video Section |
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Gateway to the Video Section

Of the [numerous] different sections on this website, the VIDEO section is the nearest to being Clive's Excellent Adventure. The thirty-minutes-long conversations of Talking in the Library Series 1 to 3 were all recorded in 2001-2 with minicams, so the production values were bound to be low. The title is a grand way of describing my London living room.

A new series, recorded in September 2006 in the less exiguous circumstances of a production alliance with SkyArts, looks technically more adroit, mainly because SkyArts understandably wanted the image to look better than the bottom of a bucket when they transmitted it on their channel.

The decisive step forward in the matter of web transmission, however, has come from Slate online magazine editor Jacob Weisberg's visionary decision to take on a Gyro Gearloose project and transfer it from the garage to an international airport. (As a result, the previous text that stood on this page, and which so eloquently evoked the deprivations of the pioneers, has been relegated to the VIDEO section's earlier homepages page, where scholars may consult it to find out how, in the early days of this branch of webcasting, the personnel sustained existence by means of take-away Chinese food. It was all true, but now we have moved from the stage of staying alive to the stage of having something to live up to.) As of March 2007, the programmes are being serialised on Slate through a state-of-the-art, cutting-edge, whizz-bang media player, under the flatteringly direct title The Clive James Show.

Talking in the Library/The Clive James Show video series 5 includes conversations with actors and authors Emma Thompson and Stephen Fry, actor Jeremy Irons, novelist Nick Hornby, literary biographer Claire Tomalin, literary critic Professor John Carey, and television and film actors and authors Victoria Wood, Catherine Tate and Alexei Sayle. It was recorded and produced by SkyArts in May 2007. Due to administrative complications the launch online has been delayed. We're working on it.

Apart from the Talking in the Library/Clive James Show programmes, other programmes, with or without me, can be accessed through this page, beginning with fragments of old shows strangely preserved on YouTube, like junk in space. Among those featuring are: Stephen Fry, the Spice Girls, Peter Cook, Joanna Lumley, Kate Winslet, and Alice Cooper.

— London, March 2008

[ Archive Editor's note: Clive remarks on the low production values of his first seasons of Talking in the Library, and blames them, unfairly I think, for the poor picture quality of the digital copies passed down to us. These copies show evidence of multiple transits through bit-rate reduction and down-sampling processes, often with incorrect settings, revealing what appears to be negligence, or possibly merely unfamiliarity with the technology involved in the early preparation and curation of the material for the Web. Because of these problems I had at first intended to omit these files from the VIDEO section of this archive (leaving only the soundtracks in the AUDIO section, HERE), but given their importance and my failure to locate unprocessed copies, I have decided to include the videos as they are, with caveats. (Far worse insults have, you will see, been inflicted on the surviving copies of Fame in the 20th Century!) There's more detail on all of this, HERE. See the menu at left for access to all the video recordings. — SJB, August 2020 ]