Armchair Theatre

The 1959-60 season of Armchair Theatre, the only ITV [drama anthology] programme presented every week by the same company, was a notable success with audiences. Thirty-two of the thirty-seven plays featured in TAM’s Top Ten ratings, one gained the highest viewing figure to date for an ITV play and another became the only play ever to achieve first place in the Top Ten

Producer Sydney Newman’s determined work among authors also resulted in a record proportion of new writing; eighteen of the plays were specially commissioned for the programme, among them the first original work for TV by Angus Wilson, Alun Owen and Harold Pinter. Of the remainder, all but seven were by British writers, and several were adaptations made for ABC

The season opened with The Scent of Fear, specially written by Ted Willis and directed by John Moxey, one of ABC’s ablest and most experienced directors, whose cigar is seen left in consultation with Sydney Newman

George Varjas

Building a reputation

Developing young talent has always been an objective of ABC Television. The current Drama season brought stardom to Ian Hendry, a young actor who gave a fine performance last Spring in Return to Base, an episode of Inside Story, the hour-long drama series about life in a block of flats which Ted Willis edited for Sunday afternoon viewing. During the Summer Ian Hendry added to his reputation with John Gregson in Flight from Treason; ABC then gave him his own series with the title role in Police Surgeon, edited by Julian Bond.

Right Ian Hendry is seen in Inside Story with Margaret Anderson and Ruth Dunning; below he investigates a car smash as Dr Geoffrey Brent, Police Surgeon

Warwick Bedford
1960 // TRANSDIFFUSION BROADCASTING SYSTEM