I was born in Toronto, 1932. Toward the end of my education at Toronto High School I learned of a college locally that ran a unique course in radio broadcasting within its arts faculty. The Ryerson Institute had been founded after the war to give young people a higher education they’d missed during 1939 – 1945. Of […]
Following the death of Tony Garnett, on 12 January 2020, obituary writers and those paying tribute to him understandably focused on his hugely influential career as a radical television producer, sometimes noting that he had begun his career as an actor in series such as An Age of Kings (BBC, 1960), Emergency – Ward 10 […]
A Life Found in a Skip  by Joel Finler Virtually forgotten today, Lionel Harris was one of the leading producer/directors of live television drama in the 1950s when adaptations of the most successful West End plays became a staple fare of both the BBC and ITV. He joined the newly formed ITV in 1955 and […]
Tonight’s screening in our ‘Drama She Wrote’ season at BFI Southbank (at 6.10) is a value-for-money triple bill of plays about marriage. As well as spanning 20 years of BBC drama production, when watched in sequence the three plays show a developing dialectic about the purpose and value of marriage; Elaine Morgan’s The Tamer Tamed […]
We are pleased to be able to announce details of the ‘Drama She Wrote’ season, held at BFI Southbank this September and October, curated by Dick Fiddy and Billy Smart. The season presents a range of neglected TV dramas by women writers from the ’50s to the ’70s. The full line-up is: Drama She Wrote: […]
By Lez Cooke, John Hill and Billy Smart Programming a season of ‘Television’s Forgotten Dramas’, and encouraging a BFI Southbank audience to come and see them, presented both challenges and opportunities. The major challenge involved in promoting forgotten dramas is that, by their nature, they are not well-known and titles on their own do not […]
Our second ‘Forgotten Television Dramas’ season continues at 8.40 pm on Wednesday 8 February with a screening of one of the earliest surviving British television dramas, The Passionate Pilgrim from 1953. Only two earlier plays survive before The Passionate Pilgrim which was broadcast live in the same week as the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and has […]
We are pleased to be able to announce details of the second ‘Forgotten Dramas: Rediscovering British Television’s Neglected Plays’ season, held at BFI Southbank this February, curated by Lez Cooke, John Hill and Billy Smart as a part of the AHRC-funded ‘History of Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project at Royal Holloway College, University […]
Although BBC Television began broadcasting in the London area in 1936, television did not come to the Midlands until December 1949 when the Sutton Coldfield transmitter was opened. Initially television programmes transmitted in the Midlands came from London and it was not until late 1951 that TV programmes started to be produced by BBC Midland.
To help clarify my thinking about what sort of television drama gets remembered and forgotten in Britain, I’ve been looking at how the Radio Times publicised BBC drama over 1946-82, the period covered by the ‘Forgotten Television Drama in the UK’ project.