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

What Critics Are For

The news today is a bitty as tonight’s BBC schedule.

Those saddled with older television sets which can only receive BBC programmes should expect to pay no more than around £12 to have their set converted to allow reception of commercial programmes if they live in an area where reception is good or £15 where the signal is weaker according to The Guardian’s “own reporter”. The Daily Mirror reports similar information but adds that many people were being charged between £16 and £38 for this service.

Back to The Guardian, where its Radio Critic did not enjoy the BBC play Kathleen which he felt “was a load of Irishry of the worst kind” and “was full of the kind of whimsy that is rather nauseating.” In a considerable contrast, the Express’s Cyril Aynsley found it “a delightful play” and Helena Hughes, playing the title role, “created a fey and feather-light character who most people would have wanted to marry”. The supporting cast, he wrote, “were all splendid”.

Most of the papers report good sport-related news for the BBC today: the corporation has secured exclusive television rights for the International Horse Show, the Horse of the Year Show, and the three-day horse trials at Badminton, Gloucester and Harewood until the end of 1956.

Today’s Church Times brings the news that one of its At Home series is to be broadcast from Lambeth Palace on 2 November. Assisting the programme’s producer, John Vernon, will be another BBC producer, Mr Humphrey Fisher who just happens to be the fourth son of the Archbishop.

The Daily Express and The Times both carry the the news that Maurice Winnick has instructed his lawyers to commence proceedings for breach of contract against Lord Kemsley in relation to the contract which the Independent Television Authority offered to the Kemsley-Winnick Group.

The evening’s entertainment is another where half-hour show follows half-hour show, so we have “an all-coloured musical review” starring ‘Hutch’ entitled We Got Rhythm at 7.45pm, International Water Polo at 8.15pm, a look at the Blackpool Illuminations at 8.45pm, It’s Magic with David Nixon and special guest Al Koran at 9.15pm, Press Conference at 9.45pm and, at 10.15pm Disneyland which takes a look behind the scenes at the making of “Lady and the Tramp”.

However much I would have preferred to see something more substantial in the schedule, at least I’m not in the same boat as the Harrison family, who feature in a Daily Mirror report. They are currently living in temporary council accommodation in an ex-RAF hut in Sutton’s Hostel in Horsham. Because they’re living in a hostel and not a proper council house, the council has told them that they are not allowed to use their newly-hire-purchased television set there – because it’s a luxury.

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