BBC British Garden Birds



The following image shows the front cover for the British Garden Birds disc:

British Garden Birds front cover

The following image shows the back cover of the disc sleeve:

British Garden Birds back cover (note: processed to remove yellowing)

Purpose of the disc

This disc is notable as it was one of the first examples of using the LaserDisc format to combine both video and data (in the form of Teletext). This disc is widely considered to be the proof-of-concept that preceded the BBC Domesday project.

Excerpt from the documentation:

This BBC Videobook introduces a completely new kind of birdwatching - instantly accessible at the touch of a button.

The BBC Natural History Unit is renowned for its wild-life programmes and has now used its expertise to come up with an innovative approach. This is the most authoritative video guide to British garden birds yet produced. It combines, as no ordinary book can, specially selected films of the birds in flight, birdsong and all the factual information necessary for identification in a single, easy to use unit. Add to this the expert presentation of David Attenborough and the result is a living video reference book which adds a new dimension to bird watching.

Over 70 species of birds found in British town and country gardens are covered, ranging from the common to the unusual. They are shown in the order used in current field guides.

Uniquely this LaserVision disc will also reproduce CEEFAX if you have a television set which will decode Teletext. This gives you access to a whole CEEFAX electronic magazine, specially conceived to accompany the Videobook. For full details, select CEEFAX page 101. There are three extra pages of information about each bird and, in addition, if you wish to follow the programme with the aid of sub-titles, these can be found on CEEFAX page 190.

The Laser Video disc

The Laser Video disc side 1
The Laser Video disc side 2

Programme Credits

  • Producer and script:
    • Keith Hopkins
  • Ornithological Consultant and Ceefax text:
    • Mike Kendall
  • Picture Editors:
    • Jim Cryan
    • Ray Burgess
    • John Hayden
    • Frank Riches
  • Sound Mixer:
    • David Old
  • Photography:
    • Andrew Anderson
    • Eric Ashby
    • Rob Brown
    • Paul Cheary
    • Ron Eastman
    • Simon King
    • Hugh Maynard
    • John McCallum
    • Hugh Miles
    • Owen Newman
    • Oxford Scientific
    • Films Ltd.
    • Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds
    • Jim Saunders
    • Heinz Sielmann
    • Maurice Tibbles
  • For Ceefax:
    • Bill Northwood
    • Ian Irving
    • Peter Chick
  • Producer:
    • Andy Finney


The following PDF contains a single A4 page guide that was included with some copies of the disc: