This blog is by Steve Bryant. I’m a retired television archivist, which means I spent a career being responsible for selecting television programmes for long-term preservation. I was at the BBC from the late seventies to the late eighties, where I became the Archive Selector, responsible for ensuring the most important stuff got kept for the Beeb’s purposes and for posterity. I then moved to the British Film Institute, where I worked for 29 years until my retirement in late 2016. Firstly I was Television Officer in the National Film Archive, then Keeper of Television in the National Film and Television Archive, then Senior Curator of Television in the BFI National Archive – all the same job, just different titles for different regimes.
I liked being “Keeper of Television” best, hence the title of this blog, which is dedicated to the notion that there is plenty of TV which is worth keeping, owning and constantly revisiting. Though my professional focus was on British TV – pretty obviously, as I worked for two great cultural organisations with the word “British” in their title – I love TV from all over the world. I was on the Executive of the International Federation of Television Archives for 20 years, then on the Board of Jurors for the Peabody Awards in the US from 2010 to 2016, a period which saw an explosion of great TV, especially in the States.
Retirement has given me even more time to watch TV and films and to catch up on some of the treasures I didn’t have time for before, and, in the absence of any of the professional platforms I previously enjoyed, this blog is a way of expressing a few thoughts on what I’m watching, putting that into the context of what has gone before and hopefully contributing to the multitude of ongoing debates on the medium.