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

Amateur Hour

It’s another interesting and educational day on BBC television: Beresford Evans talks about Telling the Time by the Sun and later un-named people, at least as far as Radio Times is concerned, take part in a discussion on “Spiritual Healing” as part of the series Mind and Body.

The High Commissioner for India in London, Mrs Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit is At Home while Olive Shapley asks a number of young people What Are You Going To Be? The early part of evening prime-time is take up with a visit to the Royal Welsh Agricultural Show at Haverford West, and one of the few nods to the populist has Jack Payne introducing Jean Carson, David Hughes, The Ray Ellington Quartet, Tony Brent, The Kentones and Joe Henderson in Off The Record.

Not much to be said, in advance, about any of that, so it’s back the newspapers. The Times carries the revelation that Dr. Billy Graham, the American evangelist, has accepted an invitation from the Associated Broadcasting Company to appear in a 26-week season on commercial television during the winter. Graham “emphasised” that there would be no payment for the series of broadcasts “to my organization or to myself.”

The Daily Express‘s Cyril Aynsley reports on the production of a film, Simon and Laura, which is “the story of a nagging couple who appear in a TV series as the ideally married husband and wife.” To give the film more authenticity, some real TV stars are making cameo appearances as themselves. Among the names mentioned are Lady Barnett, ‘Teasey Weasey’ Raymond and Gilbert Harding. In the title roles are Peter Finch and Kay Kendall.

Television viewers have already been given a chance to see parts of the original play: excerpts were broadcast back in January from the Strand Theatre, London where the two leading roles were played by Roland Culver and Coral Browne. Two members of the stage cast do appear in the film, though only one – Ian Carmichael as David Prentice – has the same part. The other is Esma Cannon, who played Jessie on the stage, but is downgraded to ‘Laura from Newcastle’ in the film as Thora Hird gets the showier role.

Echoing The Guardian‘s comments about the BBC’s Thursday programming, Cyril Aynsley also has a rant on behalf of the “Thursday Night Viewers League”. He complains that it’s “dustbin night”, the evening where “amateurs are let loose on the poor public” and a night of “repeats, rubbish and relics.”

ITV should have a field day, then, on their opening night.

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