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Biggles

1 9 6 0 (UK)
35 x 30 minute episodes

This action-packed weekly children’s action series followed the adventures of air ace Inspector James “Biggles” Bigglesworth (Neville Whiting) and was based on the famous stories by Captain W.E.Johns.

biggles

The daredevil pilot had left the Air Force after the war with his chums Ginger (played by pop star John Leyton) and Bertie (David Drummond) and was now attached to the CID at Scotland Yard as a Detective Air Inspector.

Together they solved crimes all over the globe (even if corners of the world as far-flung as South America, Monte Carlo, the West Indies and Egypt were all recreated in the Manchester studios).

The programme had very traditional ‘goodies’ and ‘baddies’ – most of the crimes had Biggles’ old enemy Von Stalhein (Carl Duering) behind them – and each episode had a thrilling flying sequence and a cliff-hanger ending: “Tune in again next week for more daring adventures . . .”

Young boys were hooked by the after-tea serial which went twice weekly partway through its run and later aired overseas in countries including Australia.

Among the show’s writers was a young man called Tony Warren, who went on to devise Coronation Street, while John Leyton topped the charts with Johnny Remember Me, a year after Biggles was screened.

Tally Ho, chaps!

Inspector James ‘Biggles’ Bigglesworth 
Neville Whiting
Ginger Hebblethwaite

John Leyton
Lord Bertram “Bertie” Lissie

David Drummond
Von Stalhein

Carl Duering