Sunday Mail (and others) cover ‘lost’ recording of Connery’s first lead role

Alvin Rakoff

Alvin Rakoff, the Hollywood director, discovers Sean Connery’s first recording after more than 50 years “gathering dust”

Alvin Rakoff, the Emmy Award-winning director and author of The Seven Einsteins, has been featured in the Sunday Mail and other publications following news that he discovered a recording of Sean Connery’s first lead role more than 50 years after it hit the screens.

The “priceless” recording of ‘Requiem for a Heavyweight’, a one-off BBC drama, was found gathering dust in a London attic.

Aired in 1957, it saw a young Connery in the lead role of washed-up boxer Malcolm “Mountain” McClintock and introduced the nation to the actor’s trademark Scottish brogue.

Like all TV shows in the 1950s, the 75-minute programme was not officially recorded but broadcast live from a studio.

But director Alvin Rakoff recognised Connery’s talent and “thought it prudent, for posterity’s sake” to capture an audio recording of the show for his own private collection.

It was stowed under old blankets in his loft for safekeeping but was “soon forgotten” as his burgeoning Hollywood career took off.

The Emmy Award-winning director, now 87, finally dug out the vintage reel-to-reel tape on Monday after inadvertently reminding himself of its existence during a media interview – about Connery’s accent – last week.

Until now, no-one – including Connery, now 83, – knew that a copy existed.

The discovery made headlines in the Sunday Mail yesterday, in addition to ATV Today, a site attracting more than 58,000 unique visitors each month.

Wiped News, a specialist site dedicated to lost and missing film, TV and radio footage, is also carrying the story.

Anthony Harvison, of Palamedes PR, said: “Mr Rakoff’s discovery is a major boon for British TV archives, and we are delighted that so many publications have run the story.”