March 12, 1999: Doctor Who in “The Curse of Fatal Death”

The Curse of Fatal Death was a Comic Relief segment created for part of 1999’s Red Nose Day Celebration.

The Master corners the Doctor and Emma on Tersurus, prepared to unleash the deadly vengeance of deadly revenge!

First broadcast March 12, 1999 on BBC One at 8.00pm; four parts

Notable Cast & Crew

  • Rowan Atkinson – “The Doctor”
  • Richard E Grant – “The Doctor”
  • Jim Broadbent – “The Doctor”
  • Hugh Grant – “The Doctor”
  • Joanna Lumley – “The Doctor”
  • Julia Sawalha – “Emma”
  • Jonathan Pryce – “The Master”

Find out more

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March 8, 1969: Doctor Who in “The Space Pirates”

Season 6 – “The War Games”

The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe find themselves inside a space beacon being attacked by space pirates. The travellers are separated from the TARDIS and flung into the depths of space.

First broadcast March 8 – April 12, on BBC 1 at 5.15pm; six parts

Notable Cast & Crew

  • Patrick Troughton – “Dr Who”
  • Frazer Hines – “Jamie McCrimmon”
  • Wendy Padbury – “Zoe Heriot”
  • Jack May – “General Hermack”
  • Donald Gee – “Major Ian Warne”
  • George Layton – “Technician Penn”
  • Robert Holmes – writer

Find out more

Novelised as The Space Pirates

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February 12, 1959: “Separate Tables” released in British cinemas

Separate Tables is a drama film based on two one-act plays by Terence Rattigan that were collectively known by this name.

During the off-season at the Beauregard Hotel, the secrets of some guests are exposed. Lovely but vulnerable Ann Shankland travels to the hotel in hopes of starting over with her ex-husband, John, but she does not know that he is already engaged to Pat Cooper, the manager of the hotel. Meanwhile, Mrs. Railton-Bell and her daughter Sibyl discover the hidden truth about war veteran Major Pollack.

  • Released in British cinemas February 12, 1959
  • Broadcast on British television December 14, 1985 on BBC 2

The international stage success seen by more than 42 million people in 145 cities all over the world!

Notable Cast & Crew

  • Rita Hayworth – “Anne Shankland”
  • Deborah Kerr – “Sibyl Railton-Bell”
  • David Niven – “Major David Angus Pollock”
  • Burt Lancaster – “John Malcolm”
  • Wendy Hiller – “Pat Cooper”
  • Rod Taylor – “Charles”

Find out more

Based on the stage play Separate Tables

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February 12, 1999: “Jack Frost” released in British cinemas

Jack Frost is a Christmas fantasy comedy-drama film.

Jack Frost, a father who can’t keep his promises, dies in a car accident. One year later, he returns as a snowman, who has the final chance to put things right with his son Charlie, before he is gone forever.

The costume for Jack Frost’s snowman form was created by Jim Henson‘s Creature Shop.

Released in British cinemas February 12, 1999

Jack Frost is getting a second chance to be the world’s coolest dad…

If he doesn’t melt first.

Notable Cast & Crew

  • Michael Keaton – “Jack Frost”, Charlie’s dad, and vocalist & harmonica player of The Jack Frost Band
  • Kelly Preston – “Gabby Frost”, Jack’s wife/widow; Charlie’s mother
  • Henry Rollins – “Sid Gronic”, ice hockey coach
  • Mark Addy – “Mac MacArthur”, Jack’s keyboard player and best friend
  • Ahmet Zappa – “Snowplough Driver”
  • Dweezil Zappa – “John Kaplan”, music agent
  • Moon Unit Zappa – “School Teacher” (uncredited)
  • Trevor Rabin – “Trevor”, The Jack Frost Band lead guitarist; film score


Find out more

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Steve Backley (1969-)

Steve Backley, OBE (born February 12, 1969) is a retired British track and field athlete who competed in the javelin throw. He formerly held the world record, and his 91.46 m throw from 1992 is the British record. During his career, he was a firm fixture in the British national athletics team. Currently, he is an occasional commentator for athletics competitions, especially the field events.

20th Century Highlights

  • 1990 Commonwealth Games, Auckland – Gold (England)
  • 1990 European Championships, Split – Gold (Great Britain)
  • 1992 Olympic Games, New Zealand – Bronze, and a British Record of 91.46m, then a World Record (still standing)
  • 1994 European Championships, Helsinki – Gold
    (Great Britain)
  • 1994 Commonwealth Games, Victoria – Gold (England)
  • 1995 World Championships, Gothenburg – Silver
    (Great Britain)
  • 1996 Olympic Games, Atlanta – Silver
    (Great Britain)
  • 1997 World Championships, Athens – Silver
    (Great Britain)
  • 1998 European Championships, Budapest – Gold
    (Great Britain)
  • 1998 Commonwealth Games, Kualar Lumpur – Silver (England)


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February 12, 1979: Steve Jones joins BBC Radio 2

TV presenter and voiceover artist, Steve Jones, joined BBC Radio 2 this day in 1979. He had previously been a disc jockey on BBC Radio 1 between 1972 and 1973.

Between 1979 and 1985 he made over 600 appearances on the station, starting out on the Early Show at 5am on weekday mornings (1979-1980).

He then hosted 14 episodes of the Steve Jones Request Show at 2pm between 1980 and 1981. During this time he also provided commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1980, he presented nine Saturday and Sunday Shows, which include Family Favourites. In 1981 he hosted five Steve Jones’ Open House shows, two editions of Saturday Night is Gala Night from the Golders Green Hippodrome, and introduced the New Year’s Eve Special.

In 1983 he presented two Steve Jones’s Late Shows before returning in 1984 with a midday programme. The following year, he moved to the 4pm weekday slot and 10pm on Saturdays. His last full show was on July 5, 1985.

In 1986 and 1987 he guested on editions of general knowledge quiz On Cue, and Shaw Taylor’s The Law Game.

In 1994, he sat in for Ed Stewart and, in 1995, for Ken Bruce. On Christmas Day 1994 he hosted Steve Jones’s Christmas Night.

In August 2009, he broadcast five shows at midnight.

Source: BBC Genome*

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Eva Gabor (1919-1995)

Eva Gabor (February 11, 1919 – July 4, 1995) was a Hungarian-American actress, singer, and socialite. Gabor was successful as an actress in film, on Broadway and on television. She was also a successful businessperson, marketing wigs, clothing and beauty products. Her elder sisters, Zsa Zsa and Magda Gabor, were also actresses and socialites.

20th Century Highlights

  • Forced Landing (1941), in UK cinemas January 1942 – “Johanna Van Deuren”
  • The Truth About Women (1957), broadcast on BBC 1 in February 1966 – “Louise”
  • A New Kind of Love (1963), in UK cinemas October 1963 – “Felicienne Courbeau”
  • Green Acres (1965-1971), broadcast on BBC 1 in 1966-1967 – “Liza”
  • The Aristocats (1970), in UK cinemas December 1970 – “Duchess”
  • The Rescuers (1977), in UK cinemas October 1977 – “Miss Bianca”
  • The Rescuers Down Under (1990), in UK cinemas October 1991 – “Miss Bianca”


*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of these websites