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

Oh! In Colour

The Guardian, Daily Express and Daily Mirror all report on an altercation at Manvers Main Colliery near Mexborough yesterday where an ITV unit were attempting to film Allan Dyer, a miner who has been send to Coventry by his colleagues for working during an unofficial strike. The miners who were waiting to start the afternoon shift began to chant “We won’t go down until they clear off” and eventually the film unit van did just that.

The Guardian’s London Staff were at a demonstration of colour television given by the BBC at Alexandra Palace yesterday. It was, the paper says, “impressive in terms of fineness of detail, stability of image and accuracy of colour tone.” The writer continues, “This British premiere of colour television was a much smoother affair than its American counterpart in New York five years ago. On that occasion there were strong criticisms of the inaccurate reproduction of skin tones… [and] a distressing tendency of the colour to vary.” Apparent one American, who watched this demonstration said that, “In quality, the BBC picture is as good as the best colour transmissions now being seen in the United States.”

Sir Harold Bishop, director of the BBC’s technical services, warned that we should not expect an immediate change to a full colour service, and he pointed out that “The Americans, with several years’ work behind them and an enormous investment were only managing to put out about two hours a day on two rival networks.”

Further union activity, this time on behalf of the Association of Cinematograph and Allied Technicians who sent telegrams yesterday to The President of the Board of Trade, the Director General of the BBC, and to Sir Michael Balcon and Major Baker of Ealing Studios using all of those that the studios should not be given up to the BBC for television productions. Sir Michael Balcon was quoted as saying that the contract with the BBC was “absolutely binding and irrevocable.”

The Guardian’s Radio Critic (RC) was bowled over by last night’s film of Gordon Craig talking about Henry Irving. RC writes: “Gordon Craig’s talk began gently enough; he was precise and measured in his description and then as he described the play he was completely lost in it himself, and really gave some idea of the powerful magnetism that Irving exerted.” Prior to this Animal, Vegetable, Mineral “was without any particular sparkle, but was an intelligent and civilised proceeding” while the new Bob Monkhouse and Denis Goodwin comedy Fast and Loose had “many good ideas and considerable humour but too clumsy a style in burlesque which tended to the knockabout just when satire might have developed.”

Clifford Davis in the Daily Mirror found Fast and Loose was “rather too fast and even too loose” and despite being “the usual slick offering we have come to expect from the Monkhouse-Denis Goodwin team” he felt that “it needs slowing down, but there was still enough original fun to score a success.”

An extended piece in The Times’ arts section, under the heading “Television: What to Look At and Why”. Written by “a correspondent” (AC) it compares the output of the BBC and ITV and finds that the new kid on the block isn’t as different as many had feared. AC writes, “It would be so much easier if ITA were an out-and-out rebel, defiantly enticing us to forbidden pleasures on Channel 9. But instead if often seems to be duplicating the status quo.”

That crossword answer: RAREE.

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