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Pop Music on British Television 1955 - 1999

A proposed 26 week satire series, produced by Don Gale and starring Australian actress Clemence Bettany, Dorothy Bromley, Allan Scott and Chris Bryant, with a weekly jazz spot occupied by Tubby Hayes and his band. The modern British satire boom was well underway with Beyond The Fringe on stage, Private Eye in print and now TV.


Producer Gale took Tubby Hayes to lunch to explain the idea for the show and how Hayes would fit into it. Gale told him "I don't want any two-minute stuff with eight bars solo each. I want you to blow for as long as you feel inspired. You can go as far out as you like. As far out as Coltrane!" The show's theme tune was likely to be Hayes' 'Down In The Village'.


Broadcast fortnightly, it was due to start 25th October, but was delayed by two weeks. It was a possible portent of what was to come that for the first edition of the show that three members of Hayes' regular band were aboard and couldn't make it. The show was meant to be networked, but there's no evidence of any other ITV station showing it.


A Daily Mirror report on 20th December 1962 announced that the fourth show, broadcast that night, would be the last. The BBC could potentially 'get away with it' as far as satire and its targets were concerned due to the terms of its charter, however, ITV was bound by strict rules written into the Television Act which stated that ITV programmes must not include "any offensive representation or reference to a living person." A spokesman for Associated Rediffusion told the Daily Mirror "Since the whole essence of satire is to be rude to people, we have no alternative but to drop the series."


The BBC's That Was The Week That Was debuted a few weeks later on Saturday 24th November 1962 and helped change television, satire and possibly British society.


To be fair, Rediffusion would try again in mid-1963 with the short-lived What's Going On Here? with Peter Cook and John Bird, broadcast while TW3 was off the air.



WHAT THE PUBLIC WANTS


Associated Rediffusion

8th November 1962 - 20th December 1962