1 9 4 1 – 1 9 6 4 (UK)
This BBC radio music, comedy and variety programme was originally transmitted in May 1941.
Intended as a morale-booster for industrial workers in Britain to relieve the monotony of factory production lines during World War II, the show was broadcast at lunchtime, three times a week, live from a factory canteen “somewhere in Britain”.
The Government supported the broadcast as part of the war effort on the home front, with the Ministry of Labour choosing which factory canteens the show would visit. Ernest Bevin, the Minister of Labour and National Service, occasionally appeared on the show to thank the workers and exhort them to greater efforts.
The series proved a great success and Bevin urged the BBC to continue the programme after the war ended to continue to raise the morale of the workers whilst the government rebuilt Britain and the British economy.
And so the BBC continued to transport crew, cables, microphones, two pianos, a producer, two pianists and a group of variety artists up and down the country three times a week until 1964.
Famous artists who appeared in the broadcasts over the years included Jon Pertwee, Charlie Chester, Peter Sellers, Tony Hancock, Frankie Howerd, Terry-Thomas, Anne Shelton, Alma Cogan, Dorothy Squires, Arthur English, Julie Andrews, Morecambe and Wise, Dick Emery, Terry Scott, Roy Hudd, Bob Monkhouse, Jimmy Young, and Ken Dodd.
Every edition closed with the words “Good luck, all workers!” from the show’s producer, Bill Gates.