By Wilfrid Rooke Ley Noteworthy in the Coming Week
MONDAY: Byrd's Five-Part Mass, sung by the Wireless Chorus.
TUESDAY: "The Lottery Ticket" and the "Siege of Lucknow." (Victorian plays).
WEDNESDAY: B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra at Birmingham. FRIDAY: Excerpt front "Theatre Royal" (Noel Coward). SATURDAY: Rugby Football: Royal Navy v. Army.
NOTEWORTHY REGULAR FEATURES: Monday, "The Artist and His Public" (Eric Newton) and "The Cinema" (Alistair Cook); Wednesday; "New Books" (G. K. Chesterton). Dear Listener—
The anuouncement that Mr Gerald Cock has been appointed Director of Television at Broadcasting House rescues from anonymity, se far as the general public is concerned, the official who has been responsible for vome of the more important broadcasts in recent years. Be was in charge of the first boat-rs,co broad
caet. He has been responsible for the King's Chrieona.e broade.asts from Sandringham. Mans, listeners have wondered whether His Majesty is alone when he broadcasts on Christmas afternoon. We know now that he is not. One other person is in the them with him, and that ig Mr Cock. Mr Cock's greatest technical feat has, of course, been the Royal wedding, and I ani sure that all listeners will he glad to know the name of the man to whom that great triumph of radio-engineering was due.
You will by now have digested the Television report. Though 1 don't suppose you were one of those who wrote to the Television Committee protesting spinet the invasion of the privacy of the home by television, you may well have been nervous on another score, namely, lest the existing types of sound-receiving sets may soon be obsolete. Sir Kingsley Wood has reassured us. Nothing of the kind need be feared. We are also assured that there is going to be no increase in the 10/fee for the broadcast listener's licence. For some time at. least there will be no separate licence for tele
vision reception. PILO existing revemm of the 11.13.C. is thought to be adequate for the television service in its present stage. Awl Sir Kingsley Wood warned us emphatically that television is still in its infancy. I see that during January the licences have gone up by 108,160. This means an increase of 764,260 in one year. The B.13.0. receives 4/9 out of every licence fee. Its annual income is therefore £1,1136,070.
As the weeks go by, television :tercel and still more television speculation will he increasingly prominent in the news. Its immediate effete will be upon entertainment. It will be a long while before it. begine to play any part in the educational side of broadcasting; or in the news eervie.e. Its effort upon drama
and variety will be revolutionary. Sir Kingsley Wood announces that speakers, actors and artistes ean be televised; and that, apart from studio scenes, films will be transmitted. Already the prospect of films-transmission has aroused the attention of one prominent film-producer who it profoundly concerned with the question of censorship. And already one anxious gentleman has written to the press to point out that looking-in to foreign films, where censorship is far from stringent, will constitute a grave moral peril in the future. Well, that ftiture is remote, to say the least of it. The first television station—and the ceily one for some time will be in London, and its range will ho only 25 miles.
"Looker" is not a pretty word. 1 expect that like everybody else you have been trying to find a better; and like
everybody else, you have failed. Mr 13ernard Shaw has passed it. He says it
" plain and simple and reasonably unambiguous—as good as anything we could hope for." Professor Lloyd-James thinks it "rather dreadful," and anticipates that as time goes on it will be dropped. "Lookers in," he says, "will at the same time be listeners, and such ordinary words as 'audience' or 'Spectator' will be generally used to describe them.'
By the way, Professor Lloyd-James's book, "Broadcast English," which has just been published, contains some interesting reading. r have always thought that. there was no such thing as "43.13.C. English." It is the permit nonsense; as much nonsense as sneering at "the announcer's voiee." We learn front Professor Lloyd-James that the present announcers "include three Oxford and two Cambridge men; their schools include Weymouth, Radley, Ampleforth, Uppingham and Wimbledon, Some were officers in the army, sonic schoolmasters, actors or journalists. One crossed the Atlantic as a stoker." Only one candidate for the position of announcer has ever been able to pronounce the name of Puccini 's opera, "Gianni Schiechi," You should get hold of the book. It will entertain you. Professor Lloyd-James, as you probably know, is the secretary to the B.B.C.'s Advisory Committee on spoken English.
Sincerely yours, WILFRID ROOKE LEY.
The half-hour's broadcast last Saturday front America was the first of a series of such broadcasts which will be continued on Saturday afternoons until further notice. They are more interesting from the engineering point of view perhaps than from any other, and Its filleh are largely experimental. They represent the first attempt to rely solely on recaption from a short-wave broadcasting station for regular transatlantic relaying. }'or seine months tests have been carried out by the B.B.C.'s receiving station at Tatsfield. The listener must hear in mind that those broadcasts are not representative of American programmes as a whole. They consist of whatever may be going on at 11.45 a.m. in New York, and as they are heard here at 4.45 p.m., the relay is called FIVE HOURS BACK. What is really interesting ahout them is the strengthening of the broadcasting link between this country and the United States to which the new Transatlantic Bulletin at 10 p.m. on Tuesdays so notably contributes. We gather that the entente between the .13.B.C. and the National and Columbia Broadcasting Systems of America leaves nothing to be desired.
The recent broadcast of GORDON OP KHARTOUM received almost world-wide applause The Sudan Government has asked the 13.B.C. for a copy of the play for its archives, Two film companies have applied for an option on the film rights. Appreciative letters have come in from several European countries; gramophone companies have asked leave to make reoords. Various muse-urns have applied for the script for their libraries. Once again let the budding radiodramatist note that it is historical episodes that make the most popular material for playa The public for such plays is now proved to be so enormous that we are promised a spate of them. Among the MARCH PRODUCTIONS we are promised on March 10 "The Taming of the Shrew," and in the same week Tchekov's "The Three Sisters," The latter will be a Barbara Burnham production and is sure to he good. There will be a radio version of "Ambrose Applejohn's Adventure," an old play made famous by Sir John Hawtrey. And there will be two plays specially written for the microphone. one of which is a dramatisation of Sir Walter Raleigh's "Last Volage," and the other a play about Charlemagne. One welcome result of the demand for historical plays is that playwrights are at last beginning to go little further hack than the 18th century fer their subjects.
Those who enjoy the series CONVER
SATIONS IN THE TRAIN—ana so fat they hero been find-rate—May' look forward to one on Marva 16 which promises to be particularly amusing. Its subject will be "Standard English." The cause will be championed, I am told, by one who is well known to listeners, and the other characters in the railway carriage will be an American visitor to Engine,' and an English countryman talking in
dialect. There will be no doubt about the identity of the cast by the time tho train reaches town.
R017NDABOUTS, the play that won the f50 prize in the competition run by "Popular Wireless," was broadcast last
week. It was a really good wireless play, ratliogenic in idea and treatment. If this was F. W. Beasley 'a first attempt he has an unusual sense of medium. Na fault could be found with Lance Sieveking's production, which was imaginative without being over-elaborate. The play introduced a new actor to the Londonstudio in the person of .T. E. Mageetta. He is well-ksown to Belfast listeners. He is a radio-artist of great individuality whom it will be a pleasure to hear again. The play, too, must certainly be heard again; and I look forward to others front the same pen. Mr Beasley has something to say and knows how to say it.
What iR at the back of these WEATHER REPORTS? How are they prepared. The Meteorological Office has its behind-scenes like-.., any other publ; entertainment. We shi know all aboe it on March 9 when .the secrets will hie revealed in ono of' thmie dramatised talks with which we are now familiar. The history of weather forecasting will he reconstructed, folloirved by a graphic illustration of how reports reach the Meteorological Office from all parts of Europe and from ships at sea. shall be able to see how the weather-map is prepared every morning. Listeners interested in rural subjeets should keep their eyes on the Midland Regional programmes. Henry Warren's charming "Out and. About" talks continue every fortnight—there has been a demand for his "Man and the altiehiee" programme by America, I understand— and now Geoffrey Bournphrey and Graham Castle are down for a dismission on VILLAGE LIFE on March 4, which will deal with its present-day aspects and such recent changes as the growth of the motor-has service. Mr Boumphrey has been doing a number of talks on town, and country planning and gave that interesting series the other day on Roman Roads. Mr Castle is secretary of the Gloucestershire Rural Community Council. Radio can do more than anything to tackle certain problems of the countryside, so that one can only regard talks of this sort with encouragement. Father Martindale 'a third and last talk in the WAY TO GOD series will be given on March 3, but it should -be remembered on March 17 he will come to the microphone again to answer listeners' questions. '