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

Mime Types

A number of papers report the words of Mr W. G. Ellen of Standard Telephones and Cables in North Woolwich. A cable giving simultaneous reception of programmes on both sides of the Atlantic could “be laid but it would probably be ten years before it became economic.”

Clifford Davis in the Daily Mirror is exercised by a new phenomenon. I’ll let him explain:

The bright boys of both Independent and BBC TV have worked out a nasty little gimmick whereby singers’s come before the cameras, move their lips and appear to be singing although not a sound comes from them.

Somewhere in, the background, a technician puts on a gramophone record. And – while the singer mimes – viewers hear the record, not the actual performer.

Davis points his finger at Jimmy Young, at Max Bygraves in This is Music Hall and Alma Cogan in The Jack Jackson Show.

He concludes: “If singers haven’t time to rehearse or production costs won’t permit proper orchestrations, then I’d rather do without these popular songs altogether.”

Clifford Davis doesn’t mention the other situation where miming comes info play – on more complicated production numbers where it’s impossible to get a microphone consistently close enough to the singer(s) without intruding into vision. Here the full backing track will be pre-recorded by the production, but that’s quite a different thing to just playing a gramophone record. I’m sure things well get worse before they get better.

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