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

Not the Comfy Chair

Various papers note that the Wireless Telegraphy (Blind Persons) Bill was read in parliament for a second time on Friday 8th.

The Express‘s Aynsley Angle column carries behind-the-scenes gossip related to the panel game One of the Family. Apparently, the chairman, Franklin Engelmann, has been ordered not to mention the discomfort of the chair in which guests sit. He’s been saying, “Sorrv, it’s the best we can offer you” much to the chagrin of producer T. Leslie Jackson who claims, “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with the chair. It’s an ordinary upholstered chair.”

The same paper has other exciting news in its report that the submarine Thermopylae was yesterday fitted with a TV set — a gift from a firm whose electronic equipment has been tested in the submarine. Those in the know say that the sub is going to carry out two experiments. The first will be to discover the best type of aerial for use in any area around the British Isles while the second is to learn whether or not a TV signal can be received while “snorting” – in other words, with only the breathing tube above the water.

Clifford Davis in the Daily Mirror is concerned with the more down-to-earth exploits of Richard Greene who, he says, “has gallantly agreed to become television’s first Robin Hood, has been opening doors, prancing down corridors and battlements of medieval Walton-on-Thames since February.” Now, that’s all well and good, but he’s hardly “television’s first Robin Hood” – has he already forgotten Patrick Troughton‘s turn as our man in Lincoln Green in the BBC’s 1953 series Robin Hood?

Factual niggles aside, what else is new? Well, apparently the programme’s art director Peter Proud is very, err, pleased (ha!), with the new technique they’ve employed to enable them to change a whole set in six minutes. Everything, even the trees, is on wheels so things can be moved – or turned – around in next to no time.

Davis also records that the series has been sold to an American television network for £500,000 – apparently the first time that a British “series will reach the entire American TV audience”. Presumably he means “could reach”, no matter how good a series it turns out to be, I imagine there will still be some who won’t watch it.

On TV there are a couple of series which might catch on – Gerald Campion stars in Billy Bunter of Greyfriars School along with Anthony Valentine and Erik Chitty, while later Jack Warner stars in and as Dixon of Dock Green in the first of six episodes. Also taking part opening episode “P.C. Crawford’s First Pinch” are Peter Byrne as Crawford, Billie Whitelaw as Mary Dixon and Neil Wilson as P.C. Tubb Barrell.

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