. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dinosaur TV Comedy / Variety
The Adventures of Aggie Glencannon Army Game Bootsie and Snudge The Larkins Our House Gurney Slade Our Man at St Marks Beggar My Neighbour
George and the Dragon Whacko! Square World Comedy Playhouse Rag Trade Meet the Wife Wooster Marriage Lines All Gas and Gaiters
Tony Hancock Sid James Arthur Haynes Benny Hill Harry Worth Brian Rix Dickie Henderson Morecambe and Wise Hugh and I
VARIETY SHOWS (listed by company producing)- ATV ABC A-R Granada BBC . . LWT . ATN . . Pop Shows
Brief details of other surviving shows . . . . See also Dick and the Duchess . . . . Details of selected later comedy series from the late 1960s onwards. . . . . To DINOSAUR TV MAIN PAGE

The Dickie Henderson Show

I have done quite a lot of research into Dickie's tv shows, and the great news is that nearly all of them appear to have survived.
Not quite so good however, is the fact that no-one has got round to reissuing any of them on dvd.

On the right is a scene from his final Rediffusion series, you can see Rita Webb has a small cameo. This last ever episode was titled It's my Camera- Not Yours, and was shown on March 13th 1968, though from memory it wasn't a masterpiece. But then few of the stories were full of belly laughs, just pleasant mild humorous situations.
Whether this episode survives in full, I have not been able to ascertain, but this sequence in which Dickie makes a home movie is thankfully still in existence.

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Tony Hancock
Tony Hancock Show (A-R, 1956)

Hancock's Half Hour (BBC)
2.1 The Alpine Holiday (1957)
3.5 The Air Steward
3.9 The Lawyer
3.10 The Competition
3.11 There's an Airfield
3.12 Hancock's 43 Minutes

4.1 Ericson the Viking
4.3 The Set That Failed (1959)
4.4 The New Nose
4.11 The Oak Tree
4.12 The Knighthood
5.1 The Economy Drive
5.3 Lord Byron Lived Here
5.4 Twelve Angry Young Men
5.5 The Train Journey
5.6 The Cruise
5.7 The Big Night
5.8 The Tycoon
6.1 The Cold (1960)
6.2 The Missing Page
6.4 The Reunion
6.6 The Babysitters

Hancock
7.1 The Bedsitter (1961)
7.2 The Bowmans
7.3 The Radio Ham
7.4 The Lift
7.5 The Blood Donor

HANCOCK
(1963 ATV)

1 The Assistant
3 Shooting Star
5 The Man on the Corner
8 The Craftsman
9 The Night Out
12 The Writer

See also ABC Variety (Blackpool Show)

By common consent his BBC Half Hour was the pinnacle of early TV comedy. The best of the scripts provided Tony Hancock with a brilliant foil for his comic genius. Yet to assume they are all perfection would be too hopeful- quite often the shows are almost as humdrum as the very best of their contemporaries, however when at the peak of excellence, they are unsurpassable even today.

So where exactly did Hancock's once eagerly anticipated 1963 ATV series go wrong?
The stories were built around the same old Tony Hancock, he had the same mannerisms, the same slightly bigoted attitudes. Was it the absence of Sid James? Certainly that was one failing, but more importantly, Hancock is clearly suffering from a lack of confidence. And who can blame him once he had first seen those scripts? Yes the missing ingredient is Galton and Simpson, those ace scriptwriters.
Twenty years earlier Laurel and Hardy, the greatest comedy duo had seen their film career collapse, when writers insisted on merely recreating their old gags. And so here, this is sub Hancock, the same Hancock washed up again, but never in quite the right mixture as before, and never with any inventiveness.
A couple of these stories have potential, even if unfulfilled potential, but the others are simply abysmal, marking the sad collapse of the greatest television comedian. Laurel and Hardy did almost revive their careers on stage, but sadly the lad from East Cheam never quite made a good comeback.
The picture is from the ATV Hancock series. The episode is The Politician.

Best BBC show- For perfection, read The Economy Drive, or of course The Blood Donor.
Funniest moment- I love The Missing Page, as Tony goes mad when he gets to '... and the murderer's name is....'
Dud shows- The Train Journey, The Reunion. Unless of course you include the ATV shows, in which case, these two are quite good
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The Alpine Holiday (no Sid James)
On the plane, Hancock is arguing with a rotund hostess. In his Alpine costume, he's stuck in the aisle, unable to get past her. Then he has an altercation with a passenger, Hancock rather unpleasantly standing on the man's legs. He gives us his war memoirs how we drove the plane with his feet etc, all very unsubtle, and pointless too. "Hope the injection we gave you, calmed you down," the pilot tells Tony. After the plane has landed the journey to the Alpine hotel.
The fun should really start at the hotel, but it doesn't. The receptionist (Richard Wattis) greets Tony with an apology, "we only accommodate celebrities... never heard of you." Another insult is that he must share a room, number 26. The figures on the doors are rickety and 26 turns into 29 booked for a French lady (June Whitfield). She is not too impressed that she has to share with Tony, nor is the receptionist impressed with the "intrigue," though Tony doesn't mind sharing.
"Stop messing about," Tony's new mate is less satisfactory. It's Kenneth Williams, he can't make much of the script either, though he gives it his best shot. The mood does pick up building up to a nice joke about Hancock's photo.
Williams is apparently the yodelling champ of East Dulwich, "I've got the biggest yodel in Dulwich." After a dispute over who has which bed, it gets broken.
Their third companion spends his time blowing an Alpine horn, Hancock is glad to get out on the ski slope, but after an accident a forlorn Hancock returns to the hotel and a new room. Another misunderstanding with the French lady and Hancock is placed under arrest.
In the last scene he's behind bars, six months solitary, better, he decides, than the hotel
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The Lawyer:
The Crown v Sidney James

Here's the judge (John le Mesurier). Now the prosecution (Tony Hancock), cataloguing the marriages of a very bland looking bigamist and "his all too obvious charm." A "masterly" portrait is portrayed in this monologue, only the punchline is far too expected.
It's another failure for our lad. "I've seen all the Dixon of Dock Green and Edgar Lustgarten." He's given one final chance, a defence brief for one of the firm's regulars, but before Tony can interview the man in prison, he finds himself booked by an officious police sergeant (Bill Fraser) in a scene that's too long and obvious.
Prisoner in the cell is Sid. "Your troubles are at an end," announces Tony confidently, until he sees who his client is. He's sure Sid must be dead guilty, but Sid explains him how to get him off.
In court, the defence produce numerous objections, to no avail, but where are the 224 witnesses who are to testify against Sid? All have mysteriously not turned up. A stand-in policeman (Arthur Mullard) reads the prosecution case from his notebook with the classic line, "we took him into custard...." -pause to turn page- "...y."
Defence plays superbly on sympathy, Sid in tears. Tony fluffs Sid's surname, but that isn't in the script. Sid's pathetic story can bring only one outcome.
The identity of the guilty man is revealed. Tony explains all in a Dartmoor quarry

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There's An Airfield
Tony is on cello at an East Cheam Musical Society concert taking place in his new home, another Glyndebourne perhaps? All the best people are present.
But not for much longer. Proceedings are interrupted by a plane taking off. The whole place rattles to its foundations. The audience disperse not upon the order of their going.
Tony must sell his white elephant home. Will estate agent Sidney James buy it back from him? £750 he's offered- but Tony had forked out £5,000. So why not sell it himself?
In dense fog, newlyweds are shown the property, and are they smitten? They are until a plane takes off, for "the fog's lifted." Next victim is a surveyor (Dick Emery) who finds numerous faults in his profession's manner, and that is even before any plane takes off. No deal.
Sid is selling another house to an aged couple whose last home has fallen over a cliff. He buys Tony's home for £500 and instantly makes a gift of it to them for £3,000. It might seem that in those days people bought houses without much care and without drawn out solicitors' searches!
Sid palms Tony off with a residence only three years old for £2,500. "It seems perfect." It looks perfect too, idyllic surroundings.
Another musical soiree, Tony on cello. Nearby the new dam is declared open. Next scene: concert continues on the roof. Tony rows off in the double bass.

Notes: Tony fluffs one line but makes a nice joke of it. He does even better with a faulty table leg

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Hancock's Forty Three Minutes
This is some sort of variety show. In a real dinner jacket Tony tells us the joys of compering. But then the bad news, Sid tells him there is no cast as yet, despite the £100 he'd been given to book some acts.
So we begin with the showgirls, rather plump, ordered off by Tony, but with their weight, it's hard to push them off. They exit with insults to "fatty." They recur through the show, perhaps the best feature.
Then there's a real monkey act, it wouldn't be allowed these days. Next three jugglers led by Tony perform some completely expected poor tricks, followed by a proper juggler who shows how to do it.
Tony is back with a large harmonica, except of course he's only miming. Found out, he does a duet with Max Geldray, not a success, so the great man, Geldray that is, does a solo turn.
Arnold's paper tearing leaves Tony speechless. Ditto his spoon act. His "piece de resistance," a dance, similarly finds Tony unimpressed. Indeed it is amateurish.
The Keynotes sing Wake Up Little Susie, this is supposed to be for real, though rock n roll it ain't. Gypsy in My Soul follows.
The Three Musketeers is an anticipation of Morecambe and Wise's Christmas specials. John Betjamin refuses to appear, and doesn't. But John Gregson does and gives us To Be Or Not To Be. After a One For All, Tony scolds him, "if you'd turned up for rehearsals..." which may have been near the mark. Gregson isn't a comic and is too over the top here. Morecambe-like flattery stops him walking off in a huff and we watch a swordfight of sorts, Douglas Fairbanks it is not.
White Christmas is the finale

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4.1 Ericson the Viking

Hancock keeps a superb miserable straight face to Sid's festive spirit. He's worried about his new tv series, Ericson King of the Vikings. We soon see why.
At Splendide Film Studios, Sid in charge, the cast are revolting. "They didn't treat us like this in Ivanhoe." Once the union dispute is settled, emerging from his dressing room, the boiler house actually, is King Ericson, who seems none too impressed with his army of three.
Takes 1, and 2, and 3 and 4, all very very brief, a puzzled Hancock stops to inspect the one camera, it's a still camera! Tony demands they use a proper camera, which he offers to pay for. Immediately Sid produces one, "I've been waiting for you to pay for it."
Next criticism is the dialogue. But it must be American to capture their market. "I wonder if Richard Greene ever had this trouble with the Sherrif of Nottingham?"
During the tea break, Tony has a nice exchange with Pat Coombs, "Sarah Bernhardt." Then follows the big scene, a doomed love scene with this princess, with weak lines such as "it cannot be'est." Then a deliberately stuttering Arthur Mullard enters as a messenger who cannot act. Tony tries to keep a straight face. After a duff fight with duffer sound effects, on to victory by Ericson.
Now to the cutting room, where Sid is inexpertly at work, he also muffs one line. Tony awaits the finished product in front of his tv screen, "I wonder what sort of mess he's made of it."
Awful is the answer to that. The opening is a nice parody on Robin Hood. Thereafter it's more akin to the Goons as our heroes step on to a London bus, maybe as well the BBC cut it off, axing the film, in favour of the 84th showing of the London to Brighton train
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The Set That Failed
Fine observation on the new telly viewing habit, with some interesting references to contemporary programmes.
TV engineers (Hugh Lloyd and Johnny Vyvyan) are finding it difficult to mend Tony's 1936 set. The Lad faces the possibility of missing "highlight of the week" Dotto at 7.30. "I shall go mad," he cries in despair. Though to vainly console himself he falls back on that old standby that there's nothing on to miss. After failing to enjoy a jigsaw he remembers he's missing Long John Silver. He visualises the plot in his best Robert Newton. When the unsympathetic Sid catches him in full flow, the pair decide to improve the art of conversation. But the rather obvious silences eventually turn to the theme of tv. Charlie Chan, "marvellous how he comes out of the fog, never gets lost," referring to the opening sequence. Then in desperation listening to next door's tv. Drill a hole in the wall to watch! Robin Hood. But the neighbours switch off to go out. Tony gives us a nice line, "Fancy going out when the tv set is working."
Another neighbour is appealed to, but he refuses admission, so Tony tries peering through the window. Twenty to eight, "Matt Dillon will be on now," this with a fine disregard of schedules. It's the opportunity for some American impressions.
A forgotten relative is next, Uncle Fred. he's too polite to leave the set on when his visitors call, giving us a great punchline.
At number 33, Tony and Sid, who seems to have caught the viewing bug too, sneak in to join the family crowd watching there. This sequence is fair comment on viewing habits, even if a little too protracted. The family don't notice the two newcomers, assuming they're family. They exchange some tragic family news quite nonchalantly as they stare glued to the tv screen. Tony is ordered to make the tea, which he does very badly, since his eyes are fixed on the programme. Even laying the dinner table, in front of the tv, is accomplished in a slap happy way as no eyes stray from the set. Finally two more of the family arrive and Tony and Sid have to slip away, unnoticed naturally.
Next day the set is repaired. An appeal from a failed set owned to Tony falls on his deaf ears. But Tony's ancient model conks out again
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The New Nose
Everyone's worst nightmare- as we see Tony's romance crumble. But why, since all his chatup lines are working so well? The young lady asks him for another drink. That gets her giggling. It's his nose, she tells him. Tony looks simultaneously baffled and wounded. "It sort of dominates your whole face," she explains. He tells her to hop it.
In a mirror he examines his nose. Then he consults Sid who remarks "it's nothing to write home about."
Tony sinks to despair, his "hideous hooter" must be the reason he is a failure with the girls. To the extreme he goes, a recluse, shutting himself off from the world, not even opening the door to the milkman, only speaking through the letterbox. Neurotic, sitting alone in the dark.
The kindly Sid intervenes. His barman had once boasted the biggest conk, but plastic surgery had changed all that. He's the living proof of the success of it.
Dr Francis Worthington (John le Mesurier) is the man. Tony goes to his waiting room. Another patient bursts into immediate laughter. Even the doctor laughs when he first greets Tony. It's a discouraging start. He shows Tony his pattern book in the best part of the comedy, before the practical as Tony tries on a few model noses. As nothing seems quite right, Tony is measured up for his own special nose.
The operation is over, a success. In two days the bandages will come off. Sid and Tony wait for The Revealing, Tony increasingly nervous.
"What a smasher!" Full of confidence, Tony fixes a romantic evening. But the new girl friend laughs. "It's your ears"
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The Knighthood

Hancock, First Duke of Cheam, that's our lad's dream. Dreams of Hancock Towers, to the tune of Land of Hope and Glory. Already he has a butler, though it's only Sid, but will his career at Butlins and imitations of Brando win a title for him?
No, he needs to go legit, the real theatre, that's the route to a knighthood. He approaches the managing Director of The Old Vic (Richard Wattis). His interpretation of Hamlet a la Robert Newton does not impress, "a little unusual." Get some experience, lad.
So Hancock begins at the bottom in rep. But even the manager of the East Cheam Company (Robert Dorning) turns him away, so he is obliged to make his start at the Stratford Arms, more where they come for the striptease.
But from Stratford (on Avon?), the door is open to East Cheam and Julius Caesar a la Newton, not to mention Richard III and even Romeo and Juliet, yes a la Newton.
At last he makes it, at the Old Vic. For a season. As prompter, and he gives it of course a la Newton. Wonderful

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Lord Byron Lived Here
With a leaking roof and replastering needed, repairs to 23 Railway Cuttings are urgently required, but how to pay? If the National Trust could be persuaded, but did anyone famous live in this dump? Tony and Sid consult ancient tomes and find one visitor to East Cheam, was Lord Byron plus his Lady Caroline. "What did he do?" inquires Sid, the answer is something about scribbling. Bonkers is Sid's comment to that, but it gives him the idea, jotting little poems under the peeling wallpaper.
When Tony is introduced to this graffiti he's hard to be convinced by the quality of such material as Roses are Red, Violets are Blue. Literary quality dubious, but could this be "the artistic find of the century?" John le Mesurier of the National Trust is hardly impressed and despite Tony's over confident advocacy dismisses the find as rubbish.
So Tony and Sid go it alone in opening their humble home to visitors, where many tacky souvenirs are on sale, Lord Byron's football boots etc. The first wave of visitors for the grand tour conducted by Hancock himself in period dress, half a dollar each, includes an impressionable American (Robert Dorning) and a sceptic (Hugh Lloyd). The American is eager to purchase Lord Byron's typewriter until the sceptic points out the typewriter had yet to be invented. A recreation of Byron's creative genius concludes the tour, as Hancock scribbles down another poem while the sceptic is ejected by Sid.
For sale, Byron Rock, Byron Biros etc etc. It's a healthy turnover, but nipped in the bud by our sceptic, who has dragged a council officer to close them down. Sid confesses he'd composed the poems, which quite takes Tony aback, "an ignorant buffoon like you with those creative gems!" A less good line from Tony as they are left alone is Another Fine Mess. Sid discovers a hidden gem, faded but clearly genuine, under more paper over the fireplace. A first draft by Alfred Lord Tennyson of the Charge of the Light Brigade. It's a splendid ending, as Tony spurns this load of old rubbish
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Twelve Angry Men
It's an open and shut case, that of Peabody on trial for robbery. "Just like The Verdict is Yours," is the foreman of the jury's comment. That's Tony who, to the judge's surprise has been elected to this post. The judge finds it necessary to reprimand the foreman for having a giggle in court. In silence Tony sits down. Sid urges him to stand up for himself. That earns another ticking off, Sid urges Tony etc, who has now got the vital piece of evidence, a diamond ring, stuck on his finger.
Tony, with the ring still not budging, admires the defence counsel's speech, no doubt explaining what follows.
"They only get two minutes on television," but this jury deliberate and deliberate, as Sid whiles away the time playing cards, Tony argues for the defendant. But all other jurors are absolutely convinced the man is guilty, all except Sid who, learning he gets 30 bob a day for this job, decides to eke it out.
Tony delivers a passionate oration in his best style then pounces on a waverer (Kenneth Kove), so now 3 stand for Not Guilty. The other 9 stand firm, and when Tony is asked why he thinks the man is innocent he comes up with a classic.
Seven hours on and it's near anarchy. Tony talks round a farmer who must get back to his farm, while Sid breaks down a newly married juror, so now it's 5-7.
After 11 hours, sleep has overtaken all, until one juror (Mario Fabrizi) goes mad and it's 6 all. Tony's Quality of Mercy speech contains some great historical non sequiters but it brings the total on his side to 10.The remaining two have to cave in, so it is unanimous, though their arguments have set Tony thinking. He changes to the Guilty side! Quickly they all follow suit, all except Sid, "I've got five days work here." But he's paid off by the other jurors, in a nice comment on "British justice has triumphed again."
Back in court, Tony is still unable to return that ring. He can't now because it's disappeared. So the next case in court, sees in the dock Tony, and Sid, and the ten other jurors
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The Train Journey
King's Cross Station, Sid and Tony queuing for tickets. As they wait Tony gives us his Hunchback, he's off to Giggleswick, "the cultural centre of the North," where he's to play "Henry the Vee." Ticket clerk (Hugh Lloyd) has never heard of the destination, but eventually sells them two first class singles.
Fellow passengers for the seven and a half hour tedious journey include a doctor (Raymond Huntley) who needs peace and quiet. He doesn't get it of course. And Hancock's "tasteless comments" soon annoy the doctor, as well as an army man and a vicar, though the main difficulty is that Hancock's childish behaviour also irritates the viewer. The muse certainly didn't inspire the usually reliable Simpson and Galton this time, and lines follow like, "don't do that," and "do you mind" making the annoying situation just plain unfunny. Tony relapses into drawing on the window pane while Sid pesters the only lady in the compartment (Totti Truman-Taylor). Tony fails to persuade the doctor to guess who his picture is of and adds a satirical comment on the quiz Dotto and a portrait of him in that, "it made me look quite portly." The frustrated doctor offers Tony a sleeping tablet.
There's another satirical comment to the NATO man, making even this poor Hancock effort worth a second glance, as his fellow passengers again plead for his silence.
After a weak miming sequence, Tony introduces I-Spy, followed by a sing song. Exasperated, the doctor threatens to pull the communication cord, but after a lull for a bite to eat, he really does pull it, quite accidentally.
Journey's end at long, long last. But not quite the end of the Half Hour.
The week in deepest Giggleswick is hardly a roaring success. 27 in the audience, that was in the whole week, "half of them thought they were going to see Ted Lune!" So it's back home but by coach. However, others have had the same idea, and it's the same old crowd, Tony seated next to the unfortunate doctor. He's frozen in silence even when Tony starts another sing song
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The Cruise
Film of a cruise with idyllic music before we join a miserable Hancock wrapped in warm clothing, Sid in shorts. 300 times Hanock has walked around the ship, though maybe his boredom is more related to the fact that Sid's promised birds haven't chased him. After a fine exchange between the contrasting two, the overdressed Tony has a brush with a couple in swimming trunks. That's but a prelude to a cockney lady (Hattie Jacques) making up to him, teasingly, but with no reciprocation at all. But she still makes a date with him, later.
Hancock retreats into a book about the Ruritania, but when he overhears a steward talking about leeks, he thinks there's a leak on board. Sid attempts to pacify his fears, no icebergs in the Med he insists, but Tony won't be deflected, and soon he's instilled some panic among his fellow passengers. Worse, he learns the captain (John le Mesurier) is in bed, it's just like the Caine Mutiny, "I'm not going to drown," so he demands he take command. There's a great scene on the bridge as Tony goes bonkers ending with his Long John Silver impression, afore the patient doctor (Brian Oulton) humours him and carries him away, wooden leg and all, to be locked in his cabin.
Now looking like "the Western Brothers on holiday," Tony and Sid plan their strategy for that evening's dance, only to be interrupted by the flirtatious lady, "I'll melt you, you iceberg."
The Lone Ranger and Tonto, alias Tony and Sid, join the dance but while Sid pulls the birds, Tony, doing the Paul Jones, keeps getting landed with that woman, now dressed as Cleopatra. Then a scream. Someone recognises the man who had gone beserk. As Long John Silver, exit Tony once again, only too glad to be free of her.
On the flight home, Tony starts another panic on his plane, exit in the arms of two stewards.
Undoubtedly this show is improved by the presence of Hattie, as in the radio half hours, it makes you wish all the Hancock tv stories could have survived
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The Big Night
Eager anticipation for Saturday night! Sid'll be in his Italian pointed two tones in the Las Vegas of South East England, Cheam High Street. The expectation is all built up so well, the birds Sid's supplying will be perfect for these two playboys.
Over breakfast, a relaxed Tony gives us his Noel Coward then his Charles Laughton, as they reflect on Sid's charms. But after the rose tinted spectacles, come the difficulties. First their clothes are at the cleaners. They are retrieved but then their shirts need washing. The classic scene at the launderette is a masterpiece of writing and performing, Tony grappling with modern science, "isn't that marvellous?" as he admires his shirt tumbling in the tub. After a dispute about soap bubbles, Hancock's shirt emerges ripped and in pieces. It was a very cheap shirt. "Are you looking for a punch up the faghole?" he inquires belligerently of the manager.
Film of Tony handwashing by the river, but it's a hopeless task. He opts on wearing a polo neck, he'll be a beatnik.
After a shave, Tony gathers outside the cinema, now sporting one beard to hide the bandages on his face. Arrival of the two girls, and a quick cheerio.
Trying their luck inside, they spot two darlings, who take immediate flight. It was bound to end with them both being turfed out, "is this living?" One last act of defiance, a smashed window, the lads hoping to be run in by two nice policewomen, but it is two policemen who arrest them. "What a fiasco"

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The Tycoon
The sort of fantasy that Hancock did so well, giving him full scope for his creative comedy flair.
It's 1929 all over again. Tony is preparing to jump as he's skint. Sid tries to reason with him, but he is blamed by Tony for his financial woes for all his shares "have plummeted mate" in value
However he does emerge for his window sill to go over the crisis with Sid. All those shares Sid sold him are worthless, the Atlantic Tunnel Company etc were lost causes surely! Down and out, Tony returns to the window ledge, an exasperated Sid now urging him to get on with it. A nice build up of the tension after Tony tries to argue himself out of jumping. Finally he responds to Sid's idea of putting on the kettle.
The East Cheam Building Society may go bankrupt. Hancock owns two shares. That tips it. He decides to jump. A nice touch, it's only a couple of feet to the ground.
To the meeting of the society, a stormy affair. Hanock falls into a reverie. Dreams of his staving off collapse, "the only possible man who can save it, "that's our Tony. With him handed complete control, now they've never had it so good.
We move on to his being Lord Cheam, very busy buying and selling, dictating several letters simultaneously, while phoning USA ("hello Ike") when enter his erstwhile mate Sid, on hard times, just as another debtor jumps.
The lovely fantasy develops further with his encoutner with the man who owns the other half of the world, Anatole. A la Napoleon, Tony sips a giant brandy as "the two giants collide." Vying with each other for superiority, they attempt to buy the other out. A card game to decide it, Chinaman's Whist the servant Sid suggests. "How do you play it?" Sid explains, he's allowed to sit in on the game as third party and naturally his machinations succeed as Sid wins the lot, then Tony's dream evaporates, his hands round Sid. Another window jump to end

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The Cold
Every remedy under the sun, our lad is swigging the stave off a cold. Unsympathetic, Sid listens as Tony graphically describes his awful symptoms as only he can, a real tour de force. Tony prepares another sneeze, slowly and with feeling. Sid rejects the hypochondriac's cures, dons a mask and sprays the room each time Hancock coughs. Hancock remarks on Sid's conk, "that's not a nose any more... just a straightforward head ventilator."
Now Tony's reaching the crisis, aches, dizzy spells, delirium. Take to his bed and the ministrations of Mrs Cravat who treats her patient with her own patent medicines. Not quite Harley Street, and not quite the good scene it could have been. With her magic fingers she draws the fever out, "cold cold go away, come again another day." Hancock brightens and seems to be trying not to laugh himself. But as he coughs, she produces her own spray, and the spell has gone.
Dr Callaghan is the next hope, though his waiting room is full of germs. With patient Hugh Lloyd, Tony proudly exhanges coughs. But on being called to the doctor, he finds the doc has a cold too, and moreover he has surrounded himself by those same quack cures. Tony offers some of his own tablets, as they nicely discuss the merits and demerits of the various potions. Frustrated, the doctor suggests Tony tries Mrs Cravat. When the doc coughs, all Tony can do is spray him and depart in disgust.
Back home, Tony mourns the lack of taste in his food as Sid eats as hygienically as he can. Sid explains why he's so healthy, all about keeping fit, and he now takes Hancock on a crash course, running. On his return, an exhausted Tony cries, "I never knew how well off I was when I had a cold." But there's some balm for Tony, for Sid has finally succumbed and Hancock can revel again in his own cold germs
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The Missing Page
3/8d to pay, that's Hanock's fine at the East Cheam Library. "Taxing learning," that's Tony's complaint to the librarian (Hugh Lloyd). "Shh!" greets him from the other readers, in a nice running gag.
As a "man of culture," Tony asks for some little used tomes, but only to step on, to reach the top shelf, to pick Lady Don't Fall Backwards by Darcy Sarto. A nice mime of the plot to Sid is overdone.
Back home that night, Hancock devours his "redhot" novel. Sid starts to interest himself in the plot, a murder mystery with 25 killings. "Hello, another one's gone." A great takeoff of the genre. "Every time I suspect someone," admits Tony, "they get killed." Detective Johnny Oxford is now ready to reveal whodunnit. The solution as ever is on the final page. After the wildly improbable clues have been solved, "Johnny Oxford pointed his finger at..." But the last page is missing, the solution not there. A frustrated Tony rants and starts rereading the book. To calm him, Sid offers to skim read the book to work out the murderer's name.
By next morning both are equally baffled. They mull over the plot together, pacing up and down. "Harry Zimmerman, that's it, we've solved it." At last they can settle down for some rest. But then the realisation, he had been killed too.
To the library, where the librarian puts them in touch with the last borrower of the book, improbably that was nine years ago. Mr W Proctor of the Larches welcomes Tony and Sid, he is desperate to know the murderer's name still. Six years he'd spent in a vain attempt to discover the answer. Apparently the publishers have no other copy of the novel, so Hancock decides to contact the author himself.
"At last we shall know," as they ring his doorbell. Sid points to a plaque on the wall, commemorating Darcy Sarto's death.
One last effort, at the British Museum. Here is the book. Hancock grabs it and turns to the last page 201. A publisher's note reveals all. Sarto had died before completing his book.
Tony adopts a new hobby, the gramophone. Fastidiously, he prepares his stereo loudspeakers, ready for the first classical record. Sid has bought him one, very predictable indeed
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The Reunion
Tiresome characters, too stock in trade, spoil this story. Not every Galton and Simpson script was a masterpiece.

The bar, where Tony is returning his empties, mostly worthless, is manned by your friendly barman Harry, who is most pleased to take Tony's giant order for his forthcoming reunion with his old army pals, first time he'll have met up with them in 15 years.
Sid casts his eager eyes over all the booze as Tony anticipates a revival of his great memories of wartime camaraderie, "one for all, and all for me." Very patiently, Sid listens as Tony bores him with repeats of all his war tales. We have to bear it and listen also.
After that great build up, time for the reunion of the Four Musketeers. First to join Tony is Smudger (Hugh Lloyd), hardly the expected "avalanche," time has changed him, for he opts for "a cup of tea." Tony repeats the phrase with incredulity. Sid adds his own pointed comment. No longer does he wish the nickname Smudger, his name is Clarence. The joke about the ATS girl is just too obvious. it's his wife and he has to bring her along too, she's no bundle of laughs.
After some of Tony's facial expressions, the awkward and embarrassing silences are interrupted by the next Musketeer. Ginger (Clive Dunn), once "a million laughs," now cuts a pathetic figure, with a nice refrain with Tony, "it's been a long time." Tony's wartime scrapbook is no success either. He finishes in despair. Finally Chalky (Cardew Robinson) drops in, he was "the real live wire." His appearance is unchanged, but there is one alteration, he is now a man of the cloth.
Here endeth the awful evening. Guests depart, let's be thankful. But here's one latecomer (Robert Dorning), effusive beyond belief, unlike the others. Hancock slams the door on him with a great punchline

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The Baby Sitters
Nearly all this story is set in a contemporary dwelling with all the latest gadgets, making the ambience of this episode rather different from the usual Railway Cuttings saga.
Tony and Sid are two unlikely babysitters, the married couple look more than a little doubtful when they turn up at their doorstep. Tony strides round their avant garde home, and breezily justifies their occupation, "did Rembrandt look like a musician?...Of course she didn't!"
Once alone, the lads make themselves at home. it's luxury, though Sid's description is that it's like an airport waiting room. True, Tony has to concede that the "dog basket" of a chair is..... well, he makes his point with a nice visual snuggling into the uncosy seat.
Finding the telly is a worry, until Sid spots the control panel, and a tv emerges from a wall panel as if by magic. With booze a plenty, they sit watching Bronco, Tony adding his comments on other shows M Squad, Johnny Staccato and Cannonball. Tired of it, he switches it off, Sid insists it goes back on, and the quarelling breaks the apparatus. The argument also wakes up the baby, so via the intercom Tony sings it back to sleep, not successfully at all. Sid barks out Shut Up and that works... for a while.
With nothing to watch, they discuss the contemporary paintings, but when the baby recommences its crying, Sid feels he should give the baby a bottle of milk. While he's away Tony gives us his impressions, Churchill and the like.
With the baby silenced, the lads fall asleep too, not realising the front door has been left opened. Burglars.
The couple return to a shell of a house. Baby is crying. Nothing left, not even the telly. After a dispute, Sid promises to refurnish the house. He uses the contents of Railway Cuttings.
"Bare," cries Tony in his best despair, as they settle down for the night on the floorboards
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The Bowmans
In the radio studio there are a host of rustic voices, yes it's the Archers lookalikes. After the usual rural woffle, old Joshua (Tony) interupts proceedings to everyone's annoyance a lot of adlibbing in a fruity burr. Once off air, the cast complain loudly to producer Ronnie (Patrick Cargill) who calls Tony on the carpet before handing out the next scripts. In this Joshua falls into a threshing machine. Tony can see it offers the opportunity for pathos, but no, they are actually having the effrontery to write him out of the script, "we're killing you off on Tuesday night." Indignation is a Tony strong point and he gives them it in his best tones, "untutored hams."
So we come to the deathbed scene, "Poor Old Joshua." His dying croaks in the background become louder, he perks up in a variety of delirious accents, "I'm going." But he does not quite go. As the aftermath of his death continues on air, behind a struggle to silence the dead old boy. Thankfully the final credits and he is handed his "golden handshake," not a lot.
Trying for a new job, auditioning Hamlet, a rather tedious sequence until he offers Hamlet in his Joshua accent. Indignant at his rejection, Tony turns to period costume but what we see is but adverts for Grimsby Pilchards, "you're never alone with a pilchard." That campaign a failure, Tony resorts to his old routine of talking to himself, though a parcel of fan letters cheers him up, flowers by the vanload, five thousand complaints to the BBC, for, a little improbably I felt, the recorded programme of Joshua's accident has only just been transmitted.
A boardroom discussion to work out ways and means of getting Tony's services back results in a swollen Tony dictating terms, £10,000 a year, top billing etc.
The new series sees Tony centre stage in his rightful place, his old enemies are nicely written out in a tragic scene at a mineshaft

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The Radio Ham
An eager Tony is fitting new valves to his mammoth radio, full of anticipation at being able to call up old friends around the world.
GLK London's first caller is Tokyio, in broken English Tony is informed, "it is ah raining not." After a frustrating exchange, he bids sayonara and tries Belgrade, "King's Pawn to Queen's Bishop 3." Next Malaya for a hand of poker and Birmingham for Snakes and Ladders. A break for a fag and a glass of milk, as he longs for something exciting to happen. In his mind's eye he lives his heroism, "the only man who can save...."
Of course his chance comes as he picks up a mayday distress call. Emergency! Tony makes first contact. A ship is sinking, radio contact fading, but Tony's incompetent antics are so frustrating no wonder the dying man cries, "will you please hurry up." Soon the expletives have turned to "incompetent" but Tony berates him for his impatience. You really feel for the poor unseen sufferer.
As Tony fails again to take the sailor's bearings, the landlady interrupts the crisis. Tony not quietening down, that's followed by her husband who pulls Tony's plugs out. "Murderers," cries Tony in his best manner. Contact re-established, but only briefly. Tony needs to put another shilling in the meter. "Pull yourself together," Tony tells the sailor as he finally records the longitude and latitude, but has he got it wrong? The radio packs up.
Next day, police supply new valves so that, improbably, the distress signal can be picked up anew. But in the morning paper is the news of a dramatic rescue thanks to Tokyio.
Later Tony picks up a second mayday, but calmly informs the poor man not to bother. One more call to Belgrade, his move, Tony has been checkmated

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The Lift
A fine motley collection of character actors gather on the eighth floor of Broadcasting House. They include Crichton (Jack Watling) ace producer, now more interested in chatting up a secretary. There's the doctor (Colin Gordon), top brass of the RAF (John le Mesurier) and, from the Epilogue, a vicar (Noel Howlett).
Tony Hancock is there too as the passengers await the delayed lift. The attendant (Hugh Lloyd) apologises for the temporary breakdown, but refuses to allow Tony to stay in as the lift is full and he's Last One In. Tony refuses to get out. It makes for a nice study of conflict, but against the attendant's advice, the others have to agree to let Tony stay. Of course the lift conks out, half way between floors 4 and 3.
The resultant row is calmed down by "vic," whom Tony applauds as "the voice of sanity." He's the only one to whom Tony betrays much deference. Everyone cries in unison Help, but it's no use. As it's past midnight, everyone else has gone home. The Air Marshall is nominated, against Tony's advice, to take charge. His only idea is to hack a hole in the roof and exit that way. "You beribboned buffoon," Tony berates him. His proposal is to jump up and down- this has some effect, for the lift makes downwards progress, getting firmly stuck now between floors 2 and 1.
Only resort is sleep. 4.30am and Tony is still talking, his war memoirs in a sub. Conversation turns to an imaginative fantasy on the lack of air, and how the growing world population might require one to carry one's own air supply. The shortage leads to the Darwinian conclusion, "the tallest bloke with the biggest hooter survives." Tony lifts spirits, or so he believes, with a game. Charades, but this sequence is a little too long.
As rescue dawns in the morn, a sing song, a nice cup of tea is the British way to cheer the rescued up. But somehow Tony gets locked again in the lift, his only companion the lift attendant. It's a fine finish, "much better just the two of us!"
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The Blood Donor

Comment is all but superfluous, from the minute Hancock enters the waiting room, he exudes a confidence, knowing the script is a winner. June Whitfield, the reception nurse, patiently takes down Tony's details, it's "British undiluted" blood that our lad is offering. When shown a list of illnesses, his expressions are classic.
War memoirs cut off, he subsides to wait between Frank Thornton and Betty Ann Clifford. Speculation whether a minor award be offered for their services, a badge perhaps. The lady he regales with several veiled references as to her large size. Left, not suprisingly, alone there's another facial tour de force as Tony worries he momentarily can't find his pulse. Then that classic reading of the poster Drinka Pinta Milka Day, June Whitfield gazes at him mystified. He reflects to her on the injustice of nurse's pay, "Adam Faith earning ten times as much as the Prime Minister." Earlier Cliff Richard had got a mention too.
"Needles the size of drainpipes," Hancock is boasting of, not afraid of, until it comes to it. The Scottish doctor, Patrick Cargill, is an understatement of dry wit. That superb prick on the finger incident, "that's just a smear..." Tony's reluctance turns to pride with the revelation he's a very rare blood group, AB negative. Now inflated, he tells the dispassionate medic, that he doesn't like to hog it all. From now on it's a superior Hancock.
When he comes round, there's Hugh Lloyd to chat at. Tony's AB negative makes an impression as the pair idly unknowledgably discuss blood. Medical speculation which borders on a nice fantasy, a swapping of proverbs maybe for just a shade too long as their talk runs out of steam. But a nice punchline to end the scene.
As we know the ending, it seems now predictable, but was it at the time? Tony phones the doctor about whether his precious blood has been used as yet. No. "Surely somebody must be after it," for he's naturally anxious it will go to a good home. Angrily, he slices his loaf of bread.
In hospital he's admitted with a knife wound. A teddy boy, suggests someone unkindly. Blood group: AB negative, yes there's just one pint here.

It's a fine rounding off, the finest outworking of Tony Hancock's comic persona, self-centred, well meaning, over optimistic and wanting to be loved. This was his high peak, from which he sadly and so quickly fell

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THE TONY HANCOCK SHOW (1956 Associated Rediffusion)
No.4
With a script by Eric Sykes, who appears briefly, the best sketch is based on the imaginative premise that TV cameras are allowed into the courtroom as in the USA. Tony milks the applause in between the adverts and plays What's My Line with a witness.
Other sketches feature Tony replying to his fan mail, all two letters, and "Chez Hancock", a distinctly unsuccessful nightclub, with Tony playing the doorman, waiter, chef and Apache dancer.
Others in the supporting cast include young June Whitfield, Ronan O'Casey and Clive Dunn.

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1 The Assistant (January 3rd 1963)

In a shop window, a woman is undressing a model, drawing some attention from Tony. He starts to grapple with the dummy, but that's the end of this bright idea.
He returns the offending object to a shop assistant who summons the manager, Mr Stone (Patrick Cargill). Her tale of woe is the first slowing down of the story, unnecessary and now the plot grinds to a halt as Tony recalls the good old days of this store, before Mr Stone reminds him his account is outstanding. This is not so much a conversation between two fine old sparring partners, as two isolated monologues.
A deal is struck. Tony's account will be paid off, if he can successfully work here for a week without ever being rude to customers. However the plot then moves in another direction, as on his first day of work, Tony is assigned to the packing department. Here he is to work with Owen (Kenneth Griffith), a Welsh bigot in danger of breaking every parcel in his charge. Again the plot fails to develop, as Owen trots out most of the Welsh cliches you can think of, relating to unemployment. "I am bitter," he insists to Tony, for the Welsh are downtrodden by the English. Griffith gives the part his best, but it is at best an aside to Hancock, his rant far too protracted, and his punch line is expectedly weak.
Then some slapstick, as Tony gets enveloped with sellotape. Owen and Tony try working as a team, but only smash every vase they are supposed to pack, the whole scene never with much coherence. Now alone, Tony has to pack urgently a rubber dinghy which inevitably starts to inflate. Mr Stone is unimpressed with Tony's efforts, nor were viewers.
So he is moved to the toy department, dressed as a rabbit to "have fun with the kiddies." This is Hancock at his best. "Push off," he shouts at one girl (Adrienne Poster), who starts to cry. End of that joke.
Now he has to sell games. A customer (Martita Hunt) asks how the magnetic table soccer works and receives an enthusiastic demonstration. It's the best scene by far as she and Tony compete on the soccer table, a crowd gathering. "Wonderful," his opponent cries. However the demanding Mr Stone is still not amused and returns Tony to his part as Uncle Bunny.
Yes, there are possibilities here that could and ought to have been exploited. Tony has the support of three fine actors, but the script needed much more flow, much more concentration on Tony Hancock

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3. Shooting Star

with Denholm Elliott

Hancock is standing at the corner of the street, idly watching passers by. But then one stares back. Hancock feigns indifference, turning his back on the stranger.
There's a long silent mime interlude that never raises more than a few titters, the stranger is sizing up Tony's facial features, clearly a film director (Denhom Elliott). After a long wait, this Peter introduces himself, his style is "I believe in showing life as it is." He sees Hancock as ideal for his latest production, "a complete waster... a moronic bully."
To the studio, for a screen test opposite Diana (Frances Rowe), who wisely plays it deadpan to leave Tony with the laughs. Or maybe deadpan as she hasn't any laughs, and knows Hancock hasn't much to bite on either. She's jaundiced against amateurs.
Take 1, "no acting please," cries Peter, as Tony hams it up. But then our lad forgets his lines, not at all amusing as he misses his cues in a husband and wife argument. He muddles his props in a reminder of amateur comedy night, it's painful. This test drags on and on, Hancock on the end of slaps not only from his screen wife but also his young daughter Lucille.
The Sins of the Father is this film, and somehow Tony gets the role, and in a reminiscence of the old lad, encourages himself in the mirror as day one on location looms.
It's a scene with Diane and Lucille, the wrong lines, a repeat of the previous disaster. However an unscripted char (Hilda Barry) livens it up, telling Hancock off for his treatment of his daughter. "I'm not her real father," Hancock adds by way of corny explanation, which doesn't help things. Peter decides the char makes "for a wonderful touch of realism," indeed she outacts the others, but of course they're supposed to be only acting, I think. "Push off you old faggot," Hancock warns the char with more than a touch of realism, as they struggle with a bottle of beer. "Perfect," cries the undiscriminating director, but did the real producer of this programme, Alan Tarrant, think that was really true?
After getting slapped by wife and daughter once too often, the star quits. Maybe this was a parable of this show, what Hancock should have done. As it is, outside the local cinema is a poster of the star Diana, who is making a personal appearance. When the pair meet, Hancock receives another slap, his only resort is to draw a beard on her picture, in a scene cribbed from The Big Night (Hancock's Half Hour 5:7). Childish, yes, but it sums up the script volumes

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5. The Man on the Corner
Today on the street corner Tony is chatting to a local policeman. He blames the H bomb for all the bad weather. When challenged as to what exactly he is doing, Tony explains he's watching people.
Then he exchanges words with a bearded gent (Wilfred Lawson), another who blames the bomb. Now Tony espies a man and woman acting suspiciously, are they spies? Tony informs the policeman, who, sceptical, points Tony in the direction of the station, any station.
For reasons unknown, Tony is now passed to the unflappable Col Beresford (Geoffrey Keen), "I've yet to meet the man who can make me lose my temper." An ill omen perhaps, though even after what follows, the colonel is true to his word. Tony describes these spies he's seen, the man indeed looking a lot like the colonel's assistant (James Villiers). Instructions are given to Tony should he spot the spies again, all tongue in cheek. He's to be agent 13, code name Canteen. "You're a brave man," congratulates Beresford, his sarcasm wasted on our hero.
Tony soon spots the spy again, following him to a chemist shop. In a pointless scene, Tony repeats all the words the spy says to the shop assistant.
He must phone the canteen, "agent 13 reporting." The canteen staff (Moyra Fraser) at the end of the phone humours the nut, "arrest him immediately," are Tony's orders. As per instructions Tony moves in. Matthews in under arrest. Tony phones to inform the Canteen, who are less amused second time around. "Speaking in code," Tony is forced to deduce.
A foreign voice phones Matthews, "bring de microfilm." Yes Matthews really happens to be a spy, he confesses and a triumphant agent 13 shuts his prisoner in a wardrobe and marches off to contact the other spy, as arranged, at a phone box. After several false alarms, Tony makes his second arrest.
Next day he's back on his street corner, headlines proclaiming Spy Ring Smashed By Man in Street.

A second scene showing the colonel's reaction to the arrests would have been more advantageous, though this is perhaps the best of the series, if that's saying anything. A fine supporting cast cash in on the current spy craze
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8. The Craftsman

Hancock and slapstick don’t mix! A poor effort as Tony tries to show the DIY TV experts up, but the story is awfully predictable, and the chaos that ensues seems strangely reflective of the turmoil Hancock must have been feeling.

Night on the street, Tony helps an aged lamplighter (Eddie Malin) with his "dying art." Tony nicely allows the old boy to ramble on about the old days.
Then to a shop window, with a tv set showing Arthur Fuller, the DIY expert. Tony gives his commentary to a woman passer-by (Barbara Mitchell). "Who's 'e think 'e is?" asks another watcher called Stan (Brian Wilde), evidently jaundiced by his own DIY failures. Is it a put up job? Tony offers to put Stan right on the niceties, a real craftsman he is.
Next morning, donning his overalls, Tony explores the ironmongers, annoying the assistant, especially when it's evident he doesn't know the names of many tools, "a great big thing to bash it with."
Tony's first task is to fix Stan's front door, not too successfully. After passing on his new found knowledge of tools, he hammers in some nails, badly. There won't be any mess queries an anxious Stan.
Tony's real task is to erect a new wardrobe in Stan's wife's bedroom, a job Stan isn't confident enough to tackle himself. Before putting it up, there's much time talking, and creating something of a mess, as poor Stan's confidence is gradually eroded, though he politely refrains from comment.
Tony Hancock was never a slapstick comedian, and the sawing of a plank, wrongly measured, is not performed with enough enthusiasm or crassness to make it amusing. No wonder measurements are incorrect if the craftsman uses his arms to measure, then Stan's braces.
Then there's Tony's ininextinguishable confidence in his own misplaced ability that never rings true, as Tony finally curses Arthur Fuller and his tv trick photography, and walks out on poor Stan, what a mess he leaves behind.
Next night, he sees the lamplighter again and tonight it's a gardening programme on telly. Tony adds his own commentary

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9. The Night Out
with Derek Nimmo.

No start on a street corner this time, it's the morning after, the left overs of a giant party, Tony slumbering into life to jazzy downbeat music, in a mime sequence, before a waiter enters- he's in a hotel.
Tony can recall little, except he'd gone boozling with Tom. However he perks up when he finds a bird in his bed, "not bad," and this is the Bridal Suite! He tries to awake "Mrs Hancock," though he knows not her first name. After romanticising, Tony's flow is interrupted by Gavin (Derek Nimmo) who explains that this is Sarah, his, not Tony's, wife.
Tony quizzes him over the events of the night. Tony sang I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen repeatedly, but Tony's main anxiety, is did I offend anyone? This he reiterates often, and Gavin keeps on assuring him no, "Good" replies Tony, but uneasily. He commences singing the song again, in cha cha.
Tony checks what happened by phone with Tom, but a delirious maid (Patsy Smart) interrupts, hugging him, calling him her Anton. There's a pathetic story that she cannot stay with him, rather improbable too. "Are you sure I didn't do anything silly? repeats Tony to Gavin. We await a punchline, but it never comes.
Now a crowd gathers, friends from last evening. More champers is ordered as Tony fights off Sarah's attentions, mainly to fawn over Gavin, whom he has discovered is gentry. Gradually however the truth dawns on 'Tone,' he's footing the bill. Removing the unconsumed drink, 'Squadron Leader Hancock' complains at reception to the clerk (Donald Hewlett). His bill currently amounts to £143.
A whip round, Tony proposes to his guests, but all too expectedly they vanish into the dawn. Tony, attempting to bunk also, is prevented by porters, and so has to flee via the upstairs window.
Along a ledge, and into another room to another guest who is inebriated. Tony relates his sad tale and sings that song, and drinks more drink. The pair pick up another crowd and Tony is last seen booking into another hotel, "put it all down to me," he smiles.
No, the punchline never came to that oft repeated question. The story is as flat as that leftover champagne

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12. The Writer

The tale of Tony's efforts as a poor tv scriptwriter, with too obvious parallels with this series' own abysmal scripts. This one by Terry Nation only goes to prove his writing talents lay not in the 'comedy' field.
This starts in an empty bar where Tony waits restlessly to be served. Having destroyed a bell, he moves to the adjoining bar, where a tv comic Jerry Spring - sic- (John Junkin) is getting ready to watch himself on tv. His scriptwriter Elmo (Francis Matthews) is at his side.
After returning his broken empties, Tony purchases an Italian wine, Chateau Latour, as well as a small brown ale. After enthusing on English country life, he debunks this pub where anything and everything is banned.
Tony watches the comedy on tv, introduced by Pete Murray. Soon Tony is decrying "Britain's leading funnyman," to Jerry's discomfort. "Not 'im, oh no." Tony watches impassively as Jerry's recorded jokes make the audience laugh, apparently. "'E's not going to do the octopus gag," anticipates Tony. By now Jerry is getting quite worked up, until Tony spots who he is. "Great fan of yours," Tony interjects, belatedly. Imparting his advice, Tony explains Jerry should include some funny walks in his act. Jerry laps it up, though naturally Elmo is not amused. Jerry however sees something in Tony, maybe he was desperate?
Into the script conference walks a new Tony, dark glasses, loud suit. Dressed over the top, Tony plays it over the top because the script is so dull. Listening to a taped conversation is plain tedious, this interspersed with numerous "can we please get on," but we never do. Finally Tony spits out a concrete idea... 31 elephants on stage. Certainly impracticable, and Elmo is right to storm out. Maybe the others ought to have taken his lead.
Now Tony is on his own, composing a script, performing his Noel Coward impersonation. His typing skills are less good, and thinking up a single joke is even more problematic. This really is becoming like this real life series. After a long frustrating lack of inspiration, Tony resorts to Christmas crackers to obtain his material.
As he reads over Tony's script, Jerry's eager smile turns to blankness. At last one laugh. Tony looks pleased. But it's only about "the way you spell trousers." Is that funny? An attempt to read through the script, Tony in the part of Blodwen to Jerry's Dai quickly dies the death and the script veers back to a sample of awful jokes, then impression of Marlon Brando, somewhere along the line Jerry sneaks out. Then there was one.
Yes, that was a parable for Hancock. Maybe rather clever if you look on it as intentionally introspective, but surely not! Tony returns to the pub to watch wrestling on tv. The viewer, the wrestler himself of course, takes excception to Tony's remarks and floors Tony, who never gets up. He never did get up

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ATV VARIETY SHOWS
By common consent, ATV were the acknowledged masters of variety series in the 1960's.
Click for more details:

London Palladium Shows
ATV Spectaculars
Putting on the Donegan
Johnnie Ray Sings
The Big Show
Des O'Connor Show

Other ATV programmes:
Lunch Box (1958)
review of the only surviving show, plus details of some of the series.
Picture- publicity shot of Noele Gordon with the gang

Celebrity Spot (1959) - length: 5 minutes
two programmes with Ian Stewart, piano.
one with Channing Pollock, magician.

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Val Parnell's Sunday Night at The London Palladium
From 1955 to 1967, this was acclaimed as the top variety show of the week. The opening show in September 1955 starring Gracie Fields and Guy Mitchell was seen in a mere 129,000 homes. In the first quarter of 1958 the highest total of viewers for the show in one week was 11,250,000. Then by February 1959, with the main ITV areas operational, the show reached five million homes for the first time. 6,852 homes tuned in on January 17th 1960. A November 1961 show saw that figure rise to 7,934,000. The 250th show in April 1962 eclipsed that with a figure of 7,939,000 homes. At that stage 223 of the 250 programmes had featured in the national Top Ten. Lew Grade pulled the show in 1967, had costs spiralled too much? Whatever, in 1973 the series was briefly revived, albeit without credit to Val Parnell, but it lasted only one season. Perhaps the climate of variety had changed too much.

April 13th 1958: hosted by Tommy Trinder, with Sarah Vaughan, Marvin Rainwater.
April 10th 1960: with Bobby Darin
April 17th 1960: with Beryl Reid, Adam Faith
December 3rd 1961: with Norman Wisdom
December 10th 1961 (part one only)
March 22nd 1964: with Bruce Forsyth, plus Freddie and the Dreamers
Judy and Liza at the Palladium (a one-off 1964 show)

'New Palladium Show' hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck:
September 26th 1965: First show, top of bill are Pete and Dud
October 3rd 1965: with Arthur Haynes, Pete Seeger and Frankie Howerd
October 24th 1965: with Michael Bentine and Cliff
October 31st 1965: with Spike Milligan, George Raft
November 21st 1965: with Cliff, Charlie Drake
November 28th 1965: With Sid James, Des O'Connor, Tony Martin
March 20th 1966 : Special Guest Roy Orbison (colour)
Autumn 1966: host is Kate Smith

'Sunday Night at The London Palladium'
November 25th 1973 hosted by Jim Dale. Top of Bill: Larry Grayson January 6th 1974 with Englebert Humperdink.
March 24th 1974 hosted by Ted Rogers. Top of Bill: Mike and Bernie. April 14th 1974 with Sacha Distel.
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April 13th 1958
The Tiller Girls start the entertainment with a peerless synchronised dance routine.
Enter, stage right, a beaming Tommy Trinder who stoops to pick up some litter, but no, it's one of Liberace's cast-offs. He has some topical jokes, including a complaint that there are "too many medical shows" on telly, and fantasises on what might happen if the BMA run the tv, shows like Sunday Night at the Clinic.
Pinky and Perky are followed by Marvin Rainwater who sings I'm Still in Love with You, a medley of Hank Williams' songs, plus It Takes A Whole Lot of Loving.
Dick Shawn, first time on British television, has an interminably long routine, interminably unfunny too. "I'm just a crazy mixed-up kid," he tells us, he was right there.
Beat the Clock has a £900 jackpot with a returning Mr and Mrs Hopgood, and a Mr and Mrs Heinzen from Darlington. He's a teacher, and gives Tommy a well rehearsed and delivered reply to the query, "What do you teach?"
Sarah Vaughan is the big star with four numbers on her first appearance on British tv, A Secret, Poor Butterfly, They All Laughed, and Never Smile Again
It's interesting to watch this surviving Tommy Trinder show, for you can see traces of how well Brucie took on Tommy's mantle.

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3rd October 1965

A lively start with JT singing Kids. He is slightly nervous in his patter but gets a lorra laughs with huge slides of Liverpudlians as babies. He introduces Brian "sorry Barry" Kent who has one song, as does Susan Maugham, You are My Sunshine, awful, and The Hollies with "their latest" Look Through Any Window.
Celebrities in the audience include Sylvia Sims, a footballer and two boxers. Arthur Haynes with Leslie Noyes stroll on stage complaining that they haven't been chosen to be on the bill as they do not "come from Liverpool," a phrase LN echoes repeatedly. Mrs Haynes in the shape of Rita Webb comes on stage to er, sing, "what have you got to compare with that in Liverpool?" One guest doesn't turn up, The Fugitive, "he's escaped again!" Adds JT, "the one armed man's got him- Mark Saber." Now that was an out of date joke. Kenneth More enjoys a minute with JT before introducing Pete Seeger who gives us two songs, one with a very boring story.
After a nondescript dance with men in suits and diaphanous girls, here comes Frankie Howerd.
He's "in a quandry," though also his confiding best, unsure what jokes to tell after Val Parnell had phoned him, "he riles easily." He gives us a sample old music hall gag, tries sick humour, then satire, finally a political joke. It's nearly flagging, but he keeps us laughing with a song accompanied by "a funny woman," With These Hands, "nobody goes to sleep while I'm on"

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April 10th 1960

The Tiller girls dance with four men in wheelchairs, then Bruce joins in, entering in pyjamas and a false nose. After which he talks openly and jokingly of course about his recent nose operation.
Three French acrobats are followed by an odd toast from Bruce to The Ladies, a reference in particular to some golfing friends he's to join after the show.
Bobby Darin sings Swing Low and Some of These Days in a jazzy style. Finally his new single Clementine.
Beat the Clock with £100 jackpot has contestants from Gravesend, a honeymoon couple from Newmarket, and a husband and wife from Cambridge who hardly get started. "Daft games" comments Brucie, and he's not far wrong.
The final section of the show has the cast of The Most Happy Feller. They sing Baby It's Cold Outside, to kick off their tribute to songwriter Frank Loesser. Libby Staiger continues with Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year, Art Lund gives us Slow Boat to China, and Helena Scott Never Been in Love Before. Inia Wiata sings Woman in Love then a group sing from this show the lively Standing On the Corner. As there's a minute to spare, Brucie, even though he must have been dying to get away to see his golfing ladies, joins in a final chorus

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April 17th 1960
The Tiller Girls dance around a giant Easter Egg, immaculate timing. I was expecting Bruce to come on stage through the egg! But no, he enters conventionally, with talk of his holiday in the south of France.
The Dior Dancers give us an avant garde crime dance.
The "adorable" Beryl Reid has gone oriental, she tells "Bluce." On her own she chats about making a Chinese meal, then about the language of fans, only a pity her script lets her down. She finishes with a duet with Bruce.
Rise Stevens sings in Italian, not a very tuneful choice, not ideal for this show. But her next is more melodious, One Night of Love, and it's in English too.
Beat the Clock has a returning couple from Cambridge. After which a couple from West Wickham never even have time to play their game.
The star Adam Faith gives us What Do You Want? Then his new song Someone Else's Baby, followed by Big Time. Bruce returns with an Adam Faith hairstyle and jacket, "I'm all ready then." They give a lively duet Poor Me, playing well off each other. Just as well, Bruce says they're both booked for summer shows in Blackpool

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December 3rd 1961 - transmitted during the Equity strike.
A tour de force, clearly well scripted, but was the famous decorating scene partly improvisation?
Enter Norman Wisdom with a song announcing he's in charge tonight. In protest the band leader exits, leaving Norman free to conduct. Bruce Forsyth comes on and sings and chases said conductor round the audience.
Norman's attempt to tell a gag without laughing, is typical, but not him at his very best. It's impossible, he just has to laugh, and their timing is immaculate. Strip Joker they should have called it, and even Bruce can't help laughing.
The first stage scene is set to Morning by Grieg. It leads into Norman singing Me and My Imagination, and a mimed dance with invisible partners.
Then the famous decorators scene, no dialogue until the end, simple effective slapstick, Norman the butt of the mess.
Beat the Clock sees Norman interrupt proceedings, it all looks a little sparse with no hostess!
Norman the singer sketch, interrupted by a phone call for Bruce, the old music hall gag as Norman obeys Bruce's instructions, but it's not overdone as Bruce chats to his darling.
Norman plays three instruments, sings Wearyin for You and plays three more instruments, the last one accompanied by Brice on the accordion. Finally number seven, percussion.
Then he sings his theme song, not my favourite.
There are still a couple of minutes, Bruce tells Norman. For a second he looks at Bruce, they both must have been pretty exhausted. So there's time to dance a duet, the polka and other dances. The final music, no revolving stage, except the base as the pair twirl into the curtains. Thank goodness someone thought to preserve this one!

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December 10th 1961
Sadly only part one has been preserved in non standard form. It includes some pre show scenes which the Network dvd rather sadly describes as by a "warm-up man." In fact it is the fine producer Francis Essex who is addressing the audience.

Bruce enters prostrate on the revolving stage, exhausted after the previous Sunday's show with Norman Wisdom. But he's up for singing Getting to Know You and gets to know some of his audience in the way only Brucie can, some nice reactions proving he's the master of the impromptu interview.
He has some enjoyable reminiscing with Ray Ellington, as they pick out members of Jack Parnell's Orchestra, then they sing together a jazzed up version of The Three Bears.
Time for a tap dance with his then wife Penny. They sing How Could You Believe Me energetically. Nothing if not an old fashioned song and dance act, but very charmingly put over

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November 28th 1965

JT appears in top hat a la Frankie Vaughan, in honour, he says, of his first guest, Sid James. JT's impressions of Hancock etc fall flat and the gags are weak too. The pair have a better topical song, O Mr Tarbuck, then dance, proving that Sid was never one dimensional.
The Johnny Dankworth Seven perform with Cleo Laine, who is in a hatless space suit. For You and I, is followed by an awful modern rendition of Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone.
JT talks about Cassius Clay's recent bout, and about the Christmas lights. Famous names in the audience include Ralph Reader.
A lively dance opens part three. Des O'Connor, standup comedian, gives his thoughts on Women, perhaps the best part of his act is his cheeky laugh. It certainly ain't Women's Lib.
Tony Martin is the ageing top of the bill. He sings Lucky Star, Who Can I Turn To?, Hello Dolly, then I'm Henry the Eighth, oddly rendered as a lyrical song, then continues, attempting to get in the groove with a beat version, with a strange inactive interval in the middle. Finally People Need People

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Sunday Night at the London Palladium - 22nd March 1964

After the usual opening with The Tiller Girls, Bruce Forsyth enters, still drooling over the previous week's guest Ethel Merman- only a pity that that show isn't preserved! BF performs some lively numbers in her honour and naughtily speculates where Ethel might have hidden her mike. Then he introduces The Trapinos, comedy acrobats, after which he apologises for calling them "The Traponis."
After demonstrating his newest trick golf club with a stooge called James, he makes way for Freddie and the Dreamers. They give us I'm Telling You Now/ Send me Some Loving/ Over You.
In Beat the Clock, BF is assisted by Sally and has contestants from Goodmayes (where's that near asks the compere politely), and Worcester.
The final part is graced by an attractive "old street cloth" of London as Billy Russell (William Cassius Russell he calls hisself) performs an updated version of his classic On Behalf of the Working Classes, "five minutes," he confides to us, "then the axe drops." He has swipes at Liz Taylor, and politicians, before singing Just An Old 'As Been. Top of the bill is the awfully lively, but to me uninspiring, Spanish dancer Antonio, with Rosario. Fifteen minutes too long
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New Palladium Show
September 26th 1965
First of the revamped series, introduced still by the 'Startime' theme. And now hosted by Jimmy Tarbuck, who had made his name on the old Palladium show back in October 1963.
He bounces on, through a brick wall, singing, then describing his send off from Liverpool as he set off for his new job.
With a chorus, the exuberant JT sings and dances Look Out World Here I Come. He also talks about the greats on previous Palladium shows, with occasional interruptions in the orchestra pit from "Hack" (Jack Parnell).
First guests are Peter Paul and Mary who give us three numbers, ending with the tale of Samson.
Then the new feature, the unannounced special guest, here Sarah Miles, a little gauche, trying to plug her latest picture. JT ushers her along. She then introduces a trio of guests:
Susan Lane, singing My Beloved,
The Searchers, When I Get You Home (that's how Sarah introduces it), and
Edmund Hockridge's powerful voice rendering the lovely Some Enchanted Evening.
After another dance, JT pans round the audience for interesting people. The camera lights on footballer Dave Mackay, and then Mike and Bernie Winters. Also out there is Frankie Vaughan, who, obviously pre-arranged, comes up on stage and performs a duet with JT Side By Side. "He's the greatest," ends the admiring JT, clearly a fan.
Top of the bill are Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, who of course round off the evening with their eccentric song 'Goodbye'
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October 24th 1965

Michael Bentine starts the show as The Great Sebastian, in a sketch clearly held over from the previous week. Then the dancers perform a bouncy medley of Roaring Twenties numbers.
Enter JT on a toy car, the latest mechanical wonder from Japan. He introduces Eleanor Toner who renders Danny Boy. That's followed by The Fortunes with their latest hit.
Celebrities in the audience are Ian Carmichael, Dilys Laye, "Mr" Jan Holden (!) and Patrick Cargill, stars of the new show Say Who You Are. The Ryan Boys, celebrating their 17th birthday, are also watching, as is Des O'Connor.
Topo Gigio, if you like him, is on stage, JT has an intimate chat, trying his best.
Cliff Richard, not here to promote his songs, does a pleasant duet with JT, Standing at the Corner. The show concludes with comedian Frank Berry, then The Bachelors.

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31st October 1965

In honour of the American guest, the opening is a danced fight with gangsters. After the pitched battle, out from his auto steps George Raft. Why are you over here, asks JT. Answer: to see his old films on tv. Both muff a line. JT gives a few easy gangster impressions. Raft tells us that he introduced the bolero into Britain in 1926 at the Florida Club, and he proves he can still do it, albeit more slowly, pretty well done.
Songs by Paul and Barry Ryan, a la sub Everly Brothers, and Nigel Douglas, an old Tauber number.
JT speculates on future honours for showbiz stars. David Nixon tales a tale of two ropes. Then a long card trick. "I know how it's done," asserts JT, to prove not, Nixon uses JT's cards and baffles us all with Chase the Ace.
Celebrity time: a boxer from Liverpool, Miss South Africa, and Dickie Valentine.
Hugh Lambert and the Palladium Dancers give us a dance, simple and effectively choreographed.
Russ Conway, looking a little more rotund, but with the same toothy smile, plays Folks Who Live on the Hill, and The Beggars of Rome. In between he mumbles something. He dances off at the end.
Spike Milligan tops the bill. He'd made two appearances earlier on. Now he has a limerick, a song and joke about Laura, then a folk song, "they all sound the same." Another limerick and "now I'm completely out of my mind," with the Bum of the Flightle Bee. He would seem to indulge in a little impromptu stuff to fill in a few seconds before his final song, Teeth

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November 21st 1965

JT enters to the background of a wall with graffiti including 'Tarby's back.' This is explained in the second part, when JT tells us the show was returning after a two week gap. He starts the first part of the show carrying this crown, allegedly it was left behind after the Royal Variety Performance!
Cliff Richard and The Shadows perform a medley of Memories accompanied by Jack Parnell's orchestra on stage. It's not really Cliff's style, though he then does a solo Fly With Me To The Moon.
JT has some topical gags about the gales, and ad libs about the fun had during the ad break, having to quickly move the Parnell band down to the pits. Then he introduces Robert Harbin illusionist (though he calls him "Robin").
After a dance routine with the Pamela Devis dancers, it's time to introduce celebrities in the audience, Juliette Greco, Bessie Braddock, the Moscow Dynamo Soccer Team, and Miss World.
On stage there are Charlie Drake with Henry McGee, followed by Freddie Davies, first Palladium appearance.
The Shadows give us The Warlord, then accompany Cliff with Falling in Love with You, and Wind me Up. To finish there's a medley of Cliff's four golden discs

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March 20th 1966 (in colour)

Jimmy Tarbuck opens with a brief rendition of Pretty Woman, a foretaste of what's to come later. It's "Mum's Day," he tells us. Then he sings and dances A Dedicated Follower of Fashion, a lively colourful number.
After The Biasinis, a couple of trick cyclists, JT talks dully about his golf and then introduces
Julie Rogers who sings two numbers, including My Room.
Sylvan is a "card manipulator" who performs various amazing tricks.
Then JT delves into the Tarby archive with childhood memories, or is that childish?
The Seekers sing Nobody Knows De Trouble I Seen, Someday Oneday, and Open Up Dem Pearly Gates.
The final part opens with Celebrity Time, including Erika Remberg who is to be "the leading lady in the new Saint series" (poetic licence there), plus a Parisian fashion designer.
Ray Fell tells some jokes, then it's the star
Roy Orbison with four songs including Pretty Woman, Golden Days and his "new record."

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Show hosted by Kate Smith (c November 1966)

Dancing in a London street is a prelude to the arrival in a vintage Rolls Royce of Kate Smith, "what a marvellous way to arrive in London!" She sings No One Else Could Love You More.
Bob Monkhouse is the first act, "nobody cares about nostalgia," he gripes. So he does his up to date pop star routine.
Tom Jones sings two numbers during the show, after which Kate thanks him admiringly, "you've got a beat." They duet It Takes a Worried Man.
Tap dancers The Clark Brothers are followed by Millicent Martin singing Alfie, then performs My Hieland Fling, rather an odd song and dance number for her.
Morecambe and Wise top the bill, also singing with Millicent Martin in their own inimitable way Moonlight Becomes You.
To round the show off, Kate sings A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (I'm not sure if her comments were quite appreciated) and What Kind of Fool. Perhaps Mr Monkhouse was wrong, for this show was just full of olde tyme songs!

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Judy and Liza at the Palladium

transmitted Sunday December 20th 1964 (recorded Nov 15th 1964)

It's slightly difficult to judge the performance, since the programme was edited from a longer show. But it does commence with wild applause and goes straight into songs, no introduction at all.
Judy sings Once in a Lifetime, and Just in Time, becoming more animated as this second song progresses. She introduces Liza who has a fine Gipsy in my Soul. Then a duet a lively Nice to Have You Back Where You Belong, followed by Wherever We Go. They do chat briefly before Judy sings a 50s hit The Man That Got Away.
Judy and Liza then perform a medley, not the most attractive versions of some of the numbers. The audience shout some requests, you can guess what, before Judy sings from Funny Face. After Liza has sung again, they duet Get Happy, after which there's He's Got the Whole World in His Hands, perhaps the most together of their numbers.
Judy sits on the stage floor, watching Liza with the poweful Who's Sorry Now. After more requests Judy admits, "I can't learn any new ones," and sings San Francisco, now much more fresh with her appreciative audience. Then at last, Over the Rainbow, she spends a lot of the time cajoling them to join in. For an encore they give us Chicago, Liza mostly dancing

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25th November 1973

A standard opening dance with the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop. Then enter Larry Grayson with his bicycle dressed as an onion seller. He sings a sultry song with his usual nice self parody.
Then less happily, host Jim Dale comes on to imitate the mime art of the great Marcel, the best that can be said is that he's an acquired taste, JD that is. Paul Anka starts his act with Flashback, a tuneless piece of morbidity, then gives us his pleasing rendition of his own song My Way, with some fine camerawork to match the song. Finally a medley, starting off inevitably with Diana. The game section, Anything You Can Do, only proves that JD isn't at his ease with off the cuff patter. The games are tediously uninspiring, tying huge knots, then passing groceries while cooped up in a large bag. Finally cymbals burst big balloons. After a song from Jim, there's a clever clever tap dance that looks twenty years behind the times, except for the novel use of the invisible backdrop. The top star Larry returns, with his usual asides to Jack Parnell, such as "I've got the worms." After a strange song The Pain, he's attacked by his nemesis Emu, with Rod Hull. They are locked in combat on the floor as the final credits start to roll

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January 6th 1974
This show never got transmitted
On the Network dvd is a composite that includes a recording of a Cliff Richard performance, he dressed in white and green.

What seems to be from the programme that should have been shown is Jim Dale with a topical reference to why the show wasn't put out. He reads a viewer's poem, awful, including a reference to Ted Heath, then he appeals for much such poems, surely not.
Bob Monkhouse follows with a 'sermon,' including reference to the national crisis. References to other tv programmes include Father Dear Father, and Val Doonican. He does a take off of Jess Yates, with wig. Then his own up to date version of Deck of Cards, jokes aimed at contemporary artists like Jimmy Tarbuck and Des O'Connor and lots of others.
The star is Englebert Humperdink, eight years on from his first Palladium performance. he sings When You Smile, and Love is All I Have to Give, "a big hit in Siberia." Finally a medley of his greats, starting with Last Waltz

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March 24th 1974

The Second Generation kick the show off, the Tiller Girls they are not.
Ted Rogers with a photo of Larry Grayson borrows too many of his gags. Some up to date satire on London's Third Airport, a sit-in at Essex University, plus other feeble quips.
Allan Stewart gives us two outdated songs, plus oddly some impersonations, slightly excruciating. My kindest comment is that he has a fine individual voice.
The New Dolly's (thus in the screen credits) provide us with more traditional dancing. Better are their cycling acrobatics, distinctly different.
Ted reminds us with some gags that it's Mothers Day. Then Clodagh Rogers sings three lively numbers, two oldies plus her latest, Get Together.
Second Generation again, some jaunty ragtime which could be to your taste.
Top of the Bill are Mike and Bernie Winters. They look a trifle weary, perhaps explained that this is just a stop-off from Belfast en route to Germany. They joke about the management, that "they've gone to no expense," and give us some corny holiday jokes, here's a sample: "I saw my German barber- Herr Cut." They end as they began with a song, their finale is the lively We've Got Us

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April 14th 1974 14th April 1974 - last of the series

A lively modern dance by the Second Generation for starters.
Ted Rogers' introductory jokes are about Easter, the recent wild Celtic v Athletico Madrid match, about rising pterol prices (56p a gallon!), and lady jockeys.
The Drifters perform Come On Over, You an Me Baby, and Save the Last Dance.
To start part two Ted hands Jack Parnell a disc celebrating the sale of his 250,000th record.
Then Nino a juggler gets good rounds of applause.
Ted gives some weak feminist jokes, "I should be that funny."
Penny Lane sings a couple of songs, the first surrounded by some fawning dancers, unintentionally funny.
The Second Generation perform a gospel song with a dance that doesn't fit at all, despite the clever visual effects. An oddity.
Sacha Distel, not a raindrop in sight, is top of the bill. He gives us three typical songs, including naturally his latest single. In between, Ted comes on, complimenting him on his great smile. Sacha asks to be taught how to tell jokes, I'm not sure if this is a great success, despite a good punchline

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Val Parnell's Spectacular
Val Parnell's name, as well as heading the Sunday Night at the London Palladium Show, was also appended to these motley programmes. From 1956 to 1960, they included Saturday Spectacular, and a mid week variety show normally named Spectacular or Startime.
Sometimes these had casts unannounced in TV Times, making research difficult. Here are details of some surviving shows:

1959: Johnnie Ray Show, with Pat Kirkwood

1959: Johnnie Ray Show, with Anne Shelton

1959: The Diana Dors Show, with Dickie Dawson

Des O'Connor Show, with Phyllis Diller,

1960: Guy Mitchell Show, with Alma Cogan

1960: Alma Cogan Show, with Adam Faith

Alma Cogan Show, with John Raitt

Bob Monkhouse Show, with Morecambe and Wise

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The Johnnie Ray Show
with Pat Kirkwood

Songs include Fascinating Rhythm, My Island, Way Down Yonder, also appearing Lenny the Lion, Joyce and Lionel Blair.
JR sings: All of Me, Springtime in the Rockies, Wagon Wheels, Thank Heaven for Little Girls, I'll Never Fall in Love Again, I Miss You, I'm Gonna Move, I'm Gonna Walk and Talk with my Lord

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The Johnnie Ray Show
with The Treniers, Channing Pollock, Anne Shelton

JR sings What a Kiss, Day by Day, How about You (+AS), All of Me, All the Way, Shake a Hand, Lonely for a Letter, Up Above My Head, (with The Treniera:) When I Lost my Baby + Sing with the Fishes

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The Diana Dors Show
Diana Dors sings Love Can Be, then Dickie Dawson performs some short impersonations. Lionel Blair and Joyce sing and dance appealingly Just in Time. After a Dragnet take-off, there are some mini sketches on the theme Love and Marriage, Sandra Dorne and Patrick Holt also joining in. Adele Leigh and James Pease sing Give Me Your Hand by Mozart, before the more mundane Operation Contraband, how the Americans and the French would do the same script. The French version is the best sketch of the show, but that's not saying much for Jimmy Grafton and Alan Fell dream up an awful script unworthy of the stars, who struggle to get more than a titter. Diana sings Imagination by the fireside (some nice sets in this Albert Locke production), before the most interesting sketch from our viewpoint of today. Diana is Maid Marian, Dickie Dawson Robin Hood, Alan Wheatley himself is the Sheriff and, presumably to plug his series, Conrad Phillips is here as William Tell. John Bentley also butts in as 'African Patrol' with the three doing an enjoyable plugging song Super Special Series of the Year. Unfortunately Alan Wheatley can't sing at all well at the start, though he improves. Also in their sketch are Jeremy Lloyd as a nicely camp Tarzan, and Lionel Blair disguised as The Invisible Man. The show concludes with a Love and Marriage song medley

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Des O' Connor Show
with guest Phyllis Diller, and Lonnie Donegan

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1960: Guy Mitchell Show
with Alma Cogan

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The Alma Cogan Show
with Adam Faith and Don Alan.
AC sings This could be the Start, Night and Day, three songs with Teddy and Pearl, Begin the Beguine, You Made Me Love You. Adam sings I'm Happy, How About That, Lonely Pup, and a nice duet with AC: I Remember it Well.
Producer Francis Essex achieves some impressive white light effects in the dark during Bill Finch's act

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Spectacular with Alma Cogan

The Malcolm Goddard group sing to introduce the star, Miss Show Business.
Alma starts with A lovely Way to Spend an Evening, then there are two dances from Gina and Gerardo. The Dallas Boys have two numbers, Baubles Bangles and Beads, and I'll Never Let You Go. Alma sings and dances with them, it's mainly that standard Cheek to Cheek.
"Malcolm and the Boys" do a modern dance with Jack Parnell drum solo. John Raitt sings Love's a Many Splendoured Thing, then Figaro from The Barber of Seville with a light comedy touch, finally Stars in Your Eyes. Then Alma and he sing There Once was a Man. With Stan Foster on piano Alma sings Should I Reveal- too jazzed up- then Someone to Watch Over Me, and finally Rockabye your Baby. To finish, the stars return for a final bow.
Freddie Frinton drifts in and out aimlessly between sketches, I suppose this is why there is a credit to Johnny Speight as scriptwriter, though Frinton's script of a tottering drunk writes itself, the rest could only have taken half an hour to compose. Freddie declares to Alma, "I hope I haven't been too much of a nuisance," perhaps he should have been ejected, he's given little enough chance to develop his routine

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A show hosted by Bob Monkhouse with guests Morecambe and Wise (edited to 30 minutes)

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Putting on the Donegan
(1959 series?) * with Glen Mason, Miki and Griff, and Jack Jackson, who claims this is really "his" show. Lonnie sings Cumberland Gap, Nobody's Child, What Do You Say and Ain't You Glad
* After a few cracks, LD sings Wake Up. Stan Stennett interrupts before Anne Shelton sings. LD sings two numbers then Stan gives us his version of Life Gits Tedjus. The three of them give a daft Spanish comedy number. LD concludes with Tom Dooley
* Lonnie starts on the banjo. After flirting with Jo Shelton she sings then Hughie Green chats her up. Lonnie sings out part one and sings in part two with some whistling. He reminisces and jokes with Hughie and they sing and dance with Jo. Lonnie ends with Rock My Soul

Series 2:2 (Monday Jan 4th 1960) with the Clyde Valley Stompers, and The Mudlarks. Lonnie sings Please Buy More Bananas, Ace Down in the Hole, (with Fiona Duncan) Through Rain or Snow, (with The Mudlarks) It's Friendship, Glory Land.
3: (Jan 11th 1960, last of a group of three shows). Lonnie sings Gold Dust, Don Carlos, Miss Otis Regrets (a fine arrangement), and On the Road Again. Lorrae Desmond gives us I Only Have Eyes For You, plus What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For, ending with a very odd puppet. Des O'Connor, "fresh and young," does an enjoyable Businessman's Rock n Roll. The trio sing an Umbrella Song
* (date?) Lonnie with Chris Barber's Band. Lonnie sings 'Hard Travellin' and 'John Hardy' etc as well as one number in which the mike gives out!
* (date?) with The Peters Sisters singing Blues All Around me, Sugar Candy, and (with Lonnie) Remember Ragtime. Miki and Griff render I Heard the Bluebird Sing, and Lonnie gives us four numbers, the best perhaps being the thoughtful Don't Pass Me By
* (date? the last of the series, says Lonnie) Lonnie with guest Alma Cogan

1961 series in which comedy filmlets with Lonnie started each show. The scripts (partly written by Trevor Peacock) were dire, Lonnie would surely have been better advised to stick to what he was brilliant at.
1 (Thursday May 11th 1961) Lonnie sings When You're Smiling, A Barber's Life (comedy sketch), Seven Golden Daffoldils ("our new record"), Lonesome Traveller, and Leave My Woman Alone. Lynn Cornell sings As Long As. Miki and Griff sing Stayed Away Too Long. One awful sketch with Daddy (LD) telling a bedtime story, Red Riding Hood, with corrections from his wife (Marcia Ashton)
* (date?) Lonnie sings Black Cat ("no 25 in the Top Ten") then Sheila Buxton sings Wrong. An unfunny sketch with LD as a zoo keeper with Monica the Elephant who is apparently sitting on some woman. Part two starts with Lonnie singing a Country and Western version of Miss Otis Regrets, before an off the cuff ramble with Miki and Griff who then sing You Never Write or Call. Lonnie concludes enthusiastically with I Shall Not Be Moved, and Have A Drink On Me
3 (May 25th 1961) film with Lonnie as a waiter- slapstick. Lonnie sings Revenue Man, then in poetry introduces Miki and Griff (True Love goes On). Shaw Taylor introduces a semi-goonlike Beaky Oak, some sort of Top Ten carpenter. Then with his guitar, Lonnie sings the oldie Just A Wearyin' For You, with some feeling, before Valerie Masters gives her version of The Toreador Song, a spoof. After an awful chocolate tasting sketch, Lonnie sings Lively, then Rock My Soul
4 (June 1st 1961) with Johnny Duncan singing Sleepy Eyed John. The intro is Lorelei, and later Lonnie sings Worried Man, Neath the Weeping Willow Tree, Rambling Round the City, My Old Man's a Dustman
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Des O'Connor Show (1970)
Des reads us some viewers' letters, alleged letters. He seeks advice how to improve his image with the teenagers, sings a duet Make Your Own Kind of Music and finally dances the Funky Chicken.
Mireille Mathieu sings, then there's A Tale from the Forum: the finding of the first mirror. With Phyllis Diller. As Des aptly comments, "what a load of rubbish this is." He said it.
Al Martino sings My Way, then Phyllis Diller gives us a gag a minute, mostly mother-in-law jokes.
Des sings Loneliness, and Mireille joins in, with pleasing effect.
Phyllis becomes a sex symbol, or is she, according to Des, Bugs Bunny? She has a jealous husband, bringing on a mini-farce that mostly falls flat until a good final punchline.
Des sings With These Hands. Lonnie Donegan joins him to give Des some advice on his forthcoming trip to America. They sing the lively After Taxes.
After a heap of I Say I Say I Say jokes, Des concludes with the song Once In My Life

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Johnnie Ray Sings (1959)
Four shows that were made in Britain at the end of the 1950's.
All featured Shani Wallis, with a fine accompaniment by Jack Parnell's Orchestra.

1- Johnnie sings: Should I Reveal?, September Song, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, Day by Day, Who's Sorry Now. Duet: I Wonder Why. Shani sings: Gipsy in My Soul, Old Man Sunshine, Falling in Love with Love
2- Johnnie sings: All Right, Glad Rag Doll, Tell the Lady Goodbye, Another Man's Blues, Beginning to see the Light(duet), This Longing in Me, I'm Gonna Move. Shani also sings Noone ever Tells You, The Nearness of You.
3- Johnnie sings: Love Can Be/ All in the Game/ If I Had You/ It's all Right with me (duet)/ Ain't Misbehavin'/ When I Walk All Over God's Heaven/ Give Me Time/ Please Don't Talk about Me when I'm Gone. Shani sings: What's New/ I've Got My Love to keep Me Warm.
4- In the last show Johnnie sings Up Above my Head, Yes Tonight Josephine, Yesterday, 100 years from Today, As Time Goes By and Leader of the Band. Shani sings All of You and Valentine Day and (duet) After You've Gone

See also ATV Spectaculars

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The Big Show (US title: Showtime)
ATV attempted to make a variety show that appealed to both sides of the Atlantic, but somewhere in mid-Atlantic the show sunk. Amongst the dross, search for a few minor gems.
One viewer rightly complained to TV Times (May 25th 1968 edition), "The Big Shows for the last two Sundays have really been very, very bad. Give us back The London Palladium Show."

The dates below are for the UK screenings-
(7th April 1968) with Terry-Thomas, who starts with his suave, "how do you do? Good Show." His "futile pursuit," he tells us is to be the host, "I'm effervescent- do you ever know of a time when I wasn't?" He dances a little, just a little with the dancing girls before The Dallas Boys perform an awful updated version of the song Peanuts. Mireille Mathieu sings in French, T-T kisses her then she gives us Time Alone Will Tell. T-T threads his way through the chorus line to introduce Tanya the elephant via a rather weak story, "I wish I hadn't said that." Tanya is certainly clever but not pc but today's standards. Dorothy Loudon sings with T-T thinking he's Bob Hope, they don't quite gel together. She's pretty far gone as she sings Sweet Mamma. Rudolf Nureyev dances the Pas de Deux from Don Quixote with Ulli Wuhrer and finally "charming chap" T-T talks about Birds and gives us a medley of bird songs, lively but not really his style
(28 Apr 1968) host - Shelley Berman with Shirley Bassey, Aker Bilk
(5 May 1968) host- Phyllis Diller with Michael Bentine, Anita Harris, Dickie Henderson, The Shadows
(26th May 1968) host - Eddy Arnold with Roy Castle, Freddie and the Dreamers, Jimmy Edwards
(14 July 1968) host- Juliet Prowse with Buddy Greco, Dave Clark Five, Bruce Forsyth, Joe Baker

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To ATV Variety Menu

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Lunch Box
This popular Midlands series started in 1956. Though it was rehearsed, it had the appearance of an impromptu performance, not amateurish but almost like the sort of show anyone could knock up. It was surely the personality of Noele Gordon that kept it going so long, a real trouper.
For some background on the series

My review of the only surviving show, apparently,
Wednesday February 12th 1958
A cancan with three dancers, a tour de force of mediocrity in the cramped studio space.
"Well done girls," offers Noele Gordon. She tells us they'd only got to bed at 4.30 this morning after being in cabaret at St Alban's. The boys weren't back until 5!
NG reveals this show is being telerecorded. "What's that?" it's for people who don't see the show live- presumably an attempt to sell the show, unless it was to preserve it for posterity. But then this wasn't the best show to choose, in view of NG's earlier remarks.
Anniversary Call: in between personal wedding anniversary greetings we have A Happy Anniversary (Jerry Allen), Anniversary Waltz (David Galbraith), and A Million Stars Above (Eula Parker).
Lunch Box clock shows 12.58. After Shopping List there's Memory Lane: Why Do I Love You? (DG), Who? (JA and NG)- lively could have had more of this, How Much Do I Love You? (EP), plus Where Did You Get That Hat? and Who Were You With Last Night? The clock shows 1.05 and there's a Dreft commercial.
Birthday Time: several personal greetings, and songs. Bye Bye Love (Alan and Lionel of the JA Trio)- they fancy themselves as comedians. NG discreetly apologises, "well, they were very late you know last night." Buttermilk Sky (EP and DG), finally Friendship (JA and NG) after the idiot Board of Emlyn Williams is explained.
Some repartee suggests time needs filling out. JA Trio play Airmail Special. NG comes over to thank them, the boys can now have a lie down until their next work, on the Carrol Levis Show tonight at 10pm. "ATV is now closing down," NG tells viewers, adding "and a very good thing too." But she has time to tell us they reopen at 2.43 for Producing Macbeth, programme 4 Night's Black Agent, which prompts some impromptu clowning around

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Lunch Box (ATV)
Hostess: Noele Gordon. Music by the Jerry Allen Trio.
You'd be right in saying that this series, built around Noele, started life as the 1956 Wednesday afternoon series (4-4.30pm) Tea With Noele Gordon, in which she met with show business folk over afternoon tea. The starting time varied slightly, but this series ran until January 1957.

September 1956 saw the launch of Lunch Box, 12.30-1.30pm each weekday, produced by Reg Watson who had also been responsible for the earlier programme. David Main produced some shows. Since Noele continued to host Tea With Noele Gordon, now on Tuesdays, she was Lunch Box hostess only on Mondays to Wednesdays, Peter Cockburn presented on Thursdays and Fridays.
David Galbraith became a regular, starting in December 1956. It was around Christmas 1956 that Noele began hosting the programmes on Tuesdays to Thursdays, who was in charge at the start and end of the week was not stated. But when 'Teatime' was stopped at the end of January 1957, Noele was able to be hostess on Lunch Box every day, with the length of the show reduced from 12.45 to 1.30pm.
From Feb 18th 1957, having been seen only in the ATV Midlands area, Lunch Box was also shown in the London area. This arrangement didn't last long, though the show did return to the London area at the start of 1959 for some months.
McTweedle, "he never smiles, never says a word," appeared in April 1957 and became a regular on the show for a time.
Special guest for the whole week began to be announced in the spring. One of the first was to become a familiar face on the show, Eula Parker who was contracted to appear every other week (April 8th to 12th 1957, May 27th 1957 week etc etc). An ATV spokesman stated, "Eula produced the largest audience reaction we have had for any singer on this programme. Letters, telephone calls and viewing figures all pointed to her popularity. She was clearly the most successful singer, so we invited her to sign on."
Other guests included:
Jan 18th 1957: Doreen Orme
March 25th week: Lynn Cristie
April 15th week: Julie Dey
April 22nd week: Annette Klooger
April 29th week: Sheila Buxton
May 20th week: 16 year old Shelley Marshall
June 3rd week: Joyce Clark
June 17th week: Teresa Waters
200th edition Thursday June 27th 1957
July 1st week: Terry Burton
July 29th week: Julie Dawn.
Aug 12th week: Diana Coupland
Sept 2nd week: Anita Louise
Sept 9th week: Patti Lewis
Oct 7th week: Joyce Clark
Oct 21st week: Leoni Page
Dec 2nd week: Diana Coupland
Christmas Week 1957: Sheila Buxton and Terry Burton
Of course regulars needed holiday, and Jack Barton was temporarily the producer at the end of July 1957 and during early August. In October 1957 Noele herself had a break, and ATV announcer Arthur Adair took over, until Noele returned on Oct 9th. He also hosted on Oct 23rd to 25th. ATV's Jean Morton hosted on Oct 21st/22nd.

Jan 6th 1958 week: Joyce Clark
Jan 13th week: Joan Small
Jan 20th week: Joyce Shock
Jan 27th week: Diana Coupland
Feb 3rd week: Terry Burton
The starting time was now 12.47pm, as a brief Thought for The Day began transmissions.
Feb 17th week: Joyce Clarke
Mar 3rd week: Terry Burton
Mar 10th week: Eula Parker (and others including in 1958 Apr 21st week, Aug 11th week, Sept 15th week, Oct 20th week, Nov 17th week, Dec 15th week, 22nd week)
May 12th week: Joan Small
July 7th week: Diana Coupland
Aug 18th week: Pat Marian (her debut on the show)
Sept 22nd week: Terry Burton
Sept 29th week: Joan Small
Oct 13th week: Tricia Payne (previously known as Pat Marian)
Among the changes to the regulars: Jean Morton often hosted each Monday during February to May 1958. Roy Edwards replaced David Galbraith in summer 1958 as a vocalist.
Monday April 28th show was from Stourport School Worcester.
The lunchtime News from ITN was included from this summer. In the autumn, the length of the programme was reduced to 40 minutes (12.47-1.27pm), though it soon resumed a 1.30pm finish.
Wednesday September 17th 1958 was a special show, the 523rd performance of Lunch Box! It was also the show's second anniversary.
Christmas Day, and renamed Christmas Box, the show ran for 75 minutes and had a pantomime flavour. Extra visitors included Jean Morton, Pat Barnes, Dulcie Sawyer and the "brilliant new vocal group" The Concords. The MacTweedles were also on hand.

For 1959, the News now preceded the show, which began at 1.02pm and ran for only 28 minutes. Some Thursday editions included Bongo with Noele Gordon, a musical quiz on the lines of Take Your Pick- normally five contestants per show. When she invited viewers to send in an answer, 40,000 people replied. The Week's Guests included Eula Parker who was all but a permanent guest, though Joyce Clark was guest for the week commencing Feb 23rd, Susan Denny for March 9th week, April 21st week Valerie Masters, Diana Coupland for the week starting May 18th and Terry Burton June 15th week. Though Eula Parker was the week's guest for July 20th week, Pat Astley also appeared on July 20th only, and Molly Badham and the Pets Picnic on July 21st, and Evadne Price on July 23rd. For the first time, the show went on the road on Wed July 22nd 1959, to meet Wolverhampton viewers at Goodyear Park. The format returned to that of late 1958 during July, starting 12.47 and ending at 1.25pm. Weekly guests included Allan Bruce- Sept 18th. Jack Barton produced a few of the shows and was the regular producer by the end of that year. He introduced the concept of 'themed' shows, for example the shows in the last full week of November 1959 were based on Fleet Street. One-off guests included Kenneth More (Dec 10th), Terry Hall and Lenny the Lion (Dec 16th) and Lester Ferguson (Dec 17th). By Christmas 1959 the end time was 1.22pm and there was no Monday edition, ie it was screened Tuesdays to Fridays. A Special Christmas Box was again transmitted on Christmas Day, 1.00-2.00pm. Among the special guests were Boyer and Ravel, and The Polka Dots.

In 1960, the show continued Tuesdays to Fridays, 12.47pm start, ending at 1.30, with Jack Barton again producing. It was seen in the Midlands area only. Noele Gordon was ill at the start of Feb 1960, and Jean Morton took over the hostess role in her absence. Eula Parker were guests Feb 1st week, later Susan Denny was a one week long guest, Mike Desmond another, Pat Laurence yet another. Julie Jones signed an ATV contract whch saw her appearing once a month starting in September. A landmark came on Tuesday September 20th, with the 1,000 programme. One special was on December 23rd 1960 when for the first time, the audience was of housebound pensioners: Margaret French, an administrator on the show, said it was " a nice Christmas present for folk who rarely get a chance of going out." Regular features included Horoscope (Wednesdays) with Evadne Price, Curiosity Corner with David Shure, Mirror of Memories (Thursdays) with Steve Evans. Eula Parker was back in the week before Christmas, finish time back to 1.22pm.

This set the pattern for 1961, among special features were Dreamer's Highway (Tuesdays), Snap Tips with Willoughby Gullachsen, and Limelight on Stars of the Theatre (Wednesdays- on June 7th 1961 special guest was Hylda Baker). Among the show's guests of the week were Eula Parker of course, Sheila Southern (July 18th week), Maggie Fitzgibbon/ Peter Elliott (July 25th week) and Mat Lorenz/ Monty Babson (Sept 19th week). One special show was on the day of the Royal Wedding, June 8th 1961, which ran from 12.30 to 1.10pm and as well as the regulars, there were David Whitfield, Frankie Howerd, and Bert Weedon. The first ever Mum in a Million competition was held, viewers invited to nominate candidates. The winner was Mrs Adeline Hickson of Leicester. Though Jack Barton was still producer, Bryan Izzard is credited with directing some of the shows.

1962 saw the format unchanged. But producer was now John Pullen, Bryan Izzard was director for the first couple of months. later Tony Parker was given as director. Noel Gordon and Jerry Allen and his TV Trio continued in front of the screen. Guests included: Feb 27th week: Ray Merrell and Eve Adams, March 6th week: Monty Babson and Lisa Page, June 12th week: Peter Elliott and Eula Parker, July 17th week: Steve Arlen and June Marlow, Sept 4th week: Andy Cole and Maureen Evans. Jerry Allen has a break in Sept 3rd week, replaced by Johnny Patrick and the Lunch Box trio. Not many of the weekly special slots were mentioned in TV Times, but one was Pick a Pop- in the disc shop, a latest record, it included a Disc Spot Guest- on Sept 5th this was Russ Sainty. Another special was Debut- a talent spot, later this was rechristened Encore- the return of those who had made their debuts. Another 'special' was on Friday July 20th 1962, when the broadcast came from the Trentham Gardens swimming pool in Staffordshire. Midlands girls competed for the amazing title Miss Lunch Box 1962, with the winner promised by John Pullen, appearances "in all our outside broadcasts for the next twelve months." Alarmingly the show's length was reduced by a minute in the spring! End time was now 1.21pm.

In 1963, that lost minute was recovered, end time now once again 1.22pm. However on Fridays there was a bonus, the ending was 1.25pm! This generosity lasted until the autumn when Fridays fell into the 1.22 line. The same faces up front. In the autumn Brian Bell was new director. Special weekly guests included: Julie Jones and Steve Martin (April 23rd week), Sheila Mathews and Ray Merrell (May 21st week), Susan Denny and Johnny Towers (June 11th week), Julie Jones and Peter Elliott (June 25th week), Eula Parker and Roy Edwards - both old friends of the series (July 16th week), Eula Parker and Peter Elliott (Aug 13th week), June Marlowe and Roy Edwards (Oct 1st week), Julie Jones and Roy Edwards (Oct 22nd week), Dany Clare and Jim Dale (Oct 29th week) then for Christmas week it was Eula Parker, Roy Edwards and Peter Elliott. Special weekly events included the continuation of Pick a Pop: April 24th's guest was Bert Weedon, on May 22nd it was Don Spencer, on June 12th Christine Campbell, on June 26th Debbie Lee, July 17th Jackie Trent, Aug 14th Marie McCann, Oct 2nd Clinton Ford, Oct 23rd Sheila Southern, and Oct 30th Don Spencer again. A new feature on Fridays was Open House- a singsong. On summer Tuesdays there were Gardening Hints with Bob Price (first hint on June 11th), and also Your Pet with John Balfour, better known on Midland Farming. In the autumn there was Home Cooking with Penny McDermid. One special programme was on Friday June 29th 1963, from Trentham Gardens Ballroom, the highlight being the crowning of the second Mum in a Million. Another special on Thursday August 15th 1963 visited Rutland Recreation Ground in Ilkeston, Roy Edwards returned for this one. On Friday December 27th 1963 an Old Age Pensioners' Christmas Party was held, with veteran guest Clarkson Rose. On Christmas Day 1963 there was the usual Christmas Box from 1.05 to 2pm, with guests not on the generous scale of earlier years, Lionel Rubin, Alan Graham and Ken Ingarfield. The Jerry Allen Big Band made a change from the usual TV Trio.

It proved to be the last festive show for the Lunch Box team. In 1964, lunchtime shows were old hat and the series ended. Ironically it was replaced temporarily by a teatime show, where it had all begun, Hi-T!, hostess Noele Gordon with Jerry Allen and his TV Trio. John Pullen was again the producer, Brian Bell director. It was screened Mondays to Fridays from 4.30 to 5pm. Same things such as Open House continued, as well as Penny McDermid in the kitchen, and Evadne Price with horoscopes, plus Gardening with Bob Price. Guests appeared on a daily basis, including some old faces: Barbara Law, Roy Edwards plus the pop singer spot Dev Douglas (Mar 16th 1964), Peter Elliott and Janie Marden (Mar 18th), Simone Jackson (Mar 20th), Valerie Masters and Peter Elliott, plus Don Charles (June 29th), Terry Burton and Al Saxon (July 1st), Maureen Evans, Roy Edwards also Jackie Trent (July 3rd). Doug Arthur later began hosting it only on Mondays and Fridays. But of course it all came to an end when Noele with producer Reg Watson went on to star in Crossroads starting Nov 2nd 1964!

One viewer summed up what Lunch Box meant to so many: "We would far rather miss lunch than Lunch Box." And another: "Thank you for Lunch Box, we don't feel we are watching television: we are one big happy family throughout the Midlands. Everyone is made to feel part of the programme thanks to our wonderful hostess, I've yet to see a programme which shines with so much friendship and sincerity."
Exactly how many Lunch Box programmes were made? The answer seems lost in the mists of time, but there must have been nearly 1,600, of which sadly only the one reviewed here survives

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ABC VARIETY SHOWS:
More details of ABC's output on the
ABC Variety page.
ABC tried hard to dent ATV's grip on light entertainment on the commercial channel. An early attempt started on Saturday 21st September 1957, when ABC stopped showing ATV's Saturday Spectacular, in favour of their own

Top of the Bill (1957)

Hullabaloo (1963)

Big Night Out (ABC)
This long running series began in 1961, and became a success when Mike and Bernie Winters took on the role of hosts. Lionel Blair was a regular with his imaginative dance routines. It ran until 1965.
* with David Nixon (1963)
* with Bob Monkhouse (January 18th 1964)
* with Gerry and The Pacemakers
* with The Beatles
* The Beatles 1964 (March 7th 1964, edited)

Bruce Forsyth Show (1965)

The Blackpool Show (ABC 1966)

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The Blackpool Show
This series replaced Blackpool Night Out, which had run on summer Sundays in 1964 and 1965.
Wrote Max Wyman in The Viewer magazine: "Hosting the show each week is none other than Tony Hancock- fast heading back to the top of the profession once more." And Philip Jones, ABC Light Entertainment chief, announced: "we are extremely pleased to get Tony to head the summer series."

July 31st 1966 compered by Tony Hancock, his last in the series, replaced next week, he informs us by Bruce Forsyth.
After the obligatory opening dance, Tony Hancock apologises about last week. He performs a yes/no interlude with Evelyn and finishes by arguing with bandleader Bob Sharples.
Freddy Davies is not given much of a build up by Tony, with good reason when you sit through his act.
The Rockin' Berries begin and end with Tonight. In between they give us their latest Midnight Mary, then they treat us to some impressions, Bernie Winters, Tommy Cooper, Norman Wisdom etc.
Then it's Bob Monkhosue with his quick fire gags, some of which hit the mark. He slips in a passing non topical reference to the World Cup Final, then gives a long reprise of his own version of Goldfinger. Finally a tip on the Cassius Clay versus Brian London fight to be screened next Sunday, on stage walks Brian, whom Bob decides will be the winner.
Tony out-Oliviers Shakespeare, it does not come off as he overacts.
Star quality in Jeannie Carson: Bye Bye Blackbird, then two songs from Strike a Light, In the Pawnshop which builds well, and the less inspiring Gentlemen.
Tony bids the show farewell and gives a final speech a muddle of famous quotes, a sadly fitting epilogue to his fall from grace

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Top of the Bill
ABC officials claimed that "the slick, sophisticated approach to variety was not liked up in the North and Midlands." Howard Thomas of ABC was determined to out-parnell Val Parnell, and produced this short-lived fortnightly series
The series was produced by Arthur Lane, who said, "it is not intended to rival the Saturday Spectacular... there will not be a line of chorus girls. I feel they never come over well on the small screen. .. I am not using a compere or commere. They only slow things up." There was a studio audience of 300, "you have to have them to give atmosphere," explained Arthur Lane. The shows were made at ABC's Capital Studios in Didsbury.

The first programme, which I have not seen, starred Lonnie Donegan, Albert Modley and Shirley Abicair.
Arthur Lane said that others booked for future shows included Norman Evans, Pat Kirkwood and George Formby (see below). Chas MacDevitt Skiffle Group and Johnny Duncan were two more up-to-date attractions.

My review of the second show on Saturday October 7th 1957:
George Formby starts with a couple of jokes, then students at a music academy pick out Chas McDevitt who plays I'm Satisfied With My Girl, My Baby Said Goodbye (vocal Shirley Douglas), and Honky Tonk Piano. Cabaret- Edna Savage sings As Time Goes By, and Bueno Sera. Then George himself at the seaside sings It's Champion Camping Out, Two of Everything ("dedicated to Jayne Mansfield"!), and Leaning on a Lampost. As he sings there are very brief clips of two of his old films, to which ABC had then the rights, It's In the Air (1938), and Trouble Brewing (1939).

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Big Night Out VTR2894

* with David Nixon (1963)-
Lionel Blair starts the show with some non-standard camera angles and even a negative picture at times; he dances and Joyce Blair sings.
The first guests are Lennie the Lion and Terry Hall.
Magician Abdul el Winters, Mike Winters performs tricks assisted by Bernie Winters and David Nixon. Then Bernie is sawn in two, before the tag line comes up announcing the ad break; "End of This Half."
Short Sketch: No Hiding Place: Lockhart gets a tip off about another train robbery.
Lionel dances an intriguing 007 ballet around a giant roulette wheel.
Sports Time: Bernie as a cyclist.
Teddy Johnson and Pearl Carr.
Bernie the Rustic, Mike as a toff.
Joyce Blair sings.
David Nixon does some magic.
The finale is an imaginative visual conclusion with the brothers both in boxes about to be sawn in two, Bernie querying, "What does ABC Television mean when they say there's going to be cuts?"!

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ABC Menu

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Big Night Out

with Bob Monkhouse -
Lionel Blair arrives by sports car at the studios and dances his way inside.
Petula Clark sings That's How We Feel to Love/ Thank you/ Let's Call the Whole Thing Off (with Dennis Spicer).
Sketch: From Wigan With Love: Bernie as James Bond, Mike as M.
Short sketch: Bernie as a char, with military bigwigs.
Sketch: Just the Job- The Milkman, with Bernie and Freddie Mills.
Sketch: Bernie of Arabia.
Bob Monkhouse concludes the show, including his take-off The 5th Beatle

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Big Night Out VTR3344
guests: Gerry and The Pacemakers-
Opening Sketch: Human Cannonball Bernie, at 120mph through the stratosphere, a typical bit of fun, Bernie ending up still smiling.
Lionel Blair's song and dance is on the theme Good Morning, introducing the stars. Mike and Bernie sing part of Have You Heard.
Gerry and The Pacemakers perform I'm the One, and, later, Why Don't You Pretend.
Just the Job- Gardening, Bernie in rustic garb and voice. He also sings and dances to a limerick.
In Part Two Lionel Blair does a dance medley (I'm in a Dancing Mood, etc).
Sherlock Holmes: Bernie as SH, Alfred Marks as Lord Baskerville, six times married last year. Holmes faces the hound.
Part Three begins with a Z Cars sketch: Gerry Marsden as Sweet, Bernie in drag.
Teddy Carr and Pearl Johnson sing and sing.
Alfred Marks talks: "I work cheap."
In the finale, Bernie returns to that Cannonball.

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* with The Beatles
The Beatles sing With Love from Me to You, She Loves You, Twist and Shout.
Also with Patsy Ann Noble who sings two numbers.
Lionel Blair's opening dance uses umbrellas; later, in a mask, his dance is a mime stealing a necklace.
The brothers open the show in a storm at a lighthouse, plenty of buckets of water over Bernie.
Sports Time at the Highland Games with Bernie MacWinters outside his crofter's cottage with lots of corn, eg Mike "the noo." Bernie: "Beg your pardon laddie." Mike: "the noo." Bernie, "aye, it's round the back o' the hut." Or this better joke, Bernie: "On Monday we burn peat, on Tuesday we burn Angus." Mike:"And how about Wednesday?" Bernie: "On Wednesday, Robbie burns."
Bernie and Billy Dainty argue about their attractive appearances.
Mike and Bernie date Two Gorgeous Girls, with a weak pay off line.
Sally Barnes, who played Bernie's wife in this last sketch then performs a love scene with her partner, a sample of the script will tell you much. Husband: "Your eyes, they're like magnets." Wife: "Oh don't mention those horrible things to me." Husband: "You don't know what magnets are." "Wife: "Oh but I do. I've seen them crawling out the cheese."
Final scene: everyone dancing to The Monkey Twist

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Big Night Out

* The Beatles 1964 appearance (edited to 25 minutes)

At the start, Bernie 'explodes' into the studio with the lads. The Beatles are seen on film, arriving by boat ('Welcome Home Beatles'), travelling by Rolls to customs where Mike and Bernie inspect their luggage.
Lionel Blair dances at the customs, singing It's Very Nice.
Mike and Bernie discuss the name of their act with the Beatles- The Mike Winters Six doesn't sound quite right!
Each of the Fab Four reads out a fan letter, requesting that Bernie sings a Beatles' number, then we see Bernie typing the letters himself.
The Beatles sing All my Loving, I Want to be Your Man etc
Also appearing Jackie Trent and then
Lionel Blair dances and sings to Let's Face the Music and Dance and other Hollywood numbers.
The finale shows the whole cast twisting and dancing to I Want to Hold Your Hand

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Bruce Forsyth Show

September 1965
with guest star
Cilla Black who has some awful dialogue with Brucie, though their duet Off to the Movies is an improvement- it had to be! Later she sings Yesterday.
A posh Miriam Karlin sells a dog to BF, with some nice adlibs, even from the doggies.
Bruce performs a song and dance with two girls, a novel comedy.
Then BF performs a sketch with Francis Matthews as a drunken golfer. Matthews has to return home to explain his absence to his wife. The boys concoct a wild excuse, which the wife breaks down. Best bits are Bruce's swaying wildly being held on by the end of his bulky jumper.
The Morgan James Duo join Bruce for The Girl from Ipenema, and there follows Bruce's great parody of the song. The Duo finish with Sweet Pussycat.
As a finale he plays a concert pianist rather at loggerheads with his conductor.

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Hullabaloo
This 1963 late night Saturday series was made by ABC Television, and was not fully networked, only being shown in ABC's own area plus a few regions such as Westward.
The series included folk, as well as rhythm and blues songs, and was introduced by Rory McEwen.
"I insisted on a studio audience," Rory explained, "these people, listening to what you are singing, give the performer added incentive."

c November 1963
* Ray and Alex MacEwen sing The Day We Went to Rothesay. Carolyn Hester sings Hush Little Baby, then Peter Paul and Mary give us Blowing in the Wind, and Judgement Day. Later they also sing one further song. Rambling Jack Elliott has a number which gets the best audience reaction, Fishin'. Long John Baldry sings Night and Day and Sydney Carter Down Below, the tale of a worker in a London sewer
* with Peter Paul and Mary singing it Ain't No Use/ Go Tell It on a Mountain, Carolyn Hester with I was Born in East Virigina/ Every Time I Hear, Rambling Jack Elliott with Water Basket, Sydney Carter: If I Was, Alex with Rory McEwen: St Patrick's Bend, and Cyril Davies and Long John Baldry with Preaching the Blues.
c December 1963
* with Sonny Boy Williamson- Somebody's gotta go. And Ian Campbell Group- Fol-de-rol-diddle, The Duo Ofarim with two songs, Cyril Tawney- The Oggie Man. Rory sings Ella Speed, and the peculiar number Jean Harlow died.
*with Sonny Boy Williamson singing Baby's Coming Home, Alex McEwen with Rory in Hame Lullaby, the Ian Campbell Group with the unusual Knickety Knackety, Esther and Abraham Ofarim with Every Night When the Sun Goes In/ Lila, and Sydney Carter with Elections Ahead, which includes a topical verse on Commercial telly, who clad Honor Blackman in leather

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(ASSOCIATED-) REDIFFUSION:
Jack Hylton Presents The legendary impresario was responsible for most of A-R's early variety.
Before Your Very Eyes (April 20th 1956) -the last show of Arthur's first A-R series (before this series, his BBC show had the same title!). Sabrina makes a "tight squeeze" of an entrance. Arthur helps her fill our her tax form, then Jerry Desmonde sells Arthur a washing machine for £20, but shows that income tax, pay rises and purchase tax make the final cost much more. Realising he's out of pocket, Arthur tries the same dodge on Avril Angers, but is done again, "there's something wrong." Then Arthur takes his car to a testing station where Jerry Desmonde finds fault with the headlamps, the mudguard, the door, the brakes ("sorry about that") till little is left, only "a load of junk." Arthur asks hopefully, "don't you think it'll pass the test?" A Date Among the Palms is a silent film with Arthur and Avril. Now forty years on he gets the starring role in a picture directed by Jerry. "The crummy old has-been" reshoots his old film with sound, "what's wrong with my voice?" A novel way is found to get his voice to sound deeper. The best line, if also the most corny- Avril: "You Arabs are such intense lovers." Arthur: "Everything we do is in tents." Finally Arthur thanks everyone as this is the last of this Friday night series.
The Crazy Gang (5th October 1956, rpt 23rd June 1958) - The Tiller Girls start off the show, after which the five Crazy Gang sing Be Your Age. Then some scenas on the theme of If. The Crazy Gang dance to the Blue Danube with large balloons. Then, in wigs, they are teddy boys jiving. The main offering is their version of The Scarlet Pimpernel with nice interruptions from the wings. Fabian of the Yard (Bud Flanagan) seek the Scarlet Pimple- and rhyming with Pimpernel the best line is, "that damned elusive Val Parnell." Rosalina Neri sings two numbers in Italian, then You made Me love You.
Dickie Henderson Half-Hour (1.11, 12th September 1958)- Song spot: Diane Todd sings I Will Remember. The first sketch is about Dickie telling a joke and laughing at it uproariously while Anthea Askey doesn't understand it. "You can't explain why a joke's funny," she protests, quite rightly but Dickie repeats it ad nauseam. Very tedious and annoying. A better if even more obvious sketch is The New Neighbour with Dickie besotted by new neighbour June, blonde, "wrapped around her little finger." The idea gathers some momentum. The final piece is a silent film The Love Bandit. Dickie as Rudolph Valentino, Anthea as Seducian the dancer. A few nice nostalgic touches. As it's the last show of the series, Dickie thanks his cast and director Bill Hitchcock.

Bing Crosby Show (1961) Bing sings Great Day before taking us of a tour, on film, of London in his quest to trace his ancestors. In Ye Olde Tea Shoppe he is served by Pat Coombs, and sings a medley of Tea Songs with Dave King and Marion Ryan. This includes Tea for Two, When I Take My Sugar to Tea, A Nice Cup of Tea in the Morning, A Cup of Coffee etc. Terry-Thomas helps Bing to find the records of his ancestors. It's a very half hearted attempt at slapstick. Ron Moody arrests Bing for busking, Bing singing The Sheik of Araby. He's taken to court to be tried by Judge Miles Malleson. To the jury, he sings My Fate is In Your Hands. Released, he sings Fings Ain't Wot They Used to Be with Miriam Karlin, before reaching the pub The Crosby Head. En route we catch Shirley Bassey who sings Shooting High etc. There's a cockney sing-song at the pub, plus one Irish song with Shaun Glenville and Bing. Finally Bing gets to meet his long lost elderly relative Matilda (she turns out to be Bob Hope of course). Bing ends with White Christmas.
Stars and Garters - This attempt to create pub entertainment was never much fun, but it ran for four series from 1963 to 1966.
3.1 February 1st 1965: Ray Martine's awful puns intersperse with: Steve Perry's Shine On Harvest Moon- jazzed up but lively. "A touch of class," Luciano unfortunately gives us two songs. Kim Cordell is "the stone age Cilla Black," but better for it. Susan Maughan sings Little Things Mean A Lot. Cringe for the Our Gracie imitation by Johnny Sheldon. Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone is nicely done with the instruments vying with the singers for most noise. Diana Dors, "the Statue of Liberties," only has time for one number Make Someone Happy, before we end with community singing

Hippodrome Complained one viewer of the series (TV Times No 575): "I can visualise another Boston Tea Party, only this time it will be telerecordings dumped in the harbour. I am not very fond of the Americans, but surely they can't deserve such a terrible punishment."
One surviving show (October 1966) includes The Herculeans (acrobats), Linda Bennett (singer), Jeff (with five tigers), The Zombies (rock group), Alma (trapeze), Three Getzis (acrobat clowns), Moni the Elephant, The Great Segora (fire eater), plus The Band of the Grenadier Guards.
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GRANADA:

Burt Bacharach Sound
Fascinating outtakes from the programme shown on 14th April 1965. The director was Philip Casson.
Insert 1: BB conducting
Insert 2 (two takes): Always Something There to Remind Me
Insert 3: Trains and Boats and Planes
Insert 4: BB playing piano and conducting Always Something There to Remind Me
Insert 5: Chat with BB and Hal David (plenty of mutual backslapping)
Insert 6: (after a false start) BB conducting
Insert 7: (after first take aborted, these are takes 2 and 3): Dusty Springfield: I just don't know what to do.
Insert 8 (two takes): The Merseybeats and Dusty Springfield: Wishin and Hopin
Insert 9 (three takes): Dionne Warwick: Hey Little Girl, followed by one take of BB introducing Chuck Jackson (plus one muffed)
Insert 11 (two takes): Dionne Warwick: Walk on By,
followed by closing credits
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BBC
An Evening's Diversion (1953, edited to 50 minutes)-
Imagining a television entertainment in 1596 with "the epicure of cooks" Philip Harben. Others appearing may possibly include Lupino Lane and Elton Hayes. The Society of Inventors reveal the 'latest' inventions whilst there's a snippet of a play. Best bit is the announcer solemnly reminding viewers to get their tv licence, on pain of a whipping

Contrasts (1955)-
with the Robert Farnon Orchestra which plays Yes We Have No Bananas, How Beautiful is Night, Portrait of a Flirt (with dancing by Claudine Goodfellow), Robert Beatty introduces a clip from Captain Horatio Hornblower RN, Jean Gilbert (piano) plays a variation by Paganini, then the orchestra conclude with Strawberry Fair and Night and Day

Bless 'Em All (1955)-
Celebrating the tenth anniversary of VE Day. With Vera Lynn

We Are Your Servants (1956) -
A celebration of ten years of post war BBC telly, introduced by Leslie Mitchell. Other links provided by Kenneth More, Peter Haigh and Humphrey Lestocq. Music from Geraldo. A special What's My Line, hosted by Gilbert Harding. Arthur Askey (who'd recently defected to 'the other side') is seen on film with Frank Muir and Denis Norden, whilst Bob Monkhouse does a topical monologue and Jacqueline Mackenzie similarly. Richard Hearne is on stage with Terry-Thomas, whilst Muffin is seen with creator Jan Bussell, and Sooty with Harry Corbett. Oddest sketch is Petula Clark who is seen in a clip from 1946 before appearing in a strange dialogue with Stephen Boyd

The World Our Stage (1957) -
host: Trevor Howard. Shirley Eaton dances. Ted Ray Billie Whitelaw and Kenneth Connor perform a sketch 'First TV Set.' Peggy Cummins stars in The Man on the Balcony, an unlikely comedy with Bob Monkhouse as a potential suicide. Phil Silvers sends the BBC brief congratulations. Finally, a huge choir perform The Isle is Full of Noises

Solo Performance (1959) -
George Formby with a potted account of his career and lots of songs- Serves You Right/ Down the Coal Hole/ Swim Little Fish/ Guarding the Home of the Home Guard/ Goodnight Little Fellers/ Sitting on the Ice/ and a medley of three favourites to conclude

"Wakey Wakey"-
1959 (edited) - with Russ Conway and Max Bygraves. The Fiftieth Wakey Wakey Tavern show
Christmas Eve 1961- guest star Eric Sykes tries to persuade our Bill to do a Robin Hood panto. Failing that how about Aladdin? A third try of Cinderella introduces Hattie Jacques as a Fairy Queen. The final sketch is yet another Come Dancing take-off, with Jeremy Lloyd as the bandleader. Other guests are Mrs Mills, John Williams who also does a guitar 'duet' with Eric, and Ricky Stevens who attempts I Cried For You
1964 - with Russ Conway, Spike Milligan, Ted Rogers and Frankie Vaughan. 'Cotton Capers' with our Bill racing at Brooklands

That Was The Week That Was-
It all looks very tame nowadays, only Bernard Levin appearing modernistically rude. True, some of the satire was revolutionary for tv at the time, but the show always seemed to me to be enthusiastically amateurish, but then maybe I am an old fart like BL.

* That Was The Year That Was (December 29th 1962) - Millicent Martin sings the headlines interspersed with a few photos and jokes in this first end of year review by the TW3 team. A jibe at Telstar, "a British picture, the French have a very clear picture." The cameras are at the party conferences, Roy Kinnear Labour, Willie Rushton Tory, and Lance Percival Liberal. There's a nice take off of Adam Faith after his tv encounter with the Archbishop of York, 'Adam's Not a Sinner Any More.' There's a look at letter writing phrases, with an interesting aside on homosexuals. I liked the alleged French version of Dixon of Dock Green avec Willie Rushton . Nearly very good too is the image of the Liberal Party after the Orpington revival. "Mollie Martin" (thus David Frost) sings an awfully jazzy number before Bernard Levin provides his jaundiced view on "a nasty shifty bad tempered year" headed by the Cuban crisis. Roy Kinnear gives his Save Panorama appeal, must have done the trick as this programme is still running! Percival makes up a typical calypso, getting a clap for a topical Liz Taylor joke. Frost ends with the current newspaper headlines
* 1963 show with special guest Frankie Howerd. - He does "a little lecture" on the budget ("Reggie means well...") but it's his jibes at TW3 itself that are most entertaining: "I don't approve of this sort of thing," he confides to us viewers. Perhaps coming on at 11.35 sharpened his feelings! Other guests include Cleo Laine, who duets with Millicent Martin, and Michael Redgrave with a wistful poem on those recently melted down at Madame Tussaid's. The best sketch perhaps is Willie Rushton phoning the US about Britain's decline as a world power. Celebrated Hairdresser Mr Raymond isn't quite riled by Levin, even though as a Liberal candidate, he knows little about Liberal policies

International Cabaret (1966)-
with Johnny Mathis (20 mins)

Ken Dodd Show (1966)-
with Bill Simpson

Aladdin's Lamp -
Christmas 1966 panto with Arthur Askey and Roy Castle
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Bless 'Em All
On the tenth anniversary of VE Day, here was the BBC tribute. It's primitive but ambitious.
John Snagge narrates. George Melachrino introduces Vera Lynn with her We'll Meet Again, and Bluebirds Over the White Cliffs of Dover.
Jack Warner performs his monologues, various amusing jobs, reads a letter from Sid, and sings Oi.
Robert Easton sings Old Father Thames and It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow in a flimsy air-raid shelter.
Richard Murdoch and Kenneth Horne with Sam Costa do a Much Binding sketch, Jack Warner with a small part also.
The Windmill Grils dance and there's an Apache dance, a miracle in the confines of such a small set.
Eric Barker and Pearl Hackney are on HMS Mothball, this sketch doesn't wear well, though there's a great punchline.
After reminiscences from Richard Dimbleby, there's a link up to Doris Hare at a reunion with Jack Train and Dorothy Sumners, also Bob Harvey, after which Doris gives us a Welsh monologue.
War footage is backed by Melachrino's Orchestra and some singing by Vera.
Ralph Reader introduces a tribute to the shows, followed by Charlie Chester, who jokes, then sings Down Forget-Me-Not Lane.
Jean Metcalfe is followed by Vera who sings Yours, and When The Lights Go On Again. As she encourages the audience to join in Bless Em All, we go to the Tower of London to watch the Ceremony of the Keys, a downbeat ending, perhaps a suitable tribute to the many fallen
bbc list
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Ken Dodd Show (1966)-
From Blackpool, where Ken is on his vacation, "a beautiful day for bouncing in a blancmange."
He phones The Gaffer at Number 10 before introducing The Bluebell Girls.
After they have danced their routine, Ken gives us a topical soccer monologue, and even shows us the world cup which his wife has just won for nagging. Then a less satisfactory sketch with Graham Stark, Ken as a goalie ("Mrs Thursday") who keeps getting distracted and thus letting in the goals.
Salena Jones from America sings.
A call for a doctor in the house brings Bill Simpson (Dr Finlay) on stage. He greets Ken as Janet.
Then it's time for the Diddymen, well one actually, Diddy Mint looking "very Carnaby Street."
Steptoe and Son are sitting on the beach in deckchairs. Albert taunts Harold who still is wearing his bow tie and jacket. Lacking a Galton and Simpson script they labour their lines, resorting mostly to insults. It only proves how important scripts are, because clearly their comedy is based on mutual hatred, but here the unpleasantness is somehow too dominant. They meet a golfer (Ken Dodd) and Albert gets his own back a little by calling him Bugs Bunny.
Ken describes The Sound of Music film rather dully. it seems he must be filling in time, before more movingly singing Promises to end the show
bbc list
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Frost on Saturday
I'm not admirer of David Frost and his ingratiating smiley professional smoothness, and this series is not one I would normally concern myself with.

However let's make a happy exception for the programme on

November 15th 1969.
This was made before an invited audience of old timers, ostensibly it was to celebrate the commencement of ITV's first evening of colour transmissions. The fact that the first portion is devoted to a performance of the main song from Jesus Christ Superstar, sung by Murray Head, sums the show up. In itself this was something of a coup, and brilliantly historic too, "a glimpse of the new," prophesies Frost. But that left half an hour for reminiscing, and presumably because the researchers were able to uncover more about the early history of radio, the programme unaccountably celebrates the birth of broadcasting, rather than only television.
Jimmy Edwards and Peter Kavanagh sit aside Frost, why them? Leslie Mitchell who appropriately announced the show, has brought along the first Radio Times for 1937 with a tv supplement. But then we talk about long running radio shows, Jon Pertwee and Ben Lyon both disputing Edwards' claim that his was the longest running radio show. June Whitfield and Dick Bentley give us Ron and Eth; Richard Murdoch and Sam Costa Much Binding. Then Stainless Stephen, first radio broadcast 1924, gives a monologue on stage. Bob and Alf Pearson round off the radio portion of the show.
The only clip is of a mock up of the opening night on the BBC with singer Adele Dixon, who is in the audience. So is announcer Jasmine Bligh, but neither gets much chance to talk, sadly wasted. Eric Robinson does have a tv memory, Ben Lyon and Doris Rogers get a word in. Peter Brough and Archie come on stage, comments on his ventriloquism are superfluous. Tessie O'Shea bursts in and happily threatens to derail the show with a change of direction, but Frost does reel her in and she sings us out. Frost ends by tantalising us with the names of some of those in the audience we have not heard from, only proving that this was a seriously wasted opportunity, tv was at this time regarding itself as throwaway, and here were thrown away golden moments to capture on tape the memories of a lost generation. This was a muddle of entertainment and research, neither one thing nor t'other
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Made in Australia by ATN (Sydney)

Meet Matt Monro
His first hour long spectacular, he informs his audience. Expense was certainly spared, with very sparse sets, but I suppose, fairly typical of the era.
With Lorrae Desmond
The Flanagans
Billy Burton (trumpet).
Matt's songs include I'm a Pommie, Walk Away, Born Free, Softly, Portrait of my Love, San Francisco, I Have Dreamed, plus a medley with Lorrae.
Interspersed amongst the songs are numerous plugs for the sponsor Dulux.

Matt Monro 'Live' at the New Twenties Restaurant, Melbourne.
An excellent cabaret, though Matt's attempts at humour between the singing are rather painful.
Songs include: I'll Go On Singing, How do You Do, What to Do?, My Kind of Girl, Yesterday, You are Nobody, Portrait of my Love, Walk Away, If I could Hold You, From Russia with Love, Georgy Girl, Born Free, Softly.

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Citizen James
Galton and Simpson's 'Hancockless' BBC series with Sid James and Sidney Tafler. Also featured are Bill Kerr and Liz Fraser in series 1. Sid Green and Dick Hills wrote the later, and (dare I say it?) better scripts.
1.1 Drunken Runner - In this opener, Sid introduces to the camera his mates and his business "registered at the Board of Trade as a Dodgy Proposition." Total assets threepence halfpenny. Sid persuades a down-on-his-luck athlete to enter the local Waiters' Race. At 100-1 Sid stands to make a packet, but will his dark horse succumb to the demon drink?
1.2 Magic Elixir - "Doctor" Sid flogs Bill's patent medicine but the police swoop in the shape of Bob Todd and Campbell Singer. Eventually Sid is cleared of all charges as he proves the efficacy of his product at the hospital, where he "cures" an ailing elderly lady, inevitably played by Patricia Hayes.
1.3 The Nosh Bar Raffle Prize money has "disappeared". Can Sid explain this away to "friends" like Nosh Bar owner (Ronnie Brody) and Meat Axe (Michael Brennan)?
1.4 Gambling Fever - Charlie to Sid: "With such an agile mind, how come you're always broke?" But suddenly Sid has £300, entrusted to him by Liz to take to the bank. But of course it's spent on Henry IV at 40-1. So what story can Sid dream up for Liz about her lost 300 quid? A robbery! But then of course, the police have to investigate...
1.5 Parkers - Sid goes into the wholesale business, manufacturing fags made from roll-your-own tobacco. All at the bargain price of eight pence for 20. Somehow they persuade Cecil Parker, THE Cecil Parker, to lend his name to the brand "Parkers". "You're never alone with a Parker" and other jingles follow. The best of the stories I've seen.
1.6 The Bet - Sid's been engaged to Liz for 7 years. The last time he took her out was to the Festival of Britain! Sid has a bet that she still won't go off with anyone else, but is in for a rude shock. The story picks up for the best scene when Sid tries to make her jealous by dating a stripper (Sheena Marshe).
2.11 Elope - "The Twist is the latest dance from America" says a TV announcer. Sid and Charlie visit the Palais where Sid gets into teenage trouble and Doris follows his advice and elopes to Gretna Green. Sid and Charlie follow on the train to repair the damage but worse, Charlie might have to make it a double at Gretna!
3.10 Watchdog - (November 1962) Sid takes pity on a burglar (Ronnie Brody) but decides to buy a watchdog from the kennels of Mrs Bullock-Smythe (Irene Handl). Fortunately Irene gets this slow story going: "Mr James, you don't want to be shy with me." The story ends much better as Sid's Tibetan yak hound terrorisies the neighbourhood, indeed stopping crooks from breaking in, but also Sid and Charlie from getting out!

To Sid in: George and the Dragon . . . Sid in Taxi
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MORECAMBE AND WISE

ATV's black and white 25 minute shows. These survivors are not merely pointers to the duo's future comic genius, they ARE great TV comedy!

Series 2 (Summer 1962)
2.1 (June 30th 1962) -
Pen and Paper- Eric ogles Lisa. Attempts to stop drinking, then an unboxing match "watch it Fred." The Russian dance has elements of their later routines, "you're a Cossack." Eric and Ernie join in the final Kaye Sisters number, dancing Down and Out Blues. A take off of Tonight, Robin Hall and Jimmy Macgregor, alias M&W, sing Scots songs
2.2 Flintrocks -

Eric is Fred, Ernie Barney, "open the door!" As Ernie tries to lecture on science, Eric does an extended Ball in the Bag routine. The Footballers sketch is daft and doesn't come off. The Air Travellers is a sketch in which Eric ogles part of the stewardess. Door Finale: Ernie is Alice in Wonderland, Eric The White Rabbit

2.3 Dr Ben Kildare -
Eric wreaks havoc with his tape recorder, later he sings 'live' Granada. The best sketch is their snooker game with a lovely voiceover from Dick.
2.4 Supercar -
Eric is Mitch on strings. Eric's dictionary, "imbibation," and a topical Lady Chatterley. A Chinese restaurant sketch is a rehash of old jokes, then by contrast Julius Caesar, Eric who is NOT Brutus in an early example of the chaos he can cause, they all get the laughs. Doors: six to go through
2.5 Try your Luck -
An extended take-off of Take Your Pick, Mr Bartholomew gets a gun and Cagney-like tries robbery/ The Double Headed Penny sketch/ Snap/ Zoo Quest with Captain Eric Morecambe/ Eric as a Minstrel. Eric's on top form in this show
2.6 Dick of Doxon Green -
PC Dick chats on, despite a pitched gunfight, then Eric spends most of the show trying to be a magician, birds hidden on his person. He also plays on the piano, Ernie turning the page, his version of Honeysuckle Rose, and with Sid and Dick gets the first choice of four girls, "that's the one I want"
2.7 Candid Snaps -
Eric gets Ernie to strip. Next, Ernie demonstrates The Twist and almost teaches Eric. All the Scots jokes with the duo in kilts, probably a rehash of one of their primitive sketches. The Cleopatra death scene is typical Wise-Shakespeare, over the top drag with the usual great round of gags
2.8 76 Sunset Strip -

After the party, Eric has to explain away his many faux pas, "I'd like to apologise...." The classic Are You Lonesome Tonight with a backing group. Eric's silent film The Sheik, more an excuse at a snog, Ernie with the titles, "I'm not annoyed Ern." Mutiny on the Bounty is an excuse to extend the scene
2.9 Juke Box Judges -
"Diabolical" declares Eric of the record he voices over. As it's allegedly the last of the series Ernie tells Eric he can do what he likes, though he does it off camera. Eric and his group perform South American Way. A courtroom scene, Eric having most of the parts on a very rickety set. The boys end by singing Two of a Kind
2.10 Naked Village
Eric shows how to mime punches/ Indian Love Call duet via Telstar/ Eric without glasses, tries to impress the girls/ Abraham Lincoln
2.11 - with Humphrey Lyttleton / Lita Roza

2.12 Y Cars
Eric is the Irish one. Eric's rare plant, only four of 'em in the world- a slice of fantasy as Ernie prunes it. Nice West Side Story take-off, Ernie in his element. Eric's party- everyone has a girl except Eric. The lads do Nina and Frederick
2.13 Face two Face
A sketch about pipes/ Eric's talent spotting is not so hot/ A French farce with Eric eager to rip off Yvette's coat, "get it off!"/ Hollywood medley of sun and rain songs, Eric getting drenched
Series 3 (Summer 1963)

3.2 WITH The Mike Sammes Singers and Acker Bilk
3.3 WITH The King Brothers and Barbara Law -
Eric has a dummy (not Ernie!) then the boys play poker and sing and dance with a radio mike
3.4 WITH The Mike Sammes Singers and Sheila Buxton - Eric's holiday slides/
Eric keeps phoning Ernie when he's in the bath/
Hamlet, a masterpiece with Eric as Polonius, who Ernie keeps ordering to "get behind the arras."
Scene-stealing, Ernie orders him, in an immortal line, to "hurry up and die"

3.5 WITH The King Brothers and Janie Marden - Insulting the audience
(with Norman Mitchell)/ Eric's Waterloo model/ Come Dancing/ Flying Doctor

3.6 WITH The King Brothers and Susan Maughan - Ernie wears glasses/
Eric's antique glasses- "only three in the world"/ Dance rehearsal/ Custer

3.7 WITH The King Brothers and Sheila Southern - Eric's matchstick model/
Eric the Gambler/ an early version of the Grieg Piano Concerto sketch/ Ernie as Alice in Wonderland

3.8 WITH Roy Castle- is it a new double "Castle and Wise"? Eric gets jealous, but the trio dance Me and My Shadow. There's also the Eric the Nude Painter sketch
3.9 WITH The Mike Sammes Singers and Shani Wallis -Eric takes an intelligence test/ Haydn’s Quartet in G Opus57/ Macbeth banquet scene/ Count of Monte Carlo

Series 4
* WITH The Beatles -
who sing This Boy,
All My Lovin and Hold Your Hand. With Ernie they sing Moonlight Bay.
Sketches: The Pow Bird, Cooking with Pleasure (take off of the Craddocks),
Eric relating the plot of a John Wayne film

* WITH Herman's Hermits -
'Home from the Wars'/ Two Schoolboys/
A female vocal group- last of the series

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HARRY WORTH (BBC)

HERE'S HARRY
2.1 The Bicycle (1961)
2.2 The Holiday
2.3 The Request
2.5 The Medals
2.6 The Voice
3.2 The Plant
3.4 The Birthday
3.5 The Overdraft
3.7 The Last Train
. . HARRY WORTH
1.3 To Be Called For (1966)
2.2 What Ails you? (1967)
2.9 A Policeman's Lot
3.5 James Bond, Where Are You? (1968)
4.5 Just The Job (1969)
4.6 Anyone for Golf?
4.7 I Will I Will

To Harry's ITV series

Thank goodness the critics were silenced when Harry Worth's first tv series 'The Trouble with Harry' was panned. Fortunately Harry rode the storm to produce some unique gems of situation comedy. Here's what the pompous Guy Taylor saw in the first of this series, A Little Knowledge (New Years Day 1960): "The trouble with this show is that it isn't funny. Worth must rely on wit not the cliches which were so obvious in Ronnie Taylor's script. Harry is a writer with a dragon of an aunt who likes to keep him well under control. In the first show he succumbs to buying 32 volumes of an encylopedia, much against aunty's wishes. He tries to hide the fact from her only to find that she has bought him a set of the same books for his birthday. The end was predictable from the very beginning as were Worth's gags and I am wondering whether the central character is strong enough to command a series of his own. I have seen Worth on many occasions in variety shows and found him funny. But in this type of humour which employs the understatement of lines within the framework of a plot, the whole thing becomes drear." After the second show (Danger Men at Work, 8th January) he added: "There has obviously been a great deal of thinking done about this show since its first appearance. I only wish I could report some improvement. It is true the script was a little better, but generally speaking, it still travels from one banality to another."

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The Bicycle (May 4th 1961)
At this stage of the series, Harry Worth tended to still be trying just a little too hard, the rounded character of a bumbling endearing innocent not fully realised as yet.

Outside Harry's house stands a seemingly unwanted bicycle. His landlady Mrs Williams (Vi Stevens) doesn't know anything about it, so Harry puts it in the shed for safe keeping. Mrs W admires Harry's brainpower, surely a unique moment?!
Robinson and Hargeaves deal with Harry's problem. Mr Robinson (Anthony Sharp) is the unlucky solicitor to sort it out. "Have no worries, Mr Worth," he beings confidently. Soon of course he is wondering why Harry has come. It's a police matter, that's his best advice. But Harry has already written to the chief constable. So thanking Robinson, Harry leaves him a shilling. Mr Robinson looks rather unwell.
Back home, a policeman (Ivor Salter) is making enquiries about the missing bike. There's a slight confusion until Harry realises the bike belongs to the policeman. Seems rather asking for it to leave a bike just lying around, to me.
Harry's first task is to retrieve the evidence- the letter to the police. He finds the postman (Sam Kydd) waiting at the letter box, rather unusually he's early and is waiting for the appointed time to clear the box. The postman is mystified why Harry is standing around there also, in a nice little scene. Harry is waiting to retrieve his letter, the postman baffled why Harry doesn't post his letter. Time. "You're too late," cries the postman. "I'm not too late." But opened, the discovery is made that Harry's letter isn't inside anyway.
Early next morn, Harry calls on the police chief (Wensley Pithey). He asks a long winded question about people stealing not realising they are stealing, and then the mail is delivered. Three years, that's what he'll get for this, pronounces the chief constable. Harry looks worried, until it's clear it's not his letter. A "raving lunatic" is the next letter writer. But for once that's not Harry either. Then we come to Harry's. It contains Mrs W's shopping list. "This is marvellous," smiles Harry. He rushes home, and surreptitiously returns the bike to the nick, leaving it just under the poster about a stolen bicycle.
"I'm free," he shouts, as he gets home to Mrs W. But is he?- a man has followed Harry to kindly return that bicycle he had left behind

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The Holiday (May 11th 1961)
Mr Lloyd, travel agent, is so pleased to be back at work after a refreshing holiday. Jovially, he tells his assistant Charles, "you mustn't let trivial things get you down."
Cue Harry. How will the happy boss cope with him?
Where's the bus station, asks Harry. Further inquiry reveals he is off to Monte Carlo. Sensing a good customer, Lloyd patiently explains the ropes. Has Harry got his passport? No! If he can get one in time (those must have been the days), there's a flight this evening. Mr Lloyd helps Harry fill in the application. "Have you ever been called anything other than Harry Worth?" Confides Harry, "Dimples." "Have you any special peculiarities?"....
Next task is to get a photo taken. Rodney Price (Ronnie Stevens), already highly strung, takes the snap. "Mr Worth, you must keep still." While Rodney develops the picture, Harry deals with a valued customer, Lady Cartwright. To check it out, Harry asks Rodney, switching on his light.
"I was in the dark," protests the photographer.
"I was a little confused myself," adds Harry.
Armed with his photo at last, Harry is off to The House of Commons to get his MP to certify his passport. Johnson, Member of Parliament for Woodbridge (Ballard Berkeley) is a busy man, so Harry quickly explains, "I want you to certify me." It's the first time he's ever been abroad. Patiently the MP queries how he can be sure Harry is who he says. Harry has it- laundry mark TK512 on his shirt. Aah, replies Johnson, comprehending at last, TK512 belongs to Harry. No George Conway, elucidates Harry.
After frustrating our MP, Harry gets the signature. "Bon voyage," ends Johnson. "I wonder what that is in French," asks Harry who kindly promises to vote Conservative at the next election- only a pity our MP is Labour!
Mr Lloyd is waiting for the overdue Harry to give him final travel plans. The government only allow you to take abroad £250. "Very generous," says Harry, who tests his French on the exasperated manager.
With his beret, Harry books in at the airport customs. The officer (Reginald Marsh) asks for the passport. It's in the green suitcase. That contains cornflakes and other items on the breakfast menu. Finally the passport is found as Harry is explaining how to smuggle items on his return. Amazingly he's allowed through, then Reginald Marsh has a nice line as the next customer approaches, "Any cornflakes, kippers....?"
On the Riviera, Harry sunbathes. No it's the Isle of Man, he took the wrong plane. Having a whale of a time.... with nice Mr Lloyd who had needed another rest

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The Request (May 18th 1961)
Harry' s at the foyer of the BBC Television Centre, congratulating the Commissionaire on the Army Game. "The other channel," he's informed a little coldly. (In fact this series had finished by this date anyway!)
"Did you get my postcard?" Harry inquires. He'd sent in a request for Houswives Choice to be played tomorrow. It's auntie's birthday. "What's the title?" It's a pity Harry can't remember what it's called, he tries humming it. A passing pianist, thinking Harry is here to audition, sends him to Studio 6 where Mr Beaumont (Edwin Apps) patiently prepares to hear him. "I'm going to sing," Harry says. Next question, "what's it called?" Harry doesn't know. A frustrated Mr Beaumont leaves. Enter another aspirant, as Harry is whiling away the time singing Are You Lonesome?
Wandering round Broadcasting House, with the Commissionaire vainly searching for him, Harry stumbles in to the Weather Forecast. John Snagge is handed Harry's message, with greetings to auntie.
Briggs (Raymond Rollett), the Housewives Choice producer, explains the difficulty of acceding to Harry's postcard, for he gets 700 such requests each day. A frustrated Harry vows to take his complaint higher, to "Eamonn Andrews himself." In fact he somehow gets to the Director General who is at his desk listening to the Commissionaire's report on his search for Harry. Harry listens in. "I've badly been wanting to meet you," Harry is told. Such chaos has he caused, that it is agreed to grant Harry's request. So what is the title? Yes, it's the Woody Woodpecker Song. Harry is satisfied.
Next morning, 9am, Harry is back with the Director General, to check his tune is on air. Just as it begins, the programme is interrupted, for a gale warning

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"The Medals" (June 1st 1961)
Returning to his old barracks is Harry, he joined up in 1942 and has now come to collect his medals that he never received.
RSM Butler is the man to deal with Harry, "you been sworn in yet?" Mistaken for a recruit, Harry is directed to the recruiting office and a grateful Harry proffers him a tip.
Before he can join, Harry has to be given an intelligence test. "Seems a rather strange way to get a few medals." Intelligence- nil, reads his report. After a word association test, Mental Coordination- nil. Next a pile of bricks against the clock, Adaptability- nil. "Sure you wouldn't like to join the navy?" No, so Harry signs up. "When do I get my medals?"
Once all that is sorted out, Harry is off to the Records Office to see about those medals. An examination of his service record, once a lance corporal, and how he got demoted. His file is indeed bulging. May 1944- missing. Yes, Harry is entitled to medals, but it needs the approval of his commanding officer.
He is now the brigadier here (Anthony Sharp), a busy man. While Harry waits for him, he answers the phone. How's the weather? Harry says it's OK so "the balloon's going up."
Enter the brigadier. "I still can't place you," he confesses. Harry explains he was his batman... for a fortnight. Then it dawns, "you were the lunatic...."
Still one, for as the balloon has gone up, the practice battle area is a mess. "It's just like old times," sighs Harry blissfully. But it seems "our civilian was a deserter," Harry was never demobbed, so he now faces a court martial. But at least he can now have those medals
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The Voice
Mr Barnes runs a tv shop, but he has one customer he could do without. Every week Mr Harry Worth comes to the late night opening, not to buy, but to watch the serial Murder At Midnight.
Barnes does attempt to persuade Harry to buy a tv set. Anything for fifty shillings, Harry asks. No, but he is promised a demo set for £10. Meanwhile, Harry settles down to watch this week's episode of the serial.
Installing the set is Fred (Sidney Tafler), "happy viewing," he offers Harry as he readies to depart. But there is just a slight problem. For some reason a radio taxicab is interfering with reception. So on to the roof to check the aerial. Next scene is Fred with his head bandaged.
Harry complains about the taxi firm to Mr F West, Telephone Engineer. He starts enthusiastically dealing with Harry's problem. "I want a taxi," Harry begins. A puzzled Mr West asks where Harry is going to. Nowhere is the response. Finally Mr West grasps the difficulty, it's because Harry lives near the gasometer. Patiently he demonstrates how the gasometer is inbetween the transmitter and Harry's home. "Let's try again." In the end he can only offer the suggestion that Harry contacts the taxi firm.
Harry is kept waiting at their office, and as he does so takes calls from the taxis. Then he is sent to talk to the taxi drivers. Joe (Michael Brennan), he's the guilty driver.
Back at home, Harry is watching this week's episode of the serial, alongside Mr West. Harry has solved his difficulty....
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The Plant
Harry is talking to his plant, a present from auntie, Mrs Prendergast. "Why do you wilt?" he asks it sadly. The reason is patently obvious, for as landlady Mrs Williams remarks, Harry's room is like an oven.
Harry however thinks more compost is required and orders it through the post. The postman (Geoffrey Hibbert) delivers the mail, and he too remarks the place is like a furnace.
Harry decides to consult Greenfingers of Gardening Weekly. He travels by underground from Watford Junction. A helpful porter (Patrick Newell) asks him where he is going to. Greenfingers, Harry answers. That confuses the poor railwayman.
Finally Harry reaches Greenfingers' office, actually he's named Bishop, and Harry shows him his plant. "Oh dear," only one leaf left on it. Bishop is rather puzzled so eventually suggests Harry try at Kew Gardens, only "you musn't mention I sent you."
His roundabout journey is via Watford Junction, "miles out of your way," the porter warns him.
When Harry does reach Kew, it so happens the oldest specimen of giant Mexican creeper is being packed up to be exhibited at an important International Conference. Harry is mistaken for the man from Gardening Weekly and his plant is taken away in mistake for the creeper. Professor Lawson interrupts Harry watering the real creeper. He imparts secret information on this rare specimen before Harry takes it away.
At the Conference poor Lawson unveils his masterpiece, "the moment you've all been waiting for." It still has one leaf. But back home Harry is much happier for the creeper is growing at a fantastic rate, making Greenfingers simply baffled
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The Birthday
It's 9am, and Harry's waiting for the postman. He shoos Mrs Williams away, for it is her birthday. He hopes Simpson's Shoes have sent her present, but to double check he phones them. He speaks very quietly so his landlady can't hear.
Just then, a knock at the door. By the time Harry has brushed away Mrs Williams so he can answer the door, the postman (Geoffrey Hibbert) is trying round the back door. Harry opens the front, noone there. After a few more door openings, Harry persuades the postman to join in Happy Birthday. Mrs Williams bursts into tears. But it's not her birthday.
Yes, Harry has got it wrong again. He returns the slippers to Simpsons asking them to exchange them for aunty's size, it's her birthday. Wilson, an eager assistant (Edwin Apps), finds Harry trying on some Wellingtons, but Harry explains he's only here for slippers. Kindly Wilson measures his size, eight and a half. But there's no sale, he had made an assumption.
Then another confusion at aunty's. She's out so Harry climbs in via a window. Our old friend the postman delivers the mail and again they sing Happy Birthday when they hear her coming in. But it turns out only to be a policeman (Ivor Salter). Harry is able to prove who he is all right, but the constable knows for a fact that aunty happens to be away in Bognor Regis. And bad news, he is sure it's not her birthday.
Back at Simpson's there's another exchange of slippers. All join in Happy Birthday- to Harry
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The Overdraft

Wilkins is the replacement bank clerk, for Mr Penrose has been called up for jury service. Enthusiastically Wilkins greets his first customer, Harry Worth. Soon it's apparent why Penrose is glad to have gone.
Harry produces an assortment of tins. He has to deposit three pounds ten shillings. So far so good. Then he wants to withdraw three pounds ten shillings. Wilkins is mystified. It's to pay his housekeeping bills. Wilkins quickly passes Harry on to Mr Osborne the manager, who deals with his worst customer with all the patience gleaned from years of this sort of thing. "It's easy to see why they made you the manager."
But there's bad news. Harry's account is in debt to the tune of ten bob. The manager cites the quotation from Mr Micawber. Harry promptly writes a cheque for ten shillings. That cannot be acceptable, so Harry has got to find the cash.
The chance to save money at his local supermarket! You get sixpence with each toothbrush, so twenty toothbrushes will net him the money. Elsie the cashier (Gwendolyn Watts) explains he has to pay for the goods first. She fetches the manager Mr Carter who produces other special offers for Harry. "I've saved over seven shillings already," beams Harry. But he gets a rude awakening when the time comes to settle up with Elsie...
Back home the coal merchant (Michael Balfour) is refusing to offer Harry any similar special bargains. Eighteen shillings and eightpence is the cost of the coal, "would you accept three packets of cornflakes?" tries Harry. It's because he has no money, "Mr Carter's been helping me to economise." Others want their payments due also, insurance agent Peter (Joe Gladwin) as well as the window cleaner.
To get the cash Harry returns to his bank, where Mr Penrose is back, though Harry has spread the word round that he's been in the dock. So Harry's glad Mr Penrose "got off."
Patiently Mr Osborne deals with the request. What security can Harry offer? Only his watch, and that's not good enough. So after admonishing him, Harry tries kind Mr Carter who generously takes back some of the groceries Harry had purchased. "There are still a few of us gentlemen left," Harry tells him.
Now Harry can pay all his bills, though that overdraft with Mr Osborne he pays off in Christmas puddings

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The Last Train
Sad to admit, this is one of the poorer stories by Harry Worth.

Highlane Junction, steam loco 42352 puffs in. "Merry Christmas," greets the alighting Harry, this being in the days when trains ran on Christmas Day.
Porters Tommy (Reginald Marsh) and Wilf (Harold Goodwin) can't wait to get home, but like Harry, they'll have to wait, for the Woodbridge train will be 45 minutes late. In the porters' room, Harry attempts unsuccessfully to cheer up Tommy (and us).
Harry is dispatched to the waiting room, empty until a policeman (Tony Melody) pops in. He kindly lends Harry 6d to get a packet of aspirin from a vending machine. Somehow "the lunatic" soaks poor Tommy.
Next caller at the waiting room is a sailor whose kit bag Harry had accidentally taken off that train, he gets quite excited when he loses it a second time.
To warm up the waiting room, Harry borrows some coal from the tender of the steam engine, but the policeman catches him and reports him to Mr Carter, the stationmaster. In a spot, Harry calls Mr Robinson his solicitor, who's none to happy being awoken, as he is unwell. After hearing the sorry tale, he prudently advises the railway staff put Harry on the next train home.
Another kit bag Harry finds, the same one actually, and he hands it in to Tommy. The angry sailor missing his bag yet again, finally confronts Harry, "I'm sure I've seen you before somewhere." He has, but before he can ask more awkward questions, luckily in puffs the Woodbridge train.
Final scene, the station about to close for the night, but no... in walk Harry and the sailor- in their hurry they'd stupidly caught the wrong train

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To Be Called For

All is quiet at the railway left luggage office. Bert (Bryan Pringle) is happy chucking parcels around until, "I'm here to find out what I've come for." Thus Harry Worth, about his Great Uncle Gilbert who has bequeathed Harry something, he's not sure what. He knows it is called Penelope. A pet maybe? The patient clerk attempts to locate Harry's consignment, but it's a bit hard as "we don't know what we're looking for." "A new experience," Harry is, decides Bert at last, as he brings in an enormous crate. "It's a camel." Yet it is not breathing, maybe it's stuffed.
She turns out to be a veteran car, HS25. Can Harry drive it? Switch it on.... "Shall we try priming her with methylated spirits?"
No luck, so Harry is pushed out of the office and pushed downhill. It is just bad luck that at the bottom of the hill is an AA Centre, bad luck for patrolman Simpson. Harry seeks advice. But is he a member? Patiently the benefits are outlined. "Are you sure you want to join the AA sir?" the embattled Simpson questions at last, the RAC is a good alternative. But he does admire the 1904 car, "goes back a bit." Quips Harry, "it doesn't go forward very well." This is a pleasing scene between Harry and Edwin Apps, which gets even better after Harry leaves with thanks, a new member. His first task is to phone for the AA's help from an adjacent call box. Simpson is a little puzzled as to why his colleague on the spot hasn't seen to Harry's vehicle. I could call him to the phone, Harry offers fatally.
So Harry is back at the AA centre to ask Simpson to talk with his colleague. A lovely moment, as Harry holds the line in the AA centre while Simpson goes to the nearby phone. When he reaches there, Harry tells him down the phone, "I am not who you think I am."
The matter somehow resolved, Penelope is filled with a gallon of petrol and off Harry happily drives, to get muddled up in the Veteran London to Brighton Rally. Some nice musical hints of Genevieve add to the pleasure.
Then Harry drives into the rear of a delivery van. A Railway delivery van.
"I've spent all morning trying to get rid of this," cries poor Bert. But what can he do? What can Harry do? He phones poor Simpson of course

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2.2 "What Ails You?"
Irascible Mr Varley (Norman Bird) receives a green new hospital visitor, one Harry Worth. "Cheering people up," is this do-gooder's aim, though asking whether Mr Varley has "written home to mummy," is not the most successful ice-breaker. It is indeed Harry's first day visiting, and his question "are you really as ill as you look?" is not exactly comforting.
A doctor explains Varley has an allergy, "will he have to have it out?" queries Harry.
As it might be like hay fever the doctor orders an old geranium to be removed, "be dead in a couple of days," he observes to the nurse. Harry overhears and of course misinterprets. "Have you made your will out?" Harry next asks poor Mr Varley, "any last requests?" plus other poignant comments.
Mr Varley's last remark is, "I don't want any flowers."
An odd interlude, presumably to fill up the time, is Harry's next short visit, to Mr Russell who is completing a jigsaw. With Harry on hand, it is soon in ruins.
Next day Harry is back, but as a patient. He has caught Varley's allergy. Varley himself is preparing to be discharged, so when Harry is wheeled into the ward, the bed is empty. Harry fears the worst. "Soon be over," the doctor soothes him, but Harry finds it anything but. He phones his neighbour to let her know he's going away "indefinitely." Plenty of nicely executed semi-black humour as Harry is asked, any forwarding address. "One of two places."
Then amazingly Varley comes back to the ward. "Have you been and come back?" asks an incredulous Harry. Finally the doctor explains the mix-up and Harry can now see the funny side. There's a nice finish as the relieved Harry tells Mr Varley he had just sent Mrs Varley his condolences
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A Policeman's Lot

Harry's old Ford parks in an illegal place in Waltho Street. Harry dons his lollipop man's uniform.
Later he is round at the police station thinking the note from the police has something to do with his application to become a mobile policeman. Patiently the duty sergeant (Anthony Sagar) deals with the problem, but frustrated, he calls in the constable who had issued Harry's parking ticket. His licence being in his car, Harry has to go to retrieve it, only to see his car being driven away by a policeman. Can we hush it up, queries the kindly Harry.
Inspector Wallace (Frank Thornton, a fine foil) is advertising for traffic wardens. Mistakenly, very mistakenly, he thinks Harry wants to be one. There's a highly confused exchange as the inspector concedes, "I find your enthusiasm for police work very touching." But the two's idea of what the job entails is rather at variance. Asks the eager Harry, "if we do go through the traffic lights at red....?" Finally the inspector understands. "It's a wonder we didn't get confused," says Harry. "One of us did," retorts poor Inspector Wallace solidly. So would Harry like to become a warden?
Day One, and the sergeant briefs his raw recruits. A sketch map of the district is examined in detail, before Harry comes up with a rather more basic question, which way is North? Then there's a demonstration of how to book an illegal parker, the sergeant taking on the role of an offended driver, "you have stuck a ticket on my car," he cries. He is so aggressive Harry proposes that he tears the ticket up.
In Waltho Street a VIP car parks, though what we expect to happen doesn't. Only a satiricial moment from Frank Thornton to show it must be Harold Wilson. Harry's own car is again booked by a zealous colleague, what time Harry is helping a young lady park her car... in the area reserved for the VIP. Then he books Inspector Wallace's vehicle. An infuriated inspector is placated by his sergeant, who then tries to get Harry to voluntarily destroy the ticket. But Harry is never up to such subtleties.
Harry has only issued one other ticket on his first day. "It's mine!" shrieks the sergeant.

I am only sorry that my description of this episode can't really convey anything of Harry's understated performance, for me, one of his finest programmes

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3.5 "James Bond, Where Are You?" (1968) -
Harry is absorbed in a library, working out his family tree. But it's now 5pm on Friday night, time to close. But Harry gets deep into a relevant book on Wellington, and the librarian assumes he has left. Harry is now locked in.
Through the window is his only way of escape, but he is two floors up. A library ladder however proves useful in crawling to an adjacent building which has a conveniently open window.
The room Harry enters is also locked. But at least here's a phone. The police are requested to rescue him, but where exactly is he? The phone number yields the necessary information- he is in a foreign embassy. Since this building has diplomatic immunity, Harry can't be got out. But at least Harry is given the phone number of the ambassador.
Alexis Kurov, second secretary answers. "I don't understand." The third secretary is despatched, bursting in to Harry's room to search the intruder. "Are you working for the British government?" is the question. They have a little chat, a little search of Harry's briefcase ("is it ticking?") and a long explanation about Harry's family tree. Yes, Harry is "at the head of all this." A spy ring deduces second secretary Kurov. "Who is your superior in British Intelligence?" Harry can only respond with "practically everybody!"
Is Harry going to crack under interrogation? Or is his interrogator?
A clandestine meeting with Baker of MI5- in the library on Monday morning. A swap is offered for the British agent. But Baker reveals who Harry really is.
A broken man, Kurov is offered sympathy by Harry. "They will shoot you," he has to concede. To help, he escapes, climbing back across the ladder, to a welcome hand from Baker
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4.5 "Just The Job" (1969)
Typical Harry Worth chaos, as Harry undertakes a task for which his peculiar talents are singularly unsuitable.
"Placid as baked custard," is Mr Benson, an employee at the Labour Exchange, though we know that by the end, he and his contented colleagues will be in turmoil, for in walks Harry.
He's only wandered in looking for Social Security who have written to him about his unpaid stamps. Brusque Mr Nutter (Victor Maddern) attempts to understand Harry's problem. He decides not unreasonably that Harry must be looking for a job, and so sets about his onerous task. A form to complete, about Harry's fitness for work. Last job? An astronaut, states Harry. Nutter looks rather baffled. But Harry had only been selling Lunar Washing Powder. "So you're a salesman?" asks Nutter, grasping it at last. Harry disarms him, "I would have been, had I sold any." Other jobs? Snow shifting. But Harry is able to state with confidence, "I'm very good with people." "An exasperated Nutter breathes, "you're not doing so bright with me." So are there any jobs at all that Harry feels he could do? "Yours," is the response.
And funnily enough that comes true, for Mr Nutter is off to lunch and the Exchange is very short staffed. So the desperate boss Mr Winters offers Harry a probationary job. Kind Mr Coles puts Harry through the ropes. There's Form A and Form B. Straightforward enough, but then Mr Coles tries a simulation exercise with Harry, which gets him rather confused. or rather, gets them both confused. "You know I'm not really a builder..." Coles patiently tries to explain how Harry should be friendly and informal to win the client's confidence. But not so friendly that he jokes with him about his income, as Harry attempts to do.
Beaten Mr Coles hands Harry into Benson's hands, and because Nutter has been sacked after strenuously objecting to Harry's appointment, Harry is straight in at the front line. A personnel manager (Jan Holden) requires someone for her complaints department, someone with tact and diplomacy. Pay starts at £1,100 with increments. Harry doesn't understand this last word, so consults Benson. The best scene follows, as boss Mr Winters misunderstands Harry's query and thinks Harry is wanting a rise already.
Harry is in the front office when in walks Mr Nutter, he's unemployed now. Harry asks the obvious question, "what was your regular job?" An angry Nutter bursts as he's asked, "why did you leave?" But Harry knows just the job for such a man of tact, that personnel manager. "You must be joking!"
"The ultimate deterrent" is fired, and sadly Harry rejoins the dole queue. Of course his first task is to seek new employment, so he goes to consult with reinstated Mr Nutter...
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"Anyone for Golf?"

Richard Wattis was the ideal comedy foil. Here he plays longsuffering Charles who lives on the edge of a golf course. Very nice, except he's tired of golf balls flying into his garden. And a lovely garden it is too.
It's Charles' misfortune that Harry is the next golfer coming in search of his ball. Vera (Georgina Cookson) tries to calm husband Charles down as Harry gets him more and more worked up, "mind my polyanthers."
Pointing out the greenfly does not endear Harry to Charles either. There's the ball, in the middle of some flowers. "I will use a nine iron." But Charles refuses to allow his hydrangeas to be decapitated.
Over a cup of soothing tea, Harry phones the golf captain for advice. Vera and Charles fall out. She's a keen golfer, once engaged to a pro, and insists Harry plays his shot.
It was a nice garden. "I went beserk," apologises Harry. "I'm out of your hydrangeas," yes that's the good news, however, "I'm now in your chrysanthemums."
More telephone advice needed as he has now taken 37 strokes. More vain attempts, more decapitation until Charles calls in the police.
A sergeant (Reginald Marsh) appears with his constable, who however is felled by a shot from our golfer. Patiently the sergeant listens to Harry's explanations, his patience wearing thin, until the situation is grasped.
Vera and Harry have falled out over Harry and she's threatening to go home to mother. Back to phone advice. "I'm up against a fence." Wonderful news, which might have been imparted earlier, that as he's out of bounds, Harry can take a drop.
"No hard feelings," Harry offers Charles as he leaves. On the course Harry plays, and his ball shoots into the garden. Poor Charles goes wild and knocks down the flowers that are still standing. Indeed it is no longer a lovely garden

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I Will, I Will

A domestic argument between David (Tim Barrett) and Sheila (Dilys Laye) is interrupted by Harry. He's come to ask David if he could be Harry's best man.
Like us, David wants to know more about Harry's intended. She's his pen pal, he's not met her yet, never even seen her photo, though she has Harry's picture. David looks amazed. Francoise (Alexandra Bastedo) is coming today from Paris by train.
So Harry waits for her in the waiting room at Victoria. There's a nice moment as he asks a young lady if she is called Francoise. A cold no, then a fat lady enters and sits down. Harry is beating a retreat when a lovely girl enters, recognises Harry and kisses him, "you are my 'arry." Apparently she's fallen in love with him through his letters.
After a confusing exchange over the meaning of The Best Man, David is introduced to her. She's to stay with David and Sheila. David looks mighty pleased about that. He kisses her. Harry interrupts, "I've not done that yet."
"The absolute cracker" is shown to her room, just before the parson calls. In her nightgown, Francoise comes downstairs to talk to him, and he is naturally a little taken aback, "she has agreed to marry you?" he asks in a puzzled voice.
Next day, David is preening himself. He has found out the truth, that really Francoise has come to Harry on the rebound. A lot more could have been made of the situation, instead the writer opts for a new character, her ex-fiance The Count (Alex Davion) who arrives on the doorstep challenging Harry to a duel, at dawn on the "'eath of 'ampstead."
Choose Your Weapons. Pistols. But these old fashioned proceedings are interrupted by a taxi, out of which steps Francoise. She admires Harry's great bravery, but it's The Count she must marry. Harry insists on being The Best Man, leading to more misunderstanding.
This could have descended into the pathetic, but the story is never that, only a pity it's not very funny and hasn't even got a happy ending

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DIAL RIX
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What a Drag (October 5th 1962),
(one of only two surviving of the nine programmes.)

Brian Rix was the master of farce in post war Britain. Classics such as Dry Rot were adapted from their Whitehall Theatre origins for showing on telly. Rix was a shrewd actor manager and he also arranged for the BBC to show one act of his latest play, which certainly sent me off to the Whitehall to see the rest! Perhaps the cream of the plays was the hilarious One for The Pot.
In his autobiography My Farce from My Elbow, Rix wrote (p139)- "Negotiating with the BBC for another TV excerpt.... once more the effect on the box office was electric and this started me thinking yet again about a regular series of full-length farces on television. On this occasion, though, my timing was spot-on for the spectre of ITV was haunting the BBC and they needed some popular old rubbish such as mine to put them on even terms." Rix's first contract which ran until 1960 had him produce "three to five" plays annually.
In a frank interview in 1959, he admitted that the screening with "an audience is bad and the TV purists disapprove. But we know that under present conditions it is the only way to achieve any success at all. We had to play 'Plunder' in a studio because of the difficulties of staging it at the Whitehall and we were worried about it all through. The audience were so busy watching the technicians I'm sure they hardly watched us at all and we were disappointed with their reactions...all the other farces have been presented from the Whitehall." In 1960 he added, "they are like the normal theatrical productions... our one difficulty from the Whitehall is that we still tend to project our voices for a theatrical audience. But fortunately noone seems to worry."
In 1962-3 Brian Rix appeared in a regular 50 minute series of nine plays under the title Dial Rix, starring in some new farces for tv but still using his trusted team - who can forget Leo Franklyn often as the original grumpy old man, or chirpy little Larry Noble or indeed Rix's wife Elspet, who always seemed to be being pushed into some cranny or cupboard. In an interview, Rix once put his success down to the fact that "as a team we know each other and don't need to waste any time warming up." The climate for farce has sadly been blown away, along with tv's innocence. But Brian Rix will be remembered for the sidesplitting pleasure he provided by the bucketful in his day.

Comedy Menu

Among the many Brian Rix plays specially made for BBC, were:
Reluctant Heroes (1952)- the first arrangement between Brian Rix and the BBC's Cecil Madden saw the first ever televising of a play direct from a West End theatre. It was an excerpt from the farce currently running at the Whitehall.
Dry Rot (July 27th 1955)- a specially performed extract from the Whitehall success introduced by Brian Johnston. The cast were Brian Rix as Fred Phipps, John Slater as Alfred Tubbe, Hazel Gouglas as Beth Barton, John Chapman (the author) as John Danby, Diana Calderwood as Susan Wagstaff, Charles Cameron as Colonel Wagstaff, Basil Lord as Flash Harry, Cicely Paget-Bowman as Mrs Wagstaff, Larry Noble as Albert Polignac, and Wynne Clark as Sergeant Fire.
Love in a Mist (January 29th 1956)- the first television play by Kenneth Horne. With Brian Rix and Elspeth Gray as newly weds, and Basil Lord and Diana Calderwood, a more experienced couple, all stranded by fog at an Exmoor duck farm. "Joan Sanderson gave a fascinating study of a duck farmer's wife, and John Slater made some brief but highly effective appearances as her spouse."
The Perfect Woman (1956)- the second Whitehall tv farce for 1956
Madame Louise (July 15th 1956)- Vernon Sylvaine adapted his stage and film success for tv with the usual team appearing in Dry Rot plus Toby Perkins, Anna Gerber, Hazel Sutton, Joan Ingram, Garth Adams and Elspeth Gray.
You Too Can Have a Body (March 3rd 1957) by FA Robinson. Two scriptwriters retire to the peace of Creekwood Castle to write a comedy thriller for the telly. The script starts to take on a life of its own, when a corpse materialises....Note that for the first time, all the cast of the current Whitehall farce, Dry Rot, were able to appear, Brian Rix, Basil Lord, Leo Franklyn, Larry Noble, Charles Cameron, Cecily Paget-Bowman, Diana Calderwood, Beryl Ede, Hugh Douglas, and Peter Mercier
Jane Steps Out (April 28th 1957) by Kenneth Horne. Described as a modern Cinderella story of Jane Wilton (Ann Firbank) who, goaded by her lazy selfish sister, sets out to ensnare her sister's boy friend. The cast also included the current Whitehall Dry Rot team.
What the Doctor Ordered (October 6th 1957) by Vernon Sylvaine and Lawrence Huntingdon, directed by Jack Williams. Leo Frankyn had the starring role as hypochondriac JG Van Velt, who has a casket of many pills, only the labels have come off. He's most interested in the one that offers rejuvenation, and his trial and error method of finding it gives ample scope for Brian Rix and Basil Lord as JG's nephews to create a lot of fun. Peter Mercier also starred as an escaped criminal, Hazel Douglas as a slighted girl friend, Barbara Hicks as a would-be breach of promise plaintiff, and Eunice Gayson as a gold digger. Completing the cast were Larry Noble (butler), Elizabeth Chambers (maid), Garth Adams (policeman), and Charles Cameron (solicitor)
Wanted- One Body! (Sunday October 26th 1958, 8-9.25pm) by Raymond Dyer. With Brian Rix as Mr Mickleby, Leo Franklyn as Mr Blundell, Elspet Gray as Anne Beale, Larry Noble as Dr Brown, Peter Mercier as Ted Johnson, Joan Sanderson as Miss Barraclough, Edna Morris as Agnes, Gerald Cross as Mr Sorrell and with Dora Bryan as the nervous housemaid Mabel Middy who has "crawling premonitions." In swirling fog and rising floodwaters stands Greenacres, home of the late Mr Barraclough. Two very dim solicitors (BR and LF) arrive to read the will, only to learn the deceased's corpse has vanished.
A Policeman's Lot (March 8th 1959)
Nap Hand (May 17th 1959) by Vernon Sylvaine. The regulars were supplemented by June Sylvaine, daughter of the author. "The cast, working beautifully as a team, showed many of the profession what perfect timing does"
Beside the Seaside (August 1959)
A Cup of Kindness (Dec 20th 1959) by Ben Travers. Brian Rix as Charlie Tutt, with Ann Firbank as Betty Ramsbotham, Leo Franklyn as Fred Tutt, also Hattie Jacques, John Slater, and the Whitehall team. Charlie marries Betty to reconcile two warring families.
Doctor in the House (June 5th 1960) based on Richard Gordon's book, this story, the 21st BBC play from the Whitehall, was adapted for TV by no less than Ted Willis. "A very jolly evening. Dickie Henderson was superb as Tony Grimsdyke. He took the limelight from Brian Rix's Simon Sparrow by sheer force of personality. Still, Rix being the unselfish actor that he is, must have expected it." Others in the cast included Liz Fraser, Fabia Drake, Sheila Hancock and Charles Cameron. Directed by Wallas Eaton
Reluctant Heroes (September 11th 1960) - tv script by Colin Morris, celebrating 10 years of Whitehall farce, a new version of the play first televised eight years previously
Babes in the Wood (Christmas 1960)
Basinful of Briny (August 1961)

The Dial Rix series: 1 Between the Balance Sheets (Sept 12th 1962), 2 What a Drag (Oct 5th 1962), 3 Round the Bend (Oct 26th 1962), 4 Nose to Wheel (Dec 13th 1962), 5 No Plums in the Pudding (Dec 26th 1962), 6 Come Prancing (Jan 24th 1963), 7 Skin Deep (June 23rd 1963), 8 Rolling Home (Aug 5th 1963), 9 What a Chassis (Oct 15th 1963).

After the end of Dial Rix, there continued to be occasional plays from the Rix stable, often titled Laughter from the Whitehall:
High Temperature (December 26th 1963). The action takes place in the Neville's bedroom in their country house by the river. Script: Avery Hopwood. Cast: Brian Rix (Tony Hamilton), Elspet Gray (Betty Neville), Larry Noble (Mike), Peter Mercier (Joe), Arthur Barrett (Jimmie Galen), Leo Franklyn (Weeks), John Barron (Freddie Neville), Carole Shelley (Bernice Warren), Helen Jessop (Lucia Galen), Joan Sanderson |(Aunt Cicely) and Colin Douglas (Police sergeant).
Trial and Error (Saturday February 29th 1964, 8.10pm). The fifth play by Kenneth Horne starring Brian Rix on tv. The cast included Elspeth Gray and some non-Whitehall actors, David Knight, and Nora Nicholson who created the part of Aunt Gertrude in the original 1953 Vaudeville Theatre production. Claud is starting his honeymoon with Andrea who reveals she has only just been acquitted of murdering her first husband.
One Wild Oat (Saturday August 1st 1964, 8.25pm, repeated Aug 27th 1965, 8.20pm BBC2). The 40th farce to be made at the Whitehall, and the first tv production of the famous farce. Rix took on Robertson Hare's role of Humphrey Proudfoot. Other Whitehall regulars included Sheila Mercier as Caroline Proudfoot, Basil Lord as Alfred Gilbey, Larry Noble as Mr Pepys, Leo Franklyn as Charles and Hazel Douglas as Audrey Cuttle. The rest of the cast were Jeanne Cooke (Annie), Pearson Dodd (Geoffrey Throstle), Arthur Barrett (Fred Gilbey), Hy Hazell (Lydia Gilbey), Helen Jessop (Gloria Samson), George Moon (Mr Samson) and Waveney Lee (Cherrie Proudfoot).
Chase Me Comrade (August 28th 1964, 9.25-10.05pm). An excerpt from the new Whitehall farce. This was the fifth extract of a Whitehall farce to be screened by the BBC.
Dry Rot (November 15th 1964, 7.50pm). An extract had been shown back in July 1955, but this was a revival of the complete stage play, though how it fitted into 90 minutes, "the first complete live version," is unclear. Brian Rix reprised his role as Fred Phipps, Leo Franklyn as Alfred Tubbs and Basil Lord as Flash Harry. Larry Noble played jockey Albert Polignac, Hazel Douglas was the maid Beth, Sheila Mercier was Sergeant Fire, Jacqueline Ellis played Susan Wagstaff, while Kerry Gardner was John Danby. Charles Cameron and Cicely Paget-Bowman played Colonel and Mrs Wagstaff, and the author of the play John Chapman was the tv commentator.
Simple Spymen (Christmas Day 1964, 8.45pm). Another of the long running Whitehall farces adapted for tv. Brian Rix and Leo Franklyn played their stage roles of Percy Pringle and George Chuffer, street musicians who are mistaken for MI5 men. Larry Noble played Smogs, Peter Gray was Mr Forster Stand, Helen Jessop was Miss Archdale and Sheila Mercier was Mrs Byng. The rest of the cast were Derek Royle as Corporal Flight, Toby Perkins as Lieut. Foxgrove, Charles Cameron as Col Gray-Balding, Roger Delgado as Max, Garth Adams as Crab and Rex Garner as Grobchick.
Don't Just Stand There (Easter Saturday April 17th 1965, 8.10pm). Script by Alan Melville, adapted from his play Top Secret. Brian Rix starred as Hugo a PA to the British Ambassador Sir Christopher (played by Dennis Ramsden), with Kerry Gardner as Lt Brett RN, Sheila Mercier as Miss Fish, Jean Marsh as Patricia, Moray Watson as Peter Crabbe, Maxwell Shaw as Felipe, Paul Whitsun-Jones as Di Breno, and Nan Munro as Lady Winter. Very peculiar goings-on in a Latin American Republic. And in the British Embassy where the ambassador has been filmed in a highly compromising position, and it is up to Hugo his dim PA to retrieve said film. Hugo's life is complicated by the fact that he's in love with the ambassador's daughter, who in turn is being wooed by the extremist opposition leader
Rookery Nook (Saturday June 5th 1965, 8.15pm). Ben Travers' famous 1926 farce, the fifth to be used on tv by Brian Rix, with the Whitehall cast of Brian Rix as Gerald Popkiss, Leo Franklyn as Admiral Juddy, Larry Noble as Harold Twine and Helen Jessop as Clara Popkiss. Also appearing: Joan Sanderson as Mrs Leverett, Sheila Mercier as Gertrude Twine, Moray Watson as Clive Popkiss, Isla Blair as Rhoda Marley, Peter Gray as Putz, Jean Marsh as Poppy Dickey, and Gabrielle Drake as Mrs Possett.
Women Aren't Angels (December 27th 1965, 7.30pm). Script: Vernon Sylvaine. The tenth successive year Brian Rix had presented a Whitehall farce on Christmas tv. First staged in 1940, "a very broad farce, slightly Rabelaisian." Cast: Brian Rix, Terry Scott, Jean Marsh, Larry Noble, Sheila Mercier, Dennis Ramsden, Maxwell Shaw, Wynne Clark, Ray Cooney, Vivienne Burgess, Leonard Whiting, Garth Adams, Helen Jessop and Eunice Black.
To Dorothy a Son (Easter Monday April 11th 1966, 8-9.30pm) - the 54th BBC production starring Brian Rix. He played Toni Rigi, with Elspet Gray as Dorothy Rigi, Yolande Donlan as Myrtle, Leo Franklyn as Dr Bell, Sheila Mercier, Basil Lord, John Newbury, Terry Denville, and others of the Whitehall Theatre company. This marked Yolande Donlan's tv debut in the part originally specially written for her.
Good Old Summertime (Bank Monday August 29th 1966, 8-9.15pm) - Henry and Daphne Pepper (Brian Rix and Joan Sims) and Wilf and Ethel Pearson (Leo Franklyn and Sheila Mercier) are at the Bella Vista Hotel, where they have given the dreadful landlady Mrs Austin (Joan Sanderson) the slip, or so they think. Also with Dennis Ramsden, Caroline Monkhouse, Diane Appleby and Derek Royle. Script: Leslie Sands. Note this was the third tv farce with the Peppers and the Pearsons, following on from Beside the Seaside and Basinful of Briny (qv).
The Little Hut (Wednesday October 26th 1966, 9.45-11pm) - A menage a trois on a desert island, less a farce than a light comedy. With Brian Rix as Henry, Elspet Gray as Susan, and Dennis Ramsden as Philip. Also in the cast: Peter Jesson and Gillian Paterson. From a story by Andre Roussin, adapted by Nancy Mitford in 1950.
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What a Drag
my review to follow

Cast included:
Brian Rix... Bert Rix
Terry Scott... Sydney Keen
Leo Franklyn... Dr Blinker
John le Mesurier... George Frampton
Peter Pratt... Sir Reginald Trumper
Basil Lord... Tommy
Elspet Gray... Cynthia
John Chapman... Ted
Heen Jessop... Miss Nolan
Larry Noble... Charles
Colin Douglas... TV Producer
Andrew Sachs... Cameraman
To
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Whacko!
with Jimmy Edwards who surely had his finest hour as the incompetent headmaster ("le loi, c'est moi"), and Arthur Howard who was a perfect balance as his deputy Pettigrew, dim to the ways of the world, but absolutely honest. 47 programmes were made between 1956 and 1960, with a revival late in 1971 with 11 new stories.

For outline details of the eight tv series plus some cast lists.

Reviews of the only recently viewed stories:

3.5 (21st October 1958)- Lumley's dad insists he achieves something at school so the "Sword of Damocockles" is hanging over Jim. He devises a scheme- ballroom dancing lessons with St Mildred's School, Petters in charge. However it needs all Jim's authority to make Lumley dance with Deirdre. It's love! To impress her he takes up boxing, and even some maths, "every one correct!" Now he's engaged, he refuses to take part in the boxing finals, which Jim has fixed, so his opponent Figgins wins, but by a stroke of luck Lumley's dad is satisfied
Series ?- Oliver Pettigrew wins £38,000 on the pools. Jim knows how to "begone dull care" even if Petters regards it as a "hardship." A reluctant Pettigrew is exposed to "a right catalogue of debauchery" and "one sample of the fleshpots" at the glossy Ritz Carlton changes him: "this is the life!"
Colour series 8- * A mystifying illness ("nothing trivial I hope!") has laid the Lower Third low. It's related to Jim's edict that the school have to wear Etons. When 362 Etons are stolen during the night by "The Eton Suit Mob," Jim can retaliate by nicking all the pupils' grey flannels. But then next night the staff too find their clothing has disappeared, and today's the day for the visit of 200 refined ladies! Jim's masterstroke nearly wins the day: "c'est moi qui a gagne"

Jimmy Edwards: The Seven Faces of Jim.

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Whack-O!
Scripts: Frank Muir and Dennis Norden. Producer: Douglas Moodie.
Incidental music composed and conducted by Alan Yates.

If you can assist with any other cast lists, please email me. Your help will be much appreciated- and acknowledged

Series One. Broadcast fortnightly between the 4th October and 13th December 1956 at 8pm. The first series consisted of 6 half hour shows. There was also a special short broadcast as part of These Are The Shows on Saturday 28th September 1957 at 8pm.
1.3 November 1st 1956
Cast: Jimmy Edwards (Headmaster), Arthur Howard (Mr Pettigrew), Kenneth Cope (Mr Price Whittaker, English Literature), John Garside (Mr Dinwiddie, Latin and Greek), Arthur Bush (Mr Hackett, Higher Mathematics), Tony Sympson (Mr Spelthorne, Lower Mathematics), Norman Bird (Mr Smallpiece, Geography), Victor Baring (M Aristide Beaumarie, Modern Languages), Barbara Archer (Matron).

Series Two. The second series contained 10 half hour shows broadcast weekly, generally of a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm between the 1st October and 3rd December 1957. Elizabeth (Liz) Fraser joined the cast as the blonde matron.

Series Three. A further 7 episodes broadcast between the 23rd September and 4th November 1958 of a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm. There was also a short special on Christmas Night With the Stars broadcast on Christmas Day 1958 at 6.25pm.

Series Four. Series four was broadcast a year later between 12th May and 16th June 1959 of a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm and consisted of 6 episodes.
4.1 May 12th 1959 (rpt June 21st 1959)
Cast: Jimmy Edwards (Headmaster), Arthur Howard (Mr Pettigrew), Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Christopher Hodge (Mr Snaith), William E Raynor (Mr Posford), John Forbes Robertson (Mr Tuppington), Maurice Hedley (Mr Ramsay), Robert O'Leary (Phipps), Jimmy Ray (Crombie), Derek Needs (Phillpott), Anthony Wilson (Hotchkiss), Geoffrey Paget (Rawlinson), Jon Skinner (Harper), Alexis Chesnakov (Mr Bulenkov), Michael Kilgariff/ Max Latimer (Security escorts), Patrick Connor (Taxi driver).
4.2 May 19th 1959 (rpt June 28th 1959)
Cast: Jimmy Edwards (Headmaster), Arthur Howard (Mr Pettigrew), Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), John Forbes Robertson (Mr Tuppington), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), Robert O'Leary (Phipps), Jimmy Ray (Crombie), Derek Needs (Phillpott), Gerald Case (Major prosser), Mary Hignett (Mrs Mortlake), Michael Brennan (Mr Gumbril), Nan Braunton (Miss Smallpiece), John G Heller (Mr Tichbourne), George Woodbridge (Farmer), Henry Longhurst (Vicar)
4.3 May 26th 1959 (rpt July 5th 1959)
"When Jim is pressed to settle an outstanding account of £104 8/- for scholastic supplies, he hits on an idea for raising money, which is well up to his usual standard. For is it not about time that Chiselbury had a memorial to its greatest old boy, Samuel Ogilvie Upjohn, "the boy who never was"?
Cast: Jimmy Edwards (Headmaster), Arthur Howard (Mr Pettigrew), Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Christopher Hodge (Mr Snaith), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), Robert O'Leary (Phipps), Jimmy Ray (Crombie), Derek Needs (Phillpott), Mary Hignett (Mrs Mortlake), Austin Trevor (Brigadier Taplow), Arnold Diamond (Mr Osborne), Michael Ward (Mr Harris)

Series Five. Another 6 episodes formed series five and were broadcast from the 10th November to the 15th December 1959 of a Tuesday evenings at 7.30pm. There was also a short special, Christmas Night With the Stars, broadcast on Christmas Day 1959 at 6.20pm.
5.2 November 17th 1959 (rpt January 18th 1960)
Cast: Jimmy Edwards (Headmaster), Arthur Howard (Mr Pettigrew), Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Gordon Phillott (Mr Dinwiddie), Jimmy Ray (Crombie), Paul Norman (Potter), Kynaston Reeves (Magistrate), Philip Howard (Usher), Donald Bisset (Dr Garland).

Series Six. The sixth series was another 6 episodes broadcast between the 13th May and 17th June 1960, and went out mostly on a Friday at 8.30pm.
Series 6 was definitely telerecorded, as it was repeated during that summer.
6.1 (May 13th 1960)
with Jimmy Edwards and Arthur Howard. Also: Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Gordon Phillott (Mr Dinwiddie), Brian Rawlinson (Mr Proctor), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), Stephen Portch (Hoyle), Geoffrey Paget (Rawlinson), Richard Dean (Parker), Michael Des Barres (Floyd), Fabia Drake (Mrs Cheviot), Ian Fleming (Doctor Ross), Andrikos Adonis (Moussaka).
6.2 (May 20th 1960)
6.3 (May 27th 1960)
with Jimmy Edwards and Arthur Howard. Also: Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Gordon Phillott (Mr Dinwiddie), Brian Rawlinson (Mr Proctor), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), Stephen Portch (Hoyle), Geoffrey Paget (Rawlinson), Howard Marion-Crawford (Sir Gerald Turnbull), Arnold Bell (Mr Foster).
6.4 (June 3rd 1960)
with Jimmy Edwards and Arthur Howard. Also: Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Gordon Phillott (Mr Dinwiddie), Brian Rawlinson (Mr Proctor), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), Billy Thatcher (Mr Drew), Stephen Portch (Hoyle), Geoffrey Paget (Rawlinson), Richard Dean (Parker), Mary Merrall (Lady Westbury), Stanley van Beers (Sam Tozer).
6.5 (June 10th 1960)
with Jimmy Edwards and Arthur Howard. Also: Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Gordon Phillott (Mr Dinwiddie), Brian Rawlinson (Mr Proctor), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), David Langford (Fuller), Norman Pierce (Police Inspector).
6.6 (June 17th 1960)
with Jimmy Edwards, Arthur Howard and special guest Max Bygraves. Also: Edwin Apps (Mr Halliforth), Frank Raymond (Mr Cope-Willoughby), Barry Took (Barry Hayman), Oliver Johnston (Mr Grubb), Olwen Brookes (Secretary).

Series Seven. The last in the main run of series, there were 6 episodes broadcast between 22nd November and 27th December 1960 of a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm.

Series eight. Series eight was a revival of the show some 11 years after the main run and contained 13 colour episodes. Broadcast between 27th November 1971 and 26th February 1972 on BBC1 on Saturdays at 5.05pm.

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Seven Faces of Jim (1961)
2. The Face of Duty- Nice affectionate tribute to the RAF war films, only this is at Jimicabs. Skipper Jim needs drivers “with guts,” not like his newest recruit, his own son (Richard Briers). Yet, in dense fog, the “weakling” proves his mettle by driving Ernest Marples to his destination, and returning to base, badly guided by dad
3 The Face of Genius - the best of the bunch. A brilliant scientist, Jim that is, has to communicate with The Thing from outer space. The spores from it change Jim's wife (Prunella Scales) into a man (Dick Emery). This is a quite surreal bit of fun, as the couple ponder divorce, whilst a colonel (Paul Eddington) transforms into "a ruddy girl" (June Whitfield)- "one minute you're an officer and a gentleman, the next minute you're an officer and a bint!" "The mind boggles" as famous names change sex, Judith Chalmers reading the news is now Ronnie Barker....
4 The Face of Power - 1840, in't northern town where dad's being sacked from his own shop, and by James, his own son too. He's an ambitious lad, and marries t'uppercrust Letty (June Whitfield), even though dad warns "money and power are not the be-all and end-all." 'Tis only when rich James' gas mantle empire collapses that that truth cums home
5 The Face of Dedication - "From the 50 Most Hackney Plots in Fiction, Jim portrays a humble old-fashioned country doctor." His secret past as Jim Smith No3780246 leads to his being blackmailed by Sidney Figgins (Ronnie Barker). As the "blaggard" romances Jim's innocent daughter Pru (June Whitfield), Jim plans his suicide, only for Sidney to be run over by a sewage lorry. The gallant Jim has to operate to save the villain's life
6 The Face of Enthusiasm - Agent Jimmy Rolfe loses his only artistes, rock star Ricky Groyne (Richard Briers) and Maudie Glover (Amanda Barrie), the Musical Nude. He tries to promote a teashop band to become "the big thing," and a record by the Julia Burke-Adams Tea-Time Three is a hit on Juke Box Jury. Fame for a few days for Julia (June Whitfield) afore Jim's dim secretary Norman (Melvyn Hayes) is acclaimed the next wonder, with his barrel organ
7 The Face of Guilt - Shivering Rock Lighthouse has but two inhabitants, Jim, here as Caleb, and Richard Briers. "Time crawls" here, until the ghost of Inigo haunts them and Inigo's wife forces Caleb to explain how Inigo disappeared one Christmas....
More Faces of Jim (1962)
Fatherhood - with Ronnie Barker, Brian Oulton
Jimmy Edwards Menu
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Meet the Wife
starring Thora Hird and Freddie Frinton

I must confess to being completely baffled
a) by what anyone found funny in this series, and
b) why the pilot could possibly have been selected for a whole series, and then even retained for several more plodding series.
Clearly I must be missing something, and in Freddie Frinton, there was a natural as a comedy actor if ever there was one. Then there were the scriptwriters, Ronald Chesney and Ronald Wolfe, both produced some excellent series, though it only goes to prove that the sum of the parts is always less than the whole, and the hole here was the reliance on corny situations, and (in my view) a star actress who was never very funny. Indeed in this series she is positively and literally, a nag.
Celebrated pianist Russ Conway composed the forgettable theme tune.

Comedy Playhouse Pilot:
The Bed (1963)
1.3 The Back (1964)
1.6 The Business Dinner
1.7 The Strain
4.5 The Merry Widow (1965)
4.6 Journey Home
5.7 Old Time Dancing (1966)
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1.3 The Back
In his pyjamas, Freddie has prepared breakfast in bed, " a lovely surprise" since Thora has a bad back. But the toast seems to be soggy, there's no serviette, Thora has a thousand and one moans, the comedy lies in watching Freddie leap in and out of bed to meet Thora's every whim. Milk in the bottle, that's one complaint, another is his using half a pound of butter to cook the sausages. You can't blame Freddie's exasperation, "I wish I'd never have bothered," he sighs.
Settled together in bed with their meal at last, "that is what they call living!" A lovely rest on a Sunday morn, only to for another interruption, the door bell. The paper boy.
Snuggled back in bed, the height of the humour is their wardrobe door which keeps opening of its own accord. After the newspaper is read, and a few reminiscences, the milkman rings. He's got to be paid.
That sorted, Freddie returns to bed, but Thora isn't quite happy. Not at all, for the milkman has overcharged. The downtrodden husband is sent to question the milkman, but in getting out of bed upsets the breakfast tray.
Freddie isn't up to arguing with the milkman, so downstairs comes Thora, she gets the bill worked out correctly. "That's what I paid in the first place," groans Freddie.
But now Thora has a new reason to grouse. Look at the mess Freddie has left in the kitchen. After a tidy up, in helping prepare the Sunday dinner Freddie creates more mess, "it just happened." Fed up, he makes for the pub, but by 2.30 he's not returned home. Thora starts to worry when Harry tells her Freddie had left the pub about one o'clock. Harry drives round in his car to look for Freddie, but the prodigal returns. He had had a long walk to get to the chemist to buy pills for Thora's back. They enjoy a happy late dinner together
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1.6 The Business Dinner (May 26th 1964)
The house is being made shipshape for visitors Frank (Michael Brennan) and his wife Mabel, an ex girl friend of Freddie's. He is a master builder and Thora is hoping this will provide the chance to obtain some extra work for her husband.
As per usual Thora is fussing and complaining about Freddie nibbling the nuts and sipping the sherry. There's a stain on the tablecloth too. The guests arrive, firstly a sherry, plus the remainder of the nuts, as Freddie admires Mabel's fur, to his wife's annoyance. As Thora and Freddie retreat to the kitchen to bring in the first course, Mabel is run down, by Thora of course, while over the food, she pushes Freddie's claims for doing the plumbing on Frank's new housing estate. It's scampi at nine shillings a pound, it has to be mixed with fish fingers, but Freddie is delayed trying to open the champagne. No corkscrew, so try a hand drill. When it is served, some cork lands in Mabel's glass.
"We used to go round a lot in the old days," reminisces Mabel now that she's had a few. Then back in the kitchen Thora scolds that "right old fool" of her husband. The fool drops one of the dishes which are being washed in readiness for the next course, so as there are no spares, Freddie has to do without. He has to watch as the rest eat, but back behind the scenes he can stuff himself.
Fresh strawberries and cream for the dessert, but Ken from next door pops in, saying he knows Frank is about to go bankrupt. "he's got a very shifty face," decides Thora and puts the food back in the fridge. As the evening ends, Mabel kisses Freddie goodnight. That nearly starts Thora off, but they finish happily guzzling those strawberries.
A well worn storyline, trying to impress the nouveau riche, and only full of cliches almost anyone could have written
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1.7 The Strain
Plumber's mate Sid (Brian Rawlinson) is helping Freddie load the van, but he's a lazy so-and-so, as Thora points out, while she's busy washing curtains. I could do with a maid she advises her husband.
Unexpectedly early, Freddie returns from work, accompanied by Mr Cartwright (Geoffrey Hibbert). His arm in a sling, it's "a little strain," plus a bump on the head, on which Thora deposits a lump of butter. As she does so she talks about Your Life in their Hands, a brain operation she had watched. "I don't feel very well," Freddie suddenly decides. As she moans about his socks, she takes his temperature, which is 103.7.
The doctor is coming, more trouble getting things tidy. Freddie even has to try and shave, with one hand. Not so easy, so Thora does it for him, though it looks uncomfortable, for Thora that is. The hot iron removes creases on the bed linen and her blouse, Freddie helps by piling the dirty washing under the bed.
You've pulled a muscle, diagnoses the doctor, but that doesn't account for his high temperature. Ah, it wasn't taken correctly. While the doctor examines Freddie's top half, down below, Thora tries to remove those holey socks. Smoke starts billowing from under the bed, Freddie should have switched that iron off. Now the doctor can see all that dirty linen. Rather like an expert magician, the doctor pulls out from underneath all sorts of things.
Once the doctor has left, Freddie gets a right ticking off. Luckily that is interrupted by Sid who tells the real story of Freddie's accident. It seems Freddie had only been thinking of Thora, so all is forgiven

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4.5 The Merry Widow
Freddie "don't feel too well" until the flighty Blossom (Avis Bunnage) ...er... nurses him in the wife's absence. Returning, Thora jumps to the wrong conclusions before the vicar (Arthur Howard) comes to sort it out- "blow the ruddy vicar!"

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4.6 Journey Home
Boxing Day, and Freddie and Thora travel home by rail, in the days when trains ran over the festive season. The ancient art of Keeping a Free Compartment and the intricacies of the old-style railway timetable are two of their innocuous pastimes before they become stranded at a remote junction

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5.7 Old Time Dancing
Thora is practising her steps, Freddie joins her for the veleta. Although it means missing a darts march, Freddie is persuaded to fill a vacant place in a team dancing contest.
They are introduced to their instructress (the splendid Fabia Drake), with whom Thora adopts a posh voice. All agree that Freddie has no poise, even Freddie himself, "everything's dropped from the chin down." Extra practice is required, and they perform the military two step. "My feet never hurt like this playing darts," complains Freddie, as they continue the work at home, trying out the veleta.
Next scene is in the dressing room, with Freddie explaining to Thora the difference between water and gas, "you don't pour gas down the plughole." Having got this irrelevant joke out of the way, our dancers are now ready to go on the floor, though Freddie's trousers are certainly too long, and he has somehow bought odd shoes, both left ones too, "you always said I had two left feet!"
BBC stalwart Peter West comperes proceedings. The veleta gives Freddie plenty of opportunity for visual grace, but no clowning. After a drink, there's a more lively dance, the military two step, but oh no, "me cufflink's caught in your charm bracelet." Thora is distraught at letting the team down, it's all Freddie's fault. After a wide ranging slanging match going back as far as the birth of their first child, Peter West offers some words of consolation. "Why can't you be like Peter West?" complains Thora, "he's always so well dressed." But all's well when the results are given out, for Thora wins the prize for the Most Original Dress. However they haven't qualified for the next round of the competition which is to be on the telly.
But at the last minute Peter West phones, Freddie is wanted. But Thora's momentary hopes are dashed, he's required in his capacity as a plumber to mend a burst pipe
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Lance Percival Show
1966 BBC series

1 March 11th 1966:
with guest star Dick Emery

with guest Jon Pertwee

Easter 1966
with guest Millicent Martin

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with guest Dick Emery (11 Mar 66, 7.30pm)
Opening filmed sequence with LP in his Rolls, then he sings a calypso If I Had the Wings Like a Dove. In Radio Rave Elaine Taylor is a DJ interviewing Michael Rothwell, a scruffy pop star named Ernie. LP is a guardsman talking to camera about how tv should be run along military lines. A smoking advert has the altered tagline, "more and more guards are changing to Civilians." The CO (LP again) talks about Sex and the Single Soldier, with an utterly incomprehensible punchline.
Elaine Taylor sings Baubles and Bangles.
LP as the vicar chats to the news vendor, at half speed as it were, they discuss eels swarming, just like the congregation, and his image as an Anglican Bing Crosby etc.
LP and Elaine are watching telly, that leads on to filmed interviews on what to do without it. In Television Centre, a posh BBC executive (LP) shows us how a programme is put together, allegedly.
In Great Acting, an aged Dick Emery gives a monologue about his art, including a mini silent film with his ex-wife, his greatest success as a dog in a commercial, that sort of level.
The finale is the song Granada, which takes a few enjoyable swipes at Sidney Bernstein's programmes on the other side. "Monday and Wednesday we get Coronation Street... the beauty of Ena." There's a verse about showing film clips, "plugging new films doesn't cost Sydney a dime." One line I sympathised with was Brian Inglis, "such a bore," less satirical was Criss Cross Quiz, "they pay in pesetas not pounds." Then there's Bernardo (that must be Levin) with What The Papers Say, plus Bamber Gascoigne made to sound like Bing. There sounds like a touch of jealousy somewhere in all this, but it ends happily with, "you get two whole days off every weekend."
This may sound almost like a good programme, but for me was weak and thoroughly disappointing
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with guest Jon Pertwee
Strolling through the audience, LP sings Scandal in De Family.
Backstage scenes from Puss In Boots as The Demon King (LP) argues with his wife Edna over their well worn act, "you're not so young as you were." "I am the last Trump," he declares, and other such drivel, as they don their panto cow costume.
Elaine Taylor sings Funny Girls.
At the Board of Trade, Jon Pertwee does a solo sketch where all the props go wrong. He lectures his public on great British quality goods, an alarm clock that won't stop ringing for example. "I defy you to find anything shoddy," he challenges us, fatal, as he admires a decanter of Scotch whiskey, "looks pretty dashed tempting." Of course he can't open it.
The Vicar and The Newsvendor talk about space and how to make inter planetary communication. They even anticipate problems with the ozone layer, without calling it such. The sort of level is illustrated by this exchange: "we must not covet our neighbour's ox." Reply: "no nor his arss." There's a good finish though as the newsvendor stares into space and tells the vicar, "only a couple more million years before they'll be receiving your epilogues up there."
Problems of Modern Living deals with spaghetti, as LP demonstrates how to eat it. Filmed interviews follow, then LP talks of Scottish spaghetti, the audience seems to laugh, "several bridges have been made from it."
The final song is LP playing his guitar alongside Pertwee, If You Want To be Happy
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April 8th 1966 (Easter)

Oh dear! A distinguished team of writers produce a dire script. The best sketch is rather inventive however, of a married couple living an ordinary life on the moon. Discussion revolves round interplanetary soccer matches, and speculation whether anyone could actually live on Earth. Jokes on the Earth/Moon theme like that well known song 'Earth Love' and talk of the couple enjoying their 'honeyearth.'
A depressing sketch given to supporting cast Elaine Taylor and Michael Rothwell has a supermarket cashier telling her woes to customers, "I can't take any more." I couldn't either. There is also a mini-sketch at the roulette wheel, with a feeble punchline. LP acts the reverend chatting to a news vendor, with a topical reference to the stolen gold cup. Stocks and shares yield weak laughs before the sketch ends with the rather odd conclusion that the church should be nationalised.
In Problems of Modern Living, Daphne (Millicent Martin) listens suspiciously to Jeremy (LP) and his various excuses as to why there is hair on his jacket. There follow filmed interviews on Hair, awfully corny. Then LP plays a camp wig maker.
The songs start with LP singing Before I Leave This Town, all very jolly and nonsensical. No Strings on Me is Millicent Martin's offering. The final number is How Not to Sing a Calypso, Matilda. How Not To Write a Good Script, ought to have been another title

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TERRY SCOTT
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Hugh and I - with Terry Scott and Hugh Lloyd

1.5 Fete Worse Than Death 1:6 It's a Dog's Life 1.7 Putting on the Ritz 1.8 Love Thy Neighbour
2:5 Prison Visitor 2:9 Sink of Iniquity 3:7 Escort Duty 4:4 A Brace of Peasants
Terry Scott had started on BBC tv comedy in 1957 with Scott Free, and by 1962 when this series started, he was almost a veteran. Certainly he had honed his comic persona, and Hugh Lloyd proved an admirable foil for Scott's blustering well-meaning incompetent. "There is something very special about 33 Lobelia Avenue," remarked one character. The setting was the romantic London suburb of Tooting. Over 5 years they made 69 episodes, and whilst never a top BBC hit, the programme was cosy, likeable and in many ways epitomised the BBC's skill at producing comedy which really could make you laugh.
In 1968 Scott and Lloyd's new series was Hugh and I Spy, cashing in on the spy craze then in vogue, whilst the next year, now on BBC2, saw their inventive The Gnomes of Dulwich

Terry Scott continued without Hugh Lloyd with these rather mundane shows-
Scott on Money (May 15th 1965) - With David Attenborough now at the helm of BBC2, Terry warns there are economies in store. Then he poses as Britannia. Songs about Millionaires, then he's a pampered footballer, very prophetic. Five nice commercials for Water. Then Terry sings and dances Top Hat, better is Lovely to Look At with Rita Webb (!), and his tap dance. An in-depth interview with a rich man (Anthony Sharp) then a documentary on Rich Prejudice, again prophetic. Terry's theory about the Great Train Robbery is near satire, to finish he sings in the role of Fagin

Scott on Marriage (Sept 29th 1968) - with Terry Scott, June Whitfield and Peter Butterworth
A generally weak script by a Bryan Blackburn leads to a lot of overacting, but the best sketch is reserved for the last, with Terry trying to be a sixties swinger. And the final comments have a ghastly ring of truth:
An ageing June: "I didn't think much of that, did you dear?"
An ancient Terry: "I certainly did not. If that's what marriage is all about, the engagement's off!" And that's as good as it gets.

Scott on Travel (Sept 23rd 1971) - with June Whitfield and Frank Thornton
Dave Freeman was now writing the script, not his finest hour. Some of the sketches include The Neurotic Pilot, The Travel Agents - a song duet, The Highwayman with Terry as a cowardly Captain Fearless, A Canal Cruise- a filmed interlude with Terry getting soaked, The Hotel Waiter and a satirical Star Trek a la Scott, a musical! RIP
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1:5 (1962) A Fete Worse Than Death-
Last year's traditional church fete made a loss of 6s 8d, so Mr Scott proposes a Pageant of English History this year. But where would the costumes come from?
"If you care to come round sometime, "Miss Chauncey suggests, "you can ferret through my trunk!"
After a lot of debate, and ill-feeling, as "we all do what Mr Scott says we should do," the idea is agreed.
Terry plans the project which will include such famous events as The Murdering of the Princesses in the Tower and The Execution of Anne Boleyn. "Who's going to be the narrator?" ask mum needlessly. "Need you ask," replies Hugh. Yes Terry is organising it all.
Hammy retired actors, Mr and Mrs Smythe agree to take the leads- as long as they can adapt Terry's script. Certainly their declamation suggests they are the part. But when they fall ill, Miss Jenks (Joan Hickson) has to step into the breech.... and the "inescapable conclusion is that we're lumbered with Lloyd!" He plays William the Conqueror at rehearsal. "Can't Norma be queen?" pleads Hugh.
"I fancy a piece of England," the Conqueror announces. "I will conquer them .... Monday." "Mon Dieu," corrects Terry. The scene becomes too drawn out and tedious, with other corny lines around the Magna Carta, with Mr Spriggs (Julian Orchard) a far from fierce baron.
Before the big day, an even older chesnut, as the vicar announces the fete from the pulpit, adding "the preacher next Sunday, you will find hanging in the entrance."
The day of the fete, it is pouring with rain. So it's all indoors for bingo!

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1:6 It's a Dog's Life
Mum is happily singing- "I didn't know I was." Hugh is chewing apples so noisily that Terry can't complete his Times crossword!
Norma pops round to offer them a puppy. Mum and Hugh both agree, but Terry is, of course, set against it- "it's a conspiracy."
So, in secret, Hugh brings home a dog and hides it. His first task is to 'borrow' some food, so at dinner that evening Mr Wormald's liver and bacon is pocketed whilst he's looking the other way. In a well performed scene, when he asks for seconds, Mrs Wormald tells her baffled husband, "I don't think you ought to have any more."
Then up in his bedroom Hugh talks to his new friend Patricia. Which makes Terry in the adjacent room decide "he's delirious... he's going bonkers."
So he calls in the Crispins from next door to deal with him, and with umbrellas at the ready, they try reasoning with poor Hugh.
"Perhaps he's suffering from magnesia," suggests mum. And seeing him chatting, apparently to himself, crouched under his bed, her diagnosis seems confirmed.
But then Hugh notices Patricia isn't there. Where has she gone? The possibility of her being lost sends Hugh wild. But never fear, as Terry calms down and returns to his bed, there's Patricia!
Terry makes Hugh take the dog to the dog's home, but when they emerge, Terry is now the proud owner of two himself

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1:7 Putting on the Ritz (28/8/1962)
"Oh Terry, you're not thinking of working again?" sighs Mum. Admittedly, "unemployed" Terry is "hard to place" but could American Jefferson Freebody offer him a job? To impress this gent, Terry offers to show him round town.
As Hugh has had a pay rise, and Harold Wormold can loan him a dinner suit, Hugh joins Terry for a night at the Carlton. But before they go Cyril Smith as Wormold demonstrates his old music hall routine, ending with Mrs Wormold's classic line: "'s not getting any better!"
Hugh and I announce themselves at the upper crust hotel: "tradesman's entrance is round the corner!" However Terry's acquaintance with dear Lord Popham (Fred Emney) gets them inside at last.
"Lloyd, would you like an aperitif?"
"Yes, has it got any bones in it?"
Other jokes follow, in similar vein, such as:
Terry, ordering: "a fairly dry Martini."
Hugh: "a fairly wet one." He adds: "have you any tripe and onions?"
Freebody and his wife join them for the meal. Terry introduces "my man" Lloyd, who explains "I was born in captivity."
Lord Popham sits through it all, with an occasional arousal from slumber: "try the shrotted pimps."
To Terry's consternation his guests order caviar and champagne, followed by "more champagne" until, with drink freely flowing, Terry is offered the job.
"Anything troubling you?" queries Hugh when the guests have departed. It's the bill for £47 10/-. So the corny end sees Terry's job as peeling spuds, with Hugh opening oyster shells. Is there something inside this one...?

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1.8 Love Thy Neighbour (4/9/1962)

Both Hugh and Terry are hopping around, as they have each lost a slipper. "Perhaps we've been burgled!" But it's only Patricia the dog.
A more serious concern is Crispin's new car. "That pile of junk" has to be parked in front of Terry's house, because of the lines on the road. But really Terry is "eaten up with envy." Says Mrs Crispin:
"We're going down to the coast."
"Brighton?" asks Mrs Scott.
Nothing so common...... Hove!"
Thick smoke from their car drifts in through the Scott's window, and that decides Terry on Action. At 2am he creeps out to the road with Hugh, telling him to paint a line on the road to stop Crispin parking there. "Very pretty," declares the inevitable policeman. "We work for the council," Terry explains lamely.
Next day the magistrate fines each £5. And smoke, whenever that car starts up, is still pouring in through that window. So another scheme- Hugh will buy a car, says Terry, and park it outside the house.
They find a car for sale, owner eccentric Sir Ralph Springer (William Fox), who is selling his ancient Rolls: "a bit big isn't it?!" Terry assures Hugh- "all the better for putting Crispin's bonnet out of joint."
With some difficulty, the car is started, and pours out smoke a la Crispin's car.
Now they are off for a picnic with the Wormolds. The Crispins stand by, rather impressed: "Where are you going? Brighton?"
Quips Terry: "Nothing so common......... Frinton!"
Which one of you is the driver?" asks Wormold, as noone's in the driving seat. They'd overlooked that point!

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2:5 (1963) Prison Visitor
"Patricia, take daddy into the garden and bury him," shouts an exasperated Terry, at his dog who's happily playing with Hugh. To be truthful, Patricia is rather too frisky for Hugh Lloyd.
For Terry has more important things on his mind. The crime wave for example: "perhaps I can do something in that direction." Being interested in the criminal mind, he decides to "redeem the fallen."
32439 (Kenneth J Warren) is his first victim. He's in for robbery with violence. "Good morning mate!" begins Terry, spitting on the floor. "I don't believe you're a criminal at all." He offers to help when the six year sentence is run. You could say, it's not exactly a successful visit.
Back home, he bemoans the "cardboard characters in phoney situations," that are on telly, when 32439 enters. He "got out unexpectedly." He forces Terry to change clothes. Says mum to her boy: "I do hope you remembered to put on your clean vest and pants!"
Hugh has been at the shops, and when he gets back, Terry tries but fails to get him to phone the police. "Just watch it fatso," warns 32439. After that Hugh calls him fatso too!
Terry recalls that unreal tv show they were watching. Someone had dialled the cops. "What happened then?" asks Hugh. Adds Terry: "the gangster shot him!" But Hugh is still persuaded to make the call, only mum sees him and asks who he's phoning!
Cecil and Griselda barge their way into the hosue, in order to watch Z Cars. "I would have to choose a nuthouse!" sighs the convict.
Hugh has to go to the toilet, and so uses the chance to speak through the window to Mrs Crispin next door. That brings Mr Crispin round complaining of their "sex mad lodger!" Asks Terry: "have you been disgusting in the bathroom?"
But at least Crispin has phoned the police about the incident. 32439 has to run off, thus when the police enter, they find Terry, in convict garb, and it's him they take away

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2:9 Sink of Iniquity - BBC domestic comedy at its cosy best.
Terry seems to be a little jealous of Hugh's "improved physique" he's getting with his chest expander. Norma admires him too. "You don't need it," Terry tells her. Norma has popped in to ask to use the phone to contact an electrician.
However as it's only a fuse needs mending, Hugh volunteers to do the job. Terry is soon taking charge. "You can always count on us," he boasts, rather unwisely as it turns out.
The fusebox is above the sink and Terry is soon putting his foot in it, the sink that is, which now needs their attention too. "You can damn well pay for a new one," swears Mrs Crispin. "I happen to be mending your fuse," a goaded Terry responds with as much dignity as a man with a foot through a sink can muster.
As Slocombe the plumber is so expensive Terry promises to install the new sink as "it's only a fiddly little job."
Fatal words. The first snag is getting the unit in through the kitchen door. As it won't, Terry and Hugh carry the sink round to go in via the front door. Pausing for a rest, removal men next door pick up the sink unit loading it on to their van.
After a chase, Terry and Hugh begin a classic conversation at the local police station where the sergeant (Deryck Guyler) jots down the details of this "sink theft." He exhibits all the equanimity of a policeman trained to patiently unravel absolutely any problem, as he asks them in puzzled tones "surely the neighbours would know if their sink was missing?" In a lovely scene, the sergeant at last grasps the situation... he thinks!
"I was mending the fuse," explains Terry.
"Was it an electric sink?" queries the policeman.
"Have you got another branch near here?" sighs Terry.
Finally the sink is returned. Jeers Crispin "Luton's a long way round to go from the back door to the front!" There's more slapstick, almost it seems Terry is Oliver to Hugh's Stan Laurel.
"Next time you can mend your own fuse," concludes Terry, though of course it turns out the fuse wasn't what was wrong. The sink is a botched job too. Result- the Crispins have to eat round at Terry's, Hugh being left to work on the task alone....
"We're going to have to rebuild the whole house!" cries Mrs Crispin. "It's been one of those days," agrees Hugh

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3:7 (1964) Escort Duty -
The good old days when TV closed down for the night. Mum is standing for the National Anthem and won't be interrupted by Terry, who has to wait, contorting his face as it plays: "you squeeze the last drop out of your licence!" He's impatient to phone the Daily Chronicle to confirm he has won their boxing competition. Prize is two tickets for the big fight.
Of course he hasn't won so he searches for a job, so he can get the money to buy a ticket for the boxing. An armed escort with Hugh alongside- that's it! However the agency only wants escorts for two Italian sisters, "sightseeing in the Rolls"- and at £50 each it's a go.
On the tenth floor of posh Crawfords Hotel, they first meet the girls' mother, who interrogates them. Maria and Sophia are "unpinning their heads!" she explains. The boys see they have to impress the lady, so to her remark "we have a chalet in Switzerland," the response is- Terry "we have got one....," Hugh: "...in Skegness." But when the attractive Maria finally enters, her first line "I am entirely in your hands" can only evoke "Phew!" from Terry. They just have to impress. Terry: "I'm Scott of Scotts Hall," Hugh "Yes, and I am Lloyd of London." After more idle chat, assuming the roles of nobs, they bid "toodly pippy," and from Hugh "chinchilla," to get togged up for the night out.
It's a little awkward picking the girls up outside Scotts Hall, as this is Buckingham Palace. As the boys arrive, the girls are explaining to the policeman on duty "we know the owner!" Then they go off on their dates, Terry snoring through a concert at the Festival Hall, whilst Hugh takes the excitable Maria to the Big Fight.
Uninspiring
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4:4 (1965) A Brace of Peasants -

The opening scene is in the bathroom, Hugh using Terry's watch as a plug for the basin. Today it's the start of the summer holidays, and each year they have gone to Brighton, for as Hugh says "there's nowhere like Brighton." Retorts Terry; "the only place you ever tried was Hove!"
But Terry longs for something different, like shooting in the Scottish Highlands. "There's nowhere like Brighton," repeats Hugh. But Terry has already booked them for grouse shooting.
So they ask a shopkeeper (Anthony Sharp) for "two bangers." He gets increasingly irritated by Hugh's ignorance. Terry orders the guns and asks them to be sent to his Club. "Which club?" Hugh enlightens him: "the Tooting Bowls Club."
The King's Cross to Aberdeen express sees Terry and Hugh in shooting regalia, as they settle into a crowded compartment. "We're going to bag a few grice," Hugh informs his fellow travellers, who prove, not surprisingly, to be "a touchy lot." Terry scoffs food until the ticket collector (Deryck Guyler) tells them they are in the wrong portion of the train for Scotland.
Their new travelling companions are Lord Popham (Fred Emney) and his wife Sybil (Judith Furse). She asks Hugh about where they are to shoot: "you do realise you can't shoot ad lib?" "No grouse," corrects Hugh, "grice."
Popham invites them to his place.
Next morning Hugh is only half awake, and longing to be in Brighton. In a confusing story, an army training exercise gets mixed up with the shoot. A soldier (Frank Williams) explains his plans to a mystified Hugh and Terry. "What are you talking about?" They decide he's an escaped lunatic.
"Keep an eye on that, will you?" the soldier asks, 'that' being a machine gun. Popham joins the lads and stares at their gun: "is that yours?" He takes charge, leaving the two boys to go to Brighton, and try their luck with the girls there

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Comedy Playhouse

BBC's showcase for potential new series.

1.4 The Offer (1962) - Steptoe and Son's first outing
2.1 Our Man in Moscow (1963)
2.3 Impasse
2.5 A Clerical Error
2.6 The Handyman
2.7 Fools Rush In
3.12 The Bed - (1963) pilot for Meet the Wife
5.1 The Bishop Rides Again (1966)- the pilot for All Gas and Gaiters
6.8 The Old Campaigner (1967)
13.3 Born Every Minute (1972, colour)

Galton and Simpson Playhouse
LWT lured these BBC stalwarts to try and repeat their brilliance, only for more money.

The Suit - A lover has his suit stolen, and has to return home in some very unsuitable clothing. His excuses ready, he returns via the toilet window. But the surprise is, the police have already returned his suit and his wife has awkward questions. The part is just made for Leslie Phillips, but oddly the script avoids his embarrassment at being seen in his hippie clothes
An Extra Bunch of Daffodils (May 1969) - Anticipation and surprise are the essence of great comedy. This black comedy has anticipation, as you can see what's coming almost as soon as we meet Lawrence (Stratford Johns) at the cemetry where he's putting flowers on the grave of Wife Number Five. There he bumps into rich widow Mildred (Patsy Rowlands) who, after a whirlwind courtship ends up as Number Six. How does it end up? Well surely you can anticipate that.....
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2.1 Our Man in Moscow (1963) -

A nicely observed vignette of the Cold War. Sir William (Robert Morley) is head at the British Embassy in Russia, and enjoys maintaining good relations with his international counterparts. However this becomes a trifle difficult, when Whitehall demands he hands in a complaint to the Russians about their fishing off the Isle of Wight. "Very trying for you," drily remarks his PA man Mortimer (Frank Thornton). What with that, and holding a reception for pop singer Ricky Richards, it's all too much for Our Man.
Then an even weightier problem arises, in the shape of a potential defector, Romanovski. This tuba player (a rather over-the-top Patrick Wymark) demands political asylum. Why? "I want artistic freedom," the temperamental musician explains. He's not allowed to play Strauss Waltzes- that's what he really wants to play!
Mortimer can see the propaganda value in this defection, though Sir William is more worried about losing his friend the Minister of Culture, who's due to come round for a game of chess. Sir William makes his decision- he is adamant that Romanovski is not allowed to stay here, leading to his best line, "I can see the headlines now- Hands Off Tuba!"
After some overblown political wrangling, a decision is sought from London, the tuba player allowed to stay pro tem.
Two days on, and the secret police are watching the embassy. No reply as yet from the minister in London, since he's away on holiday.
In storms the Russian Minister of Culture. "We want our tuba player back." He greets Romanovski like a long lost brother, "the orchestra needs you," he urges. But the demand is still "I want to play Strauss." The minister concedes and the crisis is surely averted. But back in Britain the press has been feting Sir William as The Lion of Moscow, praising him for his bulldog spirit. So suddenly there's a tussle for the tuba player. Sir William's picture of Britain perhaps decides Romanovski: "there's so much going on, bingo, television!"
This could be the end of a promising career. Worse follows for poor Sir William: that pop singer has defected to Russia, daddy-o. As Sir William puts it gently, "I have a feeling we may be recalled."
The lugubrious Robert Morley is well cast, carrying a rather wordy comedy with plenty of fine lines

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Impasse
It's a snowy day, as seen on some external film shots, as two cars converge on each other, ending up bumper to bumper along a narrow lane. "Back up!" both drivers shout.
One is Albert (Bernard Cribbins) with his wife (Yootha Joyce) in his old banger, "a heap of old tin," the car that is.
The other is the stately Charles (Leslie Phillips) with his wife Celia (Georgina Cookson) in his Rolls Royce.
Both drivers refuse to back up, both believe they're in the right and both wives cannot convince their spouses to stop behaving so childishly.
"I know how to handle this type," Charles tells Celia confidently.
But Albert refuses to give in: "you think because you've got a great big Rolls Royce, you own the road."
It's a classic class slanging match, with all the old jokes, yet perfectly performed. The blustering is interrupted by the arrival of the AA man (Harry Locke), who is called upon to exercise all his years of wisdom to adjudicate. About to side with the upper class, he spots Albert is an AA member, but not Charles. But then an RAC patrolman (Duncan Macrae) drives up to take Charles' side. Now it's a slanging match, AA versus RAC.
At last a solution is agreed- measure the distance back from both cars to the nearest lay-by. But before this is resolved up cycles "Z Cars," a local bobby (Campbell Singer) who finds technical faults with both vehicles. However it's Albert's wreck, he pontificates, that must be pushed back for necessary repairs, though Charles doesn't win either, as he finds his destination is actually behind him!
If it all sounds a little tedious, it is, but the compensations are there with a fine study of comic attitudes, and a fine bunch of comic characters

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The Clerical Error
The idea of John le Mesurier playing a conman was a superb one, but Galton and Simpson's script attempts to develop several sub-plots without satisfactorily settling on any.

Just out of The Scrubs after another three months inside, is a gentle conman (John le Mesurier), who is welcomed back home by his aged mother (Amy Dalby) with "do try and keep out a little longer this time!"
But he's already "out on business," this vicar, at the local, with a collecting box, asking customers to "give generously to the house of the Lord." Profuse thanks are offered to all donors, including a tart (Yootha Joyce) who is curious as to which denomination he represents. "The best of all the others," he replies blandly, adding, "are you interested in theology?!" "Anything for a laugh," she responds, "you're not like any vicar I've ever met!"
Outside, counting his collection 'Caleb Bullrush' is pleased: "the wages of sin aren't too bad this evening!"
The Hotel Europa, Euston, is where he escorts the young lady, booking in as man and wife. But there's an interruption... A policeman knocks: "the inspector would like a word with you."
But it's not what the vicar fears, he's wanted in his "professional capacity." A threatened suicide demands his attention, explains the inspector (Russell Napier). So reluctantly he bids the girl a temporary adieu, with only a hymn book for company.
"Good evening my son, been a funny sort of day, hasn't it?" he begins talking to Watt, the man on the ledge. Biblical quotes from the clergyman are corrected by Watt before the best scene, done so unhurriedly, as the vicar orders tea and bikkies for two. "Like Harold Lloyd," a cuppa is brought out. "Lovely view up here." But not long to admire it, for off falls the poor vicar, a hundred feet down into a fireman's net.
The postscript. The Week's Good Cause on Tv. Rear Admiral Sir Brian Grenville Drake appeals on behalf of the National Fund for Resettlement of Distressed Lighthouse keepers.
A Clerical Error introduces several potentially fine characters and situations (mother, the tart) but they disappear in a rambling storyline that is really only held together by John le Mes' charm.
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2.6 The Handyman
Post of General Handyman at an exclusive health clinic is filled by Hogg, played by Alfred Marks, who was ubiquitous in early tv comedies, but it's hard to see why he was so much in demand.
Arriving at reception, he learns he is to be treated like the guests, and half a bar of fruit and nut is confiscated, for patients here are on a very strict diet. Smoking is forbidden. "Where's the machine gun tower?" jokes the smooth talking Cockney.
The clinic is run with a rod of iron by Dr Basil Davidson (Anthony Sharp), assisted by his besotted matron. He tells Hogg he's obese and orders "something special" for his lunch of 130 calories, "no extraneous stodge."
It's all too much for Lionel Hogg, who starts smuggling food into his cellar for a nice fry-up. However the smell of his cooking wafts upwards, driving one patient, Harris, wild. "One little nibble," he begs Hogg, when he discovers what's going on. "I'll pay- £1 for a sausage!" Meeting with a refusal he ups his bid to £4. And that sets Hogg thinking.
Harris is soon guzzling food brought in by Hogg, and others soon follow the downward path, "on the move" down to the basement. Soon tables are set, and patients are enthusing over "the most wonderful meal I've ever eaten."
"They're all putting on weight," cries the baffled doctor. But Hogg is content- he's making a nice profit at his Blue Lagoon basement restaurant. Until there's a raid. "You're fired!"
But rebellion by all the patients yields a compromise- upstairs there's dieting, downstairs there's plenty of food. So everyone ends up happy. Apart from Hogg, who is now making no profit, so he scarpers off to join a monastery. A simple pleasant bit of fun.

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2.7 Fools Rush In

This was an interesting if ultimately doomed attempt to create two modern Laurel and Hardy type characters. You feel that perhaps given more time to build into their role this might have developed well, but as it is, the characters do become more confident as the half hour progresses, but never quite convince.
Patrick Newell is the bowler hatted Bernard (Barney) Kirby and his partner played by Gordon Rollings is Wilfred Robson. Sacked 47 times, these "blessed idiots" have now obtained positions in the service of the Major (Deryck Guyler). "Nothing must go wrong," Barney warns his dim assistant as they prepare afternoon tea. Various disasters overtake them, Rollings even attempting a Laurel-like display of tears.
It's The Fishing Trip. The Major's two bumbling servants get the Rolls ready, one clearly frustrated: "keep your silly mouth shut." But Stan, er Wilfred, gets his own back by driving, Laurel like, right into poor Barney, crushing the major's best boater for good measure. "It wasn't my fault," cries Wilfred, who adds to his errors by driving off without his friend.
The boys have hired a boat, more "a dirty old tub," actually, but Wilfred' scrubbing down only leads to an accidental dousing for poor Barney. Water, and wetness, prove the theme of this part of the story. "Another fine mess" to quote. Next in the drink is the major, as Wilfred has removed the gangpank. "He's nothing but a menace," rants the major.
The best visual sequence is when Wilfred hangs out the major's shirt to dry. The boys have some sort of fun with a mobile bridge, and soon Barney is soaked, again. "The man is a menace," agrees Barney. Wilfred is sacked. End of a beautiful friendship. "We've always been together, Barney," cries the pathetic Wilfred, who sadly packs his belongings. He departs, but, without the gangplank, falls in the water too.
Now there's Laurel and Hardy type pathos as we hear he can't swim. A frantic search in the water, while Wilfred, of course, has climbed safely back on board. The soaking major emerges from the water and sacks them both. Again.

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3.12 The Bed - (Dec 28th 1963)
7am, time to get up. Thora (Thora Hird) hasn't "slept a wink all night" as the bed's "all lumpy." With their 25th wedding anniversary looming, she decides it's time for a new bed. Husband Freddie (Freddie Frinton) takes her complaints with a resigned look of stoicism. If you like comedy with a nagging wife and a downtrodden husband of the old school, this is for you.
In the bed showroom, with her ever moaning about the way he pinches the blankets, his feet, hishole in his sock, his betting, they are shown a "larger extra wide" double bed, though Thora fancies a twin at £57 10/-. But Freddie prefers the double at a mere £38 10/-.
"Would you like to try for yourselves?" asks the harrassed seller. Brian Oulton milks well his lines as the nervy salesman.
"What, go to bed in a shop!" They do try one with a split mattress: "it prevents you rolling together," explains the salesman. Thora settles down in it, and buys it.
It's the first night at home with the new bed, to incessant moaning from Thora, who has to check there really are 673 springs; "I can only see one!"
Fred has to get in and out of bed to make adjustments. At last he can settle down with the Greyhound Gazette, but Thora's light's faulty, so that needs mending. He has more hopping in and out of bed to make unfunny adjustments, before Thora echoes all our hopes: "let's get settled down."
Frustrated Freddie finally gives up, "I'm going to the spare room." But all is forgiven when she discovers his anniversary present for her, a new dressing gown, and she grabs the old blankets to join him in their old bed.
A really grim attempt, a lifeless comedy, I'd have thought the laughter had been canned if I didn't know the BBC any better
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The Old Campaigner
Written by Michael Pertwee.
Peter Clancy (Derek Fowlds) is "promising material" at work, but not the sort of material that F-J (Terry-Thomas) needs on his business trip to Paris. It's "hard slogging" for the ill-matched pair.
"I'm sure I shall learn a tremendous lot from you," Peter tells his superior, and in a way he's right. For F-J is planning his usual fun with the French femmes, but Clancy's scruples put the dampers on. After some uninspiring debate, Peter reluctantly agrees to tag along. But the first female that F-J phones is "mort," whilst 'Fred' (Nadja Regin) has married, however thankfully Louise is willing and promises to bring Karina.
Champagne is flowing as the girls arrive, but it's "devastation!" Remarks Clancy: "she's gone off a bit." F-J can only groan "Gone off? She was never on!" For Louise is his old cook. So F-J feigns illness and the evening is called off.
Now F-J has quickly recovered, he arranges a date at the cinema with Fanny. Tragedy strikes when F-J twists his ankle, so Peter has to take F-J's place.
He has a fine old time and we next see him chatting up the maid with champagne.
Next morning he's showing F-J a gold cigarette lighter he's bought for the maid, much to F-J's utter surprise.

This is an awfully hackneyed script, which Terry-Thomas does his best with, despite several fluffed lines. However he shows his touch in adlibbing brilliantly when there's an unexpected crashing noise backstage
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Born Every Minute. Script: Jack Popplewell
Two strangers on a train, first class naturally. Alexander Barney (Ronald Fraser) of the Metropolitan Oil Corporation has lost his ticket, as well as his wallet. "I do humbly apologise," he assures the ticket collector, but his kind fellow passenger Sir Rufus Wright (Campbell Singer) kindly loans him the fare. And soon Sir Rufus is "eating out of my hand," as Barney, real name Harry, is telling his partner in crime, Johnny (James Beck), later. Their scheme is to "show him a bargain and leave the rest to greedy disposition."
But both these conmen have a weakness... beautiful women. And at their hotel, both are competing for the blonde Penelope (Juliet Harmer): "what's a pretty girl like you...?" and other cliches. She seems more taken with Harry, perhaps because he seems richer. As for Johnny, "he's got about as much chance as Frankenstein," believes Harry.
Harry has been invited to dine with Sir Rufus and his susceptible wife (Mollie Sugden). Flattery is the order of the day: "what a very nice place you have here." While they enjoy a delicious meal washed down with the finest wine, poor Johnny has to content himself with ham sandwich and a coffee.
Sir Rufus works in Hatton Garden and is prepared to offer Harry £500 for his diamond ring. "It can't be worth all that," exclaims an amazed Harry.
Later he has his rendezvous with Johnny at the station, after bidding farewell to the effusive Penelope. Harry is triumphant- he'd switched the ring for a fake, and pocketed £500 cash. But where is the cash? His wallet has been lifted!
"That bird" has conned the conmen, and she's got the genuine ring too!
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5.1 The Bishop Rides Again (1966)- the pilot for All Gas and Gaiters.
The script isn't as good as the characters that are created by four master actors, William Mervyn as a bumbling bishop, Robertson Hare as, well, himself, Derek Nimmo as the shy chaplain and John Barron as the terror of a dean.
A Cathedral windfall- a £60,000 bequest, on condition the bishop reinstates the ancient tradition of a visitation by St Ogg on a milk white horse to donate a pair of white stockings to every chaste maiden, to a total of 40. The bishop's plan for a happy joy ride in the car is scotched by the dean ("I'm interrupting a festivity of some kind") inisisting that to comply with the will, the bishop must recapture the atmosphere of the middle ages and go in friar's garb.
Noote purchases the stockings from a drapers (a missed comedy opportunity), but a policeman (James Beck) thinks he's acting in a suspicious manner, and the subsequent scene with him questioning the bishop about a purchase of 40 stockings is well executed.
Off trots the bishop, next morning, on his steed, down the high street, lead by Noote. They knock optimistically on the first door. Are you married? - is the phrasing they've finally decided upon. A promising start when the answer is returned- No. But her crying baby withdraws the bishop's gift. No luck in fact all morning, until a seven year old gives the bishop some hope. But Noote's conscience is a little troubled.
With rain falling, their dreary procession moves onward. Mistakenly thinking the bishop is offering a £30 prize, there's a feeble rumpus with the policeman, ended when the archdeacon drives up with the "getaway" car. With 39 pairs of stockings left ("the 39 articles") all seems lost, until a fortuitous tour of the cathedral by novice nuns solves the problem. Happily concludes the weary bishop, "it's at moments like this, one knows deep down, that one is in the right job!"

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All Gas and Gaiters
Derek Nimmo played 'Noote', The Bishop was the reliable William Mervyn and Robertson Hare completed a wonderful trio of bumbling but sympathetic clerics, whilst John Barron's dreaded Dean gave some bite to the fun. Also see
Comedy Playhouse

The Bishop Gets the Sack (1967) -Not so serious as it might sound, the title refers to the fact that the Bishop isn't up to hosting a TV programme about St Ogg's Cathedral. The producer (John le Mesurier) then tries out the Dean and Archdeacon, before discovering Noote is a TV natural
The Bishop Sees a Ghost - These days Bishops do keep all night vigils, but do they ever sit up all night with a bag of flour to catch a ghost?
The Bishop Loves His Neighbour (1970 colour) - Exhortations from the Dean about his Good Neighbour Week have the desired effect on the Bishop. He gladly donates to the Dean his tickets to an absorbing lecture on the Pentateuch
The Bishop Beats the System -"The Cathedral is impregnable," says the Dean. This boast thanks to his new security system. However the Bishop persuades Noote to hide in the cathedral after evensong to 'borrow' the cloak of St Ogg, which can be used to raise much needed funds
The Bishop Warms Up (1971 b/w print) - The choir have to sleep in the Bishop's palace, which means He has to share with Noote. As Noote's room is right by the new central heating boiler, it gets very very hot. But worse is in store on the morrow, as the Dean has planned an extra long Music Fest...
The Bishop Entertains- Before the Bishop "filled out" he knew Poppy. He now wants her to open the Garden Party and, more importantly, to propose to her. Best moment is when the Dean and his wife mistake the archdeacon, dressed as an ugly fortune teller, for the bishop's intended
The Bishop Gives a Present - In the best of the surviving stories, the Dean has been seen with a blonde in Bridge Street, and "after ten o'clock!" In the magazine 'Her' is a letter from "Worried St Oggs." And now Mrs Pugh-Critchley (Joan Sanderson) wants to see the Bishop on a "rather delicate matter." Of course it's all a mistake - blame the Dean for keeping on and on about his silver wedding anniversary!
The Bishop Shows His Loyalty - Jealousy, as the Dean is invited to Windsor to preach his long winded sermon on Anglo-Methodist relations. But whilst pulling down the Bishop's tree, he is hurt, and the Bishop has to preach the sermon. His views are diametrically opposed to the Dean's, but the invitation turns out to be not to the Castle at all, but to a conference of Anglicans and Methodists...
The Bishop Has a Rest - Saturday afternoon, and time for the Bishop and the Archdeacon to put their feet up, but alas, their slumbers are disturbed by the Dean ringing the cathedral bells. There follows a battle for silence in which for once the Dean isn't really the winner
The Bishop Loses His Chaplain - Mrs Pugh-Critchley comes to the palace to watch the forbidden television (forbidden by the dean of course). Ostensibly she's here to chaperone her niece who is being "entertained" by Noote - in his bedroom. But surely Noote can't need watching?
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The Strange World of Gurney Slade (ATV, 1960)

"I am a walking television show," Mr Newley informs us, but should he not have said for Gurney Slade "walking disaster"? For this show, though loved by a few, was rightly shunned by the silent majority. Crippled tv show is perhaps the best description, you almost have to admire the effort to create something Completely Different, even if it flopped completely at the time. Verbalising of Thoughts, you might call it, or perhaps Silent Film Comes to the Telly which isn't strictly accurate, but you get the notion. If indeed anyone had any notion, though I feel they probably did, even if it don't come across.
Max Harris' contemporary music was the part that gave it the air of trendiness, was that the best part? Sid Green and Dick Hills were superb comic writers, who had one of their occasional disasters with this series. Producer Alan Tarrant went on a few years later to mastermind an even more spectacular flop, the 1963 Hancock. It was often said that in those days comics went to ITV for more money, but they also went for more failure.
My reviews:
Programme 1 (October 16th 1960)
Programme 2
Programme 3
Programme 4
Programme 5
Programme 6
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October 16th 1960
It all looks very ordinary: a domestic scene at Albert Petty's Lancashire home, plenty of talk from all except t' silent Albert hisself, who frustratedly walks out the front door, off t'set, eeee it were only a tv show.
By the Thames, on a park bench, he ponders the meaning of life, wonders who his neighbour is, and talks to anything, including a dog. He devises his own language which he shares with a keen passer by. By now the viewer is becoming increasingly bewildered wondering if he has gone bonkers or they.
Newspaper headlines about a takeover, a policeman orders him to pick up his newspaper and he tries several times to dispose of it, a welcoming dustbin gratefully accepting his gift.
Sir Geoffrey Jerome's Rolls, he joins "the takeover geezer," whose secret thoughts are not apparently on saving Britain's economy at all, but on his ideal woman.
"I think she fancies me," this a life size poster of a girl (Una Stubbs) in an ad for Klean-O. Here she is come to life! With her hoover they stroll into the park, dance on the bandstand, then push their model on the swings, the point at which viewer credulity is frayed beyond belief. From now on, it's survival of the viewer, and if you keep going, you see her disappear, the girl that is, not the show. Chaplin, don't eat your heart out. Disposing of the hoover is even harder than the paper. He tries selling it to t' Lancashire family, but gets t'order of the boot. Surely this must be self prophesying at its best. It definitely is, for Newley even advises us to switch off. Why not?
Either this is high high camp, as it may appear to the ultra trendy 1960's hippy and to today's retro weirdo, or is it bunk?
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Programme 2
The opening title sequence must surely have influenced Patrick McGoohan in The Prisoner! On a bleak windswept airfield AN is reflecting on history, girls, and mostly his ideal girl. There she is, picking flowers aside the runway, "she's beautiful" in this colourless landscape. The climax builds as they close, their thoughts only, he pondering his chatup line, which debunks the whole scene.
I couldn't follow the next bit as she walks off to dance with a girl friend while he chants a dull ballad, it's a disillusioned epitaph.
Oh for love at first sight! AN tests his theory with an army parade of possible beauties, but of course the only one that falls for him is the plainest.
So he quits the drabness to ask a married couple strolling in the park with their children if they are sure they did marry the right person. "Shall I call a policeman?" Predictable outcome, responsive husband seeks freedom, gets arrested.
The two parents seeking new partners, AN is left with the two children and a baby in a pram, which he pushes dolefully. "My dad shouldn't have kissed that girl," the baby remarks. In this childlike world, they encounter a doubtful looking fairy (Hugh Paddick) who discusses cross pollination before granting the traditional one wish, not three, it's the cutbacks. AN's wish lands him in what appears to be the studio back lot in a sea of dummies which have been dismembered. With the children, he pieces together arms and legs and magicks her into life, it's their mum!
AN delivers a moral in double dutch as the family are reunited. Back at the windy airfield, alone, he dances with the camera and us
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Programme 3
Loafing in the grass, AN is staring at ants, "it's not much fun being an ant." But how strong they are. Attack of the Giant Ants! You hope for a surreal scene developing this theme, but no! If he were an ant he could lift a grand piano, and this he mimes. He walks through the countryside (Kent), and at a cross roads turns in the direction marked Gurney Slade.
A mime sequence with a talkative gate, AN stares at the camera, it seems even he is surprised. He wanders on to a farmyard for a conversation with a dog, while in the background a farmer and his wife fight. Then AN passes her and her son who are miming something, I know not what. Thankfully AN moves on to a well. A wishing well, AN's wish is to be strong. How strong, inquires the voice inside the well. Scrap that AN decides, and returns to the farmer's wife.
Now he reflects on war while nibbling grains of corn, this for some odd reason leads to a meeting with Napoleon (John Bennett), "je suis all right Jack," is the level of the dialogue.
Another gate is closed- maybe this is an advert for the Countryside?- as the story meanders on to a scarecrow that sings. AN makes it a duet. Back to the farmer's wife and son, next AN chats to a cow (voice of Fenella Fielding), talk of milking, evidently with the cow nuzzling him, AN must have something nice in his pocket.
It's now clear what wife and son are up to, though AN prefers to return to the dog, then the ants. Can he join them? Or the bees?
I felt there were a couple of missed opportunites here. Or more
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Programme 4
Perhaps the most intriguing of the series, with AN on trial, accused of not being funny. Was this written and made after the first programmes had been transmitted? Surely not, but that means the star and writers must have anticipated the rocky reception they might receive, and as in this fictitious trial, there's uncertainty, uncertainty whether this is funny or no.

An empty musty courtroom with Gurney Slade waiting pathetically for his trial, after he has starred in a tv show which many have found not funny. Enter presiding judge, Lady Justice Eleanor who has never ever laughed. Defence Counsel Archie advises a plea of Guilty, he should know, he's full of those old corny gags- exit stage left Archie, dismissed, GS will conduct his own defence.
Prosecuting Counsel (Douglas Wilmer) gives the court a screening of said tv show, a sketch about an unemployed man thinking about countersunk screws, "even Diana Dors must have at least one." Well that's the level of the humour, if you can dignify it by such a name, surely the prosecution's case is proven. "No relation to any known sense of humour," to quote.
An expert in countersunk screws testifies. GS accuses him of being, wait for it......... "screwy." Indeed it's admitted, "there is nothing funny about a countersunk screw," or perhaps there is.
After chatting in this surreal court with the executioner, who is ready and prepared, a typical viewing family is called, the same family seen in the second programme. "Very clever... not funny," is the honest appraisal. The wife adds she didn't understand.
First defence witness is Rita. She smiles at GS, a walk on part. Next witness is the inanimate ad for Countersunk Screws. Now we're all ready for "the big Boyd QC twist." The grinning model in the ad, Richard Brown is tediously questioned. Not so much a twist, more a strangulation.
The jury retire to deliberate, GS sits in with them. Their verdict is inevitable. But before it's given, a nice twist, the Morning Mail offers the prisoner £20,000 for his life story.
I cannot explain why the jury sing their verdict. Clever rather than funny. It's the maximum penalty. The executioner steps forward. But his chopper is broken. How to mend it? You've guessed, that makes even Lady Eleanor laugh. Exit all
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Programme 5
Inventive, if typically none too coherent, intellectually clever, nearly enjoyable.
GS is recounting a sweet fairy tale to an audience of children, all about a prince and princess and a magic tinker, "an allegorical figure"- ah. GS takes them to Gurneyland as we listen to their beautiful if silent singing.
Enter Albert a toff (Bernie Winters) who is being chatted up the plain Veronica, but he rejects her. GS casts a spell on them, auto suggestion really, but it backfires, he's keen, she's so pretty she's all for spreading her charms around more.
"What happened?" the bemused Albert inquires. As the children watch, GS explains Albert needs "the symbolic tinker," though the one who appears is real enough. Some GS persuasion gets this tinker to perform magic, which is in the eye of the beholder alone. Then GS rubs his magic pot, they all disappear except GS. They've gone to Gurneyland, his mind.
GS wanders inside his "big head" (yes that's a good description) trying to locate them. Here they are, having "a smashing time."
But GS is tempted by his "wicked side," who begs to take over. "I refuse to be corrupted," the good GS asserts. We see other facets of GS, in the depression room his worrying face, then his entertaining face, the children watch enrapt as he sings an awful beaty Strawberry Fair. The tinker performs more non-existent magic which GS tired of. He almost succumbs to his wicked side's temptation, but instead goes out of his mind, leaving all the children, and their happy families still inside.
Police baffled by their unaccountable disappearance
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Programme 6

GS is posing in an empty tv studio. Backers ask the manager what he is. Answer: a performer, "it is presenting its problems, jokes nobody can understand." So, this must have been made after the series had already partly been screened. Viewers' main suspicion is, could this show be merely a time-filling exercise, it feels like it with this line recurring with variations, "how much time left to go?"
It's a second bout of self analysis, like programme four. GS gives his reflections on the series, chatting with many of the previously seen characters. Representing them, the Prosecutor from 4 is complaining, they're all in limbo. GS admits he has "no future plans" for them. In return, they complain that he has only half formed their personae, they've no backgrounds, no future. Was this really Newley reflecting his own doubts about the series?
"I didn't want to do any ordinary television comedy," he admits, a line that says it all.
Albert from 5 is asked to use his skill to have a rave up. The poster girl from 1 starts a mime dance and the tinker from 5 performs his invisible magic, which becomes real thanks to the fairy, but his own brand of magic has now paradoxically vanished. This might be intended as symbolic??
An Excuse Me dance is interrupted by a casting director who has found roles for them all in other well known (ITV) shows, so one by one the actors say their goodbyes to GS. The two children from 2 are last to depart.
Left on his own, GS asks himself, "another series?" He's been waiting collection and now AN arrives for him. It's an inventive ending as GS is visually transformed.
No, no second series. There was one good joke about Laurence Olivier, and one bad one from Bernie Winters. One nice touch was the poster of Una Stubbs with a tear running down the cheek, that's all that lingers in my memory.

However, you can applaud the effort. The show may exhibit an air of improvisation, yet I think it was planned in detail, maybe it needed even more thinking through before it was shot on film. A final interesting epilogue, screened in the Network dvd as 'Promotional' include a couple of brief scenes.
AN in an introspective chat: "Well, it was a noble effort, wasn't it?"
And even more telling addressing his poster, "I agreed to go along with you." Who's he blaming?

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Steptoe and Son
A huge hit, we confess to being late converts, though not fans.

1.1 The Offer (1962 Comedy Playhouse pilot) -
Returning from his totting round with a cartful of junk, Harold is slagged off by Albert. It's not just the quality of the rags, it's the way Harold treats the horse, everything- Albert has it in for his son. He's been having it too easy, says the dad who has to rest at home. Harold is frustrated, he's being held back by his dad, specially with the birds. It's impressive how quickly the two characters are so quickly established in this first story, even down to Wilfred Brambell's facial contortions, though maybe this opener is more firmly grounded in the trade than some of their later studies. After this twelve minute scene in the yard, we move to inside the run down Steptoe household. Harold's unique method of tipping the dregs from wine bottles into half full ones is a classic example of his social aspirations- "I'm a connoiseur." Albert by contrast swigs the beaujolais, even though it's been accidentally contaminated with paraffin. The inherent pathos surfaces more strongly as Harold leaves his dad for a new start. "I could have been a company director by now!" But his very words show that the longer he takes over the break, the harder it will be. Out of the gate he attempts to push his cartload of possessions, but it's too weighty. "If I don't go now..." The sad fate of Harold is sealed for the whole series
1.5 The Diploma-
"British Junk for the British!" An interesting argument about the Common Market and the tunnel give this the feel of a mild period satire, as Harold and Albert explore the politics of it all in their own way. The story begins with a nice contrast between the two: Harold the intellectual, reading as he goes totting, and Albert back home swigging. It's clear business is low: "we can't go on like this." As a study of two "pathetic" strugglers, this is beautifully written, though I find it too genuinely real to be too funny. Harold, realising there's no future, has decided to study for a diploma to become a tv engineer, so whilst he struggles with the intracicacies of thermodynamics, it's Albert who has to do the round with the cart, ringing his bell, and soon discovering the hard facts about the dwindling modern day rag and bone trade. Yet almost inevitably, Harold is not up to the mark. What's a condenser for, inquires Albert of his hopeful offspring. Harold attempts an explanation. Albert looks dubious. Perhaps the main scenes are a little overlong, as Albert points out helpfully "that bit goes there." Suggestion ignored. Fianlly Harold is goaded into switching on the tv he has constructed, but again, the script is just over elaborated as he reaches the point of failure. Albert however makes a few quick changes as poor Harold stands by despairing. "Soon get my diploma," mutters Albert as the set lights up: Here Is The News! Harold admits defeat. To sustain this half hour comedy with but two characters is a fine feat, and it almost works here
3.4 Steptoe a la Cart (1964)-
This French "scrubber" Monique (Gwendolyn Watts) is a darling, and despite the obvious language barrier, Harold is smitten. Of course his other problem is Albert, "the soul of discretion," though hardly when father proves a fluent French speaker, learned in the first war. And not just a speaker for Harold's hopes of romance are dashed as Albert reveals, "I'm her granddad... she looks like me!"
5.7 Men of Property (1970)
6.6 Pot Black
Comedy Menu

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Our Man at St Mark's
A-R's gentle comedy about a quiet vicar in a quiet parish. starring Leslie Phillips as Rev Andrew Parker with Joan Hickson as the housekeeper, and Anne Lawson as Anne Gibson
Scripts written by James Kelly and Peter Miller. Producer: Eric Maschwitz
To
Comedy Menu
1.1 "The Facts of Life" (transmitted Wednesday September 25th 1963 9.10pm, VTR made September 9th 1963) -The vicar is preparing his harvest sermon with a rather obvious joke on the horizon... "the most difficult thing of all to practice is tolerance," when of course he's interrupted by his housekeeper and he gets rather ratty with her. But the theme continues nicely through the story as his girlfriend Anne tells him "people think it's funny, people going out with vicars." So she'd like him please not to wear his dog collar at the party tonight. "People don't expect vicars to cuddle!" But he feels he must wear that collar even though "it might inhibit people." Parishioners are bringing in produce for the harvest. There's some confusion over the two children who do so, Johnny (Kevin Bennett) is called 'Philip' at one point whilst Casey (Gillian Gosling) is introduced by the vicar as 'Tracey'. It's she who informs our vicar that "I'm going to have a baby" but as she's only about nine there's an awkward conversation ahead for Our Man. How does she know? he manages to ask. "A woman knows these things." Further gentle questioning gets to the heart of it all: Johnny must marry her "because he kissed me." Poor Johnny is told to apologise for such behaviour and as the vicar orders him, he realises he also should show some tolerance over that burning issue of the Dog Collar.

Details of the remainder of the four series:
1.2 A Joyful Noise (VTR made 16th September, transmitted 2nd October 1963)
Directed by Christopher Hodson.
Reginald Barrett... Mr Donald
Julian Holloway... Mike Daniels
The Classmates... The Scramblers
Kevin Bennett... Johnny Marshall
Clive Marshall... Tom
Also in cast: Eric-Hyde Wilson as Mr Hobson.
An attempt to pep up the singing at St Mark's leads to trouble with the organist. However Andrew, on the very verge of defeat, gets what he wants in a highly unconventional manner...
Detailed A-R Synopsis- Andrew is depressed by the slow and dreary singing at morning service, and angry at the motor cyclist who keeps roaring up and down the road outside St Mark's. After church he goes to the local coffee bar to tackle the biker responsible, Mike Daniels. The place is packed with teenagers, jiving and jumping to the rhythm of a local group known as The Scramblers. Mike denies he is the reason for the congregation's feeble singing, the music is dull and dreary anyway. Defeated, Andrew returns to the vicarage, reporting his failure to Anne and Mrs Peace. He contrasts the lively music in the packed coffee bar with the singing in his own half empty church. When he tackles Mr Donald on the subject, he finds himself up against a brick wall. The organist flatly refuses to consider any change, and resigns, leaving Andrew with the problem of finding a substitute before evensong.
At the coffee bar, Andrew admits to an astonished young Mike that he has come round to his point of view about the singing. He asks what kind of music would bring him and his pals into church. Mike replies by playing a modern beat tune on the juke box, commenting that, though this might be going a little too far, there were plenty of spirituals that the kids enjoyed because the groups played them. Seized with enthusiasm, Andrew asks him to get a sheet music of a spiritual in time for evening service. So Mike knocks up a local music dealer, while Andrew reassembles the choir for rehearsal. Their performance is ghastly, they cannot sing unaccompanied. At Andrew's suggestion, Mike rides off to try and recruit The Scramblers. It is close to 6.30 and the congregation are beginning to assemble. Anne has typed up the hymn sheets with the words of Go Tell It on the Mountain, but there is no sign of Mike or the group. All seems lost, until a roar of motor cycles and into the church sweep Mike and The Scramblers, escorted by a crowd of teenagers. The choir joins in, then little by little the whole congregation, led by the kids. Finally the whole church is rocking, and Andrew has won his battle.
1.3 Holier Than Thou (VTR made 23rd September, transmitted 9th October 1963).
Cast also includes:
Annette Andre... Jackie
Edith Macarthur... Mrs Hawkins
David Stoll... Mr Hawkins
Anne goes away for a few days, leaving Andrew with the problem of Jackie, 16 year old daughter of Mr and Mrs Hawkins, who has gone badly off the rails. Spoiled by her parents, and bored with life at home, Jackie is running round until all hours with married men. Andrew goes to talk to her but she only laughs at his dog collar and dashes upstairs to change for her evening outing. Though her disheartened father wants to drag her down again, Andrew thinks it better to go up and talk to her. When he finds Jackie's door locked, Andrew adopts a James Bond attitude, threatening to break it down. Flaunting herself in a negligee, Jackie greets him with pseudo sophistication, doing all she can to annoy him. Andrew doesn't fall for this. He shows good humoured tolerance, and gets through her defences when he warns her that if she wished to marry one day, she might find men shying away from a girl with her reputation. After he leaves her, Jackie stamps her foot in anger, then, looking at her attractive self in the mirror, wonders whether she could find a way to get past his holier than thou attitude.
As he struggles with the church accounts, Andrew has a visit from Jackie. Simply dressed and demure, she says she is trying to give up the old crowd, and as things are now so dull, she'd like some charitable work to do. As she is good at maths, Andrew shows her his accounts. She promises to have a look and invites Andrew round to join her parents for dinner the following evening. But when he arrives, he finds Jackie, attractively dressed, all on her own. She says her parents have had to go to a sick relative, so the pair enjoy a candlelight meal and a bottle of wine on their own. After dinner Jackie leaves Andrew listening to Music for Swinging Sinners, while she puts on a new dress. She returns, asking him to button it up at the back. Fumble fingered, he does so, then she invites him to dance. She makes fun of his olde worlde style of arms length dancing, and draws him close to her, her hand stroking his hair. After a few steps, Andrew warns her that though she is a very attractive young thing, he happens to have a girl of his own. She is rounding on him furiously when her parents return from the pictures. Andrew passes off his visit, to the relief of Jackie, as a harmless social visit. As she sees him away, she thanks him for covering up. After Andrew has gone, she receives a phone call from one of her married boy friends, asking her to come out. She asks him to call on her but when he learns her parents will be there, he replies, some other time. This casual answer strikes home, and she hangs up rather wiser for the evening's events
1.4 Side by Side (no Joan Hickson)
VTR made 7th October, transmitted 16th October 1963.
Directed by Christopher Hodson.
Beatrice Varley... Mrs Gray
Jack Bligh... Harold Gray
Jack Stewart... Father McIntyre
TV Times details: Andrew and his Roman Catholic colleague from St Dominic's become involved in a rather hectic problem of accommodation.
A-R synopsis: With Mrs Peace absent, Andrew, under Anne's direction, is moving around the furniture in the vicarage sitting room. But a heavy antique sideboard cannot be shifted. They are interrupted by elderly Mrs Gray, who wants to arrange a double plot for herself and her husband where they can be buried. After some confusion it is established Mr Gray is not yet dead, though "likely to go at any moment." But he, a veteran of two world wars, is a Roman Catholic, and when he learns of his wife's plan, he protests long and loud that on no account will he be buried in a Protestant churchyard. Andrew learns this when he calls on the old man. He therefore refers the matter to Father McIntyre of St Dominics.
But Father Mac has the door slammed in his face by Mrs Gray, so with Andrew, plans to have Mrs Gray called over to have further talks with Andrew. This time, Father Mac is warmly welcomed by Mr Gray, who pours out his desire to be buried in a Catholic cemetry under a small wooden cross, "like me mates in Flanders." He certainly doesn't want the white stone angel which his wife wants for their joint resting place at St Mark's. Father Mac perceives that Mr Gray is mostly motivated by a desire to spite his partner, and he reprimands the old man for his unchristian behaviour. At the vicarage Andrew has got into deep water wth Mrs Gray, who decides she will be buried in St Dominic's after all. But Mr Gray, offended by Father Mac's homily, now wants to be buried in St Mark's. In a final scene, the Grays are united by the antagonistic attitude, as they see it, of the two bewildered priests, and Mr Gray announces that after all they've been through, he'll probably be buried at sea. Then Anne views the new position of the sideboard which has been moved with Father Mac's help, and decides on further changes. But this is altogether two much for the two colleagues who silently steal away
1.5 A Previous Conviction (October 23rd 1963 9.25pm- this episode thankfully still in existence)
Directed by Geoffrey Hughes.
Warren Mitchell... Joe Meyer
Frank Tregear... Albert
Freddie Jones... George Gregory
Andrew's attempt to give an ex-convict a fresh start in life becomes more than complicated when Anne decides to take a hand.
1.6 The Man Who Came to Lunch (November 13th 1963)
1.7: The Executive (November 27th 1963)

After seven episodes in 1963 Leslie sadly left, but the programme was so popular it returned the following year for a
Second series from Rediffusion, starring
Donald Sinden as Rev Stephen Young, vicar of Felgate with
Joan Hickson returning in her role as housekeeper Mrs Peace,
plus Robbie the dog.
All Scripts were by James Kelly and Peter Miller.

Details of the stories-
2.1 Quite Nice in Amersham (Thursday April 16th 1964 7.30pm)
Directed by Richard Doubleday.
Joyce Carey... Mrs Roberts
Meg Ritchie... Jean
David Hemmings... Bill Palmer
On the day of his arrival, the new vicar finds himself at cross purposes with the redoutable Mrs Peace.

2.2 The Desk (April 23rd 1964)
Directed by Bill Turner
Ron Welling/Billy Cornelius... Furniture men
Jean Harvey... Mrs Mitchell
Ronald Leigh-Hunt... Mr Mitchell
Karen Lea... Secretary's voice
In his efforts to furnish the vicarage, the Rev Stephen furnishes himself with a problem... how to repair a broken marriage?

2.3 Brother Midnight (April 30th 1964)
Directed by Cyril Coke
Patricia Garwood... Miss Thompson
Brian Cronin.... Charlie
Jeffrey Shankley... Pete
Clive Marshall... Dave
Dudley Hunte... Mickey
Tina Martin... Pamela
Ray Anton and the Peppermint Men... Youth club group
A black boy wants to join the youth club, and Stephen has a fight on his hands.

2.4 The Runaway (May 7th 1964)
Patricia Garwood... Carol (also in 2.3, 5, 8, 9, 13)
Rev Stephen Young has the delightful task of seeing a friend home, but returning full of joy, he notices a leg sticking out of a bush

2.5 Gillian's Day (May 14th 1964)
Directed by Bill Turner
Patricia Garwood... Carol Thompson
Maris Tant... Gillian
Arthur Howard... Mr Matthews
Desmond Davies... Dr Farmer
A cat may look at a king- but should a really nice young lady keep smiling at the vicar in church?

2.6 No Bank for Sid (May 21st 1964)
Director: Bill Turner
David Lodge... Sid Morrison
William Marlowe... Albert
Barry Henderson... Mechanic
Linda Polan... Rachel Morrison
David Rosen... David Morrison
Philip Yardley... Mark Morrison
The vicar decides to buy a car, and meets a man as unusual as the car he sells.

2.7 A Question of Tactics (May 28th 1964)
Director: Christopher Hodson
Anthony Blackshaw... Tom
Geoffrey Denton... Mr Barrington
Kevin Stoney... Hopkins
Joe Greig... Jeffries
George Lee... Policeman
£100 is urgently needed for church repairs. Rev Stephen goes after the money in a manner his parishioners find somewhat staggering.

2.8 Too Good to Be True (June 4th 1964)
Directed by Bill Turner
Jean Trend... Deidre Bradshaw
John Howard... Thomas
Alan Browning... Alec Bradshaw
Eric Dodson... Mr Frost
Patricia Garwood... Carol Thompson
In which Rev Stephen, after a fleeting dream of champagne and caviar, deals firmly with a most unusual situation.

2.9 Rainbow's End (June 11th 1964)
Also with:
Patricia Garwood... Carol Thompson
Loretta Parry... Anna
Patrick Barr... Mr Broome
Susan Denny... Secretary
Julie Martin... Pamela
Ysanne Churchman... Matron
Darryl Read... Albert
Raymond Mason... Radio Commentator Roberts
Peter Thomas... Shop Assistant
As host at a children's outing it seems that Mr Broome does better than Rev Stephen

2.10 We Do It on Saturday (June 18th 1964)
Directed by Bill Turner
Linda Marlowe,,, Vivienne
John Harvey... Bernard Campbell
Barry Warren... Jeremy
Drama enters the vicar's life, while Mrs Peace has an adventure of her own.

2.11 Smoke Without Fire (June 25th 1964)
Directed by Christopher Hodson
Frank Seton... Ticket collector
Carol Mowlam... Jennifer
Peggy Thorpe-Bates... Mrs Thornton
Bette Vivian... Mrs Smith
James Bree... Mr Partridge
John Wentworth... The Bishop
Peter Walker/ Anthony Buckingham... Little boys
In which the vicar finds himself the subject of malicious gossip, with almost fatal results...

2.12 Harry the Yo-Yo (July 2nd 1964)
Director: Bill Turner
Harry Fowler... Harry Danvers (also in 2.13)
PG Stephens... Mike
Hedley Colson... Policeman
Rev Stephen catches a burglar red handed, and leaves him rather red in the face.

2.13 The Pleasure of Your Company (July 29th 1964, 9.10pm)
Director: Bill Turner
Harry Fowler... Harry Danvers
Patricia Garwood... Carol Thompson
Ursula Hirst... Mrs Thompson
Malcolm Knight... Jake
Norman Hartley... Motor cycle policeman
Thanks to the well-intentioned efforts of Harry the Yo-Yo, the course of true love very nearly comes to a standstill.

The third series starring
Donald Sinden as Rev Stephen Young,
with Joan Hickson, and
Harry Fowler as Harry Danvers (Yo-Yo - from end of series 2)
(Mr Robertson who played Robbie the dog, had died and was replaced).
The filmed sequences were made at Denham.

3.1 A Funny Thing Happened to Amanda (April 26th 1965)
Director: Bill Turner
Alan Baulch... Rob Barton (also 3.5)
Graham Rigby... Hargreaves
Anne Woodward... Mrs Hargreaves
Victor Maddern... Mr Burton
Pamela Hewes... Mrs Burton
Humphrey Morton... Chaplain
A most unusual couple seek sanctuary at the altar.

3.2 The Invader (May 3rd 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Gretchen Franklin... Alice Perry
Charles Rea... Frank Perry
Joan Harsant... 1st woman
Nicholas Selby... Brother Joseph
John Blythe... Morris
Raymond Mason... Reynolds
A kill-joy in Felgate? Rev Stephen goes hunting.
(No story May 10th - Party Political Broadcast)

3.3 Four Hundred Years' Thick (May 17th 1965)
Director: Bill Turner
Francesca Annis... Frances Harding
Karen Lea... Mrs Butcher
Coral Fairweather... Mrs Harding
The vicarage is redecorated, and Rev Stephen in involved in a problem of love at first sight.
(No story May 24th)

3.4 Objection Sustained (May 31st 1965)
Director: Bill Turner
June Barry... Mary Burton
Jon Rollason... Charles Stokes
Trevor Bannister... Frederick Barret
Pat Connell... Stan Fisher
The eternal triangle sparks off a rather unusual disturbance in church.

3 5 Storm in a Cocoa Cup (June 7th 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Martin Norton... Anthony
Alan Baulch... Rob Barton
Brian Hayes... Rev Murdoch
Martin Matthews... Rev Marlow
Graham Leaman... Rev Bailey
Rev Stephen finds himself threatened with trades union action from a most unexpected quarter.

3.6 A Question of Degree (June 14th 1965)
Director: Bill Turner
Ann Bell... Jane Dawson
Susan Danbury... Jennifer
Mark Kingston... Jennifer's father
Eileen Page... Jennifer's mother
Terry Brooks... Mike
Patti Brooks... Mike's mother
John Nicholas... Mike's father
A go-ahead young lady tries to bring Rev Stephen's Sunday School up to date with somewhat shattering results.

3.7 Pay Now, Live Later (June 21st 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Terence Alexander... Mr Barrett
Margaret Durnell... Mrs Frost
Freddie Earlle... Mr Fenton
Roy Spencer... Doctor
Jack Bligh... Mr Wilson
Jane Bolton... Nurse
Maurice Peckman... Post office clerk
When Mrs Peace decides to take out an insurance policy, Rev Stephen finds himself unexpectedly involved.

3.8 Ninety-Nine and One (June 28th 1965)
Director: Bill Turner
Clive Morton... Bishop
Frank Sieman... Gatekeeper
Anthony Sagar... Bill Taylor
Anne Ogden... secretary
Freddie Jones... Benson
Roy Madron... Paddy
Stephen seeks to increase his flock, and the bishop asks divine forgiveness for a small but judicious piece of blackmail.

3.9 Edie's Ace (July 5th 1965)
Director: Bill Turner
Campbell Singer... Geoffrey Ruston
Helen Ryan... Miss Esdaile
Fay Compton... Edie Russell
Walter Sparrow... Porter
Rev Stephen finds himself involved in a battle against the new motorway.

3.10 The Galloping Major (July 12th 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Derek Francis... Major Hubert Paxton
Gwen Cherrell... Celia Paxton
The vicarage suffers more than somewhat from the well-meaning assistance of Our Man from Burma.

3.11 Know Thine Enemy (July 19th 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Brian Vaughan... Insp Gibbs
Walter Hall... Constable White
Jane Evers... Library receptionist
Frank Henderson... Hargreaves
Winifred Hill... Mrs Higgins
Godfrey Quigley... Father Patrick
John Miller... Black magician
The day-to-day problems of a country vicar are complicated by something unusually serious, an invasion of black magic.

3.12 The Yo-Yo Again (July 26th 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
John Scott Martin... Mr Gates
Victor Brooks... Det Sgt Martin
James Beck... PC Bailey
Charles Cullum... Magistrate
Philip Anthony... Prosecuting solicitor
Our long-reformed sexton and gravedigger, Yo-Yo, suffers a sad fall from grace, into the arms of a magistrates court.

3.13 Steps to the Cathedral (August 2nd 1965)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Clare Owen... Young woman
Tony Steedman... Archdeacon
Clive Morton... Bishop
Desmond Jordan... Michael Lawrence
Rev Stephen is faced with the problem 'To marry or not to marry,' and finds himself in a situation which may critically affect his own future.

Series 4 saw Donald Sinden promoted to Venerable Stephen Young, archdeacon at Lynchester.
With Joan Hickson, and
Clive Morton as The Bishop.
A new dog was introduced- Caber.
Producer: Eric Maschwitz (as series 1)

4.1 The Fall of the House of Lawther (July 4th 1966 9.10pm)
Director: Bill Turner
Michael Gwynn... Rev Michael Lawther
Daphne Slater... Mrs Lawther
Roy Godfrey... Builder
Rediffusion synopsis: "The Venerable Stephen receives a visit from the Rev Michael Lawther, vicar of Highfield. His church has been falling to pieces ever since it suffered bomb damage in the war, and he badly needs funds to repair the roof. When it transpires the roof will cost close upon £3,000, Stephen puts the problem to the bishop, who with the best will in the world cannot agree to providing the necessary funds. The area is due for redevelopment and the site of Lawther's church is scheduled to be replaced within a year or two by a block of luxury flats. When Stephen arrives at Highfield to break the news, he finds a very shabby church indeed, with a congregation of less than half a dozen for Morning Service, and a vicar determined to get the building repaired even if he and his wife have to do the work themselves. The Lawthers love the place, their treasured scrapbook revives memories of it as it was when wartime congregations packed the church and Lawther himself receive the George Cross for gallantry during the raids. Since those great days, the congregation has ebbed away to a new modern church on a local housing development. When Stephen suggests a little locum work around the diocese as a prelude to a possible permanent transfer to another parish, the vicar refuses indignantly. Back at Lynchester, Stephen discusses this sad problem with Mrs Peace, who suggests that maybe Lawther could be moved to the new parish of Gamley. When he enthusiastically proposes this to the bishop he again meets with a dead end. The bishop's view is that Lawther is tired and defeated, whereas Gamley calls for someone young and active to build the place up. Meanwhile in Highfield, a notice has been put up announcing that the church is to be closed owing to dry rot, and recommending worshippers to the new church in the neighbourhood. Interviewed casually by a local reporter, Lawther fires up against this. He pastes over the notice the announcement, Business As Usual. To the reporter he says, 'You wanted something unusual? Well print that!'
Part 2: over breakfast Stephen learns of Lawther's rebellion. After a spirited argument with Mrs Peace, who learns for the first time of the bishop's refusal to consider the transfer to Gamley, he hurries to Highfield to find Lawther preaching a fiery sermon to an audience of one, the local reporter. He is delighted to find the vicar in fighting mood, but points out to him that he has been flogging a dead horse. The days of Highfield are over and done with. If his congregation has left him, let him go out and follow them, start something new and build it up. Unfortunately he can't have Gamley, but there will be other things for him to do. Nevertheless, Lawther insists on being given a parish of his own and asks Stephen to convey this to the bishop. 'No,' says Stephen, 'if you want that parish, you can see the bishop and get it for yourself!' He brings Lawther to Lynchester and shows him into the bishop's study. Before the bishop can utter a word, Lawther is on the attack, and Stephen tactfully withdraws, happy in the hope that whatever else his Lordship may think of the interview, he will undoubtedly be convinced that Lawther is neither tired nor defeated!"

4.2 Love All (July 11th 1966)
"Rev John Robinson, a young vicar with a wife and family, is finding increasing difficulty in eking out an existence on the small stipend provided by his parish. His loving wife, an attractive scatterbrain by the name of Helen, simply cannot keep within the family budget. This leads to a domestic dust-up, as a result of which the vicar decides to supplement their income by taking on other spare time work. He calls upon the sympathetic manager of a local knitwear factory who, though he does not think it advisable to have a clergyman on the factory floor, offers him an opening as a door to door salesman, with van provided, which he accepts. When this is reported to the bishop by an indignant Parochial Council, Stephen Young is deputed to deal with the matter. Stephen finds the vicar unrepentant. He points out that he cannot live, even shabbily, on his income from the parish which has refused to provide him with a further allowance. He adds that the factory van enables him to cover more ground than previously, and he is therefore now in touch with far more people to whom he is able to offer advice and consolation. Stephen finds himself in growing sympathy with the vicar's situation. Their meeting culminates with the Rev John successfully unloading a charcoal grey sweater upon his distinguished visitor.
Part 2: The bishop is still unrelenting. He regards door to door salesmanship as undignified, the Rev John is to be ordered to give it up. This the young vicar refuses to do, whereupon the bishop demands his resignation. This he is prepared to give, when his wife takes a hand. Helen knows that the church is John's life. She surreptitiously visits the factory and persuades the manager to take her on in her husband's place. Returning home, she is in time to tear up her husband's letter of resignation, and all is well with the Robinsons!"

4.3 The Peppermint Man (July 18th 1966)
Director: Bill Turner
Peter Vaughan... Rev John Spencer
Martin Wyldeck... Dr Grant
Margaret Ward... Mrs Wells
Dorothea Phillips... Mrs Evans
Denis Holmes... Publican
Rediffusion synopsis: "Mrs Wells of Partleton complains to the Bishop of Lynchester that on the night of her husband's death, the local vicar had called at her house very much the worse for drink. Stephen Young as archdeacon is sent to investigate. Rev John Spencer strenuously denies the charge, how could he have been drunk on no more than a couple of glasses of wine with dinner? The widow vehemently persists with her accusation, while the local doctor who had been present on the night in question, is inclined to pooh-pooh the whole affair. He considers that, while Mrs Wells was not unnaturally hysterical, the vicar was in his opinion no more than drowsy from having been awakened in the middle of the night. Stephen, relieved to have found no more than a storm in a teacup, leaves Partleton, having preached in the church there.
Part 2: On his way back to Lynchester, Stephen calls at the local pub for a snack. He notices that the landlord is making up a sizable order for whisky, sherry etc. Though he cannot see who it is that comes into the off licence to collect this, he recognises the Welsh accent of Mrs Evans, the vicar's housekeeper. Filled with renewed doubt, Stephen with the bishop's agreement, decides to pay a second visit. He finds Partleton church closed for the evensong 'owing to the indisposition of the vicar.' When he tries to see Spencer he is headed off by Mrs Evans. He hears a crash from within the house, and when he brushes his way in, finds Spencer lolling in a chair, glass in hand. He is celebrating the anniversary of his wedding to a wife who has long since left him, not because of his drinking habits, but because she found village life boring and could not persuade her husband to move away from a parish to which he was devoted. Sorry though Stephen may be, he finds himself in duty bound to suspend Spencer from his duties and take steps to bring him before an Ecclesiatical Court." This story concluded in the episode The Silent Village

4.4 The Silent Village (July 25th 1966 10.30pm)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Same cast as for 4.3
Sequel to The Peppermint Man. Rediffusion synopsis: "Stephen finds the bishop is only partially prepared to support him. Though his lordship is willing to stand by the archdeacon's complaint against Rev John Spencer, he will not have the vicar suspended from duty until he has before him statements signed by the housekeeper, his doctor and the local publican in support of Mrs Wells' assertion the Rev John Spencer has on various occasions been incapacitated by drink. When Stephen goes back to Partleton to collect the statements, he finds all three of his prospective witnesses not only evasive but even willing to lie in defence of Spencer.
Part 2: Despite his defeat, Stephen is ready to press his complaint on the basis of his own statement and the original letter written by Mrs Wells. The bishop however insists that a statement must be obtained from Mrs Wells, when she dashed off the original letter she might well have been under such emotional stress that it would only be fair to have a more considered opinion from her. The lady however is quite uncooperative. She is sorry to have been the original cause of the enquiry, but cannot agree to a further statement. 'You see archdeacon,' she says, 'I have to live here.' With no statement, and the bishop having set the complaint legally in motion, Stephen nervously awaits a summons to the palace. The bishop announces thta there is now no case to proceed with and the matter must be dropped. He himself will inform Spencer to that effect. When Stephen has made a rather deflated departure, the bishop shakes his head and smilingly murmurs, 'he'll learn.' Following his appearance at the palace, the Vicar of Partleton calls in to see the archdeacon and apologise. He admits to having received an episcopal wigging and explains to Stephen why his parishioners were prepared to tell untruths on his behalf. 'You up here are the enemy,' he says, 'they live in the valley and to them I am the Church. They know my faults, and they like me, not in spite of them, but because of them'"

4.5 The Talking Machine (August 1st 1966 9.10pm)
Directed by Richard Doubleday
Harry Fowler... Harry
David Langton... Sir Geoffrey Challis MP
Malcolm Webster... Gregson
Jonathon Elsom... Mr Burns
Rediffusion synopsis: "When Sir Geoffrey Challis MP addresses the Lynchester Improvement Committee on slum clearance, Stephen Young is impressed. But not so, ex-sexton Harry Danvers, who has learned that this has been Sir Geoffrey's line of talk for ten years, while all the time as managing director of a property company, he has been making a fortune out of high priced housing developments around the city. Faced with an indignation committee consisting of Harry and Mrs Peace, Stephen writes a letter of protest to the local newspaper. Incensed by the letter, Sir Geoffrey sees the bishop and demands that his archdeacon be made to publish an apology. The bishop is uncooperative, he sees Stephen as a citizen and a voter fully entitled to concern himself with local politics as long as his facts are correct. Sir Geoffrey storms out threatening reprisal. Adjoining the cathedral are a few acres half promised to the bishop as a playing field for the choirboys. The ground is owned by a subsidiary company of Sir Geoffrey's by which the offer of the land is withdrawn. The bishop leaves the handling of the situation to Stephen...
Part 2: Stephen calls upon Mr Gregson, manager of the company that has withdrawn its offer of the field. At the same time Harry, feeling that he has let the archdeacon into a difficult situation, visits the bishop in his garden and offers him a bribe in the form of a load of the very best manure. Disregarding an invitation from the bishop to discuss the matter, Stephen visits Sir Geoffrey, and offers to publish an apology in exchange for a firm offer of the playing field. His letter, when it appears in the press, takes the form of an abject withdrawal in the light of his having discovered Sir Geoffrey has decided to build low rent houses to accommodate Lynchester's slum dwellers. At the next meeting of the Improvement Committee, Sir Geoffrey can do no more than accept the applause of the assembly. He has had a sharp lesson in gamesmanship from the archdeacon!

4.6 Night Call (August 8th 1966)
(no Clive Morton)
Director: Bill Turner
Paul Hardwick... Mr Mills
Pauline Yates... Mrs Parry
Tom Watson... Mr Parry
George Cooper... Inspector
A rainy night... a half-wrecked car... and the archdeacon finds himself having to deal with a most unusual case of the eternal triangle.

4.7 Holy Yo-Yo (August 15th 1966)
Directed by Bill Turner
Harry Fowler... Harry
Richard Hurndal... The Dean
Eric Chitty... Mr Andrews
Fred Ferris... Mr Jackson
Barney Gilbraith... Man in pub
Karen Lea... Mother
Colin Pilditch... Boy
Rediffusion synopsis: "Learning from Mrs Peace that a post as verger at the cathedral will soon be vacant, Harry The Yo-Yo Danvers, formerly sexton and gravedigger at Felgate, now garage hand in Lynchester, decides to apply. Always anxious to better himself, he is particularly attracted by the thought of being able to wear a cassock. The Venerable Stephen promises to put in a word with the dean on his behalf. After discussing cathedral matters with the dean, notably the crippling cost of keeping the fine old structure in repair, he mentions Harry as a possible candidate, and the dean agrees to see him. After a somewhat unusual interview, in the course of which he finds himself contributing ten shillings to the offertory box after an argument as to a detail of cathedral history, the dean tells Stephen that he will take Harry on for a trial period working with Mr Andrews, the retiring verger. Proud as a turkey cock in his cassock, Harry is initiated into his new duties. Andrews explains the keys to him and in the course of doing so, unlocks the strongroom in which is kept the cathedral treasure, gold plate, jewelled chalices etc. Harry is goggle eyed. In a local pub a man named Jackson who had hoped to get the job of verger, learns that Harry Danvers has a prison record.
Part 2: Harry is thoroughly enjoying his new duties, especially of escorting visitors round the cathedral. The dean is on the point of confirming his appointment when he is visited by Jackson with an account of Harry's criminal background. As a result he has to inform Stephen that he cannot possibly accept Harry for a post in the cathedral. Although Stephen pleads for Harry, assuring the dean that his candidate has gone straight and should be given a chance, the latter is obdurate, he cannot possibly entrust the keys and the guardianship of the treasure to an ex-convict. Stephen's job of passing this on is made the more painful by the fact that Harry, over optimistic as ever, has been buying furniture for the flat to be vacated by Mr Andrews. Bitterly disappointed, Harry sees in the dean's decision another instance of society's persecution of a man with a prison record. Flinging the keys at Stephen's feet, he walks out of the cathedral. A sad affair, but what can the archdeacon do?"

4.8 Are You There? (August 22nd 1966)
Director: Bill Turner
Peter Copley... Mr Dexter
Kathleen Michael... Mrs Vandervell
Shirley Cain... Mary Dexter
Mary Holder... Woman at seance
Stephen finds himself inadvertently involved in a contact with Spiritualism. Should Mr Dexter be allowed to ruin his life by clinging to a contact with the Beyond?

4.9 Cross Your Heart and Hope to Die (August 29th 1966)
Director: Richard Doubleday
Harry Fowler... Harry
Desmond Jordan... Michael lawrence
Janet Hannington... Jennifer (Mrs Peace's niece)
The visit of Mrs Peace's little niece to the archdeaconry almost leads to a fracas between Stephen and the Bishop.

4.10 Ships That Pass (September 5th 1966)
Rediffusion synopsis: "Letting himself into the cathedral after darkness, the Venerable Stephen is astonished to find a young girl named Carol seated in the nave moodily smoking. Having taken the cigarette from her and reproving her for allowing herself to be locked in, he demands what she is doing there. She replies that she had the need to make a particular prayer uninterrupted by the passers-by who had stared at her while the cathedral was open. There is something so strangely insistent about the girl that Stephen offers to wait a few moments while she finishes her prayer. When this is not enough for her he suggests that he leaves her there for an hour after which he will return to lock up. Back at the archdeaconry he asks the curious Mrs Peace to have the spare room ready as they might have a guest. When he returns to collect Carol he finds her missing and is calling out for her when the dean, seeing lights in the cathedral, enters with puzzlement. When they search for the girl, the dean finds her, again smoking, and having taken the cigarette from her mouth, leaves the archdeacon to deal with a situation which he himself simply cannot fathom. Having taken Carol to spend the night at the archdeaconry, Stephen demands an explanation, why is her prayer so essential? She replies with solemn sincerity, 'because I am going to kill myself!'
Part 2: Having sent his housekeeper to bed, Stephen discovers the reason for his guest's behaviour. It seems that Carol, having fallen victim to a gambling urge, has run into debt to the extent of over £4,000. As a secretary earning £15 a week she cannot repay the money and will not go bankrupt because she knows that her father, who has worked for years to save enough to retire on, will insist on meeting her debts. She has therefore decided upon suicide, which, as long as it can be made to appear accidental, will be covered by her life insurance policy. Having obtained her promise that she will do nothing until the next day, Stephen, after a sleepless night, pays an early visit to industrialist Geoffrey Ruston, the only wealthy man he knows. He tells Ruston Carol's story, and the best he can do is get an assurance that his friend will think it over. After cogitating, Ruston sends for the girl, and proposes to advnace her the large sum she needs on condition that she will work for one of his companies for £40 a week which, after she has paid income tax, will allow her to pay him back at the rate of £15 a week. Carol will have none of this, she says that as a gambler she cannot be trusted with money. If he himself will pay off her debts, she will work to repay him out of her independent earnings, only a pound a week at first, more if and when she does better. Ruston is won over and agrees. Shortly afterwards he calls to show Stephen a letter from the girl. With the sum of £1 enclosed it gives the statement of the sum outstanding. 'You were right,' says Ruston, 'she certainly is a determined girl'

4.11 My Uncle Oswald (September 12th 1966)

4.12 When Will They Ever Learn? (September 19th 1966)

4.13 There Are More Things...(December 28th 1966, final story)
Rediffusion synopsis: "The archdeacon is intrigued by a woman whom he discovers staring fixedly at a certain spot in the floor of the cathedral. She is a Mrs Treadwell, and she claims to have had a vision in the course of which she heard a voice calling upon her to dig up the floor at this particular spot, and she will find something. Stephen is strangely impressed by the story. He tries to interest the dean in the possibility of an excavation, but the latter shows a certain cynicism in the light of the cost of such an operation. Reference to the bishop gets him little further, his lordship has more important matters to think of. At Mrs Peace's suggestion, Stephen invites the dean over for dinner in an attempt to 'soften him up.' To his amazement he finds that the dean is on his side, he has merely been marking time in order to discover whether Stephen is sincerely set upon the excavation. On the morning the work is started, Stephen is visited by Mrs Treadwell with a confession that her story of the vision had been a pack of lies, an attempt to arouse interest in an obscure housewife with a very dull background. She has heard that the excavation has begun and pleads for it to be stopped immediately. Having discussed the matter with Mrs Peace, Stephen faces up to the dean who is interestedly watching the excavation. As he is about to confess, the workmen come across a square stone with an iron ring in it. The dean is delighted, Stephen somewhat taken aback. To their mutual disappointment, the workmen have to stop for the day. On a third visit to the archdeaconry, Mrs Treadwell, far from being relieved her vision is leading to something after all, wishes to have nothing more to do with the matter, she is now terrified of the attention that will be called to herself, the publicity, the prospect of being regarded as some sort of freak. Meanwhile the stone has been raised, disclosing a small stone chamber, empty, and at first sight devoid of purpose. As the excavation is on the point of being filled in again, it strikes the dean that being next to the main pillar of the cathedral, it may have been an inspection chamber for the checking of the foundations. On closer examination it transpires that the foundations supporting the pillar, which in turn supports the roof, have in the course of centuries turned to sand. The bishop now takes a hand. Unshaken by the fact that the essential repairs have been estimated at a possible £15,000, he is anxious to acknowledge the validity of the vision, only to be told, to his disappointment, that Mrs Treadwell will have no further part in the matter. He insists nevertheless on holding a special service of Thanksgiving, however it may have been brought about, there has been a divine revelation as a result of which the inevitable collapse of the cathedral will have been prevented"
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It's a Square World (BBC)
A unique series with Michael Bentine. Here was Goon-type humour, that was certainly influential on the later much cruder Monty Python. Seven short series were produced between 1960 and 1964.

* Nov 2nd 1961. Sunday Night at the Twentieth Century Theatre, where the curtain doesn't lift properly, then a panto act (D Emery/F Thornton). MB is a dictator, interrupted by baby's bath time. Benny Lee and cartoons sing a nice version of Me and My Shadow. The News, only it ends with the arrest of the newsreader (MB). War in the Air is a cartoon, followed by two erudite professors of humour (MB/DE) inflicting pies soot flour etc on their interviewer (FT). The Floods is an inventive film about people eating a meal while their home is flooded. Sir Claude Berk (MB) talks on Berkism. A sketch with a polite Japanese bank robber. The famous Japanese garden suffering from a kamakaze beetle. A holiday report from Slobodia by DE
* Nov 9th 1961. Sixth and last of series, so the cast play tv critics. In the BBC car park is attendant (DE). Then DE is a policeman preventing a gold bullion robbery. DE transforms into a camp artist presenting his masterpiece to tiddly northern dignitaries. BL's singer sketch is dull. The Patent Office sketch gives the chance for some model making fun. DE is a brigadier with interminable film of his war memoirs, ending with a chase after a blonde (don't ask why) round the studio audience
* Apr 19th 1962. The Knife Thrower (FT), Japanese Fencer (DE), MB with the News. A BBC Ministry of Health Commercial, animation on a Chinese plate, Brazil a flop song and dance. MB interviews a puppet. TV violence: "it can't go on"- a soap opera set in Sidney Street in 1913. Sea shanties which transpose into the Black and White Minstrels
* The Craftsman (D Guyler/Leon Thau), "yes dad," with their tools of antiquity. Holding Up the Queen Mary and Knocking down the PO Tower (cartoon). Pretenders to the Throne: King Bert (Clive Dunn), "I'm not pretending mate" as he knights Sir Michael, "that'll be a dollar." Doomsbury Lifeboat is launched rather badly. Dr Albert Dottle (DG) and his Instant Breakfast, its only drawback its colossal cost. The Haunted Castle (a typical Square World model). The Art Expert (uncredited Dick Emery) strips off a painting to reveal an even more valuable one underneath but with a predictable ending. Main film to finish: Olympic Training at the mansion of Lord Noshing (MB)
* Dr Albert Dottle (D Guyler) and his tea driven Model T Ford, with some good jokes on the James Bond theme. Slobodian Oil Treaty (MB + Clive Dunn), the latter having to eat some awful delicacies. The Antique Fakers are interviewed by MB, DG demonstating his woodworm. The Brain (DG) plans to rob the crown jewels. Kamakaze Beetle (model) of a Japanese garden. HMS Incredible is seen in a cartoon, a satire on its modernisation over many decades. MB interviews the Admiral (CD) who shows a film of modern naval recruiting, press gangs in fact, and another film on naval manouevres
* Last of series starts with an unusual organist, Viewers' questions then the News Headlines, Assassination of the King of Slobodia- MB fails in his attempt getting blown up himself, The Gunsmith (Frank Thornton): a topical satire on a dealer selling arms willy-nilly to foreign agents but refusing to sell to a British farmer as his licence is inappropriate, Aerosols (MB), Dinner in a Stately Home in which FT in drag and John Bluthal are offered a feast but refuse every morsel, A scene all in Russian: secret footage from USSR (MB), Main film is Alderman Grimshaw (FT) and the Holiday Trippers' Invasion using war imagery, too long and tedious
* from the 1963 series: On Westminster Bridge, bowler hatted gents salute the Union Jack. An Ornithologist (Leon Thau) in the Dolomites finds a huge egg, which he cooks. Ronnie Barker is our United Nations Reporter as Slobodia joins the UN and everyone starts jiving. Cartoon of Benny Lee showing his inside as he sings, clever but not funny. MB on the Common Market, a lecture with a cartoon, comment ditto. French in Schools- a simple drama. Maggie Fitzgibbon sings Dead Leaves, with an ending anyone could anticipate. FT is at London Airport to meet a French film star, "corr!!" A musical Brigadier General (RB)- the zaniest moment is defusing "an unexploded German bass," very inventive, but the idea is too drawn out, but with a nice chase round London and then round the studio
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Dickie Henderson Show
See also
A-R Shows, Dickie Henderson Half Hour.
To Dickie Henderson Show Research section.
"It really is a happy show," claimed co-star June Laverick. "I expect there are many many husbands and wives who can see the funny side of our domestic arguments. I think this is why the show has been so successful."

7.1 (April 29th 1964) - "A punch on the nose never solved anything," Dickie tells us. But he nearly comes to blows with William Franklyn who has a great part as Greg, ski champion, chess champion, pianist extraordinnaire, lion hunter, in fact champion everything. He has an answer to everything Dickie throws at him: "it must be very stimulating married to a comedian," he observes to June. Dickie and Jack try to "shatter the image" of Greg. Failure until Dickie tries to fake an accident. That fails too leaving Greg free to take June out for a meal. OK, Dickie finally admits he's jealous. But there's a nice punchline as the superman is finally found out.

8.6 (September 13th 1965) - That master of the one-liner Dickie reminds us that "women are like politicians- we don't always agree with them, but we can't live without them." With such sentiments it's no surprise that June is in tears - she's found a 14 year old love letter from Dickie. "Well I can't go round spouting that juvenile mush now," he claims. But to prove he's still sentimental at heart, he gets Jack (Lionel Murton) to help him buy some pearls for June. To repay Jack, Dickie helps him by composing a love letter to Jack's girl friend (Norma Foster), based on his old stuff to June ("the whole world was filled with warmth and light") and sending 3 dozen red roses. June discovers Dickie has sent her flowers and finds out he's gone to see her and so thinks Dickie must be chasing after this girl. In a nice scene, she confides her worries to Jack who dreaming of his girl tells June the girl is "the most beautiful doll I've ever seen," which makes June even more upset. She overhears Dickie in conversation with her saying "beautiful, you've got just what I've been looking for! Shall I take this off now?" Of course the misunderstanding is sorted out and June gets her cultured pearls.
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Arthur Haynes Show
Arthur was one of ATV's top comedy stars. Although most internet sites state that he made fifteen series and over 150 shows, which ran from 1957 to 1966, a convention we follow here, Arthur did also make some earlier shows, his very first being in February 1956.
This began as Strike a New Note, but renamed from April to June 1956 Get Happy with Maria Pavlou and Ken Morris. Joan Savage also appeared. The immortal Nicholas Parsons soon joined the regulars. Others in the first Get Happy show on 24th April were Four in a Chord, Malcolm Goddard, Josephine Gordon, Jane Kimm, Judy Collins, and Sylvia Herklets (later known as Sylvia Francis).
During October to December 1956 Haynes starred in The Arthur Haynes Show, presented by George and Alfred Black. Ken Morris was again featured alongside Joan Savage. Malcolm Goddard, and the George Mitchell Vocal Group also were in the show on 17th October.
Neither of these series ran every week, but they were Haynes' first starring series on television.
'Me and Arthur Haynes' was a well researched tribute shown in March 2011, in which Nicholas Parsons was a bit out in thinking the show was groundbreaking, highly popular would be a fairer comment. And while his adlibbing with Haynes was often impressive, I always felt it was slightly unprofessional the way they would often laugh at themselves. However that may be, Haynes was certainly a One Off.

With Arthur's heart attack in 1966, ITV were deprived of one of their top comedy shows. The nicest contemporary little tribute I have seen was this, "how Ealing will miss that white sports car of his, and that happy smiling face at the wheel."

Reviews of surviving shows:
(from series 4 maybe, 1959) with Aileen Cochrane and Harry Jacobson (piano). Nicholas Parsons plays a "hit and run motorist" and a vacuum salesman, Arthur then plays a camp tailor.
6.1 (October 6th 1960) - Aileen Cochrane sings round the theatre. A short weak sketch of Arthur's married life ("if he's not home by 8 I'm leaving him"), then 'Candlelight' a tv expose of dodgy garages - and with Arthur as mechanic, there's plenty to expose. A more substantial offering is the classic conflict between a snooty Nicholas Parsons who is complaining to Arthur about his shoddy workmanship redecorating his home. Arthur's absurd excuses get NP in more and more of a lather, "that's my expensive Chelsea plate..."
6.2 (October 13th 1960) - 'Candlelight': Plumbers, "nothing to hide" claims AH, out of one simple job he manufactures lots more. NP is dining in a restaurant, when he is joined by AH as a tramp, "do you mind taking your hands off my wine." His manner changes when it transpires the tramp is a secret millionaire. They get the giggles over the cheese
6.3 (October 20th 1960)- Candlelight on telephone operators. AH keeps getting customers wrong numbers, "I've been called out of my bath four times." Complains NP: "absolutely disgraceful." NP serves customer AH bottles of drink, the latter keeps changing his mind. Finally AH is a suspected burglar, nicked by NP
6.4 (October 27th 1960)
6.5 (November 3rd 1960) - The silent first sketch is too long, AH and NP burglars in a creaky set. AH is a camp photographer assisted by Clarence (Leslie Noyes) insulting NP. Then NP's head is stuck in railings, "you're not going to cut my ears off"
6.6 (November 10th 1960) - AH attempts to sell connoisseur NP an antique clock, "you're pulling my leg." NP has a baby in a pram which tramp AH admires in his ignorance, "take your finger out of his mouth." An argument over a clock on a bus gets semi surreal and very loud mouthed
6.7 (November 17th 1960)
6.8 (December 1st 1960) - NP wants to buy an engagement ring from a camp jeweller and his assistant Clarence. An overage lad throws bricks at NP's car, but dad (AH) is "willing to forget it,"- nice punchline. In court magistrate NP judges tramp AH, "stop this ridiculous nonsense"
6.9 (December 8th 1960)
6.10 (December 15th 1960)
6.11 (December 22nd 1960)
6.12 (December 29th 1960) - NP wants a new record but finds this shop where they still sell cylinders. Then NP's wallet is nicked, AH is "a secret policeman," you can see the punchline a mile off. Two removals men are delivering a (flimsy) bureau to NP's home. It has to be hoisted in through an upstairs window, but NP is the one hoisted, "I can't hold on much longer"
6.13 (January 5th 1961) - AH's pal's head's locked in a huge box, Arthur must get him to a locksmith, but "he's not coming inside" this bus. Then AH is an Old Etonian, there's another, NP, who admires Arthur's medals and his doubtful memories of the war. At the end, Arthur bids everyone a happy new year
7.1 (March 30th 1961) - Main sketches: NP is a Saville Row tailor, goaded by a mere coalman into selling him a suit, "keep your dirty filthy hands to yourself." A nice study in class distinction. Dr NP doubts if Arthur is entitled to sick pay, as he's not ill. Arthur offers to sell his organs to make money, but this ends very very predictably
7.2 (April 6th 1961)- two rather weak sketches, the first with AH selling poor barman NP a "bargain" telly for £2, but there are lots of hidden extras. Then NP plays a "general" in a first class railway compartment, shared with a tramp with an alleged war wound, "will you please shut up?" Irritation in comedy can overflow into the real thing, as here
7.3 (April 13th 1961) - NP helps a trapped worker in a sewer who can't get out of a manhole as a Mini is parked over it, "utterly ridiculous." Of course it's AH who owns the car. A tramp knocks at NP's door," you don't want anything?" NP asks him incredulously. It seems Arthur is a carol singer, out of season too
7.4 (April 20th 1961) - AH wants to send a telgram to his Uncle Bert who cannot read. He's deaf too. Behind the Post Officve counter, NP finds Arthur's demands "ridiculous," with a good punchline. Next NP is a barman selling cigarettes to AH. Finally NP is the "bloke wot dishes out the money," AH asks him for it, so he can buy himself a new suit for his audition with the London Symphony Orchestra- as a ukulele player/ To NP's increased anger, AH sings the blues
7.5 (April 27th 1961) - The lift at Danescroft Lodge is filled with this table that removal men AH and Leslie are delivering. Posh NP is forced to wedge in under the table, "don't be so utterly stupid." Other passengers are crammed in, "you can't squeeze any more in." An old chesnut, but well done. Better than the other main sketch, a posh vicar (NP) in his Rolls picks up a man whose head is bandaged (AH). A con trick and when Arthur starts singing there's almost a crash. One nice in-joke, "remember Tubby Leeman?" Arthur asks, a reference to their producer
7.6 (May 4th 1961) - Arthur is in charge of a cup final turnstile, NP can't get through as a fat lady is stuck. Then NP is behind a Post Office counter, Arthur wants to send a parcel on the cheap. Then Arthur is in the House of Commons in order to see the MP for Ealing. His secretary (NP) patiently explains about the new tax allowances, "we do not bung this money in our pockets"
8.1 (September 16th 1961) - Arthur wants to get into the cinema for an OAP's cut price ticket, but manager NP refuses, "ridiculously unreasonable... will you please keep quiet for a moment?" A late passenger on the train is carrying an enormous pipe which he stuffs into a crowded compartment, NP: "you can't bring a sewer pipe into a railway carriage." Slapstick fun as a small passenger and then NP himself get trapped inside the pipe
8.2 (September 30th 1961) - 1943: a daring wartime escape, of sorts. Arthur's dad protests outside No10, "keep moving," orders policeman NP. Arthur is conductor of a night bus, which NP boards carrying a large box- what's inside?
8.3 (October 14th 1961) - 1942: adrift in a raft, the supreme sacrifice, well almost. A tramp calls at the posh Chelsea residence of NP. "Infernal cheek," Arthur has used NP's address for his letters, and even his phone number. PC Haynes books barman NP. Finally, Arthur is fishing in a drain for a two shilling piece. Noyes falls in the muck and mire, and of course toff NP follows him in
8.4 (October 28th 1961) - Sixpence is what Arthur demands as a toll from motorist NP, somehow the bill is increased to ten bob. Arthur's dog in a train scares fellow passenger NP, ten pounds sees him safe. Then, NP is in charge of a road widening scheme and has to remove a group of statues. Arthur objects, "you're talking utter nonsense," NP echoes his favourite line
8.5 (November 11th 1961) - Barber Arthur has to shave NP who's understandably worried about Arthur's shaky hand. NP gets even more alarmed when Arthur calls in his assistant, shortsighted, "once he finds your face nothing can go wrong." Even worse when the Guvnor is called in, he's drunk (typical cameo by Freddie Frinton). By contrast, the final sketch is not quite satire and not quite funny sadly: NP is MP for Ealing, quizzed over the Common Market by Arthur. "The Japanese will not be in the Common Market," NP assures the worried Arthur, who decides he's against it. A pound note finally rids the MP of his troublesome elector
8.6 (November 25th 1961)- A tramp hands a halfpenny he has found to the bemused vicar. Postman Arthur tries to beat a mad dog but NP berates him, insisting on being "a friend" to the dumb beast. He fails miserably, "look what it's done to my clothes." In the best sketch, NP is relaxing in his luxury home when firemen burst in to put out a non existent fire, untold damage, "there hasn't been any fire," repeats NP in an utter frenzy, superbly overacting
10.1 (February 13th 1962)- Two tramps in the park, AH nagging his pipe smoking wife on the park bench, "you're letting yourself go." Then Arthur plays a dentist with patient Jack Douglas whose tooth needs extracting. Awful for the squeamish to watch, unless you love dentists, "what do I need?" a baffled AH asks his assistant. His partner's no improvement as he's short and short sighted
10.2 (February 20th 1962)- Opening mime with AH was a waiter, nicely done. Then he's Sir Oscar, a consultant, diagnosing a patient with Sir Tony and Sir Peter, they can't agree, the sketch nearly but doesn't quite come off. Then the great Man Trapped in the Letter Box sketch
10.3 (February 27th 1962) - For a moment, Arthur is Maigret, then more mundanely a prison officer. A poor sketch has him as a bin man annoying customers in a posh restaurant, just a couple of good touches. By contrast, Arthur is sunbathing on the beach- a long mime with a weak punchline. Finally a sweep on a crowded train, slapstick with soot
10.4 (March 6th 1962)
10.5 (March 13th 1962)
10.6 (March 20th 1962)- A tramp wishes the vicar happy birthday, worming his way into his solo celebratory meal, but NP's interaction is sorely missed with too many silences in this sketch. Then burglar AH is trapped in a bedroom, the owners return, but he still nicks everything
10.7 (March 27th 1962)
10.8 (April 3rd 1962) - Arthur gets the giggles as PK Jones Dentist. The last train taxi driver sketch is too obvious. In a gag, Arthur's pen fails to work. Then a political confrontation between a by-election candidate and this unemployed man on sick pay which has been cut off
10.9 (April 10th 1962)
10.10 (April 17th 1962)
10.11 (April 24th 1962)
10.12 (May 1st 1962)
10.13 (May 16th 1962)
10.14 (May 23rd1962)
10.15 (May 30th 1962) - Dr Fayne advises AH that his wife is suffering from overwork and needs rest. But who will look after their eighteen children? There's a good pay off. Then a matrimonial dispute in court between AH and his "ratbag" wife (Patricia Hayes)
10.16 (June 13th 1962)
10.17 (June 27th 1962) - AH is a policeman who gatecrashes a party, cadging a glass of champagne, two glasses... five, plus a win at roulette. Then two tramps fall out over whiskey and their meal, "there was a sausage there," with a good finish
11.1 (possibly- December 1962) -In the opening show in a new series, a fascinating intro as Arthur congratulates the thin audience for turning out on such a foggy night. He has one scene with Nicholas Parsons as a solicitor who is looking into Arthur's alleged noble connections. Then he plays a burglar teaching new boy, Michael Caine, how to do it. Guest: Yana
11.3 (possibly) December 22nd 1962 A Christmas Special with Wendy Richard. Also in a sketch with Kenneth Griffith, Arthur plays a tramp feeding off the dustbins outside the Ritz.
12.1 (January 4th 1964) Marty Wilde sings Money. AH inspects his decorating work at number 10, as political satire it's not too funny, "anybody can be a Prime Minister." Then tramp AH has a brew-up aside NP's Rolls, with a sadly tedious conversation about National Assistance, NP ever indignant
12.2 (January 11th 1964) with the Dave Clark Five - a classic show with AH at the peak of his powers. NP is a doctor in a first class carriage, being pestered by AH's "tasteless remarks," including the TV series Your Life In Their Hands, "will you please be quiet." Then the two tramps report to the police (NP) the theft of fourpence ("fourpence!"). NP picks up Arthur's mispronounciation of "Mission Hut" like a real pro. But is it possible they could've spotted the train robbers?!
12.3 (January 18th 1964) Cheap scotch for sale, AH tells NP, "it's been pinched." NP doesn't realise from whom! Then official NP is brought a security warning by AH, whose head is full of James Bond, "ridiculous raving rubbish." Unfortunately this lacks a good punch line. As does the Harley Street sketch with NP a psychiatrist promoted with a knighthood. Two tramps annoy the patients, "you've got to be potty to come here," and they even upset even Sir Nicholas himself
12.4 (January 25th 1964) AH and NP are rival shopkeepers. Then NP is the boss, "one big happy family" with workers AH and Dermot Kelly. Do we all get "the same treatment?" A strike threat makes a few cutting points. Then AH and DK don't help "a big fat pig" stuck in a window, definitely not pc
12.5 (February 1st 1964) with Joe Brown - A camp AH sits on a plane next to NP, "keep your riddle to yourself." The pair at one point are trying to make each other laugh. Then two tramps argue with their landlady (Rita Webb) over the cost of "used water." They dress up in a vain hope of impressing a "hoity toity" lady
12.6 (February 8th 1964) with The Rolling Stones. AH delivers a heap of junk to the Post Office, manager NP gets very worked up, a few pointed jibes at unsolicited mail. Two tramps volunteer to join the special police, NP's response is, "you're joking." The sketch contains reference to Z Cars, AH doing a Dragnet impression, and "some Avengers stuff"
12.7 (February 15th 1964) - Another railway conversation, AH's rounded elocution baffles NP and us, "are you feeling all right?" Unusually surreal with some quirky moments. At Danescroft Bank two tramps insult a market stallholder, then want to open an account with tenpence, the finish has Dermot Kelly improbably dancing with Rita Webb Beatles- style
12.8 (February 22nd 1964) with Joan Savage
12.9 (February 29th 1964) with The Bachelors
12.10 (March 7th 1964) with Gerry and the Pacemakers
12.11 (March 14th 1964) with The Dallas Boys
12.12 (March 21st 1964) with The Vernon Girls
12.13 (March 28th 1964) with Kenny Ball
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The Army Game
Thankfully the surviving shows have all been released on dvd. Mixed reactions to the series nowadays, nostalgia certainly, poor scripts certainly, but just a few treasures, definitely.
Here's a contemporary account of the very first episode on June 19th 1957: "what a lovely bunch of characters these inhabitants of Nether Hopping are. The story line was a little thin but it really didn't matter. Sid Colin is so ingenious with his script that whatever his characters say or do they are bound to make you laugh because they are drawn so carefully. The camerawork was first class throughout and I'm sure this programme will set a fine example of how author director and cast work as a team. This show must run for many months to come." It certainly did!
Best episode: 5.8 The Kindest Man in Britain, that epitome of a sergeant, William Hartnell, is forced into being nice to everyone.
From the stories with Alfie Bass and Bill Fraser, 4.37 Out of This World is an almost surreal story with everything turned upside down.
Dud episodes: I'm afraid too many stories relied on corn, and the skill of the accomplished actors to bale the scriptwriters out. Particularly trite are 4.3 Snudge's Budgie, and 5.4 The Marshall's Baton.
It's a shame that so few of the earlier series with Michael Medwin have survived, for these laid the foundation for the show's success. From those surviving, it's difficult to see quite what all the excitement was about.
Spot the Star: fascinating to watch and see how many times Geoffrey Palmer has a walk on part in the programme. Sometimes he was even given a few lines.

Note: The girl who closed and opened the canteen door before and after the advertising break was Ann Taylor, who was also hostess on Spot the Tune.

The programmes below are listed in the order given with the Network dvds. However I have added some dates given in TV Times, which did sometimes give incorrect information, which may suggest a different running order. However TV Times often also failed to indicate the title of the story or provide anything more than a generalised cast list, so it is possible the Granada archive is the more reliable source here.

1.7 The Mad Bull (September 1957) - a gorgeous ten day break in the South of France is offered to the army's smartest, most proficient men. Hut 29 suddenly become so proficient Sgt Bullimore is puzzled. He decides Popeye is "off his chump" when he sees him chatting to a non existent girl, though he's supposed to be practising his French. A muddled scene follows between William Hartnell and Geoffrey Sumner that is beautifully performed, ending up with the major thinking it's the sergeant who has gone mad. So he calls in a psychiatrist (Frank Williams)
1.13 The New Officer -Lt ffinch, "a right Charlie" is put in temporary charge at Nether Hopping and finds Hut 29 "a bally disgwace." Can he make them "A1 toppers"? He vainly attempts 'Fire Dwill,' but ends up wegwetting it of course. Anthony Snell as ffinch enjoys a lovely part as the upper cwust officer, despite the odd fluffed gag, though it's a pity the comedy ideas rely so much on corn and slapstick
2.1 WRAACS - three extra beds are needed in Hut 29, but it turns out they're for three army girl privates. Some mice nearly get them evicted, and 'nearly' sums up this story which never quite exploits the situation, despite Sgt Bullimore being half propositioned by his opposite number
4.1 Snudge and Jimmy Goblin (October 1959) - A lucky mascot brings Snudge good luck as he becomes richer than "the dreams of average." In a slow starting story that gains momentum, Flogger convinces him the mascot is now cursed
4.2 Take Over Bid (advertised for Nov 13th 1959)- Farmer Harris offers £200 for the redundant Nether Hopping Camp, so Flogger invents the Happiness Universal Trust which offers £1,000. Brig Stubbs' brother in the City (William Mervyn) offers £2,000 and soon offers are at one million. The rival bidders meet at a most unusual board room conference, presided by Mr Bisley
4.3 Enter a Dark Stranger (advertised for Oct 9th 1959, first week of transmission for this series)- This must have been intended as the first of this series, for we are introduced to eager new recruit Dooley, whom the "monster" Snudge places in Hut 29, thinking he will improve them. But is he rich? Flogger and Botosie think so, then Snudge starts greasing up to him. But he ain't, and somewhere along the line the script misses the thread of the first good idea
4.4 Snudge's Budgie (advertised for Oct 16th 1959)- A feeble script in which Bisley gives Snudge's budgie its freedom, leading to the moribund Snudge mourning his loss, "gone and never called me father"
4.5 Where there's Smoke (advertised for Oct 30th 1959) - Is Snudge man enough to give up smoking? With Basher (Arthur Mullard), Flogger bets he can't, so to help tempt him, Bootsie is volunteered to become Snudge's "batsman." To keep him from smoking, Snudge puts on a hypnotism record (which clearly doesn't play), and after various inconsequential attempts to lure Snudge into a drag, Bisley gets hypnotised too
4.6 The Camera Never Lies (advertised for Oct 23rd 1959) - Snudge is after missing stores and Prof Spratt (David Nettheim) has filmed the lads in flagrante. Facing court martial, Flogger fiddles a bit of film trickery with his film The Secret Life of CSM Snudge, "me sir? Not never"
4.7 When the Poppies Bloom Again - Weasel (Brian Weske) is "poison," Flogger's ex-mate, and he buys poppies from Snudge at five bob each, and that lands Snudge inside. Best moment perhaps, is when Flogger gets Hut 29 to masquerade as desperate gangsters to try and scare Weasel
4.8 Miracle in Hut 29 (very probably shown Dec 25th 1959)- Flogger gambles the £20 kitty for the Children's Christmas Party... and loses. Hut 29 have to construct their own rather amateurish gifts, while Snudge and Pocket vie for the role of Santa. At the party, with lots of enthusiastic teenage extras, here comes Santa, "silence you 'orrible lot!" Other equally unlikely Santas appear, but then the real one, with real presents, and all ends aaah, so happily
4.9 Night Train to Itchwick (advertised for Nov 20th 1959)- Snudge joins the same express train as the lads, who are returning to camp without passes or tickets. Eric Barker as the ticket inspector as well as Snudge chase the miscreants up and down the corridors, so much so that Bisley's "nerves get goose pimples"
4.10 Officers and Gentlemen (advertised for Nov 27th 1959) - 'Major Bisley' has fallen for the delightful Penny (Thelma Ruby), so has to resort to elaborate substerfuge as "the contemporary Valentino" showing her round 'his' camp. Her ex-fiance interrupts a cosy tea, "Penelope, envelop me!"
4.11 Tiger Bisley (advertised for Dec 4th 1959) - Basher Briggs (Arthur Mullard) seems to have been painting a lot of actors' teeth black, for they have all gone to the dentist (John Glyn-Jones). Also there with the worst case ever of dentalphobia is Bisley, who, to be treated, is hypnotised. Remaining in this state, he's now a match for Basher and even in training for a fight against Butch Carver. Yet when he is at last de-hypnotised, Flogger's irregular betting patterns seem about to be exposed
4.12 Bisley Court Martial - Bisley is in court, accused of murdering Snudge. Major Price (Philip Latham) is the prosecuting counsel, while only Cpt Pockett is to defend Bootsie. In flashbacks we see how it happened in the NCO's Ablutions, it's all a bit too serious, until a splendid scene when Flogger gives his distorted rose tinted version. In the end Bisley comes clean as the script tails off again. (Note- ref to 4.4, suggesting this story might possibly be placed earlier in this list)
4.13 Long Walk - 5am and Hut 29 are back from the dogs, "gotcher," cries Snudge grimly. However Cpt Pocket believes Flogger's hopeful tale that they were on a long distance walk. Thus they are volunteered for the Birmingham to London walk, Snudge to accompany so the lads don't cadge a lift down the M1. There's an odd scene with a huge map before Snudge is given the slip. Also in this story: Geoffrey Palmer, Robert Dorning and Reginald Marsh
4.14 Happy New Year - Hut 29 are brewing whiskey of a sort, which they raffle off. New recruit Jock (Fulton Mackay) has brought the real stuff to celebrate "Mahogany" which Snudge bags as his raffle prize. In a weak story the lads devise ways of retrieving the real Scotch stuff. Watch out for a glimpse of Anthony Booth, and Geoffrey Palmer even sings one line!
4.15 The Invisible Man - Leonard Bone was in the pub when he should've been on guard duty. Flogger invents his twin brother Gerald Bone to try and get him off, this Man Who Never Was making Snudge suspect something "double dodgy" is going on
4.16 The Bowler Hatting of Pocket - "There's going to be some changes made... real discipline," shouts Captain Strickley (Martin Benson, evidently enjoying his part). It's enough to make Hut 29 worried, even Snudge, "now I know what Napoleon felt when he was sent to St Helens." Flogger "makes the necessary arrangements" to discredit Strickley but in a bit of slapstick is outmanoeuvred. However Pocket's 100% proof elderberry wine sees off the belligerent captain
4.17 The Soft Life - That well known Mayfair decorator Humphrey Hetherington (a camp Dick Emery) does an "arty crafty" makeover on "mildewy" Hut 29. Thus the lads now live in the lap of luxury, tea in bed in the morning, that sort of thing. Snudge however has not never seen the like. This is a fine theme for a plot, but it could have been even better developed
4.18 Son of Snudge - One of the best Army Game stories. Snudge returns from a psychology course having picked up new disciplinary ideas. Here's an enjoyable parody of 60's culture as he's no longer, argues Bootsie, "all lovely and orrible." Instead the amateur psychologist scolds his charges, "you've been naughty boys!" The lads look on rather blankly. His new approach is allegedly based on that eminent psychiatrist "Fred," and Hut 29 have never had it so good as Snudge tries to be like a father to his men. To teach him a lesson Bootsie deliberately behaves like a five year old (not a difficult job for him) as he goes to Snudge's home as his "son." Mrs Snudge (Marjorie Rhodes) fawns over him and 'daddy' tells him a goodnight story in a magnificently surreal scene as Bootsie lies in bed cuddling his teddy and his puppet doll that closely resembles Snudge. With mummy and daddy away at the pictures (a nice little take off of cinema making fun of tv only in reverse), Flogger enjoys celebrating Bootsie's sixth birthday with a lively party with nice grown up girls
4.19 A Rocket Called FRED - Fanshaw's Robot Explosive Device, destined for Woomera, ends up at Nether Hopping, and it's "terribly dangerous." Cpt Pocket's lecture on the rocket is little help for the lads who are ordered to fire it: "what's that ticking noise?"
4.20 Don't Send My Boy to Prison - Peanuts Perry (Bernard Cribbins) has escaped from prison and selected Hut 29 for his hideout. But a ten mile walk followed by spud bashing and Snudge out to make him Roasted Peanuts convinces him prison must be better than this
4.21 A Piece of Cake - Cpt Pocket wants to reconcile Hut 29 with CSM Snudge with a presentation cake, but Len and Bootsie inadvertently eat it, so "the spontaneous demonstration of affection" falls flat. Len bakes a replacement cake to which the vengeful Bootsie adds mahogany varnish with other goodies like Plaster of Paris. (Note: despite credits, Mario Fabrizi not in this)
4.22 Never Volunteer- " Wanted: volunteers for British Antarctic base and Snudge tricks Hut 29 into thinking they are to be film star Marilyn's bodyguard sending them on an experience they "won't never forget." As volunteers must have a criminal record, Flogger & Co try to provoke Snudge who refuses to bite. Snudge is a Twirp scrawls Bisley in an especially daft scene but great fun as the pair silently face each other out. Robbing Cpt Pocket's safe also fails miserably
4.23 A Marriage Has Been Arranged - Maisie is engaged to Merriweather, possibly so Hut 20 can bag the new married quarters, but Snudge is after it too, and approaches an estate agent (Dick Emery) about it. When Bootsie helps the shy Merriweather propose, he seems now engaged to her, then Flogger is. But "the picture of loveliness" settles for her old flame Fred (Brian Rawlinson)
4.24 The Good Old Days - A malingering Bootsie goes delirious and dreams he's betting on the Battle of Waterloo, then he gets transported to 1066, as part of the Arrow Squad in pursuit of William the Conk (John Wood), finally joining Pocket the ideal Boadicea against the invasion of Britain by Caesar, "et tu Bootsie," who has to be thrown to the Lyons, "Barbara, don't eat me!" A really imaginative script
4.25 A Question in the House - Over-the-top story of an MP (Donald Morley) who investigates cruelty that Hut 29 have written to him about. But, as that "fiend in human shape" Sgt.Snudge demonstrates, they make him look "a proper nana". Perhaps that's one thing an MP is capable of
4.26 The Claude Snudge Story - In this take-off of This is Your Life, Paul Carpenter plays 'Enoch Anderson' the host, relating Snudge's life story. The basis is his autobiography which has "not witheld no punches." His old headmaster praises him as "the cleverest boy I ever taught," until he realises he's talking about Snudge, who he concludes, was "unteachable"! A policeman calls him a "lazy layabout," and Col Jack Scarface Howard relates the day Snudge threw grenades at him. No wonder Snudge describes telly as "invented to fill the minds of vacant idiots... the screen of Satan"
4.27 April Fool - Snudge tricks Hut 29 with a promise of beer, so they of course try to get their own back. April Fool's Day gives good scope for plenty of practical jokes until Brigadier Statfold calls to ask Snudge to be his new RSM. But alas, Snudge thinks the man's a phoney and grossly insults the brigadier, "get your hair cut"
4.28 Goodnight Ladies - A sergeant and three privates are put up for the night, but noone realises they are women. Hut 29 is their resting place, and the lads returning from a night at the dance find "bints in the billet." The audience laughs a lot, to the climax when mice are pushed into the hut to eject the girls. Barbara Hicks plays the sergeant, proving what a fine comedy foil she was
4.29 One of the Lads - New recruit the Rt Hon Featherstonehaugh (Terence Longdon) his to mix with the "ribble rubble" of Hut 29. Snudge adopts a fawning attitude to his lordship, enabling the new boy to trick Snudge in helping Hut 29 to try and get out of camp. However none of his plans, like the recreation of The Wooden Horse, are at all successful
4.30 Holding the Baby - Back from London, Bisley has somehow acquired a baby which makes the most unrealistic baby noises you're ever likely to hear. Hut 29 get "lumbered" until the mother is found. Cpt Pocket's in-tray is useful as a cradle, though Snudge smells something "double dodgy". The plot is over complicated with a brigadier's inspection with Snudge accused of being the father when alleged mum Lucy is questioned. Best moment is when Rita Webb chats inconsequentially with Bootsie, asking him how he gets his washing so white. I also liked Snudge's attempt to soothe baby to sleep, "1- 2- silence!"
4.31 Penpals Anonymous - Bootsie is enjoying being miserable cos of Snudge, who is also feeling very lonely. Both decide to get a pen pal and coincidentally correspond with each other. The time comes to meet up, but it is hardly a success
4.32 Are You Receiving Me? - "Biggest ham in the district," Claude Snudge beginneth the first lesson on Wireless Telegraphy for Hut 29. They trick their teacher into thinking he's heard an SOS in this ever more tedious story
4.33 The Efficiency Expert - The brigadier (Jack Melford) appoints civilian Snape (Ronnie Stevens) to make Nether Hopping more efficient. Parades cancelled, and fatigues in what Snudge regards as "civilian flim-flammery." At first Hut 29 are all in favour, but when their work is sped up, "a dodgy trick" is needed. The new army trade union calls a strike
4.34 Bull By the Horn - So "diabolical" is Bootsie's trumpet playing, that Snudge ticks him off with, "you ain't no Phyllis Calvert." To impress the brigadier (Alexander Archdale), Bootsie is ordered to learn all the army bugle calls, being given the job of sounding reveille at 6am. By 9.30 all is still quiet. Note- there's a topical reference to that month's wedding of Princess Margaret
4.35 A Touch of the Other - Prisoner Bisley is guilty of writing 'orrible things on the wall. Operation Larceny nicks secret documents from Cpt Pocket's safe and makes Snudge believe Bisley has fled with them to Russia and Nikita. Snudge: "she's not only foreign, she's bald." Rumbling the plot, Snudge tries counter trickery and gets locked in the safe
4.36 The Feud - This starts poorly but builds up into a plot leaving you wanting more. Fisticuffs with the choirboys, but Bisley has run off so he is handed the white feather and sent to Coventry "like a Pariah Heep." And all because he'd promised his mum he wouldn't fight. There's a good scene with Bisley and Snudge eyeing each other, in their minds entertaining kind thoughts of the other. On an Open Day, the vicar (John Sharp) and his "unusual" choirboys, including 'Boy Soprano' (Arthur Mullard) tour round and have a punch up in Hut 29, and that gets Bisley's wild up
4.37 Out of This World - Was Bisley intended for this world? asks Snudge. As Bisley stokes the coke in the boiler he turns into the first man to go to the moon. A US General (Lionel Murton) has found the man to make that journey, "the cream of humanity," though Snudge later objects, "you're not even the sour milk." "I've done it," cries Bootsie, as he lands on the moon, but soon realises, "I want to go home." The inventive script introduces him to a moon man, Nel, who is Ted Lune alias Len, for everything up here is back to front. That includes Egduns, who crowns Bisley as a general, and as the top brass, Bisley has to do all the menial tasks, for everything is, as remarked, back to front. Of course it's only a dream, but I just loved those absurd space suits
4.38 Emergency Hut 29 - Bootsie catches flu, malingerin' claims Snudge, who then goes down with it himself. In isolation, it's all but the Bootsie and Snudge show. Bisley "ebbs away" and is wheeled away by Dr Flogger
5.1 The Return of the Pig (September 1960) - Opening story of the final series about Cynthia, the major's pet pig
5.3 The Do-Gooders - Hut 29 is in the dock for gambling. Cpt Pocket pleads with the magistrate: "they come from a broken hut." Brother Catchpole sees the light after hearing the testimony of Geoffrey Hibbert. The others decide that "if you can't beat em, join em." Except the suspicious Sgt Bullimore
5.4 The Marshall's Baton - As part of his education lecture, which Hut 29 are ordered to "enjoy," Cpt Harbottle brings a field marshall's solid gold baton. Major U-B puts it in his safe, but it ends up in his golf bag and even the pig swill. Best line: Awakening late from sleep, Catchpole sees Sgt Bullimore: "Marilyn, you've changed!"
5.5 Insurance - The visit of a newspaper investigating unhappiness in army camps, means all charges are suspended
5.6 It's in the Book - The major gets a shock when war memoirs by Major General Duffy Allington describe him as apathetic. He resolves to give up whisky and even Cynthia. "Alas, poor Cynthia, I knew her well," and other nice parodies of Shakespearian lines follow. Hut 29 have "gone to rack and ruin," and he tries to impose some discipline. To return things to normal Hoskins starts Operation Cynthia, in which the poor major believes the late Cynthia is haunting him. However his credentials are partly restored when fire officer Col Savage (Ballard Berkeley) is impressed by Hut 29's very unorthodox fire drill in which he is covered with sand and foam
5.7 Waltzing Matilda - Chubby Catchpole has no cards on his birthday, but then he receives a chiming watch, but it is really Sgt Bullimore's. The lads try to sort it out and after some odd muddles everyone is happy. Best moments are when several watches appear and the chiming tunes are wrongly identified
5.8 The Kindest Man in Britain - A masterpiece as Sgt Bullimore is unwittingly nominated by Hut 29 as The Kindest Man in Britain. Bullimore has to change character just a little!
Sergeant: " I'm cold and horrible."
Major: "You are the kindest man in Britain, that's an order!"
The Smiling Sergeant Major reads the newspaper headlines, as a news reporter (Keith Marsh) describes him "like a father to Hut 29." TV cameras record this unique phenomenon as an interviewer (Geoffrey Palmer) follows the Kindest Man around. His cover is blown when off camera he vents his true feelings, screaming "I'll roast you alive!"

5.10 (probably) Officer Material - Nice story of a directive sent asking for officer material. Somehow the lads get nominated and end up court martialling the poor old sergeant (William Hartnell)
5.13 The Artist - The Education Officer (Brian Oulton) arranges an Art Class which Hut 29 try to join for their own devious ends. To make it look genuine, Catchpole has to try and paint the sergeant.....

"Bootserella" - a panto from January 1960 showed in the variety series Chelsea at Nine - with Bill Fraser as an unlikely Fairy Godmother, Ted Lune as Prince Charming, and George (Skyport) Moon as Buttons. Also appearing Harry Fowler as the Mirror on the Wall, and Marion Ryan. Alfie Bass is the unattractive Bootserella who marries the gormless Prince
Menu

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Bootsie and Snudge
Alfie Bass and Bill Fraser starred. Clive Dunn played his archetypal old man, Johnson, while Robert Dorning as the Hon Sec ("Tup Tup") was my favourite! The only other slightly regular character was Charles Carson as the Chairman of the Imperial Club.
A pompous review of the first story (transmitted 23rd September 1960) claimed the scriptwriters "base all their visual - and most of their oral - gags on various forms of disability. No doubt this will have those who liked The Army Game falling over themselves with laughter. For myself I can only abhor the state of television comedy when it cannot rise above childish jokes and inane innuendoes.... there is very little to be said about Alfie Bass and Bill Fraser - they are obviously good businessmen otherwise they wouldn't agree to appear in a programme that lowers the standard of television comedy as much as this does." Anyway, what do critics know? This first programme came second in the national TAM ratings!

1 Civvy Street (Sept 23rd 1960)
"Stop sniggering at Snudge," now out of uniform, he can't give orders not no more. However he obtains a new post as Major Domo at the Imperial Club, and his number two is Bisley. Other staff are Meadows in the washroom and Old Johnson barman. Bootsie is taught Snudge's tipping ploy, "I'll be leaving you now sir." Paging Sir Hector Macdonald (AJ Brown) in the Reading Room - shhh!- ends in a further blunder, "you incompetent idiots"
2 Bootsie's Punctured Romance
Though Snudge has "wore pure," Bisley finds romance with new kitchen maid Greta (Sheila Hancock), and what's more she's prettier than Snudge. But true love does not never run smooth, mainly 'cos of Snudge. But at last "the marriage will take place," Snudge best man, even on the honeymoon. There's a running gag of inappropriate proverbs
3 Snudge's School Friend
"I've made something of myself," boasts Snudge, aged "39," once voted at school The Boy Most Likely To, but in comparison with Sir Hubert Smythe (Campbell Singer) aka Smelly Smith who's a huge financial success, Snudge feels inadequate. But Smythe is a swindler selling a gold mine to club member Tuttle. The story fizzles out
4 Watching Television
All evening Snudge and Bisley watch the tv in a shop window so the owner donates a set to them. But Old Johnson drops it, and the patched up box is repaired. Bisley has some fun getting the aerial in the correct position, somewhere on the edge of the roof. Everyone else can watch the football at 8.30, but is Bisley gonna commit suicide? A fireman (Geoffrey Palmer) comes to his rescue, but finding he's okay, joins the crowd viewing the match. A few nice tv jokes, like Panorama, "that bloke's so big"
5 A Day Off
Sunday morn is one "to savour," and this episode is an unusual mix of sentiment and fantasy. As Snudge and Bisley relax in bed, Snudge's main preoccupation is getting Bisley to make a cuppa. Bisley invents something and they speculate on its use to mankind. But with only two characters, the conversation only just about keeps going, and it seems Granada must have decreed, make a nice cheap programme with one set
6 The Beady Eye of the Little Yellow God
Major Reynolds is back from the East with an emerald, but is there a curse on it? Snudge certainly finds it is so, but the police are less convinced, in this unconvincing over the top tale
7 Of Mouse and Man
Here's Snudge chasing this mouse, which Bootsie has made a pet of, named Nikita. When the mouse is finally captured, "sentimental ninny" Snudge permits Bootsie to take it to the pet shop, where there's an eccentric owner (Patricia Hayes)
8 Doing the Step
Black Thursday is Bootsie's day to clean the front steps. He chats with an elderly newspaper boy, an Irish postman, and Arthur, the butcher's boy whose ambition is to be a murderer. Snudge has a brush with his aggressive dad. The sandwichboard man has the best part, a pity none of these actors are credited. It ends with a riot on the doorstep, and poor Bootsie's cleaning has all been undone
9 Cordon Bleu
Bootsie and Snudge have turn to waiting as the flu has struck, worse Johnson is the cook, even he doesn't like his own very revolting looking food. So a French chef Henri Rousseau (Alex Gallier) is engaged, he who gives everything "the touch of the master's hand." Actually it means Bootsie does all his work, resulting in wildly burnt Crepes Suzette
10 The Blind Date
The general theme and setting appears to owe much to Hancock's
The Big Night, though the treatment here is entirely Bootsie and Snudgian. It's Saturday. "I don't not know any girls," admits Snudge, but neither does Bootsie. However the girl on the telephone, Enid, is free, and her friend Rosemary'll do for Bisley, who has no suitable attire, so borrows Old Johnson's ancient suit. Snudge's teddy boy wig isn't quite right either. They are to meet the girls outside the Majestic, where Carry On Moses is showing. They mistake Arthur's beloved (Angela Douglas) for Enid, and Arthur (Arthur Mullard) is not amused. When the two girls do appear, they take a look at our boys and quickly disappear
11 Our Hearse
We've not never not had it so good, so to exemplify it Snudge sends Bisley to buy a £25 Rolls Royce. The seller is McMurtrie (a great cameo by Charles Lloyd Pack), an undertaker, resulting in a nice conversation at cross purposes
12 Locked in the Washroom
At eleven o'clock at night, the four staff get locked in the washroom, opportunity for inconsequential gags. One of the few goodish ones from the balding Snudge, "the roots of my hair must have a kip, so they have the strength to grow"
13 Bath Night
Friday Night is time for Snudge's weekly bath, but tonight "pop" goes the geyser. So he has to use Johnson's hip bath. Bootsie enjoys a "pensive" session with the old man, and later some idle chatter about habits and holidays. The finish is slapstick, a naked Snudge carried in his bath upstairs, but then found outside the club's front door by a policeman
14 Johnson's Retirement
It's Johnson's birthday, but Hon Sec has to break the bad news, his forced retirement. For a while this is genuine pathos until his long lost daughter Emily (Thora Hird) takes him home. But his "high old time" is in fact on the receiving end of her tyranny, and it's left to Bootsie to find a devious way of getting the old man back to the club
15 The Bachelor Party
Lord Possett's midnight stag night at the club is enlivened by a specially concocted punch by Bootsie and Snudge. It gets a little out of hand with a duel, but in between there are some nice observations on class distinctions
16 Barber Shop Quartet
Dave the barber (Warren Mitchell) gives his customers his views on unfunny tv comedy. Bootsie inadvertently takes a bet from Big Harry (Arthur Mullard) who tells him, "Lucky Devil, stick it up your nose," well something like that. When it wins, Harry wants his £20, and Bootsie has a close shave. Note though shown very early in 1961, it's interesting the Evening Clarion Bisley has is dated July 1960. Others appearing include Geoffrey Palmer as a policeman and George Tovey as the newspaper vendor
17 Claude Faust
As Snudge seems to be turning into "an old woman," he admits, "I wouldn't mind being a few years younger." John Hellfire (Ronald Fraser) offers Snudge his "standard contract" for youth, vitality etc, "have fun." This might have been typical black comedy from Marty Feldman's pen, it deserved better than merely jumping to the Day of Reckoning. But there are some happy touches before Bootsie's interceding saves Snudge from his eternal fate
18 Hathaway's Dotage
Normally it's Snudge who takes Lord Hathaway to the park "the high spot of his day." But even though "he don't know the 'ighway code," Bootsie is ordered to take him today in his bath chair. Here Bootsie finds romance but takes his lordship to Soho, and loses him. Return of the prodigal with Lila from a revue bar, his bride-to-be
19 The 'At Home'
"This place needs livening up," so cricketer Rev Pennyfeather (Barry Took) brings his club, actually a youth club (including one very overaged member George Tovey), for a tournament of billiards, ping-pong, darts etc. It finishes with some dated jiving and, Are You Being Served-like, a Morris Dance
20 There's No Smoke
In bed, our pair almost anticipate Morecambe and Wise, though this plot develops into a simple case of needing a late night fag, and the perils of finding one (no RD)
21 Mr. Magee
Wanderlust grabs Bootsie and he hands in his notice, going to throw in his lot with an old tramp. "Dream," scoffs Snudge, but he's jealous enough to lock Bisley in his room. But the prisoner escapes in a bit of slapstick, and learns the sadly inevitable facts of life. He returns to the club, "you don't not work here no more"
22 The Morning After
Could Snudge be " a fat fumfing thief?" He can't remember how he comes to have nearly a hundred pounds on his person, after a wild night on the tiles. There was a robbery in the area where he was, but thankfully he can get an alibi from the manager of the Shady Nook Striptease Club (John Blythe). Yes, this "halfpenny hoodlum" was there, but will the local bobby (Geoffrey Palmer) arrest Snudge? "Perhaps not," but a guilty Snudge burns the evidence before learning where all this cash came from
23 Old Hassett's Chair
Mr Hassett (Arthur Brough) has sat on his chair in the club from "time immoral." But as it's wobbly, Bisley saws the legs to size... too low a size, so that "he don't not want it." (Notes: the sign on his chair spells the name as Hasset. The date is given as Feb 6th, maybe the date of the vtr?)
24 A Game of Snooker
Bootsie needles Snudge into a snooker game one Saturday afternoon, "never seen such luck!" Note: the Daily Clarion seen in this story is similar to that used in The Army Game episode a few months earlier, with the headline The Kindest Man in Britain -Army Game, #5.8)
25 Snudge's Date
No doubt Snudge "stands out" when he goes out, but where to? Bisley follows him, "they're all gone potty." Destination Lilly, a posh lady (Betty Baskcomb), who is a kindred soul, "you aren't not like other men." Rather sad really that Bootsie comes between them
26 Bank Robber
Sob story from a bank robber (George Tovey), who leaves most of the proceeds at the club. To No Hiding Place music, Bootsie and Snudge deduce that the Hon Sec is the boss, leading to a ludicrous cross examination of their suspect. Dept Insp Henderson (Arnold Bell) clears the case up. Snudge also has a try at imitating Inspector 'Migraine'
27 Once a Thief...
The unseen Meadows has left the Imperial, and Bisley persuades the Hon Sec to give his job in the washroom to ex-prisoner Ernie Jarvis (Geoffrey Hibbert). This becomes a sad and obvious story of suspicions against an ex-thief, though fortunately the mood lightens when all the staff have their faults to confess. (Appearing as the judge at the start is actor Roger Williams)
28 Morning Surgery
Dr B Mullins' waiting room has distinguished visitors, Patricia Hayes, Pat Coombs and Edward Malin. Plenty of medical jokes, a jibe at NHS shirkers, well acted, but in the end a little too rambling
29 The Moth Hunt

30 The Cemetery

31 Old Comrades

32 How to Win Friends

33 Days Fishing

34 The Launderette

35 The Concert Pianist
Bootsie admires a bust of famous pianist "Lipst" (Liszt). "Put a 10 gallon hat on 'im," adds Snudge satirically, "and 'e looks like Maverick!" This is a touching character study by Barry Took and Marty Feldman of a retired concert pianist called Anton Borovik ("and His Harmonica Rascals?"! queries Snudge). Anton is trying to practise for a comeback, but whilst Bisley plays Chopsticks for him, it looks as though "he don't want to play no more." Some nice sequences as Old Johnson sings at the piano, then Mr Montague Bisley dreams of his own concert prowess as he plays "Nocturne in Opus 2 by Lipst in Flat B." Then Snudge, who believes "in hiding my light on in a burning bush" shows Bootsie the way with his hearty rendition of "Ain't She Sweet." After this interlude, since Bisley has some strange "rappaport" with Anton, he tries to give him confidence to play at the grand concert....One of the classics of the series
36 A Night Out

37 Rally Round the Flag
June 2nd is a flag day and the guest star Honor Blackman encourages generous giving
38 Visiting Time

39 The Holiday
Off on a staff treat on the Romney Marshes there's topical conversation en route on the inefficiency of the railways and speculation such as did Yuri Gagarin have a corridor on his rocket?! A "nightmare" journey in the cold ends at Appledore in the sidings- "we've been shunted!" Out into the blizzard and a walk through the snow to their deserted destination, a fascinating set of railway tracks at a cardboard station

2.1 Room for Improvement
A new bedroom for the boys, they each decorate their own half, but the attempted slapstick is "a shambles"
2.2 The Trone System (Note- though this is the episode on the Network dvd, it looks more likely to me to be #1.40 Back Pay)
For all these years Old Johnson hasn't been paid anything in cash, he's been living off tips. "Justice will be done," decrees Bootsie, and after a stirring speech, engages Mr Carver, a solicitor (Keith Pyott). The Hon Sec explains that it is Snudge who is responsible for Johnson's pay. Snudge has to agree to have £5 a month deducted from his pay, but since Bootsie owes Mr Carver's fee of 20gns and Johnson has to pay all his back tax, no-one's happy, "this is a terrible injustice!"
2.3 Night Cap
One of those rambling episodes as the boys late at night share their dreams, and the brandy, except Snudge never gets his whack, "I don't ask much out of life"
2.4 Goodbye World
2.5 Return to Dingle Bottom
2.6 The Sec's Good Books
2.7 Higher Purpose
2.8 The Second, Second World War
2.9 The Day the World Ended
2.10 Baby on the Doorstep
2.11 A Seat in the Stalls
2.12 British Railways Regrets
2.13 A Nice Quiet Saturday Afternoon
2.14 Bootsie and the Beast
2.15 Drought at the Imperial
2.16 Call for Claude Snudge
2.17 A Day by the Sea
2.18 Punch Up at the Imperial
2.19 Fire Drill
2.20 Trapped in the Safe
2.21 Son of Bespoke Overcoat
2.22 A Dog's Life
2.23 A Load of Old Rubbish
2.24 The Coffee Machine
2.25 The Cellar
2.26 Spring, Spring, Spring
2.27 Locked Out
2.28 Rear Window
2.29 Lover's Knot
3.17 Being Nice to Bootsie (March 7th 1963)
Frothing, that's what Bootsie is doing- it's distemper decides Snudge, though later he equates it with some disease of camels. The doctor prescribes Be Nice to Bisley, the result being an attempt at slapstick, with flour and eggs
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Aggie (1955/6)
starring Joan Shawlee as an American fashion buyer who travels the world.
Producer: Michael Sadlier. Made at Nettlefold Studios.
The series premiered in Britain on ATV London on Saturday September 15th 1956 at 3.45pm.

A cinema release was made up of three episodes entitled Born for Trouble. As well as Joan Shawlee, the cast included Peter Reynolds, Greta Gynt, Elizabeth Allan, Stephen Boyd, Peter Illing, Bill Nagy, and Harold Kasket. I am not sure which three episodes were selected, one was probably #22 London Story, but the writers were given as Doreen Montgomery and Derek Frye, Desmond Davis as director. Anyone seen any sight of this film?

16 Diamond in the Rough
Aggie Anderson is in Amsterdam to buy some costume jewellery. At the Red Windmill, she is shown a laboratory where a process turns low grade stones into precious blue and white diamonds. She takes a sample to an expert who says it is genuine.
Back at her hotel, Aggie takes a meal with Charles, a food freak who advises her, "your skin is dying," what she needs is a change of diet. They are interrupted by Susan (Pauline Drewett) who spins a tale about her dad, but that it's untrue is soon clear, when he, widower Colonel Remington, comes in, and apologises on her behalf. "Why don't you marry her?" Susan asks bluntly.
After more discussion with Charles on cannibalism, and more yarns from Susan, crooks demand to know where the diamond has come from. Aggie is forced to take them to the windmill, though thankfully Susan warns her father, who however dismisses it as yet another of Susan's stories. So she borrows his gun and makes for the windmill. Here the crooks admire this new invention that makes diamonds, and plan to "barbecue" poor Aggie. Hands up, cries Susan, who spins the crooks another yarn. They grab her, but the colonel, worried his daughter is missing, has arrived to knock the villains out. Susan explains, with a good line from her dad, "my daughter always tells the truth."
It transpires the valuable diamond has turned back to its former state, the process was all a scam, so a disillusioned Aggie returns to her hotel, where she refuses to stick to Charles' new vegetarian diet
20 The Man Who Forgot (16mm film) with Ferdy Mayne, Michael Balfour and Leonard Sachs

For
episode details of this British made series, please go to the Classic TV archive . . . Main Comedy Menu

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Glencannon (1957)
My reviews of:
3
Double Double Deal and Trouble
14 The Masked Monster
17 The Rolling Stone
23 Stardust and Corn
29 The Artful Mr Glencannon
35 Captain Snooty of the Yacht
. . . . . . . . . 39 films starring Thomas Mitchell about old seafaring Glencannon, Chief Engineer of a freighter which has adventures in every port around the world. But most of the filming was done at Elstree. Patrick Allen was co-star, whilst other regulars in most of the stories were Barry Keegan, and Charles Carson. Several others had occasional roles, including John Gabriel and Lally Bowers. Georgie Wood played Svenson the ship's cook, but admitted "the producer held the theory that too many cooks spoil the ship or that cooks should be smelt and not seen." The widowed mother of the original creator of Glencannon, Guy Gilpatrick promised "When I have seen them, my life will be complete." What did she utter after seeing them, I wonder. For the reception the stories got was generally unimpressive. "Australia really loves it... California really loathes it!" Georgie Wood claimed. "Imagine my horror," wrote critic Guy Taylor. "I suppose one must admire the producers for attempting a series with humour - but the result is like a soggy cake which simply refuses to rise. It lacks inventiveness, production idea and the script is appalling." This critic had seen the first story screened on A-R London, which was 30 "Love Story." Anyway, with a verdict like that, it was back to the drawing board for Gross-Kassne Ltd.
A modern verdict from Colin Smith concurs: "I have to say the best thing about this struggling series was the theme song. It did not stand up very well and came across as a sort of Sergeant Bilko goes to Sea, as Glencannon spends the most part of the episodes scheming. Thomas Mitchell was a good character actor but in Glencannon he is somewhat overbearing with his Scottish accent. Perhaps it seemed more entertaining in the late fifties, but viewing it now I have to admit to being disappointed." Certainly today, it's something of a curiosity, for it was that rare attempt to put a tv comedy series on to film. Originally there was no canned laughter, but some prints were later re-edited to warn you when you were supposed to laugh. If nothing else, Glencannon included some fine performances from guests such as: Jon Pertwee in the title role of Champagne Charlie, Jack Train in Man with a Mermaid, John Laurie as the late Mr MacCrummon in The Loving Cup, Alfie Bass in The Ancient Mariner, Irene Handl in Three Lovesick Swains of Gibraltar, Warren Mitchell in The Yogi of West Ninth Street, Rupert Davies as a Russian in The Ailing Turtle, Arthur Lowe as The Mean Man of Genoa and Reginald Beckwith in The Wailing Lady of Limehouse.
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3 Double Double Deal and Trouble
Casablanca- Glencannon is late returning from shore leave. There he is, being chased by police! Montgomery, perhaps kindly, knocks him out, and drags him on board the Inchcliffe Castle.
Next morning, Glencannon is catching up on his sleep. is this an evil spirit come to haunt him? No it's his double, the man Montgomery flattened, "never seen anything to equal this." The double is Harry Mork, ex-Marines, now on the run, he's gotta get to Genoa.
Glencannon thinks up a money making scheme...
Mork is the chief engineer on a US ship. "I'm gonna have you pinched," he tells poor Montgomery, after his reckless action. And he'll do the same to the owners of the ship. Glencannon proposes to Captain Ball that they placate Mork by taking him where he wants to go, to Genoa. Mork coughs up his £30 fare, that includes a bit on the side for Glencannon.
"I don't trust him," Bosun Hughes confides, but actually both rogue doubles are trying to doublecross each other.
At Marseilles, the Inchliffe docks, Glencannon flogs Mork his naval uniform, but planning also to turn him in for the reward money. But in fact Hughes has shown enterprise of his own and turned him in, is that Glencannon or Mork that the police now hold in custody? Even the police are confused. And Johnny Hughes can't tell 'em apart either. Bribery, that's in character for Glencannon, that will sort 'em out. But both men are equally devious here, so then Hughes defines one infallible test, only one of them can pass this one, play the bagpipes!

(review of a 16mm film print)
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14 The Masked Monster

Newspaper headlines read "Masked Monster - Another Victim".
Glencannon's nephew Duncan (Percy Herbert) has taken up wresting as the above named character, and he's so good he's bound to win.
So Glencannon bets on him, so of course he loses, but even worse injuring poor Glencannon. He is suffering so much that he threatens to sue Daninos, the owner of the ring (Sydney Tafler). This is another scheme doomed to failure, but Daninos persuades him to do some smuggling for him. Glencannon however has other plans.
"Everyone gets what he deserves in the end," he pronounces philosphically

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17 The Rolling Stone
On his birthday in Tangier, Glencannon is depressed because he's nearly broke and his 108 year old Uncle Jock (Tony Simpson) shows no signs of dying. "If he doesn't die soon, there'll be nothing left to inherit." At least, his two cousins, Duncan (Percy Herbert) and Douglas (Rufus Cruickshank) are tricked into signing over their share of any fortune. Thus "he feels wonderful" on board ship as he looks forward to seeing Uncle Jock again. "A bolt from the blue," a villager tells Glencannon when he gets near home. He assumes it's death at last and buys a tombstone for the old boy. But the prices of the dealer (Peter Maddern) at the Milngavie Junkyard moderate his transports, and he purchases for ten bob a rusty anchor. How about this epitaph?- "Here rots the bones of Jock Glencannon, Whom grim death from us took..." However it turns out Jock only nearly died, and he believes a bird has saved his life. So he's altering his will in favour of the Rehabilitation and Retirement Centre for Stray Birds! But Glencannon is not going to be "cut out of my inheritance for a suicidal bird," and he puts a macaw into Jock's home which promptly chews Jock's pound notes. "I'll no be changin' me will," cries an angry Jock. But "it's love at first sight" for him, in the storyline we'd always anticipated. He's to wed an even older lady who claims to have the secret of everlasting life

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The Artful Mr Glencannon

As he paints the ship, Glencannon is discussing with Johnny that famous painter 'Mike Angelo.' I'm afraid that sums up the level of humour here.
To a London dockyard warehouse Glencannon rushes, when he hears that Alec Mackinstry is actually going to pay him the money he is owed. Nightwatchman Higgins (Alfie Bass) shows him round the place, and admits he has covetous eyes on a 4ft by 10ft painting of La Nymphe, a scantily clad lady. Feeling sorry for the old chap, Glencannon subtly alters the firm's inventory so Higgins can take the painting home to keep.
Then the picture is disguised as a ping pong table to smuggle it out of the dockyard. However when a storm brews, the new paint that covers this old masterpiece is washed off and a crowd gathers to admire his lovely lady's portrait.
Alec admits that this has all been an elaborate hoax to sell the painting to the model, who sat for it twenty years ago. Her husband is willing to pay £60. Glencannon sniffs a scheme of his own and 'Picasso' Glencannon makes his own likeness of La Nymphe, "not bad."
That model Millie Farnsworth (June Ellis) lives in Mulgrave Square and is keen to buy it, but the ruse is exposed when Mackinstry brings along his picture. Which is the forgery? "I'll tell you which is me," Millie declares, obviously Glencannon's as her figure is much slimmer in his picture!

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35 Captain Snooty of the Yacht
with Clive Morton in the title role

In Antibes, Glencannon is splashing out on one thousand franc lunches, for he has espied a moneymaker, a spinning top. It's a free giveaway from 5 Oceans Foods, and Glencannon knows how to use it well. The crew are soon hooked, "you just do what the top says," whether it's PUT TWO, ALL PUT, or the one you want TAKE ALL. Glencannon has soon grabbed everyone's money.
"A delicate experiment" enables the top to read whatever Glencannon wants. Now he needs a sucker. A "paperfaced heavyweight" is Cmdr Sugden (Clive Morton) owner of a yacht moored in the same harbour. He's an irascible fellow, at present fuming about the coal dust emanating from Incliffe Castle that is sending dust all over his nice yacht. Glencannon sends him packing, a bucket on his napper, but is that wise?
For Castle (John Baron, sic) of 5 Oceans Foods is sending his assistant Virgil Hazlitt (John Gabriel) to investigate a complaint from their best customer, one Sugden.
Glencannon preempts his sacking by resigning. Now he's free to take his own action against 'Captain Snooty.' Bluffing his way on to the yacht, he pretends to be a wealthy restaurant owner who will blacklist Sugden's products. Sugden offers $5,000 compensation, but this is refused. Instead "I'll spin you for it." Sugden is renowned for his good luck, so he agrees. And loses. And loses. "That's the 73rd consecutive pot you've won!" A lesser man would have suspected foul play, but gambling fever must have grabbed Snooty. The stakes are only interrupted when Hazlitt turns up, but even he can't halt the frenzy.
Having fetched more cash from the bank, the challenge is renewed next day. Half a million up, and Glencannon wangles it so he gets back his old job for life. But he knows not when to stop. One final fling, a million dollars. Snooty has finally worked out how Glencannon keeps winning. "It worked!" he cries. "My luck's come back to me." Glencannon takes his loss philosophically.
A story full of holes, perhaps not writer Basil Dawson's finest

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World of Wooster -
The BBC's triumphant success in bringing the PG Wodehouse stories to life,
starring Ian Carmichael as Bertie and Dennis Price as Jeeves.
It would be unfair to compare the series with the later more lavishly made LWT masterpiece with Fry and Laurie, but this Michael Mills production has its own period style and moves at a lively pace. Carmichael was much better than I had remembered as the rather stuttering Bertie Wooster, whilst Dennis Price surely had the finest role of his career.

The Delayed Exit of Claude and Eustace -
Bertie's cousins Claude (Timothy Carlton) and Eustace (Simon Ward) have to "pinch things to get elected" and so it comes about that Bertie is given the caps and a topper they have snaffled.
An unfortunate time for teetotal and general all round kill-joy to call, Sir Humphrey ("janitor in some sort of loonybin"). He's rather irritable today, as someone had snatched his hat, and even more annoyed when he spots said article on Bertie's hatstand. Bertie had wanted to keep in his good books as he's after the fair Marian, Sir H's daughter.
Aunt Agatha (the wonderful Fabia Drake) is proposing to ship the errant Claude and Eustace off to SA and requests, or rather orders, Bertie to look after them until their ship departs.
2am and the three are out on the town! Claude finds his "soulmate" whilst Eustace also meets his "affinity", and both are named Marian! With love in the air they simply cannot emigrate, and adopt disguises to avoid detection. Marian becomes "worn to a shadow" with their attentions- it's more than time for Jeeves to don his thinking cap!
Next day Bertie awakes to a "pip pip" from Claude. He's straight off to SA. "Cheerie-bye," adds Eustace- they're both chasing after Marian, who they understand is going to SA. Or at least that's the impression Jeeves had given them. Effusive thanks from Bertie.

Indian Summer of an Uncle (surviving fragment) - Mrs Wilberforce (Beryl Reid) is a guest at Bertie's dinner. "Hello you old crook," she breezily greets Jeeves. Bertie's other companion is Lord 'Piggy' Yaxley, who turns out to be an old friend of the good lady. "Like deep calling to deep," they happily exchange details of their ailments just like "a sick parade"

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The Larkins (ATV)
This comedy ran for 6 series with a total of 40 programmes starring Peggy Mount as Ada, David Kossof as Alf. The rest of the family were Eddie (Shaun O'Riordan), Ruth Trouncer as Joyce, married to son-in-law Jeff (Ronan O'Casey). Next door neighbour Myrtle Prout was played by Hilary Bamberger. However it was Hetty Prout, played by Barbara Mitchell who made a bigger impression.
Bill Ward was the first producer.

1.1 Wide Open House (Friday September 19th 1958, 10.15-11pm- no Barbara Mitchell) - Ronan O'Casey introduces viewers to the Larkins family, followed by a nice point from his tv wife, observing he was talking to noone- "I surely hope not," he retorts. Today's the day that Eddie comes home after National Service and Ada's preparations are costing Alf a fortune. There's a gigantic party, Alf worried about the cost, and then about MP's who call for Eddie and get a taste of Ada's acid tongue. But the MP's really want Alf for desertion in 1919, what will the neighbours think?
1.2 Gun-In-Law (September 26th 1958, 10.15-10.45pm) - Jeff has to entertain four obnoxious kids in his role as a wild west writer, it's rather unfortunate that Eddie's prospective employer has been invited to the house at the same time. Amazingly, it turns out all right for them, though Alf and Jeff's agent Maxie (Warren Mitchell) wind up tied to a totem pole
1.3 Catastrophe (October 3rd 1958) - Ada is minding a prize cat and featherbeds it so much Alf rebels, "it's either that cat or me." Eddie is even having to take the thing for a walk, on a lead, so Alf and Jeff try to make it run away, but it keeps returning. When it does disappear, the family search for Prince brings in five strays
1.4 Angry Young Man (October 10th 1958- no Barbara Mitchell) - Publishers vie for Jeff's novel, finding a bohemian family, of sorts. Burlington Thrush gets a taste of an angry young man, in a rather contrived story
1.5 Telly-Ho! (October 17th 1958 -this story introduces Sam Prout)- nice digs at the cinema v tv battle. Alf's slide show isn't going down at all well with Ada who doesn't want a "one channel magic lantern," so she pops next door to watch their telly. To persuade Alf to buy a set Ada has to use "tact," not a commodity she has much of, and in the end she loses patience and buys a set anyway. Alf sends it straight back. But after Ada reads about the evils of tv, and Alf watches round at the Prout's, roles are reversed. Poor George (John Barrard) the bewildered delivery man brings a set only to have it sent away yet again. Finally Eddie cracks it, he's on tv tonight he tells his parents, 9.30 Fact or Fiction. But it's fiction, and he has to create some interference to hide his deception
1.6 Ale and Farewell (October 24th 1958)- Alf has been "inaugurated," and Ada gets "a nasty feeling." Alf having promised to sign the pledge if he ever gets tipsy again, Ada resorts to "weapons of war," doctoring his drinks. At the height of the booze-up, in drops the vicar...
1.7 Christmas Special- Christmas with the Larkins (Boxing Day 1958, 10.15pm)- "Lady, I don't know no Christmas," tv repairman George (see #1.5) informs Ada, who promises him "a proper Christmas." But whether this misery gets one is open to doubt. The best moment is when Alf tries to defrost a pathetic looking frozen turkey with a hair dryer

Series 2 (February/March 1959, Fridays at 10.15pm). The cast was as before, George Roderick now a regular cast member.
2.1 Strictly Commercial (originally scheduled for Jan 26th 1959, but eventually began this new series on Monday February 2nd 1959)- Ada's been seduced by the chance to star in a tv ad for Zuds, though Alf's against it until he's offered the chance to make an ad for "real beer." Sabotage is the order of the day when only one of their commercials can be approved, so there's the wash coming out all black and the beer tasting of frothy bubbles, but also one final neat commercial
2.2 Teddy for Eddie - Great stuff, as teddy boys and razor merchants and cherchez la femme are the new Eddie. He hangs out with "a pretty racy gang," Spider (Derren Nesbitt), Dicey, Splint and Rat Face (Larry Martyn), plus the entrancing Marilyn. When they come round to Eddie's house a rival gang, The Beetles, turn up, and it's left to Big Ada, The Scourge of the Waterfront, to prove the measure of 'em all
2.3 Haul for One - "The poor man's Stanley Matthews" has finally won on the Pools, bringing dreams of champagne, new houses etc, but no record win, only a "fleabite" of £40. Alf even wants to keep that to himself, nearly resulting in legal action
2.4 Gift Horsepower - Ada wants a washing machine for her birthday, so Alf must stump up the twenty quid cash for a second hand one. Eddie is sent to buy it but a spiv (Sam Kydd) sells him an old car instead. So Alf has to get a de luxe washer for Ada, but what he doesn't tell her, it's only on seven days approval. Ada is so thrilled and grateful to dear Alf, until she has to do the entire street's washing. Alf and Jeff devise a plan to get the machine returned anyway, but Eddie wins hands down when he does up the old banger and takes Ada on a happy drive to show off to the neighbours
2.5 Total Welfare - Hetty Prout's in hospital, so Sam Prout "never had it so good" being pampered by Ada, that is until Hetty's mum (Anita Sharp Bolster) turns up, taking over the reins. "She ain't 'uman," and the idea of someone to stand up to Ada's a good one, but the script never quite gets round to it
2.6 Very Important Parent - Meet Jeff's pop (Alan Gifford). It's a squeeze getting him into Buttercup their car, and a strain having to dress up posh to impress him

Series 3 (commencing Monday February 8th 1960 at 8pm)
3.1 Home Win - Here comes the rent collector (Wilfred Brambell)! No payment as the place is in need of repairs. The landlord (John Salew) rather than fork out the money gives their house away... to the Prouts. And the Prouts' house to the Larkins. Not very funny
3.2 All the Answers - Blame Shaw Taylor. He gets the family hooked on the quiz Dotto. However when the tv goes on the blink, Eddie passes the time by attending night school. His teacher Miss Prunella Forbes encourages Eddie's genius and sells him an encyclopedia, 36 volumes, and soon Ada and Alf go "information crazy." With broadened horizons, Ada starts foreign cooking while Alf tries 'sychoanalysis.' Luckily Jeff buys a new tv, and it's back to Dotto
3.3 A Fiddle in Froth - Alf is elected Mug of the Year by the Fluids, then wins 12 crates of beer in the pub raffle. Ada puts her foot down demanding they are sent back, so Alf dreams up a scheme whereby Eddie 'steals' the beer and hides it in the shed, but of course though it almost succeeds, it's a doomed disaster
3.4 Come Cleaner - Ada has no sales resistance, and instead of a 5 guinea vacuum cleaner pays for a swish one 85 guineas on installments. How to tell Alf? When the new cleaner accidentally ends up in the scout jumble sale, Alf buys it for five bob but still ends up with the sharp end of Ada's tongue
3.5 Stranger Than Friction - "Interfering" Joyce then Alf call Ada "nagging," that leads to some soul searching and a resolve on the path of reform. Classic Peggy Mount as she attempts a smile and tells her family, "you can do exactly as you please." Trying to be nice, she's "straight out of Dracula," and eveyone waits "for the blow to fall," maybe she's trying to poison them? It's just good news when she becomes again the old fearsome Ada
3.6 Operation Neighbour- Give and take, that's true friendship, but when Ada and Hetty fall out, it's war. Everyone else attempts to stop the Cold War, firstly a rigged radio record request, but Eddie blunders and plays You Rascal You. Next a forged letter of apology which brings on even less togetherness

Series 4 (September/ October 1960)
4.1 Unlucky Strike - Jeff is "like a torch without a battery," now Joyce has got a job as secretary to Alf's boss George (Wensley Pithey). But when Alf comes out on strike, Ada becomes a "blackleg" taking over his job. That leaves Alf having to do the housework, "I've plumbed the depths," he moans. "You've done wonders Mrs L," George praises Ada, though her ultra-efficiency finally proves too overbearing for George who has to plot with Alf how to depose the businesslike Ada
4.2 Little Big Brother- Smart looking 'Erbert' (Sydney Tafler) is Hetty's brother, who wins Ada's gratitude as he has the knack of getting Alf & Co to do the DIY. He's so "diabolical," he just must be nobbled
4.3 Gambling Fever - 'Fusspot' Fanny (Barbara Hicks) is Ada's latest opposition, much opposed to gambling, but when Alf &Co get deep into debt with sharpers Sharkey (Michael Balfour) and Flash (Vic Wise), Ada sorts 'em out. But beating them goes to her head, she goes "barmy" and with Fanny gets gambling fever. Even at the church bazaar, there Ada is, running a roulette wheel
4.4 Frightful Nightful - After a night at the cinema watching a thriller- "gives me the willies"- back home there are screams, a bomb scare and other inexplicable goings on, quite out of character with this series. A daft story of plastic spies is given an explanation, but too late to save this rare disaster
4.5 Match or Scratch - Miss Fiona Finch (see 4.3) is in love with the vicar, a confirmed bachelor, which rouses Ada's matchmaking skills, "the greater the odds, the greater the victory." She's going to be "tactful"!!
4.6 Well Turned Worm - "Man cracks the whip," but not here, Alf must be henpecked. It's his moment of truth, "I'm going to defy Ada, give me liberty or give me death!" After inevitable utter failure, he turns to a professor (Elwyn Brook-Jones) who turns Alf into The Iron Hand. Thus even Ada "is bent to my will." "Where's your go?" Ada is asked. "It's gorn." Eddie pretends to run away but even that can't rouse Ada from her submission. However it does bring "little" Myrtle to the boil, "you're nothing but a little worm," she shouts at Alf who is reverted to his wormdom. So at least Eddie leaves the series with Myrtle almost in his arms

The series was revived in 1963, Peggy Mount and David Kossof continued to star, with Barbara Mitchell the only other survivor. Hugh Paddick played Osbert Rigby-Soames. Alan Tarrant continued as producer, Dicky Leeman directed.
5.1 Cafe Ole (Saturday November 9th 1963, 8.25-9.00pm, some regions showed it at 8.10-8.50pm) - With the family moved away, Alf and Ada are running "a crummy dump" of a cafe. Their lodger, the major, suggests they go upmarket and they run a Spanish night, but it's no success, degenerating into a riot, the programme a disappointing shadow of its former self
5.2 Teenage Terror (November 16th 1963) - The major now owes four weeks rent, when Alf's nephew Georgie comes to stay, ripe for Ada's "taming," but he's no tearaway, only a swot prone to accidents. Unusually it is he who tames Ada in a bland script that isn't The Larkins as we knew 'em. The major almost solves the crisis
5.3 Darts and Flowers (November 23rd 1963) - back to the old Larkins with this one! Alf rashly makes a £50 side bet on a darts match next Friday, but he's forgotten- as usual- it's his wedding anniversary. Many and various are his dodges to get Ada "pliable," flowers and chocs, music and wine, sickness. He finally makes it, but it's Ada who saves the day
5.4 Help Wanted (November 30th 1963) - "Old sniff and misery," the assistant at the cafe (Hazel Coppen), "puts civilisation back a thousand years." Everyone agrees she has got to go. But Georgie scares her, and she becomes a permanent invalid at The Larkins', waited on hand and foot. Too corny and obvious, even Ada is a beaten woman, until one Bella solves their problem
5.5 Beatle Drive (December 7th 1963) - Georgie's inventive genius needs restraining- agreed!- so he's introduced to three lads his own age. Judy from Liverpool certainly brings 'em out, even though they're "flippin' useless" at Twist and Shout. To impress her they form their own group The Boffins, though in fact they are miming to a record by The Redcaps. Alf's launching their career is bound to be flawed, Ada knows it. Topical and quaint, with a nice Larkins' finish
5.6 Trading Stampede (December 14th 1963) - Ada's into trading stamps to get a free steam iron. Vic (Victor Maddern) bambozzles her into offering stamps at the cafe, but the whole scheme, like this script, is flawed. Trade booms before the bust
5.7 Strained Relations (December 21st 1963)- Ronan O'Casey returned for this story, still as Jeff. Also with Hugh Walters, David Jackson, Willi Payne and Derry Power
5.8 Saloon Barred (December 28th 1963) - with Hazel Coppen, Norman Chappell, Derry Power, David Jackson and Willi Payne

The final series was in the summer of 1964, main cast as for the fifth series.
6.1 Think Quicker Vicar (Saturday July 11th 1964, 9.45-10.20pm)- with Willie Payne, Derry Power, and David Jackson
6.2 Celebration Blues (July 18th 1964) with Eileen Way, David Jackson, Willie Payne, Derry Power
6.3 Gypsy's Warning (July 25th 1964)
6.4 Finders Keepers (August 1st 1964) - with Willie Payne, Derry Power, David Jackson and Frank Hawkins
6.5 Counter Attraction (August 8th 1964) - with Andrew Crawford as Joe Mackenzie, Toni Gipin as Jeannie, Willie Payne, Derry Power, and David Jackson
6.6 Dizzy Rich (August 15th 1964) with Willie Payne, Derry Power, David Jackson, Hugh Morton, Arnold Diamond, Donna Pearson, Hazel Bainbridge, Raymond Duparc and Kenny Powell
6.7 Country Style (August 22nd 1964, 9.30-10.05pm) - last ever story with Willie Payne, Derry Power, David Jackson.
To
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Mr Digby Darling
An early black/white series from the new Yorkshire TV that saw Rag Trade combatants Peter Jones and Sheila Hancock reunited.
This series however saw them as happily married-to-the-job boss (Roland Digby) and jill of all trades, secretary (Thelma Teesdale). Well at least, he's wedded to a lazy office life in slippers, whilst she sees to his every need, unfulfilled. The whole thing's really made by the ever reliable Peter Jones' whimsical touches.

1.1 The Efficiency Expert (January 6th 1969) - "Another Monday morning, thank goodness!" declares Digby as he arrives for work. Thelma is celebrating "ten happy years together," but it won't be for much longer if Chambers the new Efficiency Expert has his say- "before you know it, cccckkkk, you're redundant." But if Digby believes he's "got nothing to fear," he's a born optimist!
1.2 The Facts of Life - In the hands of Digby, the Slugdown publicity is "tear jerking nonsense about slugs being the gardeners' best friend." But poor Digby is confused as he is supposed to be teaching son Dominic the facts of life. After Thelma helps him by inquiring about the book "Childbirth Can Be Fun," in a splendid scene Mr Trumper somehow thinks Digby is to be a father again: "just because there's snow on the roof, that doesn't mean the boiler's gone out!"
1.4 The New Secretary - It's time for Thelma to be "upgraded" to the Sixth Floor at Executive Level. Parting of the ways is a wrench until Digby is introduced to Thelma's replacement, the shapely Betty (Wanda Ventham)
1.5 The Evacuee (The Mother-in-Law)- "Mr Digby is a living saint," declares Thelma. But not when a colleague is being billeted in his office. "It will be a bit of a squeeze," admits Mr Trumper. Gladys 'Ma' Lightfoot (Marjorie Rhodes) is an old acquaintance: "time's done the dirty on you," she tells Digby. There's only one solution- move her, but where to? How about "the old folks' cleaning room" in the basement? But it's Digby and Thelma who eventually have to find new accommodation as they end up working in the cloakrooms
1.6 Drunk and Disorderly - Roland's wife has been away so last night he let his hair down. Now he's got to appear in court. "Rid-o-Rats's Bonnie and Clyde" have to invent yet another excuse for the afternoon off. Then it turns out boss Mr Trumper is on the jury. All of which gives Peter Jones the chance to offer a snatch of Sidney Carton's Farewell Speech
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George and the Dragon
Sid James met his match in Peggy Mount in ATV's series which ran from 1966.
Perhaps Keith Marsh as Ralph the gardener enjoyed his finest moment, whilst John le Mesurier vainly battled to keep the peace between George... and the Dragon

Series One

Series Two

Series Three

Series Four

Funniest moment in the series: 2.7 when George ends up with his date- The Dragon.
Dud episode: several, I'm afraid, perhaps 1.4 Night Night Sleep Tight is the corniest.

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George and the Dragon - Series One

Series 1: 1 George Meets the Dragon (19th November 1966)- The arrival of Miss Gabrielle Dragon, enough to terrify any mere man, chauffeur (Sid James) included
2 The Not So Tender Trap- Whoops! After a night of boozing George ('Kingsley') has proposed to Miss Dragon, and what's worse, she's accepted!
3 The Unexpected Sport - With the colonel's leg in plaster, George is volunteered to play polo at Windsor for the Waterlilies. Naturally he places a bet on the opposition
4 Night, Night, Sleep Tight - Inconsequential effort about George and the Dragon alone at night, with the Colonel and Ralph away. Bumps in the night etc etc
5 Royal Letter - When Gabrielle sends an Xmas card to the Duke of Edinburgh, it's nice to get his reply, except it's a forgery typed by George and signed by Ralph....
6 A Merry Christmas? - After present giving, the four disperse to friends for Christmas. But George's intimate season with Irma (Yootha Joyce) is a frost, so he returns to the colonel's to find everyone else there too. The end is stolen by three young carol singers

To Series Two
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George and the Dragon - Series Two

Series 2: 1 (20th May 1967)- This could be described as a tragedy when George breaks Gabrielle's treasured heirlooms, her mum's old records. She decides to say farewell, but at the bus station cafe, first George then Ralph and finally The Colonel each persuade her to return- to the amazement of a lorry driver (John Junkin) who's trying to chat her up himself
2- It's Sunday morning with George and Gabrielle discussing religion, in a way that just wouldn't be done these days. There's £1 on it that the 'Black Sheep' won't be dragged by the Dragon back to the fold of the church
3- Has Gabrielle a French man in her room? Not quite- she's trying to learn French since she's won a trip for two to Paris. George accompanies her on a panic ridden flight
4- Gabrielle requests George shows her "how to do it." When George realises she actually wants him to teach her how to drive the Colonel's Bentley, he has to agree when the colonel orders him to do so. When she bumps into the car of the Chief Constable, George gets his own back by convincing her she'll be sent to prison
5- Sonia Dresdel displays a fine comic touch as Priscilla, an old friend of the Colonel's. A battle of wills between her and Gabrielle is the highlight of this, the best of the series. "Dartmoor is a holiday camp" compared with her new regime
6- Men have greater willpower than women, argues George. To prove he's quite wrong Gabrielle proposes they both do without food. After two days both are wavering. This is familiar stuff, but in the hands of experts, it's quite palatable
7 - George is Aries, Gabrielle Virgo, as they check their horoscopes. Why not seek their destiny through the Confidential Friendship Bureau? It's run by gushing Brian Oulton, in a superb little cameo. George asks him- "what have you got in stock?" You can easily guess that George is going to finish up with Gabrielle as his date, but there again, it's awfully well done

To Series Three

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George and the Dragon - Series 3:

1- (6th January 1968)"England Expected, and I did," explains Gabrielle. It's Dinky Dragon's army reunion, and she tricks George into thinking that one of her mates (Julia McCarthy) was the victim of Rumpo Russell's wartime romances
2 - After a picnic, George and the Dragon have to spend the night sharing a room. They end up in the dock, and look who's on the bench- the Colonel!
3 - Harpers Department Store (A bit of ATV nostalgia there!) is offering a £10 tv in its sale, "first come, first served." George is first in the queue the night before, but will that stop the Dragon?
4 - Lots are drawn by George and the Dragon to see who wins the continental holiday. The bigger cheat wins. After which George hides in Miss Dragon's bedroom to discover her secret hidden in there. It turns out to be her own giant bikini!
5 - Missing here is the setting of the Colonel's house, and also much fun, as George and the Dragon attempt to travel by train to London. They have a topical rant against British Railways: "Beeching must go!" when their train to Waterloo is axed- but as they're filmed at Welwyn North they should have been making for King's Cross! Peter Howell gets the butt of their complaints and Tom Baker has a brief filmed role as a humble porter
6 - Tracing her family tree, the Dragon decides she's related to a French duke who went under the guillotine in 1783. George plays along with her, 'discovering' his portrait, which is really a copy of The Laughing Cavalier with a few crude additions
7 - Pay Day Parade, but George gets nothing, in fact he still owes the colonel seven and six! He decides to raise some cash by buying, with the Dragon's £20, an old banger and then selling it for scrap, at a profit. Unfortunately it's the colonel's Bentley that's carted off to the scrapyard crusher, causing Miss Dragon, in a fit of contrition, to get "religious mania"
To
Series Four
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George and the Dragon - Series 4:
1 - I'm Backing Britain campaign means dock leaf tea and seaweed cigarettes at the Colonel's home. It's enough to convince him and Sid and Ralph to smuggle in brandy, garlic and fags, but the Dragon will have none of it, so they resort to a surreptitious midnight 'beano' in the greenhouse
2 - Gunners' fan George is ejected by a policeman (Geoffrey Palmer) from the West Ham cup tie. But the Dragon procures a ticket for the replay for both of them
3 - Birthday presents for Miss Dragon, but has George forgotten? No he seems to have remembered with a lovely fur stole. But it's not really for her, only left over from George's night on the tiles, and George hasn't the guts to tell the Dragon. Then the owner Sandra returns to claim it
4 - "Help yourself to brandy and cigars," the expansive colonel tells George. Gabrielle has told the colonel that George has only days to live, in this so familiar storyline, but it's good to watch how some old pros get the very most out of it
5 - This week's misunderstanding- Gabrielle Dragon is having an affair with Ralph the gardener! Actually it's only Ralph who has named his "tose," a cross between a tulip and a rose, after Gabrielle. Whilst quite enjoyable, the script never exploits the full potential of this fun situation
6 - George is really and truly in love with the fair Angela, but sad to say her father, the brigadier (William Kendall) opposes their marriage. So George announces himself at her window, to elope, but only ends up with a black eye. The series ends however on a happier note, for now Miss Dragon is in love- with the brigadier!
George and the Dragon
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THE RAG TRADE (BBC) - The acme of corny vulgarity, with Peter Jones, Miriam Karlin, Reg Varney, Sheila Hancock.
1 (1961) Ritz Plaza hotel is the venue for Fenner to meet his American client but unfortunately the slacks he brings are "bullet proof." A more entertaining scene is when the staff have to impress said American by posing as French workers
2 Terry Scott plays a buyer for golliwogs the girls have made on the side. To impress him they divert Fenner to the police station, so they can ply the buyer with drink. Rather tiddly they are, when Fenner returns...
3 A rush polka dot sample means Reg and then Mr Fenner have to look after Brenda's baby. All very predictable, but the best laugh is when Sheila Hancock has to model the dress which is not quite finished
4 Carol's wedding dress has to be made up from material for Fenner's urgent order for Arcadia Fashions
5 After lateness at the impossibly early start of 8am, Fenner decides to install a clocking-in system which means our workers start getting short pay, so Paddy organises a bet on a dead cert, leading to lots of subterfuge as Fenner seeks to impress an important buyer. The nag wins the race, but Lily loses the betting slip in one of the new dresses, which leads to them all being ripped apart right in front of the boss, but such, er, conscientiousness, appears to impress the buyer!
6 It's that familiar "Everybody Out!" after Fenner proposes an automated snack machine. Worker sabotage results in some well worn slapstick until Lily discovers buttons can be used in lieu of shillings. So when Fenner belatedly agrees to the machine's removal, it's Everybody Out again
7 With Fenner running a temperature of 102, first Nurse Lily then the other Brothers attempt a quick cure. In his absence they design a new dress for a tv star using metallic paint to make it shimmer. Not a success!
8 Fenner must have a sample ready for his client by 3.30, but Carol has borrowed it during the lunch hour in order to impress her sailor boy friend. Now it's 3.30 and she's still not back!
2.1 (1962) Fenner's payment for the electicity bill is diverted to the staff's new one armed bandit, but though he is drugged, a Mr Basset still cuts the power off, whilst a drugged Reg attempts to impress a client
2.2 Fun at the salon of haute couturier Norman Digby (Patrick Cargill) when Lily's doggy Dinky loses Fenner an important order. The staff try and flog the £100 dress at their own fashion parade, to one of Digby's artistocrat clients
2.3 - An outbreak of staff sickness can be traced to handsome Dr Blake (Noel Trevarthen), though it leads to the arrival of the factory inspector, who thinks Fenner is running a sweatshop
2.4 - New factory inspector (June Whitfield) is the receipient of a number of unwelcome surprises
2.5 - After overtime on Paddy's birthday, Mr Fenner's empty flat is ideal for a party. He returns home unexpectedly to find the aftermath of an orgy. But his mother-in-law (the towering Fabia Drake) finds Fenner there and she demands explanations, which he quite fails to satisfactorily provide
2.6 - Reg shaves Fenner, then poses as a Chinaman, as the girls earn extra cash by running a laundry
2.7 - Rehearsals for the Fenner Fashions Concert Party. Hugh Paddick and Ronnie Barker also appear
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Brief Reviews of other comedies

ITV:
At Last The 1948 Show
No that's Me Over Here
Never Mind the Quality
Howerd's Hour
Tales of Men's Shirts (Ampex)
Life with Cooper
Mr Digby Darling
BBC:
White Heather Club
Telegoons
Christmas Night with Stars 1964
Frankie Howerd Show (1966)
Sykes
Seven Faces of Jim
Oh Brother
Misleading Cases
Lance Percival Show
Black and White Minstrel Show
Wild Wild Women

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Our House
ABC produced a cast to die for, in this Sunday afternoon 55 minute comedy in 1960, including Hattie Jacques as Georgina Ruddy, Charles Hawtrey as Simon Willow and Frederick Peisley as Herbert Keene. Ina de la Haye, Frank Pettingell, Norman Rossington, Trader Faulkner, Leigh Madison and Joan Sims also starred in this first series which ran to 13 episodes. Producer: Ernest Maxin.
Our House had one large set of an American style living room with impressive large staircase. It gave the programme nearly the atmosphere of a stage play.

Surviving stories
1.2
Simply Simon
1.3 A Thin Time
1.11 Love to Georgina from Our House
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Details of the programmes:
1.1 Moving In (11th September 1960)- here's a contemporary review by James O'Toole: "We were introduced to a number of old gags and a number of people. There were: the newly weds who won't live with in-laws. A librarian and a bank clerk who are thrown out of their digs by the landlady for playing the wireless too loud. An elderly husband and wife. A young man studying law and an odd-job girl. They have something in common - nowhere to stay. Inevitably they buy a broken down house. The episode closes with the difficult local government man wanting to take a room. This part is played beautifully by Charles Hawtrey, Hattie Jacques is the librarian and also her brilliant self. She has to make the laughs with her personality. Joan Sims is in the cast too, but after this showing she probably wishes she wasn't. Canned laughter doesn't make a show funny. And the director badly needed a less heavy hand."
Some of the visual gags in this episode included: throwing a shoe at a chamber pot- ping! A sneeze which blows off someone's headpiece. Ink spilled on a chair, which someone then sits in. A foot stuck in a wastepaper basket, and a character covered with plaster.
1.2 Simply Simon (18th September 1960) (No Hattie Jacques)
1.3 A Thin Time (25th September 1960)
1.4 The Man Who Knew Nothing (2nd October 1960)
1.5 Annie Does Live Here (9th October 1960) - also appearing: Doreen Aris, John Bailey, Sidney Vivian, Jon Skinner, Betty Turner, Hilda Meacham, Marie Makino and Garard Green. Script by Norman Hudis. Our House is haunted, but what kind of ghost is it who does the washing up? To find out, the householders go about things in what proves to be quite the wrong 'spirit'.
1.6 Surprise for Stephen (16th October 1960)
1.7 All in a Good Cause (23rd October 1960)
1.8 To Please Louise (30th October 1960)
1.9 Speechless (6th November 1960)
1.10 Day Time (13th November 1960)
1.11 Love to Georgina from Our House (20th November 1960)
1.12 Things of the Past (27th November 1960) - guest star McDonald Hobley. (Hattie Jacques not in this story.) Script by Norman Hudis. Artwork for Stephen means character work for everyone!
1.13 And Then There Was One (4th December 1960) - time for almost everyone to go from Our House. But parting is not all sweet sorrow. Script by Norman Hudis. (No Ina de la Haye in this episode.)

Our House must have been quite a success as a second series of 26 forty five minute stories was shown on Saturday nights in 1961/2, the stars now being Bernard Bresslaw as a struggling ham actor, veteran Northern comic Harry Korris as a retired ship's captain, with Hylda Baker as his sister. Returning from the earlier series were Hattie Jacques, Frederick Peisley and Leigh Madison, while also featured were Johnny Vyvyan and Eugenie Cavanagh.
An Equity dispute did not directly affect this programme, although oddly it was shown in London before the dispute, but not when the dispute began!

2:1 Not for Sale (16th September 1961, 7.40-8.25pm) - Our House is not for sale, but only if Herbert can find enough people to help him keep the old place going. Result? Some old familiar faces, some new faces, and Our House is in business again. Script by Norman Hudis.
2:2 Vote for Georgina (30th September 1961) - With Luke as her committee chairman, Henrietta as canvasser, Marina and Linda adding a bit of glamour, William as speech coach and meetings steward, and Herbert organising the whole affair, it's Vote for Georgina. How can she fail to be elected councillor? With Frank Thornton, Frank Sieman, Mark Singleton, Bill Maxam, Raymond Newell and Derek Hunt. Script by Norman Hudis.
2:3 A Quiet Time (14th October 1961)
2:4 Revolution in Walthamstow (28th October 1961)
2:5 Best Man (11th November 1961) - Simon never does things by halves, so he's twice as anxious as is necessary when he has to be best man at a friend's wedding. (No Hattie Jacques), also with Anita Sharp Bolster.
2:6 Battle of the Borough (25th November 1961) - Our House object to an increase in local rates, and find themselves fighting a battle. With Cameron Hall, Ernest Bale and Eric Nicholson. (no Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:7 Knocko (9th December 1961)- Knocko relaxing pills can be obtained without prescription. Their effect on Our House beggars the imagination. With Heron Carvic. (No Hattie Jacques.)
2:8 Willow the Winger (16th December 1961)
2:9 Complications of the Season (23rd December 1961 6.30-7.15pm) - Preparations for Christmas. Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:10 Treble Mischance (30th December 1961) - When Our House tries its luck on the football pools, 1, 2 and X add up to a treble mischance. Script by Bob Block.
2:11 Where Is Everybody? (6th January 1962) - Simon Willow decides to make a casual call, but as he is unable to let anyone know of his plans, he is mistaken for a burglar. With Charles Cameron. (no Bernard Bresslaw.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:12 Riviera Incident (13th January 1962)
2:13 Georgina Goes to Press (20th January 1962) - Georgina gets a new job, leaving Our House with a lots of problems to sort out. With Stella Moray and Henry Longhurst. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:14 Simon Comes to Stay (27th January 1962)
2:15 Hobbies Galore (3rd February 1962) - When Our House find themselves without a television, they decide to occupy themselves with hobbies. But these hobbies prove more exhausting than watching tv. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:16 There's No Business Like (10th February 1962) - William gets his big chance in show business at last, and the rest of Our House all lend a hand to make sure of his success. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:17 Off the Rails (17th February 1962) - Our House go into the railway business. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:18 The Tooth Will Out (24th February 1962)- When William loses a tooth, he worries about the effect it will have on his romance with a wealthy girl friend. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:19 Economy Wave (3rd March 1962) - Everyone gets the economy bug and Henrietta's no exception- but her friends take a more extravagant view. Script by Norman Hudis.
2:20 Horse Power (10th March 1962) - Simon suggest Our House should buy a small car. But what can they get for only £40? (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:21 Uncle Silas (17th March 1962)
2:22 The Den of Vice (24th March 1962)
2:23 First Night (31st March 1962) - Our House goes to a first night. Preparing for his first appearance on a London stage, William is well aware that he must be careful not to get incapacitated in any way. He lives at Our House. What would you give for his chances of emerging unscathed? (no Leigh Madison) With Leonard Sachs, Alex Gallier and Harry Brunning. Script by Brad Ashton.
2:24 Safari (7th April 1962) - William becomes interested in making documentary films, and with the rest of Our House as his production team, he sets off for Africa. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.
2:25 Oh, Julie! (14th April 1962)
2:26 Talking Shop (21st April 1962)- To give Georgina some practical experience for an article she is writing, Our House decides to open a shop, but before very long the spirit of rivalry creeps in. (No Hylda Baker.) Script by Brad Ashton and Bob Block.

Note- Charles Hawtrey and Hylda Baker returned in 1963 to make Best of Friends for ABC.
Note- If you can add to any of the above details, I would be pleased to hear from you.
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Simply Simon
Simon is very sad, noone phones him, noone writes either. Not that he has kept up with his family himself.
Daisy is low too. She's been sacked, Why not emigrate to Australia? Or Canada?
Our House is not enlivened by the arrival of Simon's brother Willy, a jockey. Simon himself is out, so misses him. Just as well, as Charles Hawtrey, or perhaps Norman Hudis' script, overdoes it and he's far too over the top. Best moment, for more reasons than one, is his exit, riding on Daisy's back. Next visitor is a magistrate who chases him round the house causing chaos.
Steve is painting upstairs, when through his window appears Simon's cousin Wally, a toff from the Far East. Once more there is overacting, the comedy not rooted in any reality, it's pathetic, and pathetically scripted, painful to watch. Steve paints the old man whom he finds so interesting, even if we don't. We don't even see the end picture.
Fortunately the final part of the story picks up. Herbert has some fun with an old chair leg, before answering the door to Simon's aunt, Charles Hawtrey's star turn. The two chat at cross purposes. "Where?" demands aunt in sepulchral tones, "where has he gorn?" Simon is out. A Hawtrey laugh to cheer us up. And another. Then tears. Herbert gives her some alcohol to cheer. So on to the drunk act. Despite the script, Hawtrey gets some good laughs and ends with a dance, first traditional, then modern, his skirt flying off.
Back to normal for the final scene, Simon no longer lonely. He receives phone calls from Willy, from auntie, and then from Wally. It needed a good twist as a finishing gag really, but doesn't, no surprise, get it. Perhaps on the lines of Simon was pretending to be all his relatives

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A Thin Time

The Band of Grace- would Georgina like to join? They offer diet, exercise, cold showers, and admitted Georgina hasn't got the Female Form Divine. No thank you.
Steve is pleased for he sold some sketches for £50, so gives his beloved £15 to buy new clothes. Georgina helps her choose, but when she finds so few dresses in her outsize, she knows she must start slimming. But not the Band, "I can see myself in those ridiculous shorts!" We wait in hope.
In private she makes a start on exercises, with some entertaining positions accompanied by a good monologue. Our House discuss her diet over a meal, and all except Daisy offer support by joining in. She greedily guzzles sandwiches to their annoyance. Her apple pie looks awfully tempting.
Herbert arranges the fitness schedule. But at dead of night, a raid on the larder. Very old hat, but with some enjoyable touches. They're all at it.
No wonder that next morning they are all happy to "stick to the diet." But it's not the sort of diet to help Georgina. She begins to fantasise about food. But in the end, Our House resolve one and all to Give In To Your Appetite.

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Love to Georgina
A silent admirer for Georgina, Mr Algernon Parks (Deryck Guyler), her boss at the library. "I've rather fancied you, "he gets it out at last.
"May I linger here beside you," that's for an assignation in the park at nine tonight. Somehow Georgina gets the idea it's some secret code, that she's on a secret mission. It's not very original, but well executed.
"Get you," Georgina is now dressed for the part, an agent that is. On the park bench they have a baffling conversation at cross purposes, until the penny drops.
Our House has to inspect Algy Parks, question him about his intentions. Daisy is specially belligerent. Again it's not too convincing, but you see Georgina gets it into her head that Parks might be the Liverpool Liquidator, a mass murderer in fact. eight women killed, he'd never been caught. Now everything about Parks seems suspicious to Georgina, they watch the film Thigh No More. Algy enjoys that.
At Algy's home, there are photos of eight women, were they his eight former wives? She attempts psychoanalysis, questioning him about these eight "aunts." There's a good punchline as she finds a deep hole in his back garden.
It's all off, not surprisingly. At work next day she reprimands him for sulking. She apologises for her misunderstanding, but she is too late. She decides she must leave Our House for a new life. It's a too long departure amidst tears

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At Last the 1948 Show (Rediffusion, 1967)
John Cleese starred with Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graham Chapman.
As neither of the two series was networked, it was not surprising that it didn't take off as it should have done, though after the late night slot of the first series, the second achieved peak time status (8.30pm) in the London area. Looking at it today, it certainly shows the inventiveness that became much applauded in the wilder Monty Python.

1.4 March 8th 1967
"Somebody's stolen the news," literally, declares newsreader John Cleese, and the chase is on, after Marty Feldman the thief. Tim Brooke-Taylor is at the Travel Agents, JC doing his Hitler bit, "our pursuits are ze gayest in ze world." And, "spies- we shoot zem- slowly." Dr Robinson (MF) teaches his patient (Graham Chapman) what he can remember about Memory Training, his system appears to depend solely on nude women. A one man batallion consists of one man (TBT) who gives himself his instructions, "just what do I think I'm doing?" TBT has a surreal interview with GC, "my foot's dropped off," then his other bits fall off in turn. Engine driver Spriggs (MF) is reprimanded by JC over the 4,000 complaints about his train driving, which gradually becomes more fantastic and protracted, "I forgot to stop, sir." He is handed his punishment, fifty lines, I Must Not Drive My Train Into Manchester Cathedral. A sergeant (TBC) briefs three policemen in drag about a raid, but they all get too many giggles

1.5 March 15th 1967
Film Preview, with a nice ref to Rediffusion "who brought you Drama for Sixth Forms and Twizzle." A rural drama with a new farm owner who don't quite understand the local dialect. At a bus stop JC and MF discuss Ants, conversation gets more and more surreal. Too long is the Japanese fighters sketch. In Malaya, JC and Mary Maude with stiff upper lips survey their dying romance. Top of the Form, JC in the Robert Robinson role, all the answers are Pork. After that it runs out of steam

2.2 October 3rd 1967
A trailer for a gangster film turns into a quiz, the quizmaster with his machine gun. After Aimi MacDonald provides an intro in a cake, there's a sketch with TBT desperate to sell a shirt to GC. In tears he begs the customer to buy more than one. His manager (JC) intervenes sparking off a frenzied staff revolution in the best upper lip style. Nosmo (JC) is another quizmaster complete with whip who bullies two elderly contestants (MF and TBT), "call me sir." This turns into a variation of Take Your Pick, with £20,000 offered for number 6, but JC tries too hard in a suitably gory ending. GC interviews accident prone JC over his insurance during the predictable destruction of his office. At a bus stop TBT is accosted by MF, "give me five bob." Meeting a refusal MF threatens to strip. Finally TBT finds a riposte, he threatens to strip also. Along comes a copper (GC), "what's going on 'ere?," giving us a splendid ending. AM tap dances To Be Or Not To Be, then there's a long sketch in the audience at Covent Garden, with three aggressive Scots arguing with Sassenachs, who include Barry Cryer, a lot of noise but not a lot of laughs

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Wild Wild Women

Set at the turn of the century, this 1969 comedy starred Barbara Windsor, with Pat Coombs and Paul Whitsun-Jones.
It ran to only six stories, and watching the only surviving story, you can see why. The script is very unfunny with a few very predictable sexist jokes. There's a bit of satire on women MPs but nothing that could lift this out of being the poor woman's Rag Trade.

1 - King Edward VII's coronation is imminent so the milliners are extra busy making fancy feathered hats for the aristocracy. But there's no extra bonus, orders Mr Harcourt, though the girls do find time to manufacture on the side one shilling dolls of the king to sell on coronation day. The concealing of this from their boss forms the basis of the fun. Millie gets glue all over her drawers, while Daisy gets all itchy hiding horsehair in her chest. A good hiding place for the dolls is found in the dustbin, but they do not anticipate it being emptied early, "all that work wasted." And half an hour

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Frankie Howerd Show
Frankie returned to the BBC fold for this 1966 series.

1 (February 22nd 1966)
The best part is Frankie's intimate talking to camera at the start. He confides to us that the reason he's doing the series is he needs the money. He rails against intellectuals and their smut, and confesses his poor health despite his age of 32.
Then on to his experiences at the BBC, "Thing" in charge, who tells Howerd he's "neither one thing or the other." Long look from Frankie. Then he talks about the apparent need for comedians to be more "socially aware" these days and have satire, that serves to lead in to the main body of this programme, rather mediocre, Frankie goes to Parliament.
A brush with the doorkeepers (Arthur Mullard, Anthony Sagar) offering a few topical gags, then an encounter with an MP (Julian Orchard) who thinks Howerd is a new member. Thus Frankie joins in a debate in the House (with Dennis Ramsden), "doesn't he go on?" Finally Frankie winds up in the Lords. "I only came for the attendance money," which at least goes to prove that prescient scriptwriters Galton and Simpson anticipated later expense scanals

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The Marriage Lines (1963-6)
The series was the making of Richard Briers, and was very popular at the time. However it is very dated now, and I must say I never warmed to it at the time, not finding it at all funny. Somehow it ran to five series. Prunella Scales co-starred.

1.1 The Threshold - Returning from honeymoon, the Starlings find themselves locked out. No room at the dreary nearby hotel, but their neighbours, though strangers, Peter and Norah offer to help. They know how to gain entry to the Starling's flat, but George's blunders are all too much for Kate, not to mention us viewers, "sorry darling"
1.2 Trial Separation- George feels he is "under orders" after Miles at the office makes him nostalgic for the old days. After a row, Kate storms out, so George tries to drown his sorrows at the pub, where he wants to prove to Miles that marriage is wonderful. He can't, so he goes to the cinema, for another tv dig at the then dying industry. He returns home, but it's too jaded to be funny
1.3 The Bed- The bed is too small according to George. That upsets his wimp of a wife. According to George's dad, it means she wants to be a mother.After misunderstandings are ironed out it's all patched up
1.4 The Parting
1.5 Four-Part Harmony - George is late home for once, drinking with Peter. Kate is consoled by Norah, reduced to tears. Too obvious, corny, sad even. Argument, then temptation in the pub
1.6 The Old Flame
1.7 The Good Neighbours
1.8 Party Mood
1.9 The Anniversary
1.10 The Old Place
Christmas Special in Christmas Night with the Stars in 1964
3.1 The Cuckoo
3.2 The Waiting Game - Baby overdue, Kate fakes a twinge, but then it's the real thing. George gets tiddly waiting, an odd mix of groundbreaking semi documentary and depressing comedy
3.3 And Baby Makes Three
3.4 Nest of Starlings
3.5 The Ladies' Man
3.6 The Homecoming
3.7 Night of Nostalgia

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Beggar My Neighbour (1966-9)
with June Whitfield as Rose, and Desmond Walter Ellis as her husband Gerald. They are the slightly down at heel but respectable Muswell Hill neighbours of
Reg Varney as Harry and Pat Coombs as his wife Lana. They are working class nouveau riche, with all the latest gadgets in their home, mostly on tick.
(Note: Peter Jones played Gerald in the first series).

2.1 Let 'Em Eat Cake (July 1967) - Gerald is on a health food fad, though Harry sees it more in terms of him going round the twist. Certainly Rose can't stand any more of this eating weeds, and takes to having snacks next door. All this eating make Harry and Lana surmise she's expecting, though Rose thinks it's Lana who's pregnant, "fancy Harry a father- horrible!" Crisis is reached when Gerald throws out a "birfday" cake that Lana has kindly cooked
2.2 A Host of Friends - Rose and Gerald have somehow slightly exaggerated their social status to two chance acquaintances, who have now somehow got invited to lunch. As Harry and Lana have gone to the races, Gerald entertains his visitors round at Harry's posher place. However you do need to know your way round the house, and some of Lana's kitchen appliances are a bit baffling. Then Gerald seems to have claimed he is an accomplished pianist, these and other little chickens come home to roost. Of course Harry and Lana are bound to return home early, but Rose persuades them to lunch at her home, keeping them from finding the chaos next door. This makes a fine plot, something about defrocked missionaries, but the truth is bound to come out and though this is great fun, I was left feeling there had been scope for even more
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Telegoons (1963/4)

A partially successful resurrection of The Goons in visual form.

2.6 Tales of Old Dartmoor (April 1964)
Prison stocktaking. Number of prisoners- "run completely out of them!"
Thanks to Moriarty it's soon chock full again. Then for a holiday, the prison is moved, bricks and all to France, to the Chateau d'If where there's a race to find a treasure. The prison sinks in the sea which is why, allegedly, now on Dartmoor is a cardboard replica

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Benny Hill
Whilst Benny developed his comic style into one of innocently vulgar double entendres, his early comedy is more mainstream.

The Mystery of Black Bog Manor (1962)
This mildly amusing pastiche of the genre has Benny Hill appearing as Rumbold of the Daily Bugle, whose reporting assignment is to interview Colonel Wittering about his collection of diamonds.
When our hero reaches the windswept lonely mansion, he is greeted with suspicion by the colonel's bland nephew (Graham Stark), though the best part is Patsy Smart's as Miriam, a bundle of nerves, who warns Rumbold "I do hope you're the last!"
For it's clear there's dirty work afoot at the manor. The feet in the bed that disappear, and the bearded stranger who grabs all Rumbold's food. And who is dancing the can-can, at 3.30 in the morning? "There's something funny going on here," notes our reporter with all the corn he can muster, "and I mean to get to the bottom of it."

Script: Dave Freeman. Length: 25 minutes.

The Lonely One

Superb take-off documentary narrated by Alex MacIntosh, about a "misunderstood young man" Willie, Benny Hill as an overage teenage delinquent, but several other roles as well. 7 minutes
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* * * P O P - S H O W S * * *

Picture: A nice easy question. Who is the star seen on the right? Click for the Answer.
Some surviving programmes:

OH BOY!
THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS
READY STEADY GO!
LITTLE RICHARD
WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN GOIN ON
OFF THE RECORD
SIX-FIVE SPECIAL
JUKE BOX JURY
DISC JOCKEY
A WHOLE SCENE GOING
TOP OF THE POPS
SHINDIG (USA)

See also Cool for Cats
See here for Discs a Gogo. If you can help with details of this show, please email me.

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OH BOY (ABC)
* featuring Cliff Richard, Billy Fury and regular Marty Wilde.
* featuring Brenda Lee, with Don Lang, Mike Preston, Lord Rockingham's XI.

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THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS (ABC)
* Merseyside Special with (no surprise!) The Beatles, Gerry "You'll Never Walk Alone" and the Pacemakers
* TYLS - Special Guest : Tom Jones. With The Rolling Stones
* Farewell edition "Goodbye Lucky Stars" (25th June 1966) with The Beatles, and Helen Shapiro, Gene Pitney, Cleo Laine, Herman's Hermits. Most extraordinary is the incongruous appearance of ageing musical star Ruby Miller.

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READY STEADY GO! (Rediffusion)
1. Otis Redding Special (16 Sept 66),
2. The Beatles (Twist and Shout), debuts for The Animals and for Lulu, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Pete and Dud,
3. The Beatles, Billy Fury, Dusty Springfield, Alma Cogan, Rolling Stones,
4. The Beach Boys, Sandie Shaw, The Searchers, The Rolling Stones, The Beatles,
5. Georgie Fame, Lulu, Them, The Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis,
6. The Moody Blues, Dusty Springfield, Gene Pitney, The Who, The Rolling Stones.

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LITTLE RICHARD (1963, Granada)

Little Richard works up more and more of an impressive sweat- a truly awesome rock show.
The Shirelles also sing a couple of songs and act as a backing group, along with Sounds Incorporated.
The sweat really comes out of Whole Lotta Shakin, the camerawork matches the fervour, close-ups of piano, legs and specially bottoms. Near the end of the 40 minutes, LR gives a brief speech, "you think I'm tired, but I'm not!"

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. WHOLE LOTTA SHAKIN GOIN ON - Sept 29th 1964 (Granada)
3 Legends plus The Animals who keep in the mood with 'Shout.' Gene Vincent looks the most well worn but the iconic motorbike set and impressive camerawork give a frenetic mood which is only increased by the antics of Jerry Lee Lewis, whose live action here is a contrast to his recordings

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OFF THE RECORD (BBC)
* Veteran Jack Payne introduces Sid Phillips Band playing 'I've found a New Baby,' Alma Cogan singing 'Dreamboat,' Ronnie Hilton with 'Always' and Max Bygraves with the excruciating 'Pendulum Song.' George Shearing plays 'Lullaby of Birdland' and The Four Aces give their rendition of 'Stranger in Paradise.' Francis Essex produced this 1955 plug for the record industry

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SIX-FIVE SPECIAL (BBC)
It became legend in its day, as the first pop show Auntie BBC produced, probably as a response to the rival channel's Cool for Cats. It first aired in February 1957 and ran until the end of 1958. As with most BBC shows of the era, its audience rating was normally lower than that on the rival channel. e.g. Jan 11th 1958 TAM estimated a total of 1,122,000 homes watched it, actually a million less than for ITV's Jack Jackson Show at the same transmission time.
The BBC stated, in their pompous way, that the series was "designed for the young in spirit who like to keep abreast of topical trends in the world about them with special emphasis on the world of entertainment." Perhaps that summed up the difference between the aspirations of its creators, Jack Good and Jo Douglas, and their bosses! The first programme included classical pianist Pouishnoff, among all the skiffle, rock n roll, and trad jazz. Ex-boxer Freddie Mills was employed to introduce less well known sports, and comedians added variety. But there's no doubt it was the pop music that the fans wanted most. Broadcast live on Saturdays at 6.05pm from Lime Grove, Over the Points was the lively opener, the remainder of the production team included Trevor Peacock as script writer, Pete Murray compere, and studio manager Philip Lindsey.
Norman Bowles reported on a visit to rehearsals in September 1957. "There was a strong comedy sketch, a theme running through the programme involving six GIs... Lindsey and his assistant, a young South African Chris Dresser, were guiding the artists to the best television-wise positions; translating Jack Good's instructions with ease. This particular day was more chaotic than usual, for Spike Milligan was the guest. A choice bit of unrehearsed fooling with Spike limping as Quasimodo was quickly laid aside when action was needed. The run through: Betty Rose, on wardrobe, busily fixing a camouflage net for Freddie Mills' helmet, assured me that it is 'fun to be with such a jolly crowd.' The day's climax: the doormen let in a hundred or so teenagers... the atmosphere completely changed. The air seemed charged with electricity and the magic of the theatre... The bespectacled stocky producer Jack Good, when not in the control room, dashes about the set with vigour and good humour. Six-Five Special is a young programme, has bright enthusiastic young ideas with Youth at the helm!"

August 1957- Spike Milligan adds hilarity with his jelly detector, then as a butcher who can't cut meat. Don Lang sings White and Silver Sands, plus Rex Rocks. Ray Anthony talks to Pete Murray, Jo Douglas goes climbing in Wales. Chris Barber plays Steamboat Bill and The Deep River Boys wind up the show

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JUKE BOX JURY (BBC)
A critic wrote: "The consistently good thing about this programme is the chairman David Jacobs...he is intelligent, witty, handsome (says my wife!) and polished enough to cover the flaws... as the chief BBC contender for a TAM rating, it's surprising more care isn't taken in choosing the panel. All sorts of wrong people turn up on the show... it allows gentle controversy between the kids and their parents. every once in a while the parents may guess correctly! But either way, it brings the two generations closer together."
My review of a surviving 1960 edition with an uncritical panel of Jill Ireland, David McCallum, Nina and Frederick: Nearly all the records are voted hits except for Colin Day's 'Till,' he unfortunate to be in the studio to hear the verdict. How did Pinky and Perky get the thumbs up? As for Frank Sinatra's abysmal Ol' MacDonald, that was beyond a joke. Still, at least the panel got it right with Poetry in Motion.

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DISC JOCKEY (on 35mm film, BBC pilot)
- January 1961. This is essentially a compilation of pop videos featuring: Jimmy Lloyd - I Double Dare You / Frank Ifield - Gotta Getta Date / The Vernon Girls - Now is the Month of Maying / The Shadows - Apache / Connie Francis (?) - Do You Want to?

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A WHOLE SCENE GOING (BBC 1966)
* teenage chat show with guests including Michael Crawford, Jonathan King. Singing from The Pretty Things and Sandie Shaw, who is also interviewed

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TOP OF THE POPS (BBC)

There are of course lots of surviving shows!
1968: with The Foundations, Status Quo, Alan Price, Herman's Hermits, Amen Corner, Manfred Mann

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SHINDIG - American ABC's series some of which were recorded in UK. This show from the Richmond Jazz Festival includes The Animals, The Moody Blues, Brian Auger and Rod Stewart, The T-Bones, Georgie Fame

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DICKIE HENDERSON SHOW
Dickie's first appeared on ITV in an ATV series which began on October 6th 1956, Young and Foolish, with co-stars Chic Murray and Jack Parnell's Band.
His first domestic comedy series was entitled:
Dickie Henderson Half-Hour (click for details of one surviving show) and it started on Friday July 4th 1958 at 8.30pm.
Here are brief details:
July 4th- with June Cunningham. Song Spot: Ilene Day. July 11th- with Anthea Askey, and Eve Lister, Bernard Hunter and Freddie Mills, Song Spot: Ilene Day. July 18th- with Eric Delaney, Song Spot: Diane Todd. July 25th- with Jill Day. Aug 1st- with Patrick Moore. Aug 8th- with William Sylvester. Aug 15th- same as July 11th. Aug 22nd- same as July 11th except in the Song Spot was Diane Todd. Aug 29th- with Marion Keene. Sept 5th- with Marion Keene. Sept 12th- with June Cunningham, Diane Todd.

Another series came in May and June 1959- co-starring Anthea Askey, whilst appearing in some shows were Clive Dunn and Lionel Murton- he became a regular on Dickie's 'Show' from 1960. Bill Ternent and his Orchestra supplied the music for the series produced by Bill Hitchcock. One of these shows with Anthea Askey, Eve Lister and Bernard Hunter was repeated on Christmas Day 1959 in some ITV regions. Critic D Hoddinott bemoaned the first in this series, "bad telerecording... sets look like leftovers from a tour of Rose Marie...Marion Keene looking ravishing, but with a background so antiquated she might as well have worn a Victorian bathing costume."

8 series of the Dickie Henderson Show were made by Associated Rediffusion between 1960 and 1965, a total of approx 100 shows, which are listed below. I believe these are all currently in existence in the Rediffusion archive. All starred Dickie Henderson. Anthea Askey, Dickie's co-star in his previous series, had been approached to play his tv wife, but declined as she was expecting a baby. So June Laverick became Dickie's partner, and was a regular along with Lionel Murton. Playing Dickie's child (eight years old in 1960) was John Parsons who lasted from series 1 to 5, then Danny Grover took over for series 6 to 8.
All scripts written by Jimmy Grafton, with others helping him as stated.
All stories directed by Bill Hitchcock.

Series 1 1960/1 (26 shows)- Mondays 8.00pm
After the pilot was approved (see 1:2), rehearsals commenced on October 10th 1960.

1:1 The Psychiatrist November 14th 1960. This first programme was recorded at Wembley Studios on Oct 14th.

1:2 The Quiz November 21st 1960. This was the title of the pilot which was made sometime during the summer of 1960. This programme was recorded on Nov 11th 1960. Guest star was Richard Wattis as a Scoutmaster, with Hughie Greene as the Quizmaster, who has the tables turned on him.

1.3 The Song November 28th 1960 guest star Marty Wilde with Meier Tzelniker, Elfrida Eden, Rex Grey, Pamela Greer, Benice Swanson and Albert Barnett. "In the show Marty hopes to sing Little Girl"

1.4 The Dress December 5th 1960 guest star Eve Boswell with Geoffrey Hibbert, John Crocker, Lindsay Scott-Patton, Lisa Noble and Fiona Glenn (not Lionel Murton). Also recorded along with 1.2 on Nov 11th.

1.5 The Bachelor December 12th 1960

1.6 The Race December 19th 1960 guest star Richard Wattis with Robert Perceval, John Crocker, Hamlyn Benson, Ian Wilson, Beckett Bould and Stanley Vine

1.7 The Diet December 26th 1960

1.8 The Film Star January 2nd 1961

1.9 The Fur Coat January 9th 1961

1:10 The Music Lovers January 16th 1961

1:11 The Actor January 23rd 1961 with guest star Bernard Bresslaw, plus Frank Leighton, John McLaren and Lorne Cossette. Dickie and Jack are searching for an American for a new series they are planning, and hold a monster audition

1.12 The Idol (January 30th 1961) with guest star John Bentley, plus Lindsay Scott Patton, Norma Parnell, and Joel Noble

1.13 The Farce (February 6th 1961) with guest star Brian Rix also Elspeth Gray, with Lindsay Scott Patton, Geoffrey Hibbert, David Ludman, Harry Littlewood, Pat Laurence, Pat Roberts and Irene Barrie

1:14 The Golf Match February 13th 1961

1:15 The Fight February 20th 1961

1:16 The Violin February 27th 1961

1:17 The Move March 6th 1961

1.18 The Dancer March 13th 1961 guest star Lionel Blair with Diana French and Kenneth Nash

1.19 The Birthday Present (March 20th 1961) with guest star Naunton Wayne. Also Richard Caldicot and George Tovey, John Rae, Eric Nicholson and Arthur Blake

1:20 The Relation March 27th 1961

1:21 The Burglars April 3rd 1961 (Easter Monday) Associate writer Stan Mars guest star Donald Gray with Ivor Salter, Eugenie Cavanagh, James McLoughlin and Henry Kay

1.22 The Maid April 10th 1961 (note- pleased to know this has turned up on a 16mm print)

1.23 The Patient April 17th 1961 Script: Jimmy Grafton, Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars. Guest star Alan Melville with Joyce Barbour, Barbara Robinson, John Crocker, Gordon Rollings and Vikki Harrington

1.24 The Rival April 24th 1961

1:25 The Butler May 1st 1961

1:26 The Exchange Visit May 8th 1961 Script: Jimmy Grafton, Jeremy Lloyd and Robert Gray guest stars: George Baker and Marie France with Edwina Mitchell, Rowena Torrance, Blanche Moore, Margaret Boyd, Benn Simons, Nicholas Roylands

Series 2 (7 shows)- Mondays 8.00pm

2:1 The Publicity Agent November 13th 1961

2:2 The Record November 20th 1961 Script: Jimmy Grafton, with Jeremy Lloyd and Robert Gray guest star David Jacobs with Alexander Dore and Billy Milton

2:3 The Plane November 27th 1961 Script: Jimmy Grafton, Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars; guest star Hughie Green

2:4 The Camp December 4th 1961 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd guest star Richard Wattis with Berry Huntley-Wright, Robert Perceval and John Wentworth, Irene Richmond, Lindsay Scott-Paton, Robin Ford

2:5 The Paris Week-End December 11th 1961

2:6 The Racehorse December 18th 1961 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Alan Fell and Jeremy Lloyd; guest stars: Bill Owen and John Rickman with Joe Ritchie, Charles Farrell, Hamlyn Benson, William Douglas

2:7 The Puppy Tues 26th December 1961 8pm Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd

Series 3 (7 shows)- Mondays 9.15pm

3:1 The Tramp May 7th 1962

3:2 The New TV May 14th 1962

3.3 The Necklace May 21st 1962 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Eric Newman; guest star Dora Bryan with Ronnie Corbett, Gordon Rollings, Peter Welch. On a visit to the jewellers to have June's watch repaired, Dickie and Jack unwittingly become involved with two expert jewel-thieves

3.4 The Cure May 28th 1962 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars; guest star Eve Boswell. Jack is feeling a little out of sorts, and Eve Boswell recommends a cure. The result is 'Super-Jack'

3.5 The Protest June 4th 1962 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell; guest star James Hayter with Brian Oulton and Pat Coombs, Joe Ritchie, Mollie Maureen, Frank Sieman. Dickie has good reason to support Major Montmorency's campaign to save the local park gates, due to be pulled down by order of the Parks Committee. But his enthusiasm wavers when he becomes far more involved than he anticipated

3:6 The Gangster June 11th 1962 (Whit Monday) Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars; guest star Boris Karloff with Danny Green, John Croker, Fred McNaughton, John Barrard, Howard Knight. On their way to give a performance for a police concert, Dickie and Co meet a gang of crooks. When they pretend to be gangsters things become very involved

3:7 The Voyage June 18th 1962 also with Robert Cawdron, Ronnie Corbett, Tom Gill, Frank Sieman, Dorothea Phillips, Walter Swash and guest star George Coulouris. Dickie and family leave for the USA in a luxury liner. But smooth sailing is out of the question with a stowaway on board, somebody they all know very well!

Series 4 (19 shows)- Wednesdays 9.15pm (some weeks there was no show as Party Political Broadcasts stupidly intruded on the schedule)

4.1 The Footballer November 21st 1962

4.2 The Visit November 28th 1962 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell; guest star Beryl Reid with Tom Gill, Peter Elliott, William Dysart, Stanley Ayres

4:3 The Beauty Contest December 5th 1962

4:4 The Romance December 12th 1962 guest star Richard Wattis with Bob Todd, Elspeth Pirie, Alexandra Dane (no Lionel Murton)

4.5 The Leprechaun (December 19th 1962) with Guest stars Ruby Murray and Bobby Howes, also Bee Duffell, John Kelly, Michael Corcoran and Francis Napier

4:6 Dickie Henderson Christmas Show December 25th 8-9pm (1 hour special) Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd; guest stars: Bernard Bresslaw, Hughie Green, Alfred Marks, Richard Wattis, Rita Webb and Leslie Sarony with Joe Ritchie, William Douglas, Harry Littlewood, Helen Ford, Lindsay Scott-Patton, Susan George, David Palmer and The Ivor Raymonde Singers, The Pamela Devis Dancers

4:7 The Addict January 2nd 1963

4:8 The Courtcase January 9th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell; guest star Michael Denison, with Stanley Unwin, Jeremy Lloyd, John Rae, John Crocker, Bob Todd and Alexandra Dane

4:9 The Stamp Collector January 16th 1963

4.10 The Moonshiners January 23rd 1963

4:11 The Quarrel January 30th 1963

4.12 The Double February 6th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton. Guest star Bob Monkhouse. With Golda Casimir, Viviane Ventura, Norman Chappell.

4.13 The Legacy February 13th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell; guest star Naunton Wayne with Billy Danvers, John Crocker, John Cross, Paul Williamson, Arthur Blake

4:14 The Racing Car February 20th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Eric Newman; guest star Jack Brabham with John Bolster and Anthony Bygraves. Dickie finds himself racing against Jack Brabham and Max Bygraves' son- but a mystery driver pips them all at the post

4:15 The Hypnotist March 13th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stan Mars and Peter Griffiths; guest star Jon Pertwee with Tom Gill, Liza Page, Gwen Lewis, Eric Nicholson, Gordon Phillott, Margaret Boyd, Brenda Haydn

March 20th- no show

4:16 The Housekeeper March 27th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Eric Newman; guest star Irene Handl with Jerry Desmonde, and Paul Williamson, Blanche Moore. June sprains her wrist and the Hendersons decide to engage somebody to help with the chores. Just Dickie's luck to choose a housekeeper with a passion for bingo

4:17 The Playwright April 10th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton, associates: Johnny Whyte and Eric Newman; guest star: Dora Bryan with Michael Logan, Robert Cawdron (no John Parsons). A scream in the night from the flat next door sends Dickie and June investigating

4.18 The Letter April 17th 1963

4:19 The Stately Home April 24th 1963 8.45pm Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell guest star The Marquis of Bath with Andrew Bowen, Paul Williamson, Tom Gill

Series 5 (8 shows)- Fridays 7pm

5:1 The Clock June 14th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stan Mars; guest star: Raymond Francis with Paul Williamson, Arthur Gomez, Victor Charrington (no John Parsons)

5:2 The Guinea Pigs June 21st 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars; guest star Alan Melville with Hamilton Dyce, Arthur Mullard and Jeremy Lloyd, Gwen Lewis and Paul Williamson. Dickie and Jack visit a health clinic and reporter Alan Melville goes along to report Dickie's progress

5:3 The Country Cottage June 28th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers; guest star James Hayter with Reginald Beckwith and Fank Sieman. June persuades Dickie to buy a country cottage from an old friend Major Montmorency (JH), who sells them an Elizabethan 'wreck' then tries to get them out again to sell to an American

5:4 The Spy July 5th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars; guest star Guy Doleman with Malcolm Webster, Rudolf Offenbach. A mysterious phone call convinces Dickie that his life is in danger. James Bland- 009 of the Secret Service- is called in

5:5 The Painter July 12th 1963 (possibly postponed to 8th August 1963 6.15pm) Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell; guest star Lance Percival with Peter Elliott and Imogen Hassall. June breaks a mirror and decides to replace it with a painting. With Jack's help she engages the services of a beatnik artist (LP)

5:6 The Convict July 19th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd and Stan Mars; guest star George Coulouris with George Tovey and Raymond Hodge, Gabrielle Daye (no John Parsons). A friend of Jack's lends him a cottage on Dartmoor for the weekend and he persuades Dickie and June to share it. A radio announcement about an escaped convict makes their weekend less peaceful than they had hoped

5:7 The Wrestler July 26th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Eric Newman; guest star Freddie Mills with Jackie Pallo and John Yearsley, Peter Szakaes, David Brown. Dickie decides to include a wrestling skit in his TV show and friend Freddie Mills persuades him to seek expert advice from wrestling personality JP

5.8 The School Play August 2nd 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Stanley Myers and Alan Fell; guest star Richard Wattis with Damaris Hayman, Howard Knight. Richard's schoolmaster (RW) traps Dickie into agreeing to produce the school play

Series 6 (15 shows)- Thursdays 7.30pm Note- No official episode titles given in TV Times. The series again starred Dickie Henderson and June Laverick but this series with Danny Grover and Lionel Murton

6:1 (Parking Meter) September 19th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton with Jeremy Lloyd, Stanley Myers, Alan Fell. When parking meters are introduced outside the Henderson's flat, a battle of wits develops between Dickie and the traffic warden

6.2 (The Babysitter) September 26th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton, associates: Jeremy Lloyd, Stanley Myers, Alan Fell. (no Danny Grover mentioned in cast). When June offers to do some babysitting for a friend, Dickie finds himself literally holding the baby.

6.3 (The Home Doctor) October 3rd 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Paul Williamson, June Elvin (no Danny Grover). When Dickie, anxious about the state of his health, consults June's Home Doctor he discovers that a little learning can be dangerous

6:4 October 10th 1963

6.5 (October 17th 1963) with Richard Caldicot (no Lionel Murton, or Danny Grover). Dickie pooh-poohs the idea of June taking driving lessons and insists on instructing her himself with unexpected results

6:6 (The Economy Drive) Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Dickie starts a drive for household economy, but when he insists on doing the shopping himself, June decides to teach him a lesson

6:7 October 31st 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Eddie Byrne

6:8 (The Old Flame) November 7th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. June decides that Dickie is neglecting her, and she tries to make him jealous by inventing an old flame

6.9 November 14th 1963

6.10 November 21st 1963

6.11 November 28th 1963

6.12 (The Gambler) originally advertised to be shown November 14th 1963 but actually screened December 5th 1963. Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. When Richard becomes interested in horse racing Dickie decides to teach him a sharp lesson about gambling- with anxious results for himself

6.13 December 12th 1963

6.14 (The Germ) December 19th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Dickie has arranged an important TV interview, so when his family start going down with flu, he decides to wage war against the germ.

6.15 (The Insomniac) December 26th 1963 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. When Dickie is so excited about a film offer that he suffers from insomnia, his efforts to get to sleep produce some extraordinary results

Series 7 (approx 12 shows)- Wednesdays 9.10pm (some weeks there was no show due to Party Political Broadcasts)

7.1 (The Boy Friend) April 29th 1964 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd Cast with William Franklyn and Anne Jameson, Geraldine Ward. Dickie lectures Richard on the evils of jealousy, but when an old boy friend of June's come to call, he finds it difficult to practise what he has been preaching.

7.2 May 6th 1964

No show on May 13th

7.3 (The Job) May 20th 1964 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Frank Thornton, Sheena Marshe and Rita Webb (no Danny Grover) June decides to show her independence by getting a job- but Dickie retaliates by engaging a beautiful housekeeper

7.4 (The Formation Dancing Team) May 27th 1964 Script: Jimmy Grafton, Jeremy Lloyd, Johnny Whyte, Stanley Myers Cast with Jeremy Lloyd, Rita Webb, Damaris Hayman, Anne Jameson, Norman Mitchell The Frank and Peggy Spencer Formation Team. A surprise present for June leads to some unwelcome surprises for Dickie, including a mix-up with a formation dancing team

7.5 (The Bet) June 3rd 1964 Script: Jimmy Grafton, Jeremy Lloyd and Maurice Wiltshire. Cast with Eleanor Summerfield and Arthur Mullard, Barney Gilbraith. An argument about who needs who most in marriage leads Dickie and June into trying to live apart in the same flat for a bet. Guess who gives in first

7.6 June 10th 1964 Script: David Climie. With Eleanor Summerfield, Frank Sieman. June dreams of Dickie's infidelity with Madge and Dickie scoffs at her fears until some of her other dreams start coming true.

7.7 (The Birthday) June 17th 1964 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Eleanor Summerfield, David Langton and Lizabeth Webb. Dickie forgets June's birthday, and a last minute attempt to put things right causes some unfortunate complications

7.8 (The Fan) June 22nd - moved to Monday night for this week only - Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Norman Chappell, Hazel Coppen and Jane Murdoch (no Danny Grover). Dickie is accustomed to having fans, but when one turns out to be a married woman and a neighbour, he finds himself in an embarrassing situation with the husband.

(The Moustache) scheduled for July 1st 1964 but postponed to August 5th 1964

7.9 (The Courtship) July 8th 1964 with Eleanor Summerfield, guest Vic Oliver. Dickie reminisces about his courtship days with June and, in a flashback, we see that the course of true love did not always run smooth. (Several of the cast were made up to look twenty years younger in this story!)

(The Essay) scheduled for July 15th 1964 but postponed to August 12th 1964

7.10 July 22nd 1964

July 29th - no show

7.11 (The Moustache) August 5th 1964, postponed from 1st July. Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Eleanor Summerfield, David Langton and Rudolf Offenbach, Shirley Cameron, Susanna Carroll, Cameron Hall, Rosemarie Frankland Dickie finds himself in conflict with June over a moustache he has grown while away on tour. June enlists Madge's help in trying to get rid of it and Dickie declares war

7.12 (The Essay) August 12th 1964 with Eleanor Summerfield, Robert Perceval and John Crocker. Richard wins an essay about his father for school, but Dickie considers the image to be inaccurate and tries to influence Richard into changing it, with unexpected results (originally advertised for July 15th 1964)

Series 8 - one one-off episode in May 1965, then the series of 8 more shows ran from August on Mondays 9.10pm. The details are for the A-R London area. Some other regions showed it at different times, TWW for example screening it on Saturday evenings.

8.1 (The Father) Thursday May 20th 1965 7pm Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd Cast with June Elvin, Arthur Blake, Robert Scott Webber (no Danny Grover). Dickie takes us back to the year his son Richard was born and shows us all the agonies of the expectant father

8.2 (The Row) August 16th 1965 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Eleanor Summerfield, and Hugh Latimer, Robert Perceval and Lizabeth Webb. June accuses Dickie of indifference and the resulting row becomes so big, their friends decide to intervene only to find their own marriages threatened

8.3 (The Pop Group) August 23rd 1965 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Hugh Latimer, Peter Graves, Bertie Hare, Arthur Gross, Mark Gascoigne, Kevin Bennett, Peter Pike, Janette Sattler. When Dickie tries to get rich quick by putting a new group under contract and launching them on his television show he finds out that fortunes aren't made all that easily

8.4 (The Cricket Match) August 30th 1965 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. guest: Freddie Trueman with Bertie Hare. When Dickie is invited to play in a charity cricket match he finds himself up against one of the world's fastest bowlers

8.5 (The Shopper) September 6th 1965 (screened on Sat Oct 16th 1965 on TWW) Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Eleanor Summerfield, and Robert Perceval, Tom Gill, Felicity Gordon, Arthur Mullard, Blanche Moore, Claire Ruane. Dickie sets out to prove to June that men are quicker shoppers than women and almost perishes in the attempt

8.6 (The Love Letter) September 13th 1965 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Norma Foster (no Danny Grover). An old love letter leads June into accusing Dickie of being unsentimental. Dickie tries to prove the opposite with embarrassing results.

8.7 (The Dogsbody) September 20th 1965 (screened on Sat Oct 30th 1965 on TWW) Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. guest: Semprini, with Joseph Layode. (no Danny Grover). Dickie imagines that noone is indispensable, but when Jack complains he is being treated as a dogsbody and decides to leave, Dickie finds he cannot do without him

8.8 (The Dentist) September 27th 1965 Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Hugh Latimer, Lizabeth Webb, George Coulouris, Guy Kingsley Poynter, Jane Murdoch, Frank Sieman. Dickie tries to get out of a visit to a new dentist by substituting Jack

8.9 (The Hidden Accident) October 4th 1965 (final show) Script: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Cast with Eleanor Summerfield, Robert Perceval and Robert Raglan.

A later quite different series of 12 further shows recorded in late 1967/ early 1968 gave Dickie a new wife.
This new Dickie Henderson Show starred Dickie Henderson, with Isla Blair as Dickie's wife. Eight actresses were auditioned for her part, but it was said Dickie's real life wife Gwyneth decided Isla was right for the role. Lionel Murton appeared from story 2.
Scripts: Jimmy Grafton and Jeremy Lloyd. Directed by Bill Hitchcock.
Dates are for London Rediffusion screening. It seems ABC in the Midlands/North premiered the shows on Sundays at 7.25pm starting in late 1967.
1. The Image (January 10th 1968). With Pete Murray as himself, Wendy Padbury as Carol, David Selwyn as Harold and Brian Burdon as Window cleaner. Jane's niece has a crush on Pete Murray. Dickie is called upon to cure it.
2. Cold Comfort (January 17th 1968). With David Kelsey as Julian Torrington-Brown, Peter Graves as Peter and Len Lowe as Director. Dickie has never made a commercial- until now!
3. The Amateur Professional (January 24th 1968). With Hugh Latimer as Harry, Vivienne Martin as Mrs Ashburton, Edwin Finn as The Vicar, Damaris Hayman as Miss Lambshead, Josephine Gordon as Florrie Cannon, and Robert Percival as Mr Biggs. With Margaret Heald, Jayne Peach, Carole James, Janet Krasowska and Lorain Bertolli as Miss Lambshead's pupils. The local Amateur Dramatic Society are presenting The Student Vagabond, and Dickie has been asked to appear.
4. ?
5. The Security Leak (February 7th 1968), with Brian Burdon, Bertie Hare, Dickie Martyn, Anthony Kemp and John Moulder-Brown. Dickie is in Summer Season and finds that, somehow, another comic is using his material.
6. Be A Clown (February 14th 1968). With Roger Avon, Johnnie Clayton, Len Lowe, Ali Hassan, Marika Rivers, George Clayden, Steven Follett and Ruben Martin and his Troupe. Dickie has to stand in when a clown disappears from a circus.
7. The Politician (February 21st 1968). With Arthur Mullard as Flunkey, David Kelsey vivian Drummond, Jeffrey Gardiner Nigel Batley, Denis Handby Dinner Organiser, and Charles West as Psychiatrist. Dickie accidentally gets mixed up in politics and finds it very difficult to get out again.
8. The Question of Wives (February 28th 1968). With Peter Graves (as in the first story), Jacqueline Jones, Hazel Graham, Sheena Marshe and Robert Scott-Webber. Dickie has to choose himself a new 'wife' for his tv show, and June thinks that his real wife would be just right for the part.
9. The Mixed-Up Foursome (March 6th 1968). With Henry Cotton as Himself, and Eleanor Summerfield as Maggie. Dickie and Jack are keen golfers, June and Maggie decide to take up the game.
10. It's my Camera- Not Yours (March 13th 1968). With Hugh Latimer as Harry, Lizabeth Webb, Rita Webb, David Rowlands and John East. Jack wants to send a movie to his folks in Canada. Harry and Dickie decide to help him make it...
To the Dickie Henderson Show review page.

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Marty Wilde

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