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

Ragbag and Hobnob

The Guardian’s Radio Critic (RC) thinks the BBC Friday evening schedule “very much of a ragbag” but found much to comment. The report from the Conservative Conference “was well-handled and was a great improvement on last year’s programme.” RC adds, “the actual production work was noticeably neat in the dovetailing of commentary with the film and the occasional camera shots of the odd delegate looking entranced, thoughtful, and in one instance, dozing happily.”

Like the conference RC felt the coverage of the Horse of the Year Show “excellent” though did not expand further. Ask Pickles “had its silly moments” but “did not go in for the kind of bathos which can make this sort of programme so unpleasant” while Jeanne Heal’s short programme, “was remarkable, because here is an interviewer who does not ladle out soothing syrup and who is prepared to disagree completely with the ideas of those to whom she is talking.”

Robert Cannell (Daily Express) also writes about Ask Pickles, “TV’s No 1 tear-jerker”, which returned with “all the old familiar ingredients… except the vital spark which used to bring the tears and put Pickles at the top of his trade.” Cannell says the Wilfred and his wife Mabel “worked hard” but “perhaps too hard” and notes that they introduced “11 items in 45 minutes” and as a result were, “giving an impression of being too much in a hurry, with Wilfred hastening the visitors out of camera range in the interests of a rigid timetable.”

And who was being hooshed off-set so swiftly? Well: a schoolgirl wanting to dance the Charleston; an 82-year-old miner playing a tin whistle; a boy trying to cure his asthma by singing; a dog which used to be a ship’s mascot; and the story of a prisoner-of-war camp which raised funds for the children of a man who died there.

Lastly there was this advice for Pisceans in John Naylor’s astrological column in the Daily Mirror: “Check if there are any late TV or radio programmes which you would enjoy.”

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