Home TV by Decade TV Shows - 1950s Sunday Break, The

Sunday Break, The

1 9 5 8 – 1 9 6 2 (UK)
78 x 45 minute episodes

By 1958, it was felt by many that the youth of the day were more interested in Rock n’ Roll or Skiffle music than staying at home to watch religious programmes. The brainchild of Howard Thomas, then Managing Director of ABC, The Sunday Break was the first ‘pop’ religious show.

Set in a youth club – with pop music in the background – it posed questions of interest to young people.

The discussions that took place included the morality of Western films, the role of Christians in the Army, sport, politics, slavery, big business, gambling, war, immigration and smoking.

Teenagers were also encouraged to Bible reading by way of competitions for modern versions, written by themselves, of selected Bible stories. Interestingly, of the winning entries, hardly one came from a regular churchgoer.

The Sunday Break was transmitted for 45 minutes, three Sundays a month, and was watched by over 7½ million people in England, Scotland and Wales.

Presenters included Barry Westwood, Neville Barker, Ronnie Hilton and James Roose Evans.

Guests included Millicent Martin, Marty Wilde and the Wildcats, Paul Raven and Acker Bilk‘s Paramount Jazz Band.

A religious discussion being led by Penry Jones, the programme’s religious adviser.