625: Andrew Wiseman's Television Room (2K)
625 - Public Information Films (14K)

Download and Play Area 1

with thanks to Rory Clark, Gareth Randall,
Paul Taylor, Mike Clark.

Darren Meldrum, curator of The Test Card Gallery, presents a selection of Public Information Films in RealMedia 5.0 format (at 60-80K/s) for your viewing pleasure. All of the films are sited at Darren's Meldrum Home Page.

Download and play Click on the picture or the hard disk icon to download the film to your computer before playing (recommended). Play directly (fast connections only) If you have a fast enough link (e.g. ISDN), click on the RealPlayer icon to stream the film directly from the internet.


Amber Gambler (4K) Download (303K)

Play Now (41s)


This film features the tale of a strangely-dressed man who, every time he goes out in his car, dices with death. He's an amber gambler. One of those drivers who has to speed off before the lights change to green and always keeps going if the lights turn amber. One day his behaviour nearly causes him to crash into another car. As both drivers get out of their vehicles for a punch up, they realise they are driving identical green Ford cars and have the same terrible dress sense. This is what happens when two amber gamblers meet. (Or perhaps they were long lost twins?)

"Don't be an amber gambler. You might not be the only one around."


Unplug all of your electrical devices before you retire to bed and you'll prevent fire. Get into a bedtime routine, says the film. This couple take the advice literally, performing their own song and dance routine each night.

" Get a routine, show your intention ... Fire Prevention!"


Download (682K)

Play Now (90s)

Get a Routine (4K)

Beware of Rear Dazzle with Peter Perves (4K)

Download (451K)

Play Now (60s)


Viewers will know Peter Perves as a former presenter of Blue Peter. Here he is presenting a film that I wish was still being shown, since drivers who switch on their fog lamps when it's a bit cloudy really get on my wick! Peter seems keen to show us that just because he used to do Children's TV, he's still cool. He greets us with a "Hi there!" and even looks a bit like The Equaliser in this!

" ...who needs a rear end shunt? ... only use rear fogs lights when there's a real danger that otherwise you won't be seen."


Falling asleep at the wheel is given the rather posh name of driver fatigue. If lorries suddenly loom up on you, the advice from the authoritative and well-spoken voice is to wind down the window, turn on the radio, get off the road and have a cup of coffee.

"Driver fatigue - it could put you to sleep for good!"

Supplied by Paul Taylor

This PIF appears on the Charley Says Vol. 2 DVD.

Download (611K)

Play Now (60s)

Driver Fatigue (5K)

Driving in Fog (3K) Download (285K)

Play Now (40s)


This film has the unusual distinction of being the longest running PIF still in use. It was made in the late Seventies and was still played in December 1997, making it nearly twenty years old. Driving in fog is likened to playing Blind Man's Buff. So when the little girl in the blindfold falls over, you hear the sound of a crash, which is a lot cheaper than filming a car crash!

"Where's dad? He's gone to Birmingham."

This PIF appears on the Charley Says Vol. 2 DVD.


This is quite a disturbing film. The camera roams around the burned out shell of a house, and as it goes from room to room, you can hear the echoed screams of the children, presumably caught in the blaze, crying out.

"Please keep matches away from children."

Download (392K)

Play Now (45s)

Keep Your Children Away from Matches (4K)

Electricity Can Kill (5K)

Download (255K)

Play Now (30s)


This film features some plonker with a big drill who hasn't bothered to change the plug. Instead he uses a screwdriver in the socket so he can put the wires straight in, keeping the live and neutral wires connected with matchsticks. Did people really do this? As he drills away, he doesn't notice the earth wire slip out, but he's more than slightly startled (shocked even!) when it touches the live wire. An equally stupid work mate then comes over and touches the live drill and is thrown back across the workshop.

"Fix things properly."

This PIF appears on the Charley Live video and the Charley Says DVD.


A child plays happily in the garden when, as she approaches the pond, the background music turns sinister. You hear a splash and you see her balloon float off, and in case that was too subtle there's also a shot of an unrealistic doll face-down in the water. So cover your pond or turn it into a sand pit!

"But don't expect children as young as this to keep away from water just because you tell them"


Download (449K)

Play Now (60s)

Ponds (5K)

Teach Them To Swim with Rolf Harris (8K)

Download (447K)

Play Now (60s)


Rolf's tale of how he nearly drowned as a child is a classic and probably the best thing he's ever done!

"Frightened the wits out of my mum and dad. Once they get that confidence in the water, they love it."

The full script is here.

This PIF appears on the Charley Live video and the Charley Says DVD.


Bernard Cribbins narrates the story of how young woodland creatures should always get their mothers to accompany them when going for an ice-cream. Because of the target audience, we are spared the graphic details of the accident - the action happens behind the van. Tufty was such a hit with the kids that he quickly got his own organisation, the Tufty Club. Willy Weasel wasn't so lucky and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

"Now Willy has been hurt. And all because he didn't ask his mum to go with him to the ice-cream van."

Supplied by Mike Clark

Download (465K)

Play Now (46s)

Tufty (6K)


And finally, here is the audio from Be Prepared for a Freeze, shown late one night on BBC One. The soundtrack includes the balloon jingle followed by the announcer introducing the film, which is very rare.


Links to other pages in the PIFs section...

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625: Andrew Wiseman's Television Room (2K)