The Beatles photos, captured during a shoot at Granada Studios in December 1965, are among around half a million newly discovered images from the worlds of music, sport and entertainment captured by photographers for TV Times magazine.
Only a tiny fraction were published before they were stashed in A4 envelopes inside boxes at the British Film Institute (BFI) in London – and apparently forgotten about ever since.
The collection also boasts never-before-seen photos of legends such as Woody Allen and Peter Sellers.
For each image published there were between two and ten rolls of film, explained David Abbott, who is researching the TV Times archive for the magazine’s publisher, Time Inc UK.
There were 11 rolls of black & white film of The Beatles – plus a roll of colour – taken during a show called The Music of Lennon & McCartney.
Big-name stars of the ’60s who took part in the TV show also included Marianne Faithfull, Lulu and Henry Mancini.
Only one photo of the Fab Four was published at the time. It was a colour image that was used on the cover of TV Times (pictured below).
Speaking to Amateur Photographer’s senior features writer, Oliver Atwell, David said of The Beatles shoot: ‘This involved a series of recording artists singing Beatles songs and then, at the end of the show, the group came on and performed a couple of numbers.
‘This was a big deal for Granada and the whole concept of the show actually came from TV producer Johnnie Hamp.
‘The show was 50 minutes long and filmed over two days.’
He added: ‘The collection had been stored in around 100 boxes at the BFI since the late ’80s, and within that archive – one that everyone had forgotten about until it was rediscovered this year – there are some exceptionally strong shoots.
‘We now have all the original negatives back, from which we’ve been able to put together a series of contact sheets and high-res scans.
‘The staff photographers at TV Times were able to capture the character of their subjects, such as the footballer Bobby Moore and the comedian Tommy Cooper.’
The archive also includes images of models by the famed fashion photographer Helmut Newton.
David said he has so far managed to trawl through around half the vast archive, most of which has never been seen by the public.
He explained that the TV Times archive was transferred to the BFI owing to storage costs and limited space at the magazine’s then office, King’s Reach Tower, situated nearby on London’s South Bank.
The BFI also houses an archive of television stills.
The publisher of TV Times, Time Inc UK, plans to put the images online. Check back here for more details.
Time Inc UK also publishes Amateur Photographer magazine.
• For more on this story, see Amateur Photographer’s issue dated 23 May, in UK stores on Tuesday
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