James May: The Reassembler

Portable Record Player

Series 2 - Episode 4 Portable Record Player



Pottering and muttering and musing for Britain, James May puts together the components of a 1963 Dansette Bermuda portable record player – or “reproducer”, as it described itself in its booklet.

This was the machine that liberated 1960s teenagers from having to play music on a sturdy piece of furniture in their parents’ living room and let them play it instead in their bedroom, or a shed, or a friend’s house.

“It smacks of optimism and youth and joy,” May decides, as he slots arm into housing and cam onto spindle. Something like that anyway. The beauty of this show is that even a mechanical dunce can drift off pleasantly as a machine gradually reappears.


James pieces together the 195 parts of a 1963 Dansette Bermuda portable record player, and reminisces about the musical revolution these players inspired. Last in the series.

Cast & Crew

Presenter James May
Executive Producer Stuart Cabb
Executive Producer Will Daws
Producer Dan Lewis
Series Producer Dan Lewis
Writer James May
see more