Candid comedian

Bob Monkhouse, one of the few British entertainers who is a top line comedian and comedy writer as well as a star compère, has become a resident host of ABC Light Entertainment shows.

From the long-running For Love or Money he went on to present the public to the public in Candid Camera, which spotlights in a good-natured way the generosity and sense of humour for which our island race is famous.

Ronnie Taylor directs the programme

Candid Camera’s backroom boys push jokester-in-chief Jonathan Routh towards a filling station in a car without an engine

Having coasted in to a stop, Routh asks the attendant to find out why the car refuses to start again

‘You’ve got no engine!’ says the attendant, but Routh is not satisfied

‘Something queer here’ mutters the attendant, and has a look round the back

‘This bloke’s a nut case’ says the attendant to the colleague he has called to investigate the mystery

A date with Maxin

Leslie Davis

Another sweet-music man was Ernest Maxin, who introduced his Orchestra in Make a Date, a series of live studio programmes in which he performed the dual role of producer and star.

Bob Fuest designed the sets.

While producer Maxin bottom scratches his head, host Maxin left dances with Petula Clark and joins Dave King in a song and dance routine

Stanley Allen

From music to mirth

Ernest Maxin proved his versatility as a producer by following Make a Date with Our House, a series of thirteen hour-long comedy plays by top screenwriter Norman Hudis, with an all-star cast headed by Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey and Joan Sims.

Our House recorded the adventures of an oddly assorted group of people who agreed to solve their accommodation problems by sharing a house.

Paul Bernard designed the ‘mansion’ in question

Stanley Allen

You’d Never Believe It

A popular science programme in every sense of the word is You’d Never Believe It, which investigates famous magic acts in show business and gives viewers the medical and biological facts that make them possible.

Putting your hand under molten lead, lying on a bed of nails, walking on hot coals and up a ladder of swords are some feats demonstrated here for host Huw Thomas and scientist Arthur Garratt.

George Noordhof produces the programme

Willoughby Gullachsen

Mr Wonderful

Another very welcome American visitor to ABC was the sensational Sammy David Jr, who made his only live TV appearance during a whirlwind visit to London last Summer in Sammy Davis Jr Meets the British, a one-hour ABC extravaganza relayed over the ITV Network and produced by Light Entertainment Supervisor Brian Tesler.

British dancing star Lionel Blair partnered the dynamic David in a challenge dance routine built around those traditional London sartorial ornaments, the bowler and the brolly

Stanley Allen

In a specially created scene in another part of the programme, ‘Mr Wonderful’ showed British viewers the brilliant caberet act which has made him the darling of nightclub audiences from London to Las Vegas

Stanley Allen

Summer at the seaside

Summer time at ABC means Holiday Town Parade. This popular annual show takes David Southwood and his Outside Broadcast team every summer round the seaside resorts on the East and West coasts of the North and Midlands, building up a fund of local goodwill through the interest aroused by its contests for the TV Bathing Beauty Queen, the TV Fashion Queen and the TV Adonis of Great Britain.

Errol Flynn, Boris Karloff and John Gregson have helped to crown the Beauty Queen, while Pierre Balmain and Norman Hartnell are among those who have bestowed the Fashion accolade.

McDonald Hobley is the programme’s host, and Joe Loss and his Orchestra were a popular backbone of the show until they were claimed by the Hammersmith Palais

Bedford Studios

▼ Summer for ABC’s Drama Department meant Armchair Mystery Theatre, whose resident host was one of Britain’s busiest actors, Donal Pleasence, taking time off to make his introduction and to star in one of the plays, Machinal, between performances of Harold Pinter’s stage success, The Caretaker

John Timbers

Diana Wynyard gave a remarkable performance as a paralysed woman, using only her eyes and recorded thoughts, in the opening play, Eye Witness, specially written by Leslie Sands and directed by Charles Jarrott

John Timbers

John Gregson was another star visitor to the series, mocking the traditional Secret Service man in Flight from Treason, a spy thriller by schoolmaster James Mitchell, directed by Dennis Vance

1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM