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alt.comedy.british FAQ (4/4) Buyer's Guide

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Archive-name: tv/british-comedy/general-faq/part4
Posting-Frequency: every 14 days
Last-modified: 23 May 1995
Version: 2.01

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alt.comedy.british FAQ

Part 4: Buyer's Guide

Version 2.01
Compiled by James Kew,

Copyright 1994, 1995 James Kew.
Reproduction in unaltered form for non-profit use is encouraged. Any other
reproduction is prohibited without permission. Vendor details are for
information only. I have no connection with any companies listed in this
FAQ. Do not bend, fold, spindle or mutilate.



  1. Where can I buy copies of my favourite comedy?


1. Where can I buy copies of my favourite comedy?

A word about video: The PAL format used in the UK and elsewhere is
incompatible with the American NTSC format; British videotapes won't play
in American machines. A few multiformat machines are available in the
domestic market; there are also a number of services for format conversion,
but neither are cheap. Many BBC comedies are distributed under licence on
NTSC video by CBS/Fox or, more recently, by BBC/Lionheart TV, a BBC
Enterprises subsidiary. Call them for more info and a useful catalogue:

     Lionheart Television
     630 Fifth Avenue Suite 2220
     New York, NY 10111
     Tel: 212-705-9300

The following mail-order vendors sell NTSC tapes:

Critics' Choice Video
     Telephone 1-708-775-3355 (information, Mon-Fri 0700-2100, Sat
     0900-1700 CT), 1-800-367-7765 (orders, 24h; Spanish-speaker available
     during hours above), 1-800-727-2900 (TDD, hours as above) or fax
     1-708-775-3355. Critics' Choice Video, P.O. Box 749, Itasca, IL
Fusion Video
     Telephone toll-free 1-800-959-0061 or write Fusion Video, 17311 Fusion
     Way, Country Club Hills, IL 60478-9906. Ask for their catalogue "The
     British Video Collection".
Laughinghouse Video
     Telephone 714-956-9032 (1030-1800 pacific time) or write P.O. Box
     8572, Anaheim, CA 92812-0572. Email contact Michael Walsh
     ( Laughinghouse can import PAL-format videos
     and provide a "free" NTSC copy. Their 500 page/6000 title British TV
     and film catalogue costs $10, and includes a $5 discount coupon for
     use on your first order. It's also available in a PC version (Windows
     3.1, supports 16 colours, 256 preferred) at the same price. Also
     available: import music, multimedia titles, and books (as yet no
     Telephone toll-free, any time, 1-800-669-9696, or write Signals, WGBH
     Educational Foundation, P.O. Box 64428, St. Paul, MN 55164-0428. They
     accept major credit cards over the phone and take checks with mailed
     orders. They have a few different catalogues; request the video
The Video Catalog
     Telephone toll-free any time 1-800-733-2232 or write P.O. Box 64267
     St. Paul, MN 55164-0267. They also offer a custom order service,
     "Video Trackers". Call 1-800-71VIDEO (1-800-718-4336), toll-free
     between 0700-0000 CT; if the title you want is currently available,
     they'll find it for you.
Video Collectables
     Telephone toll-free 1-800-268-3891 (USA), 1-800-387-5758 (Canada) or
     write Video Collectables, 350 Newkirk Road, Richmond Hill, Ontario,
     Canada L4C 3G7. They'll mail you a free catalogue.

You could also try calling your local PBS station, they may have tapes of
the show you want for sale.

BBC Video handle UK (PAL) releases of BBC shows on video; contact them for
information on current and upcoming releases:

     BBC Video
     BBC Enterprises Ltd
     80 Wood Lane
     London W12 0TT
     Tel: 0181 576 2236 (Consumer Inquiry Line)

The BBC World Service Shop no longer does mail-order; a new service, BBC
Direct, operates a mail-order service but at present only for UK customers:

     BBC Direct Limited
     First Avenue
     Globe Park
     Bucks SL7 1YA
     Tel: 0800 258259
     Fax: 0800 654653

The BBC Shop in Newcastle, UK, is recommended by several readers for fast
and helpful service, and will happily ship overseas. Videos are of course
in PAL format.

     The BBC Shop
     PO Box 1QX
     Newcastle upon Tyne
     NE99 1QX
     Tel: +44 191 222-0381

DSL sell BBC videos and BBC Radio and Audio Collection tapes; postage is
free in the UK, overseas orders are accepted:

     PO Box 357
     London SW19 8BT

Fast Forward carry 16,000 titles; a catalogue is available for #2.99.

     Fast Forward
     Units 9/10, Sutherland Court
     Tolpits Lane
     Herts WD1 8SP
     Tel: +44 1923 897080
     Fax: +44 1923 896263

John Fitton has been recommended as a good source for UK-released PAL
videos; they also carry a lot of SF merchandise. Credit cards are accepted:

     John Fitton (Books & Magazines)
     1 Orchard Way
     Hensall, Nr. Goole
     North Humberside DN14 0RT
     Tel: +44 1977 661048
     Fax: +44 1977) 662501

PastelBlue sell cassettes, CDs, videos and computer games by email; send a
messages containing the line "HELP" to for more
information. They accept overseas orders and credit cards (with an approval

British comedy books can often be ordered through your local bookstore; ask
them about it. The following bookstores have been recommended by readers of
this FAQ:

     Cinema Books
     4753 Roosevelt Way NE
     Seattle, WA 98105
     Tel: 206-547-7667

The Good Book Guide specialises in shipping books overseas from the UK, and
also carry a range of video (PAL only) and cassette tapes. Subscription to
their monthly catalogue costs #22 UK, #26 Europe, and #31 outside Europe;
you don't need to be a subscriber to take advantage of their service.

     The Good Book Guide
     24 Seward Street
     London EC1V 3GB
     Tel: +44 171 490 9905 (orders) or +44 171 490 9900 (customer
     Fax: +44 171 490 9908

Other UK bookstores you could try are:

     Blackwell's Extra
     50 Broad Street
     Oxford OX1 3BQ
     Tel: +44 1865 792792
     Fax: +44 1865 261355

     Dillons Direct
     PO Box 1992
     Essex CM16 6YB
     Tel: 0345 125704 (UK, local rate), +44 171 439 9921 (overseas
     Fax: 01992 524552 (UK), +44 171 494 1313 (overseas)

YOUR INPUT IS REQUESTED! If you've had success or a bad experience with a
source listed here, or if you're discovered a great source that's not
listed here, let me know!


James Kew,, May 1995

 James Kew                                                  Vauxhall, London

"You know, I'm longing to hear about your tadpoles. Hang on a minute while I
 slip into a gossamer trenchcoat."    -- E.L. Wisty's Tadpole Expert fantasy

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