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Fan buys rights to UK sitcom, releases DVD set

A fan who set up his own company and bought the rights of his favourite sitcom has released the DVD for sale.

Craig Robins, 41, was so frustrated that Joking Apart, originally shown on BBC Two in 1993, had not been released that he secured the rights from the BBC and did it himself. As a video technician, he was able to produce the DVD, and has established a label to sell the product.

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He is thought to be the first individual to have achieved such a feat.

Joking Apart was written by Steven Moffat, best known for writing Coupling and some episodes of the latest Doctor Who. Apart was based upon the collapse of Moffat’s first marriage.

The show stars Robert Bathurst, who played David in Cold Feet, and Fiona Gillies, who appeared in Peak Practice. The cast say that they are often approached by people who remember the show. Bathurst, Gillies, Moffat and co-star Tracie Bennett recorded interviews and a commentary for the disc.

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The disc is being distributed via Robins’ website. He hopes to release further forgotten classics.

Moffat says: “I would be absolutely delighted if this was a success.”

The DVD set is available online at http://www.replay-shop.co.uk/jasl.htm. The set is encoded for Region 2 (UK) and will not play on standard North American DVD players.

Content Creator
Robert J. Ballantyne is a senior editor at Popjournalism and Creative Director at Artsculture.ca. Previously, he was a journalist at the CBC on a number of news programs including the fifth estate, Marketplace and The National. He also worked as a staff writer at the Toronto Star

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