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

Jew Diligence

The Guardian’s Radio Critic (RC), who has been away for a fortnight, has returned and is already glued to the gogglebox despite it looking, “more sharply grotesque after the interval”.

Topically, RC spotted The Brains Trust discussing divorce on which topic Lady Pakenham and Dr Julian Huxley disagreed, but how? RC does not elaborate. RC is back in time to catch the last of four episodes of The Makepeace Story and suggests that “if the first three were anything like the last then viewers will probably have felt intense relief that the end has come.” “Dull dialogue, a general creaking of the plot, and a lack of any real drama,” RC concludes.

Robert Cannell, in the Daily Express, has a contrasting view. He praises William Franklyn’s performance as Bob Makepeace in the final part of The Makepeace Story, writing: “He was not only on the screen for almost the whole of the 90 minutes of the play; he had to present a multiple character of smooth charm, tender love-making, yet with the underlying stubbornness of a Lancashire man intent of having his own way.” Describing the whole as a “first class drama” Cannell notes that “Most of the players defied tradition by speaking in Southern English, which did not conflict with the plot. The only flaw was when once or twice attempts were made to create Lancashire dialect by people to whom it was obviously a foreign tongue.”

Cyril Aynsley was pleased to see more British artists on Sunday Night at the London Palladium last night, including Ruby Murray, Alma Cogan, Jewel and Warriss, and Leslie Mitchell – who interviewed Terry-Thomas while he (Thomas) was wearing a leopard-skin and represented the man who strike the gong before the beginning of the film. Aynsley finishes, “No undue homage was paid to any one artist and the programme was better balanced because of that.”

The Editor of The Times has received a further communication on the subject of television in hotels: the correspondence comes this time from F. S. Gentle, Vice-Chairman of the Association for the Protection of Copyright in Sport. Mr Gentle writes that where permission is given for the televising of sporting events, this permission only extends to the home and “it should not be [shown] in public places without compensation.” So that is now three letter-writers, none of whom seem particularly disposed to television in hotels. Anyone for?

Well certainly not a group of rabbis who, at the weekend, ask Orthodox Jews throughout London “to ban TV from their homes”. They were told that it is the “most contaminating influence of our time. The rabbis apparently preached against it, and a poster signed by 150 British, American and Canadian rabbis condemned TV as a “parade of depravity”. This from the Daily Express. As the request seems to have only gone to Jews in London, is it just independent television that they don’t like?

 

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