Beat Room, The

1 9 6 4 (UK) BBC2's The Beat Room - billed as "thirty minutes of non-stop beat and shake" - delved more deeply into the R&B music that Ready Steady Go! helped to popularise. It featured a range of blues artists from both sides of the Atlantic, including Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Chris Farlowe and(...)

Beat The Clock

1 9 5 0 - 1 9 6 1 (USA) The very active game show Beat The Clock began on radio and transferred to television in 1950 with Bud Collyer remaining as emcee. Contestants chosen from the studio audience had to complete in hilarious stunts - which often involved pies, whipped cream and water - before the big(...)


1 9 8 5 - 1 9 8 7 (Australia) Though ostensibly a music TV programme, this Saturday afternoon show from the Australian ABC network was the first Aussie show which really did go out and talk to kids about important things. Launched in May 1985, Beatbox was put together by a cooperative of young unemployed people from(...)

Before Your Very Eyes

1 9 5 3 - 1 9 5 8 (UK) Arthur Askey's Before Your Very Eyes introduced the busty 'dumb blonde' Sabrina to British television - who had once (believe it or not) been the junior breast-stroke champion of Manchester. Arthur Askey Diana Decker Sabrina Dickie Henderson June Whitfield Anthea Askey

Big Breakfast, The

1 9 9 2 - 2 0 0 2 (UK) Departing from the established news and magazine-based format of other breakfast TV shows, The Big Breakfast placed the emphasis on fun from the start, every weekday between 7.00 and 9.00 AM. Its all-action combination of competitions, interviews, film reviews and music videos was designed to appeal to the(...)

Big Gig, The

1 9 8 9 - 1 9 9 2 (Australia) 66 x 60 minute episodes In the late 80s, Australian comedian Wendy Harmer (pictured) brought back from England an idea for a television show which would be a mixture of comedy and bands - like the British show Friday Live - albeit with a very unique Australian(...)

Big Match, The

1 9 6 8 - 1 9 9 2 (UK) Jimmy Hill was born in Balham in 1928. He began his professional footballing career with Brentford and after three years was transferred to Fulham, where he played in the First and Second Divisions. He was Chairman of the Professional Footballers' Association between 1956 and 1961 and(...)

Big Night Out

1 9 6 1 - 1 9 6 4 (UK) Mike Weinstein was born in Islington (North London) on 15 November 1930. His younger brother arrived on 6 September 1933 at the now demolished Salvation Army Maternity Home in Old Street. Mike was educated at Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music (where he learned to(...)

Big Time, The

1 9 7 6 - 1 9 7 7  (UK) 1 9 8 0 (UK) Esther Rantzen offered adults the chance to fulfil their dreams and make 'the Big Time' in this series of lighthearted fifty-minute documentaries - a kind of Jim'll Fix It for grown-ups. A housewife cooked a banquet at a top hotel, a vicar wrote a(...)

Bill Collins’ Golden Years Of Hollywood

1 9 6 6 - 1 9 9 5 (Australia) Bill Collins has been described as "Mr. Movies of Australia". He has presented films on television and on video since 1963 and has come to seem like a trusted and enthusiastic guarantor of whatever film he happens to be presenting. As a high school English(...)

Billy Cotton Bandshow

1 9 5 6 - 1 9 6 6 (UK) The leading showman of the mid-fifties in Britain was chirpy cockney chappie Billy Cotton, and the lively Billy Cotton Bandshow became a Saturday evening favourite on BBC TV for many years. Beginning with his familiar bellow of "Wakey Wake-aaaay" and dashing through the signature tune Somebody Stole My Girl, the show(...)

Billy Dainty Esq

1 9 7 5 - 1 9 7 6 (UK) 6 x 45 minute episodes Billy Dainty was given his own Thames TV show on the strength of his show-stopping appearance at the Royal Variety Performance where he reduced the Queen Mother to tears of laughter. Famed for his 'eccentric dancing', he was a marvellous physical comedian and(...)

Bing Crosby Show, The

1 9 6 4 - 1 9 6 5 (USA) 28 x 30 minute episodes This ABC sitcom featured ex-crooner Bing Crosby as (wait for it) an ex-crooner called Bing Collins. Bing (both of them) takes up a post as a teacher in electrical engineering at a university. Stories revolved around his family life, with his(...)

Black and White Minstrel Show, The

1 9 5 8 - 1 9 7 8 (UK) No doubt this BBC show would be condemned as terribly politically incorrect in this new and enlightened age with white performers 'blacked up', but The Black and White Minstrel Show was incredibly popular in it's day (up there with The Good Old Days). The show certainly seems surreal in(...)

Blackpool Night Out

1 9 6 4 - 1 9 6 5 (UK) A summer variety spectacular with hosts Mike and Bernie Winters (fresh from Big Night Out), Lionel Blair and his dancers, Bob Sharples and his orchestra, and seaside stars like Tommy Cooper and Jimmy Edwards, along with a statutory pop group for the kids, such as Freddie and The(...)

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