's later work did, but people will see that it is good."

Mr Perry found the drama in the LWT archive at London's South Bank while double-checking his records of existing shows.

"No-one else was looking for it because previous checks proved fruitless, but we were persistent," he said.

"Television archives typically contain up to 30,000 titles so programmes can occasionally be mis-filed, or there may be no record of them at all."

It is in good condition and deserves to be shown on television again
Chris Perry, Kaleidoscope
The fact Shaggy Dog was a one-off play, rather than a lucrative series, lessened the chance of a copy having been made during LWT's early days.

"Out of the 200 'lost' titles we searched for, Shaggy Dog was the only one we found," Mr Perry said.

"But it's in good condition and deserves to be shown on television again."

Kaleidoscope will show Shaggy Dogg at a screening in Stourbridge, West Midlands, on 12 March.

Potter celebrated in home county
26 Jun 04 |  Gloucestershire
Singing Detective is off-key
21 Nov 03 |  Reviews


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