Welcome to the new blogsite for Film, Television and Media Studies at UEA. We’re delighted to have a new platform for communicating all the exciting stuff that goes on in our department: pioneering new research undertaken by our staff and students; important initiatives engaging with the wider world beyond the academy; reflections on what’s happening in the worlds of cinema, television and media from a range of expert voices. The University of East Anglia has a long and very honourable heritage of cutting-edge work in our subject area, being one of the first UK universities to set up degrees in Film and Television Studies, and that tradition continues to thrive and develop to this day.
But now to explain the name we’ve chosen for the blog: ‘And now, from Norwich…’. Obviously, it has a straightforward literal meaning, signalling its function as a showcase for new ideas from Norwich, the city in which UEA is based. But, for those of a certain age and background, the phrase has an extra resonance. These were the words used to herald Anglia Television’s glitzy ‘quiz of the week’ Sale of the Century, the classic television game show presented by Nicholas Parsons which ran in the UK from 1971 to 1983.
For an impressionable young viewer (like myself at the time), the mysterious city of Norwich thus became inextricably associated with the dazzling cornucopia of consumer luxuries on offer to the lucky contestants. Sadly, such a lifestyle has not come to pass now that I’m actually living here. But despite the indubitable naffness of Sale of the Century and the potential bathos of its opening declaration (Wikipedia describes it as an ‘often-mocked catchphrase’), it remains a key reference point –in Britain at least – for the city of Norwich, and its presence in the media. Of course, that has been largely superseded since Alan Partridge came along, but that’s another story…
So, as a powerful statement of our intention to engage with all kinds of media forms (including highly popular but much-derided genres like the quiz show), and as an expression of regional pride, we’re mobilising ‘And now, from Norwich…’ as the title of our own UEA film, television and media studies blog. We hope you enjoy reading it and perhaps even make it your ‘blog of the week’.
By Dr Melanie Williams, Head of the Department of Film, Television and Media Studies at UEA.