Wednesday, 9 December 2009
FIRST PICTURE: TRANSPORT FROM THE PAST BOAC BEDFORD VAN
SECOND PICTURE: SOUTH PARADE PIER IN ITS HEY DAY.
Web Page No 794
13th December 2009
COMEDY SIT COM.
The mainstay of much of television in the early days was the comedy sit com. Most of us remember the famous ones from the 1950’s and 60’s, the Likely Lads, the Army Game, Bootsie and Snudge etc but here are a few from the period of time up until 1965 many of which I have never heard of before.
Abigail And Roger
This was 1950s sitcom about a young engaged couple who love to explore life in the city of London from their flats in bedsitter land. It was broadcast on BBC in 1956 and they only made one series of nine episodes. The programmewas written by Kevin Sheldon and starred Julie Webb, David Drummond, John Stone, Rosina Enright, Maud Long, Frank Williams, Grace Denbeigh-Russell
The Sky Larks
From 1958 this was probably the first Royal Navy based TV sit com and featured the adventures of a helicopter crew based on the fictional aircraft carrier, HMS Aerial (not to be confused with the former name of the air station HMS Daedalus at Lee on Solent in fact in real-life the ship was HMS Ark Royal). Again a BBC production and only ran for one series of 16 episodes.16 (1 series). Written by Trevor Peacock, Gavin Blakeney, John Warrington, it starred Anton Rodgers (who later found fame in many sit coms), A.E. Matthews (Matty), Robert Chetwyn, Roland Curram, John Southworth, William Mervyn (later to be cast as the Bishop in All Gas and Gaters), Frank Shelley
This strange programme did actually transfer from the radio to TV the though of Archie Andrews, a ventriloquist's dummy, taking on a life of it's own as it talks and walks all over it's creator, Peter Brough was quite bizarre. The series was made by ITV between 1958 and 1959 and ran for two series of 27 episodes. Despite the programmes writers being a Who’s Who of British Comedy Marty Feldman, Ronald Chesney, Barry Pevan, Ronald Wolfeand starred the likes of Peter Brough, Dick Emery, Irene Handl, Freddie Sales, Ray Barrett the fact that Peter Brough was a good theatre ventriloquist ie from a distance, close up he was very poor probably helped to finish the series.
The Artful Dodger
There was only one series of 6 episodes and was made in 1959 by the BBC. It starred Dave Morris, Joe Gladwin (later to become Wally Batty in Last of the Summer Wine), Gretchen Franklin (who found fame in Coronation Street. The stories were about the swaggering, work-shy, know-all Artful Dodger.
The Adventures of Brigadier Wellington-Bull
This was a short lived BBC programme of 1959 only having 5 episodes. It was a sitcom following the barnstorming antics of retired Brigadier Wellington-Bull. The Brigadier in trying to come to terms with civilian life gets into all sorts of situations. 'Sooty' Pilkington, a young officer who had served under the Brigadier and the Brigadier's daughter Jane, also featured. It starred Alexander Gauge, Valerie Singleton (she of later Blue Peter fame), Donald Hewlett
Three Live Wires
Made by Associated Rediffusion this was a trio of TV repairmen who travelled around London repairing the TV sets of the rich and famous and trying to avoid the wrath of the shop manager. With a total of 26 episodes it is remarkable that it only lasted for one series: Starring: Michael Medwin (from the Army Game), Bernard Fox, George Roderick, Deryck Guyler(Sykes and Please Sir much later) , Derek
Colonel Trumper's Private War
Yet another Army based sit Com from the unpublished biography of an hitherto unknown war hero, Colonel Basil Trumper, comes the stories that changed the course of World War II. Made by ITV it lasted only five episodes and featured Dennis Price (Jeeves), Warren Mitchell (Alf Garnett 0 and George Tovey. Written by established writersBarry Took, Hugh Woodhouse, Bill Craig, Dick Vosburgh it was made by Granada Television.
The Walrus And The Carpenter
AKA:You're Only Old Once Carpenter
Two old men Gascoigne Quilt & Luther Flannery meet in a graveyard, theyhave little in common but Luther's sense of adventure leads them into scrapes. It was made in 1963 and there were only seven episodes Starring Hugh Griffith, Felix Aylmer(the Abbot in Oh! Brother) and Hazel Hughes, the stories were written by Marty Feldman, Barry Took for the BBC
Meet the Wife
This ran between 1963 - 1966 on the BBC for 40 episodes in 5 series. It starred Thora Hird, Freddie Frinton (known as the best drunk in the business but was in fact TT), Ronald Wolfe, Ronald Chesney
The stories revolved round a plumber Freddie Blacklock who lived with his wife Thora in the north of England. Freddie was a down-to-earth bloke who likes to take things easy whereas his wife had ambitions for the couple to improve their social standing. Snobbish Thora often put on a 'posh voice' in an attempt to impress those she was speaking to. A much loved sitcom at the time (the Beatles even mentioned it in one of their songs) and was based on a 1963 Comedy Playhouse production, "The Bed".
Best of Friends
A 1963 ITV single series of 13 episodes, it featrured Charles Hawtrey (of Carry on Fame), Hylda Baker (she knows ya know), Sheena Marshe and Brad Ashton. It was written Bob Block (who later wrote the childrens programme Rentaghost) and Gerry Maxin About a clerk in an insurance office situated next door to a café. The owner of the shop accompanied the clerk on insurance assignments and protected him from his Uncle Sidney who was always trying to find a way to dismiss his nephew
Another Royal Naval sit com this time by ITV in 1964 and ran for 26 episodes. HMS Paradise was supposedly an island off the Dorset coast an idyllic posting as nobody seemed to do any work... but not everyone is happy about the situation It featured Richard Caldicot, (from the radios Navy Lark, in fact one of the writers of this very long running series Lawrie Wyman was also a writer for HMS Paradise ) Frank Thornton, Robin Hunter, Ronald Radd, Angus Lennie, Priscilla Morgan, Ambrosine Phillpotts, Graham Crowden
The Big Noise
Events in the uneasy life of a top pop disc jockey, Bob Mason were broadcast by the BBC in 1964. Bob Monkhouse played the lead and with the team of writers of Frank Muir, Denis Norden, Denis Goodwin, it is amazing that it only lasted six episodes. It was to prove a crossroads in the career of Bob Monkhouse and he would never return to the world of sitcom again.
Stay in touch and Take Care
Mike Writes about the Highbury estate:-
I like reading your postings, but I have to disagree when you said there was no school on the Highbury Estate in the early days. I'm a little older than you, and I attended an infants school which was located very close to where the junior school was later built, on Dovercourt Road. I remember the old infants school as a small building with either a parking area or playground of black cinders. They were not kind to knees if you fell over!
My younger sister went to the new Highbury Junior School, but I went to Court Lane, and after the 11+ to the Northern Grammar. Incidentally, I asked my older sister if she remembers the infants school that I attended, but she did not. It is possible she never went there, as it may have been before the family moved to Chatsworth Ave.
NEWS AND VIEWS:
Little Richard has just undergone a hip operation in the Medical Center in Nashville. He is currently undergoing physiotherapy and is preparing for a concert tour early next year.
ON THIS DAY 13TH DECEMBER 1960-1965
On 13/12/1960 the number one single was It's Now Or Never - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada).
On 13/12/1961 the number one single was Tower of Strength - Frankie Vaughan and the number one album was Another Black & White Minstrell Show - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions. The big news story of the day was Grandma Moses dies.
On 13/12/1962 the number one single was Return to Sender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was On Stage with the Black & White Minstrels - George Mitchell Minstrels. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 13/12/1963 the number one single was I Want to Hold Your hand - The Beatles and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 13/12/1964 the number one single was I Feel Fine - The Beatles and the number one album was A Hard Day's Night - Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 13/12/1965 the number one single was The Carnival is Over - Seekers and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.