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

Monkey Business

It’s a slow television news day today.

The Daily Mirror reports on the televising of the second half of a special soccer match between Third Division North and Third Division South. Unfortunately, the television cameras were only catching the second half action and four of the six goals were scored in the first half. What’s more, in the televised period, the players managed to kick the ball out of the ground twice causing a certain degree of delay. Although the paper believes that “The poverty-stricken Third Division anticipated its best advertisement of the season”, the screened portion was less than thrilling.

According to the Daily Mirror, the first animal to be filmed by the Granada Television cameras at London Zoo will be Benaudi, better known as ‘Little Ben’ a two-month-old chimpanzee whose name was chosen by, wait for it, “Daily Mirror readers”.

Sixteen plumbers, on strike for an extra 7½d an hour, went back to work at Television House in Kingsway yesterday, after the rise was granted. The main water supply had been turned off since Saturday although they had still be water in the kitchens so tea was brewed as usual. This from the Express.

And so to the TV Page-and-a-bit in this week’s The Stage. There’s a photograph of Muriel Young, noting that not only has she been appointed as one of six permanent announcers by Associated-Rediffusion, but also that she lives in New Row off St. Martin’s Lane, that she grows her own salads, and she is married to television producer Cyril Coke. It also says she’s 27 which is a year older than she was in September despite her birthday being in June. Can someone not keep track of the narrative?

ATV, as we can now call them, have had to shave ten minutes off their popular Sunday Afternoon programme as previously reported. And despite what’s already been said about poor Mervyn Levy, they’re asking their viewers to vote for their most popular items on the programme, and this information will be used to decide what will be deleted. The Stage includes a handy list of the “personalities included in the show as it stands” and names “Penny Knowles, Tom Driberg, Mervyn Levy, Chin Yu and David Williams, Jill Cragie, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, Leslie Welch, Ludovic Kennedy and Margaret Leighton”.

The same page reports on John Gower, as 23-year-old bass singer “with a voice reminiscent of Paul Robeson’s” who recently sang on Ralph Reader’s programme The Chance of a Lifetime on Associated-Rediffusion. The company has given Gower, who since the programme has turned 24, an exclusive contract. The article explains, “Artists who appear in The Chance of a Lifetime are suggested by viewers who, having seen them in the theatre, music-hall or concert party, writer to Reader asking that they may be given an opportunity to appear in television. Gower was proposed by Diane Aubrey, of Kensington, who saw him in a concert party during her holiday at Bognor.” Although The Stage doesn’t specify, I suspect that Gower’s Bognor turn was as part of the “Fol de Rols” concert party. +60

I’ll save most of The Stage’s television reviews until another day but I loved this one. A.G. writes on the I Love Lucy episode “Be A Pal”: “Lucille Ball, as Lucy, and Desi Arnaz, as her husband, put over the comedy well with superb facial support from William Fawley.”

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