The world of British television off and on the screen, as it was sixty years ago.

Bright Sparks and Toc H Lamps

The Times carries the British Radio Equipment Manufacturers’ Association’s latest figures for sales of television and radio receivers, these covering the month of September. The total number of television sets sold was 138,000 (compared to 64,000 in August and 61,000 in July); the number of radio sets was 79,000 compared to 73,000 and 84,000. No figures are given for radiograms although the piece notes “a minor boom” in that area. Fortunately, The Guardian fills the gap: 19,000, compared to 11,000 and 13,000.

Clifford Davis, in the Daily Mirror, records his thoughts on two panel games – What’s It All About?, on ITV and the stalwart What’s My Line? on the BBC. The latter needs little introduction, but the former, “employs challengers to recall an incident, and if the panel fails to explain what it was all about the challenger is rewarded with ten £1 notes.” Declaring some of the incidents “very funny”, Davis cites “One man [who] claimed to have seen three sailors come to a road, stop and bow twice.” And why had they done this? Davis again: “It turned out to be a joke among the sailors on seeing the road-sign ‘Double-Bend'”. Consider my thighs slapped.

Davis says that he preferred What’s My Line?, not because it was a better panel show but because “the BBC panel was the better.” Davis doesn’t identify the star turns, but according to Radio Times the WML? panel consisted of Isobel Barnett, Yolande Donlan, Gilbert Harding and David Nixon while TV Times lists Avis Scott, Ngaio Marsh, Michael Trubshawe and Dr Mostyn Lewis on WIAA?

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