Friday, 8 July 2016
438 Voices From The Past
First viewed : April 1980
I'm not expecting to ever be able to find an illustration for this one.
Historians of the punk rock movement , when discussing the infamous Bill Grundy interview in 1976 , usually throw in some cheap, lazy line like "Grundy never worked again". That's not true . London viewers may not have seen him on their Today programme for much longer but he certainly wasn't short of work on regional TV for some years afterwards.
BBC North West, for example, employed him as a presenter for a number of shows and this was one of them. I think there was an earlier series but I caught the one that began in May 1980. Voices from the Past, broadcast in the Friday night slot usually occupied by Home Ground , was a serious attempt to investigate whether there was any truth in the theory of reincarnation. It brought into the studio a number of people who believed they'd enjoyed past lives and put them under hypnosis to probe into their "experiences ". The one I remember best was a middle aged lady who answered the expert interrogator's questions as a Jacobite soldier.
Grundy. who'd made his reputation in the sixties as a dependable anchorman, was a sceptical but not hostile host who discussed the findings with the experts in good faith. The programme employed reputable archivists to dig into the records to find out if these past people had really existed and the answer came back negative. At the end of the series Grundy announced that there was no evidence of reincarnation but that the experiment had been a worthwhile investigation into a psychological phenomenon. I tend to agree with him.