So, as a background to these series of posts on what was on television in the past I am going to end up back in time in around 1950 after finding a portal into the past at the age of 23 and managing to get enough 1950s currency to equate for three years at the minimum wage which in 1951, was eight pounds, eight shillings and six pence and managed to obtain a birth certificate for someone of that age in 1950, and demobilising papers, through a printer who was able to create one that would past muster in the time a bit like in Goodnight Sweetheart.

I went through the portal and walked away from the point of entry into the portal and then got on a train to London. When I got to London in 1950 I found some lodgings and found a job in the canteen of a factory, and at the end of 1950 I was able to move out of my lodgings and into my own two bedroom house after having a mini windfall after winning a horse race and getting enough money for a deposit.

I then got a tv from radio rentals at 37′ 6 per month.

From the Radio Times for Sunday 31st December 1950 to Saturday 6th January 1950 you could have watched the following delights, if you could pick up the television signal that is.

The service ran from 3pm-4pm, 5pm-6pm and 8pm-10.30pm (approx) each weekday; 2-4 on a Saturday then as the weekday; and on Sunday 5-6pm and 8pm until 12.05am, all broadcast from Alexandra Palace in London.

The 3-4pm slot featured either newsreels, short films, talks, demonstration shows such as cookery and knitting.

The 5-6pm slot was programs for Children, presented under the umbrella title For the Children featuring story readings, puppet shows, songs, drama serials, talks etc .

The evening slot was for the adults with comedy shows, variety shows, single plays etc.

Highlights this week include:

  • Richard Hearne in Mr Pastry’s Progress, the first episode of a six part series with Hearne playing the titular character in slapstick adventures.
  • Candida, a Sunday-Night Theatre play based upon the original play by George Bernard Shaw, produced by Royston Morley and starring Patrick Barr.
  • A two hour production of Cinderella on New Years Day 1951 with Sally Ann Howes later to star in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Kathleen Moody later Lady Grade
  • A short film on the important automatic devices play in your daily lives entitled Modern Robots
  • Terry-Thomas in How Do You View a sketch comedy series which he also wrote and which ran from 1949 to 1952, which may have been the first comedy series on British television. This weeks episode was the 5th episode of the 3rd season featuring future Carry on and Meddling Monk himself Peter Butterworth and Avril Angers .
  • Episode three of an adaptation of Little Women which featured David Jacobs and Arnold Ridley.
  • A visit to London Zoo.
  • A programme on Invalid Dishes, whatever they might be.
  • A lesson on how to kit a jumper
  • An unspecified instalment of Andy Pandy
  • Episode four of the fortnightly Children’s Variety show Whirligig.
  • Mystery Squadron, which is a total mystery to me. This might be the 1933 American 12-chapter film serial The Mystery Squadron – Wikipedia

On the radio, which was still the main form of entertainment at the time, this week saw

  • The return of Brian Reece and Joy Shelton in P.C. 49 with The Case of Heavenly Murder (Sunday, Light Programme). This popular show began in 1947 and would carry on until 1953.
  • Life With The Lyons (Sunday, Light Programme) a sitcom featuring former Hollywood stars, and real life married couple, Ben Lyon and Bebe Daniels and their two children
  • A new daily show (Monday-Thursday) The Archers at 11.45am about the adventures of country folk in the fictional village of Ambridge
  • Mrs. Dale’s Diary continuing at 4.15 (Monday- Friday, the episode repeated the morning after at 11.00am), which had been running since 1948
  • The continuing adventures of Dick Barton – Special Agent at 6.15 (Monday – Friday, omnibus Saturday). This began in 1946 and would ultimately finish this year

The Archers is still broadcast today and celebrated its 70th anniversary on 1st January 2021.

Born this week in 1951 was Steve Arnold, former professional footballer who played two games for Liverpool FC.