1 9 4 5 – 1 9 8 0 (UK)
“The time in Britain is twelve noon, in Germany, it’s one o’clock, but home and away, it’s time for Two-Way Family Favourites.“
This successor to the World War II radio show Forces Favourites was broadcast at Sunday lunchtimes on the BBC Light Programme (later on BBC Radio 2) from 1945 until 1980. From 1967 to 1972, it was also carried on BBC Radio 1.
Two-Way Family Favourites – known until 1955 as simply Family Favourites – was a record request programme designed to link families at home in the UK with British Forces Posted Overseas (BFPO), whether serving in West Germany or elsewhere in the world. The programme was a big success with listeners.
The show was presented by various well-known radio personalities, including Cliff Michelmore, Jean Metcalfe, Bill Crozier, Michael Aspel, Judith Chalmers, Sarah Kennedy, and the final UK presenter Jean Challis.
Both Pete Murray and Ed Stewart continued to use the title for segments on their own radio shows, often linking up with places such as Australia and New Zealand for another couple of years during the 1980s.
Michael Aspel returned to host a one-off special edition of the show for BBC Radio 2’s 40th Birthday celebrations on 30 September 2007.
The memorable theme tune to the show was With a Song in My Heart, composed by Richard Rodgers and originally played by Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra.
Presenters Cliff Michelmore and Jean Metcalfe eventually married each other. Jean died in 2000, aged 77, and Cliff died in 2016, at the age of 96.