Tonight’s BBCtv… in 1968 

10 February 2016

The Radio Times gives us a run down of BBCtv programmes for Saturday 10 February 1968. Things worth noting include:

  • Television begins at 10am with adult education for German and French learners. Note the distinction between “beginners” and “absolute beginners”
  • Surprisingly for a Patrick Troughton-era Doctor Who, episode 2 of ‘The Web of Fear’ survives, although it was only found recently. Episode 3 is still missing but the other 5 are now safe. Ironically, Patrick Troughton doesn’t actually appear in this episode
  • Dee Time at 5.50 has Arthur Askey, Jackie Collins and Lynda Baron on – a strange grouping even for Simon Dee. Music is from one-hit-wonders Plastic Penny
  • Oh Rolf, you stupid git

  • The Saturday Thriller is the 1941 pot-boiler Hot Spot, otherwise known as I Wake Up Screaming. It is now completely unwatchable – I say nothing about then – due to the odd choice of using the then-unfamous “(Somewhere) Over the Rainbow” as background music throughout. The piece is, of course, now inexorably tied to The Wizard of Oz and Judy Garland. Here it’s something to fill time while Betty Grable chews Victor Mature who chews the scenery
  • The Winter Olympic Games are credited to ORTF rather than Eurovision
  • One of the many trapdoors in history appears to have opened beneath At the Eleventh Hour at 11:20pm on BBC-1. It’s clearly a programme in the mould of That Was The Week That Was, Not So Much A Programme, More A Way Of Life and BBC-3 but has disappeared from the collective consciousness entirely
  • BBC-2 is entirely in colour today except for the Midnight Movie
  • 7.55pm sees the final episode of The Portrait of a Lady, one of those things television and film cannot leave alone for long. This version has Richard Chamberlain as the main star because heaven forfend that the woman in the title role should be a draw
  • The Julie Felix variety vehicle Once More With Felix at 9.25pm is one of 35, of which 31 are entirely missing and 2 are just in fragments
  • The Midnight Movie is Devil on Horseback with Googie Withers. Don’t bother staying up for it: it was terrible in 1954, was still terrible in 1968 and is terrible even now. The plot is “boy becomes jockey”, a process that takes 15 years and every one of them plays out in real time

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13 responses to this article

Arthur Nibble 10 February 2016 at 4:44 pm

Love the fact the film “Devil On Horseback” features an actress whose surname is the term for part of a horse’s back…and was the play button position on Rolf deliberately meant to give him an “Adolf” for his sins? :-)

Arthur Nibble 10 February 2016 at 5:55 pm

Apart from the very short-lived “What The Public Wants”, withdrawn partly due to the governing bodies requiring the satire targets to be diluted (to the point if not naming them?), how many other “TW3” attempts did ITV make pre- David Frost?

Sean Carolan 10 February 2016 at 6:29 pm

It appears that The Kinks’ Ray Davies wrote a song each week for “At The Eleventh Hour”, which does bring it in line with the TW3-set style a bit.

Jeremy Rogers 10 February 2016 at 8:54 pm

I can just imagine the announcement:

“The choice of viewing this afternoon; just starting on BBC 1 in Grandstand, the England v Ireland rugby international in black and white. Here on BBC 2 in colour the England v Ireland rugby international.

Arthur Nibble 11 February 2016 at 11:08 am

That’s a lot of sport packed into the 25-minute late night Olympic Grandstand, and 20 minutes shorter than “Match Of The Day”.

I had to check who some of Rolf’s guests were. Raymond Lewenthal was an American pianist. I can’t find any clues as to who who Bert Garden was.

As for our favourite satire programme of the moment, Jeannie Lambe was a jazz singer, “Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny” Miriam Margolyes is still going strong in the biz at 74 and, unless I’m mistaken, Roger McGough performed both solo and with The Scaffold in this show.

steve brown 11 February 2016 at 10:04 pm

Match Of The day was Arsenal 0 Newcastle 0

Arthur Nibble 12 February 2016 at 1:15 pm

Cracked it! Bert garden was a comedy juggler.

Paul Mason 15 February 2016 at 5:11 am

Now as a child in 1968 I was in bed long before the 11th hour but the Scaffold were a big act having had a No.1 with Thank U Very Much recent to the date and were to be No1 at the end of the year with Lily The Pink. The Scaffold were John Gorman, Mike McGear and the poet Roger McGough. McGears real name was McCartney,younger brother of Paul.

The Winter Olympics were held in Grenoble and were the first in my memory. Until 1992 they were held in the same year as the summer games.

The clip of the now incarcerated Mr Harris must be from April ’68 as 10 February was a wee bit early to have picked the Eurovision entry. Over a six week period Cliff Richard would have sung one song per week and on the final week came the torture of having to listen to ALL SIX songs to which the public had to vote by post. So Congratulations would not have been known by the February listings date.

Paul Mason 15 February 2016 at 5:26 am

Re Julie Felix – Ms Felix, now 77 and still active was the token musical performer on The Frost Report. In the late ’60s was a TV regular but her records didn’t trouble the charts. She was US-born but moved to the UK and was part of the folk-rock boom. On her show and I had to strain my eyes to see the guests, One was Tom Paxton, a similar act but also CLIVE DUNN. I wonder what, pre Dads Army was his contribution?

Paul Mason 15 February 2016 at 5:50 am

Courtesy of BBC Genome the RH video clip dates from 30th March 1968, as that ties in with it being the last of the series.

Russ J Graham 15 February 2016 at 12:59 pm

The video clip gives the transmission date in the title.

Arthur Nibble 16 February 2016 at 7:31 am

Julie Felix did have two UK chart hits in 1970. “If I Could (El Condor Pasa)” made number 19 and “Heaven Is Here” reached 22. Personally, I remember her for singing “Daddy’s taking us to the zoo tomorrow……”

Paul Mason 17 February 2016 at 4:27 am

RJG.- I didn’t see any date on the clip. The BBC only started displaying the year of first transmission in end titles in 1972 so one can tell (apart from the lack of colour) that a clip was pre-1972.
Arthur – Whoops I slipped on that one, but the two records didnt get high in the charts, Julie Felix didnt have huge hits. I too remember the ZOO song and it is the one us oldies remember her for.

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