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Now and Then

1 9 6 7 – 1 9 6 8 (UK)
330 x 25 minute episodes

When Canadian-born British television personality finished his show On The Braden Beat in 1967, he developed a new programme titled Now and Then where he would interview leading personalities about their careers, hopes and aspirations and then re-visit the subjects a couple of years later to see how things had turned out.

Braden financed the complete project himself and the first interviews were recorded in September 1967. Between September 1967 and June 1968 over 330 interviews were filmed, a total of nearly 110 hours of footage.

The programme was never realised as Braden was given the chance to host a new show on BBC television, Braden’s Week (1968-72), and the interviews remained in storage, unused for 40 years. In spring 2008, the complete collection of interviews was donated to the BFI.

The off-screen interviewer was usually Braden himself, although Barbara Kelly and Derek Hart, a former BBC Tonight journalist, also handled some interviews.

Subjects included Sean Connery, Tom Jones, Peter Ustinov, Cilla Black, Sylvia Syms, Lulu, Peter Cook, Spike Milligan, Joan Littlewood, Quentin Crisp, Hayley Mills, George Martin, Roy Castle, John Boulting, Dame Sybil Thorndike, Enoch Powell, Robert Maxwell, Huw Wheldon and Jeremy Thorpe.

In December 2008 extracts from the Now and Then interviews were screened on British television for the first time in a three-part series shown on Channel Five called 1968 Unseen. The programmes mixed the archive interviews with present-day interviews including their subject’s reactions upon seeing and hearing their earlier selves.

Bernard Braden
Barbara Kelly
Derek Hart