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

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Gravy Train

The Observer‘s Maurice Richardson was enraptured by a BBC wild-life film on Squirrels reporting that the film, made by Heinz Sielmann and introduced by Maxwell Knight and Monica Shorten, provided “twenty minutes of ecstasy”. “Squirrel proportions,” he notes, “seemed perfectly suited to the small screen.” (more…)

The Weather and Winter Hill

As suggested a few weeks ago, the construction of the ITA transmitting mast at Winter Hill near Bolton is running behind schedule, with only 120ft of the 450ft mast complete. Thoughtfully, The Guardian clarifies that it’s “the first 120ft” which has been finished. The cause of the delays: the weather, and specifically fog. The Guardian quotes a worker saying, “Some days we have thick fogs until lunch-time. We can’t see men working on the top of the mast, and can’t pull steel up from the ground when we can’t see where it is going.” (more…)

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. (more…)

Zoo Times

The Times reports on “a joint announcement in London last night” about the plans the of Zoological Society of London and Granada Television to set up a permanent television unit at London Zoo. This introduction seems curious as The Times reported just such an announcement six days ago. Nevertheless, today’s paper does carry some additional information. In particular, with regard to access the material, Dr L Harrison Matthews said that it would obviously be wrong for them to grant exclusive rights to just one company, and equally impossible to have numerous companies working at the Zoo at the same time. Mr Sidney Bernstein, chairman and managing director of Granada Television was reported as saying that films would be shot in colour, against the day when colour television became practicable. (more…)

Suffering from Wind

Sir Arthur Elton has written a paper entitled “The Film as Source Material for History” and this is shortly to be published by The Association of Special Libraries and Information Bureaux. In this paper, Sir Arthur declares that “Buried casually in the world’s newsreels is the atmosphere and detail, the gesture, habit and behaviour, the shape and feeling that can illuminiate history as it has never been illuminated before.” According to The Times, Sir Arthur’s paper reveals a concern that, “certain large opportunities lying within the grasp of historians might be exploited but are in fact wasted and even partially destroyed.” (more…)

The Call-Up

The Daily Express reports that “The BBC last night put on its greatest effort in the battle for the Sunday evening viewing audience. Against Norman Wisdom in an hour’s commercial TV show, the BBC crammed £100,000 worth of stars into a 90-minute variety programme. On future Sunday nights it will have big attractions like the Show Band Show – a star feature from the sound radio.” (more…)