Variety

Arena

1 9 7 5 - Current (UK) This popular long-running arts programme from the BBC has encompassed documentary features on many subjects during its long run. Indeed, in its early days each edition was categorised by a subtitle - Arena: Theatre, Arena: Art and Design, Arena: Cinema, Arena: Television or Arena: Rock. The categories alternated weekly. Some contributions over the years have been(...)

Arthur Godfrey And His Friends

1 9 4 9  - 1 9 5 9 (USA) One of the most popular stars on US radio throughout the 1940s, Arthur Godfrey's arrival on television in 1949 became one of the most talked about events in the United States, even though very few Americans had television receivers in their homes at the time. Most(...)

Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts

1 9 4 8  - 1 9 5 8 (USA) The first of four Arthur Godfrey series' to air on television, and memorably sponsored by Lipton tea and Lipton soups, Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts has often been confused with Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour. The two shows were actually very different. Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour usually presented untried talent(...)

Arthur Murray (Dance) Party, The

1 9 5 0 - 1 9 6 0 (USA) For 10 years as it moved from time slot to time slot and station to station, The Arthur Murray Dance Party (sometimes called The Arthur Murray Show and The Arthur Murray Party) continued to generate a loyal viewing audience who remained faithful to the show the entire time. Hosted by dance(...)

Ascent of Man, The

1 9 7 3 (UK) 13 x 50 minute episodes The most praised British documentary series of the early 1970s was The Ascent of Man, a thirteen-part scientific and philosophical treatise by Polish-born, California-based historian and philosopher Dr Jacob Bronowski (pictured at right), which explained how man came to be drawn, step by step, from one(...)

Ask Pickles

1 9 5 4 - 1 9 5 6 (UK) Many modern TV shows owe a considerable debt to this show which began in May 1954 and was presented by professional Yorkshireman Wilfred Pickles and his wife Mabel. Ask Pickles made dreams come true (a la Jim'll Fix It), it reunited folk with long-lost relatives (the blueprint for Surprise! Surprise!?)(...)

Ask The Family

1 9 6 7 - 1 9 8 4 (UK) Open to families of four (quite often teachers and their egg-headed offspring), Ask The Family was a surprisingly durable early-evening intellectual quiz show. Host Robert Robinson fired off a succession of riddles, mental posers and general knowledge questions, some directed to "children only", "mother and younger child", "father(...)

Ask the Leyland Brothers

In Ask the Leyland Brothers, adventurers Mike and Mal Leyland travelled to different parts of Australia to make short documentary segments. Every story was a response to letters from viewers asking the Leyland Brothers to cover a particular person, place or subject. After early success with documentaries covering their travels along the Darling River (in(...)

Aspel & Company

1 9 8 4 - 1 9 9 3 (UK) 115 x 60 minute episodes Michael Aspel proved he was more than the bland charmer he sometimes appeared to be when he began Aspel & Company, a Saturday night chat show for London Weekend Television. His touch was lighter and funnier than Parkinson's and more modest than Wogan's, whom(...)

Australia’s Naughtiest Home Videos

1 9 9 2 (Australia) 1 x 34 minute episode (!) Aussie clip show Australia's Naughtiest Home Videos was hauled off the air midway through its very first installment in 1992 – after just 34 minutes, to be precise.   Hosted by hugely popular Aussie radio DJ Doug Mulray, the show was interrupted by a(...)

Bandstand (Australia)

1 9 5 7 - 1 9 7 2 (Australia) Bandstand was the longest running Australian pop television show of its time, and throughout its fifteen years it featured the same host (bespectacled Channel Nine newsreader Brian Henderson) and the same format. Based on Dick Clark's American Bandstand, the Australian show was pre-recorded before a studio audience, with singers(...)

Barbara Mandrell & The Mandrell Sisters

1 9 8 0 - 1 9 8 2 (USA) This NBC variety series hosted by Barbara Mandrell and her sisters Louise and Irene had a distinct Country and Western flavour . The girls were accomplished musicians and hosted guest appearances from stars like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Charley Pride. There were also plenty of(...)

Baxters, The

1 9 7 9 - 1 9 8 1 (USA) 25 x 30 minute episodes Surely one of the most unusual programmes broadcast nationally in the US - and possibly one of the first examples of interactive television - this hybrid of sitcom and pseudo game show gave viewers the chance to decide how they would(...)

BBC Programme Announcers

The best-known faces of the early 50s on British television belonged to the BBC programme announcers:McDonald Hobley, Mary Malcolm and Sylvia Peters. The trio first appeared in 1946 and quickly became immensely popular with viewers. The late Mac Hobley was naturally calm and debonair, but even he was ruffled when, before a 1951 political broadcast, he introduced Sir Stafford Cripps(...)

Beat Club

1 9 6 5 - 1 9 7 2 (West Germany)  

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