TV. The great majority of
viewers. I suppose, suffer a forced selectivity in their viewing. In ether words, engagements of one kind or another, or being away, rather than choice, dictate what they are going td watch.
This week my viewing had to he confined to one evening. What did this lucky dip produce 7 " Meet Jeanne Heal," Frankie Howerd, "Panorama," "It's Magic," Concert Artistes Association (all BBC chosen in preference to ITA) with a final switeh to " Four Star Playhouse " and " What the Papers Say." In other words, that evening produced nothing spectacular, nothing that could have cost a great deal and involved prolonged preparation. Yet how pleasant and even instructive most of it turned out to 'he.
Jeanne Heal, " Panorama" and the Concert Artistes Association were all inetructive and entertaining actualities, opening windows on the hopes, troubles, social life of the outside world.
Jeanne Heal's guests quickly became friends. exemplifying very clearly in themselves that the secret of success in show business is that indefinable thing personality. Yvonne Arnaud, later in the evening, demonstrated that the shortest speech can also be the best.
Of the lot, only Frankie Howerd failed. The idea was that he should be funny. He can be funny. On this °cession he was not, due. I think. to failure to take enough trouble, to time the show properly and to rehearse it. Even the best cannot get away with a botched job.
OVER to America for a slick playlet with a good idea not
sufficiently carefully worked out. "Worked out," too, seems the word for 'What the Papers Say." which has not found its feet and perhaps never will.
Just a sample of the typical, but pleasant, TV routine. M.B.
RADIO. Oncoming Christmas
holidays inevitably fill some parents with dread and a wish that school terms could be longer. From the radio point of view I always regret the ending of the schools broadcasts each term.
They are on the whole good. But as I have been listening to them for many years, perhaps I am becoming a little tired of some. Of one in particular I have coroplained before, but I feel I should remark on it again. It is the very popular " How Things Began." In this series, about the beginnings of the world and of man, " Uncle Jim " goes back thousands of years to describe life as he sees it.
It is a good idea because it does bring to the mind a very clear idea of what the world might have looked like then. But not enough stress is laid on the fact that this is all conjecture, especially as to the appearance of early man. It is not gospel that he looked or behaved like a monkey, and 1 think it is wrong to present this to the children as if it were so.
As to music, the schools pro" gramme could not he better. Last week, for instance, there were excerpts from " Hary Janos," by Ktxlaly to illustrate a talk by Matyas Seiber on the music of that composer. This music has always been very popular with us and I do hope now that the pleasure of listening to it has spread into many homes.