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

Who He? Or She?

Most mysterious is a classified advertisement in the top people’s paper where a “Television Personality” with an office near Trafalgar Square requires an experienced secretary with “languages and knowledge of music and bookkeeping” an asset as well as the desire to “work hard”. The salary on offer is set initially at £525.

Thorn Electrical Industries’ nineteenth AGM is reported in The Times. The company’s Ferguson brand saw its half-millionth television set produced back in May.

The Guardian’s Radio Critic (RC) was broadly supportive of the transition from sound only to pictures for The Brains Trust, which made its television debut yesterday.

Noting that the programme eschewed “playing to the gallery, buzzers, bells, animations and backchat” RC felt the signs were encouraging. He was most impressed by the contributions of Paul Bennett and Peter Brook, but thought Dr Julian Huxley “a great standby”. The question master Hugh Ross Williamson was “good in his general handling of the programme, but he seemed too nervously aware of time hurrying past and much too ready to close the discussion just when it became interesting.” RC knows the remedy already: fewer questions or a longer programme. RC found it a particular pleasure “to hear members addressed by their surnames. The use of Christian names to induce a false air of friendliness has been overdone by the BBC”. At least he has the option, perhaps the reviewer would prefer I just refer to him as Critic.

Charles Hill, the Postmaster General, has caused the BBC to have to cancel two programmes they were intending to show. He says that the BBC is not supposed to be increasing its own hours appreciably until commercial television is on the air. Apparently Sunday afternoon broadcasts of I Married Joan and a newsreel were scheduled by the BBC but then cancelled because of Dr Hills intervention. However… as these programmes were never listed in Radio Times if true this must have occurred a couple of weeks ago rather then begin new news.

The BBC weekday schedules look a bit different tonight after so many evenings at the National Radio Show. Ray Martin’s Isn’t It Romantic? opening the evening programmes, and that’s followed by another brains trust of a kind in which Professor Nevill Mott, Dr Jacob Bronowski and Ritchie Calder answer questions from an audience. Dorothy Squires, Reginald Dixon, Ken Morris and Joan Savage are the featured artists in Dancing with the Stars at 8.45pm and that’s followed by an Old Vic double bill. The first is a visit to the stage “of this world famous theatre” and that’s followed by scenes from Julius Caesar performed by members of the Old Vic company. The last programme of the night requires audience participation too. In Judge for Yourself, Ernest Dudley introduces an imaginary court case where the verdict “rests with you, the jury”. This entertainment was devised and co-written by D. Gideon Thompson.

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