1960s 1970s Anglia TV BBC North West BBC Pebble Mill Regional Drama

Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play: From the Regions

The Forgotten Television Drama season, ‘Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play’, continues at BFI Southbank on Saturday 20 May 2023 with a selection of plays from the Regions. The smaller ITV companies and regional BBC production centres did not always have the budgets to produce full-length plays or series but they produced a significant number of half-hour […]

1960s 1970s BBC Thirty-Minute Theatre Writers

Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play: Early Work by Well-Known Writers

The Forgotten Television Drama season, ‘Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play’, continues at BFI Southbank on Sunday 7 May 2023 with a session looking at early work by three writers who went on to produce landmark television drama: John Mortimer, Dennis Potter and Andrew Davies. As with directors, producers and script editors the half-hour play provided a […]

1960s 1970s 1980s Directors Half-Hour Play

Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play: Novice Directors

Our Half-Hour Play season at BFI Southbank gets under way on Wednesday 3 May with a session on Novice Directors. The half-hour play has always provided a great training ground for new and emerging talent. In this selection we feature three plays directed by figures who went on to enjoy great international success. Half-Hour Story: […]

1960s 1970s 1980s Actors Directors Half-Hour Play Writers

Forgotten Television Drama – Rediscovering the Half-Hour Play

We are pleased to announce a new season of Forgotten Television Drama at BFI Soutbank in May 2023. Curated by Lez Cooke this new season, the first since Forgotten Black TV Drama in 2019, provides an opportunity to rediscover a lost form of TV drama: the half-hour television play. Once prevalent on British television, the […]

1960s Billy Smart Drama She Wrote Fay Weldon Writers

‘Women in TV’ by Fay Weldon (1931-2023)

Fay Weldon, who died on Wednesday, was an exceptionally prolific writer of television drama up until the end of the last century. Two programmes have regularly been mentioned in the coverage of her life – her work on Upstairs, Downstairs (LWT/ ITV 1971-75), including writing the first episode, and her sensational serial adaptation of her […]

1960s BBC Directors' Course Brian Parker Directors The Wednesday Play

Brian Parker – Getting Started as a TV Director, 1964-65

Shortly before he died in December 2020 Brian Parker had started to write his memoirs, encouraged apparently by my suggesting it during the course of several months’ correspondence, coupled with the fact that, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, he was sheltering in the Trossachs with no television! If that was the case I wish I’d […]

1960s 1970s 1980s Actors BBC BBC Scotland Billy Smart Douglas Camfield Maurice Roëves Obituary Sutherland's Law

Maurice Roëves (1937-2020)

I had the good fortune to interview the actor Maurice Roëves (who has died at the age of 83) on two occasions. Maurice had an extraordinarily prolific 55-year career in film, theatre and especially television, the span and range of which (“beginning with an episode of Doctor Finlay’s Casebook in 1966 and concluding with a […]

1950s 1960s 1970s BBC BBC drama Gilchrist Calder Obituary Producers Tony Garnett Troy Kennedy Martin

Tony Garnett (1936-2020)

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 […]

1960s Events Forgotten Black TV Drama Jan Carew & Sylvia Wynter

Forgotten Black TV Drama at BFI Southbank: The Big Pride (1961) + The Day of the Fox (1961)

Our Forgotten Black TV Drama season at BFI Southbank continues at 5.20pm on Sunday 10 February with a double bill of two ATV Drama ’61 plays written by Jan Carew (the first with his wife, Sylvia Wynter), both directed by Herbert Wise. The Big Pride (28 May 1961) features William Marshall, Johnny Sekka, Barbara Assoon […]

1950s 1960s ATV Directors Johnson Over Jordan Lionel Harris Producers

A Life Found in a Skip: Rediscovering Lionel Harris, TV Producer, Director and Actor

A Life Found in a Skip [1] 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 […]