Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s London Town

London Town

1 9 4 9 – 1 9 5 1 (UK)

A magazine of past and present stories of the world’s greatest city, told by Richard Dimbleby.

The series dressed Dimbleby in a diving suit to go under the Thames, squeezed him down a manhole into the sewers below the streets of Clapham, gave him a bus to drive on the skid patch at Chiswick, and had him race on a fire engine around Piccadilly Circus.

The show visited the Stock Exchange and Lloyd’s in the City of London, the great warehouses of the Port of London Authority, the Whispering Gallery at St. Paul’s, and even weighed Dimbleby on the scales at an old wine shop in St. James’s.

Pre-filmed outside location film shots were blended into studio sequences with the help of studio reconstructions, employing a staged scenic set to give the impression of a roaming camera doing an impromptu interview (pictured above).

In 1952, the programme morphed into About Britain, in order to take the concept to cover the whole of Britain, ranging from the heart of England – in Warwickshire – to early spring in the Lake District, and to high summer in Scotland. The new series also visited North Wales and the Scilly Isles, took the waters at Bath, travelled down the south coast of Cornwall to Land’s End and visited Edinburgh, as the capital of Scotland prepared for the Coronation visit of Her Majesty the Queen.