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

Fred Fails but Dora Delights

The Guardian’s Radio Critic (RC) was disappointed by Fred Emney’s television turn at the National Radio Show. Under the subheading “Hampered by Script” RC noted that in the recent series Emney Enterprises Emney “appeared to be another of the stage top-liners who took naturally to television” but this time he was “below his best.”

RC found the script to be “singularly poor” and “indeed the whole construction of the show was slow and clumsy” and he felt that Mr Emney “appeared to be more than a little dimmed by the poorness of the material.”

Clifford Davis’s main concern, in the Daily Mirror, is the lack of new female stars who can sing, dance and act – “a British Judy Garland” as he puts it. He says that television has “produced plenty of new men – like Benny Hill, Dave King and Bob Monkhouse. But no girls.”

He adds that both the BBC and the commercial companies have had to “buy girl-star programmes from America” – I Love Lucy in the case of ITV, I Married Joan for the BBC. “But,” says Davis, “there Is an English girl who could be a winner on TV. Her name? Dora Bryan.”

There are hundreds of folk on the BBC tonight, but Dora doesn’t seem to be one of them. It’s the last night of the National Radio Show and tonight’s Arenascope presentation is entitled “O.B Parade” and the 45-minute programme features 500 performers from the BBC regions. The entertainment on offer includes Padstow’s May Day festival, tossing the caber, a tug of war, a Concours d’Elegance of British cars and numerous pipe, drum and military bands. Also from the NRS is Secombe Here and joining Harry are Peter Sellers, Ruby Murray, Libby Morris, Audrey Jeans, Sam Kydd, John Vyvyan and others. The day also features another 90 minutes at the swimming and diving championships in Blackpool and an hour-and-three-quarters from the City of Birmingham Show.

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