Special Sub-Topic: A 60-Year Love Affair
|During a period from the late 1950s till the early 1970s from about 6.30 AM onwards my sisters and I would listen to my father stropping his razor in the bathroom. In the background we would be able to hear the big radio (valves and whistles!) bringing forth the tones of The BBC Home Service and from the 'Today Programme' studio. One particular long-serving presenter and journalist of this programme could never get the time right. Who was he?|
Jack de Manio. BBC Radio Four's 'Today Programme' continued to be broadcast in 2009. It was the most popular programme broadcast by this channel. It was a current affairs series which was originally launched on the BBC's Home Service on 28 October 1957.
In the year 2009 it continued to be scheduled as a daily programme from 6am to 9am from Monday to Friday and from 7am to 9am on Saturdays.'
The much-loved presenter called Jack de Manio became its main presenter in 1958 and lasted until 1971. He became notorious for on-air gaffes including getting the time wrong so frequently.
|During the 1950s I remember listening in the mid-mornings to this drama series which featured a well-bred lady who was always 'worried about Jim'. The series in which she was a character was revamped with a new title but what was the original programme called?
'Mrs Dale's Diary'. 'Mrs Dale's Diary' was first broadcast on the BBC Radio Light Programme in 1948. My mother was an avid fan as were many millions of others around Britain. When I was old enough to behave quietly I, too, was able to listen in to the soap drama concerning the lives of a post war London doctor and his middle class family. They lived in Virginia Lodge, Middlesex.
|From the early 1950s to the mid 1970s I and my siblings used to gather and listen to this BBC Radio programme. "Can you sit on it?" or "Can I eat it?" were questions regularly posed to the chair person of this lively quiz game. What was this series called?|
'Twenty Questions'. When it first appeared in 1947 the BBC Radio quiz series 'Twenty Questions' was simply subtitled in the Radio Times as a 'a radio parlour game'. It was based on the popular parlour game called 'Animal, Vegetable or Mineral' .
The BBC radio version added the concept of 'Abstract' to the clues.
It was first broadcast in March 1947 (and finished in 1976) when it was chaired by Stewart MacPherson. Later chair people included Gilbert Harding and Kenneth Horne.
Norman Hackforth was the 'Mystery Voice' who informed the audience of the next object to be guessed, in a whisper close to the microphone, so that the panel could not hear.
|This particular BBC Radio current affairs programme was first broadcast in 1948. With the firm but gentlemanly chairmanship of Freddie Grisewood it featured a guest panel of articulate spokespeople from all political and social points of view. Many Friday evenings were spent together by my family enjoying the debating skills of Gerald Nabarro, Gerald Kaufman or Jo Grimond, for example. What is the name of this BBC Radio Four programme called?|
'Any Questions'. This BBC Radio series has been broadcast by a variety of different services including Radio One, The Light Programme and the Home Service. For many years it has been firmly ensconced in the BBC Radio Four schedules occupying a Friday evening broadcast slot.
It was first broadcast in 1948 and is still broadcast currently (2009).
Over the years the programme has only had four 'permanent chairmen' although others have occasionally sat in the chair. The permanent chairmen were:
Freddie Grisewood (1948 to December 1967)
David Jacobs (December 1967 to July 27 1984)
John Timpson (August 1984 to July 1987)
Jonathan Dimbleby (July 1987 onwards)
|I am a keen reader of the Sci Fi and Fantasy genre. I believe I became hooked on this whilst listening to 'Journey Into Space' on BBC Radio in the 1950s'. Do you know the name of the leader of the space crew and the hero of the series I wonder?|
Andrew "Jet" Morgan. 'Journey Into Space' was a BBC Radio science fiction programme produced first in 1953 and subsequently through the 1950s. The series had several claims to fame including the large variety of languages(17 at least!) into which the programmes were translated. It also was able to boast larger audiences than for many television programmes at that time.
The first actor to play Captain Andrew (Jet) Morgan was Andrew Faulds who was later to become an outspoken Labour MP.
|An early family black and white image of me as a six year old page boy dressed in a striped blazer was remarkably like the one worn by a well educated dummy voiced by ventriloquist Peter Brough. This was no ordinary dummy as he had his own radio (and later TV) series. What was the name of the dummy?|
Archie & archie & Archey & archey & Archie Andrews. It does seem very odd today in a much more cynical world to appreciate that huge audience numbers tuned in to listen to a ventriloquist on the radio enacting the life story of his dummy with the help of old stagers like Jimmy Edwards, Kenneth Williams and others.
The BBC Radio programme was called 'Educating Archie'.
|I love well produced and well scripted comedy especially that broadcast by BBC Radio. It's hard to choose one but I suppose 'Beyond Our Ken' was an all time favourite of mine. It featured Julian and his friend Sandy, as well as several characters voiced by the inimitable Betty Marsden. But, who was Ken?|
Kenneth Horne. Kenneth Horne (1907 to 1969) was the much loved star of this and several other radio comedy series all of which I loved. If you're minded to do further research then look out for BBC Radio programmes such as 'Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh' and 'Beyond Our Ken'.
He played an urbane well-mannered English gentleman who was the central character in an at times grotesquely comic fantasy with a range of far out characters played brilliantly by actors such as Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick, Betty Marsden and Bill Pertwee.
'Round the Horne' ran from 1965 until 1968.
|Literally sitting at my mother's feet in the 1950s, I recall being inspired and transfixed by the extended reports made by BBC Correspondents on Saturday morning from all around the globe.
Can you fill in the single missing word from the title of this flagship BBC Radio Four programme? "From Our Own _________________" |
correspondents & Correspondents. Many of these early reporters had been war correspondents during the Second World War and conflicts in Korea and Vietnam. To me their measured words and graphically phrased reports were very evocative and informative.
Just to list some of the names of those inspiring journalists who have contributed to this series is enough to demonstrate an understanding of the BBC gravitas and kudos in the world of considered and reflective reporting.
In this series correspondents were encouraged to write about what was going on in the countries where they were reporting the news in a far more detailed and reflective way than was possible in the normal highly compressed language of the news reports which appeared on Radio or television national news.
Sometimes and academic study of the economic and social forces which had brought say say Beiruit to near collapse, another might be a whimsical examination of say the British ex patriot struggling to keep up long dead colonial values.
All were fascinating.
That list I mentioned: Kate Adie, Martin Bell, Richard Dimbleby, Charles Wheeler and many others.
|This long-running BBC Radio Four quiz programme was a very demanding one. If you get five random questions in a row correct you were awarded a bonus point. It has had a variety of chairmen starting with Franklin Engelman and a brief interlude with Peter Snow in charge. In 2008, which grand old chairman returned to take charge of the show?|
Robert Robinson. The quiz began as a part of a larger radio programme called 'What Do You Know? ' in 1953. It became 'Brain of Britain' in 1967 and was chaired by Franklin Engelman until his death in 1972.
From 1972 'Brain of Britain' was hosted by Robert Robinson until his illness in 2004. Mr Robinson had a very polite if stern manner and addressed contestants by using the correct honorific and this was one of trademark styles.
In 2008 Robert Robinson returned to take over chairmanship of the series.
|Now a question about the one long-running BBC Radio Four quiz that to my mind was set apart from all other quizzes. Cryptic clues were posed to cloistered academics and intellectuals comprising teams drawn from the regions of the British Isles. For many years the Oxford Don Tony Quinton was the travelling quiz master. What was the programme called?|
'Round Britain Quiz'. BBC Radio Four's longest running quiz series is 'Round Britain Quiz' and was first broadcast in 1947. It is still running today.
The original quiz hosts were the distinguished broadcasters Gilbert Harding and Lionel Hale.
The presenters whom I remember with the greatest pleasure were Roy Plomley and Anthony Quinton. The brilliance of the teams always impressed me especially the likes of Irene Thomas, John Julius Norwich and Fred Housego.
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