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

The Artistic Temperament

Saturday 25 June 1955 and it’s more of the same, sportswise. Interrupting the ball games during the afternoon are Percy Thrower In The Garden and a visit to The Appleyards between 4 and 4.30.

The evening highlight is What Do You Know? a television version of the well-known Light Programme… errr… programme in which Franklin Engelmann asks the questions and Ralph Whitlock (Wiltshire) and Arthur Maddocks (Cheshire) compete for the title Brain of Britain. This is followed by another half-hour play in the series Terminus. “The Big Fish and the Little Fish” was written by Lester Powell and stars Eleanor Summerfield and Frank Pettingell. The evening proceeds with variety in the form of Variety Parade with Richard Murdoch, Kenneth Horne, Georgia Brown, Mike and Bernie Winters, the George Mitchell Singers and others. W. (Bill) Lyon Shaw produced the sixty-minute show. The BBC send everyone to bed with fifteen minutes of greyhound racing and a quarter-hour summary of the day’s tennis.

Meanwhile in the press, The Guardian reports on “Plans for a transatlantic television relay and for a television link-up between Moscow, Berlin, Prague, Budapest and Bucharest similar to West Europe’s Eurovision.” Closer to home, the same journal informs us that “some of the nation’s art treasures will be seen by television viewers in the autumn in The Wallace Collection.”

The Times has the news that the Trustees of Alexandra Palace have granted the Associated Broadcasting Company+60 a lease for a number of years of ‘The Badminton Suite’ at Ally Pally. The area leased is roughly 10,000 square feet and will supplement ABC’s other studio accommodation which includes the theatre studio at Wood Green.

The Daily Express reports, briefly, that a new medium-power television station at Divis, near Belfast, will open on 21 July, replacing the temporary one at Glencairn. Watch this space.

The same paper’s Aynsley Angle column has a different concern: the number of breakdowns in the television service. Cyril Aynsley notes a degree of surprise when “a BBC top official” claims that, “The number of breakdowns is fairly constant every year. We are just having a bad patch.” “Why was this?” Angle enquires. “Not enough cameras,” comes the reply, with the (wisely un-named) official adding, “Cameras can be as temperamental as actresses.”


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