Well, I say TV and radio but until 1962 it was all radio for us. We got our first TV when I was 11 and we had just one channel – BBC1. Radio programmes I remember are Forces’ Favourites which was always on while we ate our Sunday dinner. Children’s Favourites on a Saturday morning – was it Uncle Mac who presented it or am I confusing two programmes? Mum and Dad used to listen to Round the Horne and the Navy Lark. If I was ever at home during the day such as in the school holidays, my mum would be listening to Housewive’s Choice, Mrs Dale’s Diary, Eileen Fowler’s keep fit programme and Woman’s Hour. My earlier memories from pre-school days are of Listen With Mother. That theme tune still thrills me when I hear it.
Before we had a television in the house we sometimes congregated at a home with a TV to watch a national event such as a royal wedding (Princess Margaret in 1960, for example) or funeral. Once we had a TV I can remember other people coming to our house to watch events and Princess Alexandra’s wedding was one of them.
We kids were too old by then for the pre-school TV programmes but in the school holidays we loved to watch Watch with Mother. Television was such a novelty it didn’t matter one bit that Rag, Tag and Bobtail, The Woodentops and Andy Pandy were aimed at 2, 3 and 4 year olds.
Here are some early television programmes I remember enjoying –
R.C.M.P., Whirlybirds, Garry Halliday, Noggin the Nog, Sketch Club, Tales of the Riverbank, Zoo Quest and What’s My Line?.
“Are you sitting comfortably?….” I had to look up and have a listen to the Dolly Suite and it all came flooding back to me. “Listen with Mother” was also a favourite. There was no popular music listened to at our house, nor did we have a television. But my sister and I met Andy Pandy and friends in the Robin annuals. I remember talk and buzz of Cliff Richard as a child, and was surprised to hear his newer music many decades later.
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The Dolly Suite can still take me right back too. We didn’t have a TV until I was ten so the radio was the background to my childhood.